Mirror, Mirror...

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, December 15, 2010 Wednesday, December 15, 2010

My apologies, dear readers, for my absence from the blogging community, lately. As you all well know, the business of the holiday season isn't to be taken lightly.

From shopping and wrapping to drinking and puking, well, it doesn't leave much time for personal reflection now, does it? Unless of course that reflection is the one you see of yourself in the rippling water of the toilet at 1am after your friend's annual Christmas party – and then, well that reflection is certainly not worth mentioning, much less commenting on.

In fact, I haven't been doing much of the “this time last year” reflection at all. I've always kind of been a forward thinker. I like to dwell on what COULD happen (good and bad) , rather than on what already happened.

But the other day I was trolling a friends' facebook page, and came across a couple of photos of me that made me so sad:

I'm the big one without a blacked out face

These were taken at my friend Kate's Christmas party last year. I'm sad looking at these photos because I'm probably at my heaviest but what made me get teary-eyed is that I remember thinking I looked SO GOOD that night.

I'd purchased a really adorable silver and gold strapless top from Lane Bryant (because I couldn't find any cute holiday tops to fit me in the regular stores) and wore it with some black pants that had an ELASTIC waist. Let that sink in. ELASTIC WAIST.

Even though I KNEW I was at my heaviest weight ever, I still thought I looked pretty hot. And my sweet husband. My sweet, dear, husband! Well, he TOLD me I looked beautiful. In fact, he he probably even tried to seduce me that night because, well, he is just awesome --- and deprived --- and probably drunk. But anyway, the man knows how to make a hefty girl feel loved.

Then some friends posted this photo the other day and I smiled:

I'm the one who isn't a ghost

Because I look at it and I think I look pretty good. And not too fat. And because when my husband told me I looked beautiful, I believed him. Even if he was drunk.

However, in my very humble opinion, you can't really get a good idea of EXACTLY how I looked at that party a couple of weeks ago so I decided to get dressed up all over again, in my SIZE 14 DRESS THAT I HAVE HAD FOR 7 YEARS and give you a picture you can really worship:

And, even if you are drunk and deprived, you don't need to tell me I look great because, for once, I already know!

The Inheritance of Loss

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, November 30, 2010 Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I didn't notice this until 5 or 6 years ago when a colleague of mine pointed it out (and mocked me relentlessly) but I routinely use the phrase “Oh, for cryin' out loud!” You know, like, I'm in the check out line at the Piggly Wiggly to buy some milk and Pringles and after waiting 25 minutes for the blue hair in front of me to get out all her coupons and argue with the cashier about whether she can use the .25 cents off Charmin coupon for both bath tissue AND ass wipes or just the tissue and then its finally my turn and the register runs out of ticker tape and the manager has to be called over to replace it because the cashier is a “New Team Member!” and then the manager decides to use this as a 'learning experience' for said “New Team Member!”? That's when I pull out the “Oh for cryin' out loud!”

Now, for those of you who haven't met me or read my profile information, that probably leads you to believe that I am a 75 year old South Jersey grandmother who tells dirty jokes and shakes her fist at bad drivers. Or that I'm Joy Behar.

Unfortunately, you'd have assumed incorrectly. I'm just a dorky 33 year old who complains frequently and loudly enough to SEEM like a 75 year old. By the way, my knees are popping like CRAZY today. Must be a storm coming.

But you see, its not my fault that I say “Oh, for cryin' out loud” or “For Pete's sake!” or “You get married so you have someone to kill the bugs”. I INHERITED these phrases. They're family mottoes! Sometimes we cross-stitch them on pillows.

And maybe its the fact that the holidays are upon us or the fact that my 89 year old grandmother recently came to visit, but lately, I've been thinking a lot about habits and rituals and what I've inherited versus what is 'all me.'

For instance, I bite my fingernails. Yes, it is a nasty habit and probably means I'm a nervous person or need constant oral stimulation (tee hee) or maybe it means I like my nails short. Or that I'm a serial killer.

No one else in my family bites their nails. Not my sister, my mother, my grandmother or my father. They all have lustrous, painted (daddy likes Rockette Red), beautiful nails and have no shame showing their hands to even the most judgmental of Vietnamese manicurists.

Also, I HAVE to sing along to every song that comes on the radio. I simply CANNOT carry on a discussion if there is a song playing in the background that I know the words to (which means there isn't much talking in my car. Unless, of course, we're on the Smooth Jazz station, in which case, we're talking about my impending funeral because I'm about to throw myself out of the moving car). Much of my family is like this. We WILL shush you if you choose to interrupt us during our renditions of any Carpenters' song.

Anyway, while my grandmother and mom were here last week, I took notice of their body types and eating habits. Neither one of them has ever been fat nor have they ever really been skinny. They are both average, pear-shaped, white women who complain mostly about their thighs being a tad jiggly and asking if things "make their butts look big" but in reality, they look like just about every other American woman walking the streets. My sister, lucky girl, inherited that particular shape while I, on the other hand, am a different fruit altogether.

Call it apple, call it top heavy, call it Kathy Bates – I'm basically your average Granny Smith sitting on a couple of Popsicle sticks. Pour some caramel on me and you've got a sought-after State Fair treat. I carry all my extra weight right around my middle, the unhealthiest place to carry extra weight. Also pretty terrible in terms of finding jeans that don't make you look like like one of the Tweedle Dee or Dum twins. This, along with my love for cop show dramas and poop humor, I inherited from my father.

With regard to eating habits, well, I can tell you that I've never ever seen mom or grandma 'binge' on anything other than a sale at T.J.Maxx. Mom's usually on a 'diet' and at any given time you can find a chewy, fake-peanutbuttery, 100 calorie treat at the bottom of her purse. I've seen her turn down homemade cookies with a flip of the hand and claim that she just “can't get enough” of something as mouth-watering as celery sticks with fat free ranch dressing.

Grandma on the other hand, usually drinks ½ a can of regular Coca-Cola at lunch and cooks with Crisco regularly. Although she recently started working out so as to 'watch her figure,' on our recent trip to Starbucks, when our frowny faced barrista asked Grandma if she “wanted whip on her white chocolate mocha” Grandma looked genuinely perplexed when she answered “Well, OF COURSE!”

Although, she, and I, looked equally perplexed when the designer velvet track suit clad soccer mom behind us ordered a “grande half-caf, triple shot, half syrup, gingerbread soy latte”.

See, Grandma simply doesn't see a point in ordering a white chocolate mocha and then butchering it with skim milk and denying herself whipped cream. Why? Because Grandma only gets a Starbucks coffee treat TWICE A YEAR.

Bottom line here people, I inherited the worst of both my mom and grandma's worlds. I basically spent the last 27 years of my life binging on diet food and then turning around and treating myself to more of it for choosing 'wisely' and not eating the skin off of ONE piece of fried chicken.

By the by, Snackwell's Devil's Food low-fat cookies are only low-fat if you eat ONE of them. A box of those cookies will NOT make you thinner.

So, to sum it up, I got fat because of what I inherited and I got fat because of the choices I made. There's really no sure way to know which came first, the fatty or the Olestra.

What I do know, now, is that thanks in a HUGE part to my Lap Band, I'm finally able to take the best and healthiest bits from Grandma's eating habits and Mom's eating habits and come out the other end a thinner, happier and healthier person.

I don't know if I inherited this ability to take control of my life and make it better or if it is something I learned, and it really doesn't matter, I guess. I'm just glad I'm finally able to do it.

Grandma showed me how to make her famous pie crust. LOTS of Crisco

Then she showed me how to make her amazing fried chicken. MORE CRISCO!
I had about 3/4 of a piece, WITH the skin. Just the right amount and YUMMY!

Grandma, Mom and the Little Girl who I hope only inherits the best parts of all of us.

My Re-Education

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, November 11, 2010 Thursday, November 11, 2010

So, I have this friend....

