Murder Mystery Weekend!

by Christine on October 31st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Before I launch into my adventures over the weekend, I thought I’d share a little bit about the gastric band. I’m constantly surprised at how quickly it can change from “just right” to “too tight.” Almost all week I have been doing fine eating; few “stuck” episodes, could eat my normal fare of food. In fact, on Friday I even had 2 bites of a sandwich (a real sandwich! with bread!) and not only was it utterly divine, but it went down with no problems at all.

Then WHAMMO, Sunday happened and I was choking on a glass of milk. I could barely get a thing down. Go figure.  Some days it’s good, and some days it’s a challenge. I don’t know what to expect today, but I almost always start my day off with some yogurt, so I can see how that goes…

But such is my everyday living with the band.  Even with its challenges, I still think that the band is completely worth it. I would choose these difficulties any day versus the alternative–being overweight and the challenges that brings. Skinny is worth it, trust me.

This past week I went away to a conference for work. There I ran into my former boss. He had the gastric banding surgery a year before me, and he’s really what motivated me to get my own surgery done. (Also, it helped, knowing that our company health insurance plan would cover the costs!)  My former boss was a really big guy…like 350 pounds perhaps, and he’s not particularly tall. I want to say he lost about 150 pounds with the gastric banding surgery.

Well, he’s gaining weight back, and it’s really noticeable. In fact, when we went out to dinner, I was watching him eat, and he was indulging in pastas, breads, and just his quantity of food was clearly more than he should be able to eat. When I spoke to him, his conversation completely centered around food…around the food his son’s restaurant serves, about food at a wedding he went to this past weekend, about a great new restaurant he and his wife found last week. Food food food.  I felt really sad talking to him. I hope that I don’t gain weight back like he has.

Fortunately, I’m solidly in my weight-maintenance range, and have been for the past 10 months. This morning I weighed myself, as I do every morning. I was 127.0, right on target for me.

This weekend was full of festivities! On Friday night I went out drinking with a friend. Boy, I really needed to cut loose a bit. I drank beyond “moderation” (and ate too little–a bad calorie swap, really) but I was astonished at how little it took to get me drunk. 3 years ago I would have had 5 cosmos and a few mixed drinks before getting tipsy. Nowadays it takes me 3 beers.  We bar-hopped around town (and I had a bite of his delicious sandwich, omg soooo good) and had a fun time getting out and about!

On Saturday our friend Art was celebrating his 40th birthday in style–he and his fiancee hosted a murder mystery party at Beardsley Castle. It was a fantastic time! It was a 1980’s high school reunion theme. We were given roles and scripts ahead of time, and I was supposed to play Cindy Crawfish (aka: Cindy Crawford), and I was told to dress sexy and flirt. Yikes! Sexy is out of my comfort zone. Librarian or nun, sure, I’ve got that covered, but sexy?  I did my best, and I guess I did well because I won the award for best actress for the day! I had fun playing the sexkitten, and I threw a couple of our guy friends off their kilter, which was absolutely hilarious!

I even had one guy tell Art afterwards that he thought I was hot! That’s a compliment I sure don’t hear every day!

After the party (which was a lunch party) we went over to a friend’s house to chill out, and then in the evening I joined two girlfriends for karaoke.

Yesterday I visited with my in-laws, and I bought a new ski jacket! My old ski jacket was a size XL and no longer really kept me warm because too much air got inside the jacket. The new ski jacket is a size small! (Actually, the sweater I wore for the murder mystery party was a size EXTRA SMALL, from NY&Co!) Non-scale victories that feel awesome!!

Have a happy Halloween everyone!


I can see my vagina!

by Christine on October 7th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

So there’s a few strange things about losing weight that I never really anticipated when I started this journey. 94 pounds later, and sooooo close to my goal weight, I’ve discovered:

