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Friday, February 29, 2008

Happy YOUday!

The YOUday Mascot and Mantra

February 29. Every four years, it's February 29. There's some complex formula to figure out which years they will appear in. But, I prefer to be surprised. Just like a gift. Twirled up in ribbons and bows, pretty polka-dot paper and extra tissue! And, there it extra day---tucked right there beneath the swirl of wrappings . A splendid little bauble. Sparkley and sweet. A brand new day. 24 hours that you haven't had for a few years and you won't see for another few is worthy of celebration! Don't you agree? How many times have we said ...."boy what I could do with another day..."? Well, here it is. An extra day. It sort of makes me feel like I should do something extra special. So, that's what I am going to do. I'm going to design a holiday..........just for us. For You. Well, YOU and I. It's all about YOU. And ME too.

Last night, Toni told me that my sister Denise thought today should be a national holiday....everyone should get the day off. I agree. I'll tell you....good ideas run my family! It would be a grand holiday. Afterall, it's mid-winter and all that stuff (don't get me started again.....). And, even though it comes right on the heels of that other holiday--- President's Day..... let's face it....that's not a celebrating and kicking your heels up kind of holiday. At least not in my book. But today? Well, now, that's a whole 'nother story. Toni and I could use our day-at-the-spa Christmas gift certificates and get all pampered up and beautified. Then we could go shopping. I mean, if it were declared a national holiday---imagine the sales---THIS SALE COMES ONLY ONCE EVERY FOUR YEARS. Think of the shoes we could buy....on sale! Toni and I would be there! We could oogle and squeal and snatch up all the shoe deals then run over to Victoria Secrets and buy amazing lingerie....on sale! What a day that would be. I doubt it would be the kind of holiday that you invite the in-laws over for pasta and meatballs. No, no. Not if I'm planning this holiday. I do not need another holiday where I have to clean my house and hide all the dirty laundry. Anyway, I'm still working on getting the house back together from Christmas. And, there's that pesky little problem of my dining room re-do that we have going on. So, even if it was a holiday where dinner is a big deal, we would have to starve (yeah, like that would happen!). Speaking of of my lapbanded blog readers who emails me every so often suggested that today be a day to "fast". Her reasoning? Well, she figures if today is an extra day then what it boils down to in her book is extra calories. And, she doesn't want any extra calories--she said she has enough problems dealing with the regular calories. It sounds perfectly reasonable to me. Perhaps I should fast. Like in---not eat a thing. A Starbuck's chai latte would probably be okay. And, I'm sure wine and martinis are fine. But, no food. So, let's add fasting with allowable drinks to this holiday. Oh, and......I wonder....if it was a holiday.....should gifts be involved? I'm thinking yes. Most definitely gifts. Luxurious gifts. Things that no one needs or would admit that they want. You know what I am talking about. Okay, and while we're at it...... I also think that part of the day should be reserved for spending with your friends to celebrate friendship. I'd probably call that part of the day Happy Hour (hey...I'm winging it here....developing a new holiday and all....). And, no drink tax. Yes, I think that due to the holiday, the drink tax should take a holiday too. After the Happy Hour portion of the day, it would probably be a good time to take a limo ride, pick up your favorite squeeze and have a romp in the back seat. Or, if you're could ride around in that limo and maybe get to know the limo driver a little better. Or, if you get a limo with a sun roof maybe you could just stand up in the limo and dance while the limo driver chauffers you around the neighborhood you grew up in. You could wave to everyone.......even that nasty neighbor who always snatched your badmitten birdie when it landed in her yard!

So, let's review....
-No work
-No cooking or cleaning
-Shopping at big sales
-No calories from food
-Calories from drinks allowed
-Happy Hour
-No drink tax
-Possibly the limo driver
-Possible limo romp
-Revisiting your youth (the neighborhood)

This could be the best holiday ever. Ever. Ever ever. Yes, ever, ever, ever. EVER!
Do you think if Hillary becomes Prez, she'll consider it? (not that I'm being political or anything)
Happy YOUday to all of YOU!!!
(and me too)

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Coming Around......

Before anyone goes out and orders me a straight jacket or sends me a bar of soap to wash my mouth out, hold on. I am pretty sure I can feel myself emerging from my midwinter mania. And, I am almost positive that my cussing streak is coming to a halt. And, most importantly, I think my weather-induced misery is subsiding. My day was relatively uneventful---no meetings, no snow, no fit and trim neighbors lurking in my driveway and no food-related fantasies. Nothing to continue to fuel my rantings and ravings. By this weekend, my overactive potty mouth and grand delusions of gorging and guzzling should be history. I'll just be back to my typical antics---a little swearing here, a little swearing there, a little food craving here and a little food craving there. A glass of wine here, a martini there. Lusting for shoes here, drinking chai lattes there. Business as usual in Judiland.

If nothing else, this cranky episode has taught me the same lesson I have had to face so many times during my journey.......loosing weight does not change everything, it does not insure love, peace and happiness and it doesn't solve every problem--big or small. I'm a slow learner in this regard. Years of believing that the perfect world waited for me beyond all of the excess pounds have conditioned me to have this outlook. No wonder I still haven't figured it out 100%. It is going to take awhile for it to sink in. For many years, I lived in a world where loosing weight was out of my reach. And, as I struggled with my weight and fought with those pounds, life---with all of it's ups and downs---kept moving on. In my mind, I always believed that if only I could take the weight off, I'd have one less thing to drag me down---one less thing to deal with. And, then everything else would fall into place. Everything. All because I lost weight. My life would be perfect. Or at least close to it. But, each time things go a little haywire---whether it's a bad hair day, a school delay when I have to be at a meeting, a construction detour on the way to work or a pile of dishes in the sink for the fourth day in a row---I'm reminded that my weight was never the reason for THOSE problems and it won't be what makes them go away. And, loosing weight does not make me super human or perfect or indestructible. It just makes me weigh less. It changes my pants size. It doesn't stop the rain. Finding that out hasn't been easy. But, I'm coming around.......

