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Monday, March 31, 2008

Farewell to my March Madness.......Hello to April Showers and all that Jazz.......

It's early morning here on the very last day of March. As I filled my tea kettle and wiped the sleep from my eyes, I caught a glimpse of a very light rain falling outside of my kitchen window. It was bleak looking---dreary and colorless. Even though it's a rainy Monday and my week holds a few things I'd rather not deal with, I didn't have the urge to run up the steps, climb back into bed and throw the covers over my head. No, I'm way too excited about the fact that I am going to wear a brand spanking new suit that I uncovered in my attic closet this weekend. A Size 14.....PETITE. Did you hear that? PETITE. Do you want me to say it again? PETITE. Oh yeah, it feels good rolling off my tongue. Petite. Do you mind if I just say it.....just one more time? Petite. Okay, I'm done. Anyway, the suit is from Casual Corner. The store has been closed for who knows how long---several years at least. During one of my more hopeful diet plans, I stopped in to check out their going out of business sale. That's when I spied a rack of black businessy looking pants suits. At the time, I had been looking for a black suit but was not having any luck finding one in both my price range and my style. But, there it was....jackpot!!! An entire rack of perfectly priced black pants suits that were just my style! At the time, I was probably teetering on the cusp of a Size 16 and 18. But, having just started a diet that had promised quick and definite weight loss, I was sure those sizes would quickly be in my past. My future was going to be filled with Size 14s then Size 12s then Size 10s. For a moment, I contemplated buying all three sizes. But, my budget stopped me. I figured I'd buy just the one that I'd be wearing in the very near future and then worry about the burden of finding the 12's & 10's that I'll be needing in a few months. So, I slid on the Size 14 jacket----the sleeves were way too long. It was tight across my back and no matter how hard I tugged, the button hole and the button were about 10 inches apart. I took the pants off of the hanger and held them up to check out the length. Oh, they were so long!! "I need the petite," I decided. Since I was sure that I couldn't get them on no matter what, I decided not to bother trying. It didn't really matter......I knew I'd be wearing that suit in no time. current size was irrelevant! So, I hunted down a 14 Petite, quickly found it, checked out the lengths of the pant legs and the sleeves, whipped out my credit card and bought the suit that I was sure I'd be wearing very shortly. Well, we all know how that story played out. At some point, that suit made it's way up to my attic.....without ever making it on to my body. Until today. Bring on the rain...........

Sunday, March 30, 2008

It's all good.......

As you can see from my ticker, I am quite a ways from my ultimate goal of loosing 100 pounds. My original plan was to lose those 100 lbs in 1 year. Statistically speaking, I probably won't be able to do that. Yes, I'm sad that I am not going to be able to do what I said I would . But, I have to face the music at some point...right? I guess I could live on lettuce, grapefruit and water for the next 4 months and become addicted to exercise. But, that's not going to happen. I'm way beyond that these days. It doesn't sound like fun at all. And, it doesn't make any sense. Maybe 5 years ago, I'd willingly go on some crazy diet. But, no more. Been there. Done that. And, we all know where that got me.

Here's the thing----if you do the math, I'm loosing at the rate of about 7.75 pounds per month. Even with my remedial math skills, I realize that the most I can hope for is another 30 lbs by August. And, considering that I lost the vast majority of weight in the very beginning, loosing another 30 pounds in the next few months might be really pushing it. So, I am going to be kind with myself. I am going to let myself off the hook. Considering that I gained close to 100 pounds in 8 years---even though I was on every diet known to mankind during that time period---I suppose it's going to take a while to shed it...right? I can't expect immediate gratification. That's okay.

