Wednesday, December 26, 2012

the end of year roundup

it's time a) to stop saying I'm getting back up on the blogging horse and f*&king do it and b) condense my sidebar items in preparation for 2013.  It's a small housekeeping item, so bear with me.  I like to be able to look back at this kind of stuff, so I'm dragging you one or two (or zero) people with me.

My weight loss efforts:

February 2008: 386.4

February 7th: 268.8
March 14th: 276
April 4th: 273.4
May 9th: 281.4
June 6th: 275.6
August 8th: 288
September 5: 288.2
November 14: 312
December 12: 322.4

January 2: 329.6
August 13: 325.4
August 20: 325.2
August 27: 327.0
September 3: 314.2
September 7: Gastric Sleeve Surgery
September 10. 305.8
September 17: 301.8
September 24: 299
October 1: 294.4
October 8: 289.6
October 15: 286.0
October 22: 287.4
October 29: 286.2
November 5: 280.0
November 12: 276.8
November 19: 275.2
November 26: 274.8
December 3: 269.6
December 10: 265.8
December 17: 266.8
December 24: away from home
December 31: 262.6

  • 75. In the Garden of Beasts by Erik Larson
  • 74. The Shadow of the Torturer by Gene Wolfe
  • 73. The Moviegoer by Walker Percy
  • 72. The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
  • 71. Marshall's Guard by Isabo Kelly
  • 70. Dead-Eye Dick by Kurt Vonnegut
  • 69. Stay by Allie Larkin
  • 68. Heart of Danger by Lisa Marie Rice
  • 67. Bite by Sean Michaels
  • 66. Black Heart by Holly Black
  • 65. Girl of Nightmares by Kendare Blake
  • 64. Dead Until Dark by Charlaine Harris
  • 63. Sara and Eleanor: The Story of Sara Delano Roosevelt and Her Daughter-in-Law, Eleanor Roosevelt by Jan Pottker
  • 62. Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
  • 61. The Night Strangers by Chris Bohjalian
  • 60. Bad Boys Online by Erin McCarthy et. al.
  • 59. Red Shirts by John Scalzi
  • 58. The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
  • 57. Locke & Key Volume 2: Head Games by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
  • 56. The Outlaw Album by Daniel Woodrell
  • 55. John Dies At the End by David Wong
  • 54. Dearly Departed by Lia Habel
  • 53. Drive by James Sallis
  • 52. Crossed by J.F. Lewis
  • 51. Seraphina by Rachel Hartmann
  • 50. Unexpected by Lori Foster
  • 49. The Case of the Missing Marquess by Nancy Springer
  • 48. Locke & Key Volume 1: Welcome to Lovecraft by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez
  • 47. Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • 46. The Wave by Susan Casey
  • 45. Blood, Bones, & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
  • 44. Warriors 1 edited by George R.R. Martin
  • 43. The Language of Flowers by Vanessa Diffenbaugh
  • 42. The Great Escape by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • 41. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
  • 40. Dream a Little Dream by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • 39. The Secret of the Great Pyramid by Bob Brier
  • 38. Nobody's Baby But Mine by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • 37. Railsea by China Mieville
  • 36. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake
  • 35. The Paris Wife by Paula McLain
  • 34. The Enchantress by Michael Scott
  • 33. Enticed by His Forgotten Lover by Maya Banks
  • 32. The Gatecrasher by Madeleine Wickham
  • 31. Georgia's Kitchen by Jenny Nelson
  • 30. Amped by Daniel H. Wilson
  • 29. Dragon Shift by Alice Gaines
  • 28. Crazy for Love by Victoria Dahl
  • 27. The Ritual by Adam Nevill
  • 26. The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan
  • 25. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Unseen Visitor by Maryrose Wood
  • 24. The Sisters Brothers by Patrick DeWitt
  • 23. The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down: An Informal History of Hospitality by Jesse Browner
  • 22. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Hidden Gallery by Maryrose Wood
  • 21. A Good and Useful Hurt by Aric Davis
  • 20. Extraordinary, Ordinary People by Condoleezza Rice
  • 19. Fifty Shades of Gray by E.L. James
  • 18. Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik
  • 17. The Cailiffs of Baghdad, Georgia by Mary Helen Stefaniak
  • 16. The 27s: The Greatest Myth of Rock & Roll by Eric Segalstad
  • 15. Surprise Offense by Carol Halston
  • 14. T-R-O-U-B-L-E by Sable Hunter
  • 13. Room by Emma Donoghue
  • 12. The Reader by Bernhard Schlink
  • 11. The Hangman's Daughter by Oliver Potzsch
  • 10. Night Road by Kristin Hannah
  • 9. Blackdog by K.V. Johansen
  • 8. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
  • 7. Willpower: Rediscovering Humanity's Greatest Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney
  • 6. War Horse by Michael Morpurgo
  • 5. Farmer in the Sky by Robert Heinlein
  • 4. Graveminder by Melissa Marr
  • 3. Stay by Ally Larkin
  • 2. Deep Cover by Sandra Orchard
  • 1. Burning Up by Angela Knight et al