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

This weather is getting on my nerves........

Someone said it this morning at our staff meeting----everyone is getting cranky. I second that. It's February, we've been fighting snow and sleet and rain and slush and all kinds of precipatation for far too long. I know, I know. What do I expect? It's February in Pittsburgh. Hey, I am all for four seasons. I don't hate winter. In fact, I think that winter has a beauty all of it's own. Softly falling snow in December is sweet. It makes me want to cuddle up by the fire with a steaming cup of chai latte and write loving notes in Christmas cards for dear friends who I haven't seen in far too long. But---this shit? It's shit. That's all it is. Shit. It makes me want to drink margaritas with salt on the rim and eat a huge plate of cheesey, gooey nachos to chase away the shit. There I go.....I'm swearing for the very first time on my blog. Well, it had to happen some time. It should come as no surprise that TODAY is that moment. Because I'm cranky. It just has to be the weather. The other day my father told me he was down---I barked at him--"it's the weather." And, I want to eat......a lot. Oh, and I want to drink.......bad things. And, I can't stop thinking about what I want to eat and drink. Is this what they call head hunger? Well, let the psycho ward folks call it what they will. There's nothing fancy about what I'm feeling. I call it---I'm sick to death of this piss-ass weather, I can't take it no more and it's making me fucking crazy so I want to eat because that's what I do when I feel this way. This morning, I had a craving for a big chocolate chip cookie and a huge glass of full fat, thick, ice cold chocolate milk. This afternoon, I had fantasies about pasta with shrimp and artichokes braised in lemon wine sauce with a lovely white sangria in a frosted balloon wine glass. On the drive home, I almost pulled through the McDonald's Drive thru for a Big Mac and fries and maybe even an apple fritter and imagined eating it in my car right there in the parking lot with that special sauce oozing out of the sides of my mouth and ketchup dripping from heavily salted fries. While I cooked dinner, I hungered for a huge plate of creamy, luscious Macaroni and Cheese with extra cheese with a big, cold glass of diet coke and a big hot fudge sundae with double cherries on top. As I loaded the dishwasher, I wanted chocolate dipped strawberries, a big slice of very sharp cheese and a tall flute of bubbly champagne. As I watched American Idol, I wanted salty, rippled potatoe chips with french onion dip and a rootbeer float. And, now? I want a big, warm soft pretzel, a gin and tonic with two limes and a piece of coconut creme pie. The weather? You bet your sweet ass it's this fucking weather. There would no other reason on this planet why I would swear like a fucking truck driver, want to drink alcohol smack in the middle of the week and consider consuming 5,080 of unhealthy and completely empty calories in one day! It's the weather. God Damn IT! It is the weather. The it bitch?

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Movin' on.......

Yes, it's time to move on. Forget about the weekend. Live in the real world. Not in my diva- about-town-world. So, I'm here. Feet firmly planted (but wearing diva-about-town boots). It's time to deal with ice and snow and school delays and what's for dinner. But, before I actually go-go into the light---I have to pause for a moment and strut my stuff. Remember my neighbor---the exercisaholic with the rock solid abs who has a PhD in some of kind of nutrition-exercise physiology thing? Well, this morning as I was teetering on my not-made-for-snow-but-damn-cute boots, throwing salt on the 3 inch thick ice patches that formed on my driveway, and holding on to the bumper of my car for dear life......she came over to chat. Actually, she needed some salt for her sidewalk. Anyway--there I was--in my cute boots, dressed up, ready to go to work with no coat to cover up my body and she says, in a shocked tone "my goodness, you look like a different person there, Judi! I hardly knew that was you!" If I could have lunged forward and hugged her, I would have. But, as I said---lots of ice. "OOOh, turn around girl, let me see you!" she gestured for me to let go of the car bumper. Considering it was impossible to do, I just wiggled my hips a bit to apease her. "You go girl!" she clapped in the air. "How long has it been since I've seen you? Oh, it must be 2 months!" she marveled, putting her hands over her mouth. (actually, it's only been about 6 weeks.....) "You look like a totally different person! Look at you all dressed up with makeup and everything!" she gushed. At that point, I wondered---is she commenting on my brand new Estee Lauder foundation and lip pencil, my cute little suede jacket that I got for pennies on the dollar or was she commenting on my wieght loss. I wasn't quite sure. If it was the makeup thing---I wanted to haul off and belt her. I am a makeup kind of girl so I always have makeup on--I wouldn't be out in public without it. She's never seen me WITHOUT make up! So, what was the big deal? Well, I guess if she always saw me with makeup and now I look even better---did I always look terrible before--even with makeup? Did my new foundation and lip pencil really make a difference? If it was the suede jacket---I could have bragged about the great deal I got. She is someone who likes bargains so she would definitely be impressed. So, what was it? "Thank you. Yep, I feel good!" was my generic response, hoping to get more of an idea of why she was so overwhelmed by my appearance. "Well, damn girl, you should! You look good! That jacket is great!" she said, touching it. So, it was my jacket. "Gosh, I got this for $4.99!" I bragged. "No way!" she screeched in delight. I gave her all the details. "Honestly, I don't know what it is, but you look so much younger!" she continued. So, it was my new anti-wrinkle cream....didn't think that! "And, look at your makeup, it's so perfect!" she said, tilting her head, trying to get a better glimpse of it. So, it was my new Estee Lauder foundation. "Seriously, this lapband thing of yours agrees with you!" Ah-ha, so, it is my weightloss! "Yeah, it's great," was all I could say---I was too busy basking in the moment. "Well, you look great. Younger. Healthier. Much, much better! Oh, yes, soooooo much better!" she went on. Okay, she could have just stopped at that. But, no...."Honestly, Judi, I can't get over it. It's amazing how different you look. Not as bloated or as uncomfortably overwieght as you did. You look like you are finally taking care of yourself. The makeup. The cute clothes. I can't wait to see what you'll look like when you finally get down to where you should be...." she continued. Just as I was about to throw salt on her, I caught a glimpse of my balloons. "Did you see my balloons?" I asked her. "Yeah, where did you get those?" she asked. "I really don't know" I wistfully told her. "Oh" she replied---looking very confused. "Yeah, someone delivered them to my house in the middle of the night on Saturday." I told her--no-big-deal-like. "Really?" she said, looking over at the partially deflated balloon bouquet that was tied to my porch post with a ribbon. "It was the funniest thing, I was out with my girlfriends and my sister on Saturday night and well, I'm not sure why but the next morning I woke up to find these. Everyone thinks they are from a secret admirer...." I casually explained. "Well, isn't that wild! You really don't know who they are from? Oh my gosh, I love it!" she clapped. "Funny, isn't it?" I giggled a bit---acting oh so cool. "Well, you just have to find out!" she told me. I just is time to move on, I told her. That weekend is behind me. My secret admirer will just have to suffer in silence. Afterall, I'm a happily married, busy mother and wife. And, even if I wasn't---balloons? Come on. It would take more than a clandestine, middle of the night balloon delivery to get my attention. "You are so right! What a crock! Balloons!" she huffed, folding her arms across her chest and then dramatically nodding in agreement. Yep, I'm moving on, neighbor. And, I'm moving on looking and feeling soooooooo much better, thank you very much......!

