Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Body of Perfection?

Yesterday, I went to see a plastic surgeon.

After losing about 180 lbs, I'm left with a lot of loose, excess skin. What troubles me the most is the skin around my stomach. Even though I've lost so much weight and can fit into a size 12 pair of jeans (and even accidentally squeezed into a size 10!), I sometimes still feel like I'm 300+ because of my huge stomach. And, it can be difficult when trying on clothes - shirts and dresses that fit over my tummy are loose everywhere else. Mostly, though, it would be nice to be a little more comfortable in my own skin...with less skin. :)

A couple weeks ago, Steve and I were talking about finances and our summer trip and at one point he suggested that I think about getting a tummy tuck. I guess I've mentioned my tummy issues more than I realized and, sweet guy that he is, he said that although he loves how I look, he wants me to be the happiest I can be. If that means getting rid of my excess skin, he was all for it. And, as he pointed out, this summer I'm not taking classes or working and would have plenty of time to recover.

So, yesterday I met with a plastic surgeon. I really liked the doctor and really, really liked that he is in Ogden as opposed to Salt Lake City. It would be so much easier to have the procedure closer to home. With a nurse in the room, I bared my body (with the important bits covered) to the doctor for him to inspect. He was surprised when I told him how much weight I have lost because he's treated a lot of weight loss patients but none that have lost that much. As he inspected my stomach, I mentioned other areas that I dislike (inner thighs, breasts, and upper arms) and he then proceeded to point out other areas that he could tighten up in time (bottom, back, sides, upper abdomen, armpits). I wouldn't have excess skin anywhere, no little pockets of fat, just a few scars that would eventually fade and would be worth acquiring for everything else I'd be losing. Other than the scars, my body would be "perfect" - my thoughts, not his words.

I left the doctor's office with a folder of information; brochures on all the procedures we'd discussed and their prices. I hopped in my car and drove 40 minutes to the Salt Lake airport to pick up my husband (yay!). As I drove, I thought about my body. What would it be like to have a body that was contoured exactly the way it would have been if I had never gained so much weight, if I had always been fit? Amazing!

At some point, I woke up from the fantasy. Do I really need a perfect body? After weighing 350 lbs and then losing 180lbs, will having some excess skin under my armpits really destroy my ability to be happy with my body? I hope not. I look a million times better than I used to (and feel great!) and refuse to let myself be satisfied only with some perception of perfection. Because where will it end if perfection becomes the goal? When I've been cut, stretched, resewn, and made all taut and fat-free, will I find something else about my body to not like? And then what? A nose job? A face lift? Butt implants (because I have the flattest behind known to woman-kind)?

So, I'm going to have the tummy tuck. As mentioned above, it's the area that gives me the most heartache. It's not like I have a tiny little pooch, my bariatric surgeon told me he thinks I have 5-10 lbs of excess skin in that section alone - that's a lot of skin! Afterward, I'll see how I feel, and in time I might have a breast lift or another procedure or two, but I'll definitely still have excess skin in places. My body will never be perfect.

And you know what? That's okay.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

On My Own Again

My husband left me this morning.

He grew tired of the cold in Utah...I can't blame him. I'm tired of it, too. He's now on his way to Florida where the average temperature is supposed to be 80 degrees. I'm so jealous I can barely stand it. Will I ever be warm again??

Unfortunately for him, he's not going to Florida for pleasure. He gets to spend his time there working 8- to 12-hour days helping a base there get ready for a big inspection that Hill AFB had last year (and that Steve participated in a lot). If he gets a few hours of downtime, and can snag the car, he's going to try to go to the race track at which Sadie used to race. I think that would be cool to see, so hopefully he takes pictures if he goes.

Anyhoo, for the next 7 days I'm on my own again, not counting the dog. I miss him terribly already (it's been 6 hours since I dropped him off at the airport), so I'm making a list of all the things that will make this week enjoyable, things that may or may not happen if he were here.

