Saturday, July 30, 2011

I LOVE the Thrift Store

So today I decided to get rid of more clothes and shoes (4 trashbags worth-- serviceable, but honestly not cute enough to pass on to you all!). I took them to our thrift store in town, and then HAD to go shopping.

I walked out with a pair of Banana Republic gray dress pants, The Limited brown dress pants, a ?? brand of denim trousers, a khaki Gap skirt and a dark denim Kenneth Cole skirt all for $23. All are size 10, and all fit!

I have actually taken advantage of our thrift store a lot while downsizing my wardrobe. If you've got one, give it a try. I often find brand new tags on/ looks brand new clothes in brands I like for dirt cheap. I had tried the outlets and TJ Maxx for pants yesterday, but walked out with shirts/jackets instead (I bought medium yesterday for the first time-- only one thing I bought was in a large and it was because I have huge bazoongas and it was a fitted button-up shirt).

I am cheap, if you hadn't noticed :)

Bras for the Sisterhood

I have cleaned out my lingerie drawer and have bras in good shape for good (or bad, very bad) homes. We are smoke free, but there may be dog hairs (for free!) in your package.

40 D : Black Victoria Secret Lined Demi (lightly padded seamless underwire)
40 D: Black Playtex (lightly padded seamless underwire)
40DD: Black Victoria Secret biofit lightly padded seamless underwire
42DD: Light Blue Bali cotton wireless
44DD: Black Cacique (lightly padded seamless wireless)
44DD White Cacique (lightly padded seamless wireless)
44DD Blue Cacique cotton underwire
46DD: Cream Cacique cotton wireless with wide band at bottom

Please spread the word to any new bandsters. You can email me at my gmail account, with the name stateofzen.

Friday, July 29, 2011


1. Sun or rain? Roses or tulips? Romantic movie or comedy?

Sun, definitely. I used to love a good rainy day, but now that I have a storm phobic dog it's just too stressful.

Tulips, absolutely. I love the black-purple kind the best, but any tulip is gorgeous.

Comedy, absolutely. I love stupid comedies the best: I'm talking Super Troopers, Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgandy, etc.

2. I've been sick lately and haven't eaten in two days - except for ice cream...which leads me to ask - what's your favorite ice cream flavor?

Ben & Jerry's cheesecake brownie is my current fave, but I would say my non-brand-specific fave is mint chip (with the little chips, not the big chocolate chunks).

3. Are you a door locker - in your house and car?

I am now. One of the things I used to love about our house was that it is on a dead-end, with lots and lots of space between us and the neighbors and lots of privacy. I never worried about locking the doors-- sometimes I would, but if I forgot no big deal. But then our neighbor said the traveling meth labs have been visiting the subdivision, so now I'm paranoid about locking the doors. The car is in the garage, so I don't lock it, but if it were outside I absolutely do.

4. In the spirit of my being sick and wanting to die - tell me your "go to remedies" for when you are sick?

Macaroni and Cheese (oh, the comfort food is all about carbs)
NyQuil-- the kind that knocks your ass out
My own bed (I go to the guest bedroom to avoid the hubs and the dogs- bliss)

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.

In Blog Land, I'm finally catching up with everyone after a couple of weeks of being "offline". I've also been over-sharing about things better kept private ;) You ladies make me laugh at myself though, which is very much needed.

In real life, I'm trying to recover from having my mother and niece in my house for a week. Holy crap was that both nice and exhausting. My niece turns 13 tomorrow, so when I went upstairs after they left to pull sheets/towels/etc., I found several surprises that only an almost-teen kid could leave-- like a mascara/eyeliner stain on my white shower curtain from where she clearly used it to rub her eyes, or the pink-stained white towel (I have non-white towels, by the way) from her pink hair dye. Oh, and the neon orange fingernail polish chips on the white sheets.

My mom just exhausts me from dealing up close and personal with her poor mental health. She has Bipolar II, with depression and impulsive money spending (shopping and gambling) being her two main symptoms. So she's either crying about something or she's spending money that she literally doesn't have. This trip was more challenging than usual because her behavior is increasingly starting to infringe on my life (financially) and it was hard for me to bite my tongue. I didn't bite it a couple of times, and she took it fairly well, but I wouldn't be surprised if it comes back to kick me in the ass later. For instance, when she told me she didn't want to be put in a nursing home, I told her flat out that she was not coming to live with me. To which she responded that I could put her in a "nice" assisted living apartment instead. Does she have a dime to her name for retirement or in savings to help pay for this "nice" assisted living apartment or a home health care nurse? NO.

Beggars can not be choosers, mom.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Draz, Just Look Away

What is it about this surgery that has made me lose all sense of privacy? I post pictures of myself in swimsuits, yell my weight out loud, and now, lovely BOOBS, I'm going to talk about poop.

