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. 


ONE Pound! ONE!

I have one more pound to lose before I’ve lost ONE HUNDRED POUNDS! ONE!

How much!

I am SO affected by weather. It’s a little crazy. Today, tomorrow, and Saturday are all supposed to be sunny and 60. And I’m in a great mood!

Of course, some of this also has to do with the fact that I’m not throwing up or feeling dizzy (like I was last night) or sick, or anything right now. AND I was able to take out some of my frustration on the kids who have created it (I gave out grade sheets today – a teacher’s revenge!). So that all helps. 

But I’m just so glad it’s sunny. I will definitely have to make Mr. Byrd go on a walk with me today!

I have lost…

293 medium potatoes

3.88 Teacups

1.15 15-year-old Teaspoons

776 eggs

nearly 5 car tires 

Rachael Leigh Cook

19.4 5lb bags of sugar

776 hotdogs

138.5 National Geographics

339 smart phones


Things I didn’t know 6 months ago

  1. It’s easier to shave your armpits… when you can see your armpits. 
  2. Same with legs
  3. Now that I can sit with my legs crossed, it’s the only comfortable way. 
  4. I have ribs, hips, knees, and knuckles. 
  5. You don’t lose weight all over – it happens first here, then there. 
  6. I have veins on the tops of my feet. 
  7. Sizes on smaller clothing varies a lot more than on larger clothing. I was a 24W consistently for years. But now, in a single trying-on session, I can wear a too-big 12 and a too small 16. 
  8. Tailbones are, quite literally, a pain in the ass. 
  9. There are so many foods I have never tried, simply because they don’t serve them at fast food places or fry them. 
  10. Pooping or not pooping can make quite a difference in your weight. 



2 appointments yesterday. Here’s what I know now

  • My surgeon and nutritionist feel I’m “ahead of the game” on weight loss
  • 5-6 pounds a month for the next few months is a good goal
  • exercise every day will get me down very quickly per Dr. S
  • My goal is actually 130-140, but I’m still going to celebrate at 150.
  • I burn 1439 calories without exercise. to lose weight, I need to eat 500 fewer calories than I burn. So without exercise, I can have about 900-1000 calories. With exercise, I can have more.
  • a serving of fruit as an evening treat, along with nuts or other protein, is my new “no snacking on crap” plan
  • if I eat junk, I should limit it to 1 serving. calories count
  • 70 grams of protein still
  • recommendation from Dr S: join a class at the gym (I’m trying some zumba stuff at home while no one is looking. I miss water aerobics)
  • I am no longer having breathing troubles while I’m asleep! No apnea. I had 5 episodes an hour while on my back. Normal is 0-5. And that was 10 pounds ago!
  • in the next 3 months, my goal is to lose about 20 pounds. That will put me in the 150s!!! SO close to goal!

Next challenge: a therapy appointment next Thursday after work. I’m really not sure about/not sold on the therapist, so we’ll have to just see how it goes. I’m also nervous. Blah.


Today, I am Wonder Woman. I’m wearing my skinny, sleeveless black dress with pleather sides (sexier than it sounds) and my high-healed boots. I have pheromone perfume on my wrists. I had coffee in my protein shake this morning and jalapenos in my cheese at lunch. I’m a photographer, a teacher, a mom, and the girl brave enough to throw a sex toy party next month (don’t you all wish you could come??). I am taking no crap from anyone – this morning because I felt good; this afternoon because my feet and head hurt and I don’t have patience. 

I was whistled at in the hall today – by a kid. I had several students tell me how thin I looked. I’m having a kick-ass day. 

“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! 🙂

Some good things about my day (and one concern)

Let’s get the concern out of the way first. I am DIZZY. When I stand up, when I sit, when I walk… I’m so dizzy I feel like I’m going to fall down. NOT fun at all! I emailed the doctor and sought advice online. We’ll see. 

Now the good. 

Today, I was complimented up and down all day! It felt SO good. One of my students told me I looked like a person from Paris. When I asked if that meant I looked stylish, he gave a very enthusiastic yes. I guess my new thick bangs, my scarf, and my ruffly sleeves make me look like a model! 😉

Also, J, who frequently says I look great, went on and on about it today. That felt good. And the school nurse, who I saw in the hall and later went to when I was dizzy, just kept saying “Wow! You look so great!”