Les Miserables
Cique du Soleil: Worlds Away
Wreck-It Ralph
Paranormal Activity 4
The Possession
Madagascar 3
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Dog Days
The Campaign
The Dark Knight Rises
Magic Mike
Men In Black 3
The Raven
Cabin in the Woods
Mirror, Mirror
The Hunger Games
The Lorax
Jack & Jill
The Woman in Black
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows
The Devil Inside
Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

movin' right along

So, I'm 6 weeks out from surgery and 43 pounds down.  43 down, 100 to go.  It's gonna happen.

Just so we're clear, here's what I had done:
I feel good, my energy is mostly back. I haven't gotten back to sleeping through the night completely, but I'll get there. I really believe that as soon as the weather figures out that it's Fall and my house stays cool at night that the sleeping issue will get a bit better. After all, what was keeping me up the most were issues of digestion and all that has settled down to at least 98% normal.

Week 7 starts next Monday and I'll be on the lifetime maintenance diet, which means I get to eat whatever I want, in small amounts.  Right now I can eat lean chicken, turkey, fish, or seafood.  I haven't been craving beef or pork as much as I thought I would, but I'm REAL tired of chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood as that's all I've been eating since week 4.  Before that, I got tired of strained soups and soft foods, so progress has been made certainly.

Things that happened pretty much immediately include my knee pain practically disappearing, my plantarfaciitis going the same, and my carpal tunnel settling down.  I assume those issues will continue to subside and if nothing else resulted, I'd be happy with than as those contributed to a lot of my chronic pain.  I still don't walk for exercise a whole lot because that's about the only thing that aggravates my confounded knees but I do ride my recumbent bike a lot.  I have a post surgical followup with my surgeon on Election Day and I expect to get cleared for swimming and maybe some aerobics if my knees will manage it.  I still have some twinges of pain in my abdomen from time to time if I'm twisting or bending while lifting something so I know there's still some healing going on in there.  I don't want to do anything to jeopardize how good I feel right now.  I'm really looking forward to starting back to pilates but it's definitely too soon for that right now.  I do a couple of crunches after my post-cycling stretch, but those muscles are ready for any serious squishing and I'm not going to try for another couple of weeks.  My post surgical instructions said no strenuous exercise for 6-8 weeks, so I can hold out on trying for another 2 weeks. 

No regrets!  Moving forward from here!

How you doin'?

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

broccoli carbs

Imagine my disappointment to learn that, according to the app I'm using to keep a food log, my one cup of steamed broccoli has almost 10 grams of carbohydrates.  Go on, imagine it.  I'll wait.

