Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Early New Year

There was no cooking tonight. I'm probably not going to cook again until Friday night. Tomorrow we are going to Ben's brothers house for chili. I wanted to give Ben's mom a rest since she has really been in the kitchen helping me quite a bit.

We went to church, then out to dinner, and to see a park with a bunch of lights. It was really great. Today Ben's mom gave me a mini-makeover, and I really enjoyed how she did my eyes. She said that my eyes and cheekbones are my most prominent and best features.

I'm ready for 2009!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spinach and Bacon Pasta Toss:

Easy Potato Bake:

The Pineapple Casserole: (See recipe in post below)

The food turned out really good. I was certainly pleased. One big thing I need to work on is timing. It has been easy with the timing because Ben's mom is so good at making that happen. I know this will be an issue on my own.

I talked with Ben tonight about something that he has been doing that makes me feel self-conscious. He keeps rubbing my middle area and grabbing that area. It is always done in a loving-flirting-romantic way. I told him that it made me self-conscious because it was an area of my body that I could not fix without having surgery. He reassured me that he loves my body, and likes every bit of me. Wow...I am so blessed!

Part of Dinner Tonight....

Pineapple Casserole

2 (16 oz) cans of pineapple tidbits/chunks (drained)
1 cup of sugar
1 cup grated cheddar cheese (medium)
3/4 cup of flour

1 stack Ritz crackers
1 stick of butter

Mix first four ingredients. Pour into a greased casserole dish. Cruble Ritz crackers. Mix with melted butter on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.

I'm really going to have to reign in after I get back from North Carolina! Yikes! I am having a whole lot of carbs. Right now I am making these recipes with regular pasta. When I start making recipes back in Kentucky, I'll only be using the Dreamfields pasta. I am eating regular whole wheat bread here, while in Kentucky I eat low carb bread. It is little things like that that I think (know) are really adding up.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Starting Early on the New Year's Resolution

I made dinner tonight for Ben's family! Wooo Hoooo! I am using the Kraft Foods Website to find recipes to start off. The recipes are not that complicated, and for now, I think it is a perfect match for me.

The main dish was Spaghetti Bake. I added pepperoni to it because many of the commenters said they added it, and it really complimented the dish.

I am trying to decide what I am going to cook for tomorrow night. My goal is to cook each night, until we go back to Kentucky. Once back in Kentucky, my goal is to make a new dish each week.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

My New Year's Resolution

I am not big on making New Year's Resolutions. I have one firm resolution that I want to make for the 2009 year. I need to learn how to cook. Lucky for you readers that Ben and I will be the main guinea pigs for consuming these dishes. I am not setting out to make grand dishes, but learn some basic quick dishes that I can eat on throughout the week. I am thinking along the lines of casseroles, soups, etc.

I am going to need some accountability for this process. I am going to post pictures and recipes of the dishes that I make. I cannot promise that they will all be low-calorie. I am going for dishes that will first and foremost be DS friendly. Yet, I will be venturing out as well, since I am more in the weight loss maintaining mode. I know I need to learn how to do this, and I am looking forward to the opportunity to try.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Posting from North Carolina.....

Well, it is time for the weight loss advertisements to fill our screens. I watched one on Slim-Fast this evening. I will NEVER use this product, even if I need to drop the pounds. They showed a woman on there who was a very healthy BMI, and she was their subject of losing weight. While I realize their primary target is for people who need to lose 10-15 pounds, this is ridiculous.

I found a new love this evening: cranberry salad. It was mixed with several things. I was so excited to try this. One thing that I've been proud of myself on this trip is that I've not been focusing on eating desserts, I have had much more complex carbs. I'm ok with that right now. (Of course that is easy to say since I don't have easy access to a scale.)

Friday, December 26, 2008

21 Months Post Op

Happy 21 Months Post-Op to me! :) I don't really have anything exciting to report. My weight has maintained at 140. I have pretty much been able to eat what I want. (I always follow the protein first mantra though!)

I decided that finishing the rest of Season 3 of 24 was more important than packing, so I must do that ASAP now. I will be posting more once I am in North Carolina. Sorry for so many short posts lately.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas...Blog and Run!

I need to pack! We leave in the morning for North Carolina. I haven't packed anything. (Hmmm, starting to be a trend here!)

Today was full of good times with relatives. It was so weird hearing people call me skinny today. I loved it!

I hope everyone enjoyed the time with their family.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Great Quote

Losing weight is hard.
Gaining weight is hard.
Maintaining is hard.
Pick your hard.

(Note: This was a comment on a blogger's post. The commenter was anonymous, so I do not have anyone to give credit to.)

Twas the Night Before Christmas...

Ben says the sweetest things to me. He was just staring at me and says, "Look at this perfect ear. Wait, it is attached to a perfect face, and that face is attached to a perfect body." I have a man who thinks that I have a perfect body. Seriously, I NEVER thought I would hear those words coming from a man's mouth. That is a WOW in and of itself! :)

Nothing of note going on right now. Ben and I had my family Christmas gathering last night. I had a really good time at that. Today we went to Christmas Eve candlelight service, and then to a buffet at a local restaurant. The food was so good!

Ben and I exchanged Christmas gifts. We had bought gifts for students in my class, so our gifts were very small but meaningful. Ben makes things out of coat hangers, and he made me a really pretty basket. He filled it with stuff from Bath and Body Works, along with my favorite Sugar Free Dove Dark Chocolates (with Mint), and Buckeyes from Cracker Barrel. He seemed to really like my gift as well.

Merry Christmas to all! :) My electric blanket is calling my name.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

It Is MY turn....FINALLY!!!

