A Sucker is Born

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, April 29, 2010 Thursday, April 29, 2010

Disclaimer: This post is not intended to offend or stereotype any person or persons. In fact, if anything it is showing how much more evolved and brilliant referenced persons are, compared to me.

I've recently noticed that at the forefront of my little blogosphere is the subject of body hair. Its merits, issues, disappearance and taming are frequent subjects for which Lap-Band bloggers often wax poetic. However, I rarely contribute to this subject for the following reasons:

  • Although I keep my body hair appearance to the minimum, I do not hate, love, nor fear its presence and thus, I remain relatively indifferent about its existence.

  • Clearly there are some of you who are 'experts' in this fine area and I surely have much more knowledge to soak up FROM you than to impart TO you.

  • Having a toddler and a relatively full and active life, it REALLY is difficult for me to find the time to get into a salon and ask them to PLEASE inflict pain upon my most tender and sensitive areas.

  • Its hair. Its there. So what?

All that said, Momma has a mustache. And although it is not offensive to my husband or friends, and passersby do not necessarily assume I've been working in the coal mines, I fear that if I do not get in for my bi-monthly waxing, I will begin to resemble my father circa 1984. See Olan Mills photo below:

So yesterday God smiled upon me and the babysitter arrived early and I was granted with an ENTIRE 30 minutes to myself before I had to be at a doctor's appointment. THIRTY WHOLE MINUTES people!

I was starting to see an Armenian shadow above my lip and knew there was a walk-in right next door to the doctor's office. Its was serendipity.

Now, maybe some of you go to those fancy, schmancy salons with Zen rock garden waterfalls and muzak streaming from the airways. You have appointments scheduled with “aestheticians” named “Andrea” (pronounced AHUN-DRAY-UH) who are beauty-makers by day and pilates instructors by night.

But as I've mentioned, my time is precious and I've found that whether the lip wax is done for $7 by a Vietnamese salon owner or by a “skin cosmetologist” for $22, it all comes out the same. The hair is gone from my upper lip and I look like a 2nd grader who just finished a glass of cherry Kool-Aid.

So, yesterday, I walk in to “Lee's Nails” and am greeted sweetly by a gorgeous young Vietnamese woman who offers me a diet coke. Love that! Your fancy salons only offer crappy herbal tea. She asks what I need done today. I tell her “Just a lip wax!”

As I sign-in, gorgeous woman comes over to the table and says “Eye-bow wah too?”. Now, I don't have much time and frankly, just had the eyes done 2 weeks ago so I say “No thanks.” And then, well, she narrowed her perfectly groomed eyebrows at me and I knew what was coming.

See, EVERY time I go into one of my neighborhood salons to get 'just a lip wax' or 'just a pedicure' or 'just a happy-ending' I am told I need an “eye-bow wah”. EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Sometimes, I've just had the brows done three days ago. Sometimes 4 weeks. A few times I've gone a whole season without domesticating the eye caterpillars. So you see, I never really know. Are my eyebrows offending them? Are they so untamed I need Sigfried and Roy to come in and work their Vegas magic? Or are they just trying to get more money out of me? I just don't know!
But this time, I KNEW my eyebrows were FINE. I had them coifed less than 2 weeks ago at another salon and I was determined to get out of this place with JUST my lip wax.

I'm taken into the 'waxing room' by another beautiful woman who coaxes me onto the table, looks me up and down and says “Eye-bow wah today?”

Me: No thanks. Just had them done.

Lady Holding Hot Wax: Oh. But eye-bow only take few more min.

Me: No, just the lip today. I really don't have the time.

Lady Dipping Stick Into Hot Wax: You NEE eye-bow wah!

Me: I'll come in tomorrow (lie) when I have more time and get the eyebrows done.

Lady Twirling Strings Of Hot Wax Around Stick About to Come At My Face: Ok. You come in. Tomorrow. Eye-bow too thick.

Me: Ok, sounds good. See you tomorrow then!

