Random Thoughts of a Disordered Mind


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On Vacation on a Quiet Monday

Here I sit on a quiet Monday morning, Sipping coffee with my wet hair wrapped up in a Turbie-twist (these things are awesome and have freed me from that heavy towel wrapped around my head that kept falling off).  I’m on vacation for the next 10 days and love days when I don’t have a race from task to task to keep on a work-day schedule.  Of course, Tessie is there to remind me that, “yo mama, give me crunchies” comes early whether I think I can sleep in or not.

Today’s agenda is finding a swim cap (hoping that drug stores have them because I don’t want one of those racing caps that squeeze your brains out), getting my hair colored and cut, going to the gym for an hour pool workout with my personal trainer (hence the need for a swim cap with newly colored hair).  My outside stuff finishes up with a fresh pedicure.  Then it’s time to actually think about what to pack because tomorrow morning I head to Texas for a week’s visit with my family.

Left to my own devices I wouldn’t go to Texas at the end of June.  Do you know how hot it is there??  I am a New England girl now and don’t have a high tolerance for heat.  Plus I’m shifting sizes again so who knows what will fit and be appropriate for the weather.  The trip was originally timed so I could go to my nephew’s wedding next weekend, but it was called off and the engagement ended (by the bride) so there is no wedding.  But my aunt and I had non-refundable tickets, and we hadn’t seen the Texas fam in quite a while, so we’re making this a mini-family reunion.

Lapband update – my doctor told me he did NOT think I needed a fill, especially with two trips coming up.  He reminded me that as I get smaller, the weight will come off more slowly, and that 5 lbs a month is a good rate.  I’ve now lost 108 lbs and am 3 lbs away from breaking 200 for the first time in over 30 years.  Believe me, I’ll keep you posted on that.

Since I’m going away for a week, naturally I needed to clean this weekend.  Ever since I spent a summer as a hotel maid, I’ve hated cleaning.  I know how to do it, I just hate doing it and procrastinate amazingly well.  Yesterday, though, I vacuumed up enough cat hair to make a kitten for Tessie to play with, scrubbed the bathroom, cleaned the stove and sink, and did 3 loads of laundry.  I still have to dust and finish cleaning the kitchen.  I always forget how much nicer it looks after I do this.  Maybe I should do it more often 🙂

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What’s Up with Me

Vintage Tressy DollIn response to the hair style poll on my last post, I told my hairdresser yesterday that I needed to have it trimmed and shaped but to let it grow some more.  I think she thought I was kidding about asking my blog readers what to do with it, but I really appreciated the direction!  I looked through a bunch of old photos this weekend and saw quite a variety of body shapes and hair styles – and the thinner me looked cute with shorter layered hair, but the fluffier me definitely looks better with longer locks.  There’s always room to cut it off later but I’m not a Tressy doll with a button on my back to make the hair grow or shrink at will!

Speaking of thinner, I’ve now lost 42 lbs since April 3rd.  It’s finally starting to show up enough that I’m down sizes in pants, tops, underwear, and bras.  I’ve done some massive weeding of the things even I think are too loose to wear now – and I’m someone who thinks loose=fitting, since tight=too small in my head.  I tend to want to hide the lumpy areas under looser more A-line tops that don’t cling to my hips and look weird.  I’ve watched enough Stacy and Clinton to know what I should wear but finding it is another story.  It will be interesting to see how that changes as I move down in size ranges to different stores.

My lapband surgery is now 11 days away and I swing between anxiety and readiness to have it done and start the next phase of my life.  Many bandsters (as they call themselves) call it their second birthday because everything changes from that point on.  If, of course, the bandster actually follows the very tight rules about what you can eat at what stage of the process.  There are definitely people who get themselves into big trouble by continuing to eat the levels of food they were eating pre-surgery.  Um, doesn’t work like that.

