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


A Tale of Two Rubies

Posted by Sherry , Monday, March 7, 2011 Monday, March 07, 2011

There are two Rubys in my life that are causing me giant heartburn. Heartburn so intense and so firey that sometimes the only thing that can squelch it is one (or seven) vanilla buttercream filled chocolate easter egg.

As a child, the only time I could find such sinful goodness was around Easter. There were about two blissful weeks of being able to walk into any Walgreens, any CVS, any grocery store, any gas station! in the country and pick up a Cadbury cream egg (or seven).

Luckily, the great marketing minds at Russel Stover and the like have figured out that most Americans are willing to eat Easter candy ALL YEAR LONG if you'll let us. Our willingness to stuff our faces with cream filled, pastel colored chocolate and fluffy corn syrup got someone over there at the candy factory a GIANT RAISE. He or she figured out that you can shape that chocolate shit into ANYTHING: a heart at Valentine's day, a Santa at Christmas, a pumpkin at Halloween, a flag on the freakin' fourth of July. If there was an adult diaper-shaped chocolate cream candy for Grandparents day, I'd eat it (or seven).

Its chocolate, its creamy in the middle and its under .99 cents. Put it in the bag next to my diet coke please.

Even though the only spirituality I can muster up during this season is a silent prayer for afternoons warm enough to shove my kid outside of the house, I thank Jesus every day for Lindt, Cadbury and even the ever-waxy Hershey's for shoving little bits of goodness into bunny shaped packages.

So Ruby number one is only two years old but has already learned that the easiest way to send your mother on an express train to crazy town is to do/say/want the EXACT OPPOSITE of what your mommy wants/says/suggests. For example, “Ruby, let's go upstairs and play.” “No mommy! Downstairs to play!” “Ok, Ruby, let's play downstairs then.” “No mommy! UPSTAIRS!” – all accompanied by dramatic wailing and gnashing of two-year-old molars.

I tried to suggest we scream, yell, disobey and otherwise act insane in the hopes she would instead choose to sit quietly and obey, but psychological warfare does nothing to the minds of determined 2 year olds. You may as well be trying to make Palestine and Israel shake hands and be friends: they just ain't gonna come 'round.

This particular Ruby-incited heartburn is dulled a teeny bit by frequent sips of vodka martinis and long, hot, locked-door baths. Sometimes she protests this concoction but I insist that what's good for the mommy goose is even better for the baby goose.

The other Ruby causing me gastro-distress is the one that you have probably seen lurking about on various talk-shows. She has red hair, lots of gay male friends, a sickeningly sweet southern accent and is a seemingly perfect candidate for weight loss surgery.

I keep running into this Ruby while watching mindless television to help me dull the ache that the other Ruby is causing me. But this woman who makes me want to cry in sympathy and roll my eyes at the same time is causing me heartburn that no Maalox can cure.


So far, every time I've seen her, she mentions that she's put on some of the weight she lost from last season. Namely, 60 pounds. Namely, 15% of the 400 pounds she's lost. Now, if she didn't care about this weight gain, well, frankly, I wouldn't care either. I sincerely believe that if someone is happy being obese, that is their call. I don't believe that 'deep down' they aren't happy or 'deep down' they want to be skinny. On the subject of weight and weight management, I take people at their word because, honestly, I wouldn't want someone second guessing my comfort level with my own body.

But she comes right out and says she's “ashamed”. She says she wants to “get back on track”. And she says she is a “food addict”. She actually has a link on her Web site to the 12 steps food addicts should take. She sees a counselor, a nutritionist. She has trainers and cooks and supportive friends and has done ALL the things that I (and most of you) have done to 'fix' what's broken in our relationships with food. And she's still losing the battle.

So why not call in the reinforcements, already? Why not GET SURGERY? She's already doing the work that you have to do when you have the Lap Band but she's just needs some additional HELP. Help that no trainers, counselors, foodies or network sponsors are able to give. The badge of courage that she (and seemingly the rest of the former fatties in the press) gets from NOT having weight loss surgery is invisible. The badge of courage is invisible because it is covered in the blood, sweat and tears of working SO hard for something that you just can't do by yourself.

She's just sitting there being beautiful and funny and full of life and personal insight and most of all, being dumb.

She's rubbing those two sticks together SO FREAKIN' HARD and the fire keeps dying out. So why hasn't anyone handed her a lighter already? She's earned it. She deserves it.

