Same & Different

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, August 9, 2011 Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Husband and I spent our honeymoon in Aruba, almost 6 years ago. You'll remember when I posted some pictures from that time in my life, wanting to “get back there” once again – both literally and figuratively.

On my Aruban honeymoon in 2005, I felt better about my body than I ever had (perhaps with the exception of those few months in college where I dabbled in veganism & anorexia and was both painfully thin [for me] and bitchier than a bachelorette without a rose).

In 2005, it wasn't hard work or dieting that got me down to that lovely size 10 – it was some crazy ass pills given to me by one of the first real “bariatric” doctors who Husband and I lovingly referred to as “the Mad Scientist”. Thanks to a bizarre combination of drugs that will remain nameless, I was able to starve myself, somewhat painlessly, down to an acceptable wedding dress size. I spent 5 months eating little more than grapes and fat free English muffins. I also spent five months feeling jittery, dry-mouthed and fearful because I knew that the minute I stopped taking these crazy pills, I'd probably gain back the weight I'd lost, plus more.

I'd been to enough Weight Watchers meetings to know that once one “goes off” of a diet, one is likely to gain back what they have lost, plus more – and also that “nothing tastes as good as thin feels! – unless it is homemade fettuccine Alfredo.

This past June, Husband and I were lucky enough to get back to Aruba, courtesy of my parents. Of course, this particular vacation was just a 'tad' different than the one in 2005. See, this time, we had a toddler. And you know what I say about vacations with a toddler: same shit, different location. It may be Aruba but we still have pee-pee accidents in the middle of lunch, are slaves to nap-time, need menus with chicken nuggets as an option and drink endless amounts of malt liquor.

In 2005 I spent evenings lounging in a luxurious hotel bathrobe, eating chocolate covered strawberries and drinking champagne:

In 2011 I spent evenings reading the The Very Hungry Caterpillar for the 800th time, and donning an old nightgown stained with pizza sauce and fingerpaints.

2005 found us on the beach sipping mixed drinks, listening to the waves:

2011 found us sipping water from sippy cups, listening to fights over sand toys:


You get the picture...calm vs. chaos.

The thing is, one thing was the same....MY WEIGHT. Yuppers. I weighed the same in Aruba 2005 that I did in Aruba 2011.

With age and childbirth my hips are a little wider, my hair a little grayer and my drinks are a little stronger.

But what's pretty cool is that all in all, the photos of my from 2005 and the photos of me from 2011 aren't all that different and I'm finally back where I wanna be. Only this time, it is for good.




Posted by Sherry , Friday, June 24, 2011 Friday, June 24, 2011

My Confessions:

  • I have had a babysitter for more daytime hours than NOT this week and I STILL FEEL TIRED.

  • I've eaten an entire quarter pound bag of peanutbutter chocolate covered caramels. In my defense: “peanutbutter chocolate covered caramels”

  • I seriously do not believe that women who are breastfeeding their 2.5 year olds are “doing it for their kid”. So sue me – I'm not as 'liberal' as you thought.

  • I could NOT CARE LESS about that “Jackass guy” who has died. He needed a beard trim. And a conscious. And apparently a sponsor?

  • I've had three “cathartic cries” this week and I don't think I'm done.

  • I'm pretty sure that Ryan and Tatum O'Neal must have one of those weird/sick incestual parent-child relationships because otherwise WHY IS THIS SUPPOSED TO BE INTERESTING?

  • I'm headed to Aruba tomorrow and I am not even bringing work out clothes. Why live a lie?

Hasta la vista peoples.

Just Photos

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, June 16, 2011 Thursday, June 16, 2011

I recently purchased a dress that isn't black. For those of you who have been plus sized you know that this is a BIG DEAL. Black is slimming! Black hides the lumps! Once you go black, you don't go back! Oh wait...that's one of my other mottoes...

Anyway, I wanted you all to witness this weight loss milestone and I haven't posted any photos in awhile and I know you all need your fix so please enjoy:

On my way to my friend Kate's birthday party in my new Banana Republic dress

In my summer "mommy uniform"

Return To Sender

Posted by Sherry , Monday, June 6, 2011 Monday, June 06, 2011

Dear Binky Fairy,

I've always been kind of a no-nonsense, just make a decision and go with it kind of gal but I must admit, with regard to this binky removal process, I'm having second thoughts.

See, you promised that this process was going to be a 'feel-good' charity type of action. You know, Ruby and I were going to leave you the binkies so you could give them to “babies in need” and as a reward for our thoughtfulness, when you took the binkies, you were going to leave a present behind.

I think that maybe you even used the “ripping off a band-aid” metaphor.

The thing is, this whole process has been more a “removal of my toddler's eyebrow hairs, one-by-one, while making her sit perfectly still for more than 3 minutes and then eat raw broccoli, kind-of- experience”.

