I finally feel normal again after this weekends trip and work. I'm so not used to being up and working like that yet. It was worth it though. The kids went on and on about how this was our best vacation yet! I am so happy to make such great memories for my kids to have of their childhood. Being a parent is so awesome and rewarding!

I finished unpacking the suitcases this a.m. and got the laundry going, started the dishwasher, vaccuumed the house, and now I'm sitting down for a few mins. I got my first check this weekend and I'm thinking of opening my own bank account. DJ and I are getting very serious about saving money and getting our credit in order. As I near 30, it's like there is no excuses for dumb money mistakes anymore... and believe me, we have made our share of them. I hate that still after 8 years we are still paying for them. So anyway, we want to get things in order and save save save and get our credit back on track. So the plan is for me to save as much of what I make as we possibly can and I think if I have a seperate bank account it will be easier to save it and not spend it. We'll see.

On the weight/food front... I did see 144 lbs. earlier in the week but after our vacation I was back up to 146.. the same as last week. It's fine though. I feel pretty good.



Vacation and Work....

Vacation was a blast and I have some pics to post in a bit. :) I'm hoping the bathingsuit pics haven't scared all my faithful readers away.

We left early on Friday and got to the hotel by 11. DJ pre-registered us and we got into the waterpark around 11:30. It was so fun and perfectly age appropriate for our kids. There were no deep water pools except for the hot tub over in the corner and it was easy to keep the kids out of that area. There were a few wading pools and two giant waterslides that twisted and turned, outside and back in and emptied into a small pool at the bottom. So fun!

After a short wait, that was sorta hairy w/ the kids, we got into our room around 3. We cleaned up and headed out for dinner. What was funny was that my phone rang and it was my brother. He and his gf and her kids were at the same hotel as us, without us even knowing that the other was there! They ended up leaving though b/c they have older kids and it just isn't geared for them.

So off to dinner.. We ate at Max and Ermas... I ordered some "no guilt" black bean wrap appitizer that was far too spicy for my taste. I ended up picking at everyone else's food though and got pretty satisfied. ;)

Later we did disco bowling which was fun and DJ and the girls did laser tag. We were in bed though by 10:30 and all of us went to sleep quick.

The next morning we were up early for a continental breakfast and back into the water park by 9 a.m. We stayed there until 11 and then packed up and checked out.

We spent some time at the mall and then ate lunch at Friendlys... the kids choice! I went for a grilled chicken breast, cottage cheese and veggies. Yum! We arrived home around 3 and I had to get ready for my 12 hr. shift at work.

We had a great time though and I am so glad we went!! It was perfect!
Pics in the next post!


Quick Post

We are home, but I got called in to work a 12 hr. shift tonight (6p-6a)... Ugh. Wish me luck as I am exhausted, have had no sleep and now will be up til tomorrow a.m. Blah.
Our trip was so fun!! I have ton of pics but will work on getting them posted tomorrow. I will, however, post a bathingsuit one now... I know you're all waiting. haha!

The third one is blurry for some reason.... anyway... here goes...


The dreaded bathing suit shopping trip...

We are going away this weekend and it required that I purchase a bathing suit. The damage done by being MO for most of my 20's was revealed in all it's "glory". I ended up w/ a size 8 top and size 4/6 bottom--a tankini style bathing suit, that "mostly" hid the problem areas. Honestly, it was a horrible experience. I weigh 144 lbs. and still look terrible in a bathing suit. :( My boobs are gone.. and what's left is long and flat. I have always had plenty in that area and now... nothing. It's so weird!!
On top of that, I didn't notice my thighs were looking wrinkley on top, until I tried on the suit. Even my armpits have stretch marks. My belly? Shudders. Let not go there.
Is it some kind of cruel joke, to lose the weight and still look terrible?? I really regret being MO and basically ruining my body by stretching it to the max, b/c now I have two choices. Undergo more surgeries to fix my skin or live w/ it and deal w/ serious body image issues.
My mother is once again driving me bonkers too. She is 50 but has always been thin and pretty and I was always big w/ a "pretty face". I think she liked the fact that I was not her size. Now, I'm smaller and it is driving her insane. I know she's trying hard to be supportive, but she is having a midlife crisis and I get the brunt of it at times. If I say anything about my belly skin, she claims she has it too... or if I say I need my boobs back, she laughs and says.."That's what happens when you get older".. I'm only 29!!!

She was behind me 100% when I had the gastric bypass... what has changed?? We were in a store a few months ago and I needed jeans in a certain size, but needed the short length... all I could find was long... and the sales girl asked me if I needed help. I said, "Yes, I'm looking for size (I think it was a 9 at the time) in the shorter length"... She told me they didn't have any and I said ok thanks. My mom turns around and says to the girl, "Well, we are just happy she's in a size 9!"
Seriously? I asked her what in the world she was doing... and she said, "What? We are!"
She's made comments about me not losing any more weight, and that I better be eating, etc.
Right now, I feel stuck.. I'm in a body that I'm glad is smaller, BUT I'm in a body that looks like it's been in a war. I feel beautiful, and smaller in clothes, but when the clothes come off. Ick. I'm disgusted.
I knew the skin issues would be present, but I really thought that youth would be on my side and I know my skin isn't as bad as some, but it still bothers me.

Anyway... DJ just pulled in and we need to pack and get on the road. I'll be back tomorrow and will post pics of our trip and me in my bathing suit. Oy vey. :)


New friends, and attention...