Cut to me, 10 minutes later, walking out of the salon looking like a 2nd grader who both drank the cherry Kool-Aid and put it in her eyebrow region. How do they do it?!

But this entire transaction got me to thinking about my weight loss...

No. Actually it didn't. I just wanted to tell this story and ask if anyone else has this happen to them.

Am I the only one who gets pushed into an eyebrow wax every time she enters a salon?! I really think these ladies are in the wrong business. They should be selling cars. Or life insurance. “Ok, go ahead and get the cheap, 10 cents a month plan, but you may die tomorrow and your family may have to pull apart the two-ply toilet paper to make it last longer and your husband will have to hock your wedding ring to pay the mortgage.”

“Also...you REALLY need an eyebrow wax.”

Lap-Band News – Ate nothing but crap yesterday (which went down so smoothly!) but not in very large quantities. I would like to say its due to restriction but I honestly think I am subsisting on willpower right now.

So I need advice, if I only lose a pound this week and stay at losing about a pound a week but am definitely eating more than a cup of food three times per day, should I get a fill? Should I wait until my willpower runs out to get a fill? I feel kind of like I'm dieting. The only thing keeping me from eating more is me.

Keep in mind I'm only 6 weeks post-op. I'm afraid the P.A. Is going to look at my weight loss and say I don't need a fill since he stressed the ZERO in his '0 – 2 pound a week' expectation, but again, I think it is willpower helping me lose the weight, not the band.

I'm eating quite a bit more than I should be able to at this point and can't help but wonder if I had a cc or two in my band if I'd be losing more rapidly. What would you do?

A Conversation With Someone Smarter Than Me

Posted by Sherry , Monday, April 26, 2010 Monday, April 26, 2010

A conversation with my husband:

Me: Ruby has really become attached to her stuffed animals lately

H: Yeah. I love how she gets anthropomorphic with them.

Me: Ana-what? What the hell does that mean?

H: It means, treating them like they are human or with human-like qualities.

Me: Uh-huh.

H: What? It was the first word that came to my head.

Me: Dork. THAT was the first word that came to MY head.

In other news: I got stuck today for the first time. It was very unpleasant. Does that mean I have been 'initiated'? When do you all come over and start circling all my fat bits with a black magic marker? For the record, I would probably walk away from that initiation process looking African-American.

But back to this 'stuck' business. Why was I able to eat 6 ounces of medium well flank steak last night but got stuck on a piece of well toasted 'bagel thin' today? Also, why can I eat like the apocolypse is coming most days but according to the barium swallow I did at my doctor's office, have 'perfect restriction'? As usual, I'm confused.

p.s. I have no fluid in my band yet.

Sherry's Band Has A Name

Posted by Sherry , Friday, April 23, 2010 Friday, April 23, 2010

The scale and I have called a truce and we are now BFFs again. We plan on a Friday night pillow fight and she's going to braid my hair! I deserve it. After all, I've lost 2.5 pounds this week. WOO HOO!!!

For those of you not glued to the earth-shattering excitement that is my weight loss ticker – that is 14 pounds total in less than 5 weeks. NOT TOO SHABBY.

I've come to the conclusion that my band is NOT in fact putting a steady drip line of bacon grease into my stomach but that she just needed some time to figure herself out.

She was feeling a little lost and confused. She had just finished college and moved back in with the rents'. And with a degree in English, well the jobs don't just fall right into her lap now, do they? If only mom would GET off her back about sending out resumes! Urgh! Oh wait, that was ME in 1999.

I digress.

Notice my band is now a 'she' and not an 'it'. That is because SHE has been finally christened. Although Band and I have been attached at the gut for the last 4 weeks or so, I didn't really feel like I KNEW her until recently. So how could I give her a name?

Of course, we're still kind of in the 'newlywed' stage of our relationship and she NEVER puts her dirty towels in the hamper. But here is what I have learned:

She pretty much just hangs out all day long and only rears her head when food is involved – kinda like my husband. I mean, my DOG! Some days she's feeling loose and easy – like a college freshman at Mardi Gras. Some days she's feeling tense and cranky – like me before the in-laws visit.