My second day of presurgery, low carb eating and I'm....I don't want to say miserable or uncomfortable, but it's easy to see that I was more addicted to them than I imagined.  I'm selecting from a food list provided by my doctor, so I don't have many concerns on that score but I'd really love some cheese dip and tortilla chips about now.  One of my friends on Facebook mentioned having a craving for margaritas and now that's been a recurring thought ALL. DAY. LONG.  The salt, the tequila...I can almost taste them in the air.  Oh well, there's low fat string cheese and natural almonds in my lunch box for a snack on the way home after work.  I shouldn't really be eating this late at night, but if I don't snack there'll be consequences.  And I'll have to take full responsibility for them.

Who knows how Labor Day will go.  I've had several requests for outings, but if I still feel as wishy-washy, willpower and craving-wise, as I do right now I really believe the smartest thing for me to do would be to stay home.  It could be that I'll get over the hump of this by week's end and feel stronger and more confident over the weekend but from where I'm sitting now, it seems unlikely.  Especially knowing I have those two clear liquid days coming up next Wednesday and Thursday.  I haven't been exercising because I don't want to be any hungrier that I am just sitting on my ass.

On the bright side, I learned about a protein powder today in the flavor of Peanut Butter Cookie.  Unfortunately, I also learned they were out of stock.  Trust me, when they get back in stock, I'll do my part to buy them out again.  I can imagine a Frosty Chocolate and Peanut Butter Cookie protein concoction inventing itself in my Ninja as we speak.

I've had several people ask me if I'm scared or nervous and I can't really say that I am.  I've been reading about, preparing and stocking for, and thinking about this since April.  I've got lists and motivational books and charts.  My friend KT has backed me up on a point with which I feel comfortable: I have my shit together.

I told her about some of the YouTube videos I'd briefly looked at.  There was a lot of discussion of contant nausea, not being able to eat, not knowing what to eat, and just general confusion.  But I know what to eat, was informed about the common causes of nausea after this surgery, and have no underlying health issues other than arthritic knees.

I can do this.

Friday, August 24, 2012

here we go

So, I have my surgery's September 7th.  I'll be getting the sleeve

My no/low carb diet before surgery starts next week on August 29th and my clear liquid diet starts on September 5th.  I'll be on the clear liquid diet for 2-3 days after surgery, then full liquids, then creamy liquids, then soft foods.  I should be able to work back up to regular foods (as tolerated) in around 6-8 weeks, if I'm remembering correctly. 

I'm nervous and excited but most of all, I'm simply READY to start this new adventure.  If everything goes as planned, I could be down to where I'm supposed to be within the year.  Here's hoping!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

the tall, tall, wagon

So, I've been working pretty hard (for me, anyway) on getting back on the exercise wagon.  After my knees went to crap, I fell off of it hard enough to know me out.  It is SO hard to get back in the habit but my knees, while they will never be "good as new," are 95% pain free.  There is no reason I can't climb, gently, back in the saddle and every possibility that once I do they will feel even better.  Intellectually, I know this to be true.  Trying to get out of bed early enough to make it happen is another story in a different language.

I'm here to tell you first hand that the downhill slide from active to sedentary is a steep one.  I'm struggling with a fairly large knot of shame for the level of health I let slip through my fingers.  I'm a big girl, but I used to have boundless energy and decent stamina for general daily tasks.  Not I struggle home exhausted each night.  No exercise or fitness of any kind will be taking place in the evenings unless a miracle occurs.  If it doesn't happen in the morning while I'm fresh and lively, I just don't see it happening.  I'll have to work up to it, that much is obvious.

I believe all these things are linked.  If I can just climb back in to the tall, tall wagon, better things are on the horizon for sure.  Four straight days of getting activity in, and counting!

Monday, August 13, 2012

who's ready for fall?

Um, that'd be me.  I'm so ready for some cooler temps, I could just spit.  We've had a couple of cooler days here and it just whets the appetite for a crisp fall day when I can put a box fan in the window and call it a day.  I really enjoy that time of year (spring and fall) when I have a month or two of power bills down in the double digits since I don't have to run the air/heat.