I started my new job about a week and a half ago, and I work w/ all girls... and they ALL are so nice and accepting of me. They talk to me and ask me questions and tell me they like my hair or my scrubs... that I look pretty and they can't believe I"m 29. They talk about tanning and nails and hair and makeup w/ me. They talk about shopping and their favorite stores, and how they wish they could drop 10 lbs. Yesterday, as another girl and I were transfering a patient she commented on how tiny I was for having 3 kids. I said thank you and quickly changed the subject.
I haven't told anyone about the surgery or about how much weight I've lost because I walked in there weighing 148 lbs. and they are none the wiser. My weight is not an issue anymore. These girls see me and we have things in common... I used to walk into a room and easily be the biggest one there. Now, I'm one of the smallest. The girls include me in their conversations, they accept me.
I'd be lying if I said it didn't feel great. All through Jr. High I was pudgy, and that is when the segregation started. They never said it, but the seperation started then... They'd leave the last chair on the end open for me, then soon, there was no chair, and I was sitting alone. As my weight increased, the popular girls that had been my friends in grade school, started ignoring me. I didn't get invited to the slumber parties anymore...By high school I had two very close friends and we pretty much kept to ourselves. We had friends and I actually was voted senior year to have the prettiest eyes in our class. The three of us won, "Best of friends" too, but it was different. They guys didnt pay attention to me anymore. How many times, I heard, "You have such a beautiful face".... in fact, one upperclassman actually said, "I'd ask her out if she lost some weight. She's beautiful, but...."
So now, I go places and people just automatically accept me. And it isn't b/c of who I am... it is strictly b/c of how I look. As a bigger person I constantly said, "People should know me for me! I'm a great person!" and I was. And those who did take the time to know me, knew that... but I can't help but admit that when you are thinner person, life when it comes to social interaction is a hundred times easier!
When I had first had surgery, and we'd be out to dinner, the waitress would always ask me if something was wrong w/ my food. I'm sure in her mind she thought, that if me, the big girl, didn't clean my plate something was wrong. Now, while I'm 10 lbs from goal, the waitress NEVER says a word or if she does she'll make a joke about huge portions for us litte girls, and bring me a box.
I'm living in a new world!
I am starting to see though, that I am still the same Amber, only better. I am truly rediscovering myself inside and out. In every situation, I am learning new ways to react and behave.
It is all so new and I'm trying hard not to make any more mistakes. I don't want to let the acceptance of other people change me. It does remove a lot of anxiety in social situations though, b/c now I can be confident and be myself and not worry about the way I look. That is a nice feeling.


I see it for possibly the first time.

I've lost 130 lbs. and when I looked at this picture I finally saw it!


Here are some pics from today:
2) Hannah
3)DJ and Me
4) Me, my gram, and my mom
5) Me in my Easter garb. :)
6) Gabe yawning and trying to get away from the camera



So... as far as weight goes... I am 146 lbs today. 136 would put me at a healthy weight for my height. It would be on the high end, but I never went into this wanting to be skin and bones or 100 lbs.
Last night, DJ told me how beautiful I am, and how good I look, but also commented that I am boney and that I'm losing my butt. LOL I am going to change my goal to 136 for now. Especially since I've not had plastics and I know I have at least 10 lbs. of skin that could be removed, meaning that right now I'm more like 136 of actual weight. So.. if I weigh 136 that would probably be 126 for anyone else w/o the skin and that is perfect in my mind. I'm sure I will dip lower anyway before hitting a stable point since I am only 11 months out. I dont' want to be a boney little thing for my husband who wants some junk in the truck! haha!!
I will say though..sit ups are in my future!!

Forgiveness = Freedom

There have been many people in my life that have caused me pain. It started when I was young, and has just continued on. I could make a list and I could honestly say that I have hopelessly struggled to forgive each person. But even though in my mind I knew I needed to forgive, not for them but for me, my heart and gut held bitterness.

When I started on this weight loss journey, I vowed to come out a better person. A better wife, a better mom, the same Amber but better, and though there have bumps along the road, that is still my goal.

The last two years, have brought me some of the biggest trials and challenges of my life, and it has left wounds and scars as well. Some wounds have healed, but others were so deep, that they still feel like they are as fresh and as open and raw, as when they first came. I'll pass the person on the road or will see them out somewhere and instantly my heart starts beating fast, my face turns red and I want to run for cover or I want to charge them and beat the living daylights out of them. LOL. At any rate, I am finally chosing to let go.

Letting go isn't easy of course. That means, no more blame for anything, can be put on them. It means, starting over. It means, I have to just allow them to be human and realize we all make mistakes. It takes time, and it takes chosing forgiveness over hatred, maybe more than one time. When I see them out and those old feelings start to surface, I will have to remind myself that I've forgiven them. I am taking control of me...of my heart and mind and unforgiveness isn't welcome there.

I need a few people to forgive me too. Maybe they already have, I don't know. But I do know that if the opportunity presents itself, I will apologize to those I've wronged.

I feel as if I'm standing at fork in the road. One way is happiness, forgiveness and peace... the pathway is bright and clear and full of blessings. The other is dark, and uphill and winds around in circle, never really going anywhere. It is overgrown w/ thick vines of hatred. It is the path of bitterness and unforgiveness. There is no baggage allowed on the path of forgiveness. It has to be laid down and forgotten. Left behind forever.

I will chose the path of light. This includes forgiving myself. I forgive myself for things I've done wrong, for killing myself slowly with food, for allowing addictions to over take me, for being weak and for giving up. It's ok. It's over now.

Today is a new day. A fresh start.

I love life. I love that I can chose to start over and that it isn't dependant upon anyone else. People will say and do what they want, but I can only control what my reaction is. No more will I let other peoples words, thoughts, actions or feeling dictate what I do in my life.