When I was at the doctor's last week, she said that I'm right on target with my weight loss. Sure, there are people who are loosing much faster. And, there are people whose weight loss is much slower. But, she's pleased with my progress and felt very positive about my ability to continue to lose weight. And, when faced with the decision to tighten my band or not, we both agreed that I'd hold off on having it done until after I get back from the cruise. I shocked myself that I was so perfectly agreeable with that decision! I mean, I didn't even think twice about it......even when I walked out the door. I was at peace with the fact that I didn't do it just for the sheer fact that I could. I felt all grown up and mature that I made a decision based on good reason rather than give into my impatient nature. Can you imagine.....when I was faced with the choice of loosing weight faster or not, I chose the "not" road? Wow. Now, that' a milestone. After thinking about it, I realized that the reason why I felt so at peace with the decision is because I am no longer obsessed with loosing weight and diets. And, more importantly, I know that even though I am not where I want to be, I know I'm going to get there. There's no doubt in my mind. My lapband gave me hope and it helped me to believe in me. Gone is the Judi who started diets every Monday morning hoping to loose 10 lbs in one week..... only to loose hope by Tuesday at noon.

Trust me, I am not trying to cop out here when I say I am probably not going to lose 100 lbs by August 10, 2008. No. No. No. I'm just trying to realistic. The funny thing is that I don't care as much as I thought I would. Yes, I'd love to be all thin and sexy and wearing a size 10 and basking in the glory of completing my task. In all honesty, I'm so happy to feel like a normal person right now, I'd be okay if I had to go on like this forever! But, I probably can't. Go on like this forever.....I mean. Why not? Well.....I have NO idea how to maintain a weight. So, therein lies another journey. But, we won't worry about that now, will we? I still have about 40 or so pounds to go on this journey before I have to travel that road. Maintenance Road. That's a whole new blog.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Ordinarily so.........

It's early Saturday morning.....the house is quiet, I'm sipping my chai latte and I'm contemplating my day. Although I don't have little kids running about anymore, the house still has a certain hub-bub when everyone is up and getting on with things. So, these early morning hours on a weekend.....when I have no place specific to go.....are kind of nice. From my computer, I can see the sun peeking from behind the trees. Right outside my window, there's a wind chime. At the moment, it's softly stirring. My sister and brother-in-law brought it over right after I had my Lapband surgery. It's come to remind me of those early days of my late summer....when I'd sit on my deck......dreaming of being thin and wondering what the road ahead of me had in store. And, here I the edge of Spring.....almost 8 months after those early days of wonderment.......listening to the quiet melody of those same chimes. Still wondering and dreaming. Filled with hope. Even on a day when my life feels so ordinary. We've been working on our dining room renovation since the beginning of the year and today is the day we are promising to finish it. Later on, I have to take my dad to church and then we're heading out to a family dinner at a nice restaurant across town. So, as far as thrills go---the most I can expect is to be able to open the buffet drawers for the first time in 4 months and maybe my little nephews will say or do something outrageous at the restaurant. I'm not expecting any package deliveries or checks in the mail. I have no plans to go shopping for amazing shoes or size 14 pants or bathing suits or anything more than a few bags of lettuce and maybe some chicken. Yes, a very ordinary day. So, I'll sit and look out the window....if just for a little while.....until someone bops down the steps......

There's a peaceful quality to the backyard......the trampoline seems to be the only color sitting amid the barren trees and browned grass. Remembering the day we bought that trampoline for Toni....oh how she always wanted one. But, the backyard of our other house had rolling hills and terraces. When we moved to this house....she spied the flat backyard and from then on---nothing would get in the way of her getting her trampoline. God may have taken her away from her childhood neighborhood but He delivered her to a flat backyard. Life was once again good. Yes, God does work in mysterious ways. Even though Carmen and Vince were completely opposed to having a trampoline in the backyard, I soldiered on. Toni and I went to the store, picked it out, called home and announced that we were the proud owners of a trampoline---"so get ready to put it together." And, put it together they did......while Toni stood by with a look of joy on her face. Funny thing.....once it was completely put together and inspected by our resident engineer---Carmen---Toni wasn't the first one to bounce on it. Vince was (he always likes to "be first"). Once Toni joined him.....Carmen and I enjoyed a rare moment in time---watching our two children playing and laughing together---Vince, our big son, headed off to college and Toni, our petite little miss not even a teenager yet. They bounced on that thing all night long as Carmen and I went about our yard work. It was a merry, digging up weeds to the sounds of my children playing and Carmen keeping his ever watchful eye on his children as he bagged the messes I was making. One very hot lsummer the after midnight hours...... Toni and a few girlfriends decided to jump on the trampoline in their underwear. Vince was off at college, Carmen was sound asleep---it was just us girls. I sat on the deck, sipping wine, watching their silhouettes bounce up and down and listening to their musical voices as they laughed. I can still smell the sweetness of that moment.

