Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Something New I Made...

The tomatoes added a nice touch to this dish in color and in taste.  The dish was completely cleared out before our first break.  :)

Never again will I have a Wendy's frosty.  Gag....look at the remnants of it in my car.  What the heck is it made from?  I bought HH dinner from there, and on impulse decided to get a frosty.  I only had a third of it, as you can see by the ring on the cup. 

I really am so ready for this project to be over.  I've had a great time, but I am ready for summer to start.  I have to share a piece I've written on Friday.  I've done this twice, but this time is our "big" cumulative piece.  I want to do a soul exposing piece on weight loss.  If I only had to share with my writing response group, I'd be cool with that.  I have to share this with fourteen other people.  There are two very obese people in our group, and just because I could share this piece, I don't want to put them in an odd position.  I've been on the other side of the fence, and I do work my hardest to never put someone in a situation like that.  On the other hand, I think of how liberating it would feel to share a piece like that, and provide a personal healing on a public level for me.  Yet, I value these people's opinions more than that.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

New Report

F as in Fat: How Obesity Threatens America's Future 2010

This report was created by the Trust for America's Health
Preventing Epidemics, Protecting People

Sadly, Kentucky was well represented in this study.

No Single Sandbag Can Stop a Flood

HH and I watched Huge last night.  It is about Willemina and the people she meets at a summer weight loss camp.  It starts out with all the campers having to be in their bathing suit to take the "before" picture.  Almost immediately a girl is introduced who I wonder if she could become the villian later on.  She is the thin girl.  She is probably twenty pounds overweight, and all the other kids just can't wait to get to where she is. 

Willemina has convinced herself that she is fine being fat, and that her parents have the problem.  She in more words or less tells the camp doctor that she isn't about to drink the kool-aide.  She has even made a false wall in her suitcase filled with banned candy items.  She sells them to desperate campers. 

I was wondering if this show would be completely humorous, or start to dive into some of the issues that overweight people face.  It did dive in.  I related quickly with one teenage boy who was talking about gym class, and how there was always this one guy who was bigger than he was.  Then, one day they were getting ready in the locker room, and he realizes that he is not only as big, but bigger than the other boy.  Man does that hit home.  Willemina lightens the mood with talking about how she has no issues with her fat.  She is down with her fat.  "My fat and I are BFFs."

Willemina decides that she is going to run away from camp, and go spend the summer with her uncle.  She goes to a diner as she leaves camp, and orders fries and a large double chocolate fudge shake.  As chance would have it, she was at the diner where the doctor from camp was eating.  The doctor was having a heart to heart with her dad, and for a moment Willemina sees her as a human being, not some crazy woman.  Willemina decides not to run from camp, yet not sure she is going to embrace the whole weight loss issue either.  It closes out with the doctor pointing out her initials carved on the porch outside the cabin with 85 written by it.  Yes, she too had been a camper.

I remember reading the ads in the back of my YM (Young Miss) magazine as a teenager.  It was called Camp La Jolla.  The name I thought was horrid, and still do.  I googled it, and Camp La Jolla is still open.  It is operated by Wellspring, which is the same camp that helped the girl from England lose weight.  (I've blogged about that a few months back.)  They have a camp in North Carolina.  There is still a chance that we might end up in NC with HH's job search.  I had entertained the idea of working at the camp.  I'm not sure if I would or not.

Monday, June 28, 2010

8 Love Notes...

This blog has a free printable of eight love notes.  Sorry for the poor picture quality.  Mine says that I love you more than Moes.  HH knows how much I love to eat at Moes!

Will You Be Watching?

HH and I will be watching the series premier of Huge tonight on ABC Family.  I'm excited to see it, yet nervous about the feelings that it might raise up.  I also want to see how overweight people are portrayed in this series.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Five More Days!!!

The drive in was so much fun!  This was only the third time in my life I've been to one.  I hope we will go back before the summer is over. 

Saturday I went with my best friend Wendy to a weddng.  As a bonus I got to see Georgia.  We worked together for several years.  HH went to another wedding to transport a harp for our friend who was playing in the wedding.