Don't you just LOVE when stories start out that way? In high school such a phrase was often followed by: “who is having sex with her boyfriend and needs to get on birth control but she can't tell her mom and doesn't know where to go to get it” which was then followed by YOUR mom narrowing her eyes at you, getting a little sweaty on the forehead. Which was then followed by you cocking your snotty teenage hip to the side whilst responding “NO! REALLY! Its my FRIEND! Not ME! I SWEAR, MOM!”

Anyway – I have this friend, we'll call her Olive Oil. She's skinny. Really skinny. Always has been, always will be. And she's beautiful. And a whole bunch of other things that are wonderful and lovely and covetous. Like, she never fails to give people the benefit of the doubt. And she doesn't like to gossip. What is UP with that?

You already hate her, don't you?

Here, hate her some more: She once bitched and moaned to me about how she was sad that after birthing two kids she could no longer fit into her size 2 jeans. SIZE TWO. This conversation happened while we were eating our Panera Bread lunches – my salad (dressing on the side!) and her foccacia bread sandwich (extra cheese on the side!) and NON-DIET Coke. She DID get some salad too, that day though. In her lap.

Then I took off my size 20s and wrapped her skinny butt in them and stuck her in the trunk of my car. It was all done with love though.

Anyway, we've known each other for a long time. She's seen me at my heaviest, she's seen me at my skinniest. She's seen me happy with my body and hating my body. What she's never seen me as though, is NOT on a diet.

She's been with me to Walgreens when I was spending my allowance on Metabolife. She's eaten my Everything Bagel after I'd taken off the turkey and cheese while doing Atkins. She's scrunched up her nose at my Slim Fast and tasted a bite or two (and spit them out) of my Jenny Craig turkey and rice soup. She's listened while I've calculated the amount of Weight Watchers points in my chicken fajitas and wondered aloud how I fit in all the exercise I do. After school I'd eat carrot sticks and she'd have McDonalds.

Somehow, amidst all of my dieting and her NOT dieting, I continued to get fatter and she continued to get skinnier. In the abbreviated words of our deteriorating youth: WTF?

So, Olive Oil has been having some issues with feeling dizzy and disoriented and lethargic. She's not yet seen a doctor but she thinks she's has issues with her blood sugar. Her hypothesis was that she had started doing some exercise but had not upped her caloric intake enough to account for the amount of exercise she is doing. Her current solution? Stop exercising.

I suggested EATING MORE, because, well, for a fat girl, that's as instinctual as buying the black one because its most slimming. Elliptical for 30 minutes = a night of eating buttercream frosting out of the can. IT'S MATH PEOPLE.

Then she said something so horrific, so foreign, so unbelievable, I ALMOST put down the miniature Snickers bar I was licking. She said: “BUT SOMETIMES I'M JUST NOT HUNGRY.”

Stop the press! My skinny friend DOESN'T LIKE TO EAT WHEN SHE'S NOT HUNGRY?!

“Are you sure?” I asked? “What about just ½ a cheese stick or maybe a handful of nuts? M&Ms? A Whopper Jr.? I mean, you're skinny, C'MON! Live it up!”

But she insisted. She doesn't like to eat when she's not hungry. Not even a little.

And for the first time in my life, I kinda 'get it'. I'm not totally 'there' yet but thanks to Leona, I'm starting to understand what its like to have a normal relationship with food. I can't say that I don't pop a chocolate or potato chip every now and then, even though I'm full from lunch. And sometimes just seeing that its 6pm makes me hear dinner bells. But they aren't ringing that loudly and sometimes I'm able to shut them out as I would a Michael Bolton song on an elevator.

Every fat girl knows that 'only eating when you are hungry' isn't some giant secret that the skinny girls are keeping from us. We know its common sense. It is just that, for whatever reason, we've been ignoring that instinct for so long that the sense isn't so common.

After 27 years of doing it, eating when you aren't hungry isn't just a bad habit, it's inherent.

They say “you learn something new every day.” What they don't tell you is how hard it is to UNLEARN something you didn't want to know how to do in the first place.

Me & Olive Oil in 1995. She made brownies for our road trip but I couldn't eat them since I was on a diet.
Also, yes, her waist was and is, smaller than my bicep.

Supportive Friends

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, October 31, 2010 Sunday, October 31, 2010

Camille's post regarding whether or not to tell her mother about her Lap Band got me thinking about the 'support' that I've received from friends and family since deciding to go forward with the gastric band and the LACK of support that so many of my other banded blogger friends have had with regard to their weight loss surgery (WLS).

I don't have the energy to get all philosophical about it but I wanted to share a quick story that I think pretty much sums up how friends and family SHOULD act regarding a person's decision to have WLS.

Last weekend I, Kate, and some of our other mommy friends went to the mountains for some “relax and recharge” time away from husbands and kids. Hot tub, wine and massage. Need I say more?

Kate and I have been very open with our mommy group about our band surgeries. Partly because we spend so much time together between playgroups, mommy's night outs, birthday parties and family events it would be hard to keep such a secret from them. And partly because honestly, they are all such amazing women and have been supportive in every facet of each other's lives that we felt 'safe' with them.

Well, on the drive up to the mountains, Kate, Shannon and I were all in one car. We were talking about potty training, tantrums and other toddler challenges and kind of out of nowhere Shannon says “I am just so proud of both of you girls and the progress you've made with your weight loss. You both look so good”.

She didn't quantify it with comments about us having had surgery to help us or question whether we'll be able to 'keep it off'. She just did what a friend should do: support us through our journey.

So, not only is Shannon a great friend, she's also a wise woman because damn if we DON'T look good.

See for yourself:

Kate is in the center

Boo! Scared ya, didn't I?

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, October 26, 2010 Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In the couple of weeks since I've been gone from the blogosphere I've enjoyed such things as hot tubs, wine, pumpkin patches, girls weekend away, wine, a massage by a hippy mountain man that repeated the phrase “relax and restore” about 37 times in the course of 90 minutes, wine, and of course, vodka.

Yet, each of these events, with great stories accompanying, have taken a back seat in my brain since watching this vlog by the crazy yet inspiring Amy W., and her blog posts that followed.

Typically I prefer to be the star in my blog but such an even as eating an entire hamburger WITH BUN, whilst sporting a Lap-Band, trumps my self-centeredness and it simply must be addressed.

See, I'm feeling a bit like you feel after someone you know has experienced something tragic—like a car accident, or the loss of a loved one or your skirt tucked into the back of your pantyhose: What if it was me?!

I try not to be too judgmental (at least not to anyone's face) and so I'm withholding my judgment for Amy's cardinal banded sin. And it seems like she's received enough spankings from her followers to warrant her a plaque in the S&M hall of fame. Instead I find myself biting my fingernails with worry, furrowing my un-botoxed brow and looking at burgers, bagels and doughnuts in an entirely different with mixture of horror and longing.

See, hearing that my inspiration has successfully gone where no bandster has gone before has done a number on me.

Call me naive but I seriously thought that eating burgers with buns, untoasted loxed and creamed cheesed bagels, Panera's Chicken Caesar Sandwiches were feats that were simply not possible with banded restriction.

Now, if you have followed my banded history you know that it took me F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to get any resemblance of restriction in my band. But once I got some (at about 7 ccs in a 10 cc band) Leona put the “kabash” on just about every food I've mentioned above. She simply stops it in its tracks.

While I recognize that everyone is different and perhaps Amy's ability to conquer this burger-beast is a one-off, I live in fear.

Regardless of how much research we did prior to getting our bands, regardless of how mentally and emotionally ready we were for such step, getting the band did require us to take a leap of faith. The gastric band, in the world of medical procedures, is relatively new. There aren't exactly thousands of well known bandsters who have had their band longer than a few years and are out there sharing their stories.

How do I know I won't tap out my band and be without restriction forever? How do I know that this amazing feeling of fullness and satisfaction that I get now after eating a small amount of food won't disappear someday even with a filled band?

Although each day I am finding new ways to analyze my relationship with food and with feeling/being fat, I haven't conquered it yet. I'm not yet free.