As I step on the new path, I feel a slight twinge of fear as I lay these things down. It's hard to let go of it all. Though it has wounded me deep and caused pain beyond measure, in a way, it had become my comfort. It was my hurt, it was my pain. It belonged to me. It has become so familiar and though it's slowly been killing me, I've clutched on tighter than ever. As if my hanging on was bringing pain to the other party. No. It never works that way. Lay it down, and walk.

Go. It's time to let go. My fresh start is here.


16 lbs. to go...

16 lbs. to get my goal.
10 lbs will put my BMI at 24.9 and I will be in a healthy weight range.

Those are small numbers. I can't believe how close I am! At the same time what do I do now? What do I focus my attention on after a year of having the surgery and the weight loss be in the forefront of my mind all the time? How do I maintain what I've lost? How often should I weigh myself?

See, I've lived two lives. The "I'm-on-a-diet" life and the "I-can-eat-whatever-I-want,-as-much-as-I-want-b/c-I'm-going-on-a-diet-next-week" life. I've never lived the "I-am-at-a-healthy-weight-and-just-need-to-maintain" life. Ever. I don't know what it feels like or how to act or what to eat or how to live. It's all new. I went on my first diet in 7th grade and even before that I knew I was a chubby girl w/ a round face. When I was 5 years old, I remember my mom telling me that I didn't "need" dessert. Way to go Mom. Thanks for putting your weight/food issues on me... what I was 5!

Anyway, this is a new place for me, and while I still have a few pounds to lose, I want to start getting ready mentally for this new place. One thing I am excited about is getting to buy new clothes and getting to wear them for longer than a month or two if I'm lucky! lol

OH, which reminds me, I put on a size 6 skirt from Old Navy yesterday, that belonged to my bff and it fit perfectly. It was actually kinda loose. I couldn't even wrap my brain around it and decided it was made big. LOL I'm going to go to Old Navy this weekend again and try some stuff on. I need spring/summer clothes and need to get a little at a time so as not to break the bank.

Work is going great. I worked 4 days this week and they tried to call me in again today but I said no. I needed a break. I really like my job, but I am mentally drained after 4 days in a row and my back needs a break too! Since I started there a week ago, I broke my stall and lost 7 lbs. Seriously, that job is like an 8 hr. work out. I come home worn out and drenched in sweat, but in a weird way, it feels good to get moving like that.

We don't have any plans for this weekend, but I thought DJ was going to get the 3 days off,but he's only getting Easter off. It totally sucks, but he's getting paid triple time for today's shift, and then time and half for tomorrow. I guess that helps make up the fact that we can't go anywhere now, like we had planned. We'll have dinner at mom's and an egg hunt for the kids Sunday. :)


130 lbs. GONE

I saw a new low on the scale this a.m. I have lost 130 lbs. in 11 months, 3 days. Wow. :) This is amazing and though it's been so hard at times, physically, mentally, emotionally... I wouldn't change it. This journey is crazy, but so worth it.


I tell you,

I love you girls. Honestly, who knew friends that you meet online could be so wonderful. I am so blessed to have you guys! You're comments were wonderful yesterday and today and I feel so lucky to have you guys... who understand me and love me anyways!! :)

I'm off to work... I'll blog when I get home.

Have a great Monday!! :)


Happy Birthday to Me!

I am 29 today. I am healthier/small than I was when I was 14. In 8th grade I was 146 lbs. and wore a size 11. Today I'm 149ish and in a size 8. Of course I'm taller and I know there is vanity sizing so I know that makes a difference but it is what it is.

This birthday was... umm... interesting. I honestly, wonder if I'm the Debbie Downer that my blog makes me sound like. I do need to say that I don't blog about all teh positives b/c well, we just don't do that... I do have a good life and I'm happy. There are just moments when I need to vent and this blog is for that. So, with that disclaimer out of the way, let me tell you about my day.

I woke up at 7 to a SOAKED Gabe, crawling on me, smacking me in the face to wake up. I get up, get him changed and in the high chair for some breakfast, and make my coffee. While the coffee is going, I notice the garbage is OVERFLOWING on the floor. The garbage that I asked DJ to take out yesterday MORNING. A full 24 hours before. Next, I find a sink full of dirty dishes... a sink that empty when I went to bed. Another mess of DJ's b/c when he comes at midnigth he's hungry and cooks. That's fine... but is it too much to ask, to not wake up to a sink full, well actually a counter-full of dishes?? I started loading the dishwasher and cleaning the kitchen. At this point, I remember reading a blog of a friend of mine who was woken up on her birthday, to breakfast in bed, prepared by her husband and 3 small children.

It wasn't that I wanted that per se... but this was so far to the other extreme...

So, I go to the garbage and try to take it out of the can. Do you think it will budge? I end up beating the can to a pulp and ripping the "heavy duty" strings off completely. At this point, I storm into the livingroom where DJ is AWAKE on the couch, listening to me struggle and yell, "Are you freaking kidding me???" I get a "Huh?"

I just shake my head and go back and finish cleaning the kitchen.

Then I go upstairs...

As if it wasn't a crappy enough morning already... nothing could've prepared me for what happened next.

Now, remember all these things would be a crappy day, but days that we as mothers/wifes often live. There are always messes to clean,etc, but my problem today was that I expected it to be different. I was so wrong for that.

Remember in my entry yesterday where I said the girls were upstairs cleaning thier rooms? Well, that didn't happen. In fact, they are messer now than ever. I stood in the hallway fighting back the tears b/c I feel so overwhelmed.