  • My vagina. Seriously, I have one. And I kinda have an idea what it looks like, without the need to either straddle a hand mirror or lift about 40 pounds of lower-belly fat to find it.  Perhaps I’ll start waving to it, talking to it, maybe writing odes to it. It’s a like a new visitor ’round here. “Hi!!!”
  • My armpits. I had no idea that when you are fat, your armpits are kind of flat-ish.  When you lose weight, your armpits turn into these great big cavernous divits. And shaving is a MASSIVE pain in the ass. I’m constantly missing spots because of the divits. Or because the razor seems suddenly very large. Armits. Gnar.
  • Hipbones. I like to sleep on my side, and my hips dig into my ultra-super-fluffy mattress and HURT. What the flying fuck is up with that? I wake up sore as hell, my hips throbbing from sleeping on them.
  • My boobies. Two strange things have happened with my ta-tas.  First, I USED to have really big boobies–Double Ds, I think, I never really got fitted properly for a bra at my heaviest. Man, have my boobies shrunk since losing weight! I’m probably a B now, but I have all kinds of loose skin, so if you try to shove the extra skin into a bra cup, then it sort of fills out a C. Without a bra, my boobs droop and sag like dried up udders. It’s really quite awful!!  I think I can twirl them around and lasso a small cat if I wanted to, they are just loose flaps of skin.  The last few days I’ve discovered some other new phenomena with my boobs. I remember when I was gaining weight…my boobs became less sensitive. It’s like you have a set number of nerve endings in your boobs, and as your ta-tas get bigger, the nerve endings get spread out, so they are less sensitive. Now that my boobs have shrunk, they have become MORE sensitive. In a really good way. I like it, a lot.  I assume this is not uncommon with women who have lost weight? (Anyone care to “weigh in” on the topic?)  Welcome back, nerve endings.

So there you go. A few things I didn’t really realize about weight loss that I’ve recently discovered on my body. They are not all good — such as the shriveled up boobies. But you know what? It’s totally worth it, in the end, to be thinner. Every “bad” thing is liveable and totally worth going through this journey. I am still very, very grateful.


I’ve Got Less Junk in My Trunk

by Christine on September 7th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

Did you guys see it in that group photo I posted yesterday, at the race track?

Not only was I not squished in the grandstand seats…but I actually had ample room to twist, turn, and get comfy in the seat. I had plenty of seat this time! Last year at the track I was squished into the grandstand seats, like a sardine.

Yesterday, a woman came and sat down next to me in those stands. She was a large woman, and she was trying very hard not to take up lots of room, but she couldn’t help but to spill over a little into my seat. It was not a big problem — I had enough room to spare — but I felt bad for her nonetheless. I’ve been there, and I know how uncomfortable that can be.  My pity only goes so far for her though — while I was sitting there she had two sausages on buns, a basket of nachos and cheese, and a large soda.

I was looking at the schedule for this week, and lo and behold, I’ve actually got nothing going on this week! Miraculous! Plus, this weekend is currently unplanned as well. I can’t wait! I can finally catch up on some much-needed gym time and housework. I’ve been sitting here this morning trying to think of all the things I would like to get caught up on this week. I have some paperwork to sort through and a ton of autographs to scan in. I’d like to cook at least two healthy dinners, play a board game with my hubby, and finish this book that’s been monopolizing my time.  The basement (“the man cave”) is a disaster, and with hubby’s okay I’d like to get in there to organize, clean, and throw a bunch of stuff of mine out that I know I will never use.  He doesn’t need my junk cluttering up the man cave! If I have enough time, I’d like to pull out some fall decorations and decorate a bit upstairs with some fall foliage. Maybe I’ll even do an art project with some dried maple leaves I pressed last year!  Oh, the possibilities are endless!

For my workout this week, I think I will take a page from Patrick and Shane’s playbook and get some exercise in outdoors because the weather is supposed to be ideal! There’s a small elementary school near my house that I want to use. There’s a basketball hoop, a volleyball net, a general playground, and a HUGE parking lot. I’m thinking of doing some bootcamp drills (squats/lunges, suicides, crab/bear crawls, rump rope) with something fun thrown in for good measure.   Does anyone have any suggestions for having silly cardiovascular fun outdoors, in a big old parking lot? Like…hopscotch or anything like that?


Monday Morning: Back at it!

by Christine on August 16th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning, Revolutionists!

It’s Monday, and I’m back at work and in a far better mood than I was in on Monday.

I feel really good that I got some decent workouts in this weekend. Saturday I had a mediocre workout, but yesterday I jogged a 5K and had a decent time (36:20). I’m not breaking a personal best, nor am I astounding this workout community with my time.  However, I’m not a runner, so this time is comfortable and feels good to me. It’s more the act of merely going to the gym that I am most proud of. It’s so easy to fall out of the routine. I’m sure you all know exactly what I mean. I preceded the 5K with some leg-weights and followed the 5k with 200 situps and some light stretches.