While I hope that I can be buried with my band, a thin, healthy woman, a part of me also hopes that if for some reason Leona and I had to part ways, I would still be able to maintain a healthy relationship with food and my weight.

I'm using this band as a tool, not as a cure.

My paranoia, however, is that Leona is going to crap out on me before I'm ready to make my way into remission.

The Price You Pay For A Vacation

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, October 13, 2010 Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Normally, relaxation comes at a price.

In my neck of the woods a pedicure is $35, a evening of cocktails with the girls is $50 and a Swedish massage is $70 (“happy endings” are extra – unless you have a gift certificate).

And six days on a Caribbean island, my 2-year old in the safe, albeit cookie-filled hands of her grandparents wasn't cheap either. We paid off the vacation monetarily but I'm paying a much higher price via sugar withdrawal induced tantrums, 6 a.m. wake-up calls and acoustic bombardment torture in the form of an alien life form known simply as “The Wiggles”.

Seriously, if they'd wanted to get Noriega out a few days sooner, than they should have played Captain Feathersword reciting the Declaration of Independence over and over again instead of the Howard Stern show: “Ahoy there me hearties! We hold these here truths to be self evident. Oooh hoo!”

Side bar: Did you know that the U.S. Military has used NEIL DIAMOND to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay? NEIL DIAMOND?! Who doesn't like “Sweet Caroline”?! That's like saying you feel “tortured” by having to watch puppies and kittens playing with a ball of yarn. No wonder they aren't getting any information out of those guys about where the heck Osama Bin Laden is hiding. Great. I now have to wonder if 'waterboarding' is actually just a day in a jacuzzi.

All these minor annoyances aside, vacation was wonderful. Lots of sleeping, lots of swimming, lots of reading, lots of drinks made with two shots of liquor and names like “Sandals Sunset”, “Orange Bliss”, “No Pressure” and “Knock You On Your Ass So Hard You Have To Take Two Naps In One Day.” I think that last one has tequila in it... and vodka...and rum...and Vicodin.

One thing there was NOT lots of, however, was eating. Our resort was an 'all inclusive' which, translated, means “fat people like it here”. Buffets abound at Sandals' resorts. And when the buffets are closed? No pressure, no problem my brotha! A burger and fries from the seaside bar awaits you!

In the past, just being near all this food, all the time, would have made me eat. I could have finished off lunch and still been signaling my cabana boy to bring me a large order of onion rings with an ice cream sundae on the side.

It was strange being constantly surrounded by food and yet NOT EATING. What was strangely familiar however, was being surrounded by fruity drinks and using the phrase “Sure, I'll have another! Put whipped cream in it this time!” So all in all, balance was achieved.

All this said, pina coladas and strawberry daquiris are sliders so even though I stayed the course with eating, I came home two pounds up due to the alcohol imbibing. Lucky for me Sandals does not have an all-you-can-eat-soft-serve-ice-cream-bar (although I complained loudly to several different resort employees about not being able to 'get my ice cream on') or it would be worse.

But here I am, 4 days post-vacation and those two pounds have disappeared so once again, I'm most thankful to my Lap Band.

Husband and I went on vacation but thank jeebus Leona doesn't take holidays. I hired that bitch to be a workaholic and as expected, she's exceeding expectations.

In a cabana right before my second drink of the day

After my second drink of the day

So Much Wisdom

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, September 30, 2010 Thursday, September 30, 2010

A couple of milestones have come and gone for me and yet I've not gotten my act together to even blog about them.

First, I hit the halfway marker to my “goal weight” a few weeks ago. I put the aforementioned goal weight in quotation marks because I'm fairly certain that I will be setting a lower final goal for myself after I reach this one, but in my adult life, I've never been under this particular weight so it is hard for me to contemplate I could ever weigh LESS than my current goal weight.

If you're confused by the last paragraph, you're not alone. So am I. I deliberately talk AROUND weight numbers. For someone who prides herself on her writing's clarity, this kind of number anonymity proves a challenge.

Its as if I'm in high school, passing notes back and forth about “Him”. You know, “He is SOOOO CUTE!” and “He, like, TOTALLY like likes Angela but she only likes him and I hope he realizes that I TOTALLY like, like him and he asks me to check out his Nirvana CD collection this weekend”.

Then I TOTALLY had to figure out what “Smells Like Teen Spirit” even meant and remember, this was the dark ages, before Google and the interwebs so I had to watch a TON of MTV and read the CD jacket over and over again. I figured out that Kurt Cobain was talking about teen apathy but the quest continued because then I had to figure out what apathy meant. Then I got bored and figured that if I made out with the guy, he wouldn't really care whether I knew what the song was about or not.

I digress.

Basically, I don't tell my number. No, not THAT number! I'm totally open about THAT number. It's 27.

But there is NO WAY I'm posting on a web site how much I weigh. Forget it. My HUSBAND reads this!! Couples need BOUNDARIES, people. He may poop with the door open and ask me to pop his zits, but that doesn't mean the mystery isn't still ALIVE!

He's been with me through wedding planning induced madness, fertility treatments, a 36 hour natural childbirth, post-partum depression, sleep deprivation, PMS and the plate throwing incident of 2004 when Friends went off the air but I'm pretty sure he'd start packing his bags if he knew how much I weigh.

Also, my sister reads this and no matter how fat I am I always want her to think I'm thinner than her. Because sisters love each other like that. Oh, and mom? Jess threw a party, WITH BEER, when you went to visit grandma that one time. Neh neh neh neh boo boo!

Anyway, I'm kind of private about my 'number' but I still want to share with you that I'm over half way to my goal!

The second milestone (See, I said I had a 'couple' of milestones to report but I know you're bored so I'll get right to it) is that I'm no longer 'obese' but now officially in the overweight category of fatness.

Awesome! Now when people use the term 'overweight' to describe me because they are trying to be polite, they will also be accurate. I love accuracy!

I remember at the beginning of my Lap-Band journey I would scour the blogs looking for wisdom from those who were at their halfway points. For me, halfway to my goal seemed so much more attainable than 'goal'. I just couldn't get my head around the fact that I might actually settle into a 'normal' weight someday. I still can't. Halfway to goal seemed within my reach.

So I'd read bullet pointed posts about “What I've Learned,” nodding my head in agreement, getting excited about my turn to use bullet points and be wise and inspire. Unfortunately I can't seem to get bullet points to format correctly on my blog and, well, I'm not much wiser.

The one phrase that keeps running through my head is one that we learned in our childbirth class.

Husband and I decided together that we really wanted to have Ruby naturally, without any kind of interventions or drugs. We TOTALLY make decisions about my body together because he TOTALLY had a vote on whether or not I'd push a 8 pound watermelon out of my vagina without an epidural – or illegal drugs.

In any case, we got all hippy dippy and took Bradley method courses where we held ice in our hands, dealing with the pain of the numbing cold --- because your vagina ripping open and cold hands are TOTALLY in the same category of pain --- and practiced visualization techniques to help me focus on something other than the pain and the fact that he was eating a turkey sandwich while I was getting giant hemorrhoids from the 4 hours of pushing. You know, really helpful stuff.

But there was one phrase that the instructor insisted our partners say to us over and over again, no matter what was going on, no matter how hard it was, no matter what we said or how we screamed. She said our partners should tell us WE CAN DO IT.

Husband must have said that to me over 1,000 times while I was bringing our baby into the world. And its pretty much the only wisdom I have to impart to all of you new bandsters today: YOU CAN DO IT. YOU CAN DO IT. YOU CAN DO IT.


My Supported BOOBS

Posted by Sherry , Monday, September 27, 2010 Monday, September 27, 2010

Well! Back from a very BOOBY weekend and feeling more supported than ever! Get it?

Seriously though, the 1st annual gathering of banded bloggers was a raging success. Kudos to all those who planned, stressed and organized to make the weekend such a great one.

Before I relay some my weekend highlights, I will of course answer your most pressing question: What does Amy W. wear to bed?