Anyway, I still haven't received a surgery date and I seem to be on the acid blockers indefinitely.  It's the only way I can tolerate the vitamins.  My knee scope has healed fantastically!  I won't be walking for fitness anytime soon, but I take short walks from time to time.  I'm getting most of my exercise from a recumbent bike, plus I'm pretty active at work.  My plantarfaciitis AND carpal tunnel have both decided to flare up recently so I've really been feeling like an old lady.  Joints popping, limping, stiff and sore.  Plus I hate sleeping in my wrist braces because I always have dreams that I'm tied up and in danger.  It's distressing.

Other than being in a holding pattern, waiting for a surgery date, nothing's going on.  I sleep, drive, work, drive, and sleep again.  I'm usually too tired for anything else.  Being down with the knee, and only for a few weeks, really seemed to mow me over.  I was exercising so hard this time last year before all that began.  I felt good and I WAS good, then it all went to shit so quickly.

Here's hoping I can get back that feeling of well-being and fun by the end of the year!

Monday, June 18, 2012

jumping june bugs

and leaping lizards, and all that.

Lots of stuff has been going on and I've been far too lazy to post it here.  We are SO busy at the library that I can't think straight most of the time, and that's a good thing, but I just fall into the house exhausted at the end of the day and pay no attention to poor blogger.  Also, the blasted knees.  After struggling along for so long limping on the left, it was the right that decided to really put the screws to me.

So I'm now I'm exactly a month out from having my knee scoped.  The doctor smoothed out all the cartilage tears he could get to, but I have some areas of bone starting to wear through and there ain't no fixin that.  So, all this to say, I've finally made the decision to have weight loss surgery.  I've tried and tried and tried and tried again over the years, different methods, mentors, and motivators, and none of it has worked.  Now my joints are giving out on me and I'm pretty much in constant pain of one kind or another.  If the globe continues to turn and family genetics hold true, I've got a good 50-60 years of life left, and I'd rather not go through them feeling like this.  I'm desperate and willing to do it, whereas 6 or 7 years ago this was a distasteful option for me.  Now I'm ready, willing, and able.  Ready for a new me and a new life, hopefully one free of knee pain and my CPAP machine (or so they say).

I'm having trouble with the vitamins right now.  They gave me heartburn so I'm on generic Prilosec for another week, then I'll add the vitamins back slowly, one by one, to see if I can identify which one is causing all the trouble.  After we get this little problem nailed down, it should move right along to scheduling my surgery.  I'm terrified and excited, all at the same time.

Good or bad, I don't care.  I just want my knees to stop hurting all the time.

Monday, January 16, 2012

new year, new me

boy, does that title sound SO corny, like a crummy self-help title.  but it's true.  i can only speak for how i feel right here, right now, but i feel as if i've turned a corner.  i'm feeling more and more each day like i did 8 years ago (was it 8 YEAR?!) when i was kicking ass and taking names at weight watchers.  who knows why i've blown it since last summer and gained 60 pounds.  focusing on the why of the past doesn't help me find the how of the future so i'm letting go of all that.

enter the new me: heavy, chronic knee pain, which i associate with the increasingly chronic tiredness and irritability.  i'm ready to feel better, physically, mentally, and all other -ally's that apply.  the knee pain is the most disheartening thing dragging me down right now.  now that i have the image in my mind, it's very much like kirsten dunst's dream sequence in melancholia with the yarn.  if you don't know what i'm talking about, that's another sad thing best left to another discussion.  the most i'll say about it is find your local indie movie theater and beg them to get it if they haven't shown it already and you just missed it.