I understand both sentiments. We all have good and bad days. But I am choosing to see Band for who she CAN be. I want to see her for her entire potential. I want to see her WORK FOR HER MONEY.

Thus, I would like to introduce you to my band, Leona Helmsley.

Much like her predecessor, I can only hope that my Leona Helmsley will be a demanding queen, insisting on subordinance.

I can only hope she will have a flamboyant personality, stringent with her likes and dislikes, whipping me into shape.

I also hope she says 'fuck' a lot and is a dog lover.

All in all, I know deep down that my Band will do what's best for me. After all, as Leona Helmsley's namesake, she's bound to be a tight, white, bitch.

Taking a Stand

Posted by Sherry , Monday, April 19, 2010 Monday, April 19, 2010

This past weekend H and I made our way to sunny Ohio for a wedding. I have about a bazillion family members and it seems like just about every 4-6 months one of them is dragging us into one of their major life events: marriage, births, graduations, divorce.

I usually go to these celebrations because of the cake. Seriously. Wedding and birthday cake are my favorite desserts. Moist, crumbly vanilla/chocolate/strawberry/spice/carrot cake with sweet, sugary, melt in your mouth, heart-attack inducing buttercream frosting (remember my cream filled egg incident a month back)?

I know you are thinking, “Oh but Sherry, there are so MANY different types of wedding and birthday cakes out there: fondant, whipped cream, ice cream cake, cookie-cakes.” And my response is, THEY ARE IMPOSTERS. If a birthday or wedding cake does not contain crisco-laden buttercream, I do declare, what is the point?

So anyway, I go to weddings for cake.

But there is also another moment that I adore during weddings. The part where the bride walks in and everyone stands.

Many girls spend countless hours of their time dreaming about the details of their weddings. What will my love and I dance to? What will my dress look like? Who will catch my bouquet? Would you need a receipt to return a toaster to Macy's?

And as a young woman that minutia crossed my mind. But the part that I always got stuck on, the part where my heart would swell and made me want to become a bride as fast as possible is the part where the doors open, the music begins and everyone rises for my entrance.

How often are us regular folks able to capture the attention of every person in a room? How many times will we have everyone in a room STAND to recognize and honor our presence? (well, for my step-sister, TWICE in SIX YEARS, I suppose).

I'm lucky enough to have had that moment. It was all I dreamed it could be. And even now, at every wedding, I get teary eyed during that moment and not just because its a wedding and you're happy for the love birds (or devastated because little Pookie already has a bun in the oven and is about to hop into a Chevy Nova and move to Vegas so her baby daddy can pursue his life long dream of becoming a tattoo artist) but because I think “this may be the one and only moment in this woman's life where she will feel like a star."

See, after the wedding, life eventually returns to normal and your car breaks down or your new husband loses his job or you get chicken pox on your honeymoon. And your boss at work never praises you for the account you closed, and your mom never notices anything but the weight you've packed on, and your kids care more about Elmo than cuddling with you.

When you have that moment where everyone stands just because you walked in the door, you have a moment to go back to.

Its a small thing, but for me, it was the best.

So, anyway – I figured that in my weight loss journey, I need something to go back to. I need something to help me remember that I once looked and felt the way I want to for the rest of my life. I need to hold onto that moment in time where I stood up for myself and was the best I could be. I found these photos:

They were taken about 4 days after my wedding when we were on our honeymoon in Aruba. I felt like a model. Seriously. I felt like a star. I hardly sweat. I was at what my initial goal weight is now.

I could physically do anything and not get tired. We swam, we para-sailed, we snorkeled, we got sunburned, we walked, we smiled – a lot. Never once on that trip did I criticize myself for the blubber falling over the top of my tankini bottoms. Never once did I avoid a photograph. Never once did I look at myself in the mirror and see only my faults.

I want to get back there. I want to feel like this again. Yes, I look gorgeous (go ahead, you can say it!) but seeing these photos remind me of how I FELT at that time.