Yep, I am.

I have unfortunately experienced my first full-fledge case of constipation. It got so bad that on Sunday I had to do things to myself that no one should ever have to do, and when it was over, I weighed 4 lbs less than I had at the start of the day.

Now, I'm paranoid because I do not want to ever go through that again. I am now adding benefiber to my coffee and water and also taking a probiotic every day for "colon health". My husband said I seem to be completing my transition to a 70-year-old woman quite nicely (ass!). But he's right, because now in addition to my haggard boobies, I have a counter full of products to help me poop.

If I log on to tell you I've fallen and can't get up next week, don't say I didn't warn you.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Setting That Final Goal

I know I just posted about the plastic surgery consult, but I wanted to separate this question out.

How the heck do you go about setting your maintenance goal?

I'll tell you that when I started this journey, I was very vague-- I said if I could get under 200 and stay under 200, then I would consider the surgery a success. Then, when it became clear that was going to happen with no problem, I started thinking about a final goal. Initially I set it at 150 (because it's a nice round number and it would give me a BMI right inside the "normal" range). I recently decided I'd like to get more comfortably inside the normal range and set it for 140, which would still put me at a BMI around 23, still at the high side of normal.

Right now I don't feel like this will be a problem-- I am still losing without any real effort, though my loss has slowed to 3-4 lbs a month.

But both my lapband surgeon and now the plastic surgeon have given me surprised frowny faces when I say I still want to lose some more. Neither has cautioned me against it but I'm wondering what the deal is? Is it that they're worried I'll start looking unhealthy? Are my goals insane? I mean, if I were struggling and killing myself to lose every lb I would certainly reconsider and could be perfectly happy where I'm at, but so far it's been easy and I'm fine with slow.

What are you all doing? What has your doc recommended?

Plastics Consult

First, you guys are awesome and wise. I appreciate the thoughts concerning my last post about my niece and modeling good body image-- it gave me lots of food for thought.

I tell you that the plastic surgery consult this morning was relatively pleasant, considering I had to get (nearly) naked and show off my body to a complete stranger who also happens to be male. This was an information only consult in my mind, because I have to pay out of pocket and I have to do it in the summer because I can't take time off for recovery during the school year. Because of that, I knew this summer is out, which leaves next summer or later. But, I wanted to have the information on costs NOW, so I can save and plan.

Here's how it went for those of you who are curious:

I strip down to my panties only and put on a paper gown that opens in the front. The doc comes in and introduces himself. He asks me about my weight loss surgery and how much I've lost, and then tells me I look GREAT and NORMAL and that he would never know I ever was obese. That felt good, but I laugh and tell him he hasn't seen under the robe yet. That's the cue to stand up and open my robe so he can first look at my stomach and then my breasts. He said I'm in pretty good shape (for a massive weight loss patient, of course) and that my lower belly isn't big enough to qualify for insurance, and that the tummy tuck will take care of my issue with my mons. He did suggest that I could benefit from a circumferential body lift because of my love handle fat pockets, but I told him I'm not looking for perfection and really just want my upper stomach pouch gone (I could give a rats ass about my sides, honestly), along with the lower apron. He seemed to think he could get very good results with a basic tummy tuck and didn't really try to push the cbl after the first suggestion. In fact, he kept saying I'm closer to the "normal ps" side of things than the typical massive weight loss patient and that a tuck would remove about 4 lbs of skin/tissue.

For my breasts, he said I need a lift not a reduction (he'd remove about 100 grams per breast or whatever unit of measurement they use, which is not enough to call it a reduction- so again, no insurance), but that I had enough tissue that he wouldn't need to add an implant. He suggested a procedure that only uses a horizontal cut (no vertical scar) that would allow him to also get at the fatty part between my breast and my armpit easily. He would reduce my areola size as well.

I told him that I want to lose 30 more lbs and first he gave me a funny look and basically asked "really, why?"-- which, by the way, is the same reaction my lapband surgeon had when I said the same thing. I told him that I still had a lot of fat-- it's not just hanging skin in my belly but still a lot of fat-- and he warned me that losing 30 more lbs probably wouldn't significantly change my belly in any way; he suggested that I'd be more likely to see it on my back and thighs (fine!). He did say he would like to wait until I've lost it to do the surgery, especially for the breasts because he can't guarantee that losing it after the surgery wouldn't drastically alter the appearance of my breasts or make them lopsided.

I asked him about how many weight loss patients he's done and the answer was a vague "tons", which was irritating. He did receive training at one of the major weight loss surgery centers in Louisville, which is why I chose him to do the initial consult and he spoke with confidence about the different needs of someone with a port, etc. He said both surgeries together would take up to 5 hours and he would have his partner assist to cut down the time I'm under. He said it would be outpatient and that he'd prefer to do it in his surgery center rather than the hospital because "you're young and fit and you'll be fine as an outpatient".