Answer?: A full coverage burka. Seriously. The woman may as well be a NUN as conservative as she is. I never even got a GLIMPSE of the breasticles.

I should have roomed with Gen, who, I discovered, asks her roomies to get in the shower with her.

She “claims” she needed bathing assistance due to the broken elbow she suffered during our first night of vodka induced debauchery but I think that was all a ploy to try to get her roomate Jennifer in the shower with her. You decide.

With each person I encountered, my appreciation for my Lap-Band grew. Women who claim on their blogs to be shy or wallflowers became animated the minute you asked them how much weight they've lost.

Those who have reached 'goal' were open and generous with their tips, stories and praise for the rest of us.

Those who were brand new to banded-life reminded us of the importance of appreciating the journey.

While I didn't have the opportunity to accost celebrities like Gilly did or find new boots like Angie did, I did find in Chicago exactly what I expected to find: A great group of women who put the “awe” in “awesome”.

p.s. a giant 'thanks' to my roomies (Alexis & Amy) who put up with my very 'over-served' self on Saturday afternoon!


Posted by Sherry , Sunday, September 19, 2010 Sunday, September 19, 2010

Here's something I never thought I'd say:

"Excuse me, miss? Do you have these jeggings in a longer length?”

Of course, I also never thought I'd say “Don't put your foot in your mouth while you're eating your goldfish crackers.”, but these are the kinds of phrases that happen to you with age and parenthood.

If you don't know what 'jeggings' are, not to worry. They are a fashion trend that has the life span of the house fly circling my fruit bowl.

Just long enough to take me through Chicago in style!

Do You Diet?

Posted by Sherry , Saturday, September 18, 2010 Saturday, September 18, 2010

Lately, I've been thinking a bunch about dieting. To me, this train of thought is akin to thinking about old boyfriends, bangs and stirrup pants: nostalgic but not something I want to be a part of my life again. Yet, I can't escape it.

I've talked about how I feel regarding dieting, the word 'diet' and diet foods in the past, so it should be no surprise to my readers that I really dislike the subject in general.

However, all disagreements on the semantics of the word aside, I'm wondering from my banded readers if you still 'diet'?

For instance, do you only buy low fat dairy products, choose white meat chicken all the time, rarely allow yourself dessert or only eat low fat products, etc.? Do you feel 'guilty' when you eat full fat ice cream but not when you eat 'no fat' frozen yogurt? Do you have days when you say “I'm eating what I want today” vs. days when you say “I've eaten so well!”

While I don't think being banded has been 'easy,' I am fairly comfortable saying that it has made losing weight much easier for me, both mentally and physically.

I'm what you would deem a 'slow loser' (about 1.5 pounds a week) and I do blame part of that on bad genetics, my metabolism and the Bush administration – but if I really reflect, I have to wonder if it is also because I've not been traditionally 'dieting'.

Again, semantics aside – I realize that the band 'rules' are a diet in and of themselves – but what I mean is that I've left crappy diet foods in my past. I don't ask for the butter sauce on the side because I'm eating so little of the fish anyway and I want to enjoy it. I don't eat three low fat cookies, I just have ½ of one regular cookie -- and not every day. I try to make good, healthy, choices almost all of the time, but “good and healthy” to me doesn't equal non-fat sour cream or spray-on butter.

Weight Watchers rules, tips and suggestions used to be just a part of my life. I always bought non-fat dairy products, asked for dressing and sauces on the side, used artificial sweeteners in EVERYTHING, went for the fro-yo instead of the ice cream.

I didn't think about it. I just did it. In many ways, I believe I polluted my body with artificial crap in the name of being 'healthy'. And I don't like it.

Since being banded I've not thrown caution to the wind, per se. But I have decided that because I now have the portion size problem under control (which for me, was my biggest weight control battle--not the bad foods but eating too much of the good foods), I should also be making the 'healthy' choices. Fresh, real ingredients as much as possible.

Not sure if I'm making sense here, I just needed to put it out there and get some feedback.

If you are a bandster, do you 'diet' and do you like dieting?

Desire vs. Fear

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, September 8, 2010 Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Over the last few days I've given my friend Kate some clothing that no longer fits me. A few of the pieces have been sitting in a bag in my closet for quite awhile, just waiting for a new home.

Before Kate even had her surgery I contemplated putting them up on my blog for the 'sisterhood' but kept putting it off. I told myself that it was too much work – a chore really. I'd have to take the photos, upload them to my blog and then find the time to mail them out to a deserving lady. I mean, Dexter season 4 had arrived from Netflix and Weeds was in the queue. I really didn't have time for such a project.

Then Kate asked me if I had anything I could pass down to her as most of her summer clothing was getting much too big.

See, here in North Cackalacky we enjoy the effects of global warming for about 6 months out of the year. I've heard that mosquitoes petitioned the Bush administration to relax the carbon emisson laws below the bible belt so they'd have more time during the year to help Ann Coulter write her new book. In any case, we'll be wearing shorts around here for quite awhile longer. Its freakin' hot and will be until Turkey day or the nearest iceberg melts and hits Hilton Head. Whichever comes first.

Kate is a good friend and so of course I was happy to pass some clothes on to her but it shouldn't surprise you that giving the clothes to her was easier than mailing them out. And not just because going to the post office requires a brush up on my meditation techniques and a double dose of Xanax.

Giving the clothes to Kate is easier because I know I can GET THEM BACK. Yep. I said it. I'm afraid I'll need those clothes again. Despite my weight loss success, despite the changes in lifestyle that I'm making and now finding a routine part of life, I still have the 'gaining it back' fear. And honestly, its a big dark cloud that I'm not even READY to see disappear.

I'm still working through all my weight related issues. Being only 5.5 months post-surgery I'm not quite at a point in my journey when the DESIRE to be healthy and thin is stronger and more poignant than the FEAR of being fat and out of shape. I'm hoping I get to that point and I have faith that I WILL get there, I'm just not there yet.

I'm not 100% certain of this but when I read the S.O.B. stories and blog updates of those who have been successful at maintaining their weight loss (banded or not) I notice that many of them (not all of them though) have actually crossed that threshold. It's no longer fear that is driving their diet, regular weigh-ins, making the right food choices and exercising, it is desire.

Maybe that is a distinction that in the long term, doesn't make a difference for many of you but for me I think it is going to be a real turning point.

Right now the fear of gaining the weight back helps move me forward. Most days it is fear of being a colossal failure that helps me work my band. It's the fear of having put myself and my family through the obstacle of a selective surgery for nothing that keeps me choosing yogurt over cookies. It's the fear of never getting the chance to wear designer jeans thet makes me crank out another set of abdominal exercises. It's the fear of looking back and seeing "what could have been" that makes me put my fork down.

I'm not ready to let go of the fear yet. I'm not ready to say good-bye to overweight Sherry. Heck, I'm not even ready to say goodbye to my size 18 Lands End Bermuda shorts. And I think that's ok, for now.

Kate pinky swore, signed an affadavit in her own blood and promised me her best piece of David Yurman jewelry that once she no longer needed these clothes she'd offer them back to me before sending them off to the 'sisterhood' or Goodwill.

I'm hoping, however, that when that day comes, I'll be ready for the clothes, and my fear, to find a new home.

Staying Down

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, August 31, 2010 Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Vacation is one of those words that, for most people, conjures up images of beaches, palm trees, relaxing book reading in sandy lounge chairs with men named Raul bringing you fruity drinks with umbrellas and double shots of liquor.

Which is why I honestly cannot call what I went on this past week, a vacation. Because when you add a child to the mix, the fruity drink is usually apple juice, the little umbrella is a choking hazard and Raul and his supermodel wife Margarita are staring at you rudely because your child is touching their Ralph Lauren beach towels with her mint chocolate chip fingers.

The double shots of liquor however, still make an appearance.

As I like to call 'vacation' with a toddler: “Same Shit Different Location”.