Every since I have completed college, and started teaching, I've gone to holiday events ALONE. I never seemed to be dating anyone around the holidays. Easter and Thanksgiving are not that bad, but Christmas was always the "toughest" one for me. I'm not talking about going to extended relatives homes, but my own family. Since you know how much I struggle with my dad's side of the family, that statement may come as a shock.

Here has been the scene for the past seven years at my parent's home at sister and her husband (now her ex, so she brings the guy she lives with), my brother with his girlfriend who later became his wife, and me sitting with my parents. Everybody is enjoying the time together, but they all have their significant other, except me. Talk about feeling like a third wheel, every year I felt this way.

Finally, this year, I get to bring my significant other! Ben gets to come to my family's Christmas. I am so excited to have him there by my side. It has been a long time coming, and I'm going to enjoy my turn!

A trip back in time: December 21st, 2007 I weighed 215 pounds! It feels good going to Christmas this year with 75 pounds less on my body!

Lazy Day

I have nothing to do today until 4:30 this afternoon. Life is good. My weight is maintaining, and that makes me very happy. I am going to veg out and watch a bunch of episodes of 24. I am addicted to this show.

Talks are starting to get serious between Ben and I as far as considering marriage. This has me thinking about my weight. I am happy with my weight where it is, but if Ben does ask me to get married, I would like to lose at least ten more pounds. I am only getting married one time, and I want to look beyond sensational for my wedding photos! Here is the thing, I know that Ben loves me exactly how I look, so it is not any pressure from him. It is just me, acting like any other (potential) bride to be, wanting to lose a few pounds before her wedding day. One thing is for certain, my dress will have SLEEVES on it!

There is also the issue of when I will tell Ben's family about my DS. Ben says that choice is completely up to me. He doesn't care if I tell them or not. I think at some point I will want to tell them and clear the air. They already know I have lost a lot of weight. When Ben and I first started dating, he had commented to his mom about the loose skin by my arms. Ben's mom told Ben's sister-in-law, and she said, "That means that she has lost a lot of weight." It is not an issue right now, because I know I am not telling them over Christmas break.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Back from my MRI

My MRI went fine today. It wasn't a big deal at all. I also have decided that Ben is right. I can fall asleep anywhere under almost any circumstance. I fell asleep during my MRI, with those loud noises. The guy was funny saying, "Sorry I had to wake you up." :)

I was thinking about why I had never had an MRI/CT Scan done before. I've suffered with migraines for a long time. I had very good doctors who were truly seeking a way for me to find some relief. I have decided that the doctors were too "kind" to tell me that I was too big for an MRI. I was looking at that machine, and there would have been no way I could have gotten in it as a pre-op. The weight limit on the machine was 300 pounds. Weight limit aside, just judging by the width, I could not have fit in it.

I won't forget when I was having trouble with my left ankle (I broke it in 1998) back in 2005. I went to a specialist, who wanted to take some special pictures of it. The lady looked at my weight and said I couldn't lay on the table, because I could possibly break it. I was so mortified. I had to sit in a chair and contort by body so that the proper x-rays could be taken.

Now I'm going to catch a short nap before afternoon festivities begin.

How Facebook Has Helped Me (Weird Post)

Ok, it is early....and this post is going to be weird in general, but here goes.

I was the fattest girl in middle and high school. I can only imagine that quite a few times a phrase something along this line was uttered, "Well, at least you aren't as big as Tiffany." Healing how I view myself is really taking some work. I joined Facebook a few months back. I like it much better than MySpace, and it is great to what is going on in the lives of former high school and college classmates.

In high school and college I used to look at some of these thin girls and put them up on a pedestal. I've been looking at quite a few of the pictures of people lately. I've noticed several things. 1. Many of them aren't really that small. They simply looked so small because of how huge I was. 2. I can tell that many of them have struggled with their weight as well. (People post pictures of themselves over the years, not just currently.) 3. I have compared myself to them, and I realize that I'm not that much different looking than they are. (I have pulled up a picture of me and put it side by side on the computer of some of the friends I have on Facebook.)

I still have a problem with the images I see on my camera. At almost 21 months post op, I can still look at a picture and go, " that me?" People around me are starting to get acclimated to how I look. I like that. I like that the first subject brought up is not, "How much weight have you lost now?"

Speaking of Facebook, I got a private message from a girl I knew in high school asking how I had lost the weight, and that she was happy for me. She was a very sweet girl, so I will be responding to it soon. :)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Something is Off....

I'm not one to run to the doctor about everything, but since having the DS, I have realized the importance of staying on top of everything health wise. My stomach is really hurting me. This has been happening for the past several days. It is painful to eat much, even basics like soups. I'm giving it until Tuesday morning, and if I'm not better I am going to my PCP.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Picture from the Wedding

I got my hair done today, and I feel so much better. The wedding was beautiful, and I had a great time with Ben.
The mental war was FIERCE at the reception. I was really comparing myself to the other girls. It was to the point where it was affecting my enjoyment of the reception. I also had a bit of a crying spell afterwards because of "missing" Ben. I've been able to see Ben a lot (and will be over the next few days), but we are not getting to do a lot of things alone. I like hanging out with others, but I need my one on one time with Ben.

Winter Break Begins

I am officially on winter break. I had a good day with my students yesterday. Last night I watched the boys from Canada.

I am getting ready to go get my hair cut and highlighted. I was going to try to "rough" it out until I was able to go the the fancy place, but that won't be until February 6th. I can't rough it that long, I will go crazy.

I love Banana Scream protein shakes. I found sugar-free strawberry syrup last night. I am looking forward to adding strawberry to the mix this morning.

