My Progress!

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Overwhelmed Blogger reporting for duty SIR!

Yes, still smiling :) I apologize, but this first week of school has taken a lot of my concentration, energy and brain power. Chemistry is going to be a challenge for me. I’ve pretty much cracked the books open as soon as I finish work, but in addition to my day job, Im still working between 15-30 hours a week at my other job. Something is going to have to give, because I haven’t even started looking at my sociology work :S

I’m still hovering between 315 and 317, but this week I’m starting P90. Erik and I just watched the first workout and while I think it is definitely going to be a challenge, I think that I can adapt the moves and get a decent workout. When I was doing my boot camp workouts at the gym, I did the most ridiculous adaptations compared to what everyone else in the class was doing, but I left there feeling just as wiped as the rest of them and I was definitely stronger by the end of the three months. I’m probably going to have Erik take some pictures of me, but honestly guys…I don’t know if I’m going to be brave enough to post them here just yet. I’m talking biggest loser style jog bra and biking shorts pics that won’t hide a thing and yeah…I just don’t know that I’m quite that brave.

I’m looking forward to getting started on the workout though. It seems like every time I’ve tried to get going, I’d wind up with an injury or back in the hospital so I’m going to work out as hard as I can, but I’m definitely going to be smart about it so that I can continue. I will do my best to report in as often as I can as well.

This week, I’m going to make a few changes to my diet as well. I’m going to add in a protein shake because if I’m going to be doing more activity, I’m going to need the protein to help build the muscle. I haven’t decided whether the shake will replace a meal or in addition to the meals I eat. I may just see how I feel. To begin with, I think it may be in addition to what I’ve been eating.

I’m also going to cut out the nightly glass of wine I started having. I’ve never been much of a drinker, but in the last few weeks, I got into the habit of having one glass of wine as I was finishing up my work on the night shift. I know one glass of wine isn’t horrible, but I just don’t like having anything in my life at this time that is habitual. I’m also somewhat worried about transference or whatever they call it when a former food addict has surgery and winds up replacing food with alcohol or sex or shopping…whatever fills that void. Apart from worrying about the psychological implications of a new behavior, I am beginning to wonder if that one glass of wine is causing my weight loss to slow down. I guess we will see what happens when I stop it.

On the social scene, I’m continuing to get out and about whenever I can. I went to a wine social Friday with one of the meetup groups I joined and it was fun. There really is such an amazing group of people that go to these things. I found myself at one point in a conversation with an FBI agent and a former race car driver; really fascinating and interesting people. Despite this, I found myself mid-evening questioning whether I was really enjoying myself. I enjoyed getting dressed up and out of the house for sure, but I think I’d enjoy more outings like the dinners, etc where you can interact more. This honestly felt more like going to a club. The music was loud, people were standing everywhere, you really couldn’t carry on a conversation, etc. I mean, what is the point of having all these interesting people to talk to if you can’t hear each other over the music right? I was never really much into clubbing as a younger adult (I was typically the den mother/designated driver) and I guess not much has changed in the last 20 years. I am, however dying to go to this lecture tomorrow, but I just don’t know if I’m going to make it. Erik has to work and I think Tanner would be bored stiff. Well part of me thinks he might actually enjoy some of it, but I’m guessing it is going to be super “talky” and he’d probably get lost trying to follow along. I checked into getting an interpreter which they were more than happy to provide, but I wound up nixing the idea because I thought I could just leave Tanner at home while I went so I don't want to call them back at the last minute to change my mind. Guess I'll wait and see tomorrow, I probably need to study anyway.

I’ve also been enjoying new friendships I’ve formed and getting out with one person in particular. I’ve decided that I’m going to remain somewhat quiet about this aspect of my life since my whole situation is somewhat complicated. Out of respect for my son, I won’t be discussing much more on the subject of dating, etc. Just know that I am definitely not actively pursuing new prospects at the moment, but I have developed a friendship with someone and am interested in seeing where it might go. Erik is fully informed and while somewhat protective of me, is supportive.