By the's a little e-gift I got that I thought I'd share. It's very inspirational. Isn't it?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Monday, Monday........

No matter what, we all have to get back to the reality that is our life. Back to the life we lead about 75% of the the time. We have to take off our thongs and put our hi-cut briefs back on. Take off our tiaras and put away the credit cards. It's not such a bad thing.....we can't live la vita loca 24/7. Well, at least not when you're 49, have a few kids, a job, live less than a mile from your 87 year old father and have a husband whose schedule rivals those of presidential candidates. But, it takes a few days of recovery. I'm thinking that by Wednesday, I should be good to go. By then, I should have recovered enough to get back to my normal life. Funny thing is, my normal life doesn't wait for me to recover. It just blasts back in. "Reality Judi" can't show up on Wednesday. She was due here today. Early this morning as a matter of fact. After the weekend that I had---where I did nothing at all that resembled laundry, housework, cooking, grocery shopping or attentive daughter behavior---I am now faced with a Red-bulled version of my normal life. It's Monday on crack cocaine around here. My dad has a cold and feels rotten---he tells me he hasn't felt well for going on 3 weeks---who knew? He never mentioned it. Pay him little or no attention for a few days and all of a sudden he's been sick for 3 weeks. And, then there's the whole Mother Hubbard's cupboard thing. There's no fruit for lunches. No veggies for salads. No milk. No oatmeal. No yogurt. Heck, we're getting low on toilet paper. There's a few half bottles of wine and a pack of contraband cigarettes. So, if I could convince everyone that smoking and drinking could tide them over--for just a few days---I'd be in fine shape. But, if they wanted to eat or void, I may have a bit of a problem. So, I'm back at it. No more Gin Rickies at lunch or wondering if somehow I dragged home a huge bouquet of helium balloons in a drunken stupor(which, by the way....I didn't---- but it sure was fun to think that I was wild and crazy enough to do it and not even remember it!). It was a lovely girly-girl weekend with a little bit of bad girl thrown in just for fun. Yes, I rocked. Now, it's time to roll.

And, repent.

Do you think a few days wearing this outfit will help with the repenting?
It would hide a multitude of sins (of the mind, body & soul).
I'm not sure what the shoes look like. But, I'm guessing from the looks of the entire outfit and the model herself, they are probably bad enough that if I did wear them,
I'd certainly be cleared of all transgressions.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Just the highlights..........

Oh, what a weekend it was.........

*Not Your Daughter's Jeans......Tummy Tuck Jeans.......ooooh!
*Big time sale at my fav place---Coldwater Creek......$10 quilted jacket, $5 suede jacket!
*Snake skin boots.....pointy toed-kitten and on sale!
*A pedicure in I a diva or what? OPI Apple Red!
*Caprese Salad at Il Pizziaola.......not lapband friendly. Not pretty!
*Braved ice-storm, my favorite shopping partner and I, to shop at Gabe's & Ross!
*Chai Latte Heaven!
*Lunch, Hair & Make-Up.......! It's good to be my daughter......
*Picture party! Was Toni the most gorgeous or what?
*The best crabcakes in the world, lots of wine and fun at the place where good friends meet
*Red, Yellow, White & Blue balloons tied with a ribbon to my front porch post this morning. Who did that? A secret admirer? Was it because of my new jeans and sexy boots?
*Gin Rickies at lunch.......yum!
*Southside Works with my fav shopping partner, my lovely and sweet niece and my 2 heart and soul mates---my sisters..........celebrating a gift that came along 45 years sister Cathy (btw, I named her after my Chatty Cathy Doll).
*Worn out, everything hurts, can't think, want to curl up under a kind of weekend.

Friday, February 22, 2008


The dreaded snowstorm came and went with little fanfare. School delays and a few closings. But, nothing close to the mayhem the newscasters had us prepared for. See, my novenas paid off. A big thank you goes out to my namesake.....the patron saint of the hopeless.....St. Jude (yes, it's true, friends, my mother named me after St. Jude....). So, you know what that means, don't you? Yep, the boys left on their road trip. They packed their bags and headed out the door. Well, it wasn't that clean or sweet of a departure but why bother with details......they are well on there way to Happy Valley (seriously, that is where they are going). And, what's most important is----I'm happily ensconced in my girly weekend where the only stresses will be what color to paint my toenails, what hairstyle will look best on Toni, what color eye shadow and lipstick she should wear and if I should drink wine or martinis. Okay, yeah, there might be a few other things I'll need to think about (should I really buy those leopard print shoes?). But, since I plan to live serendipitiously and roll by the seat of my pants while la dolce vita-ing---I say bring it on! So, if you don't hear from me, have no fear. I will return to tell you all about what it's like to be a girl about town, a chick living la-vita-loca and a high maintenance diva-queen living in a lipstick jungle.......!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Girly girls......