A Banded vacation, however, is a tad different than it used to be. I won't bore you with the details of what I ate or drank or how little I exercised, but I will tell you that the quantities of whatever made it into my gaping maw were WAY less than they used to be. Coffee with lots of milk has replaced a breakfast of donut topped donuts. Deli-meat roll ups have replaced pool-side pizza for lunch, and although I can't say I didn't pop a few Golden Oreos while enjoying my trashy novel, there were over 2/3 of them left in the carton when we got home.

The best part of this isn't necessarily the food choices themselves, its that I'm SATISFIED with them. I'm not lusting after something I 'shouldn't' have or eating that last piece of key-lime pie just because its there. I'm full. In the uplifting words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.: Thank God Almighty, I'm FULL AT LAST.

Another strange thing Leona suggested I do on this vacation was bring my scale with me. And get this, I ACTUALLY GOT ON IT. EVERY DAY. As of this morning, I've not lost or gained a pound. Success? Not really. Acceptable? Definitely.

Being banded has forced me (in a good way) to start examining my relationship with food, my appearance, my clothing size, my emotions and the number on the scale. I haven't really 'gotten there' yet with any of these relationships but the one that really chaps my hide is the one with the scale itself.

I want to love my scale. I want to shower it with love and affection. I want to adorn it with jewels and squeeze it and call it George. But I just can't. I hate the damn thing. I even hate it when it gives me a 'good number'. Why? Because I hate that I'm letting a freakin' number on a scale DEFINE me and my mood of the day. Normally that is Matt Lauer's job.

In a perfect world, I would throw the scale away. But I can't. I've always kind of known that throwing away the scale wasn't possible for me. Even when the number was creeping up every week and I cried when I stepped on it, and cried harder when it started CREAKING, I still never stopped getting on it.

Since about age 13, I could have told you how much I weighed, any day of the week, down to the ½ pound. I could also tell you the middle names of every NKOTB member and say the entire 50 United States in alphabetical order.

When my surgeon's P.A. told me early on that I should just go by clothing size and not worry about the number on the scale I didn't just laugh out loud, I got as hysterical as an unhinged villain. Then I punched him.

I'd love to be one of those people who could just be all pretentious-like, cross my designer jean clad legs, bat my LATISSE eyelashes and say “I don't need a scale, as soon as my jeans start to feel tight, I start watching what I eat”. But we all know that the only people who can really do that are Heidi Klum and GOD. The last time I read Cosmo and followed the 'throw your scale away' advice I ended up in maternity shorts. Not pregnant.

Body By Pizza – one of the most inspiring and inspired weight loss bloggers I've ever read, followed the advice of some of her followers and tossed the scale for a couple of months.

She decided to use how her clothes fit to guide her in healthy eating and moving. Get this, she gained FIFTEEN POUNDS over the last 60 days. Moreover, she was doing P90X THE WHOLE TIME.

I've heard the Nazis used this P90X program to weed out fatties from the elite race. Unfortunately Hitler didn't account for the invention of Frutopia, Whoppers and moving sidewalks so we still roam the Earth, looking for RingDings and plus-sized capri pants. How do ya like them apples Adolf?!

Like me, it sounds like Body by Pizza needs the scale to keep her honest *Sigh*.

It sucks for both of us and its not fair but my scale took the 7 hour trip with us to the beach anyway. He sat between the cooler full of Greek yogurt and string cheese and the bag full of bathing suits that are almost too big. Yes, my scale is a 'He'. Who else but a man would have invented such a torturous device?

And although most of my exercise came in the form of mortar & pestling guacamole or getting up to pour myself another glass of pinot grigio, he (my scale) recognized my eating efforts and rewarded me with an 'acceptable' number that I then picture-messaged, somewhat proudly, to my personal trainer.

I've always hated having “the man” keep me down' but now I kinda like it.

Letting you know

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, August 29, 2010 Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lots to say an catch you all up on but unfortunately I am too covered in Golden Oreo dust, sand and SPF 50 to type out anything halfway decent.

If anyone sees Leona or my tan lines, please email me immediately.

Healthy Competition - Finally

Posted by Sherry , Monday, August 16, 2010 Monday, August 16, 2010

I enjoy a little healthy competition from time to time. I mean, there's nothing like challenging your husband to a little game of “who can do the dishes faster?” Good job, honey! Boy, he ALWAYS beats me. Guess I should leave that chore to the master, right?

But competition doesn't really come naturally to me. And it doesn't always help me rise to the occasion to accomplish a goal or get something done.

In the back of my head is always a voice telling me that there's always going to be someone out there who does “it”(whatever 'it' may be) better, faster, more competently, more often.

I never played competitive sports as a kid – and not just because I was the overweight kid who couldn't throw a ball and was picked last – but because it was more in my nature to know that, when I realized I or my team were not going to win, whatever the final score, whoever the winner, we were still getting ice cream! I mean, it isn't whether you win or lose, it's the after-game pizza party that counts!

In the world of child-rearing, competition is everywhere. Now, it wears a smile, the smell of spit-up and comes prepared with a snack-cup of gluten-free goldfish crackers, but don't be fooled. It.is.there.

You breastfed your baby for 6 months? That's great! But Natural Parenting mommy is still breastfeeding her 9th grader. Your 2 year old can count to 6? Wonderful! But Over Achiever mommy is already teaching her 2 year old statistics!

I'm pretty sure that any high school football coach would rip me a new one because when it comes right down to it, I am not inspired by the thought of winning. Unless, of course, it is winning an argument or Madonna tickets, in which case, IT IS ON.

I think my lack of competitive drive is what compelled me to take a hard look at how exercise and my weight loss journey fit together.

Like many of the banded out there, I believe that exercise plays a key role in my weight loss. If you have been a reader of my blog from the start, you will note that is has actually only been three weeks since I have felt any band restriction.

I firmly believe that until three weeks ago, virtually all of my weight loss could be contributed to exercise. I figured out what kind of exercise I like – weight training/muscle building – I got a trainer and I built exercise back into my weekly routine.

Until I had a child, exercise was ALWAYS a part of my life. Since I was 15 years old I have never gone more than a couple of weeks without doing some form of purposeful exercise. I went to the gym, to various exercise classes and did “Abs of Steel”. I tried my hand at long distance running (10 milers and 5 Ks ) but got to disliking the chafing in the booby region. I had trainers and programs and special running gear and headphones. I always did SOMETHING that would qualify as exercise. I never even fell into the 'obese' BMI category until after I had my daughter and exercise came to a giant stand-still.

So when I decided to take this WLS journey, I knew that exercise HAD to be a part of it for me to succeed.

But see, I'm not even competitive with MYSELF so it is hard to get excited about waking myself out of a sexy dream with George Clooney to go get yelled at by Miss Hard Body in an aerobics class every morning. Or missing out on family time so I can look stupid on an elliptical. Or running when there is no one chasing me.

So what I did was make a commitment that I knew I could keep forever. I know myself well enough to know that I will never work-out every day. I just won't. I prioritize Mommy's Night Out over working out. I put watching an episode of TrueBlood over going on a nightly walk. I get distracted by shiny things.

I know that I CAN commit to working out 2 times a week, come hell, high water or a Friends rerun marathon.

Right now I work out usually 3 or 4 days a week because I can. Its summer. I have a regular babysitter. I have the time. And most of my TV shows are on hiatus. But in February when its cold and ugly out and Big Love is in its 5th season? I don't know if I can guarantee I'll be in the gym 4 days a week.

I feel confident, however, that I can find 2 hours a week in the gym with my trainer. And maybe time to dust off the Abs of Steel VHS.

I wanted to make this final weight loss journey a positive one. I'm finally able to eat in a healthy way (and be satisfied) that, thanks to my band, I know I can maintain for the rest of my life. I wanted my exercise to be the same way. I wanted to do something that I knew I could keep up for the rest of my life.

So, I guess I'm in a competition. It's just easier to compete when you know you're going to win.