I sometimes think that people are waiting for former SSMO people to return to their previous weight. I guess that statistically most people do. I just feel that some people see me through a different lens. I love that there are some people at my job who don't know that I used to be fat. I don't worry about my actions as much around these people than I do others.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Amazing Night!!! Photo Post!


Last night my mom said that I could probably wear fit into her wedding dress. I laughed at my mom, thinking she weighed about 80 pounds when she got married. She said she weighed around 120. When I told her my weight, she didn't believe me. She made me get the scale and show it to her! :)

Sleeping last night with the electric blanket was heaven. This will be a staple at my house for the rest of winter. I keep my heat cranked anyway, since I have low utility bills.

Pasta Queen was talking on her blog about being addicted to food. There are some days that I feel the same way. For example, yesterday we had breakfast provided at our school. I was not hungry, but I wondered into the lounge "just to see" what they had. Even though I wasn't hungry, I ended up having one piece of toast and jelly. I knew better than to even go into the lounge, yet I did.

Ok, seriously have to kick it into high gear and get to work. Happy days to you all!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Time Escapes Always....

I never seem to have enough of it! (Yet, who really does?) I went to my mom's house tonight to work on scrapbooking things for Christmas gifts. We got three of them done, and one more is in the works. I just got in a few minutes ago.

I am letting my electric blanket warm up as I blog. I am excited to get under the covers very soon!

Eating is not going so hot. The scale is UP. Not a big up, but any UPs worry me. I know I am making some crappy choices, and I am not pleased with myself for doing that.

Tomorrow night is my students big ballroom dance performance. They are very excited about the performance, and I know it will be a big hit. I am so proud to be a part of this.

Tired...need sleep!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

So Excited!!!

I'm waiting on Ben to get here. We are going to take one of my students out Christmas shopping. This boy is so precious, and I'm delighted that we can be a blessing to him. Pictures tonight!!!


Monday, December 15, 2008

It Would Be Nice...

I don't want a snow day, but a delay would be nice. :) We have to be at work at our regular time on delay days, but it would allow me two hours to work on things that I need to get done before the Christmas break.

Here is hoping!


I had a piece of cake last night with cream cheese frosting. Where has this stuff been all my life? It was HEAVEN!!!

Remember how I ate at the place on Friday night that was heaven, but I couldn't recall the name? It is Calistoga. Even better...they do have one in Louisville! :) Last night, after we went to a party, Ben and I went there. I remembered that there was a new restaurant in an area we frequent, but I couldn't remember the name of it. I was so excited when I saw what it was!

I am so thrilled because there is NO GED classes this week. I get to come home at a decent hour. Woot!!!

Ok, time to get ready for work.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Good Times

I had such a great time with my two best friends in Lexington last night and today. I was pretty tired in the morning, even thinking of canceling, but by the afternoon I was pumped and excited to be heading out of town.

I tried on two really nice dresses at the Talbots Outlet Store. I have learned that I need to try on dresses with Spanx from now on. I really thought I might have liked these, had I seen how Spanx could smooth out some of my wrinkles. Since I couldn't see that, I decided not to buy the dresses. While I love Spanx, I don't ever want to make them a daily part of my wardrobe. I don't see the problem with wearing them on occasion to make a fitting dress look better.

A Note on Rudeness...

We are standing in a checkout line, and this lady asks my friend Penny if
she could wear the 1X PJs, since her daughter was about Penny's size.
Penny was trying to be very polite, but she kept pushing the conversation.
She asked what size Penny wore in clothing too. Here is the thing...I've
done this before, mainly when I was shopping for skinny friends, and I had no
clue what size they might wear. Yet, I was discrete about the whole
matter. This lady was NOT discrete. I am proud of how my friend handled this whole situation, but it was not an easy one.

We ate at a place that is similar to Panera Bread, but much more gourmet! It was so good. They do not have any locations in Louisville. :( I cannot think of the name of it for the life of me!

Ben and I went to Murder Mystery Dinner Theater tonight. We had a great time. He also surprised me with ordered tickets for us to see Bill Cosby in January! I LOVE Bill Cosby!!! Woooo Hoooo!!! :)

Friday, December 12, 2008

So Glad It is Friday!!!

I am so ready for the weekend!!! I know I still have today to get through, but I want my weekend! :)

After school I am meeting my friend Wendy to do our Christmas present exchange, and have an early dinner. (Fried zucchini!!!!) Then I am off to Lexington to spend the night with my best girlfriends. We got a hotel with a pool, so I am pumped about that! :) I am so happy that I can spend time with them.

Ok, back to bed. I've got another hour and a half that I'm going to sleep before I officially start this day.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Early Thoughts

I picked up the Christmas cards that I had made of Ben and I. They turned out really nice, and they were not that expensive. I will take a picture of one of them and post it up this weekend.

Last night Ben said to me, "Wow....I've got a supermodel sitting in my lap." He says sweet things like this all the time to me. It really makes me feel so loved.

One thing I've been meaning to blog about, but keep forgetting to do so.....another small way that people view you when you are no overweight. When I order dessert, I don't get strange looks, or even comments (you know how bold and brazen some people are). Last night I ordered a slice of cheesecake, and didn't worry about what others thought about me. Would I still do it with I was SSMO? Yes, but it often depended if I felt I was in the company of those who wouldn't judge me. Now, I just seem normal when I get something like that.

The next seven days at work are going to be a challenge. The kids are revved up to say the least. I've been keeping my kids in line, but I must say that it is a whole lot more WORK than it typically is.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Photo Post!!! Our Christmas Photos!!!