Next I walk in the bathroom, and find the lid to a $10 bottle of BRAND SPANKING NEW liquid make up sitting on the counter. Where's the bottle of makeup?? After some interogation, I find that Hannah did a "makeover" on Abby, spilled the makeup, and decided to DUMP IT DOWN THE TOILET. Yes, my 9 year old stood over the toilet and poured a brand new bottle of make up down the toilet. Wha???

Just wait, it gets better...

I go down the hallway to my bedroom b/c I need to breath. I find RED LIPSTICK drawings on the walls.

I lose it. I mean I freaking lose it. I collapse into a heap in the bathroom, after locking the door, cranking up the radio and turning on the shower and I bawl.

I'm turning 29, I don't know who I am now, I'm struggling trying to be the perfect mom and wife, I've made a million mistakes in the last year, I just made a career move and started a new job, in a new field, we have no church home anymore, I can't trust any of my friends, I was left out of a huge birthday party for another friend last night (more on that later), I've had medication changes, hormonal changes, I don't know what to eat, or how to eat right... I feel like the whole world is looking at me to see if I can make anything of ME.

I sat on that cold bathroom floor and cried every tear I've held in for the last year. It all came out.

I figured this day would come but I surely didn't think it would be on my birthday. A birthday I was already not looking forward to.

After a few minutes I composed myself enough to explain to DJ why I was having a breakdown and he felt terrible. I felt even worse for letting things effect me like they did, but honestly, I just expected the day to start so different.

I expect other people to be crappy to me, but not DJ and not my kids. Kids are kids... but they have never done stuff like this! So, we finally get out the door for my bday dinner, after Gabe took a big poop on the floor after his bath...

We ended up at O'Charleys and to make a long story less long, I'll just say, the food was gross and I ended up eating 3 onion rings and having a cup of coffee. I brought my food home, chicken and broccoli, and ended up not eating any of the chicken and dumping on the broccoli. How ignorant is it that O'Charleys plain broccoli is 200 calories, and 11 g of fat. No wonder us American's are MO. Seriously, BROCCOLI?? I thought I was making a good choice. Instead, I end up dumping on my bday... not from cake but from broccoli. Only me.

So, see this day hasn't been that wonderful. Now, I'm at home alone w/ the kids. DJ had to work 2nd shift and 3rd shift today. So I'm doing laundry and playing online. I've decided to stay off myspace b/c my friend is posting tons of pictures from R"s bday party last night. Real freaking nice too since she hasn't even bothered to even wish me a happy birthday at all. I guess that's what a 20 year friendship gets you. R has been her friend for 3 months. Wonderful, huh. She could text me this a.m. to tell me how drunk she got last night too, but I guess the words Happy Birthday were too much for her. Eh.

I did get my nails done today and that nice. That gives me a little boost...but honestly, let's just move along. There's nothing more to see here.


I need to stop

posting when I'm exhausted and in a bad mental place. Ha!

I was so tired last night and my SIL wanted me to watch her two kids (19 months and 3months) and my own 19 month old... I had my hands full. It went fine though. The boys played together and I rocked the baby and a few hours later mommy and daddy were back.

Hannah and Abby were off spending the night w/ Grammy and cousins so it was pretty quiet. Gabe fell asleep around 11 and I wasn't too far behind. I think I fell asleep sitting straight up in the rocking chair.

I got up around 7 and got things around for the kids. They had an easter egg hunt at 10 and Awards for their basketball/cheering program at 1. We had lunch at a really great mexican place here in town. I got a fajita supreme and ate about 1/3 of the insides and then ate another 1/3 a few hours later. Now I'm still full and drinking plenty of water.

I'm having a pain in my chest today... I dont' think it's my pouch... I think it's my right lung. It hurts when I breathe, swallow, talk, move...ugh. I woke up really congested this a.m. but most of it has drained. Now my chest hurts.. it's a stabbing pain. No idea what it is. I don't have time to be sick! Tomorrow is my birthday and then I'm working 4 days next week in training, then we are heading to an indoor water park over Easter weekend. No time for sickys!!

It's a weird pain though b/c when I swallow something, I can feel it go down that part of my chest and it makes that stabbing pain go. But also when I cough or breathe it does that...

Pouch or lung.. I dunno, but I just wish it would stop! Ick.

Gabe is napping now and the girls are cleaning... let's pray they actually clean. They are known for getting side tracked! ;)


I thought I was getting freedom..

but I'm thinking, I only got a transfer to another prison.

The old prison?
Low Self Esteem.
Food Obsession.
Food Addiction.
Binge Eating.
Secret Eating.
Trying any and every diet imaginable.

The new prison?
Feeling fat.
Still depressed.
Still have low self estem.
Still angry.
Still obsessed w/ food and binging.
Still trying fad/crash diets.
Still eating in secret.

What's the difference?
1. I'm 120 something pounds lighter.
2. I can't binge to the caloric level I used to.
3. Dumping keeps me from going hog (no pun intended) wild... so far.

Arg! Why is this hitting me now at 11 months post op??? I remember those days when I'd eat a few bites and feel so full and so secure and FULL.

Am I addicted to being "full"?
It isn't about the food. I went for months w/o the food and was fine! I went for months and didn't binge. I didn't eat junk!!

I want to feel FULL. I like that feeling. I like feeling like I'm fulfilled, and when I eat to that point, I'm happy. BUT Then the gas hits, and I feel bloated and gross and jiggly and I start feeling so guilty. And a few times I have purged. But I don't often and honestly I don't like that so I avoid it usually, unless I'm so uncomfortable that I can't bear it.

Do you ever feel like a hamster on a wheel?? Running in circles.

If I obsess about my food and I load it all into fitday or somewhere, it puts food in the forefront of my mind. It makes things worse. For the majority of my weight loss I have not logged food. I ate when I was hungry, I stopped when I wasn't.

