Mother of the Bride – Or How Am I Going to Fit into a Size 10 Dress in 16 Months?

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I ask so little of my children.  And when you consider what I’ve done for them – months of pregnancy related illnesses; days of of my life spent trying to get spit up stains out of Every. Single. Favorite. Shirt.; not throwing up when they showed me wiggly teeth until after they were out of the room; countless hours sitting at teachers’ desks for conferences – I really, truly haven’t asked for much in return.

Except that one thing.

Most moms whisper lullabies to their babies as they rock their tiny newborns to sleep.  I sang to the beat of my own insecure drummer.  On any given day, you could see me happily gliding in my glider, singing “Fat Bottomed Girls” to my babies.  Other moms were playing Laurie Berkner on the cassette player while they drove their children to preschool.  My girls listened to Sir Mix-A-Lot and the virtues of a big butt.  Granuaile was serenaded by Mika singing “Big Girl You are Beautiful” as we dropped her sisters off at school and skipped a walk around the lake in favor of going for ice cream.

I felt I had primed them for that one thing I was going to ask.  I laid the ground work for the appreciation of plus sized people.  They should have seen it coming.

“Don’t marry anyone with a mom thinner than me.”

Simple request, no?  Remember, this was in exchange for countless changed diapers, nights sitting up with ear infections and broken hearts, and too numerous to count school plays, concerts, and talent shows.  Yes, I did.  I sat through talent shows.  Even when my kids’ grade performed last.  I know – why have I not been canonized?

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But do they listen to me?  No.  My daughter’s future mother-in-law is down right svelte.  Spindly and sylphlike. Clearly, this kid did not get the memo.  Or the subtle reminders.  Or being verbally beaten over the head with my pleas of a plump parent.

So I am back at the game I have lost so often.  Dieting.  Exercise.  Torturing myself in the name of not being triple chinned in a photo.

Wish me luck.  Say a prayer.  Send me rice cakes.  And if you don’t see this fat bottomed girl at the gym, give me grief.  Just dip it in chocolate first.

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The Demons That Haunt Me

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Obesity is such an ugly word.  I’ve hated being fat my entire life – which is about how long I’ve been fat.  And the weight causes me to hide myself from so many things.  I’m uncomfortable in my own skin most of the time – even when I leave the house feeling like I don’t look too bad.  But maybe I need to be that uncomfortable.

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Me just prior to my gastric bypass (on the right, weighing just over 300 pounds) and about a year ago, weighing about 20 pounds less than I do right now.

The two times in my life I can honestly say I wasn’t overweight were the result of drastic measures.  In high school, I stopped eating.  No, seriously – just stopped.  I drank iced tea all day long, and then for dinner, had small portions of whatever my mother was cooking.  Nothing to eat, all day long, took me from a size XL teenager to a size medium teenager.

The other time, I had gastric bypass surgery.  The surgery took me from a size 3XL woman to a size medium/large.  From a size 26 to a size 10.  And aside from the grey pallor, I thought I looked damn good.  I didn’t – and I had friends and family telling me I didn’t – but I was convinced.

Then I had a couple of surgeries, followed by complications, and with each instruction to rest and recuperate, I ate.  I learned that my surgically altered pouch could hold way more than I thought it could – especially if I ate stuff that was bad for me.

Thank you, Tania Lamb, for the photographic evidence of how far I've let myself go!

Thank you, Tania Lamb, for the photographic evidence of how far I’ve let myself go!

I’ve started and restarted diets more times than I care to count since my surgery.  It really is like an albatross around my neck – and every time I feel like I can lift my head up and move forward, it drags me back down.  We’ve started cooking all of our meals at home, so there are no fast food temptations, but I find myself grabbing a bag of chips or package of cookies every time I hit the supermarket.

And guess what?  I’m about to turn 50 years old.

This last surgery, combined with the realization that I am now only 6 years younger than my grandfather was when he died, and only 16 years younger than my dad was when he died, has issued yet another wake up call.  I don’t know how many of those calls I’ll need before I finally “get it”, but my kids leave for camp on Monday, and Jim and I are going to head back into the gym.  We have no running around or excuses to prevent us from getting there.  And the cookies and chips that I buy because I think my kids need them?  No need to have them in the house for two full weeks.  Maybe by then, I’ll have cured my own need for them.

My most recent blood work came back excellent – and my sugar level (I was full blown diabetic before my gastric bypass surgery) was 85 – which is great.  But the rest of me is a hot mess.  I’m going to see what I can do about that.  Maybe I’ll celebrate turning 50 with a little less of me.