Did I forget to mention that I am IN LOVE with this man???!!!

I'll Post Tonight....

I kept setting my alarm later and later. I now have to get in high gear and head to work. I'll post tonight!

Have a great day!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Antcipation.....So Much to Look Forward To!!!

I had said this month was going to be jam packed! There is so much to look forward to, here are the highlights: (Did I mention I have to squeeze work in between all these activities?)

Overnight with my best friends in a hotel in Lexington
Murder Mystery Dinner Theater
The 1st Birthday of Our Friend's Kid
My Student's Ballroom Dance Recital
My Z Spa and Salon Hair/Makeup Consult
Seeing the family I watch from Canada
Seeing Our Friends Wedding
3 Holiday Nursing Home Special Services (with Ben)
Hopefully a Dental Cleaning (I'm on the call list)
One Work Party
My Family's Christmas
Church on Christmas Eve and Dinner at a local restaurant
Christmas Day visit my grandmother and entertain the Soldier we are adopting for the day
Day after Christmas leave for North Carolina until January 4th!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Bias in Posting

We interrupt this blog for....

this blogger who has fallen head over heels in L-O-V-E!!!

Sorry guys, you may see more of a tilt for a bit to my love life in this blog. I am so in love with Ben! :) Life is so grand!

Today was church, then lunch at Cracker Barrel. I got hardly any sleep last night, so I am going to sleep now, and will hopefully sleep a good bit. I surely need it.


Ben and I had a great time this evening! We went to see Into the Woods at a local high school, then to dinner at Red Robbin. Afterwards, we talked for some bit at his apartment. We tried to get our picture taken in front of the tree, but Aaron was not home. I had told Ben this afternoon that I had brought my fat pants for him to see. We got so involved in our conversation that I forgot about them. He knows I want to show them to him, and I will do so very soon.

It took awhile to get to support group lunch because I was in traffic for fifty minutes. I made it, only 30 minutes late though. I will post pictures of that soon.

Another Mastercard moment...being given clothes from my aunt that were too small for her, and 80% of them are too big for me. PRICELESS!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

It is Happening Tonight...

I've thought about this for some time, but tonight is the night. I've wanted to show Ben my clothes as a pre-op. (I have only kept one pair of pants, and one top.) He has seen pictures of me at my heaviest, but I know I need to do this. I cannot fully even explain why. I think it is one thing seeing a picture of something, then seeing something in real life. In a personal way, the fact that I am showing him this will bring some personal healing to my soul. It is huge to trust him with this, but I know I am in good hands.

I'm getting ready to leave to go have a late lunch with my DS support group. It will be great seeing everyone before Christmas break. I've learned a lot from these fantastic people. The rest of the evening will be pretty busy as well. I'll post more later.

Pure Bliss!

I was so happy when I got ready for bed last night. I realized that I didn't need to set my alarm clock at all. I could sleep until whenever I woke up. I slept for about ten hours. How awesome is that?

Last night was so much fun! Ben and I got our Christmas tree. It was my first real Christmas tree. We had such a great time decorating it. I made sugar cookies, and we ate those as we played Scrabble. (I am seriously becoming a Scrabble addict.) I will post pictures of us tonight in front of the tree. Our friend Aaron is going to take them. We ate at Just Fresh last night. It was such a great place to get food. It is similar in regard to Panera, but has several different menu options. I was very pleased with this choice!

Turns out I didn't have to deal with that angry parent yesterday. My principal did all the work for me. I was pretty happy about that. That shows me that he really knows that the kid is in the wrong, etc. It is nice when administrators step up to bat for their teachers, and allow us to continue teaching.

I'm going to do a little bit of laundry and dishes, and watch some episodes of 24!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Jack Sprat

Last night Ben and I went out to celebrate his completion of the semester. Ben only orders a side salad, so I ask if he is not very hungry. We are at his favorite restaurant, which he always gets chicken wings. He says that he has noticed that he has put on some weight, and he wants to cut back. I really had not noticed, but I said ok.

I ordered mozzarella sticks for my meal. Ben says, "You are eating mozzarella sticks, and I am eating a side salad, yet we both are eating something that is good for us. It reminds me of...Jack Sprat could eat no fat, his wife could eat no lean." I started laughing so much, because it was so true. I was eating something that was healthy FOR ME, because of the DS.

My mom went to a informational session about getting the lapband. I am not anti-lap band. We all have struggled with being obese, and however you choose to lose the weight, it is not an easy road. I am a big supproter of exploring all your options before you make a poor decision. I know my mom, and for many reasons, I strongly feel that the lap band is not the right choice of surgery for her. I would much more recommend the Gastric By-pass or the DS. It is hard because I want the best for her.

I have a busy day at school. I've got a parent who is mad at me. This kid is one tough kid. She is refusing to accept responsibility for her son's behavior. This has made his son's behavior worse, because he has no consequences. I'm a strict teacher, not to be confused with being a mean teacher. I am super loving to my students. I do have many routines and procedures to give the students the best possible learning environment. It is hard to misbehave in my class because I set up so many safety nets to prevent that from happening. I really want this child to succeed, but it it going to take his mom working WITH me to do this.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Healthy Vending Machines...Now That's an Idea

I was at a training last night until 7:30 pm. I forgot my snacks. I'm trapped. The vending machines contain nothing but CRAP. Why can't vending machines contain at least SOME healthy choices? I was just looking for some peanuts, or something like that to tide me over. I had no such luck. I guess the bottom line is that they put into vending machines the things that people will BUY, and healthy things are not on the top of that list.