The last two months, I've gone backwards. I've eaten in boredom and not working made it easier b/c I have had so much down time at home. Thank god I'm going back to work now and that should help some.

I still feel like I'm trapped. I feel like my body dictates everything I do. That is how I got up to almost 300 lbs. It said eat and I did. It said, eat more and I did. It's talking to me again... how do I make it stop?

The nurse picture

Today was my first day and it went well. I ate poorly, drank too much pop, and am dead tired, but I made it. :)


On track

Everything is great today. I scheduled my 1 year post op appointment for April 17th and talk about getting a kick in the pants...The surgeon doesn't count my pre op weight gain (yes I said gain) in my totals. His start weight for me is 258. This a.m. I weighed 152... which puts me 106 lbs. lost... I really know I've lost 125 lbs. as of today. That sucks. That is what I get for endulging in 19 lbs. of last suppers between my pre op testing day and surgery day. Stupid. That's right folks, I gained 19 lbs. from March 22, 07 to April 16, 07. So stupid. Anyway... the point is... I want to be as close to goal when I go to the doctor as I can be. I know in there eyes I'm still a success but I dunno... I'm weird like that.

Plus I talked to my surgery buddy today and she is 2 lbs. below goal. I'm so happy for her!!

I've been very good today... lotsa protein, fluid and no snacking. :)

The countdown is on!


Ahhhh Chhhoooo!!!

Ugh. Sorry. That's me there. I'm full of congestion and snotting all over the place. Gag....

I'll be so glad when SUMMER gets here!!!

Today I woke up and found (after I dragged the girls out of bed) that we were on, yet another, two hour delay, which means no school for Abby at all. She goes to morning kindergarten and when there is a 2 hr delay there really is no sense in them going at all. Today was supposed to be a make up day for pictures that were snowed out in February. After spending time last night ironing and picking out clothes and fighting over the fact that Abby wanted to wear a skirt but Mommy wanted her to wear some cute kahki pants and deciding on a hair style... all was for nothing when the news came of the dreaded delay. Hannah went ahead and went to school dressed for pictures but who knows if they will even have them. I'm not getting my hopes up at this point.

After getting everyone settled I headed out for my drug screen and physical for my new jay oh bee. I was shocked at how fast I was in and out of there. So fast, in fact, that I was still filling out patient history paperwork, long after my entire exam was over.

It was all pretty cut and dry. I went in, got weighed (155 lbs in clothes, shoes and w/ a full bladder... I'll take it!), and then was measured (5 ft. 2 inches, YAY!), then did a quick eye exam, blood pressure (100/62... the (male) nurse commented that if his bp was that low he'd be passed out somewhere...which was sort of funny (not) since I was just thinking, dang I'm dizzy!), pulse, respirations, etc. Pretty cut and dry exam. Then I went for the drug test, which I of course, made a fool out of myself during.

It's obviously that I've been a stay at home mom for years and this is only the 2nd drug test I've ever taken. The first, being at a factory job I had when Hannah was first born. During that drug screen I peed in a cup and was on my way. No biggie.

This one was different. I felt like a criminal or something. It was odd. First of all, I went into a bathroom stall that had a toilet (that I found had been fixed to not flush) and one sink. Otherwise it was completely bare. No towels, no soap, nothing. Seriously! No soap!! ??? I dont get it. The lady made me leave my purse, coat, etc outside with her and go in alone, with the instructions to fill the cup halfway.

Immediately, my bladder that was full 30 seconds prior, suddenly felt empty. I finally was able to squeeze out the right amount, spilling some on my hand, which I couldn't wash off b/c I wasnt allowed to have soap. Gag.

I get my pants put back in place, and go to open the door to give the lady the "specimen" and suddenly my OCD nature takes over. I'm going to have to open the door w/o using a paper towel shield. It was worse too, knowing that no one that had gone in that bathroom had been able to use soap to wash their hands. I felt like I would throw up. Oh my gawd. Gross.

Toilet paper was the next best thing so I grabbed some, hurried and gave her the pee and asked if I could please wash my hands now. She said, No.

Are you freaking kidding me. Talk about anxiety. Seriously. Gross!

She said I had to watch her seal it and sign for it. So I had to sign her dumb papers and my vials THEN finally I was allowed to wash and go.

That was the most disgusting thing ever. Shudders.

Thank God I wasn't in there long b/c I honestly felt sick when I was leaving. Something about other people's filth makes me ill.

And you might be wondering how I'm going to be a nurse aide if I get this grossed out over this bathroom situation... but here's the difference. When I'm dealing with a patient I am the one in control of the cleanlines of it all. I am the one w/ the disinfectant, gloves, etc. I can set standards that I'm comfortable with and I won't have to come into contact with things like this where I feel out of control.

Anyway... ok so this blog turned all whiney and everything... sorry!

At any rate, I've got all the things done that I need to for my job now. I stopped off on the way home and got my TB test done too and it will be checked at my orientation on Thursday at 11 a.m. I'll be able to pick up hours this weekend! :)

I'm so excited!