(oh my word! I snapped the picture on the right when I was done working out, in the locker room. I had no idea that I get big bulgy veins in my forehead! EWWW!)

I got so much housework done yesterday! I weeded my gardens and discovered two giant sunflowers growing in my vegetable garden! I cleaned my bathroom cabinets out. I cleaned the kitchen cabinets out. Guess what I find in my kitchen cabinets? Leftover halloween candy! Can you guess what I did with the candy?

I also went in search of the dead chipmunk. You see, my cat seems to have a knack at catching the little buggers and then holding them captive in the house until they die.  I, too, have a propensity towards finding little critters in my house.  Well, using my nose, trying to follow the smells of decay, I finally found the little guy. He doesn’t seem to have died a pleasant death. I found him wrapped in the middle of a stack of blankets I like to use in the living room. I guess I’m going to have to triple-wash the blankets. SIGH. Does it make me a terrible sap that I cried when I found him, feeling sad for his animal-family that must be missing him?

Eating yesterday was okay. I had leftover black beans and mushrooms laying around, so I made a small pan of bean/taco dip. (Beans, mushrooms, onion, tomato, salsa, ground beef, taco cheese, all in layers.) It turned out delicious, but I know that it’s not a low-calorie dish (especially with that cheese!), so I limited myself to one-eighth of the small pan. Just a few bites, really.  I had a protein shake for lunch, and some 10-calorie jello with some canned fruit thrown in.

I also went shopping at Target and spent entirely too much money, although they were all items that we really did need, such as toilet paper and socks (poor hubby has holes in many of his socks) and deodorant.  $250, just gone, POOF, just like that! I found some gummy vitamin chews! I bought two — one kind for kids and one for adults. The kids chews are pretty darn tasty; I haven’t tried the adult type yet. I found it curious though — the kids chews have a wide range of vitamins, including Vitamin B, but the adult pills only had three vitamins, NOT Vitamin B! I can’t swallow big horse pills with the band, so I haven’t done any multi-vitamins in a long, long time. These chews are a great solution! Even if they don’t give me all of the supplement that I am lacking in my diet, at least it’s something. And something is better than nothing!

This morning I feel solidly back on track! I had some cheerios this morning, and have a bag of almonds prepared for my mid-morning snack. It’s pretty much a typically day! (1-cup cheerios = 100 calories.  1 handful of almonds = 100 calories.)

OH!!! I had a NSV!!! You see, I have an underwear problem. I have a big pile of underwear that mostly don’t fit me properly. Victoria Secret cotton briefs, size XL are so big that I can pull them up over my boobs, no joke. The size L droop in my butt so much the extra fabric hangs halfway down the back of my leg. The size M fit better, but are still pretty loose. Well, at Target yesterday I decided I would chance buying some undies in a size S. This morning, judgement time. THEY FIT!!!  Perfectly, actually.  So today I am wearing size S underwares, a size 6 skirt, a size S (Banana Republic) sweater….this is PERFECT! Heaven!  It’s the little things that make this whole journey so worthwhile!

The scale is still stuck at 138.0. That’s okay because (1) I know it’ll move downward soon, I can feel it, and (2) I’m eating well and exercising, doing everything right, (3) I’m PMS-ing (as if my Friday meltdown wasn’t indication enough!), and (4) although I am still working towards my goal of losing the last few pounds, I also know that I’m healthy, happy, feel so much better about myself….and that’s good.


Job Interviews and NSV(s)!

by Christine on August 10th, 2010

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Happy Tuesday Revolutionists!

There’s so much going on, on the job front.  Last week I got a call from a job that I applied for (high-security, government, nuclear program) and was told that the HR manager would be calling me for a brief phone interview. On Friday, the HR manager called me. I was really flustered because the call came through at work, so I was rushing to shut the door, talk softly, turn off my music streaming on the interwebz, etc. In other words, my head wasn’t paying attention to the man on the other end of the phone, and I stuttered and stammered my way through one of the worst interviews I’ve ever had. I basically repeated everything he told me about the job description. Really, wretched. He only asked me one question, had me on the phone for approximately three minutes, then said, “Okay, yeah, well, I’ll be talking to Ms. HR Director and we’ll be in touch.”

Yeah, I’m not holding my breath.

Well, the (high security, government, nuclear) job called me back yesterday and scheduled an in-person interview! Needless to say, I was shocked that they called me. It shall be next week, and will take three hours. I’ll have to take a half a day off work that day.  I have a lot of preparation and background research I need to do in order to nail this interview properly, but I feel confident that I’ll do well.