Plans for My Week Alone:

1. Homework. I'd love to leave it off this list, but I have too much to do and will spend a majority of my time on it.

2. Reorganizing the house. Starting with the kitchen, I want to redo the living arrangements of the pots/pans/towels/tupperware. After a year of living in our home, I'm able to better see where I'd like to have things. If I still feel like reorganizing after the kitchen is finished, I'll tackle my closet and the closets in the upstairs rooms.

3. Go to see a chic flick. My next door neighbor invited me to go to a movie with her Saturday night. I'm pretty sure we'll go see The Vow but we've left it open to anything else that strikes our fancy. The only stipulation (set by her and heartily agreed upon by me) is that it be a movie Steve wouldn't want to see.

4. Go to church.

5. Make and eat cream tuna. Steve hates it and I love it. It's the only meal I could think of that I don't make because he's around.

6. Sleep. The man wakes up Monday through Friday at 4:15 AM. No matter how hard he tries to be quiet, I wake up and really struggle to get back to sleep after his alarm goes off. Even tomorrow and Tuesday, when I wake up at 5:15, will feel like sleeping in and waking up at 6:30 the rest of the time will be heavenly!

7. Walk the dog. I already walk her a lot, but now I'll be doing it every time. It will be good for me to get the extra exercise in every day.

8. Read. I usually read 15-20 minutes every night before going to sleep and that's about it. So, I'm hoping to read a lot on Sunday (it's my day off from homework) before and after church. I'm already looking forward to cuddling up with a blanket, a cookie, a mug of hot chocolate, and my book and not stopping reading until it's time for Sadie's next walk. Aaaahhhh.

9. Watch my tv shows. I DVR "Once Upon A Time" and haven't watched it in 3 weeks because I never have time to watch it without him (he doesn't like it). He says he'll watch it with me, but I hate watching shows with people who don't like it - they usually can't keep their comments to themselves and I get mad, ruining the viewing for me.

Steve flies back to Utah next Tuesday afternoon. I'm going to miss him terribly this week (already do!) but I'm glad for the many years of being single that taught me to be comfortable with being on my own. It will make this next week a lot more enjoyable than it would be otherwise.

Friday, February 17, 2012

Bedside Table Game

Do you remember that classic bridal/baby shower game where the hostess brings out a tray holding a multitude of items that relate in some way to the theme of the shower, covered by a towel or something similar? When everyone is good and ready, the hostess removes the towel and the contestants have 2 minutes (time varies by shower) to try to memorize every single item on the tray. When the 2 minutes are up, the tray is re-covered and the contestants have an allotted amount of time to list as many items from the tray that they can remember. Whoever lists the most is the winner.

The other night, as I lay in bed reading, I looked over at my bedside table and realized it would make the perfect "tray" for this game. So, I took a picture.

I propose we play this quintessential shower game via Blogger (humor me, please, I didn't have a bridal shower before I got married. *cue tears*). You don't have to play, but if you do, it's gonna have to be based on the honor system.

Look at the below pictures (two, to help you see everything a bit better) for 30 seconds (or one-half minute, you choose), then turn away from the screen and make a list of all the items you can remember in 1 minute. No peeking back at the screen unless you want to condemn your pinky finger to for 5 years.

Compare your list to the list way below the pictures and see how many you got right. Whoever gets the most items right in 1 minutes, wins! No, you don't win a prize, just the satisfaction of knowing you won. And a big Congratulations from me! Yippee!*

Ready to play? Okay, set your timer for 1/2 minute (or 30 seconds) and here's the "tray" (imagine me removing a brightly colored striped kitchen towel).