Today was weigh in

Morning morning weigh in had me at 153. I'm wasn't surprised. Well actually I did expect it to be higher. At any rate today has been a much better day. I woke up and got straight on the treadmill...even before I had coffee and hammered out my 2 miles in about 30 mins. Of course, that isn't wonderful, but it's a start and for my short little legs, it's a good workout. I even ran for about 3 mins of it non stop and then jogged a bit here and there throughout the rest. I felt 1000 times better after I did that.
I came downstairs and DJ had brought me a sf nf irish cream latte and I sipped on that w/ a strawberry protein shake. It feels good to be in the drivers seat again.
I had planned on doing all liquids, but DJ insisted on going to Chinese for lunch. I told myself, I could go, but only if I was good and stuck to proteins and nothing fried. I did great. :)
After lunch, I went tanning and then came home and cleaned up the house a bit. Now everyone is napping, except me obviously. I dont feel tired at all. :) I love how exercise makes me feel. Just overall, amazing. (Ahh.. Remember that Amber!!)
DJ is working 2nd shift this week, covering for a guy on vacation so dinner should be easy. I can throw something together for the kids and something WLS friendly for me. I think I'll make wheat pasta w/ lean beef spaghetti for dinner. That way if I decide I want to eat a meal, I can have some of that or I can just have a protein shake if I dont feel hungry.
I was thinking about how obsessed I've become w/ food lately and how in the long run, I do think that hurts me. I wasn't like that at all during the biggest part of my weight loss. I followed the rules. No eating and drinking at the same time, protein first, etc.... That is what I need to get back to and I'm doing pretty darn good today. And exercise. It's key. As much as I wish I could do this without it... haha I KNOW that I must.
I'm almost 11 months out... Only 7 months left of the "honeymoon"... what a waste it would be for me to let snacking ruin this oppurtunity for me now. I'm determined to not let it.
I am in control.


No more.


2 miles on treadmill.



Enough is enough.

Good afternoon...

Well this is attempt two at this post since Gabe hopped up here and deleted the first one somehow. Boo.

We are potty training... Right now we have a nakey butt running around the house, but actually making decent progress.
Pee on the potty: 1
Pee on mommy's floor: 1/2 (as we were running toward toliet)
Pee in tiny potty chair: 0
Pee in pullup: 1

This is my third child so I know this is only the beginning and we have a long road ahead of us. He is only 19 months old, which is young IMO, BUT he a few weeks ago he started saying "Poop" and pointing when he had gone. Last week, he started saying "Pee Pee", then would rip his diaper off and pee wherever he was standing. I figured if he could do those two things, we might as well give it a shot.

What else do we have to do during the Blizzard of 08 anyway??

We did take a short trip out earlier. We ate some salad and pizza, and then stopped and bought potty training supplies. DJ is at work now, and since my Expedition is better in the snow, than his little Honda Civic, I'm basically stuck here b/c he of course, took my 4 wheel drive.

I've done ok eatingwise today. You know, it's funny. You go for days, feeling like a bottomless pit, then bam, out of no where, restriction. I won't try to figure it out, and I surely won't complain about it, but it feels awesome to not feel hungry again. I fear if I dont' get below 150 AND STAY THERE, I may crack! ;)


The heavens opened...

and dropped about 14 inches of snow on us... so far... it's still coming down. Blah! We may not get out of this house again until May! LOL

I have been in hibernation it feels like, eat, sleep, repeat! ;)

My good news?

I got the job I wanted! Woot! It is a PRN position and pays $5 more per hour than what the nursing home in my hometowns pays for the same position!! I am so excited. I call Monday to set up my drug test and physical time and then will have orientation soon after! :) Yay!

DJ is working a ton this week too and so we are going to finally have a huge boost in our financies. I'm excited. We have a plan to pay all of our bills off, get our savings built back up (eventually to 3 months of expenses) and eventually buy a house. All of our goals are finally seeming to be attainable! It's exciting.

We are also taking the kids for night at Kalahari over Easter weekend.


Can I just say that....

this was the BEST American Idol performance... I am still watching it... haha!

Exciting News

I went to my interview and I'm pretty confident that I'm going to have the job offered to me today!! Yippee!!

I will post details later after she calls me this afternoon. It's good stuff though I tell ya!!

In other news, there is a *&#(*& snow storm coming in....8-14 inches of snow are being forcasted. Oh my gawd.... Take me somewhere sunny and warm PLEASE!! I am sick of winter. Sick. Of. It. Boo.

I went tanning last night and am going to go again this afternoon. It does help my mood little... I just close my eyes and pretend I'm on a beach somewhere. he he.

I am trying to hang out on WLS boards as much as possible to try to keep myself focused. I am amazed at how much I can eat now. It's like I just woke up one morning and bam! I can eat. It sucks. I did get full quick on chicken the other night, and I can't eat a huge quanity of food at one time, but I definately can get a lot of calories in by grazing... and slider foods. I'm almost 11 months out so I guess I knew this was coming. I already miss those days of being super tight and restricted. And it sucks to actually feel hunger again. I didn't miss it!

There's been a lot of talk about ED and things and WLS and I know I'm another who has dabbled in ED behaviors my entire life. Binge eating being the biggest as well as purging occasionally (but not a ton) and the chew and spit thing from time to time. Ick. I don't think it's a huge problem right now, but last night as I was scanning the kitchen for something. yummy. to. put. in. my. pie. hole. I realized I wasn't even hungry, but I had this URGE to put stuff in my mouth as fast as possible.

Yay. ED. I'm sure of it. Some type of OCD tendency...I have the compulsion over take me to EAT EAT EAT and it is hard to fight! I ended up w/ a spoon in the freezer tasting the strawberry cheesecake ice cream the girls had begged for earlier. I stopped after 3 bites, but, threw a small handful of goldfish in my mouth before leaving the kitchen.

Do all post ops do this?

Sometimes I feel like a failure already b/c I'm still 20 lbs over goal and haven't lost a lb. in 6 weeks. I feel like a failure when I look down and see I've eaten almost all of dinner, after being used to getting full after 2 bites. I feel like a failure when I feel hungry. My mind automatically says, "This time isn't any different than the other bajillion times you've lost weight and you will gain it all back plus some."