I want to stand up for myself again.

p.s. those of you that have no intention of ever getting married (or are not allowed to get married because of our stupid government)? I humbly suggest you find some opportunity akin to a wedding -- a ceremony of some kind -- to honor yourself. And if you invite me, I promise to be the first one on my feet when you enter the room.

You People Make My Brain Hurt!

Posted by Sherry , Monday, April 12, 2010 Monday, April 12, 2010

Wow. You people need to take a blogging break so that I may maintain what little sanity I have left.

So many of you are BIG THINKERS. And you need to give me a break. Because in the last 17 months, my brain has become quite squishy.

Elmo and Desitin are the reigning themes in my life right now and the most philosophical questions I encounter all day are often “should we have peanut butter or grilled cheese for lunch?” and “how dangerous can it REALLY be to eat dog-food? Surely she will survive”.

So when Catherine starts blogging about what I shall coin “food-freedom,” and Drazil is pontificating on the effects of damaged family relationships and Amy starts suggesting that she has eaten “a lot” because she finished off AN ENTIRE CHICKEN NUGGET, my poor little head starts spinning.

Someone please start singing the “ABCs” or “Itsy Bitsy Spider” so that I can go back to my happy place.

In all seriousness though, I am so grateful for all these provoking blogs and of course and as always, for Oprah. Because, combined, they have given me some things to ponder. Which, in turn, takes my mind off of the white chocolate peanut butter bark beckoning me from the fridge.

I always knew that Oprah and I were somehow 'connected' and not just because we both love to dramatically announce the entrance of a new person to the room “Welcome, SHEEERRRYYY's BLOOOGGGG!” (key audience applause).

See, today I was catching up on some of Her Majesty's episodes and the one with the woman who lost like 175 pounds and then gained it back and then lost it again was on. And I know that some of you saw this episode, commented on it and are now talking about that Women, Food and God book and that is all well and good.

But what struck me most about this particular episode was how during the interview with this dieting woman Oprah QUOTED me. Uh-huh. I said it.

I would say that she PLAGERIZED my blog but I'm pretty sure if you say ANYTHING negative about Her Highness you are immediately whisked off by men in black coats and sunglasses and are forced to watch Dr. Oz pull out every human organ from a corpse. And then he makes you touch them.

I'm paraphrasing here but what she said is that she was just incredulous at how much TIME she has wasted dieting and thinking about dieting and fatness and feeling guilty about eating, hating her body. If you go back to my very first blog, you will see that I SAID THAT FIRST..... (Still love and worship you Oprah! Hugs!)

One of my goals for my life post-band is to finally reach Food Freedom. Food Freedom is where food is simply nourishment AND enjoyment and not guilt, anger, sadness, prison. Food Freedom is where I'm not scrutinizing my body with no mercy every minute of every day.

Food Freedom is like the Garden of Eden for fat people. There are candied apple trees and Frito bushes but we do not feel compelled to strip bare the vegetation and then ask Eve where the milkshake river is located.

There are a few of you in my blogosphere who have 'made it' to this place. It seems happy there. I want to get there. To me, that is paradise.

Ok, so now that I've totally exhausted my brain cells THINKING BIG (or at least 'bigger'), I'll fill you in on the nitty gritty of my last week.

I am feeling some restriction. Technically, I have none in there but maybe there is still some swelling because I definitely am eating about a ¼ of what I used to eat daily. And pretty much all of what I am eating would be considered 'mushy' or at least 'soft foods' except for a few crackers here and there.

I miss salads and sandwiches (especially Panera's Chicken Ceasar -- do you think it misses me too?) like the dickens but haven't been back to the doctor yet so thus, have not been given the 'all clear' to move forward.

My scale is still very unfriendly (and has beady little eyes too!) and I'm stuck at a 9 pound loss. I read Keelie's blog today and the lucky duck lost 6 pounds in one week. WTF?! She is lucky that I do not live near her or I may be compelled to use my leftover easter eggs and go all Picasso on her house.