Yesterday, my school had a video crew in for a promotional video we were creating about our building. I was interviewed for this video, and then the video crew filmed my class while I was teaching. I was honored to be asked to be a part of this. My principal is really awesome at what he does, and I want to make sure that I measure up myself. Being asked to be a part of this project made me feel really good.

On a total nerdy front. The past two nights I have gone to bed MEGA early. I've been getting about 9-10 hours of sleep. I cannot tell you how much BETTER I feel. I don't think I will always need this much sleep, but I have been running on a major sleep deficit. Catching up on sleep really feels awesome.

I am ready for the weekend! Almost there!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Learning How to Run with the Big Dogs....

Hi...I'm new here. I want to learn how to maintain my weight. This is a whole new place for me to be. For my entire life I've pretty much only increased my weight. Each day is a new adventure of learning how to maintain my weight. I know that no one item will skyrocket me to 393 pounds. I just have to work at balance, and finding what works for me. I also have to keep in mind that what works now, may not work six mnths or a year from now.

Off to work....This subject will be coming up more frequently in my blog, because it is heavy on my mind.

Monday, December 1, 2008


The funk lifted pretty quickly after I got to work this morning. I was so happy about that. I don't like being in a funk.

I have an appointment with my PCP tomorrow. I am getting more labs drawn, and I would also like to talk with her about having an iron infusion. I really think that will help with my energy level.

I know that I am going to BED in ten minutes. I played around last night, and ended up going to bed about an hour and forty five minutes later than what I had intended. I accomplished nothing whatsoever.

In a Funk

I'm not in a good mood this morning. I've had nine days off, and I should feel great, but I don't. I've been thinking about the "source" of this funk, and I am fairly certain it is that I'm tired of working two jobs. I feel selfish even saying this, knowing how tight our economy is, and how many people are looking for one decent job, and I have a second job that pays good money.

I just want my day to end at 4. I think knowing that my day doesn't end until 8 (always two nights a week, sometimes three) really messes with my outlook. While I've only been doing this job for about eight months, I think the funk comes from the fact that I've almost always worked a second job in addition to teaching. Teaching is a demanding (yet rewarding) profession, and I think it is hard to keep working a second job, because I don't get to recharge my batteries. Another contributing factor to this funk is that I didn't have a break this summer other than Colombia. I had a slew of presentations to do, then I was full charge into getting my classroom back in order for the new school year. I had no down time whatsoever.

I need to spend some serious time looking at my budget. I could scale back to one job, but it is going to mean tightning up things A LOT. Many of the things that I now take for granted, would have to be scrapped completely. In the end, I have to decide what matters more to me. I want the option to be able to do some other things that are not job related (become more active in my church, volunteer at the nursing home with my boyfriend, etc).

While I write all this now, odds are I would not be able to quit my second job until the end of July. I would still have some months to truck through, but it would feel good to know that an end is in sight.

Ok, off to work. It sure felt good to get this off my chest.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Seize the Day...

Well one thing I've noticed,
wherever I wander
Everyone's got a dream he can follow or squander
You can do what you will with the days you are given
I'm trying to spend mine on the business of living
These are lyrics I listened to from an old Carolyn Arends song today. Part of me just wanted to nap the entire afternoon/evening away. I did take a shorter nap this afternoon, but I decided to go with Ben to a birthday dinner for a friend. I am so glad that I did. I've spent so long on the sidelines, I've gotten too comfortable. I forget that there is so much more to life than watching it pass by. Yes, I want to be well rested, and not run myself into the ground. I am still at a point where there are days when I need to force myself to socialize. Not once after I have done that do I regret the choice that I have made. I have some years in my life where I really hid behind my weight, and I didn't truly live. I have much time to make up for. Each day matters, each moment counts.
Tonight Ben and I went to a Tapas Restaurant, and I ordered two great dishes (they are very small, even for a DSer). The atmosphere was ultra trendy, and it was great to be around good friends. I even got to meet another girl who was very sweet.
Next weekend's plans are:
Friday night: Ben and I are getting our Christmas tree (my first REAL Christmas tree), decorating it, and the like
Saturday: Having lunch with my DS group, going to a play that evening
Sunday: Church, lunch, and maybe something else

North Carolina Pictures

Hitting Home

I saw this picture on the "Weighty Matters" blog. It hits very close to home. Fast food was very much a part of my childhood. It was not a "treat," but instead something that we got at least three times a week. Once that pattern develops, it is hard to break it as an adult. I didn't break that habit as an adult, and the scale continued to skyrocket. What we feed kids matters. The one family I am close to packs lunches when they drive to places that are a few hours away. He is a fast food executive. I still go to fast food places, although much less frequently, but I am smarter about what I eat (as far as the boundaries of my surgery).
While I was at the Biltmore....I ate like a queen. It was amazing the stuff that I ate. I didn't really feel guilty about it because I thought it was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I was able to monitor my weight on the scale. I wish that America would become so health aware that all hotels would have scales as a standard part of their room.

Saturday, November 29, 2008


I got home this afternoon from North Carolina. While I was waiting for my luggage, I gave my mom a call. She tells me that we are now having Christmas with my grandmother (my only living grandparent) on December 26th. That is the day I fly back to North Carolina to be with Ben's family for the holiday. I was crushed. My family has always done Christmas on Christmas day at my Gran's house. The only "changes" we have ever made was to adjust the time by an hour or so. Why are we doing this? For ONE relative. Yes, I am a little mad right now. I know I shouldn't be, but I am.