I thought the beginning of this journey was hard. I was so wrong. THIS is what's hard. I'm almost at goal.. now what?

It's no wonder people regain weight. Besides the inital FORECED weight loss, the rest really is up to us. It isn't a magic pill. It isn't butterflies and sunshine.
It's hardwork. It's facing demons. It's discipling yourself. It's so many things.

I was watching Celebrity Rehab the other night (yeah train wreck from what I've seen) but Dr. Drew said to one of the girls... "Most people I have to convince that they aren't as strong as they think they are. That they are human and will fail if they don't stick w/ the program and the "rules" set before them. But with you, I have to convince you that you are stronger than you think. You are stronger than the *insert vice*... You really, truly are. Now you need to wake up and realize it."

Interesting, and I wonder which group I'm in?

At times, I say I'm strong! I can do this... but then at 11 p.m. I'm hiding in the kitchen w/ a spoon in the ice cream. Other times, I say I'm weak, and crack down on myself only to find that I have a perfect eating day including fluids, vitamins and exercise, but it's motivated by the fear of failure. The next morning it's back to square one again.

I do have to admit though, that I have made some HUGE lifestyle changes for me and our entire family. I am buying more healthier foods and less junk. I am cooking more, and cooking healthier, using more whole, organic ingredients and really trying to be present in what I eat and in what my family is eating.

I refuse to feed my kids fast food if I can help it and when we do out they eat fruit instead of fries and drink milk instead of pop. I am making progress.

In all of this, my motivation has been weight loss, but now I need to switch my focus more to health, and honestly I think that may help w/ my struggles w/ eating/ not eating. Perhaps, if I say to myself, "Amber this ice cream is not healthy for your body. Drink some hot tea instead." I will do it, for my health. I know that saying, "Hey Fatty, if you eat this, you are going to be up 5 lbs on the scale tomorrow" doesn't stop me. In fact, it makes it worse.

Mind set! Mind set. Mind set?


Oh, it's a never ending battle, but I promise to myself that even if I'm not perfect, I won't stop trying to win this battle. It will be lifelong, but in the end I want to look back and know that I fought back. That I tried. That I cared enough about me and my family to take a stand against these food demons.

And on that note, I'm off to get Abby off the bus and make lunch. :)


A light at the end of the tunnel...

My moments of feeling headachy and having dizzy spells are lessening and I am so glad. I've felt pretty good for most of the day today. I've still taken it easy but I think I am making some progress finally in this medicine withdrawl deal. Thank God.

The kids were home from school again today b/c of a huge ice storm that moved in during the night last night. I'm sure they'll head back tomorrow though. I also have my interview tomorrow afternoon. DJ is on super overtime this week and during the weekend so I am hoping I keep feeling better and better everyday so that I will be ok with the kids here alone.

Eating today hasn't been wonderful. I'm probably going to end up around 1500 calories b/c of a small problem staying out of the Cheezits today. Luckily they are gone and aren't there to tempt me anymore. I did however on the other hand, manage to get in about 60 oz of fluids so far and still have 4 hrs before bed to drink more so that is a plus. :)

Not much else going on besides the usual. I did get into a heated arguement today w/ one my closet friends b/c she decided that I wasnt' giving enough to the relationship and that I've changed too much adn that she doesn't know me anymore... After an hour and thirty minute conversation we finally worked things out, but it wasnt' pretty. I stood my ground though and let her know that I wasn't letting ppl walk on me anymore and if they didn't like who I am now, then tough.

I hate that it has to come to that point with some people, but honestly, there are some who just are not happy with the changes. They liked me being weak and easily swayed. I would say or do anything to make peace even if that meant selling myself out. That has ended and some of my friends don't like it. Guess they have to deal or find a new friend. Right?


OH! American Idol last night!! David Cook... Omg... AWESOME!!! I LOVED it. I didn't care for that guy one bit before last night, but when I watched that performance I was in tears. It was probably one of the best performances I've seen on American Idol EVER. My other favorite performances are.... Kelly Clarkson singing, "A Moment Like This", Fantasia singing, "Summertime", Jennifer Hudson, "I Have Nothing", Blake Lewis, "You Give Love A Bad Name", and now add this one... David Cook, "Hello".

:) Just my opinions.


Can I just say, I don't know what the heck is going on...

I swear I am going through Effexor withdrawl and it is horrible. On top of that I also suspect we are passing a bug around this house. Hannah came home from school this afternoon with a horrible headache. I've had a headache since last Friday. Non-stop, and I'm getting pissed.

I'm so irratated right now...aggitated....on edge. I feel like I could snap and go bonkers any moment. I can't stand anyone touching me or even talking to me for that matter.

UGH! Stupid medicine!! This is not me. Today is day 5....According to what I've read.. most withdraw ends around day 14. I'm not even half way.

I did read where someone took Benedryl to help w/ the headache/dizziness/weirdness and since I also woke up totally congested this morning (related to withdraw or a cold..??) I decided it wouldn't hurt to try. Amazingly, after taking it I felt mostly ok and got up and made dinner. Now, that is when the aggitation set in, but the dizziness is better. I'll be so glad when this is over and I swear to God I will never blindly take a medicine again. I don't care what it is. THIS sucks.

We are getting an ice storm tonight, and with my luck the kids will be out of school and home all day tomorrow. Oh my gawd. I will definately have to pull out the puzzles and board games and movies and anything else I can find to keep them busy. Winter needs to end.

Now for some positive news... I was 149 on the scale this a.m. and my food intake has been awesome the last couple days. Go me. :)


The Plague...