 

7 Deuce Sports – Kinesis Should be a Four Letter Word

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So, I haven’t spoken much about wanting to get back into shape, because it seems every time I mention it, something goes horribly wrong with my health.  Since embarking on a healthier lifestyle, I’ve fought two rounds of MRSA, kidney stones, kidney failure, and finally, this past August, Septic Shock that literally had my life hanging by a thread.  Whew – no wonder I was looking for the comfort of Ben and Jerry after all that!

Since the start of the spring semester in late January, I’ve added exercise into my routine three times a week by way of a healthy walk to and from campus from the student parking lot.  No much, but figure about a mile a day, three days a week.  And that doesn’t count the walking around on campus.  And I carry a big backpack.  Uphill.  Both ways.  In six feet of snow. Not an enormous accomplishment, but I’m down three pounds.  Go me 🙂

In the meantime, Brighid began working at 7 Deuce Sports in Medford.  Owned by former Philadelphia Eagles offensive tackle William “Tra” Thomas, this incredible facility is primarily an athletic training center.  Many area sports teams – from about sixth grade on up – go to the center for the state of the art programs they offer in the cutting edge, 7,000 square foot facility. One of the programs offered at 7 Deuce Sports is the kinesis training.  I know, right?  What the hell is it?  When Brighid said, “Do you want to go with me for Kinesis?” I thought she said “Knishes”, and without thinking why the heck anyone needs a knish at 5:45 in the morning, I jumped at the opportunity.  I am not one to pass up a good knish.

Imagine my shock and surprise when there were not only no knishes at 5:45 this morning, but a Mom couldn’t even get a bagel, a doughnut, or a hot coffee!!

Kinesis training, for those of you who want to know, is basically a butt kicking strength and conditioning workout of every muscle in your body.  You do an hour long rotation among the various exercises, which included rowing, crunches, even cardio.  Brighid had promised me the trainer today was the kind and gentle Joe, (kind and gentle may be a stretch for this certified strength and conditioning specialist), but when we arrived, she had no choice but to warn me that the coach conducting today’s class would be none other than the three time Pro Bowl selection, Tra Thomas himself.

Well, of course, I immediately asked where the snack room was when we arrived, only to be told by Mr. Thomas that snacks would be put out later.  I guess they didn’t want powdered sugar from the jelly doughnuts on the equipment??

My first effort wasn’t bad.  And, of course, having done the Curves gym workout (where you switch machines every minute for 30 minutes with a minute break in between each one), I felt like I knew the drill.  Uh-uh.  At the end of the second rotation, beads of water began pouring profusely from my forehead and down my back.  What the heck was that?  Did I not towel off well enough after showering this morning?  No matter.  The sip of water I drank on my way into the gym, before Brighid warned me I might not want to drink any water?  Yeah, it was trying to find it’s way back out through my throat.  During a switch in exercises, I politely excused myself and debated whether running for the ladies room would cause my nausea to come to a head, making me throw up on the floor, or should I walk all dignified like and pray I didn’t puke on the way?  I made it to the ladies room in time to have the wave of nausea pass, and I splashed a little water on my face before talking myself into NOT heading to the car and going back to class.

I’ll admit, I couldn’t keep up as well as Brighid.  Or the uber in shape gym bunny.  Or even the other normal looking mom. But I did WAY better than I expected.

7 Deuce offers individual training, the Kinesis classes, TRX and GFX classes, sports training, technique training, and a variety of other fitness programs.  Best part?  You can go in as a “free agent”, like I did today.  You don’t have to commit to anything – just pay $20 for the class (there is a significant savings to purchase a block of four or more classes, but there is no pressure to do so).

The facility is immaculately clean, bright, sleek, and not nearly as intimidating as I expected.  I have asked Jim for a block of classes for my anniversary next week instead of refilling my coffee card, and I hope that by my cruise in June and my sister’s wedding in July, I fit into the clothes in my closet!

7 Deuce is on Route 70 in Medford, NJ.  You can call and schedule a class or get information at 877-7272-FIT.

Kinesis Machines at 7 Deuce Sports, Medford

Gastric Bypass Surgery – What Happens When You’re Gastrically Altered?

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Yep, that’s me.  It’s July 2006, just one week before my  Roux-en-y gastric bypass surgery.  Yeah, I tipped the scales at over 300 pounds.  I was a big fat ass.  Can you believe I thought I looked good in this photo?  Can you imagine what photos of me that I didn’t like looked like?