There's A Fire In The Rabbit Hole

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, August 8, 2010 Sunday, August 08, 2010

Reading blogs can be very much like entering the “rabbit hole”. You're sitting there, reading a blog you read every week and the blogger mentions another blog that inspired their post. So you click on that link and read the post that inspired them. The next thing you know you've taken the elixir, you're seeing giant bunnies and you're wishing you could go back to the days of telegraphs and morse code. The days when knowledge wasn't necessarily power, it was just a pain in the butt and all you had to gossip about was that time Cousin Mae was caught in the barn with the boy who picks peaches.

At least, this is what happens to me. Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

In any case, today I saw a giant bunny. It started off kind of small, just hopping around looking cute and fluffy – it appeared when I read this post by Dinnerland (she's pretty freakin' brilliant by the by so you should FOLLOW HER).

Naturally, I had to click on her link to Allan's blog at Almost Gastric Bypass and that is when the bunny suddenly became one of those gigantic jackrabbits that you really only see in Arizona and when you see them you're pretty sure it was a baby deer and not an animal that has a cute, pink, twitchy nose.

At this point I'd downed tequila-type shots of the elixir and figured that I had nothing to lose by going whole hog and just diving straight into the rabbit hole, head first – so I read Dr. Fatty's blog.

And that is when the 6 foot tall, buck-toothed, horror-film style bunny jumped out from behind the bushes and just SWALLOWED ME WHOLE. Seriously, I was bunny food.

So. By now you've probably read these particular posts. If not, go ahead and I'll wait for you.

Ok. You're finished? How did the elixir taste? You're seeing bunnies too?! I KNEW IT!

Where does one begin to address Allan's and Dr. Fatty's respective posts? I've been forewarned in one of Allan's comments on Dr. Fatty's post that anyone who spoke out in disagreement with them would be verbally 'ass-kicked' but I'm not afraid. I've dealt with hostility before. I mean, I HAVE A MOTHER-IN-LAW.

The thing is, I don't even WANT to address each of their comments suggesting that weight loss surgery is an easy way out or that too many lap-band patients abuse their band and should be beating themselves up when they don't follow the doctor's 'rules'.

Dinnerland said it all before me. She said it eloquently and with grace. She did it nicely. I'm not as nice, unfortunately. I'm kinda bitchy when I want to be. I've been known to let the passion take over and turn well-meaning ''discussions' into authoritative speeches. That tends to turn people off. So I'm not going to do it.

Here is what I AM going to say – I agree. I agree with Allan that surgery is not a magic bullet. I'm case in point. I'm doing all the right things (no blizzards for dinner for me Dr. Fatty!) and exercising. That doesn't mean the weight is coming off any faster than it would have if I'd just done Weight Watchers again.

I agree that weight loss doesn't equal happiness. I probably have about the same number of 'happy' moments as I did 27 pounds ago.

And I agree that if every patient who decided to go through weight loss surgery committed to the post-op eating requirements for a month or two and were told that they could never ever stray from the diet after surgery or they would die that yes, many people would opt to NOT get surgery. And guess what? Many of them would STILL DIE! Horrible, but true.

I agree that every thing we put in our mouth is a choice. Maybe a poorly thought out one, but it is a choice.

I agree that to get healthy and thin the only thing in my way is me. I mean, there is not a truer statement.

Here's where I stray from Dr. Fatty and Allan: I believe that WLS allowed me to FINALLY get out of the way of myself.

By getting the Lap-Band I was finally able to focus on losing the weight and not just on being fat. To Dr. Fatty and to Allan, this probably doesn't make much sense but to those of you who have had WLS, I'm guessing it does.

Getting the Lap-Band has allowed me to finally focus on losing the weight. I now know that if I DO follow the 'rules' and work WITH my band, that the weight will come off and stay off. I know that I have a tool that I can use, that I didn't have before, that controls my hunger, controls my portions and thus, allows me to focus on losing the weight and not worry that 6 months from now I won't be able to 'keep it up' which, for me, often led to me saying “well, I can't do it” and giving up entirely.

Maybe Allan's tool is eating perfect foods in perfect portions and never ever going astray. Maybe Dr. Fatty's tool is getting in her 30 minutes of exercise, every day, come hell, high-water or sickness.

Maybe my tool is the Lap Band.

See, none of us can say for sure that our current weight loss attempt isn't in vain. We can't see the future we just do the best we can with what we have. We're all traveling the same road, we're just doing it with different vehicles. Shouldn't we be applauding each others efforts and successes instead of highlighting the flaws?

I think I said it best (of course!) in my first ever blog post pre-surgery: Weight Loss Surgery is like giving someone a lighter instead of two sticks to rub together.

Let's each start our fire the best way we know how.

If Today Be Sweet

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, August 4, 2010 Wednesday, August 04, 2010

This summer is moving by in a flash. It's speediness could be attributed to all the trips we've taken and visitors we've had or it could be the constant movement that my toddler requires of her parents.

Either way, I'm afraid I'm going to blink and the summer of my daughter's 2nd year will have passed me right by.

Luckily we have photographs to capture the moments that were sweet as summer blueberries – both sentimentally and literally:

And luckily, mommy knows how to make a mean fruit crisp with fresh whipped cream!

A Newbie To Follow

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, July 29, 2010 Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm not very good about introducing new banded-bloggers (although I'm great at following them!) but I MUST extend a warm welcome to an ultra-amazing, supportive new bandster who is also my very good friend, Kate!

Kate is a role-model mother, a kind, encouraging friend and is mighty smart and sassy to boot. Kate and I became new mothers together (an ever-challenging trip) and now are on the Lap Band journey together.

I hope you can all join me in offering Kate support. Her blog, Unleashing the Thin Girl is very promising. I've SO enjoyed getting to know Kate over the last couple of years and I know you will too.

Do You Get Full?

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I think I have restriction. No exclamation point after that statement because I realize! I tend to abuse! this particular! punctuation mark!

Also, I refrain from being excited about said restriction because I'm still in the 'getting used to it' phase.

On Friday I met with my doctor's P.A., Lisa, and I explained my frustration with my fill level and my concerns about whether the band is ever going to work with me. She was empathetic for the most part but also said a few things that gave me a little heartburn.

After explaining to her that I was following the banded 'rules' about 90% of the time, working out A LOT and truly felt that my lack of weight loss (only 4 pounds over the last month) was not user error, she reluctantly gave me another 1 cc, bringing me to 7.25cc in a 10cc band.

One of the things I explained to Lisa during my visit was that since being banded, I've never really felt 'full'. Satisfied, yes. Knowing I should stop eating and I should be full? Yes. But never I-ate-so-much-I can't-fit-in-another-bite FULL. Even after my Greek food binge. Even after eating 2 cups of tortellini, bread and salad. Even after eating an ENTIRE HORSE. Since being banded, I've never been totally FULL.

Now, there are a few schools of thought – all of which I'm contemplating – on WHY I've not felt really 'full' since being banded: 1) I'm using willpower like any other past diet and thus, haven't let myself get to that overly-full point 2) It is rare to feel 'Thanksgiving” full and most people (including me) naturally stop eating way before that point 3) My brain simply doesn't register when its really full.

#3 is the one Lisa brought up and gave me the aforementioned heartburn and the one I've been running through my head over and over and over again and getting a little more freaked out every time I do.

Yet, when my head is on straight and I'm in a good place mentally, I tend to think that the reason I haven't been feeling totally 'full' is a combination of #1 and #2.

With regard to #1, I AM using willpower. I've not had any restriction until Friday so it is safe to say that most of my weight loss thus far has been at the hands of willpower.

With regard to #2, I don't LIKE being that 'full' and pre-band, rarely let myself get to that point. Where my brain starts hurting is when I start thinking that since I DO have a band, shouldn't a surprisingly small amount of food MAKE me feel that disgusting level of fullness? Shouldn't 6 oz of steak, a pita bread, hummus and ½ cup of salad make a banded person 'Thanksgiving-level' full? Should I not be 'full' after most meals?