This weekend, it's all about girl stuff. The boys are headed on a little road trip in the morning. For 3 days. THREE solid days. Now, I know, they are predicting a snow storm. But, I've been doing novenas for the past 48 hours...praying that it's all just some meteorlogical hoax. It ain't coming. Got it? No way. No how. Nope. No-sir-ee. Even if it does come our way, I'll happily hand over the keys to my 4 wheel drive! Because we have eye brow waxes, manicures and pedicures to get done and there's a few chick flicks with our name on it. We're going to a girly restaurant and shopping where we want and for as long as we want. And, then there's a whole day of glamming up Toni for her winter, make up, drop-dead dress and over the top, amazing shoes. And, then, the big send off.....many, many pictures and then waving good bye to our glammed up girls and their shell-shocked escorts. Then, there's having drinks with the moms of all those sophisticated, expensive girls who we just sent off to dine and dance. There's no big Sunday breakfast or fancy Sunday dinner. It's just wake up when I want, head over to pick up my favorite shopping partner from her after-formal girly giggle sleepover session and then off to fuel up with our pre-shopping Chai Lattes. Then, there's big time bargain shopping to do---visiting our fav find-the-hidden-treasures haunts. Yes, it's our kind of weekend. It's all about decadence, maintenance and letting absence make our hearts grow fonder........

We'll miss ya Carmen and Vince. Bye-Bye.....!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Girl Scouts are Lapband Friendly........

Now, before you go out and hug a Girl Scout, I must tell you.......this is not exactly GOOD NEWS. Well, for me, at least. Yes, it's true, it's always nice to find Lapband friendly things. And, with all the trial and error that goes along with what is Lapband friendly and what isn't, it's always nice to get some advance info. For instance---I won't be eating steak any time soon. Let's just say it didn't go well the first time. I'll spare you the details. And, things got a little bit wicked with a bunless hamburger a few weeks back. So, I'm off steak and burgers for the time being. get the picture.....knowing what is good and bad can make or break your day.

In late January, when I placed several orders for Girl Scout cookies, did I have any intention that I would be eating any of them? NO! Absolutely not! In fact, when I got the order forms....I called Vince and Toni and said "now, remind me, which ones do you like?" Considering that I've been ordering Girl Scout cookies for ions, you would think I would remember which ones they like. Well, if truth be told---I know what kind they like. I'm their mother, afterall. They like what I like. Who do you think has been buying those favorite cookies and feeding them to my children all these years? Yes, it was just my clever way of getting myself (and the Girl Scouts) into accepting/believing that those cookies were NOT my cookies. Not mine. No, I won't be eating them. They are for my children. Clearly, I learned a lot of mental trickery during my decent into obesity.

So, my children's first supply of Girl Scout cookies arrived earlier this week along with my entire office's order. A very lovely coworker---a devoted Girl Scout mom--- carted in the delivery. Believe me when I tell you----we have an entire office of enthusiastic Girl Scout supporters! So, everyone swarmed the delivery person. Now, when food arrives in my office, glee follows. But, this was double glee---no one had to share their cookies! Everyone had their very own stock of Girl Scout cookies to take home and devour in the privacy of their own homes---or, of course, share with their families (if they so desired). Once we got our nicely packaged bags, we immediately hid them in our offices. As for me, my $21 worth of cookies belonged soley to my children. Fortunately, my smart coworker--the Girl Scout mom--knew to package the boxes in non-see-thru bags. I was especially grateful for her forethought. I did not want to be enticed in any way to take food out of my own children's mouths. Especially cookies that they so dearly loved.

When I arrived home with the cookies, I placed them on the kitchen counter in plain sight. I wanted to surprise my children with their favorite Girl Scout cookies! Toni was the first to spot them. "Look, Girl Scout cookies!" I excitedly said, showcasing them--a la Vanna White. "No Tag-A-Longs?" she asked. Hmmm. They must be in the next supply, I told her. With that, she headed to the was time for "E News". So, I called Vince on the phone---"I have your Girl Scout cookies..." I told him with great delight. "Yeah, thanks, I'll get them...." he responded without any measure of anticipation. "Well, I can bring them to you....." I offered. "No, I'll get them....." he said. "Okay, well, I'll pack them up for your trip this weekend...." I said, trying to coax some level of excitement from him. "No thanks" he responded. So, there I was.....with $21 of my children's Girl Scout cookies starring at me.

When Carmen arrived home later that night, he spotted the Girl Scout cookies. He immediately opened the Thin Mints. No coaxing needed......I guess they are his favorite. After he quickly devoured one sleeve of them, I decided I had to do something. Afterall, those cookies belonged to our children. And, most importantly, I knew that if I allowed him to eat another full sleeve of Thin Mints, he'd soon to moaning to me about the fact that he ate an entire box and how awful he felt and how he didn't need them and how could I let him do that. It would somehow become my fault. So, in self defense and to head off a night of bickering, I snatched the unopened sleeve and headed to the freezer with them. On my way from the kitchen counter to the freezer, it happened. I found out.....right there in my kitchen.....I can still eat an entire sleeve of Girl Scout cookies. Those Girl Scouts are a Lapband friendly lot......aren't they?

Monday, February 18, 2008

I've said it before & I'll say it's the little things, the small stops along the road......