I’ve been running around a little like a headless chicken, though without the blood, working on my pre-op To Do List.  I’m stocking up on assorted flavors of Crystal Light, fat free broth, and small bottles of Boost, which are the only things I can have for the first 2 weeks post-op.  Note that I can only have one bottle of Boost per day, divided into 4 2-oz. portions.  So I don’t need TOO many bottles!

My doctor doesn’t want his patients to take pills for 2 months post-op, so all my meds need to be switched either to liquid form or be crushed before I can take them.  I talked to a pharmacist this week to find out which fall in which category, and was dismayed to discover that the stuff I take for my knee inflammation isn’t available in liquid form and cannot be crushed.  I need to talk to my primary care doc tomorrow to see what my options are.  It doesn’t help at all that I can’t take such medication AT ALL for 2-weeks pre- and post-op.  My knee already is telling me that things are not normal.  A new study cane is in order for the next few weeks.

Last night I went through my Flickr pictures and made a set of favorites.  Take a look if you have a chance!  Right now it’s 41 degrees with steady light rain, and I’m not planning to go anywhere.  I have some house cleaning to do, laundry, bill paying, and lots of tidying.  Time to get to it.  Thanks for listening to my rambles.


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Day Three Without Diet Coke

I had my last glass of Diet Coke on Sunday, and poured the rest of the big bottle down the drain.  That was it.  What seemed to be crazy back in August became reality.  I weaned myself off of not only Diet Coke but also anything carbonated (I used to love to combine 1/4 part juice to 3/4 part carbonated flavored water).  Yayyy me!  I’m now downing bottles of water and Crystal Light, and low-fat milk at lunch, and more or less sloshing through the day.  But I’m already happy with the  lighter grocery bags not loaded down with soda, and figured out that I’m saving something staggering like $700/year or more by sticking to water.  Yikes!  I can do a lot with that $$!

I’m trying to decide what to do about my hair – it’s driving me crazy as it grows out.   I’m not completely sure why I decided to grow it out in the first place and it’s looking sort of scraggly in an in-between way.  Do I stick with my plan and continue to grow it out?  It’s reached a length where I can hardly see any of my earings (which I do wear one at a time, in case you were wondering).  But it feels kind of girly to be longer.  Of course, I’m not a girl, I’m a 55-year old woman and I don’t want to look like the Before person in a Stacy and Clinton makeover.  Please, please, keep Nick away from my head!  But what should I do?


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Progress Through Baby Steps

questionnaireAfter running around doing errands all day Saturday, I spent a large chunk of Sunday answering questionnaires.  One for the bariatric surgeon, one for the clinical nutritionist evaluation, and a 14-page one for the psych eval.  They arrived last week but I wanted time to work on them without interruptions (such as a kitty who needs to play or food or both).  I’d also noticed that there were similarities and cross-over questions between the 3 forms, and it made sense to do them together, hoping that answering one set of questions would help me remember stuff to include in the next set.  It worked.

One of the more ridiculous questions was to list all of the diet/weight loss plans I’d been on, when I started and at what weight, how much did I lose and how long did it take.  C’mon, I’ve been fighting weight problems for almost 45 years; no way I can remember them all!  But I could remember the ones where I was significantly successful, though I had to guess about dates and starting weights.  Had I known this would be useful, I’d have kept a list since I was in Junior High – naaah, probly not.

The psych evaluation was today and it was hard because unlike other therapist’s visits, I knew I was being judged.  It turned out to be nothing to worry about, and the psychologist told me within 20 minutes that Weight Loss Surgery for Dummiesshe would recommend me as a good candidate for lapband.  That was a relief and a validation.  She was excited to hear about Weight Loss Surgery for Dummies, which is new on my bookshelf.

On the way home from that appointment, I mailed the surgeon’s questionnaire to the Care Coordination Unit (how’s that for a mouthful?).  So there is only one more to go before I can meet with the surgeon, though who knows how long it takes to make an appointment.  So far, though, things are moving fast.