i just finished the greatest book i've had the privilege of reading in quite some time, Willpower: Rediscovering the Greastest Human Strength by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney.  The book discusses willpower in general, not just for the purposes of changing your eating habits, and it was all information that i needed to hear.  for instance, who would have guessed that making yourself sit/stand up straight consistently throughout the day is more likely to strengthen your willpower for resisting that fast food run than telling yourself what an awful idea that would be, how much fatter and uglier eating that doughnut will make you, etc.  Also, and Dr. B has been prompting me of this for YEARS, self monitoring.  Whatever it is you need to do (watching what you eat, stopping smoking, saving money), making a physical note of what you do is important.

so i downloaded a food/exercise journaling app on my phone.  i have absolutely NO idea why this did not occur to me earlier, but Baumeister talks about it in the book and BAM, the idea was planted and implemented.  i absolutely LOVE it! the search functions are great and the best feature, as far as i'm concerned, is that it has an imbedded barcode scan feature, separate from the QR code reader that i already have, so if i have a product to add to my food log that still in it's original packaging or i just want to check how much of my daily calorie allowance a packaged food will take up, scan the barcode and the nutritional info and serving size is right there on the screen.  it's super easy to look up other foods and add your own as well.  like ANY other monitoring vehicle, if you have a custom food to enter or write down, you have to add up the nutritional content of all ingredients and divide by the number of servings.  that's true for any attempt to log your food for any program or app so i'm accustomed to that as a holdover from my weight watchers days.  the app i downloaded is the Calorie Counter from Fat Secret.  Fat Secret has a great website ( as well and the app, like any good app should, syncs any info so that whether i add my food or exercise on my phone or the website, it populates to both places without me having to worry about it.

i'm excited about it, and about how committed i feel about, so i hope this motivates someone to get out there and add some sort of new self improvement change to their life!

Friday, January 6, 2012

happy new year

so, I'm six days in on the new year and not doing so well with my new year's resolution to blog more.  however I'm absolutely kicking ass on my new year's resolution to stop using my debit card at drive thru's...but it is only 6 days in.  I'm trying not to focus on that though.  One of my daily motivational emails (which I printed out and have hanging over my desk at work) says to be careful what you wish for, not because you might get it, but because that may emphasize its absence in your life.  So, somewhere in my convoluted mind, this connection makes sense to me....that I not focus on the 299 odd days left in the year with no debit drive thru, but rather on my 6 days of ass kicking success.  Tomorrow will be big number 7!

KT and I are going to see The Devil Inside tonight.  There's little we like better than a good demon possession movie, so hopefully it'll be just that...GOOD!  I don't know what's worse, going home alone to a (hopefully) empty house as I'll be doing, or going home to a husband who KNOWS how susceptible you are to getting spooked and who possibly might hide in a dark doorway to scare the crap out of you as you creep in late at night as KT will be doing.  It's a toss up for sure :-)

You may be thinking to yourself, or actually saying out loud, "why go to a horror movie if it scares you?"  I have no answer for you.  I love horror movies, the scarier the better.  If it keeps me from going to sleep or makes me wakeful, staring out into the dark from under the covers, I'm happy.  Go figure.

again, Happy New Year!

books and movies 2011

I always like to keep track of the movies I watch and the books that I read.  No particular reason, just so's I can keep track :-)