I willingly admit that I have not seen the season premiere that aired yesterday but I promise that I'm going to download it and watch it this week, if for no other reason than it will give me an air-tight defense as to why I caved and ate Cadbury egg number eight.

A photo of Ruby #1. Post-vodka martini.

Do You Believe In Magic?

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, February 2, 2011 Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Lately, I've not been able to 'see it'. My weight loss, that is.

Everywhere I go, people comment on how thin I'm looking, how “tiny” I am.

I assume all of these humans have glaucoma or one of those mental disorders where you only see things the way you want to see them – kind of the way my mother-in-law views my husband, her son, who has never done anything wrong or imperfect. Ever.

Anyway, the only thing “tiny” about me is my left pinky toenail. The right pinky toenail is strangely over sized.

And while I do get excited to put on my size 12 jeans most mornings – pause for emphasis ----------- SIZE 12 jeans! – when I look at photos, I still see a fat girl.

This is definitely not unique to me or any other woman who loses a significant amount of weight – or Portia de Rossi who wrote a great book about being fat. Because she once was fat. Her thighs JIGGLED, people! And don't even try to tell me that it isn't traumatic to be a beautiful Australian model/actress who drowns her sorrows by eating an ENTIRE Snickers bar – THE WHOLE THING – and then can't fit into a size 6 dress during a fitting for a Revlon commerical. Because it is totally devastating. And because you can't possibly know what it is like to go up TWO WHOLE SIZES in one year and then be told you're fat by important people. And you can't know the shame of not being able to fit into cute designer clothes or eat in secret or not be able to control yourself around food.

Oh. Wait a minute....

As usual, I digress. So I don't see a thin girl in the mirror. Hell, I BARELY see a thinner girl.

What I DO see is basically the same crap I've always seen: a fat, floppy stomach, stretch marks and chicken legs.

When does the self-degradation finally end? Because here I am, a measly 15 pounds from a weight I thought would finally turn my mirror into a magic one where I looked like a less annoying, smaller-arsed version of a blonde Kardashian (What? You don't see that either? I swear I can be JUST as annoying and my sex tapes are AWESOME). Instead I just see a big belly with too many creases and a few gray hairs in my eyebrows -- weird, I know.

Is your mirror a magic one yet? If it is, or if you believe one exists for you, please let me know in which aisle of Bed Bath and Beyond I can find one.

Because unlike Portia I don't have a stable full of horses or a hot,rich & famous, 50 year old girlfriend to help me realize that I can be vegan with a personal chef and personal trainer and FINALLY be happy with the way I look.

This Is War! Kind of...

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, January 18, 2011 Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I hate lying. Unless, of course, the lying is to spare someone's feelings, or serves a greater humanitarian purpose or makes you seem more awesomer. Or thinner. Or richer. Or funnier. Or right. Then I'm all for lying. But mostly, I hate lying.

Which is why the last four days have been particularly difficult for me.

Husband, Ruby and I took a trip to Ohio to visit my father, stepmother and this side of the family this past weekend. I love my dad's family. Dad's the oldest of 9 kids who each have about 9 kids who each have about 9 kids and all of these relatives live within about a 5 mile radius of one another. It makes for a great Thanksgiving Day football game, charades marathon and rousing game of “guess how we're related?!”

We're of German-Catholic stock on that side, which means we're all tall, big boned, large breasted and smell of sauerkraut and beer. We only wear lederhosen on special occasions and Lisel, Gretel and Marta do a fine rendition of “Edelweiss” after they've downed a few Weihenstephaner Hefeweissbier. Clearly, we also believe that Jesus hates birth control, but He loves a good Pilsner.

Like most families, our get-togethers usually revolve around food and chit chat and often, a game of Texas Hold 'em that leaves at least three family members not talking to each other for a week and one family member $15 richer (Jesus is also ok with moderate, unlicensed gaming as long Pope is getting his cut).

What makes our family unique, however, is that, whilst eating our third chili cheese dog and reaching for that second iced brownie, we are usually chit-chatting about diets.

At any given time you could throw a dart in the room and hit a person on a diet. Our family is the Baskin Robbins of diets. You can't throw a stick without hitting a low-carber, a Atkinsonian, a South Beach resident, a Weight Watchers Lifetimer, Special K Challenger or a Jenny Craigonite. But most of us are still fat.

