Conquering a demon

I need to tell you a story, but I kind of don’t want to. Because even though it ends well, it started out very, very painfully. 

You may not believe it, but I didn’t know I was fat. I mean, I knew I weighed more than I wanted. I knew I was bigger than other people. But I thought that I carried it well, that I wasn’t all that big, that no one would notice. I believed that I could pull off, “I’m really tired today” when I couldn’t walk from one place to another. I thought I could fool people by saying “I’m eating crap today” as if I didn’t do it every day. I really believed I was above average with weight, but not frighteningly so. 

And then we went to Busch Gardens. I’ve been going there my whole life. I’ve ridden roller coasters as long as I can remember. And so it never occurred to me that there’d be anything wrong with standing in line for Apollo’s Chariot. But years ago – maybe… 6 or more – I got into the seat and they couldn’t snap me in. Apollo’s has this evil lap thing – no real harness. And it’s designed for smaller people. They (now) even have a chair outside of the line so that “larger guests” can make sure they fit before getting on. I could rant about that, but it’s not the point. 

The point is that I waited in line, suspecting nothing. I sat down in the seat. Everyone loaded. And then they couldn’t latch the restraint. And asked me to get off. 

I didn’t know I was that fat. 

And it was SO, SO traumatizing. 

I quit the park. I was miserable. I stopped riding all kinds of rides. I was depressed. It was awful. In fact, though my friends could tell you my life tends to be an open book, I told very, very few people about it. 

But I tell you this depressing story in order for you to appreciate (or maybe in order for ME to appreciate) what happened yesterday. I waited in line for an hour and sat, somewhat nervously, back in that seat. And when they released the latches, I pulled it down over me. And it stayed. And I rode the roller coaster. 

I’m a size 12 now, so there wasn’t actually any doubt that I’d be able to, but the whole hour in line, I was still nervous. I looked around at the people in line, trying to gauge where I fell in comparison. Was I bigger or smaller than the woman in front of me? (I stared at her for 30 minutes, but still have no idea.) That girl over there; I’m surely smaller than her. Will they all be able to ride? Is anyone here going to be kicked off? Does anyone not know? (And would anyone actually sit in the seat at the front of the line with a large, bold sign over it that says, “For our larger guests”?)*

In the end, of course, I was fine. I had room to spare (and probably pulled the thing a little too tight in my panic. The ride was amazing. It’s been so long since I’ve ridden a roller coaster. The hills! Floating up in your seat! Screaming at the top of your lungs! I can’t wait to do it again. 

And, even though it’s a tough memory to relive, I’m really proud of myself. I can ride coasters again. I can ride anything in that damn park (some toddler rides excluded). And no one blinked when buckling me in.


*I just checked their site looking for the exact wording, and apparently they will ask you to try out the seat if they think you won’t fit. I would have to leave the park right then. 


“You’re really skinny!”

That’s what one of my kids said today. TO ME! He said that to ME! Holy shit!

I’m having a pretty good day. I’ve been working for a while now on figuring out who I am. It’s a lot of work! I’m working on what my style is as I buy new clothes. Now there are options, so what kinds of clothes do I like? This isn’t really something I’ve had to think much about before. 

I’m also working on what kinds of music I like. On New Year’s Eve, I was asked what my guilty pleasure song was. I didn’t have an answer, and not because I was embarrassed, but because I really didn’t know. So I’ve been working on that. 

I’m also working on becoming more… grown up, I guess. I need to be able to make phone calls to strangers (the receptionist at the doctor’s office, the Best Buy guy, a realtor) without feeling ill. I need to be able to insist certain things get done a certain way. I need to be more assertive and brave. To that end, I’m going to a support group meeting Tuesday. I’m canceling an appointment with the sleep specialist and being done with that stage of my life. I’m shooting a wedding in a couple weeks, I’m going to a toy party this Saturday. 

I’m also working on positive body image – which I guess is kind of what this whole journey is about. I have 30 pounds to lose to reach my 150 goal. 150 is technically still too overweight. I’ll still have a belly. I’ll still “need” to lose more. But that’s my main goal. And according to my weight tracker, I should make that goal in early May. 

Which is perfect, because I have already announced and decided that I will be wearing a bikini at the lake this year. It won’t be as pretty as many of the bikini bodies at the lake, but it’ll be a real body. It’ll be what people look like when they’re normal. And it’ll be so stellar for me that I’ll be thrilled, if really naked-feeling. 

I do think I’ll do some ab work before then, though. I could at least tighten things up a little! 🙂


I’m sitting on the couch with my laptop in my lap. And it’s a little too close to me, so I’m pushing on it to slide it toward my knees. But it won’t. go. 