I am so glad there are only five more days on my PD.  I am really ready for my summer to officially begin.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Nap Time...Then Drive In!!!

I've heard from a bunch of people that Toy Story 3 is a real tear jerker.  I love Karate Kid when I was a kid.  I remember playing the girl and having Karate Kid (my neighbor Greg), re-enact scenes with me.  Now, could it get any better having Will Smith's son in it?

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Zinc Experiment

I am upping my zinc supplements.  My acne is driving me insane.  Not only on my face as per usual, but it has spread to my neck.  I am hoping I will see some regression of acne with the extra supplementation.  I'm really not ready to try yet another acne kit (like ProActive).  There are a few new ones out there, I just get disappointed that they will help for a month or so, but then my acne resurfaces just as strong as before.

The Teacher Gets Schooled

As part of my professional development, I have to focus on becoming a better writer personally.  This was a short piece that I shared on Friday.

The Teacher Gets Schooled

My day largely consists of small groups. I have a unique teaching situation where I have a smaller class size, which enables me to spend a great amount of time in these groups. These groups are fluid, constantly changing as the needs of my students change. I feel I do a pretty good job with the reading groups, but I struggle with explaining math concepts in multiple ways for my kids to have those lightbulb moments.

I end another day with my lowest math group. I try to be as positive and encouraging again, while in the back of my head thinking, “How can I find another way to explain equivalent fractions AGAIN?” I leave work, and head off to my cooking class.

I arrive, don my apron, and get out my new eight inch chef’s knife. I am now friends with fifteen people as we start our third class together. We all share the same bond of not knowing how to boil water, yet wanting to learn how to cook well. We come from all walks of life, young, older, retired, couples. Our professions range from a lawyer, nurse, retiree, homemaker, human resources, and more.

Tonight’s class is on poultry. In front of me sits an entire chicken, and I am supposed to cut it into the various parts. Chef Nancy is amazing at teaching, but she goes a mile a minute. I feel like the slow kid who just can’t get it.

Where is Ryan? Ryan is a quick study, and always seems to “get it” the first time out. Whenever I would be confused about the next step to take, Ryan would go over what I needed to do. What was I going to do without him here to help me tonight?

To make matters worse, my knife skills have much to be desired. To paraphrase another girl in class talking about my knife skills she said, “She has her own special way of using the knife,” to our chef/instructor. I know I am far from being proficient at using the knife effectively or quickly.

There was no way to slowly ease into this process. Our first direction was to snap the thighbone out of its socket. This took a surprising amount of force. My fingers are all wet and somewhat gooey, which doesn’t help me to maintain a good grip. Now I need to find the wishbone under the layer of skin and the neck and remove it. Cut. Cut. Cut. I am using my knife to cut the cartilage to separate the bones from the body of the chicken.

Piece by disgusting piece, I debone the chicken. Several times I had the chef come spend one on one time with me. I was embarrassed, but I knew that it was the only way I was going to be able to learn how to do this properly. Deboning a chicken was not for the faint of heart, and the process was very time intensive. I can’t believe that my Gran used to do this all the time. I am suddenly more thankful for being able to buy precut meat at the deli counter at Fresh Market.

I came into work the next day with a renewed vigor to teach my struggling math group equivalent fractions. It
had been awhile since I had learned a new skill, and I had truly forgotten what it was like to be green at something. I was a better teacher for learning to debone that chicken.

Could Have Been Me...

I was eating my breakfast this morning, and had my car pulled over on the side of the street.  My project is being held at my school, so I'm close to very familiar surroundings.  I see a morbidly obese woman on a motorized scooter.  This is a pretty common sight in the very poverty stricken neighborhood in which I teach.  I know that there are three parents in my building who have these motorized scooters, with no other apparent disability than being extremely overweight.