So! There you have it…my week in a nutshell. I plan on elaborating on my last lab experience later in the week. It went well, but I swear, I almost died lol. All I have to say is the prof is getting a strongly worded email suggesting that we take the thermostat down a notch for our next lab.

As a closer, I’m interested in learning if any of you guys have done the P90 program. This isn’t the P90X people, just the P90…baby steps, baby steps.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Never Give Up: 150 lbs. gone forever

Friday, I officially hit 100 lbs lost since my surgery on June 29th! As of today I’m at 102 lbs, but I think a bit of it might be water as I took a diuretic the other day so we’ll see how I stabilize over the next few days. To commemorate this amazing event, I thought I would upload some pictures that I took last night before going out and contrast them with some pictures I believe are somewhere on my blog, but forgotten about. I am guessing that these pictures show me at my top weight of 465. I “discovered” them again on my photobucket account and was truly taken aback.




Here's one more collection that must have been taken around the same time:


And at 417

I called Erik in to look at them and even HE was amazed. He said he never remembered me being that big either. It looks painful to be that fat! I mean, obviously it was painful in more ways than one, but it just looks like every single part of me should be hurting; I’m straining at the seams of what nature intended for our bodies. I still can’t believe the comparison though. I’m including pictures at 465, pictures that were taken the day of my surgery at 417 and pictures from today that show me at 315. Such an amazing transformation.




And 150 lbs lighter




Picture below is Me between 230/250. I realize you can't see my body much, but you kind of get the idea:

65 more lbs and I will be at the weight I was in the last picture (or close to it). It is amazing to think I could be in this body by this summer. I don’t know, maybe mid-summer is more realistic, but I really think I could be there by the end of the summer for sure. Just as I couldn’t imagine being in my current body last June, I can’t imagine being close to the body below by this June. Unbelievable.


To those of you who read my blog and may be where I was at just half a year ago: Don’t give up. Even if every day feels like you are starting a new diet because you only managed to make it through breakfast or lunch on yesterday's diet before giving in and eating something you shouldn't. I'm proof that the only way you truly fail is if you stop trying. NEVER GIVE UP xxx

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Can a person smile too much?

Should I be worried that I’m so freaking happy lately? Like the last several months, I feel just elated much of the time. I mean, I have my moments for sure, this isn’t perpetual, but …I’m generally happy a lot now  I went to my first Chem lab this past Thursday and had to walk a good distance from where I parked to where the building was. On my way over I was thinking “What if I can’t do it? What if I’m huffing and puffing by the time I get there?” Guess what? I wasn’t breathing hard, I hadn’t broken a sweat (it was FREEZING cold so no surprise there). I felt like a normal person by the time I got to the building.

We had to meet our professor in a classroom before heading up to the lab and I spent some time talking to some students outside as we waited for him to arrive. No worries about whether anyone was looking at me wondering what the circus freak was doing there…I didn’t even think about it until later; that I hadn’t been bothered about what anyone might have been thinking about me. I had Erik take a joke picture of me on my “first day of school” that I was going to share on the blog, but uggh, it was ugly lol so I chickened out so I guess I was worrying about what you guys would think.

When the professor got there, we walked in the classroom to see desks with the chairs attached; horrors! I was sure I wasn’t going to fit. I debated walking to the very back so that if I had trouble nobody would see, but for whatever reason I just bit the bullet and sat in one of the front desks and guess what? I fit. Granted, it was a somewhat snug fit, but not uncomfortable at all. I grinned like a stupid Cheshire through the whole class. I seriously had to remind myself to STOP SMILING LIKE A LOON! I’m sure the professor is bringing mace with him next time, I probably freaked him out.

I couldn’t help it though. I sat there, after walking across part of the campus, standing outside the room for half an hour talking to students and then sitting in the desk thinking “I am at school! I am doing this! I am living my life again” and that silly smile would pop back up on my face. I was giddy, it was ridiculous, but I tried to act as normal as I possibly could ;) I don’t think anyone caught on that I was on the verge of breaking into song and doing a little impromptu tap dance on the professor’s desk. I hide it well apparently.