Because my kneecap (which hasn’t been bumpy in quite some time) is in the way!

Random Happy Thoughts

I just realized that I can “legally” sit in the chair we bought Teaspoon. It says it holds up to 225 pounds. I’m under that!

I was told at dinner that “today is the first day you look tiny.” I like those words!

Every time my dad sees me he says, “What’s up, skinny?” 

I wore leggings today. As pants. With a long shirt. 

I can sit on the floor comfortably for a long time. 

I can get back up when I’m done sitting there. 

I can pick stuff up off the floor without feeling awful afterward. 

I can carry Teacup easier now. He’s less heavy to me, and his little legs fit better on either side of my hip. I’m sure he appreciates it, too. 

I wasn’t even sad tonight when everyone else had a Klondike bar. 

I changed out almost every single item of clothing in my closet. There are fewer than half a dozen pieces of my old clothes left, plus some tees I decided to keep for working out and sleeping. 

My husband’s 5k shirt (XL) fits a WHOLE lot better than mine(XXL)!!

I cut my hair, and now I look 10 years younger. And my baby sister keeps telling me she loves it (and she’s 15, so that’s a big compliment, since I’m so old!)

Feeling pretty awesome!

So many people today told me I looked good. Actually, I’m really lucky, because our staff is great about that kind of thing. I work with about 60 people and I can pretty much count on someone to say something!

But today was different, because one of my KIDS said something. I teach 7th grade, so this is kind of a big deal. I mean, 7th graders live in little bubbles of ME. Not to say that they’re evil or inconsiderate (well, not ALWAYS), but they’re wired to think about themselves and their problems and their lives. They can’t help it. 

So, when D today announced that I looked like I was losing weight, I was THRILLED! 

When I answered, “Thanks! I am. I’ve lost 43 pounds” the kids that heard seemed pretty impressed. 

(I feel that now I should point out that we weren’t using class time for this discussion, but instead lining up for lunch and waiting on students in the bathroom and at lockers.)

So, continuing on the bragging and feeling awesome, I put on a swimsuit just a  little while ago. I have water aerobics AGAIN today. It’s a swimsuit I bought last year. I wore it a few times, but then stopped. The bottoms have a skirt attached. The top has sides that cinch. It’s really very cute and plenty long enough to cover my middle, even when it’s cinched. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize I was buying the bottoms several sizes too small. 

Can you guess where this is going? Yup! They fit! But not only did they fit today, but they look pretty good!

My belly is s strange shape at the moment. I’m losing weight from different areas at different rates. Like right at my ribs, I’ve lost almost all of the fat. But just above my belly button – almost nothing. Under my belly button, though – that part between my hips is finally starting to go away. It’s not flat, but it’s much flattER. 

Finally I’m really excited about the 5k I’m doing next weekend! I finally signed up last night. I’ll post some pictures after definitely! It’s sure to be COLORFUL!

I did it! Again!

Jay and I (she’s the nanny) went to the gym again today! I was almost ready to cancel because I was so tired after work, but I’m glad we went. 

Yesterday, I did a mile on the treadmill (well, about 1.25 miles) and 3 miles on the stationary bike. Today, I didn’t get quite as far. I did 1/2 a mile on the treadmill (10 minutes) and over 3 miles on the bike. But I also did about 150 arm-weight thingies. Most were 30 pounds, but about 50-60 were 45. Holy cow, I’m going to be sore! THIS is what I used. 

Also, today when I put on my jeans, they weren’t tight! In fact, they were bordering on loose! What??! And Mr. Byrd says I’m smaller. Good day!

Now I have to find some dinner… and maybe some ice. 


I don’t actually like acronyms, but this is exactly what I want to post about, so…

I had a wonderful moment today! A “non-scale-victory” if you will! I went to drop off some forms to a fellow teacher, and when I walked in, she (and the woman next to her), both noticed I looked thinner. Actually, what she said was, “Hello, Skinny-Mini!” And then they asked what I was doing. 

How awesome is that?? A good start to any Thursday!


On a board I frequent, this is a popular acronym. It means “non-scale victory.” In other words, something great about weight loss other than your actual weight. 

So here’s my first one. My birthstone ring (that I bought in honor of Teaspoon) is too loose. It’s sliding all around on my finger and won’t stay up. 

I’m actually not thrilled, because I love the ring, but I’m excited because it means I must be losing weight!

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avabyrd has gastric bypass

The amazing shrinking girl!


The amazing shrinking girl!

Bariatric Foodie

The amazing shrinking girl!