I tried to do the long-delayed fasting blood work on Saturday morning before WW but discovered the room was PACKED with people who had the same idea.  So now I need to make an appointment with them for this coming Saturday to make that actually work.  My mammogram is scheduled for early August and I’m waiting for a referral to make the colonoscopy appointment.  I feel like a little medical practice dummy, doing so much together.

Lost another 2 lbs this week and my total is now 18.  Progress is steady and easier to achieve.  I just don’t feel all that hungry and am much better at knowing to stop when I’m full, and eating high-protein options instead of empty food.  Empty of nutrition but not calories, that is.  Well, you know that 🙂

I discovered at the hairdresser on Saturday that my head is full of natural curls.  Who knew?  I used to have them but when I went on my protein sparing modified fasts back around 1980 (yes, I’m old), I lost a lot of hair and it grew back coarser and straight as a stick.  Most annoying.   I then permed my hair for TWENTY FIVE years and have been off that for four.  Now I have a head full of lots of little curls and ringlets and new options, which is always a Good Thing.


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My Not Very Good Day

Spring AheadYesterday was a very hard day at work, with an unexpected conversation that left me feeling as thought I’d been run over by a truck. On a gray Friday afternoon, at the end of what felt like a long week that had started in Chicago.

Immediately after the bombshell there was a librarian’s lunch to learn about Chinese law. I guess being with people and having the food provided so I didn’t have to make hard choices, plus being distracted by a group discussion, was a good thing.

I just know that after lunch all I wanted to do was barricade myself in the office and do brainless things. Checking files to follow up on outstanding problems. Tidying. Weeding email. Even dusting. I had gentle New Age music playing on Pandora and I got through the time. My immediate desire for chocolate was mollified by two WW peanut butter bliss bars in my emergency stash.

But it was hard and I’m incredibly glad that I have the weekend before going back. Today I spent the morning doing hair things (roots, highlights, cut), going out for lunch, and sitting at home watching the pouring rain and finishing a wonderful book by Diane Chamberlain. I ate too much and am not particularly sorry about it.

Tessie woke me up this morning at 7:30 after I’d had 9 hours of sleep and the alarm didn’t go off at 7, so her little meows in my ear and investigation of the CPAP mask were very timely. Tonight we change the clocks and I’m going to try to just sleep until I wake up tomorrow, whatever time that turns out to be. While I love having more light at the end of the day, I’m not excited about waking up in the deep darkness again, but spring isn’t far away and that too shall pass.


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Checking in and Catching up

My Ab Lounge finally is out of here, sold on Craigslist to a young college student who willingly parted with $50. I had been quite over-optimistic about what I was actually willing to do and that never seemed to be it, so out it goes. I already spent the $50 to buy a lightweight fall coat. Of course, it’s been in the 80’s so who knows when it will come in handy. But eventually …

My Mom and DadNext weekend my parents are arriving from Texas for a 10-day visit. I’ve been scrambling around trying to get things as tidy and prepared as possible, primarily lugging stuff to the dump (er, transfer station – though really it was a dump) and drilling lots of holes to get new curtains up.

The study, which will become their guest room when we blow up the Aerobed, is in the front of the apartment and gets a lot of light from streetlights even with blinds closed. So I needed room-darkening curtains and not just something filmy draped over rods for cover.

The rods went up last weekend – I love using the drill and making holes – but I ended up exchanging the first curtains I got for others with more color. They came this week and were ironed and hung, and then I got mad because the look was too heavy. I needed some kind of way to hook them out of the way and opening up the window during the day, but still easy to undo at night to pull the curtains shut to darken the room.

Another trip to Home Depot (which is almost as dangerous for me as an office supply store is) yielded holdbacks that match my rods, which also came from HD. They’re just little metal U shaped things that, well, hold back the curtain. Putting them up involved more drilling and hole-making and now I’m happy with the look.