At this point, I'm like "Dude, we should run away together and you can tell me how pretty and "small framed" I am every day".

Ok, so the price tag: $6,000 per surgery if I do them separately, or $11,000 for both at the same time. This was about what I expected, so no happy or sad surprises there. To have it in writing, though, makes it much more real and I'm sort of glad that there is NO WAY I can fit it in before next summer so that I have time to live with my body for a year and really decide if I really need both and also what the priority is. This summer, my breasts have really started to bug me a lot, but to be honest, they look good clothed now that I have found my correct bra size. My stomach does NOT look good in clothes-- even Spanx doesn't flatten me out and I do think I'll get more bang for my buck going that route if I only do one. I know my husband is very reluctant to spend that kind of money (on anything, really), so I'm going to have to figure out a way to make some extra cash over the next year or so to cover costs.

Anyway, it's good to have the info and I walked out feeling better about myself strangely enough.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Telling My Niece to Love Her Body. . . and My Boob Job Consult

Sorry I haven't been around and commenting-- my mom and niece have been here for the past week (they leave this afternoon) and I've been busy entertaining them.

A lot of this week has been spent in swimsuits and clothes shopping (urgh, my bank account!). We took an impromptu trip to Pensacola Beach over the weekend and also have spent time at my pool. My mom hadn't seen me in person since my surgery, so she's been very complimentary and though my niece hasn't said a word about my weight loss, of course she's been hearing the conversations about it. She turns 13 in a couple of days, and she's right in the thick of her body changing in ways that typically make adolescent girls' body image plummet. I REALLY hope I'm not in any way contributing to her feeling bad about her weight or her body. Especially since she heard me tell my mom I have a consultation with a plastic surgery tomorrow morning.

I feel like I need to tell her that it's ok to have a non-perfect body, but I can't because it would make me a hypocrite. Basically, my trip to the ps is based on appearance and it makes me think I must be in denial about how I feel about my body, deep down. I mean on the one hand, I really sort of believe that I accept my body and I'm fine just the way I am. But on the other hand, I'm visiting a surgeon to see how much it would cost to fix my breasts (sooner rather than later), out of pocket, because the way they look is really starting to bug me. These two things don't add up. I'm not sure how to deal with the discrepancy. Maybe the price tag will deal with it one way or the other.

I'll also be asking for an estimate on my tummy work, but that will definitely be a year to two out. I have a lot of fat to lose yet (I think this last 30 lbs will show significant belly loss because it's definitely the sight of the most fat), and I want to wait until I have a good amount of non-interrupted recovery time for that particular surgery. But to be honest, I'd like to have the breasts done as soon as I can afford it (I think reduction, but maybe just a lift- that's something I'll find out tomorrow).

In weight news, my typical period-loss happened, and I have a new low of 168.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Beach Bums

Sandy Toes

I'm back from vacation land, a little too tan and a lot too tired. I seem to have brought an urky post-151 rum tummy back with me, but I'd say the trip was a great success.

We spent 7 days on the beach (with a little afternoon pool time here and there), reading and relaxing and generally having a great time. We went to an all-inclusive resort and stayed in the "club" section, which was adults only. We got lots of pampering and the crowd was quiet (lots of honeymoon and anniversary celebrators), which was right up our alley.

Food and drink was interesting for me. First, I broke the band rule of not drinking while eating, mostly because I was trying to get water in me sometime so I wouldn't get dehydrated and meal-time was the easiest bet. This created a fairly big problem for me at times-- I had several close-calls with getting stuck that seemed to be at least partially the result of taking a drink of water right after a bigger-than-recommended bite of something. So this was a good reminder about following the rules.

I felt a little panicked at times about my eating/drinking. I didn't let completely loose, but I definitely ate more in quantity than I normally would and pushed myself past my satiation point nearly every meal. Not only that, I drank a lot of high calorie "slushy" drinks. A LOT. To combat the additional calories, I worked out in the resort gym a couple times and took some long walks on the beach but I was definitely worried about jumping on the scale this morning.

Beach Walking in a Swimsuit- Oh My!

No worries! I didn't gain or lose a thing as far as I can tell. Of course the pattern over the next few days might reveal a slight gain after all (I do think I'm a bit dehydrated), but nothing worth worrying about. Phew.

So yes, you may have noticed I just posted a pic of myself in a swimsuit. In public. It's a bit of a NSV for me, not because I like the picture (I'm super critical, and the suit is so much cuter in person), but because even though I see the flaws, I can say that on that day when I walked for 2 hours on a crowded beach with topless Europeans and lots of bikini-clad young bodies, I felt confident and not at all self-conscious. Not a bit. I just felt normal, and that was awesome. I actually allowed someone to take a picture of me and I didn't immediately delete it (though I wanted to).