As a work-out-of-the-home mother (you ARE a mom, right?) I don't know if you fully appreciate the importance of the “afternoon nap”. Don't get me wrong, I know you have other challenges as a working mother – having to rouse your sleeping kids to get them to the sitter, trying to get all the cleaning done on the weekends, having a crappy commute, etc.-- but for a SAHM, the thing that screws up your day more than ANYTHING is when your kid won't take her damn nap. I mean, WHEN ELSE am I supposed to eat my bon-bons, watch GH and snort my prescription pain pills?

With regard to binky removal, you are the expert, I know: YES her bite is starting to look a little 'off'; YES she's getting MORE attached; YES I'm tired of going in her room at 2am, and having to sort through four blankies, 3,000 stuffed animals, two pillows and under the mattress, stubbing my toe on the foot of the bed, stepping on and cracking at least one board book and then and finally flooding the room with the overhead light only to find that said binky was stuck inside her pajama shirt the whole time. I get it. It HAS to be done.

I just don't know if you've considered that maybe this isn't a 'one-size-fits-all' kind of approach. See, my child is PERSISTENT. Extreme exhaustion is no match for her. And although I'm a former debate-team winner, even my most solid arguments don't sway a completely irrational toddler. Remember when she spent 45 minutes screaming in the car because I couldn't “pick me up!” while driving at 70 MPH down the highway? Toddlers are completely unreasonable!

And honestly, this whole thing is just tugging – no, more like yanking REALLY HARD – at my mama heart strings. I feel like I've taken away my child's best friend.

Last night, when I reminded her for the 100th time that you had come and taken the binkies away and that it was ok to be sad but that she is a big girl now, my insightful little girl looked at me and said “Its really hard, mommy” and then began to cry.

And, well, then I basically just liquefied into a giant puddle of guilty tears myself.

So, back to my original comment: I'm having second thoughts. I mean, ARE YOU SURE WE ARE READY FOR THIS? When Ruby was about 6 months old I literally tossed every “parenting” book I had into the trash. I didn't even want to lend them out to my friends because I believed that every single one of them was put on this Earth to make us feel like crap parents.

But this time, I feel like maybe I might need some additional guidance.

And since I know that you are really really busy with work and the kids and that husband of yours who "doesn't want to grow up" (I think his name is Peter?), I'm just going to request that you bring back the binkies and leave them on the porch.

I'll happily return the hideous white stuffed dog that looks like Paris Hilton gave it a make-over and we can call it even.

Seriously. Send back the binkies, you mean bitch.



The Behind Of Every Great probably red.

Posted by Sherry , Monday, May 30, 2011 Monday, May 30, 2011

I did it.

The unspeakable. The unthinkable. The thing that, as a contemporary suburban mom I've been fairly certain I wouldn't do.


I can hear my own mother, a happy, educated, well-rounded woman, raised in the 1950s/60s, laughing aloud as she reads this. “Oh the DRAMA” she's saying! For her life and for mine – although not an every day occurance – spanking was pretty much, well, expected. Mom would say she's no worse for the wear and that I'm not either. My father would probably even go so far as to say that spanking is an ESSENTIAL part of child-rearing and damn the “experts”.

Full disclosure here – I was not breastfed, was left in a car while mom ran in for groceries, I ate non-organic blueberries and was allowed to ride my tricycle without a helmet so it IS quite possible that deep down, I hate my parents and I am a serial killer. Also, these are probably the reasons I got fat.

The 'why' that follows the “I spanked my child” statement is long, dramatic and quite frankly, unimportant. The significant part to know is that I DID spank out of frustration and not from a place of 'this is for your own good'. Ruby was not trying to run into a busy street or touch a hot stove for the 20th time in a row – the few whispered reasons that some brave (ashamed?) souls have given to me as explanations of when they 'would, perhaps, maybe' spank their child.

Not surprisngly for a girl that tweets, facebooks and blogs, I'm a member of a number of 'parenting' support websites. Dichotomies that pop up in child-rearing discussions on these boards would not suprise you. On everything from breastfeeding to pacifier use, mommies can get their panties in a bunch supporting their opinion. I've even seen full fledged ARGUMENTS about the importance and/or uslessness of COUPONING.

Personally, I'm much too hungover most Sunday mornings to be bothered clipping coupons so I don't participate in that discussion.

What I rarely see, even in the most open and honest parts of my mommy community, is even the slightest mention of spanking used as a child rearing tool. Spanking isn't even a 'hot topic' because, well, it's just not DISCUSSED. Its like the giant elephant in the room with a red handprint on its ass.

If you were to poll my upper-middle class neighborhood, community playgroups, the local Gymboree, you'd likely find that if anyone DOES spank, they don't ADMIT to it for goodness sake.