Many years ago, I was boarding the bus home from college. I was probably 18 or 19. I placed my hand on the railing of the bus door to help hoist my suitcase up into the bus. It appeared to be stuck. As I tugged away at it, I looked down and caught the glimpse of a woman's well-manicured hand pulling at what she probably thought was her suitcase---but it was mine. I turned around (to let her know that it was my suitcase) to find the cheerful face of the woman whose hand had been pulling on my suitcase. She covered her mouth with her hand in embarrassment and sweetly backed away to allow me to take hold of my suitcase. We smiled at each other. Then, once again, I placed my hand on the railing of the bus door to hoist my suitcase up into the bus. As I did that, I looked over at my hand....noticing how smooth the skin was---no wrinkles, no discolorations. And, it occurred to me how lucky I was to be so young and to have such nice hands. I'm not sure what I was smoking at the time----since it seemed like a rather odd thing for a girl of that age to reflect on. But, reflect I did. As the would-be suitcase hi-jacker entered the bus herself, I stole a quick look at her hand. It was the hand of a mother who was going to town to shop or who was taking a special day trip. Well, that's what I imagined anyhow. Her fingernails were painted a deep shade of red and filed in a little curve. She wore a diamond wedding set on her left hand with a Timex watch at her wrist. Her hands were not as smooth and creamy as mine, I mused. I was so lucky to be so young. And, so lucky to have such nice hands.

Now, I can't say that I thought about that moment very often. Regardless, the seemingly insignificant details of it stayed with me. In fact, it all came back to me the other I was driving Vince's car to the grocery store. He had come for dinner and parked behind my car. Unless I wanted to jockey cars around, I had to take his vehicle. As I drove along, Toni was trying to configure her brother's new gadget that allows you to play your i-Pod through your car radio. Finally, she got the hang of it and said "this one is for you mother....". Soon, the first notes of an oh so familiar song bellowed out of the radio........Hey Kids......She's got electric boots a mohair suit You know I read it in a magazine.........

We sang along......her lilty little voice reciting all the words and my tuneless voice missing a word here and there. Bliss. A stolen moment in a red car with my daughter.....both of us lost in the music, singing the lyrics together. She knew all the words. I remembered most of them. Together, lost in Bennie and the Jets. As we headed into the final chorus, I glanced down at my hands as they tapped away on the steering wheel. They were the hands of a mother going shopping. Red nail polish. Wedding rings. A watch at my wrist. I peered over at Toni's hands.....small and fragile and smooth and creamy. Then, as if a movie was playing inside my head..... the scene played out......that day in that little college town when I boarded the bus. The seemingly insignificant details of a moment oh so long ago. And now, those smooth, creamy hands are the hands of a mother. Rocking to the beat. But Bennie makes them ageless.............

Sunday, February 17, 2008

You can never be to rich or too thin?

I can't speak from experience. I've never been too rich or too thin. But, what I've come to realize is that being both can be a real ego crusher. The rich part sounds kind of fun.....being able to buy as many pair of decadent shoes as I damn well please. But, the thin part.....I'm not so sure. Why? Because it seems when you are rich or a celebrity of some sort.....there's always some problem with your body. And, if there isn't---someone will find an issue with it. So, essentially, no one will let you be thin, fat or even normal without having something to say about it. Imagine having your image splashed across the front cover of a magazine for all the world to your bathing suit. I mean, it's horrible enough I have to see my image in a picture from last year's vacation! To think that the whole world would not only see it but there would also be words attached to it! My boss would see it. My father would see it. Hey, even my 5th grade teacher would see it. "Look at that cellulite!" with red arrows pointing to my legs! "She's let herself go!" the headline would rage over a picture of me sitting in my beach chair. Nope, give me the relative obscurity of my life.....thank you. As much as I crave an entire wardrobe of amazing shoes, I would not give up my dignity for it. Nope, not my dignity. I'd give up a lot of other things---sure. Try me.

So, what got me to thinking about all of this? Well, last week, I was stuck in horrible was snowy and messy so everyone was moving very slowly. Even before I reached the tunnels, my morning tea that normally takes me from my kitchen to my office, was cold. So, I stopped in a convenience store to pick up another cup to get me through the next leg of my trip. Everyone else must have had the same problem. The line was long. You know what that means. Gossip magazines. Now, I will admit---I know what's going on in the world. I know Brittany is having troubles. I am very aware of who wore what to where. And, believe me when I tell you that Jessica had some work done. I know that JLo is expecting. I am in tune with what's up with Nicole and Paris. I'm completely up to date on Halle's new hairdo. I am privy to what the insiders are saying about Brad and Angelina. And, believe me, I am very aware that Kate had a secret tryst with Owen. Trust me, I'm up on celebrity gossip and fashion. It comes with the territory when you're the mother of a 16 year old girl. But, I truly had no idea that Dustin has blubber and Courtney has sagging skin. Although, I was thrilled to learn that Pearce loves his wife even though she does not have the body for a bikini. And, yes, I admit----as much as I love Niccollette's character on Desperate Housewives---the woman has no business looking so good at her age in a bikini. As I inched closer to the register, I noticed the caption "more photos inside". Let's face it----I did not know anyone in that store. I hardly ever stop there. And, considering the weather---well, I might need something to read as I sat in that traffic. So, I snatched the National Enquirer and quickly slid it under my arm. Yes, I wanted to see more photos. I know, I know....I should not be supporting a business that I claim to loathe. But, the promise of more pictures of the worst bikini bodies hooked me. Never mind that I had an entire slew of my own beach pictures that were definitely in THAT category!!! I'm an impulse buyer....what can I say? And, don't they say that misery loves company?

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

One Hundred Battles and my Blog on The Web.......

In celebration of my
Blog Entry......