But my mother is coming. I have to clean everything but not too early because I could make a mess of it again before Friday. I hate cleaning when I get home from work so we’ll see how this actually shakes out. In practice, as long as the piles are tidy and they have a place to unpack, it will be fine.

Food will be interesting. My mom is smaller now than when she got married, and she was a size 10 then. My dad has had a weight problem all his life but I think of him as having a little extra padding; his problem is nothing like the one I’ve battled, though it is his problem. He understands, though, and that helps.

I’m used to living and eating alone most of the time except when I’m out with friends. Any food in the house is because I brought it here. I don’t need to worry about tempting finicky appetites or fixing vegetables that no one will eat. So having the parents here – for 10 days! – needs a good bit more thought. I think perhaps we will work on menus together when they’re here and we know the touring schedule better. As long as I have the things that I know I need, I can stay on track. And my parents don’t want me to disrupt my food plan. My problem is expanding the cooking options for multiple people at every meal.

This weekend is kind of pampering time, in addition to hole-drilling. This morning I had my hair cut and roots touched up so I can have more “good hair” days. Tomorrow I’m having a massage and a pedicure – and am going to figure out how to get to the gym to do some exercises in the pool. I missed water aerobics on Thursday because I wasn’t feeling well but I do like being able to slip into the water and move without hurting.


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Getting More Beautiful

After a totally crazy week packed with meetings all over the calendar and in multiple buildings, I’m taking a few days off for 5 days in a row for myself. Today was a pampering day.

I started by sleeping in til 8am which is such a luxury – but getting 8 hours of sleep makes such a difference. I made myself go directly to the shower even though I was feeling kind of meh about the whole idead because I know I always feel more awake when I come out clean.

Next step was to make the bed and dry my hair, open the curtains and blinds outside the bedroom, and sit under my natural daylight lamp for 30 minutes. I have Seasonal Affective Disorder (aka SAD) and my doctor told me this week that I should sit under the lamp in the morning to get the light exposure first thing, and it is making a difference to help me wake up and feel less draggy.

I found I wasn’t very hungry all day today, which is a notable change for me. I had to force myself to eat breakfast and brought a long a meal bar and some yogurt for my hair appointment, which is the way I started my day with my “hair guys”. It was time for the works – a hair cut plus coloring my roots and doing highlights and lowlights (giving some of the foil color in a blonde color and some in a lighter brown than my base color). It gives the hair more depth and looks less brassy, but it means spending about 3 hours there havng them do stuff and then waiting while it “cooks” on my head. The pic above is me sitting there with the foil on my head – oh so attractive.

My next stop was the gym. We ran a little long with the hair since I wasn’t sure if we would be doing highlights and that adds to the time, so I ended up not being able to workout. The main purpose was getting an algomask facial. I’ve only ever had 2 facials before and it’s been a long time. OMG, if you haven’t had one, sign up right now, it was amazing. I felt so pampered, resting on the table on a heated pad so the warmth came up to my bones from underneath and on top as well. It was cozy and all I had to do was lay there and feel lotions and heat and mysterious things happen, including lotion massaged into my hands which were then put in plastic bags and placed (not shoved) into heated mitts that forced the moisture deep into the skin. They look fabulous. Maybe I should be a hand model 🙂

My skin looks amazing and feels tighter, not because it’s stressed out but because it’s healthier. The bags under my eyes have evened out and it’s glowing. She even had time to wax my eyebrows, which also improved the look. All I was thinking when I saw them was of the “caterpillar brows” as Carmindy of What Not to Wear described the brows of one of their victims, er, makeovers.

I’m off to bed – I need a lot of sleep so I can head back to the gym tomorrow for a workout and then, ah ecstasy! a massage. And then a mani and pedi – I’m definitely getting in all of the pampering things I can think of at one time. Kind of like a spa but not having to pay to travel or lodging. It feels really good to be taking care of myself.