Oh, and there's a bench at the far end of the driveway....I remember buying it at an estate sale last May. It makes me smile when I remember the look on Carmen's face when I told him we had to carry it up the road to our van. He gives me that look alot....come to think of it. The look of "are you half crazy?" As if I'm doing something so extraordinarily wild and bizarre---buying a very nice bench that would have cost 4 times as much at a store. You know, I wish I would have bought the matching bench. I just hate buyer's regret. But, if I recall my thinking at the time---I knew that one 75 lb bench would agitate Carmen.....2 might have sent him over the edge. So, I bought just one. But, gee, I would have liked two.

And, right there on the deck railing.....there's the brown twigs that were once my beloved, much-heralded, award quality basil crop. The smell of that basil is so wonderful. Watching it grow into huge, green leafy masses brings me an amazing feeling of joy that I can only describe as parental. I can picture myself standing there gazing upon it with adoring eyes, breathing in it's spectacular scent and imagining the killer pesto I will make. That spot has to be the best place in the universe to grow basil. The sun just beats down upon it and the rain can't miss it. I am the queen of basil. There's no doubt about that. And, with Carmen's heirloom tomatoes, slivers of a smooth buffalo mozzarella, my basil and a tangy glass of red wine on a hot summer night.....could life get any better than that?

Yes, my life is oh so ordinary today. But, that's okay. A girl can't be wild and crazy all of the time. Just some of it. You know, I have this very sneaky suspicion that I'm really not wild and crazy at all but my friends won't tell me.....they just let me live out that fantasy. I'm probably just an ordinary girl, living an ordinary life with ordinary things happening to her. My basil is probably the only thing that's extraordinary. And, having extraordinary basil is not something that constitutes wildness. I mean, it sort of sounds very Hazel-ish. Have I become a middle-aged woman who wears an apron? Okay, okay.....please....let me continue to believe and let me continue to tell you to believe that I am no ordinary woman living an ordinary life. Let me be wild and crazy. Let me tell you all about my adventures using crazily descriptive adjectives and wildly active verbs. For, if nothing else......I can write.....extraordinarily so. Oh and yes.....and grow basil.

Friday, March 28, 2008

An Easter miracle.........