The List:

* multi-colored "4" booklet (it is front and center in the first photo)

* white ring box

* Carmex

* yellow Brooke coaster (her face is covered)

* 2 Smarties wrappers

* 2 ear pugs

* Detroit Lions cup

* clock radio

* lotion

* lamp

* box of Kleenex

* foot cream

* two used tissues (I don't have a nearby garbage)

* blue nail polish

* Kindle

* journal

* pen

* match box

* stationary box

* stationary card

* candle

* french Book of Mormon (bottom of the stack of books, extra points if correctly identified)

* Home Remedies book from the 1990s (above the BoM, extra points for correct identification)

* Norwex catalog (can't wait to get my order!!)

* Pink Norwex receipt (sticking out of the catalog)

* WSU Veterans Affairs business card

I'd like to say that my dresser has been cleaned off since taking the picture, but I'd be lying. In fact, it now has the addition of my glasses on top of my Kindle. I was wearing them at the time of the picture and wish I would have thought to take them off, since that is their home most of the time (their case is housed separately on my dresser in the closet). However, I DID throw away the Smarties wrappers and used tissues. I'm not totally disgusting.

Hope you had fun!

*I contemplated giving something away but decided I'd probably forget to send the prize to the winner. This way is easier and less stressful. :)

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

On Finding Love

I wasn't depressed, but I certainly wasn't ecstatic. In fact, I was a little nervous.

I had finally accepted that the single, age-appropriate guys in my life were either not interested in me that way or they were and weren't doing anything about it. Either way, the results were the same. I wasn't dating anyone.

The problem wasn't that I wasn't dating anyone but that it seemed like there was no one to date. I lived in a small town, but people get married in small towns all the time, and not just 18-21 year olds, so I didn't blame my town. I blamed my lifestyle. I worked in a small medical office where the patients tended to be quite a bit older than me (although I did date the only two age-appropriate patients we ever had, one of them for a few months even), I attended church where the only single guys were jail bait (under 18) or worm bait (old), and I had a pretty tight-knit group of friends. This group did include a few guys; however, please refer back to the previous paragraph.

Sitting at my work computer, after business hours, I typed my profile paragraph. How does one sum up who they are in a paragraph? How do you capture that wonderful personality, breath-taking sense of humor, and quirky looks in such a way as to attract the guy you're going to be with for the rest of your life? Okay, I didn't honestly believe I'd meet my future husband online. In fact, I was banking on it. The thought of spending a lifetime admitting to anyone who asked that we had met online wasn't appealing at all! Nope, all I wanted from this experience was to have a little fun, meet some good guys and maybe some crazies (but NO scaries), and maybe get some free meals/entertainment.

It wasn't until later that night that the possibility of no one being interested in my online profile occurred to me. What's worse than having a few guys not being interested? Having a whole world wide web of guys not be interested. Or so I thought. The next morning, I checked my online account and the only guy who had shown any interest had the worst grammar, spelling, and punctuation that I had ever seen in a post elementary school person. Not only that, but he sounded really, really weird. Great, I thought, the only men I attract online are weirdos.

Turns out, I got what I wanted from my online experience. I met and dated several really good guys, exchanged emails with a couple harmless crazies, and was treated to some great free food and entertainment. One guy even took me to a Cirque du Soleil show in Vegas, helping me cross an item off my Bucket List.

In addition to all that, I found Love. Heart-consuming, tears-of-joy-producing, mind-enhancing and befuddling Love. Love that is as quiet and gentle as a rain drop sliding off a flower petal. There is passion, but it goes deeper than passion. He is my best friend, the person that understands me almost as much as my mother does, though give him a couple years and he might surpass her. He enters my mind as soon as I wake up, and thoughts of him send me off to sleep every night. When he gathers me up into his arms, I feel peace and truly at home. I may not always be in a good mood when I'm around him, but he improves whatever mood I'm having; no matter how rotten I'm feeling or for whatever reason, being around him lightens my spirits. If I had to choose between him and a lifetime supply of free chocolate, I'd choose him and never regret the decision.