Perceived Pros for Job #1:

  • Room for advancement and growth
  • Probably pays well, since it takes an act of god to get a job there
  • Job security (stable company)
  • Could commute to work with Hubby (save gas money!)

Perceived Cons for Job #1:

  • Probably not very flexible, in terms of schedule.
  • Work may not be challenging.
  • Large company = probably a lot of stupid big-company fighting that I would love to avoid.  I’ve discovered that communications staff get thrown into the middle of inter-department squabbling more often than not….
  • Crappy commute to work (because of traffic, not because of commuting with hubby!)
  • The job requirements are all things I can do in my sleep. Other than learning about the nuclear trade, I wouldn’t be developing any additional skills.
  • Offers zero management (no staff members working for me, probably no big projects to oversee, etc)
  • Requires a really in-depth FBI security check, which isn’t a problem at ALL, just a hassle.
  • Absolutely no interwebz surfing at work.

There is also Job #2, a managing editor position with a publishing company.  I got a call for an interview the day after I submitted my resume, no doubt due in part to the fact that I know someone that works there. I have my telephone interview with them today, then an in-person interview on Thursday.  While I do not have any direct publishing experience, which definitely plays against me, I feel very confident that I could do this job and do it well. Plus, my background and skills (such as technical editing and writing) that I bring to the table will be a definite plus.

Pros for Job #2:

  • Room for advancement and growth
  • I’ve always been interested in publishing. I’d be learning a new industry as well as new skills.
  • Offers management of projects and perhaps of people as well
  • Perhaps pays well?
  • Offers flexible schedule, which is a HUGE plus to me
  • It’s so close to home I could ride my bike there on a nice day! Easy commute!
  • The subject matter that I’d be in charge of publishing are things related to the building industry, such as building code handbooks, green design guidelines, etc. These are all topics that I’m familiar with (I used to work for an architecture/engineering firm) and will enjoy working on.

Cons for Job #2:

  • I hear that the company has been bought out several times, and each time it gets bought out they go and fire a bunch of people (and then restructure, then re-hire half of them back).  Sounds unstable.
  • I don’t have direct publishing experience and therefore may be diving into something way over my head.
  • I’m not sure that this job would build my resume in ways that I’d like it to. For instance, if this job didn’t pan out and I wanted to jump back into marketing, it would be harder to make the switch from editor/publishing than if I took Job 1.

Well, we’ll see how it pans out. I have to nail these interviews and learn much more about the organizations before I make any judgements about which job would be a good fit for me. My gut is telling me that Job #2 would be a good fit for me…

To prepare for the interviews, I went shopping yesterday to get a new business suit. I was very sad that I didn’t find a suit at Ann Taylor or Talbots, but I found a suit that perhaps isn’t as classy (aka: expensive) but looks FANTASTIC on me…at JC Penny! The suit was a fifth of the price ($80) I would have paid at Ann Taylor ($450). A win-win!

My NSV: I am solidly a Size 6! Every suit I tried on yesterday was a Size 6 and was clearly the correct size for me. I tried on an 8 and it was falling off me. I tried on a size 4 and could zip it up, but it felt like it was slicing my vagina in half. A little tight.  I’m close though! I have a feeling that if I can reach my goal weight (125), I will be a size 4. What a dream!  At Banana Republic all the shirts I tried on were in a Size Small! I was giddy with happiness over this NSV!  I remember how excited I was to be in a Size 6 for the first time (read here) and buying a pencil skirt for the first time!  For that matter, I remember how excited I was to be in a size 12! Wow, what a long way I’ve come on this weight-loss journey since I started.

Breakfast yesterday was almonds and Red Bull, then lunch was a can of soup like usual.  For dinner I had a homemade pork roast (tasted like ham, oddly enough…maybe 3 oz worth), with a side salad.  I had very few snacks in between meals, which is bad! My cals just barely topped 600, which is too few, even for me. Today the scale was up…salt bloat? Stress bloat? “Starving bloat?” (ha ha, like that Allan?) Perhaps I need to lock my scale away for the next 2 weeks until the interviews are over. I might make myself crazy over it, and I have enough on my plate to worry about at the moment without worrying about my weight. After a year and a half, you’d hope that I would have built good enough skills to monitor my weight without the use of a scale, yes? You’d think so, but I fear it’s not the case….

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