In the middle of the Easter Sunday hoopla and typical Carr family holiday chaos at my sister's, my father said---in between handfuls of chocolate eggs and for no appearant reason---"You know, Judi weighed 118 lbs on the day she was married." Now, considering my father is 87, I suppose we should all be thankful that his memory is so perfectly in tact. His 86 year old brother (BTW......Happy Birthday to my dear Uncle Patsy!) is not as lucky......he can't remember what day it is and he broke my sister's heart a few weeks back when he didn't recognize her (he only has us 3 nieces) at a casino bar. (Yes, even at 86 and senile, he still likes to perch on a bar stool with a drink and smoke....he hasn't forgot that!) Anyway---what my father said is true.....I did weigh in at 118 on my wedding day. Doesn't every bride and her father know what she weighs on her wedding day? I'm sure if we asked my father how much he weighed on my wedding day.....he might be able to tell you that too. And, I'll bet he can tell you how much I weighed when they wheeled me in to give birth to each one of my children. If you've been reading my blog long enough.....I did mention somewhere along the line that my weight loss is my father's favorite spectator sport. So, all of this should come as no surprise. He's been minding my weight for as long as I can remember. When I decided to have my Lapband surgery, I'm not sure why I even bothered to rehearse how I was going to tell him about it. I had prepared a little package of materials, figured out what I was going to say and carefully planned how I was going to break it to him one Sunday while he was over for dinner. Do you know what he said? "Judi that's the best idea you've come up with in a long time!" The man was giddy with excitement! And, then he added...."If I was a few years younger, I'd get it done too. Two for one!" Honestly, my father's obsession with my weight doesn't really bother me. Oh yeah, it would be oh so lovely if he would say to me "Judi, you are beautiful no matter what you weigh." But, that's not going to happen. I mean, I know he thinks I'm beautiful. Well.....unless you consider the story of the day I was born.......which he loves to tell. It goes like this--- my parents were well into their late 30's when I was born. I was the first of their 3 daughters. So, my birth was a pretty big thing---considering that neither of them thought they'd ever get married let alone have children (back in the 1950's). As my dad tells it.....and this is verbatim.....when he first laid eyes on me, he looked at the doctor and said "what's wrong with her? she looks like a mongoloid!" Yes, he tells that story at least once a year.....on my birthday. Trust me, I can't forget it. So, between being an unattractive infant and an overweight adult, you'd think I'd have major self-image issues. Which, perhaps I do. But, I assure you, they don't come from my father's penchant for telling it like it is and they can't be attributed to his way of not sugar coating what he is thinking. Afterall, my father loves and adores me and lets me know every chance he gets. And, let's face it----that's just my dad being my dad at 87.

Anyway.....back to the matter at hand. This thing about me being 118 pounds when I got married. Like I's very true. And, I'll bet it comes as no shock that at the time I thought I was overweight! No, to be more precise.....I thought I was fat! Horribly fat. I have the diaries and the planning calendars to prove it. I would use a big fat red marker to circle any weight that I didn't like. And, heavens.....when I tipped the scales at 125, not only would I have a huge red circle around it, I'd have lots of red exclamation points. Imagine that.

So, there I sat on Easter Sunday 2008...... as my father announced my 1982 wedding day weight......118. That magical number that will stay with me the rest of my life. It might even be on my tomb stone.....'here lies Judi, she weighed 118 lbs on the day she got married'. And, as the rest of my family was laughing and chatting, I started adding and subtracting numbers in my very non-math oriented brain. Here's what I figurd out---I'm a little less than 60 lbs heavier than that rainy April day in 1982. 60 lbs! I was horrified by the thought. And, last Easter, I was well over 120 lbs more than that infamous day in April of 1982. 120 lbs!!! I felt like I was ready to get sick. And, to think----I just lost 60+ pounds! A feeling of despair came over me. Not a feeling of it should have been. Yes, I was going crazy. Right there on Easter Sunday as my family frolicked, drank flirtinis, ate chocolate eggs and jelly beans and laughed about silly jokes, those numbers were making me crazy. Some how, some way, I managed to forget the success I've had over the past 8 months. I drifted away from the moment. I pulled myself away from the special time with my family and I let a bunch of numbers steal my soul. THAT was no way to live and I knew it. So, you know what I did? No, I didn't swallow an entire chocolate Easter bunny, a handful of malted speckle eggs and a piece of I would have in years past. No. I downed my flirtini and then announced "You know, I did weigh 118 lbs on my wedding day! I must have looked pretty damn good!" No chocolate. Didn't fall over (from sucking down the drink in 2 seconds). Had a little sass. Felt good about myself. An Easter miracle, for sure.......

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

My ship is coming in...........