I can't help but feel sorry for this person, especially because that could have been me.  I weighed 393 pounds on the day I had WLS.  I am three years out, and I started to do some math.  Lets be conservative and say that I continued to gain weight at the rate of twenty pounds a year.  I would currently weigh 453 pounds.  How much longer could I have worked at that weight?  How much longer before I would have been declared disabled due to my weight?  What kind of pain would I have been in on a daily basis?  What new prescriptions would I be on?  Would I have high blood pressure, diabetes, more severe sleep apena, high cholesterol? 

Questions flood my mind of what might have been.  Things are not perfect now, but I'd certainly trade the health problems that I have now for what I was flirting with before. 

Monday, June 21, 2010


(Another post from a book I am reading for the project...)

There is a fat kid who is laughed at solely because he is fat.  Every day he is made fun of, and every day he goes home crying.  He is fat.  He admits it.  He tries to lose weight, but nothing works.  He has zits and shaggy hair.  Kids call him lard face, doughboy, and fatso.  He acts like it doesn't hurt him at all.  He walks by, eyes down, mouth closed, never turning, never responding to any of the taunts.  On the outside, it looks like he doesn't care, but on the inside his stomach knots and his throat catches.  Every time he is called a new name it slices like a paper cut.  But he's become quite good at suppressing his emotions.

When this kid goes home to his trailer park house, he goes right to his computer, the gateway to his santuary, where he doesn't get ridiculed because of his physical appearance.  If you were on the outside, looking in, you might think this kid is kind of weird - antisocial even.  But he's really just a regular kid, who wants some friends, or just a friend, who might pick him for a team just once, or not groan and roll his eyes when he's assigned the seat next to him, or might ask him to his house to skateboard or play computer games...or might just call me by my real name for once."

- Owen A.

This piece really hits home.  I've bolded some phrases that resonate with me.  Can you relate to any of these?  What is harder too is when I see my students who suffer from lower self-esteem because of body image issues.  I want to be as uplifting to them as possible.

Time Somebody Told Me...

I am in a writing project, and I saw this poem.  I wanted to share it with you guys, as it relates to my journey of finding out who I am after losing all this weight....

Time Somebody Told Me

Time Somebody Told Me
That I am lovely, good and real
That I am beautiful inside
If they only knew
How that would make me feel

Time Somebody Told Me
That my mind is quick, sharp
And full of wit
That I should keep on trying
And never quit.

Time Somebody Told Me
How they loved and needed me
How my smile is filled with hope
And my spirit sets them free
How my eyes shine, full of light
How good they feel when they hug me tight.

Time Somebody Told Me

So, I had a talk with myself
Just me, nobody else
'cause it was time
Somebody Told Me

(Quantedius Hall from You Hear Me?  Edited by Betsy Franco)

If you are going to lose weight, regardless of how, the mental battle is by far the toughest.  I wish I could say that I've arrived, but there are many days that are much tougher than others.  I think it is also important to have people in your court.  My husband, father, and best friend Wendy have been my biggest champions.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Great Weekend...Oh Yeah!!!

I was ready to get the weekend started on Friday.  The Writing Project has been awesome, but still I needed a break from PD! 

We headed straight over to date night cooking class!  I love classes under this particular chef.  He is always a hoot, and I feel like I learn so much.  The next schedule is coming out soon, so I can't wait to see what will be offered.  I am soaking them up as much as I can before we eventually leave this area.

Saturday was a record for me.  I slept TWELVE hours.  I've not done this in forever.  I told HH the last time I thought I had slept that long was over a year ago when I got sick at his mom's house.  This is further proof to me that the iron transfusions are helping my body, because I am sleeping well without Ambien.  (Yet I won't think twice about using it again if need be.)

After such a long night of sleep, I made forty cookie pops for my condo neighbor.  Her son is turning four, and she asked if I could help her out.  It was so fun to do something for someone, and not feel a million other things nagging at the back of my head that I need to be doing instead.

The picture below was taken at Shakespeare in the Park.  We saw The Tempest last night.  This is the third year in a row that HH and I have gone.  It was cool to realize that we are starting to develop our own "family" traditions.  There are two more Shakespeare productions that we want to attend this summer.