These same women will swap anti-anxiety medication suggestions, brazilian waxing mishaps, “Deceptively Delicious” recipes and even used snot rags for little noses – but stories of spanking? Um.. NOT.A.CHANCE. Its the forbidden. Its the taboo. Its judgement.

Like most new moms, I did a lot of judging before I became a parent. There was a laundry list of things I'd never do and an even longer list of things I WOULD do. Clean the binky by SUCKING THE DIRT OFF?! Letting my baby “cry it out”?! Feed her formula?! Let her eat FRUIT SNACKS?! Uh-uh. No way. Not this mommy. Suffice to say, those particular philosophies went right out the window about the time I looked over to see my 2 year old playing with a “dangerous” plastic bag, sitting on a recalled toy and realizing she'd been entertaining HERSELF for 10 WHOLE MINUTES and so, naturally, I gave her ANOTHER plastic bag.

Like I hear my mom and her mom and her mom before her snickering over my 1am diatribe of confusion and guilt over ONE SPANK, I also hear the clicks of the “unfriend,” the “unfollow” and the “uninvited” that I WILL – mark my words – I WILL receive after having admitted that I spanked and that I'm not 100% certain that I will 'never do it again'. I will be judged.

As moms today, we're all carrying around these little secrets lest we be judged. We don't want to tell that our 4.5 year old still isn't potty trained, that we served Kraft mac & cheese for the 8th night in a row because we're too tired of the fight, we sometimes use the television as a babysitter and actually DON'T hate Dora, we fight in front of our kids, we leave them in the car to get the dry cleaning, we spank.

I'm scared of being judged and I think most moms are too. What's really unsettling for me though is that I think the hardest jury to sway, the harshest judge in the county is the one that's on the bench inside of me. She's throwing the book at me for every.single.mistake.

The crappy part about this is that all parenting seems to be, from my perspective, is one mistake, one stumble after another, in the hopes we stumble into something good.

I was in Hallmark around Mother's Day and found this card that said “Behind every great kid is a parent who thinks they're fucking it up”.

Hallmark greeting cards are usually spot-on so I can only hope that little Ruby turns out to be a 'great kid'. God knows I'm constantly fucking it up.

From My Colon to Yours

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, May 29, 2011 Sunday, May 29, 2011

I have the surefire solution to making your goal weight in a matter of days: get admitted to the hospital, strapped to an IV and consume nothing but clear liquids. Heck, sometimes you don't even want the sweet taste of WATER when the insides of your body feel like they are trying hacksaw their way to the OUTSIDE a la Alien with Sigourney Weaver. Or a la Spaceballs, wherein those insides then dance upon your colon donning a tophat and cane.

Now, no need to worry your pretty little heads, dear readers. I have simply been diagnosed with an old lady disease called Diverticulitis. Basically, stuff gets stuck to the insides of my colon and makes parts of it swell, pop and infect the rest of my body! Now there's some light evening reading for ya! It is a condition controlled through diet and isn't nearly as serious as it sounds. I'm just really REALLY young for such a condition, apparently.

Basically, my colon has decided it is 72 years old and doesn't like me to eat nuts, seeds or popcorn. I've also recently taken to calling everyone “dearie” and sit six inches closer to the steering wheel when I drive.

Now, this is just one of the many reasons I've been missing in the blogosphere but I'm feeling an upswing of inspiration and hope to be more present in the upcoming months.

Nonetheless, here are some awesome NSVs that I've experienced in my absence and would be remiss in not sharing them with you all:

  1. while at a park birthday party for a 3 year old, a friend of mine comes over to say, and I quote: “When we pulled into the parking lot an looked over, I thought “Barbie” (as in, Ken & Barbie?!) was pushing Ruby on the swing”. Now, I won't remind you or myself that this particular friend is partially blind and wasn't wearing her glasses that day. Let's just focus on how she thought I looked like BARBIE—of course, I actually HAVE a butt crack and only stand on my tippy toes to reach the poptarts from the pantry shelves -- but otherwise, I forsee me being the next Barbie doll inspiration: “Weight Loss Surgery Barbie! Less stretch marks! Press her port and she PBs! Now with her own bottle of bariatric vitamins! Inspiration for obese little girls everywhere!”

  2. Whilst folding a basket of laundry this week, I picked up a pair of my own shorts and thought aloud, “now WHO'S SHORTS ARE THESE?!” These shorts looked WAY too small for me and way too big for my 2.5 year old so I was certain that Husband was getting some on the sly with some hot tiny chick. I was being my usual calm, collected self – as you know I ALWAYS am – when I realized, “HEY! Those are MY shorts!” Again, let's not focus on how these particular shorts have that magical 'stretchy' material in them and shrink upon each washing.