As part of my whole Lapband decision and journey, I made one of those deals with God. You know what I mean.....a little bargaining and wheeling and dealing! I told God if He helped me figure out how to deal with my weight issues and got me through all of the requirements for the surgery and everything else---I'd stop lying. Lying about why I couldn't do certain things---like go on exotic vacations and attend certain business-social events for my husband and participate in adventures that looked like they would be exciting. I would no longer come up with elaborate reasons why we couldn't take romantic getaways or weekend excursions. I would stop shying away from family fun like water parks, swimming pools and hikes. And, I promised Him that I'd grab life by the balls and run with it (I'm sure God winced a little when I said "balls"....). All I needed was a little help. So, as part of my little deal with God, I told Him if He walked beside me....just for a little while.....until I got myself going.....maybe until I lost about 50 pounds....then, I'd be okay after that. In addition to my God dealing, I took a solemn oath---to my husband. I promised......with my hand raised up and everything......that I would no longer come up with excuses not to be the girl I used to be and the person I really am inside. You see, I've spent the better part of the last 8 years running the other way anytime I had to deal with anything that remotely resembled being on display---regardless of the situation. I was fine with the everyday stuff. But, put me in a situation where I had to look and feel good about myself with a group of strangers or even with my own husband---anxiety would build to the point that I either made myself so sick that I couldn't do it or I'd find a perfectly good excuse not to do it. Now, most people who know me well are probably shocked to hear that! Well, that's because they know me and I know them. So, I'm perfectly comfortable with them. I'm good at switching on " fun girl Judi". No matter what it took, I'd get it together and fool them all into thinking that no matter how many extra pounds managed to find their way to my hips and belly, it was okay with me---I'd make it all work. And, I think I did that. And, since I've always had a very active life and a busy social calendar, who would have even guessed that I had many moments when I felt ashamed, embarrassed and horribly self-conscious of how I looked. The weight was killing me in more ways than one. Yes, it was doing a major number on my legs and my back and my feet but it was also eating away at my most important relationships. All of it.....behind the face of a smiling, happy person. Now, I'm not saying that I was miserable or on the verge of divorce or anything quite that tragic. But, I was suffering from low self esteem and crushing hopelessness. It was the "elephant in the room". And, ironically, I felt like the elephant in the room. No matter where I was or who I was with or how many times people assured me that despite my weight, I rose above it by dressing well, having perfect make up, great jewelry and fabulous shoes. Well, that's what they thought. Those who know me know me as the girl who loves to entertain and go to parties and whoop it up every once in awhile. And, they probably think that I just emerged from my bedroom each day with complete confidence in how I looked.....since I'm known to be a bit of a fashionista. They probably never imagined that in my very private moments, I fretted over the next outing, the next presentation at work or the next party. I never knew if my jeans would fit me next time or if those black pants would still work out. I wasn't quite sure if my blazer would cover my ever growing stomach and I had major fears that the elastic on my underwear would give way at any moment. You see.....I was working very hard at keeping it all looking good. It was tiring and expensive and just kept feeding my feelings of hopelessness. It made me lie and cheat and steal. I lied about why I didn't do certain things. I cheated myself and my marriage. And, I stole the smile of the girl who lived inside of me and slapped it on my face. And God knew all of that. So, when I came along with my bargain.......He listened. husband.....well.....I'm pretty sure he knew all of this too...because he did a pretty good job of playing along.

Well, guess what? It's time to make good on my deal with God and prove to my husband that my promise was real. We're going on a cruise......of all things. To Bermuda. Bathing suits and shorts and bright colors and little sandals and short sleeved tops and lacey underwear and little nighties and yes......that girl that lives inside me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Rules of the Game Have Changed........