So the horrible headache, body aches, and overall sick feeling I had Friday and Saturday may not have medicine withdrawl afterall! It is some sort of weird flu. DJ has it now. The headache, the dizziness, the icky feeling... all of it. And Hannah woke up this morning, complaining that her head is "pounding"... Here we go again. One plus, is that I feel totally better now and yesterday I felt better as the day went on... It seems to be a 24-48 hr. thing. Whatever it is. Blah! I'm just happy there is no puke involved this time!

The scale was kind to me this morning. 150.4. Yay! We are going in the right direction again friends!

I put a lot of effort into getting in all of my vitamins and meds this weekend and plan to keep that going. I also plan on buckling down on my plan today too. I plan on re-reading those 8 points in my last post. They really hit home w/ me and I plan on putting them into action in my life. I will drink 64 oz of water today, plus my other beverages and I will not snack or eat junk carbs.

Here's the plan:
b: coffee, weight control oatmeal
l: turkey, cheese and mustard--1 harb boiled egg--a few bites of fruit
d: chicken and zucchini thing :)

I will post totals at the end of the day!

The treadmill is calling my name too. I plan on doing at least 15 mins and will work towards getting back up to my 2 miles that I was doing when I first had surgery.

It's a new day! :)

Good luck everyone!


Good Stuff...

While reading another sassy sisters blog I found this and want to share.

From the book: Judith Beck, The Beck Diet Solution.

1) Confusing hunger with the desire to eat. Solution: learn the difference between true physical hunger and cravings that are triggered by the sight, smell or thought of food.

2) Have a low tolerance for hunger and cravings. Solution: learn that the desire to eat is not an emergency and does not have to be immediately satisfied.

3) Enjoying the feeling of being very full. Solution: learn to change your mindset so that you feel good about being reasonably full at the end of a meal.

4) Fooling yourself about how much you are eating. Solution: learn to respond to the voice in your head that tells you that crumbs on the cake plate, eating over the sink, eating on vacation, etc. really doesn't count and the voice that says 'since I strayed from my diet, I may as well blow the whole day and go get a pizza.'

5) Comforting yourself with food. Solution: learn to calm yourself in other ways; distraction, relaxation, try to solve the problems associated with the negative emotions in the first place.

6) Feeling helpless and hopeless with you gain weight. Solution: learn that you don't have to make yourself feel demoralized when you go off your plan and learn how to quickly recommit to your diet.

7) Focusing on issues of 'unfairness" (that others can eat lots of food and not seem to have a weight problem). Solution: Realize that thin people who don't have to work at staying thin generally have small appetities, don't eat unless they are hungry and get sufficient exercise. They rest of them are incredibly careful about what they eat. Learn to accept the new ways of eating you have to impose on yourself to reap the rewards of losing weight.

8) Stopping dieting once weight is lost. Solution: This just leads to yo-yo weight gain if you go back to the eating patterns you had before. Lifetime skills to maintain weight loss are planning what you eat, choosing healthy foods, resisting cravings, soothing yourself without turning to food, using good eating habits, exercising and countering sabotaging thoughts that would otherwise lead to overeating, demoralization and giving up.

Lazy Sunday

My favorite day of the week. :)

I hopped on the scale this a.m. 151.8. I'll take it. I'm off the Effexor completely now at this point. I haven't take a pill for two days now and I'm ok, considering the other things I've been "sick" with this week. Yesterday, I had a horrible horrible headache, and now this a.m. I've got a nice rebound headache from all the pain meds I took yesterday. Blah. So...I started the Wellbutrin though and I think that is helping me not have horrible withdraw. Thank God.

I started back on my daily vitamins regimine. I had slacked on it and was only taking a multivitamin and B12 most days. Now I'm back to calcium, D3 and B12 in the a.m. and then multi, iron and my meds at night.

I'm also going on day 3 of no smoking. Yay me! I feel like I'm getting back on the right track now. Next, I'm really going to focus on getting my protein in and keeping my hands out of the junk food. Thank god my tool is working or I'm sure I would've had a huge gain by now, considering all the snacking I've done lately while on that med. I do see a light at the end of the tunnel though!

DJ's sister and her husband and kids came over last night and we really had a nice night. We took the kids to a pizza place and then came back to our house and hung out and then later watched a movie. The kids were pretty good although Timmy bit Gabe on the face and left a huge mark. Poor baby. The boys are only 3 weeks apart so I'm sure this is just one of the many injuries they'll give each other in the next 18 years. ;)


I haven't smoked a whole cig since last Monday and during that time I lit up twice, but put it out both times after 1 or 2 puffs. Yesterday and today I've had nothing so I'm good to go!

I still feel sick. I had a terrible migraine hit this a.m. Blah! The UTI feels better though and TOM has left the building, so by tomorrow I should be feeling much better. I have noticed some dizziness today on and off, but I think adding the Wellbutrin while stopping the Effexor is alieviating some of the withdraw symptoms. I sure hope so.

Food hasn't been great today. I had a shake, a latte, hot tea, 1/2 can of dt. dew, some teddy grahams, a laughing cow cheese wedge w/ 4 ritz crackers, a bite of boiled cabbage, a svg of cinnamon sunchips, a lean pocket, and a couple bites of cinnamon toast crunch cereal. Blah. Talk about grazing. I, of course, did not eat this all at once, it was just little trips to the kitchen here and there and before I knew it, within 3 hrs. it was down the hatch. This, my friends, is why grazing is BAD BAD BAD. I'm not even feeling hungry. Just bored and sick and looking for comfort. Old habits die hard. BUT, at least I am recognizing it and trying to stop it. The rest of day will be supper and no snacking.