Ben has been really supportive of me on this trip. He has made it pretty clear (in a nice way) that he is very happy with where I am weight wise, and doesn't want me to lose anymore. I felt weird about eating so frequently in front of his family. He found ways for us to get away from the crowd so that I could eat, or he would eat something small himself, so we both were eating. It was really sweet. I've told him that when we go back down in December, I'm just going to get my normal food from the grocery store, and just explain to his mom that I eat more frequently than most people.

My house is driving me nuts. I really need to do some heavy duty cleaning and organizing. I just don't have the energy to do it right now. I know that is nothing but an excuse, but seriously, I don't even want to think about it. I have GED for the next two weeks, but the following week I don't have it. That week I'll just do my day job. I'm going to work on it that week so that I can have it DONE for the holidays. I won't have to worry about doing it over the holidays.

I had a conversation with a girl at the Biltmore, since I saw her in a "trail marathon" shirt. I was asking her about how it was different training wise from a traditional marathon, etc. She said, "You look like a runner. You are very thin." I would love to be able to get back into running. My doctor just wants me to take it easy for awhile, and I think that would be for the best.

Off to bed. Church in the morning, NAPPING in the afternoon (along with putting away the clothes from my suitcases), dinner to celebrate a friend's birthday in the evening.

Friday, November 28, 2008


I had a great Thanksgiving day. I missed being with my family a little bit, but last year I was not with them either. The spread of food at the Biltmore Inn was beyond belief. There was anything you could have imagined, and I tried quite a bit.

One thing that I am proud of myself in how I am different is: If I don't really REALLY like the taste of something, I don't eat it anymore. This has happened twice at the Biltmore with pastries. The pastries were ok, but that was it. I took one bite, and didn't finish them. This has been a pattern I have developed back home as well. My friend Wendy says, "If I don't love it, there is no point in wasting my calories on it." The formerly SSMO me, would have been all about finishing it just because it was in front of me. I really like this change that I have made over the past 20 months. Early out, it was just because I didn't have the stomach space to waste though.

I will post more this evening, I have to get ready for breakfast, pottery, and to see Gingerbread houses!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


20 Months Post-Op to me! I forgot until this evening that 20 months ago (wow!) I was being operated on to save my life. My stats are in the previous post. I will show pictures in a few days, as I have several from the trip I want to post.

More to bed.

Down Two More Pounds!!!

I am at a new low this morning! 140 pounds! I am down two more pounds, a total of four pounds for this month. My BMI is 21.9, and I have lost a total of 253.6 pounds! :) WOOOOOOOOO HOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! I am five pounds away from my final goal.

This morning I was having a conversation with Ben's mom, and she says, "Ingrid is very thin, just like you...." I couldn't tell you what she said after that, because she used VERY THIN and used those words to describe ME! Pinch me I must be dreaming!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

I Have a SCALE!!!

Today we arrived at the Inn at Biltmore Village. Each of our rooms has a scale in the bathroom. This place is ultra fancy. I've never stayed at a place that had a scale in the bathroom. Since mainly wealthy people stay at this type of hotel I found that interesting. There are statistics that support that wealthier people are thinner because it is valued at a much higher level. I weighed in at 143.6 pounds. This was in the evening, and I had not been to the bathroom. I am happy with that weight, and hope to report a lighter morning weight. The food here has been AWESOME. The dessert was awesome at lunch, but they had quite a bit of great food that was healthy.

Tomorrow is going to be a fun filled day. We are going to have breakfast, go on a carriage ride, and then tour the Biltmore Mansion in the evening at a special holiday candlelight event. I love the mansion, and am pumped about seeing it decorated for Christmas. Ben and I have taken several pictures together. I will post those after the trip is over.

Monday, November 24, 2008

There Goes The Neighborhood...I Mean Simple Carbs

Today was not a good day on the eating front. Let me get started....

Breakfast: 1 piece of peanut butter on toasted bread, 1 banana, and a protein shake

Lunch: Bacon and Tomato sandwich with extra bacon and mayo (mmmmmm), very small bag of chips, one piece of pumpkin spice cheesecake along with 1 chocolate chip cookie

Snack: Hershey's bar

Dinner: 10 chips with lots of queso, 2 beef taquitos with lots of cheese

Snack: 1 Tootsie Roll Pop, and 2 peanut butter crackers

Before I go to bed, I will have another protein shake

I am having a great time with Ben. Today we toured his hometown, then we made a gingerbread house together, and watched some Avatar. :) I had him take me to Belks (a local department store), because I wanted some long underwear bottoms to wear when we go on the horse ride at the Biltmore. I was looking at the sizing for these things, and I wear a SMALL. Woooo Hoooo! Ben got to see a glimpse of my excitement, and I think he is starting to understand just how big of a deal this is to me. Tonight, when we were checking out at Wal-Mart, there was a picture of a woman in half of her pants. Ben looked at me and asked, "Can you do that?" I said yes I can! I can't wait to show him. I said I can even fit on one side with that side now being a bit loose to boot!

So my plan with food for Tuesday and Wednesday is to avoid as many simple carbs as possible, and then I won't feel as bad about indulging on Thanksgiving day. I know that there will be some awesome desserts available at the Biltmore, and I want to be able to partake in them without feeling horribly guilty.

Off to make a few phone calls then to the Biltmore in the morning!

Thanksgiving in Room 120!

Here are the pictures from our Thanksgiving feast in Room 120. It was a very special afternoon. I could not have done it without Ben. He really enabled me to pull the whole thing together. My kids had a very special meal. I know for many of them this is the ONLY Thanskgiving that they will have, so that made it all the more special. :)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

I am Different

Spending all day with non weight loss surgery people makes me realize that I am different. I really need to eat on a few hour basis. This three meals a day thing is really not for me. I have gotten so used to eating many times throughout the day. Since I cannot do that now, I have been thinking about food non-stop.