When I was a teenager, my father used to tell me that if I wanted to look thinner then I would have to hang out with fat girls. As with most teens, I didn't listen to my parents. Even though I was never really 'fat', I was always the heaviest of my girlfriends. I mean....I had moments of thinness. Snipets of time when I was either thinner or as thin as my friends. But, mostly, my friends were always thinner. They must have listened to my father---they hung out with me. In high school---my thin best friends were Ginny, Linda and Mari. Mari was a tall, thin dancer with legs that went on forever. Ginny was a willowly, blonde cheerleader with the perfect bikini body. And, Linda had the strong and lean body of the athlete that she was. I didn't get much smarter when I went off to college either. The only friend who was heavier than me went off to a fat farm in between our freshman and sophomore years and came back a size 2. Did these thinner friends target me because I made them look thinner? I'd like to think not. I'd like to believe it was my magnetic personality, my penchant for parties and my overall zaniness. Definitely not my weight!!! But, if it was my weight......well.....I have news for them. And, I feel oh so badly about this. appears that all of those years of hanging out with me and being my friend may have caused them to become overweight adults. ("Lord if you can't make me thin, please make my friends fat"....each time I said that prayer....I really didn't mean it! I swear!) According to a new study that I just heard about last week---it appears that being freinds with overweight girls when you are younger may have an overall effect on the amount of weight you will gain as an adult. And, just as interestingly, the report says that overweight girls who had thinner friends have a higher liklihood of being of average weight as adults. Bingo. So, there you go. My dad was wrong. Having thinner friends was a good thing. Look at me now! I'm heading into my 50th year with the promise of being an average weight adult. Finally! Walking around Dormont Pool with those 3 bikini clad friends has paid off.........

Monday, March 24, 2008

They gave me drugs.............

It took a little while but the drugs finally kicked in. I won't bore anyone with all the ugly details. But, let me tell you, I didn't do this sick thing lightly. I went for the whole shabang. Infections from head to toe. I've leaned my lesson. Next year, I have to drink more at the St. Pat's Day Parade. No more restraint for me. Restraint is what got me into this mess. So, from now on, I'm back to living that old adage----A true Irish lass is not drunk if she can hold onto a blade of grass and not fall off the face of the world. So, it's back to business as usual. It was all so horrible--I completely missed St. Patrick's Day. Well, I did give it the old Irish girl try. My hair was green, I dressed in my St. Patrick's Day finest, wore green eye shadow, eye liner and mascara. And, I dragged myself to the office. My day consisted of coughing on everyone, moaning quite a lot, wrapping myself in an old sweater and sitting at my desk saying swear words. Then, I went home, threw myself on the couch, heaped blankets on top of me, coughed my head off and said more swear words. From then on, things went pretty much the same for the next 5 days. Although I did manage to drag myself to the doctor's office. What ever happened to house calls or just calling in prescriptions? The whole thing...from the first cough until I felt human enough to take a shower...... was absolutely brutal. It was bad enough I missed one of my favorite nights to go out in the whole damn year. But, then, I didn't make even Easter baskets for my kids! So, that meant, I didn't get to hide them and make them go and look for them. And, we didn't dye eggs. And, I didn't put up my Easter decorations. And, no Easter bonnet or new Easter shoes. Bad. Bad. Bad. Essentially, I just coughed and bitched my way through two holidays and the first day of Spring. But, that's all behind me now. I'm back. And, I have an entirely new illness. It's called BATHING SUITITIS. So far it's been pretty similar to my most recent illness.......I'm swearing a lot. I need drugs. If not drugs.....maybe a change in the bathing suit fashion. Probably drugs.

Stay tuned.......

Monday, March 17, 2008

Friday, March 14, 2008

Parade-ing and Rockin'..........

That's what I'll be doing tomorrow. So, for those of you who are headed's the same old, same old......Saloon for Kegs and Eggs, River City for parade hoopla with all of my once-a-year best friends, Smithfield Cafe for Guaranteed Irish. And comes the change up.......Mellon Arena for Bon Jovi. Yeah, he's Italian. But, he's cute enough to be Irish.

So.....look for me. I'll be the Lapbanded girl with the green hair!!!! Hope to see you there!