How cute is this though? Before I leave, Erik gives me a 10 minute lecture on safety. He wants me to park in the parking garage and walk to the building and then walk back so I’m sure I know the way. When I’m walking, I need to be aware of my surroundings at all times. If possible, walk back with another student. Then he breaks out this flashlight thing on his keyring and illustrates that it is also a rape whistle. I mean, he actually puts the thing to his lips and blows it for me to demonstrate proper usage. I was also instructed that I was to call him when I was on my way to my car and then again after I got to the car and was on my way home. I’m surprised he didn’t teach me a few self defense moves while he was at it bless his heart. If he could have driven me, he probably would have. I just smiled my ever present goofy smile and said “Aww, are you worried about me?” He was a little put off that I wasn’t taking his lecture seriously lol *puts serious face on* “yes sir!”

Nahh, I’m not going to worry about being too happy. I have many reasons to smile these days.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Bloggie Award Love

I am usually horrible about following up on awards that have been given to me. It really is disgraceful too because it is such an honor to have a fellow blogger recognize you in this way. This year, I’m going to be much better about posting my awards and doing the follow up :) Please go check out some of my new favorites!

Dancing Toward Myself
honored me with this particular award and here are some of my favorite or recently discovered blogs. Please note that some may not be entirely devoted to weight loss:

The Great Gastrectomy
Fat, Angry Blog
Gracie Gone Wild
Bariatric Foodie
1 Girl, 1 Dress, 1 Year
Beautiful Compulsive Mama
Mandatory Blog Here
He took MY last name

For those of you who are mentioned above, please do the following:

Link back to the person who gave you the award; share 7 things about yourself; award this to 15 recently discovered bloggers (or as many as you can)

Ok, now for 7 things I can share about myself. After blogging for three years, it is going to be a challenge to come up with 7 things you guys don’t already know lol.

1. I took ballet as a little girl. It was only for a few years and I was scared to death every time I had a recital, but I always loved getting dressed up in our costumes. Getting me on stage was another matter.
2. I went through a punk rock period in high school. I had some god awful combination of a mullet/Mohawk kind of thing with the sides cut close and dark while the hair down the middle was super blonde. I also had a long dark tail that was probably about 7-8” long. Lord…can’t believe I’m admitting this.
3. I met Captain Kangaroo when I was 18. He was actually one of several “celebrities” I met when I won a scholarship through Sea World. They opened the San Antonio park the year I graduated and held a scholarship competition as part of the lead up to their grand opening. I was one of 10 in the city who won. Roger Staubach presented my award to me on stage (we had this huge awards ceremony) and he was the absolute NICEST guy! You would have thought that I was the celebrity. I didn’t know it, but my family had shared some information about me along with a lot of poetry I’d written in high school and he went on and on and on about how impressed he was, etc.
4. I changed my major at least 5 times before deciding on communication disorders. My first major was marine biology, then I decided I wanted to go into audio engineering, then it was psychology, then pre-med and finally…communication disorders. It took me 7 years to graduate for this reason and then I didn’t even do anything with my degree lol.
5. As a teenager (before my punk phase) I was completely obsessed with Billy Squier (! When I was 14, I won a contest where I got to go on stage and accept an ovation guitar of “his” and then go backstage afterwards to meet him. He was also incredibly nice. I took every possible thing I owned and he took his time signing everything even though he was probably exhausted after the performance. I have a picture of the two of us together somewhere. If I ever find it, I’ll add it here.
6. If I had to pick a favorite gem stone, it would probably be a sapphire. My mother and grandmother are probably turning over in their graves that I didn’t say “diamonds,” but I’ve always loved sapphires. Emeralds run a close second. Kind of odd because red is probably my favorite color, but I’m not a big fan of rubies.
7. My favorite flowers are stargazer lilies. I love their dramatic color and their amazing fragrance and will often buy some for the house just because. Tanner and Erik often surprise me with a bouquet as well just because they are super awesome!