We talk a good talk, walk a good walk for a few weeks and yet, inevitably, we gain back what we lost during our Slim Fast phase, plus, plus, plus. We're our own research group. Send over the AMA! Send the CDC! Send Richard Simmons! We've tried it all, we've reported back, and guess what? The diets didn't work. We're still fat.

I remember being a senior in college, fighting the freshman 35 for the tenth time and looking over at one of my high school age cousins. She was thin, almost skinny! She wore tight jeans that showed off her cute tanned, belly-ringed stomach and I swear I thought to myself: “She better live it up because knowing our genes, her days in THOSE jeans are LIMITED”. Sadly, I was right and I don't think she's even touched a bikini since her second year of college. She too, is overweight now.

The weekend was great in so many ways. Ruby got to play with her third cousins – or first cousins once removed – or hillbilly siblings – whatever you want to call it. The husband got to eat his own weight in chili-dogs, and I got to witness the relationship between my parents and my child blossom.

But before we edge into the land of sentimentality, let me be frank. The best part of this trip was having all my relatives comment on how awesome I look. None of them (not even my dad) know about the band and here's where I start to cross the 'lying' threshold.

As my family are all diet connoisseurs, they wanted to know “my secret”. “How did I do it? Which diet am I on? How long have I been 'dieting'? How many enemas do you have to get?”

Like other banded friends out there, I pulled out the standard answer for the WLS patient on the DL: “I eat less and move more”.

Technically, this is all true. Technically, this is not a lie. Technically, FOX News is “news”.

Technically I feel like a big fat liar. Without the “fat” part.

Where the wicket gets particularly sticky is that I have two aunts in their fifties who had gastric bypass about 7 or 8 years ago. Although they both lost significant amount of weight (and look & feel amazing), they are still far from the 'normal' BMI range. They don't really 'work' their surgery but they've been successful at going from 'morbidly obese' to just 'overweight'.

They're both happy. They feel they've come 'far enough'. They eat fast food for about one meal a day. They drink lots of non-diet soda. They've thrown their calorie counters to the wind. They don't exercise. AT ALL. They also smoke heavily. And one of them DOESN'T WEAR HER SEATBELT! EVER!

I can safely say these two aunts of mine don't live very healthily. But in THEIR minds, they've won. And maybe that's all that matters. Maybe some people don't need to have a 'normal' BMI or make the right food choices most of the time or get healthy in mind and body to consider themselves a victor. Maybe they just need to lose the weight and be less fat than they were before.

I just couldn't bring myself to tell them or anyone else in the family about my band because I'm not sure that we're on the same type of journey. They feel 'done' and although I share their sarcastic wit, their long legs, their remarkable laughs, this is where our genes part ways:

I don't feel done. I'm still in battle. Its not full on war but the safety is still off my gun and I'm still watching for land mines. I don't know that I'll be at peace with my weight loss struggles until I've changed all aspects of my relationship with food. I'm hoping that Leona will forever be my 'front line defense' and so far, she's working pretty well, but there is a heck of a lot of other work that needs to happen in the head region of this body before I'll feel confident saying “I'm done” and “I've been victorious!”

Maybe once I'm there and feeling like I've won the war against fat, against food, against my own genetics, I'll also be ready to share all my 'secrets'.

A recent photo for your viewing pleasure...52 pounds down

We're cute

"Hold My Earrings"

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, January 5, 2011 Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I'm stuck.

Figuratively. Literally. Emotionally, even. Stuck.

Can't come up with a good blog topic. Can't get the words out. Can't get the healthy food down very well. Can't get the weight down. Stuck.

Some moments I cleanse the stuck with chocolate but mostly I've been using exercise as catharsis. This is a good thing, I know. But it's not new to me. I've had a few 'stuck' moments in my life where I've turned to compulsive exercise to help me work out the kinks.

The issue, this time, with all my gym rattyness – besides the fact that I turn to Jersey Shore when I'm on the treadmill and find myself nodding in agreement with the occasional Snooki-ism – is that the work outs don't seem to be turning into weight loss. Instead they seem to turn me into a carb-seeking missile which in turn makes me feel bloated, gross and guilty which in turn makes me head back to the gym at full force.

Its a viscious cycle.. Not unlike the “romance” between Sammi “Sweetheart” and Ronnie “Roids”. Frustration, tears, sweaty tight clothing and lots and lots of f-bombs.

I'll be back in touch once I get off this hamster wheel. Right now I gotta GTL.