But making the decision to alter your body so drastically is only the beginning of the decisions you’re going to have to make.  Let’s hope you’ve done your research, you’ve checked out the doctor and the hospital you are going to work with, and you feel confident – if a little nervous – about your decision to have your surgery.  But what comes next?

I’ll be posting a series of blogs to help you get through some of the post op stuff – the stuff you may not have had a chance to talk about with your surgeon.  We’ll talk protein (blech!), we’ll talk losing your drawers when you sneeze because they’re too big, we’ll talk about adding exercise and how important it is, and we’ll talk about plastic surgery – because, honestly, it’s where a lot of us end up.

So stay tuned.  Once a week, we’ll tour that unknown world of what to do once you’re gastrically altered!

 

So How’s That Weight Loss Thing Going?

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Yeah, well, ppffffttttt.  That’s how it’s going.

After a great first week, the second week, things slowed down to nothing.  And then there’s this week.  Monday was Valentine’s Day, and Jim took me out to lunch, and the kids out to dinner – except, yeah, I went too.  And when you take kids out to eat, you take them to restaurants where you know kids will eat – not those fancy gourmet restaurants that give you just enough food to make you want to stop at Burger King on the way home.  My kids chose the Chinese buffet.

Fortunately for me, Chinese food generally makes me deathly ill, but I can eat my weight in the little sugar coated nuts they have at the buffet.  And as we know, my weight is substantial.  That’s a lot of nuts.

Then came Tuesday, a day where I did nothing but run errands all day.  And it was Eilis’ birthday!  So after we picked up three dozen heart shaped doughnuts for her to celebrate at school, we followed that up with taking Eilis out to dinner Tuesday night.  Yeah, Granuaile and I went too.  And Eilis picked the restaurant.  Famous Dave’s BBQ.

And with all that fat already on my arse from the first two days of the week, I do what every chunky chick does – I threw in the towel on the rest of the week.  I was stressed over school, over some issues with a friend, over my mom (who is back in the hospital as of this evening), and it just seemed like that last box of chocolate covered peanut butter cookies was screaming to me from the hiding place they were in.

So, I am up 2 pounds this week.

But I haven’t fallen completely on my face.

I am back on the bandwagon tomorrow.  Rally the troops, call in reinforcements!  I’ve got to just keep swimming…..

30 in 90, So Help Me God

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Here it is, fabulous readers – the word I hate to talk about.

It’s the one four letter word I actually don’t use (all the others are fair game).

But, I’ve gotten out of control.  And with my newly tucked tummy, I want to get the rest of me back on the band wagon.   The plan at the moment is to try to lose 30 pounds in 90 days.  Realistic?  Maybe.  It’s going to be a struggle, but I think when I stop and recognize all the junk that has creeped its way back into my daily eating, it will be a big step just to leave the crap out.

Stay with me as I go through the diet grumpiness and the exercise soreness (oh, Jesus, did I just commit to exercise?).  If I don’t have you guys motivating me on and keeping  a watchful eye, I’m not sure I can do it!

Reebok EasyTone – the beautygirlsmom sneaker

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beautygirlsmom is standing in panties and sneakers just like the supermodels – you have been warned

This is NOT beautygirlsmom – I know, you’re shocked

OK, you saw all the supermodel sneaker pictures, now its time for the beautygirlsmom sneaker pictures.

DANGER: Take small children by the hands, and remove all men with unrealistic expectations of woman, well I guess would be all straight men, but anyway, ladies, this is for us.

Seriously, did you think I’d show my butt here?  At least not unless I got the Photo Shop expert that makes the super models look as good as they do.

But anyway – we bought these fabulous sneakers that are not only going to improve my calves, thighs, and butt; but they are going to make my life fabulous.  I will be able to wear super short skirts and short shorts and never once worry that I have camel toe, shop only in stores that place my items in brightly colored shopping bags, and not have to worry about going to the tanning salon for my Snooki special spray tan – I will be naturally a beautiful shade of Not Ghostly White (the above photos have been retouched so you do not have to wear your sunglasses from my blinding white skin while you read my blog).

I’ve not had a lot of opportunity to wear the shoes yet, but so far, they don’t seem to be doing a whole lot.  The shoe sales woman claimed I’d have aches and pains in places I didn’t know existed on my body after my first wear.  My first wear was in Disney World – the Magic Kingdom – and the most I got was a small blister on my baby toe.

Maybe I’m wearing them wrong?  Maybe you have to already be walking to the stores with the fabulously colored shopping bags in order for these sneakers to work?

I’ll keep you posted.