Monday, January 17, 2011

More thoughts on dating

I mentioned that I took down all the profiles I had put up on various dating sites for the time being, but there were three men I had stayed in touch with. The first was the guy I went out with in my post a few weeks ago. I had explained that I was interested in friendship and if that was ok with him, I thought we had a lot in common and would love to stay friends. (this is the guy I actually went out with, not the crazy one that started talking marriage and children before the first date)

The other two men were very interesting and intelligent men that I also seemed to share a lot in common with. I contacted both, explained that I had changed my mind about dating at this time, but would love to stay friends if they were interested. Both seemed open to that as well. I communicated with one for a bit, but he hasn’t replied since my last email so I’m assuming he is busy or maybe not interested in a friendship.

I’ve continued emailing the other man and we seem to get along great so far. We share a lot of the same interests and activities (He’s a writer and loves photography) and while I’ve been much more careful about sharing my personal info, I think we will ultimately probably get together for coffee or something at some point. He seems very intelligent and has been a perfect gentleman up to this point which is a nice change of pace considering my brief experiment in the online dating world.

Speaking of horror stories…the first guy kind of morphed into a not so great story. I feel kind of bad about it though because I feel as if I led him on out of sheer naiveté. I took him at his word that we were friends so when he started joking/flirting, etc I thought it was just kind of a running joke between us and played along. Like I told Erik later…I flirt with my girlfriends! I flirt with old men. I flirt with cute little babies. I’m a HUGE flirt period and I guess I don’t realize that most straight men aren’t going to laugh it up and take with a grain of salt…they are going to take it seriously. I honestly thought this guy had no attraction to me whatsoever or I would have never joked around with him about some of it, but he was a funny guy and I have the same sense of humor so…as usual, got myself into a bit of a situation here. I won’t go into details because overall, I think this was a decent guy, just lonely and based on my behavior; he assumed I was open to more than friendship despite what I had said initially. Sadly, what happened will probably mean we can’t continue as friends as it would be too awkward.

I felt horrible about it all yesterday. Erik even sat down with me because he KNOWS me. He knows my history, all the attention I got from older men as a young girl and how it has shaped how I relate to men now. I told him that this situation made me feel exactly how I did when, at 9 years old, the nice old man I had befriended invited me over and discouraged me from bringing my mom so he could “love me up.” It was exactly the same way I felt at 13 when the man I used to see every day throwing my paper route invited me over for dinner that following weekend. It was exactly how I felt when any friendship with the opposite sex took an obvious and all too abrupt turn down a road I wasn’t ready to travel. I’m sure that is why I ended up with Erik…because he let me set the pace. I was the assertive one in the relationship. Erik even said, he is very uncomfortable initiating things whether it is conversation or otherwise, so that probably made me feel more comfortable. That, and the fact that we were friends two years before it ever went beyond friendship.

Incidentally, Erik was really sweet about the whole thing. I made a comment like “Geez Erik, seriously…even at this weight, why in the world would a guy be chomping at the bit to hop in to bed with me anyway??” Erik’s answer: “Because you are beautiful Michelle. You are beautiful and you have this personality and energy that is just…there is just something about you so you shouldn’t be surprised and when men show an interest in you, you shouldn’t blow it off thinking they don’t mean it and are just trying to be nice.” (which is what I guess I did with this other guy). He also said I needed to get over worrying about “hurting someone’s feelings” and that with men I needed to be very direct and to the point because if I beat around the bush and left an opening at all, they are going to think I am open to whatever they are offering.

Ok blog buddies. Lesson learned. I obviously still have some learning to do about men and I’m obviously not ready to date right now. I don’t think it is a coincidence that most of my weight started coming on around the age I started getting all this unwanted attention and I certainly don’t want to subconsciously sabotage myself by re-creating those scenarios in my adult life right now.

I obviously still have issues to work through when it comes to men and my relationships with men. I’m sure I will get there eventually, but right now I’m going to stay focused on my weight loss/health and possibly start some counseling to sort through some of these issues so that when I do reach my goal, they don’t trigger a relapse.

For now, can you guys tell me something? In your dating experience, do straight men all act like a bunch of horndogs in heat? Are there any men who can control themselves and actually try to build on a relationship with a woman and respect her boundaries or all they ALL going to try to get what they can if they think there is the slightest possibility? Otherwise, I’m beginning to feel like I must be walking around with EASY tattooed across my forehead which would of course be false advertising in my case lol. Maybe because I’m overweight they think I’m desperate?