100 Things I learned (so far)
on my Journey
Lose 100 lbs.........

1. 100 pounds is a lot of weight
2. Weight loss surgery is not the easy way's a good way....not an easy way
3. A lapband is a tool, it's not a miracle cure
4. Protein is power
5. It's not a sin to leave a restaurant with your pants buttoned
6. Making one change can change everything
7. I got my blue eyes and my fat gene from my Irish grandma.....see, it all evens out
8. I am not a wimp
9. I don't need diet coke or tonic water to live
10. Blogging my way through this is much better than jogging my way through!
11. There really is a sexy woman living inside my body
12. Shoes are wonderful rewards
13. Sales people are nicer to thinner people
14. It's true---nothing tastes as good as thinner feels
15. My Lapband is not a secret----I tell everyone and tell them to tell everyone
16. Chai Latte is a miracle drink
17. My Magic Bullet loves me and I love my Magic Bullet
18. Spanx---not your mother's girdle
19. Not everyone at the gym has a perfect body
20. It's okay if I never fit into my wedding gown again
21. The people who matter to me know what matters....that's why they matter
22. The more weight I loose, the edgier my shoe choices become
23. I don't have to wear a blazer or a jacket over everything
24. Belts are beautiful
25. Black is not the only color that looks good on me
26. My scars may become my excuse for not wearing a bikini
27. My weight loss is my father's favorite spectator sport
28. I'm not afraid of becoming an object of desire
29. Looking good naked is no longer a requirement for me
30. Looking good in clothes is a requirement
31. Looking wonderful in clothes will happen with the right shoes
32. Shoes won't even help looking good naked. But it's okay. You have shoes.
33. Crossing my legs feels as good as I remember
34. Yes, I have more stamina for that (oh, you know what I mean...)
35. A restaurant size portion means I'll have lunch for the next day
36. Finding a good martini is an exhaustive quest
37. Crabcakes are not all created equal
38. Where has oatmeal been all of my life?
39. I really am vain
40. Sometimes you just need a new shade of lipstick
41. I am a very cheap date
42. I will never be able to eat a Big Mac and French Fries and I never should have
43. Living without pasta is really hard
44. Sometimes my lapband REALLY is in charge
45. I really could have been 300+ pounds by my 50th birthday
46. Cake and chocolate are overrated
47. Garlic really is the spice of life
48. I can and I will
49. Under my suburban-middle-age-working-mom cover, there lives a wild and crazy rocking chick living on the edge.......wearing tight jeans, a racey little tank top that says "I AM WITH THE BAND", red stilettos, wild earrings, spikey hair and a shamrock tattoo right there
50. 85% of my 40's were spent as an obese woman
51. Pounds love my body......they hang on
52. Your feet really do shrink when you loose weight.....are new shoes in my future?
53. This is my lapband honeymoon won't always be so enchanting and satisfying
54. I'm shedding more than extra weight
55. I can't convert every overweight person to become lapbanded
56. One day at a time is still a good idea
57. A scale can be my friend
58. Why did I eat so much for so long?
59. I am not really "big boned"
60. I am more than a pretty face
61. I come from a family of good cooks and force feeders who believe food is love
62. It wasn't just a thyroid problem
63. There's no excuse for cheap gin
64. Just because it's there, you don't have to eat it
65. You don't really need second helpings to survive
66. I don't want to throw up at a restaurant at the table
67. Savouring your food is a hard lesson to learn
68. Going out to eat really can be a social experience
69. Don't tell me you can live on raw food and pilates
70. I don't need diet pills/speed to feel energized
71. Once in awhile, I need compliments on my wieght loss. A standing ovation would be nice too.
72. A taste of success is critical to be successful
73. I was not meant to be an exercise nut
74. My fantasies were not fantasies afterall
75. A bad hair day is still a bad hair day no matter how much I weigh
76. Boobs really are made of fat.....they will shrink!
77. I am so damn lucky that sometimes it just makes me cry
78. It really is all about the little things
79. I was never really hungry
80. It's not all about looking good and feeling good but those are good things
81. My knees and my ankles did not ache because I was getting old
82. I am loved and always was
83. Fat acceptance is not my thing
84. I am a food snob
85. People really do need people
86. Bruce was right......about everything
87. I want my children to be proud of me and to be proud to be with me
88. Fashion does count
89. I am not perfect and I am not sure if I want to be
90. I really do want to know how thin people stay thin
91. People really do feel good when I mention them in my blog
92. The beach is always calling me
93. There were a lot of things I didn't do because of my weight....I just never knew it
94. Loosing weight won't solve all of my problems---just some of them
95. There's a place in everyone's diet for wine
96. Life is not about deprivation
97. Just do it, get on with it and quit whining and blaming everything and everyone
98. There's no excuse for not making the most of everything
99. Being optimistic is the only alternative
100. I don't know exactly when I will loose the 100 lbs and I am not sure what shoes I'll be wearing on that day. But, I know this----there's a road stretching out before me and I will travel it. My journey continues.....

Oh.....and here's one more.....

101. Thank You for traveling with me.....

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Even I couldn't knock a good man down........