Today we went to visit my family and spend time with my dad for Father's day.  :)  We are going to see THE EAGLES in October together!!!  Woooo Hoooo!!!  There is a joke behind the Eagles.  When I was in 8th or 9th grade, I brought a tape out to the car when my dad picked me up from a friends house.  I told him that he had to hear this group, and that they were so cool.  Of course, five seconds into playing, he starts laughing.  He said they have been around forever.  We had a good chuckle from that.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Photo Catch Up

When I got to the airport I had flowers, a card, and Moes waiting for me from HH.

In the Naval Yard by the U.S.S. Constitution.

Posing with John Harvard.

The Odyssey.  This is the boat we took our cruise on on Boston Harbor.

The Dishes are DONE Dude!!! I borrowed that line from a childhood movie "Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead," but man it fits here!  The biggest part of this project that I am in is that we have to do a DEMO.  Demo is fancy for a really big involved presentation, and I have been ultra stressed about it for weeks on end.  I did my demo this morning and man do I feel the weight lifted off my shoulders.

Many thanks to HH for all his support and encouragement throughout this process.  He has seen me cry over this, be snippy, etc.  This morning he had me in stitches walking out to the car talking in a Cajun accent about how well my presentation was going to go over.  Love. This. Man.

I have eleven more days of this institute, and I darn well think I will really get into the enjoying it mode now! 

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Two Questions to Ask Yourself Before You Indulge

Weighty Matters has a great post today.  Two Questions to Ask Before You Indulge

1.  Is it Worth The Calories?

I've gotten so much better with this one.  My best friend Wendy would say something was, "not worth the calories," and she wouldn't put another bite into her mouth.  If I really don't think something is "WOW" good....I don't indulge in it. 

2.  How much of it do I need to be happy?

I have never considered this question, but what a great one.  Lets look at my love for all cheesecakes via The Cheesecake Factory.  Even after building up anticipation for weeks about going, and pouring over the menu to decide what piece of cheesecake I want....I usually only eat about one-third of it.  Turns out I didn't need to lick the plate clean in order to savor it.

Believe: Brooks and Dunn

Saturday I read something that caught my heart in my throat.  My friend Vicki (who had my WLS), had lost her husband.  He was only 47 years old, and she found him on the floor in the bathroom.  EMS was not able to revive him.  As someone who has not even had a year of marriage under her belt, my heart broke for her.  HH went with me to the funeral home on Monday evening.  We have to remember to make the most of every day.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Two Days Down, Thirteen More to Go

I am in a university project with other teachers, and have just finished my second day.  I almost let the fear of how much work this project was going to be cause me to quit before I started.  I realized that I am stronger than that.  I can do this, and I will.  I've done other prestigious hard stuff in the past, and there is no reason I can't do this one.  One step at a time.  Slow and steady will win the race.

I met with the hematologist today to have some labs drawn, go over my labs from May 25th, and get my third iron transfusion.  I got a copy of my labs about fifteen minutes before she came in.  I was proud of myself for how much of the lab report I was able to interpret myself.  Also, of the specific questions I was able to ask about things that I did not understand completely.  I am officially signed up for six more iron transfusions (for a total of nine), and I will also be getting a weekly B-12 shot.

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Good Lunch

Over a week ago, I got to have lunch with my best friend and two good friends that I used to work with.  I was actually pretty apprehensive about this lunch.  My relationship with the larger lady has faded.  It has been completely because of WLS.  It is not completely my fault or her fault, but it has happened.  I didn't want it to happen.  I do have to be honest that sometimes it is hard for me because when I look at her, I see a spitting image of what I used to look like.  I hope I don't sound too selfish when I write this, but I can't completely put my finger on it. 

The meeting went surprisingly well.  I think we might be able to salvage this relationship.  I have heard that this has often occurred amongst women.  Anyone else had any experiences like this?

A Few Lexington and Concord (and Boston) Pictures....

The teacher partner I went with we took 65,000 steps on our trip....not too shabby. 

Friday, June 11, 2010

Holy Cannoli!!!!