Saturday, January 15, 2011

What I did for New Year's Eve

I'm obviously trying to play catch up. I've been meaning to post these pics to my blog, but kept procrastinating as usual. We spent the evening at a friend's where we enjoyed dinner, played Tanner's new Rock Star Life board game, a bit of Michael Jackson Wii and later popped a few firecrackers/sparklers.

I realize the pictures I’m about to share are not the most flattering in the world. I’m doing my best to follow along with the new Michael Jackson Wii game, but I am a girl with no rhythm and no dance skillz to speak of so let’s just say…I wasn’t a high scorer.

At times, it is still hard to look at pictures because I still see the double chin, the rolls here and there. I still see parts of my body that will probably never be the same even after a date with a killer plastic surgeon. So yes, for a second, I might cringe and contemplate deleting the picture in favor of one that manages to hide those extra bits of flesh that make an appearance more often than not, but then I get caught up in what I’m doing in these pictures.

Am I sitting on the sidelines watching everyone else have fun; living vicariously through them and wishing I could join in the fun? Obviously, that is a big fat NO. I am the one standing up and jockeying for a turn, selecting the song (Don’t stop till you get enough for those that care…btw…it is a LONG ASS SONG so if you are a beginner, I would suggest a different selection) and yes, that is me doing my best to bust a move mindless of the cameras, friends and family watching me and laughing themselves silly. If it looks like I was having a blast it’s because I WAS!


Strike a pose!


Phat, Phorty, and Phunky!


Obviously this choreography was MUCH too complex for my meager dance skillz


My friend Shannon said all I need is the pole and I'd be ready to make some money!


It says it all doesn't it?

And just to show off all the great work Tanner has been doing on his own weight loss. The first picture was taken a year or so ago. He's definitely grown quite a few inches, but he's also dropped about 15-20 lbs. Lookin' good isn't he?



That was how we spent New Year’s Eve. It’s going to be an awesome year guys :)!!

Monday, January 10, 2011

To date or not to date....

Hey all, no I haven’t been in the hospital and I’m sorry for being so late in updating, but I’ve been busy working as usual. When I wasn’t working, I was getting to know a man I met on one of the dating sites I’ve been trying out. Initially, he seemed great! He had a degree in finance, worked in real estate, seemed to have a good head on his shoulders and we appeared to have a lot in common. Over the week, we progressed from emails to talking on the phone which progressed to making an actual date that was supposed to take place this past Saturday. One of the things I thought was wonderful was that he was a past marathon athlete that had let himself go a bit and was trying to get healthier; yet another thing we had in common. We talked about possibly training together and while I am miles away from anything like a marathon, it was kind of exciting to find someone that I shared so much in common with, especially this aspect. To make a long story short, by the end of the week I started getting this *feeling* that things just weren’t right. He just seemed to be “falling” a heck of a lot faster than I was. I mean, yeah I had butterflies for the first time in a long time, but I wasn’t picking out china patterns just yet.

By Friday, I seriously felt like he bought a ring and was going to propose marriage on our first date :S Saturday morning, I followed my gut and just called the date off. I don’t regret it at all, especially since afterwards, we had one more conversation that only solidified my sense that he wasn’t quite as level-headed as I initially presumed. Yes, it was disappointing, but not anything that really got me down too much. I was proud of myself for going with my gut and canceling the date despite having spent most of the week looking forward to it, but by Saturday morning, most of what I had been looking forward to seemed an illusion. I’ve had enough experience living with an illusion, I’m not going to settle for anything less than the real thing next time.

Over the last week, I realized a few things. One, I really am not ready to date anyone right now. First of all, Erik and I are still married and while it really is in name only, I feel that any man I might meet would have to be told this (in addition to our living arrangement) and really…what man would honestly understand the whole arrangement? At some point, they would probably expect me to move out, etc and I wasn’t willing to do that to Tanner just for the sake of my love life.