80. The Lady of the Storm by Kathryne Kennedy
79. A Lasting Impression by Tamera Alexander
78. Courting Death by Carol Stephenson
77. The Daddy Catch by Leigh Duncan
76. Guys & Dogs by Elaine Fox
75. Behemoth by Scott Westerfeld
74. The Sibling Effect by Jeffrey Kluger
73. How to Eat a Small Country by Amy Finley
72. Revamped by Jeremy Lewis
71. My Year With Eleanor by Noelle Hancock
70. Staked by Jeremy Lewis
69. A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness
68. Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld
67. Gentlemen of the Road by Michael Chabon
66. The Warlock by Michael Scott
65. Thirsty by Tracey Bateman
64. Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay
63. The Necromancer by Michael Scott
62. Kill Shakespeare: Volume 1 by Conor McCreery
61. Those Across the River by Christopher Buehlman
60. What Comes After by Steve Watkins
59. The Sorceress by Michael Scott
58. The Magician by Michael Scott
57.Unforgettable by Penny Richards
56. The Lost Art of Reading: Why Books Matter in a Distracted Time by David Ulin
55. The Billionaire's Unexpected Heir by Kathie DeNosky
54. His Country Girl by Jillian Hart
53. Days of Reading by Marcel Proust
52. Empire in Black and Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky
51. Gideon's Sword by Douglas Preston
50. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortensen
49. The Help by Kathryn Stockett
48. A Dance with Dragons by George R. R. Martin
47. Prince of Mist by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
46. Cowboys and Aliens by Scott Mitchell Rosenberg
45. Red Glove by Holly Black 44. Belladonna by Mary Finn
43. Zombies vs. Unicorns edited by Holly Black and Justine Larbalestier
42. Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
41. Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson
40. Honey, Baby, Sweetheart by Deb Caletti
39. A Feast for Crows by George R. R. Martin
38. A Storm of Swords by George R. R. Martin
37. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
36. A Red Herring Without Mustard by Alan Bradley
35. The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
34. The Weed That Strings the Hangman's Bag by Alan Bradley
33. A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin
32. The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley
31. You Think That's Bad: Stories by Jim Shepard
30. The Night Season by Chelsea Cain
29. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
28. Smokin' Six Shooter by B.J. Daniels
27. Vampire Empire, Book One: The Greyfriar by Clay and Susan Griffith
26. Great Classic Science Fiction narrated by various artists
25. Slan by A.E. van Vogt
24. The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals by Michael Pollan
23. Women for President: Media Bias in Eight Campaigns by Erika Falk
22. Now and Then by Jacquelyn Sheehan
21. The Hunt by Anne Marsh
20. Major Pettigrew's Last Stand by Helen Simonson
19. Exotica: Seven Days of Kama Sutra, Nine Days of Arabian Nights by Eden Bradley
18. The Incorrigible Children of Ashton Place: The Mysterious Howling by Maryrose Wood
17. Bond With Me by Anne Marsh
16. The World Inside by Robert Silverberg
15. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
14. Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout
13. The Healer's Garden by Nina Pierce
12. Unchained: The Dark Forgotten by Sharon Ashwood
11. Dane: Lords of Satyr by Elizabeth Amber
10. Taken Beyond Temptation by Cara Summers
9. A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
8. Pnin by Vladimir Nabokov
7. Conspiracy in Death by J.D. Robb
6. Passionate Pleasures by Bertrice Small
5. Perfect Partners? by C.J. Carmichael
4. The Painted Veil by W. Somerset Maugham
3. The Hell-Fire Clubs: Sex, Satanism, and Secret Societies by Evelyn Lord
2. The Fall by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan
1. Pushing Ice by Alastair Reynolds

Melancholia (2) :-D
Dolphin Tale :-D
The Adventures of Tintin :-D
Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked :-(
Arthur Christmas :-D
Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows :-D
Breaking Dawn (2) :-D
Paranormal Activity 3 :-D
Dream House :-(
50/50 :-)
Don't Be Afraid of the Dark :-D
Our Idiot Brother (2) :-)
The Smurfs (2) :-)
Mr. Popper's Penguins :-/ meh
Pirates of the Caribbean 4: On Stranger Tides :-/ meh
The Help (3) :-D
Cowboys vs. Aliens :-)
Captain America :-/ meh
The Cave of Forgotten Dreams :-D
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (2) :-D
Green Lantern :-)
Diary of a Wimpy Kid 2: Rodrick Rules :-)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (2D) :-)
Kung Fu Panda 2 (3D) :-)
Thor :-/ meh
Priest :-)
Hop :-)
Insidious :-D
Gnomeo & Juliet :-D
Paul :-D
The Adjustment Bureau :-)
Rango :-D
The Rite :-/ meh
True Grit :-D
The Green Hornet :-/ meh
Season of the Witch :-(