So back to Lisa's panic-inducing comment about my brain simply not registering when its 'full'. Is that possible? Have any of you ever been told this or been told this is possible?

90% of me does not think this is my problem. I have felt full in the past and I have turned down dessert after a big meal because I was too full. But 10% of me wonders if it is possible that my brain simply doesn't register the full feeling that often and perhaps I am overweight because of this. Its kind of scary.

The good news? For the FIRST TIME EVER I felt some level of restriction as I was doing the barium swallow post-fill.

For new or soon-to-be banded, some doctors (like mine) prefer, after a fill, to do a videofluoroscopy of your band/pouch while you do a barium swallow. This allows them to see a thick liquid moving through your pouch and, in their minds, have an idea of whether you are “properly restricted.” Personally, I find this frustrating because they want to believe what the video tells them, not what the patient tells them (i.e. I looked like I had 'perfect' restriction but felt nothing). Its also adds quite a bit of cost to your fill. In my case, its about $600/visit and I end up paying about $85/visit after insurance.

I AM eating less and feeling stuck more often. Not 'stuckety-stuck' (to quote many of you) but I definitely have to eat slowly, chew better and stay away from dry meats and doughy breads. Bascially, I'm thinking I am where I'm supposed to be!

Now its just getting my head to a space where I don't go for slider foods and battling the head hunger when goldfish crackers and yogurt raisins are looking at me.

If you are banded, did you find that once you got to a good restriction level you had a learning curve of finding comfortable, filling foods vs. slider foods?

Anyway, that's where I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Theme Change

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, July 20, 2010 Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I was an English major in college. No, not the useful, lucrative side of the major such as journalism. And no, not the ambitious, self-loathing-alcoholism-inducing-but-likely-to-make-you-a-revered-genius-after-you-die side of English like creative writing. I was a LITERATURE major.

So basically I spent my college years TALKING about books and getting graded on my THOUGHTS. And if you've ever met an English professor, you know that the weirder the observation, the more genius they think you are. I spent most of my college education talking and writing papers about “the Other”. If you don't know what I mean by “the Other” – well, its probably because you had IMPORTANT things to think and write about in your college papers.

If you were in the Engineering school or a botany major or something else that actually required hard work, precise answers and coming to class prepared, I know what you're thinking: “Why wasn't I an English major?” You're also thinking “How the hell did she ever get a JOB?” And the reason I know what you are thinking regarding my college major is because my husband – an engineer himself – wonders this aloud regularly.

In any case, this is a long-winded way of me explaining that there is a reason why, when I have ten minutes to myself to evaluate my life, I try to find “themes”. I also try to find accompanying music to the events in my life in case they should be turned into a blockbuster summer movie. “Get Ur Freak On” would probably play along with the opening credits. Oh, and I would be played by Reese Witherspoon. But I digress.

I'd like to say the theme is “hard work” or “changes” or even “comic relief” but unfortunately what I keep coming back to is “apathy”. Yes, apathy. My very least favorite emotion/way of existing in the entire world. The characteristic that I loathe more than just about anything.

I'll take arrogance, negativity, jealousy and severe tourette's syndrome over apathy any day. In my opinion, there is little worse than simply 'not caring.' I like passion! I envy action! I even appreciate mania and 'Debbie Downerism'!

So apathy is a reigning theme right now. Apathy about eating. Apathy about weight loss. Apathy about my work outs. Apathy about blogging. I am still eating decently and losing well (over two pounds last week!) and going to my work outs and bitching to all my wonderful readers (aren't you lucky!), but I'm not all that excited, inspired or empowered by any of it.

I'm blaming the heat. And G.W. Bush.

The good news is that I have a fill scheduled for Friday. I'm hoping this will be just the kick in the pants I need. Because unlike many of the bandster bloggers I follow, my band is not playing a large role in my life right now and I WANT it to. I want to finally write that post about how much “I love my band!”

Right now I'm kind of like “Eh, I have a Lap Band. So what?” I want to be more like “Woo hoo! This Lap Band was the best thing I ever did! I'm going to Disney World!”

I want my theme to become “proactivity” (not a real word but using it will get you an 'A' on a Feminist Literary Theory paper!).

In the meantime I'll keep chugging along. Eating my protein first, drinking my water, changing diapers, dreaming of George Clooney. But none of it will be done with the gusto those actions deserve. Especially the dreaming of George Clooney bit. And that is just SAD.

p.s. I graduated from college cum laude. And yes, I hear you snickering.

Please Talk Me Down

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, July 15, 2010 Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ugh. I need to be talked down off the ledge. I'm starting to head down the crazy-spiral and every day the light of sanity gets dimmer and dimmer.

I've been catching up on blogs and for whatever reason many of my bandster friends have recently mentioned their restriction level in their posts. I'm finding that I'm already at a higher restriction level than many of you (only 4 months post-op) and yet, I feel nothing. I'm at 6.25 cc in a 10cc band. Could I be the one and only lady to top it off?

Saying “I feel nothing” is a big statement when it comes to band restriction so I'd like to offer up some evidence. Last night I ate, in less than 15 minutes, about a cup to a cup and a half of tortellini, a piece of garlic bread and about ¾ cup of shredded chicken with tomato sauce. And guess what? I didn't even feel FULL.

Now, if this was a fluke, ok. But its not. I'm regularly able to eat a cup of protein heavy food and still be ravenous. I mean REALLY HUNGRY. I try to make the right choices but that doesn't seem to be heading off the hunger.

I wake and am immediately able to scarf down a scrambled egg and, if I'm feeling especially hungry, a couple of pieces of turkey bacon.Now, not every day is like this. But most days are.

I'm up a pound from last week (my lowest weight) and it is an unpleasant feeling. Particularly unpleasant seeing that I pretty much lose only 1 pound per week. It is a real "one step forward, two steps back" kind of thing for me.

What's wrong? Why is this not working for me? Why do I still feel like I'm on a diet and not doing well and that I'm about a hair's length from falling off of the wagon and landing in fattyville?

And I need to confess something. About once a week I'm taking an appetite suppressant. I have these leftover phentermines from the last big diet attempt I made and when I start feeling like I've had a few out of control eating days, I pop one of these pills to help control the hunger.For the last month I've probably taken one a week.

I know taking these pills is not physically or mentally healthy but I simply can't help it.

I have a fill scheduled for Friday of next week and I'm terrified its not going to work. I mean, is it possible that I'll top off my band and never have it work?

I'm scared and panicking and need a life-line or two.

You're Never Too Old

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The world works in mysterious ways, my friends. Basically, over the last 10 days or so I have been crippled with writer's block and haven't been able to come up with much to report that would capture even the most loyal readers' attention.

See, the life of a SAHM who could care less about scrap-booking or triple coupon days leaves much to be desired. I had thought I'd spend some time this week catching you up on my hunt for my vampire fiancee and watching my first werewolf initiation but stupid Sookie Stackhouse stole my thunder. Our lives run so parallel it is UNREAL.

Lucky for me, some material fell into my lap.

For starters, I found out today that my 88 year old grandmother joined a gym for the first time.

While Leona and I have been sitting on our fat asses, eating our weight in malted milk balls and brie, my 88 year old grandmother is doing bicep curls and tricep extensions at her local Gold's. I can only hope that there is some steroid pumped trainer who's arms are so big they don't fit in anything but sweaty tank tops, spotting my grandmother when she's benching her weight in what I like to refer to as the 'grunting' room of the gym. Now THAT would be a sight to behold.

In any case, when asked why she felt she needed to join said gym, her response was that she “needs to watch her figure”.

Now, I don't know about you, but all my life I've been waiting to turn 88 years old because I assumed that by then, SURELY, I could be DONE “watching my figure.” I'm not sure if her interest in pumping up is due to a fear of losing physical independence, boredom, vanity or a combination of all of the above but all I can say is, if hearing your grandmother talk about which machines she 'gets the best results from' isn't inspiration, well, frankly, I don't know what is.