Also, I kind of put myself in the shoes of any man I might meet and who could really respect a woman who was dating while still legally married AND living with her husband no matter what the circumstances might be? They might think they understood how it was different, but somewhere deep down, I think it would affect their overall opinion of me. At the very least, the really decent guys wouldn’t want to get caught up in it and that is what I want…the decent ones!

I also thought about everything else I’m going to have going on this Spring. In addition to working full time, caring for Tanner and going to school, when exactly am I going to have time to do much of anything else much less gallivant around or try to cultivate a relationship with someone? I’m just not willing to sub-divide my time with Tanner for anyone. The occasional outing is one thing, but a steady relationship is another.

I also just didn’t feel right about it morally. No, Erik and I aren’t really married in our hearts anymore and it really is all over but signing the papers, but nevertheless, we ARE still married in the eyes of church and state and until that is taken care of, I don’t think it is right for me to be entertaining the idea of dating. At the very least, I have to think about what Tanner would think if I had to discuss it with him at some point.

Finally, I think I realized that what I was wanting was to expand my social circle more than a need for a boyfriend/partner/whatever. I just want to get out of this house now! I want to get dressed and put makeup on and enter a room feeling confident and beautiful for the first time in a long time. I want to talk to other human beings face to face and let the memory of me confined to my home become a distant memory. I can do this without or eharmony or the hassle and complications of a relationship right now. I’m kind of enjoying being “on my own” and having my own time to figure out who I am and where I’m going. I’m going to take a bit more time to enjoy THIS I think.

Don’t get me wrong though…if Brad Pitt shows up on my doorstep with a ring, I’ll be on the phone to the nearest divorce attorney. I’m not crazy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Date: YES! It happened lol.

Well, I had my first date since forever last night. It was with a nice guy named John and yes, we met on a dating site. It was a bit strange because I talked to Erik about it of course. Initially, Erik seemed kind of strange, but I think he just had to get used to the idea. I think he may have just been a bit worried for my safety maybe? I have no illusions that he is having second thoughts about our marriage and staying together, but he seemed a bit...I don't know...weirded out initially.

Anyway, we have been talking back and forth via email and text and he seems like a nice guy, he’s funny, educated, etc so we figured “Why not? If nothing else we make a new friend.” So, we met up last night at a place near where I live…it is kind of a bar, but a cool kind of hangout place, people go to drink the beer they brew onsite, etc. I had never been, but am looking forward to going back again.

I was strangely not all that nervous; not as nervous as I thought I might be going on a date after 16 years of marriage lol. I enjoyed getting ready and a friend came over to give me her opinion on what to wear. I ultimately settled on a cute black top that had kind of a band of beading under the breast and along the bottom of the top, a pair of jean capri’s and a cute pair of black peep toe shoes to show off my fresh pedicure ;) When I arrived I was pleasantly surprised to see he was better looking than his pictures. Not that he looked bad in his profile pics, but he was dressed nicely and came up and gave me a big hug. We found a table and ordered a few appetizers, a few drinks and sat and talked about 3 hours straight.

We really have an amazing amount of things in common: we both love music and live music events, we both have gone to college and he even has a masters. At some point, he considered going into a pharmD program, but has seriously considered going back to school to get his license as a physician’s assistant (both things I’ve considered). We both have a very similar sense of humor as well which is nice because I love to laugh. He also is a very active dad which I like. He has one child in high school and two in middle school (twins). Believe it or not, we’ve discussed the unusual circumstances of my “marriage,” the fact that I’m still married on paper and it doesn’t seem to bother him (at least outwardly). About the only thing that was kind of a turn off was the fact that he seems to be kind of a homebody like Erik. I’d really like to find someone who enjoys getting out more, living more of an active lifestyle, etc.

Anyway, when it was over, he walked me to my car, gave me another hug and even texted me later when he got home to say what a good time he’d had. There is talk of a “next time” so we’ll see what happens.

At this point, I’m not sure what I do. Do I call him or wait for him to call me? I don’t want to play games, but I also don’t want to make some dating error lol. Remember, I’m pretty much a novice when it comes to this kind of thing. I definitely am not all that interested in anything serious right now; I think I’ve decided that once and for all, but it is kind of fun to get out with someone so I may keep my options open when it comes to dating.