Remember him.......the cute intern.? You know the one.....the almost-doctor who I misbehaved with? The one who was half-afraid to come into my hospital room after the tongue lashing I gave him? The kid who I was positive would give up his entire medical career after a run in with a drugged-up me? Well, you can all stop worrying.....he did not abandon his career. He's still there. I didn't single-handedly sniff out his childhood dreams of saving overweight women. Although, he may have been demoted or something. Or, maybe the staff was playing a cruel joke on him. met up again.....with me. If he remembered me, he didn't immediately let on. "I'm not sure if we met. Although you do look familiar," is what he said. "I don't recall"---I couldn't help but it say it with a hint of sarcasm. (Yes, he is still cute. )'s how it all happened----I had my 6 month follow-up visit with my surgeon. As luck would have it, we were besieged with a nasty snow-rain-ice storm. But, I was oh so determined to get to that appointment. I braved my way into work in my trusty new 4 wheel drive....over hill and dell. Since the hospital is only a hop, skip and jump from my office, I figured I'd work a good portion of the day and then head down on the bus for my 3:00 appointment and then go back to work for awhile. But, outside of our windowless basement lair, the weather continued to get worse and the roads became treacherous. Reports from the outside were few and far between. Although, my son did IM me to tell me to "get out now". But, I figured it was his first snow storm of his adult life where he didn't live within a few naturally, he would panic. When the surgeon's office called me to say that they wanted to reschedule me for another day---they were not going to see anyone after 2 pm because of the storm and the impending doom that the weather forecasters were predicting----I immediately said "No! I can be there by2!" So, I bundled up and set out on my journey to the surgeon's office. It was snowing. It was raining. It was hailing. But, I was going to get to that damn surgeon's office even if I had to commandeer a tractor to get me there. Thankfully, a bus came along and I hopped on. But, it was a slow bus. A very slow bus. Everyone on the bus looked wide-eyed with panic---even the driver. Cars were not driving in their own lanes. The roads were slushy and the precipitation was relentless. But, that bus driver got me there.....slowly but safely. By the time I ran across the slushy street to the hospital and up to the 5th floor, it was 2:05. As I entered the suite, there was some kind of fight going on between 2 receptionists and a patient....the woman wanted to be seen right away.....she drove in from "F'ing West Virginia....." and she didn't give an F if there was "an F'ing tornado", she was going to see the F'ing doctor right that minute. Shortly, a few security guards arrived and they took the F'ing fight out into the hallway. And, then it was my turn. That's when one the receptionists started putting on her coat. Now, I did not want a repeat of the previous F'ing episode....with me as the central character. So, I sweetly asked if my surgeon was still there. "Your name?" she barked. That's how it went. I killed her with kindness and she barked at me. But, I was going to see my surgeon no matter what (well, I didn't want to cause an F'in scene). A few minutes later, a nurse-type person came out and told me that yes, I would be seeing my surgeon but that since several of the clinic's team had left ("due to the weather conditions" she told me, her eyes narrowing), they were very short staffed. That meant that I'd have to wait until someone was available to weigh me, take my blood pressure and get me prepped for the surgeon. No problem. I just sat there and waited. One by one, I noticed staff members walking out the door with their coats on...calling out to the others "you better get out of here!". But, I just sat there and read a Better Homes and Gardens magazine from June 2007 and watched the lousy weather from my perch 5 floors above the ground. I was going to see my surgeon.! About 90 minutes after my arrival, I was called. I was ushered into a room---where I sat......for another 20 minutes. I got weighed.......yes, I lost 8 lbs since January 14. But, the medical assistant was far too intent on getting out of there to stand and applaud my success. So, I secretly cheered in my head....."yeah, 8 lbs.....wish it were 10". She took my blood pressure. She took my measurements. But, I didn't dare ask how many inches I lost. Since, at that point, she was telling me about how far she had to drive her 3 of them home sick with the flu. After all the prerequisite forms were filled out and a few questions were answered, I was placed in the surgeon's waiting area. Where I sat for another 30 minutes. After sneaking out to call my office, I came back only to find.....yes.....the cute intern waiting for me. He extended his hand, gave me a charming smile and said......."Everyone wants to get out of here...because of the weather..... so I'll be seeing you today." As we walked back to the examining room, he said "It's just you and me......". I didn't know if he was hitting on me or threatening me. I preferred to think he was hitting on me. After all......I had this amazing, chunky necklace surely gave me a very alluring look. And, then it occurred to me.....if I would have taken that necklace off, the scale may have read a 10 lb loss. Just as I was about to demand that he re-weigh me, he said "now, let me look at your incisions....". He had me. I lifted up my shirt for the cute intern. I owed him that much.

Monday, February 11, 2008

In the dead of winter...........

Here in my little hamlet, we are in a deep freeze. So, I dream of Spring. Cute little cotton sweaters in perky colors. Wispy, colorful skirts that will blow in a cool breeze. Fashionable capri pants in happy hues. Jaunty seersucker blazers in sherbet stripes. Peep-toe shoes with sweet flirty bows and kitten heels. A new shade of lipstick----perhaps a juicy pink or a racey nectarine. A yellow rain slicker and maybe even a matching hat. Bright, shiney rain boots with a paisley print. A navy and white nautical look suit with bold red jewelry. Spray-on tan. Decadent new lingerie. White wine.
Yes, I dream of Spring.....many pounds less than my last one. It's a happy dream. It feels lighter and sweeter. It feels hopeful. It even feels a little bit sexy. Can't wait to start dreaming about summer. I have a feeling I won't be able to tell you about my dreams of summer......

Sunday, February 10, 2008

My 6 month Bandiversary, a size 2 dress, the perfect to die-for pair of shoes, favorite restaurant and red nail polish!

So, how does a girl celebrate her 6 Month Bandiversary? Shopping. Food. And, red nail polish. See, I'm just like everyone else. Oh, and you're wondering about the Size 2 dress? Well, I did buy a Size 2. Yep, I whipped my wallet out, pulled out my credit card and bought it. And, the shoes---bought those too. Oh, and I forgot to mention the matching purse.....oooh, so decadent! And, of course...what's a celebration without food? After the shopping.....headed to one of my favorite restaurants to dine on killer crab cakes and sip a lovely glass of Pino Grigio with 2 good looking, fun guys and a charming, gorgeous young lady. Then, it was red nail polish time. Shiney red nail polish. What a Bandiversary I had! I just love my Lapband.

Oh, and before I forget to mention.....that size 2 dress, those amazing shoes and purse.......Toni's (for her winter formal). But, that red nail polish was all mine!!!!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Daffodil says farewell to her beloved.......for now....