I am considering a vlog in the future but am not sure how one goes about that, exactly. Luckily H is a computer genius and should be able to walk me through it.

I just hope that you all enjoy hearing about Sesame Street and poopy diapers....What? Do I hear crickets?

I need a Head-Band

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, April 6, 2010 Tuesday, April 06, 2010

I am on scale hiatus. I have made a commitment to myself to not weigh until Thursday. Granted, that is only 48 hours away, but I figure that both I and my scale need a short break from each other. Me, to gain some perspective and not spend the bulk of my days depressed, and for my scale, an opportunity to get its shit together and start learning who's boss. If you aren't sure, the boss is ME.

Thank you all for your comments on my pity party yesterday. I do feel better after reading and am trying to stay rational. Trust me, staying rational ALL DAY LONG is a GIANT obstacle for me.

However, should I discover that in fact, I WAS RIGHT, and I AM part of a giant band placebo study conspiracy and sausage gravy IS in fact being output by my port into my body, I shall say a giant I TOLD YOU SO.

Last night was my very first meal outside the home since a week pre-band and I have conflicting emotions. Even though I'm still on mushies and had originally thought I would stick to home eating only until I was given the go-ahead for solid foods, last night was Mommies Night Out with some friends and only a meteor shattering the Earth's surface will keep me away from that.

The restaurant was an Italian one and my options were limited at best, but I think I did well in spite of that. I ordered a cup of soup and an appetizer but wasn't able to even come close to finishing any of it.

I had one glass of white wine, about a ¼ cup of creamy polenta that had sauteed mushrooms on top of it (I only had 3 or 4 small shrooms) and about a ¼ cup of creamy tomato soup. I also ate a few small bites (think pencil eraser size) of a piece of foccacia bread (giant no-no, I know) and surprisingly it all went down fine.

Although I supposedly have no restriction, that small amount of food totally filled me up. I could not eat another bite.

So technically, the eating out experience went very well. But emotionally it was another story. I cannot lie and say that I didn't look longingly at Mommy Beth's Stromboli. I cannot say I didn't want to sneak a shrimp off of Mommy Dawn's Penne. And Mommy Kate is lucky I did not reach across the table and bitch slap her for her Fettuccine Alfredo.

Its not like I was even HUNGRY for that stuff. I just felt a longing. A mourning of sorts. Realizing that eating out will have to become an entirely different experience for me and that its going to take time before I am totally on board and happy with this life altering decision I've made.

There wasn't an ounce of reluctance as I was being wheeled into the O.R., about to go under a knife but when I realize that sneaking a piece of cheese off my daughter's lunch plate is not do-able I get all sorts of doubts as to whether I've done the right thing. Ironic, isn't it?

Maybe when my scale decides to start cooperating I'll feel differently. Until then I'm realizing, once again, that this Band is not around my head, its around my stomach and the two really need to start listening to one another.

The Woman Who Cannot Change

Posted by Sherry , Monday, April 5, 2010 Monday, April 05, 2010

I'm unhappy. My brain keeps going over all the comments you guys have left me and what the P.A. told me at my last appointment but sad, paranoid Sherry keeps reappearing.

See my evil scale hasn't budged since Thursday. Not an ounce. Not an iota. It flashes the same stupid number over and over again, reminding me that there is nothing I can do to get thinner. I even went out and bought ANOTHER scale – a good one – to ensure my scale was not broken. Nope. Same number.

I have been tracking every calorie and all my protein and have yet to have a day where I've eaten over 1000 calories. I'm getting a minimum of 60 grams of protein per day. I've not eaten this little since my starvation diet the 4 months before my wedding when I was surviving every day on one English muffin, a cup of grapes, some steamed broccoli and visions of being a fat bride.

I'm walking most days about 1.5 miles and chasing a VERY active toddler. Shouldn't the weight be FLYING off? Shouldn't I be getting on the scale every day saying “Adios SUCKA! Another pound down!”