Here is what I ate today:

Breakfast: 1 piece of toast with peanut butter, and a banana
Protein Shake
Lunch: Chinese Buffet (1 serving spoon full of rice, baked salmon---a really nice sized portion, stuffed cheesy crab things, and 2 cookies)
Dinner: Salmon, 2 small wheat rolls, and about 10 bites of mashed potatoes
Protein Shake

I do this every time I go out of town, I obsess on whether or not I'm gaining weight. I seriously ruin parts of my holiday because I continue thinking about these things. I don't want to think like this. Grrr!

Saturday, November 22, 2008


Tonight I was visiting with the family, and I was holding a baby. I got up with the baby. No holding onto the side of the sofa. I was able to get up with the baby in my arms safely and effortlessly.

After dinner tonight, Ben's mom said she was sorry, but there wasn't any dessert. She looked at me and said, "Do you eat dessert? You don't look like a person who eats dessert." I was laughing so hard on the inside. I just smiled at her.

The trip in was "almost" uneventful. I have NEVER lost luggage in all my years of flying. I only find ONE suitcase when we arrive in Charlotte. I panic. We look everywhere, it is MISSING. I packed many things in each suitcase (like all my underwear in one, etc.), and here I have to meet his entire family for the first time. I go through the lost luggage, and when we leave I burst into tears. My money is really tight right now with the holidays and the fact that I did that special Thanksgiving dinner for my students. I don't even have money to spend right now. Ben comes around to hold me, and right out of the corner of my eye, I see my missing baggage. It wasn't there ten minutes prior. I was so relieved!

I did not bring my scales down for a few reasons. The first is I was afraid how the cargo trip might damage them, but the most important reason is I am on an alternate bathroom schedule....which I HATE. I was never super regular pre-DS, but I have gotten accustomed to this as a post-dser. Whenever I do something out of the ordinary, my bathroom system locks up. Right now, I am sharing a bathroom with Ben. In a few days, I will be sharing a bathroom with his mom. My weight would not be accurate anyhow.

As far as food goes, I am trying not to stress about it. I brought enough to have two chocolate protein shakes a day (62 grams of protein). I did have 2 pieces of garlic toast tonight, and one piece of regular toast with peanut butter on it for breakfast. At lunch today I had a bowl of broccoli cheddar soup with a very small wheat roll, and about 1/2 of a 5 bean salad. The five bean salad was so yummy. I am going to look for some recipes to try to make that on my own in the future. I am trying to comfort myself in the fact that I am eating complex carbs, and so far have not indulged in any simple carbs. I don't feel that I am making horrible food choices.

I met Ben's brother, sister-in-law, and their two children tonight. I bonded with Ben's mom all this morning while Ben was sleeping. Things are going very well so far.

Friday, November 21, 2008

North Carolina Bound

I'm leaving this evening for North Carolina. I am so excited and nervous. I was trying for about ten minutes to pack everything in one suitcase, and I realized that was going to be impossible. I was going to have to check two bags. I told Ben's mom that I hoped she didn't think I was high maintenance, but since I would be doing several different things, I wanted to be prepared.
Today is my Thanksgiving meal with my kids. I am really excited about this. :) Lots of pictures coming soon!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Fat Girl Fears

I always have this fear that I will bust out of my pants. Seriously...that in the back of my pants the stitching will give, and I'll be showing my panties to everyone. I know it is crazy, but I am always checking the seams on the seat of my pants just to make sure they look secure (even though I have never busted out of a pair of pants).

Anyone else have that fear?

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Progress is being made....

Laundry is being washed.
A MOUNTAIN of clothes have been hung and put away.
My bed is completely clear for the first time in AGES. (Being smaller has it's advantages...I don't take up near as much bed as I used to.)
Ben is coming over with dinner....shrimp....mmmmmm.

Life is good.

So Cute....

Prior to losing all the weight, I used to keep two framed pictures out on display in my classroom. One was of me with my first ever class back in 2001, the other would be the current class I was teaching. I have them tucked away in a cabinet. One of my students was putting away a calculator and said, "Ms. E, do you have a sister?" I replied yes, and she motioned me over. She saw a picture of me at around 320 pounds with my class from 2005, and she thought it was my sister! Again, it is so hard to register there are now people that have never known me as "fat."

I am getting ready to start some laundry and major cleanup. My mom is going to help me out with cooking for my class tomorrow night. She was already originally coming up to help me pack. Her attitude is so sour. If one of her friends asked for help, she would bend over backwards in a heartbeat. She will do it for me as well, but not without lots of complaining. :(

Needs and Wants....

I don't really need a Starbucks everyday. I've gotten into such a BAD habit. This is day three without one. I am so wanting a coffee from the bucks!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Head Is Spinning So Busy

I am running around like a chicken with my head cut off. Ben got my car fixed, so that was one less thing on my to do list. He not only got the tire repaired, he washed it, and filled it up with gas. (Gotta love this boy!)

Tonight we went to dinner and then to see Madagascar 2. It was a nice break.

I'm trying to finish up report cards that go home on Thursday (only 4 more remaining), and to coordinate a Thanksgiving meal for my students on Friday. Once I heard that most of my students don't have any plans for Thanksgiving, it broke my heart, and I want to do something very special for them. If I do have something, it will be store bought, because I just don't have the time to do anything else.