  3. Most of the time, intravenous fluids, using a barf basin and eating orange jello doesn't exactly conjur up the 'sexy' in us. But when the umpteenth medical professional stands there mouth agape and says “YOU had weight loss surgery? Really? You look so...normal” well, it brings out the Paris Hilton in me. Although, its hard to get your 'strut' on when you're attached to a beeping machine via your arm veins and hopped up on morphine. Also, let's try to forget about the fact that most of these nurses and the GI doctors spend most of their time looking at poop and butts and focus on the fact that even THEY couldn't tell I'd had WLS. That's hot.

  4. Finally, and probably most significant for me, is that last night, for Hubby's birthday dinner, I slipped right into the dress I wore for our wedding rehearsal dinner! This dress is a size 12 and I only wore it once but held onto it because I loved it so dearly and felt certain that SOMEDAY it would fit again. Six long years later, the DRESS FIT. Let us not mention the super-sucker panties that had to accompany said dress this go-round. It still fits and damn if I didn't look as good as I did six years ago – minus the wrinkly old lady colon.

Sadly, despite all these great NSVs and the help of a starvation diet and erupting colon, when I reintroduced solid food and homemade cake-pops I bounced back up to 3 pounds over goal weight. Sigh.

So, this is my update.

And lest you walk away from the blog post forgetting the reigning, inspirational theme, I will remind you of it, once again: poopy exploding colons.

You're welcome.

1 Year Post-Op Stats (and swimsuit photos)

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, March 27, 2011 Sunday, March 27, 2011

A year post-band-surgery has come and gone (March 19th was my “bandiversary”) and I haven't marked the occasion with a blog entry. I've been so busy with traveling, parenting and eating Easter candy a month early, that this milestone has barely registered as a significant occasion in my mind.

That said, I wanted to offer some year-out 'stats' to my readers as I know that when I first started traveling the weight loss surgery route I was constantly seeking out others' statistics to give myself something concrete to relate to and hope for.

Ironically, what I've learned is that the gastric band journey is different for every person and although it is inspiring to see how far others have come, it can also be discouraging when you don't necessarily meet the same criteria, in the same amount of time post-surgery as someone else.

What I want to impart to those of you first starting on this journey is that there is no 'standard' for what to expect with weight loss surgery. I'm one person with one body type. My history is different than yours. My motivation is different than yours. My relationship with food is not like yours and, what I've also found, is that chances are, my metabolism SUCKS WAAAAYYYYY worse than yours. Seriously. It does. It sucks big ones.

There are inspirational bandsters out there who have said much wiser things on and about their bandiversaries than I could EVER say so I'm going to leave the pontification and fist-pump worthy words to them:

Catherine55: This one-year period was always going to be over today, but by being banded at the start of it, I was able to use the time to do a lot of things to make my life better.

Amy W: I have lost this weight...Because I knew I could and I would. When [my doctor] told me that the band does not work for everyone, I made a choice that I would not be one of those people.

Joey: I feel entirely different and pretty much the same all at once. Different because, well, because sooo much has changed! I eat differently, move differently, but sometimes I still think the same. I often still feel fat. Like so many of you have said, the brain has to play catch up with the body. The band is definitely among the best decisions I have ever made!

Angie: It is hard to say how much this surgery and losing weight has changed my life. In many ways I have not changed at all, and in others, I am becoming the person who I always hoped I could be. I am accomplishing the thing I knew I never could, and doing that is beyond empowering. I am more settled in myself, I can let my whole self just exist and not worry quite as much as to what I’m projecting.

Gilly: Its a year later...its life-changing. Smell ya later.

There are many, many other inspirational bandsters out there. Many of them are YOU. The ones I've quoted are just a teeny smattering of the banded ladies and gentlemen who have touched my life and helped me through my first year with their words, photos and stories.

As for me, well, here I am:
  • 63 pounds lighter
  • Size 12/14 from Size 20/22
  • BMI of 26.2 from BMI of 35.7
Inches Lost From:

  • Waist: 10
  • Hips: 10
  • Around Chest: 9
  • Under Breasts: 7
  • Each Thigh: 4
  • Each Bicep: 4
  • Each Calf: 2.5
  • Each Wrist: .75
I lost, on average 1.2 pounds per week. Its not much, really. In fact, there were months where I counted Weight Watchers points and lost quite a bit more. The difference this time is that I've kept it off and I can honestly say I haven't had to 'diet' in a way that I felt was restrictive, difficult or discouraging. This isn't to say having a band is 'easy', it just makes the difficult choices easier.

I'm working on a vlog as there is so much more I want to say about where I am in this weight loss journey but even I, wordsmith extraordinaire, cannot seem to get it to come out right on paper. So stay tuned.

In the meantime, feast your eyes on the changes herewith. Yep. Photos of me in a swimsuit. You're welcome, America.

February 2010, September 2010, March 2011

June 2010, March 2011