I've relayed this story to my trainer for the sole purpose of having him use it against me. When we're doing bosou ball step ups with 15 pound dumb bells for minute long increments and I tell him that I'm starting to tire and would like to stop, he can look at me with a straight face and say “Sherry, seriously. Your GRANDMOTHER can do this.”

Did I mention that I signed up for a 3rd training session this week?

Eat my dust grandma.

It Was Just My Imagination

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, July 4, 2010 Sunday, July 04, 2010

Me: Ok, baby. I'm heading out now.

H: Why are you so dressed up?

Me: Because it's Girls Night Out!

H: But you're just going out to see a movie. It's not like you're going to a club or anything.

Me: Ok, FIRST, it's not “just” a movie. It's "Eclipse". Starring ROBERT PATTINSON...and co-starring Taylor Lautner's ABDOMINALS.

H: So you bought a new dress and new shoes and spent time on your hair, all for an imaginary date with an imaginary vampire?

Me: Uh, duh?!

I was a little disappointed when Edward didn't jump out of the screen and ask me to move to Forks with him. I mean, I looked GOOD...

Things That Don't Make Sense

Posted by Sherry , Monday, June 28, 2010 Monday, June 28, 2010

Things that don't make sense:

  1. being able to eat a beef taco, 10 chips, guacamole and a few bites of cheese enchilada 1 day post fill

  2. not being able to eat 1 chicken nugget 3 days post fill

  3. eating turkey sausage and sauteed summer vegetables 2 days post fill

  4. feeling momentarily stuck on Greek yogurt 3 days post fill

  5. the 1969 "moon landing"

  6. me, after 2 margaritas

  7. Lady Gaga

Confucius Say...

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, June 24, 2010 Thursday, June 24, 2010

Confucius once said, “A cake in the fridge is worth two in the bakery.”

I believe he was making a dig at Buddha and his weight problem. Personally, I think the spiritual leader just had slow metabolism.

Trust me Buddha, I KNOW what you went through.

Anyway, the great philosophers would probably have a thing or two to say about the fact that the birthday cake sitting in MY fridge in MY house only has one tiny slice missing from it and that slice was not eaten by yours truly.

Yesterday was my birthday and it was a great day all around. See, I got wise this year and wrote down specific instructions on “How to Make Your Wife's Birthday Perfect” for the hubby. I even highlighted section 1, point A: “Cake”.

So when he walked through the door last night he had bakery cake in hand. Two-tiered, white iced, polka-dotted, heaven, coming straight for me.

But guess what? I forgot to circle and star and put a check mark next to the part of the “Birthday Outline” that says cake should have BUTTERCREAM FROSTING.

What I got was a whipped cream laden imposter. So after the 'Birthday Song' serenade and candle blow-out, I took a couple of finger licks and decided I really wasn't all that interested. It just wasn't worth it.

Me. Not interested in cake. Huh. Weird.

So after I parcel out a tad for H and Ruby to enjoy after dinner, the rest of the cake will be making its way over to my neighbors' house. They have two lanky, always hungry, teenage boys who I have actually seen dilacerate a cow in a matter of minutes and then ask for seconds.

I have a fill scheduled for tomorrow morning and if all goes well, cake will simply NOT be physically able to be on the menu. I'm desperate for some real restriction. I am just not confident that I'm able to keep up this level of willpower when it comes to portion size.

My weigh-in day is tomorrow and I'm expecting to either weigh the same as last week or be up just a tad due to the celebratory eating that ensued yesterday and last night – Hey, I said I turned down the CAKE, that doesn't mean I turned up my nose at the spare ribs and cocktails. I'm only human!

In the meantime, I shall leave you with this final Confucius quote. I like to think of it in regards to my SNAIL'S PACE weight loss: “It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop”.

Also a good quote for sex.

Lazy Mondays as a SAHM

Posted by Sherry , Monday, June 21, 2010 Monday, June 21, 2010

Help! I'm mindlessly eating pretzels and watching Roseanne reruns!

Quick! Someone get me a fill! And a job! And some taste!

For Realz?!

Posted by Sherry , Saturday, June 19, 2010 Saturday, June 19, 2010

Guess who went on vacation for a week and LOST weight?!

Almost two whole pounds! And no restriction to speak of! Do I smell a 'lifestyle change'?

Or MAYBE JCPenny swimsuits hold magical powers...what do you think?:

Thank you Amy W. for the 'toe-pointing' tip!

A Safari Of Sorts

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, June 15, 2010 Tuesday, June 15, 2010

As I waddle around Myrtle Beach in my JCPenny tankini (more on why I am wearing a $14.99 old lady fat-squisher-outer and not my ultra-flattering, SPECIAL ORDERED miracle-working swimsuits later) I find myself searching here, there and everywhere for my Band.

Are you there Leona? Or are you too busy forging tax documents to be bothered with helping the little people?

As a tourist here in the Redneck Riviera I have stumbled upon such lovely items as Golden Oreos, meat-monster pizza, bacon cheeseburgers, 36 oz. margaritas, ice cream cones called “Birthday Cake Carnival” that come in a cup the size of a 2 year old's head and fuzzy navel wine coolers. And let us not forget -- the most beautiful mullets I've ever seen (one Kentucky Waterfall in particular was so beautiful it almost brought me to my knees). Yet, for all these fantastic pieces of American culture I have found, my Band remains elusive.

I don't remember leaving it at home but then again my husband packed the car and if Leona is stashed away in the big white and blue beach bag that contained ALL OF MY SPECIAL ORDERED SWIMSUITS (not to mention Ruby's adorable boutique swimwear, waters-shoes and swim diapers) then, well, it is probably still sitting in the foyer next to the garage door.

Now, as most of my fine readers are or have at one time been 'big girls' I feel I can safely assume that you indeed empathized (perhaps you even gasped in horror) when I told you that upon arriving at our lovely beach-side hotel, I found that in fact I was sans ANY SWIMSUIT OF ANY KIND. At the beach. Hours and hours from home. Without a swimsuit. Over a size 14.

Now, for a 'normal' sized girl, a forgotten swimsuit whilst on a beach vacation is perhaps worth some frustration. Perhaps even an hour or two of whining. But for those of us that shop in the big girls section some, if not all of the time? Well, THIS IS A TRAGEDY.

Ladies and gentlemen, I seriously cannot think of a worse vacation mishap. Jellyfish sting? Pee on it! Lost credit card? Use your debit! Broken flip-flop? Duct tape! Lost contact? Put a patch over your eye!

But a “big girl” has forgotten her swimsuit? Folks, we've got a jumper!

A big girl can't just walk into any old store and pick up a swimsuit. We have to try on hundreds if not thousands of them. We have to find something that covers the lumps and the bumps. And if we're under 75? Well, we'd prefer to find something that ISN'T pink and metallic gold hibiscus flowers with a granny panty bottom and ruffle around the middle (because that's JUST what we need as big girls! We need MORE FABRIC around our waist line! Thank you SO VERY MUCH fashion industry!) But surprisingly, its freakin' HARD to find a plain ol' black swimsuit that covers your lady bits when you are over a size 14. You have to special order them and pay $120! Which I did!....and it is sitting at home, mocking me as we speak.

So much to my dismay I'm donning a black and white tankini top- the VERY LAST size 18-carried in the “Everyday Woman” section of a JCPenny located in a local mall that has two other stores: one that sells fake flower arrangements and one that sells airbrushed t-shirts that say "I'm with Stupid" and beer koozies. From the outside this mall actually looks like it is frowning. Sad, sad mall.

That said, I'm happy that I was able to find something that fits and I'm trying to 'rock it' as best I can. But I would be lying if I didn't tell you that it makes me look just a tad like an overweight safari animal.

"Look kids! Its a zebra! On the beach! Wearing broken pink flip flops! With a patch over one eye! Quick honey, get the camera!"

The good news? The bottoms are just a regular old XL. From the LADIES section. I guess this zebra's ass is finally shrinking!