For a long time, I didn't want to ever get married. Then, when I started to want it, I felt sure I would never find a guy who would want to marry me that I would also want to marry. Steve came as a surprise, the best and most pleasant surprise imaginable. Being married to him feel as easy as being single was except now there's someone on the weekends to kill me at Wii Battleship. Today, we celebrate our 2nd Valentine's Day together; I hope it's the second of many, many more. He is my hero, my lover, my friend, my partner in goofiness, my sous chef, my bed warmer, and my husband. I love him with all my heart and am honored to be the one he chose to spend the rest of his life with.

On this Valentines Day, I hope you are surrounded by the people who love you and that you love. Or, if you're far away from the ones you love, I hope that you know that you are loved by them. Wouldn't it be great if we all took just a few moments to let the people in our lives know that they are loved by us?

Here's my Valentine to all of you, because I love you!

Happy Valentines Day!

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

January Updates

The first month of 2012 is finished, caput, hasta la pasta, outta here! I have nothing against January per se, but I'm always relieved when it is over. The holiday season is completely out of sight, out of mind and Spring is one month closer to being here. Yippee!

All in all, January was a pretty good month. Steve went back to working days, so we actually get to spend time together during the week, even if that's just hanging out in the study at the same time while I do homework. Honestly, the thing I like most about him being home in the evenings is eating dinner together. To me, family is all about sharing meals. Oh, and I like that I go to bed earlier when he's on days; the mornings are infinitely easier when I go to bed earlier.

I'm getting off track, which is totally unlike me. Really, this post is meant to be an update on how my goals/plans for the year are shaping up. So far, not too shabby. Read on...

School: is going well. I am really loving my online class. I like that I can do it at my own pace, which results in me being weeks ahead of schedule. My other two classes are going well, despite the professors missing multiple classes. They are married to each other and are retiring after this semester so I think they're pretty "trunky". My auditing class is probably giving me the most grief but mostly because I feel like I know the material until he asks questions in class and his answers are different than mine. Oh well. I'm learning lots, which is the whole point. If I already knew everything, I wouldn't need to be in school.

England: isn't going to happen. We're still going on a trip but something closer to home and less expensive. We can totally afford an expensive trip, but we're too practical. When I'm done with school and have a good-paying job (knock on wood), we'll have two incomes and will probably feel better about spending more on a vacation. As of right now, we have two destinations we're excited about: an Alaskan cruise or a week tour of Montreal/Quebec City. It would be my 4th cruise if we went to Alaska, which is okay, and I hear that Alaska is pretty marvelous. I'd love to return to Montreal and would especially enjoy finally getting to see Quebec City, as I never managed to get up there when I was on my mission. We're trying to come up with more possible destinations and hope to have a place chosen and booked by the end of the month.

Journaling: is going great! I miss a day here and there but most of the time I write at night before going to bed. I love my self-imposed limit of only writing one page because it makes journaling a little less daunting and definitely less time-consuming. Sometimes I choose the silliest things to write about, things that aren't important at all, sometimes I just write about how I felt during the day, and once I wrote a single sentance. It is extremely liberating for someone like me who typically writes like she talks...too much.

Running: isn't happening. With Steve's work schedule change, I had to sacrifice going to the gym in order to walk the dog before leaving in the morning (because he wakes up too early to do so) and as soon as I get off work in the afternoon so the poor thing doesn't have to hold it for too long. I know I could still go to the gym in the evening, but that is reserved for spending time with my family, making dinner, and doing homework. However, I am going to start trying to ride my indoor bike for 15-20 minutes each night while Steve's walking the dog. That will give me three exercise times during the day!

I didn't quite make my goal of exercising 100 miles during the month, but I got close. I feel confident that I'll be able to meet it in February. And, despite not running (too cold on my lungs to do so outside right now), I'm still planning on that 5k on May 19th.

January exercise total: 1750 minutes (just over 29 hours) and 85 miles, mostly walking.

Good-bye, January! See you again next year!