Mike's Pastry shop is WHERE it is at in North Boston.  Boston has four less cannoli's thanks to yours truly.  Heaven!  Thank heavens I didn't marry an Italian....I'd never keep my weight in check, but after my visit to Boston, I've decided I need more Italian friends!!!

Great Date Experiment #2

Before I left on Wednesday, HH and I did our second Great Date Experiment.  I really enjoy some of the questions we have to focus on for this.  It has questions that we wouldn't ask each other on a frequent basis, but that do need to be asked.  We had Tony Boom Bozz pizza, which is never a disapointment, then had a nice dessert.  We'll do the next one in a few weeks.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Arrival in Beantown

My flights were uneventful, and our group made it to Boston.  On our way up here, I was on the plane with a guy from our group who is very large.  My heart went out to him.  On the first flight they moved the other passenger (he was a good 1/3 into that passenger's seat), and on our next flight they gave him all three seats.  I didn't think this was necessary.  It is sometimes like people think you can catch being heavy. 

I am waiting on a friend from high school, we are going to go to dinner together. 

I cannot being to express how I feel like I am coming back from the dead with my second iron transfusion.  I had faded so far, I had forgotten what "good" feels like.  What I can relate it to was how I felt when I was really heavy.  Since I had been over three hundred pounds for most of my twenties, when the weight started coming off, I didn't realize just how good I could feel.  I cannot wait to see how much better I feel after I have the remaining six transfusions.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Next Stop: Beantown

I am so excited to go to Boston!!! WOOOO HOOOO!!!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Weekend is Gone

GED Class: Completed

Dinner with AWESOME DSers: Completed

Church: Completed

Retirement Party: Completed

Today and tomorrow is training, then BOSTON for four days!!!  Oh yeah! 

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Vitalady's Blood Test Recommended Levels

Protein: 7's
albumin: 4's
pre-albumin: 20-30's
iron: 80-100
ferritin: 200-300
hgb: 12+
hct: 36+
vit A: 60- 80
vit D: 80-100
calcium: 9-0-9.4
PTH: 20-40
B1: mid- to top- range
B6: mid- to top- range
mag: mid-range
zinc: mid-range
B12: 1000 +
folate: top of range 20
AST (sgot): below 40
ALT (sgpt): below 40

We usually want to "meet or beat" pre-op levels. In some cases, higher is better, and in other cases (cholesterol, PTH for example), lower is better.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Iron Transfusion and Other Things

My first of eight iron transfusions went well yesterday.  HH took me in, and I was actually only on the IV pump for 28 minutes.  I came home, took a nap, and we went to the movie discussion group.  We discussed Tell No One, a French film.  I really enjoyed the film.

Today I was going to get my hair cut and colored, but the lady that normally does it wasn't working today.  I am going to get it done before going to Boston.  I decided to go take my brother lunch.  He works at Papa John's Headquarters as an analyst.  It was different seeing my brother in such a professional light.  I realize that he is an adult, and that is wild.

As far as "feeling" the iron transfusion starting to work....I can tell that I am experiencing a slight increase in my mental alertness.  I also have woke up feeling rested today from the night's sleep, and from the nap that I took. 

The Scale read 135.6 this morning.  I'm not trying to lose weight.  The last time I weighed this was in the fifth grade.  Talk about something hard to wrap your mind around.

HH and I are having a double movie feature night at home with the Penguins of Madagascar and The Tooth Fairy.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Class of 2010

You know there had to be a silly picture with Jerry in the mix.

I taught Sierra last year (and she was in my wedding), and I taught Isaiah this year.  I will miss this family.

I didn't get pictures with all my students.  I had to help serve cookies and punch, and many of the families only stayed a few minutes.

Afterwards, HH and I decided to go celebrate this school year by going to Red Lobster.  We both love seafood, so there is never any arm twisting over a good seafood place.  (When we were on our honeymoon, we at at a place called Legal Seafood three different times!)  We made a brief stop into Books a Million to buy my principal a gift.  I got him the book, "The Other Wes Moore."  I am going to be reading this on my Kindle as well.  We found Alice and Wonderland hats to play with in the store.  I have no idea what expression I was going for in my picture!!!