In addition to eating and drinking and laying around, I didn't do much else. I did participate in a beach volleyball tournament one day- my team made it to the finals but lost to my husband's team. Boo.

I may, in fact, be very drunk on rum punch in this picture.

I plan to veg out for the next several days. My mom and niece are flying in on Wednesday for a week long visit, so I need to get rested up for them. We will be celebrating my niece's 13th birthday which should be fun.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Southern Boobs

I can't go to Chicago this year (the airfare is ridiculous), so I'm bumming about not getting to hang out. Any interest among the Florida/Georgia/Alabama/etc. contingent to figure out a way to meet for a night at some point? Maybe in Atlanta?

Just throwing it out there to see if it sticks.

New number on the scale; Punta Cana here we come

I am packed and we are pretty much ready to go to Punta Cana tomorrow! So excited.

On the band front: Today I broke the 160 barrier-- 169.6. I only count whole pounds down, so I'm officially 170, but it was awesome to see a new decade on the scale. The day before a vacation is a mixed blessing, I think, but maybe it will motivate me to actually use the workout clothes I packed while we're gone.

Today I also almost got stuck for the first time-- on a peanut butter sandwich. Duh. Man, that thing went down like a lump. But I didn't have many options in the house and it sounded good. I probably won't be doing that again.

Thanks for all of the comments on my last two posts. First update, our dog sitter did not back out so cross your fingers there are no more snakes to traumatize her! Boarding the dogs is easier, but they absolutely hate it and we're gone for so long that I feel bad stressing them out that much. Plus, I like having someone to take care of a few things so I don't come home to dead plants and a pool filled with algae. And by the way, Justawallflower and Ronnie, I am very offended that you wouldn't want to go on vacay with me-- I can't imagine why not! As for the boobs-- I absolutely plan on having work done, but it will probably be a year or two for me to save the money. Plus, I think I'd like to wait until I go on my 6-month sabbatical (gotta love being a tenured professor) so that I can have plenty of time to recover without having to miss precious pool time in the summer!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Oh, the Drama!

I hope you have plans for get togethers and fireworks. I have to admit that I do not-- we don't live close to family and our friends here tend to get together with their families so we usually just hang out the two of us and have a nice relaxing day. Hubs will be throwing a small pork butt on to smoke today, so we'll have yummy pulled pork for dinner tonight and then pork quesadillas for at least one day if not two this week.

Saturday night we went to see U2 (the main show) and Florence + The Machine (opening act). It was amazing, but incredibly hot. We had seat 1 & 2 in our row. . . . which for some strange reason was not on the aisle but in the middle of a row because they ran two sections together (seat 46 of section I was next to seat 1 of section J). We were packed in like sardines. Still, totally worth it.

We had to travel out of state to see it, so we spent the night in a hotel and had one of my students dog/house sit.

Well, here's the thing-- when we travel, bad things seem to happen. The last time we left town was in May for a quick trip to Pensacola Beach, and on the day we left three things happened: 1) the check engine light came on, 2) my dog sitter called because the smoke detectors were going off and my dogs were flipping out at the noise, and 3) my husband's credit card was denied because he hadn't activated the new one they sent-- not to mention that he'd had to contest about $100 of drinks someone had charged to our room from the bar.

Of course this trip was no different. I was feeling sort of itchy in the room (most likely because it was just hot outside and my skin was dry), so I got a little paranoid about bed bugs even though it was an immaculate room. So we got a really bad night's sleep. As we're leaving to come home, my house sitter called, hysterical, because my dogs had caught a snake in the yard. It was a big one, and it would have been horrifying enough for anyone just worrying about the dogs, but she has a full-on snake phobia so she was literally in the midst of a panic attack. As I was trying to calm her down, my husband was making a deposit at the ATM, got distracted trying to figure out what had happened at home, and forgot to get his debit card back, something we didn't realize until we were an hour into the drive.

All of this has me superstitious about our trip to Punta Cana (this Friday!). It would be really nice not to have anything alarming happen during at least one vacation this summer. We may have lost our house/dog sitter over the snake incident, so we might have to board the dogs but maybe that wouldn't be such a bad thing since the last two dog sitting incidents have been filled with drama.

As for the snake, either the dogs killed it or it was dropped into the yard by a (very large) bird already nearly dead. I believe the latter because though my dogs are huge and love to "hunt", they pretty much suck at the actual death and spend more time spatting out their prey than effectively killing it. I have a hard time believing that two dogs that can't manage to kill a tiny lizard (we have lots of anoles and blue-tailed skinks that love our house) once they catch it would actually kill what I've determined is a Black King Snake.