Part of me is the tinsiest bit hurt when people say that, because I know it implies that I looked REALLY BAD 6 months ago. But really, I really like hearing how great I look. A lot of times, when I get focused on the fact that the scale hasn’t moved in days or my shirts all seem a little tight just above my pants, I don’t see it. I see the flabby arms, the fact that my neck now looks a little old, the fact that there’s still fat above my belly button and that my skin is awfully loose at the bottom of my stomach. But really, I AM looking good. I mean, 6 months ago I weighed EIGHTY-FIVE pounds more than I do now! I could never go to the gym for an hour. I got winded on the way to my classroom in the morning. I was a size 24. I had over 100 pounds to lose. 6 Months ago, I was going to be fat forever. 

But now? The gym is only exhausting because it means leaving the house on a cold day. I can walk for pretty much as long as I want. I can go back and forth between my car and classroom with all of my heavy stuff and still carry on a conversation. I own and wear 2 pairs of size 14 pants (and feel a little small for some of my 16s!) I’ve lost inches – and not just 1 or 2, but 8 or 10! I’m within 40 pounds of being where I set my high goal. In 38 more pounds, I will feel like I’m a “normal” sized adult. I’ll feel like I could tell people my weight. 

And then??

Everything I lose after that will be like a present. I don’t know if it will happen this way, but I imagine that the scale will look different after 150. I imagine not stressing if I don’t lose weight, but being thrilled if I do!

And clothes? If I could get down another full size, I’d have SO many clothes. I mean a HUGE closet-full. My best friend’s mother gave me bags upon bags of clothes. I sorted out what I liked and it was a ton. She has excellent taste and cute, cute clothes. I’ll have so many cute pants and dresses, shirts, skirts, shorts… Add that to the ones my best friend gave me and I’ll be set for life. It’ll be like the world’s best shopping trip!

Just one more good size. Maybe 1 1/2!

What is that – 20 pounds? I bet I can get there by March. Maybe even sooner. 

Tonight, we’re eating chicken with avocado tzitziki sauce. So I guess I better go home and make that. And some asparagus. And possibly pasta for the others. 

And then the gym – treadmill and weights. 

Then, if all goes well, an hour or 2 of Minecraft and Dexter, half an hour of reading, and then one more early morning before it’s the weekend again. 

I’m pretty psyched, I have to admit.

I need to get back on track

The holidays were rough for me. I ate quite a bit of stuff I shouldn’t have. I’m not terribly upset with myself, because I know it’s not the end of the world, but I was pretty bad. Whenever there was stuff out I shouldn’t eat, I still ate it. I was good and limited myself. I didn’t eat a whole lot of sweet, sweet stuff, but I did have tortilla chips, popcorn, stuffing, crackers, even some jelly bellies. 

And it became a habit. 

So now, I need to get back on track. 

To do this, I’ve set little goals. Eat a meal without going back for one more bite (even of veggies). No food not on my plan (stuck to that one today!) Record all food consumed. Go to the gym once, twice, three times. No carby food for a day, two, a week. My idea is to reward myself each time I reach a mini goal (once, three times, a whole week). That way I can’t do great for a week and ruin it all in one day. But I still have bigger successes to look forward to. 

See, I KNOW that if I stay away from bad food and eating constantly that I WON’T want those things. No chips or crackers means I won’t want chips or crackers. And if I “stay clean” for several days, I’ll have a lot more willpower to continue eating right afterwards. 

It’ll also help that the holidays are over, I’m going back to school, and I won’t be home with a million snacks and parties to tempt me. 

So far, I’ve done well. Today, I ate twice and had a protein shake. I didn’t eat anything not allowed and I took some calcium, iron, vitamins, and my happy pill. If I get in a b12 by bedtime and finish my drink+mirilax (my new daily routine) then I’ll consider myself successful for today. Part of me wants to eat a few bites of my taco casserole (2 kinds of beans, lean hamburger, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers), but I may not. After all, it’s nearly bedtime now. 

I’m feeling positive about all of this. Tomorrow’s lunch is packed. I have drinks and yogurt. I have a plan I can stick to. And tomorrow starts my gym routine again (3+times a week for an hour). I’m really pretty excited about that. And about starting to lose some weight again. 

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avabyrd has gastric bypass

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