Irrational, crazy-spiral Sherry has officially taken over my body and mind. I am feeling certain that I have gone through surgery and paid thousands of dollars to discover that I am the one person on the planet for whom the magical band does not work.

I am 100% sure that I have some rare metabolic disease that after 25 years of dieting has finally said “enough is enough” and decided to leave me to wallow in my fatness forever.

I spend hours – seriously, hours -- thinking that I must have been tricked into being in some placebo study and have no band inside but instead just a port that squirts out milkshake-like calories into my gut every 15 minutes, causing me to not lose weight. Next week it will likely start squirting nacho cheese and I will begin gaining back the measly 7 pounds I lost.

Thursday will be 3 weeks post-surgery and I am scared. I am scared that I will still be the same weight I am today. I am scared I will have gained.

And know what the worst part is? I am NOT EVEN HUNGRY. People keep telling me to wait until I have restriction. Well, what is the point? I am not eating much now. Its not like I'm stuffing my face with cheez-its and burgers! I'm eating turkey meatballs! Scrambled eggs! Avocado! Isopure sports drinks!

Woe is me. Woe is me. Thank you for coming to my pity party.

Ode to a Scrambled Egg (and a request for a pick-me-up)

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, April 1, 2010 Thursday, April 01, 2010

Ode to a Scrambled Egg

Some may think you boring.
Some may think you gross.
But scrambled egg, during 'liquids phase', its you I dreamt of the most.
Your yellowy, smushy goodness.
For it what would I not give?
For once, I thought, scrambled eggs, refried beans and oatmeal
I'd need nothing more, to live.
No pudding cup could measure up
No protein shake could fill me.
But crack an egg, add some salt and some milk
And in my eyes, you'll see only happy.
Scrambled egg, I love you.
I'll remember this day for eternity
But come 2 more weeks, I'll be sick of your reek
And onto REAL food you will find me!

So today I was moved on to mushies – hence the surge of poetic gushing about an egg. And while the 10 minutes of eating said egg brought me pure and utter joy (Gen, I savored savored savored, you'd be proud), I still find myself a bit in the dumps.

See, I'm only down 7 pounds according to that evil scale in my doctor's office. SEVEN. In two weeks. Two VERY LONG weeks. And friends, well, frankly, I have done better than that on Weight Watchers. In fact, I have a very vivid memory of losing 8 pounds in one week just from counting Points and wishing on stars.

Not one time in the last two weeks did I ingest more than 800 calories. Most days were closer to 650. So what gives???? My breath stinks, my tummy rumbles, my belly button looks like a grenade went off in it and yet, ONLY SEVEN MEASLY POUNDS!!!

I'm bummed. I'm just plain bummed. I mean, what happens when I up my intake to 1200 calories? Will I start GAINING for crying out loud???

And you know what really gets my panties in a bunch? The P.A. I saw today (Doctor was too busy to see me and that is another angry story) said “That's great! Its double what we expect you to lose week to week!” And he said it with a smile. And seriousness. HOW DARE HE??!

I mean, I knew that the 1-2 pound weight loss per week thing was typical for the long haul, but what about in these two weeks that I've had nothing to eat? It just seems so unfair. And yes, I'm crossing my arms and hurmphing as I say that. Its unfair!

So here are my two requests from you my band brigade:

  1. I need words of encouragement. Usually my solicitations are much more subtle but this time, I need to blatantly ask for support b/c I'm seriously wondering if I've made the right decision with the Band.

  2. Continue to send me your mushy food ideas! I like variety (it is the spice of life you know) and don't want to get in a rut. For me, ruts = bad choices later.

Thanks for the virtual advice!

Tell me bout' your "mushies"...

Posted by Sherry Thursday, April 01, 2010

A longer, more interesting post (that shall include an "ode to a scrambled egg") will follow later today but in the meantime:

Tell me bout' your mushies. What things did you enjoy most? I'm on them for two weeks and need ideas! Doc said even really moist meats (eaten in small bites) is ok. So besides tuna and chicken salad, eggs and mashed taters, what else?