One of my first blog readers and posters---the sweet and ever encouraging Daffodil---lost her beloved husband of 31 years this week.

The world has lost a beautiful soul. This is a man who took his wife shopping to coax her out of her blues. A man who sat and admired the daffodils that were bursting into bloom on their hillside this past Tuesday. A man who adored and treasured his wife and considered her a friend. A man who left too soon and too suddenly. A man who I came to adore through the eyes of a very special friend----Daffodil. Although she may may no longer see her beloved through her human eyes.....he shall always be with her. He loved her so.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Happy Super Fat Tuesday

If you're looking for a sure fire way to continue your Ground Hog Day and Super Bowl celebrations---it's here! You can overeat and watch CNN---all day! It's a Mardi-Gras Political Party hoopla!

And, if you happen to live in one of the 9 states where the voting is going on, what a bonus day it is for you! You get to have your voice heard and have that extra piece of cake plus a side of chili fries!

It's days like today that always get us into trouble........ - Custom comment codes for MySpace, Hi5, Friendster and more

Monday, February 4, 2008

Traveling from Contenment to Happiness to there a map?

My darling, type-A niece is applying to graduate schools. She has been toiling over those pesky statements and essays they require. As any good aunt who once dreamed of being a great writer, I offered my services. So, she would email me what she had wrote, I'd edit it a bit, send it back, she would send me her thoughts, I'd send her mine, she'd rewrite it, I'd edit it, I'd send it back, she would call and tell me what she was thinking, we'd talk through rush hour traffic, she'd go back to write again, send it to me, I'd edit it a little more....well, you get the picture.

We went through a lot of words. I'd listen carefully to what she was saying, pepper it with a little bit of what I figured she was thinking and then I'd page through my mental thesurasaus to find the word that "felt" like what she was saying. It's one of my quirks.......I get hung up on words. I have to feel the feeling of the word or else I can't get comfy with what's being said. Maybe I drove her a little crazy, maybe not. But, she made me feel like I was the only person on this earth who could have helped her so perfectly. How sweet is that?

During one of my emotive word searches, I was seeking a word that said "it's okay, I can live with it but it's not what rocks my world..." It's a sentiment that I heard in my niece's voice many times as we discussed the many career choices she could pursue. After a few tries, the word "content" (as in "it's okay, I can live with it but it's not what rocks my world") came to mind. It fit perfectly.

Before I knew it, that simple word..."content"..... infiltrated my being. I kept thinking about it. And, wondering about being content. Wondering if being content is a good thing. Maybe it's a good thing for some things but substandard for other things. And, I couldn't help but wonder at what point contentment turns into true happiness. For instance--right now, I am content with my weight loss so far. I would like to be thinner but, hey, this is okay. I don't feel like I'm the incredibly expanding woman. I don't feel abnormally overweight. I don't feel my stomach hitting my thighs. My face doesn't look quite as bloated. I have more wardrobe choices. My feet don't hurt as bad when I wear heels. My stomach does not unbalance me. I can stand up to zip up my jeans instead of laying on the bed. I feel okay. Is that being content? But, will my "contentment" barametor continue to rise as time goes on or will I get to the point where I am happy with my weightloss? And, then, when I'm happy, will my efforts suddenly cease? Or, will I want for more? Should I ever be completely happy with my weight loss? Will the prospect of happiness with myself make me lazy and unmotivated? And, if I truly am what point will happiness turn into euphoria? What will I need to elevate my happiness to euphoria? What is the point where contentment crosses the line into happiness and happiness crosses the line into euphoria? And, will I know when it happens? Or, will I be happy to be content? Or, will I be content to be happy? And, what about euphoria? Is it really a Size 6?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Tearing Down Wallpaper, Washing Walls and Dreaming of Belly Dancing.......

That about sums up my weekend. Instead of going to the gym----I tore down wallpaper and washed down walls. Trust me, that was exercise. I'm not sure if it flattened my stomach or minimized my hips! But, it did something---I can feel the burn! Speaking of flattening my stomach--my dear friend "Sistah Rose" asked me what I was going to do about any sagging belly skin I might be left with after loosing all this weight. Hmmmm. "You mean I'm not going to have washboard abs?" I whined. "No, Judi, you won't" Rose laid it on the line. "Well, if you ask me, it just seems extremely unfair" I pouted. Rose is a tell-it-like-it-is Southern girl with a penchant for tea, junking, tipsy gardening and all things whimsical. My kind of gal. Rose has been successfully whipping herself into shape after a bit of a health scare. She's got enough gumption and sass to fight off even the peskiest of problems! And, there's nothing this lady won't do once she sets her mind to it. So, my can-do friend suggested I take up Belly Dancing. That's what she's been doing. It's given her more self confidence, spiced up her life and spiffed up her wardrobe! Gee, and I was all ready to tell her that I'd just buy myself a lifetime supply of Spanx (oh, I just LOVE those things!) and just keep tucking that flab in there! But, belly dancing? Now, that might be a Judi thing. When she reminded me that Belly Dancing could open a whole new world of fashion for me, I ALMOST climbed down off the ladder and ran to the nearest Belly Dancing school. But, as only Rose would understand--the wall paper had to go. First things first. But, it was oh so fun thinking about belly dancing as I scraped the wallpaper off then pleaded with that aged glue to evaporate (it didn't).

Belly dancing? Crazy? I like crazy.

By the way......does anyone know what Belly Dancing shoes look like?

Friday, February 1, 2008

Hello February!

"Every gardener knows that under the cloak of winter lies a miracle ... a seed waiting to sprout, a bulb opening to the light, a bud straining to unfurl. And the anticipation nurtures our dream."
Every LapBander knows that under their XL cloak of winter lies a miracle.....a new pound waiting to be lost, a new size to explore and a new pair of jeans to unfurl. And, the anticipation nurtures our dream. As it has for me these past 6 months........