Something I did notice the other morning....when my arms are down at my sides, they are REALLY skinny. It really motivates me to want to get the plastic surgery on my arms. I also want to be able to wear short shirts and sleeveless outfits. I know it won't happen for this summer, but I am looking forward to it.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Carb and Sugar Control Yogurt

I tried Dannon's Light and Fit Carb and Sugar Control Yogurt earlier out as a post-op, and I didn't like it. I have not tried it since then until yesterday. I bought the strawberries and cream flavor, and added four Splenda packets to it. It takes great now. I've really missed yogurt. It only has 3 carbs. :) I plan on added some Textured Vegetable Protein to beef up the protein count (only 5 grams), but it is in my car, which Ben has.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Two More Pictures

Today we celebrated my dad's 60th birthday. It was a great day. I felt like a million bucks in the dress I wore today. For the first time in a long while, I am actually excited about what I am seeing when I look back from the mirror and in the camera.

Reality is also setting in quickly. I am leaving on a plane on Friday to meet my boyfriend's entire family. Yes, I knew our relationship was going in that direction, but Friday becomes reality when I start to meet and spend time with his family. I have already met his mom, and have interacted on a limited basis with his sister-in-law, and one brother on Facebook. This week is so full, I really won't have much time to think about until it is almost time to happen.

Adventures in Panty Hose!

I hate panty hose. I've never been a fan of them. I remember all the nightmarish events I had when I would try to wear panty hose. It seemed like it would take twenty minutes to get them on. I could never wear a pair of panty hose twice. I would usually have the crotch ripped a large way by the time I had rangled them on. The panty hose often ended up in the trash before lunchtime. Heaven forbid that I even have to go to the bathroom! So, I went with the fat girl alternative....knee highs. Even those were miserable.

Today is the first time I have worn panty hose since I had the DS. I did wear thigh highs one day, but that is it. The dress I wore today really cute, but seriously needed panty hose in order to look as dressy as it should. I went to Wal-Mart this morning and bought panty hose. I went to the restroom and put them on. Here was a sight....I was standing in one shoe (no way my feet were going to touch the floor in a Wal-Mart restroom), and putting my other foot into the panty hose. Here is what I discovered....

1. Panty hose are not that bad when you weigh 142 pounds.

2. The panty hose actually went where they were supposed to.

3. It was a breeze pulling them up and down throughout the day going to the restroom.

4. The crotch did not rip, and I was able to wear them all the way up the way they were intended to be worn.
Here is the dress: (I got this dress for $14 at Ann Taylor, and it was originally $140!) Ben LOVED this dress!

Voluntarily Upgraded :)

On Thursday night, I hit the curb, and my tire now has a "zit". It is an accident waiting to happen. I should have gotten it fixed Saturday, but I slept instead. Ben insisted that I use his car since I do far more driving than he does. I am using it until Tuesday evening when I will be able to get my car fixed.

Last night we ended up going to a friend's house for dinner. They are both GREAT cooks. I knew we would be having some good eats. It was pasta with an amazing sauce. Our hosts loaded up our bowls. I was thinking about the previous night and how I tried to "out eat" myself, and the pain that I was in. Everyone else cleaned their plates, and I still had about half of my pasta remaining. I was proud of myself that I stopped prior to being stuffed. I was content. When we had dessert, I only ate the top part of my cinnamon roll, and not the entire thing. I liked that I was able to exercise some self-control.

Ben was cute last night. We got on the subject of women being pregnant. I told him how there are some women who end up having miscarriages unneccessarily because they are too worried about the number on the scale than their child. Ben said he had a hard rule for me if we were to marry. He said he wanted me to eat until my heart was content, and not to think twice about the weight that I would be putting on.

I love sitting in Ben's lap. One thing I told him last night is that I am amazed that he is able to lift his leg (to cross it) with ME sitting on top of him. This floors me. He reminds me that I am not used to how light I am. He really has been a blessing on the self-esteem front as I am working on developing a more positive body image.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

I Was Tagged...

by Fat Mum Slim.....

Randomness of Tiffany....

1. I love my Netflix subscription. It has allowed me to develop my interest in foreign films. Also, I have become quite the fan of watching a TV show by the season. I actually like being able to watch it in an indepth manner like that.

2. I love my IPOD. I have fun looking for and creating new playlists. Music makes me feel so good.

3. I am very uncomfortable around my dad's family. As I've gotten older, the less this bothers me. I've started to come to terms that it is ok that we are not close.

4. I'm a dipper. I love being able to dip my food into something. It seems to make it taste so much better.

5. I'm learning how not to be the person that always bends. I do not like confrontation, but as I've gotten older, I've learned that there is value in not always being the door mat. Some issues are simply worth holding your ground.

6. I really enjoy keeping a blog. I didn't know how I would like doing it when I first started, and I find it very therapeutic. I am not at the point where I would want everyone in the world to read my blog. (I have not let Ben read my blog yet. I have sent him snipets that I have pre-selected, but I'm just not ready for him to read everything yet.) I like the anonymity of it just mainly being people I don't see everyday. On the flip side, I've met some AMAZING people I would LOVE to get to know from having a blog.

7. I am learning to love the camera. I used to HATE having my picture taken, but now I think it is fun. The digital camera has become one of my best friends. :)

I'm supposed to tag seven more people. I will come back to edit this post and do that at a later time.

Fun Photos

Wow....does Ben make me feel like a princess. He had me stand up on top of this planter, and he motioned to have Mandi take a picture of me. He made some comment like, "Look at this...behold this beauty." the Homemade Ice Cream and Pie Kitchen. YUMMO! This was actually Ben and my desserts, I just posed for dramatic effect. :) I ate the Buckeye and about 1/3 of my ice cream and pie.