Happy St. Patrick's Day Parade !!!
Please parade with care!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

It's the Irish in me........

St. Patrick's Day is right around the corner.
If you haven't started conditioning yet....I suggest you do.
And, I'm not talking about potatoes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Afternoon Delight......

(you can't really click here to go shopping....sorry!)

A little earlier tonight, I described a recent afternoon of shopping to my friend Angela. I told her it was orgasmic. Angela gets it. She knows what I mean. She understands that it was way beyond pleasant. It's like this---you're so euphoric....sounds just come out of your mouth without effort. It's as if they emerge from somewhere down deep in the crevices of your soul. Soft, slow moans that erupt into throaty, nasty little purrs. Your head sort of whips back, your eyes glaze over, you arch your back and your tongue glides across your lips...... "Give me them in every color. EEEEEVVVVVERRRRRYYYYY color."

And, I am not talking about shoes here friends. Shoes are not the only things that turn me on. My repetoire is definitely not so one dimensional. Right now, I'm talking Size 14 pants. Ah-huh. Size 14. I AM TALKING 14. F-O-U-R-T-E-E-N. Those groans coming from the dressing room were not the groans of a woman trying to get a zipper up.......

Monday, March 10, 2008

Pardon me while I be 49.........

I just didn't see it coming. Toni talked me into taking an exercise class called "Hi-Low" at the gym. An hour long class. Now, I should have seen the handwriting on the wall when the nice woman behind the desk greeted me with---"it just hit me who you look like!" "Who?" I asked, thinking she'd say Meg Ryan or maybe Marie Osmond. "Remember that cute one....the secretary on L.A. Law? Her. She was so sweet..." she stumbled through. I'm pretty sure that as soon as she said it, she wished she hadn't. "Oh yes..." I responded, trying to look okay about it. "Off to my Hi-Low class...." I casually said---all non-chalant-like. Yes, I always go to Hi-Low. Don't you? I'll bet that older--cute secretary from L.A. Law never went to "Hi-Low" I thought to myself as I cheerfully placed my membership card on the counter. No, I'll bet she never did, I mused as I walked past the swimming pool where a group of women were taking a water aerobics class. That secretary from L.A. Law probably had to take a water aerobics class, I convinced myself. Not "Hi-Low". Definitely not.

Anyway, Toni and I had a few minutes to kill before class. So, she suggested we do some machines. I would have much preferred to sit down and read a magazine or something. But, I agreed. She pointed out a few that she thought would be "easy" for me and then left me to my misery. When it was time to go, I found myself on some torturous leg machine that I could not for the life of me figure out how to get off of. So, I called out to Toni. She stopped and turned around. Naturally, I did not want to yell over to her that I was stuck on a machine. So, I motioned her over as if I had a big secret to tell her. She gladly came over. Then, I whispered to her "I can't get off of this...". I'm not sure if this is when she had her first moment of regret for taking this Hi-Low class with me or if it was when the entire class was going to the left and I was going to the right. But, from the look on her face at that moment, I am pretty sure I could hear the words that were forming in her brain....."this going to be a long night."

Now, first let me tell you---I am a pretty good group person. I have never had any fear of being in a group. Whether it's a self-help group, a study group, a group of strangers having lunch or even a meeting---I do just fine. In fact, after a little while, I somehow manage to become the leader of the group. Or, if not the leader, the most vocal. So, I really had no fear of walking into this Hi-Low class. In fact, I was pretty sure I'd be taking over in a relatively short period of time. Well....not the exercising. I didn't think I'd be taking over that. I just figured I'd be taking over the conversations. Leading the discussions and such. Did I somehow forget this was an exercise class? I'm not sure. But, one look around the room and I realized that I was out of my element. And, when the music started....I was positive that my brain power, my cute little work out outfit and my spiffy athletic shoes were not going to save me. I was on my own. With a mirror and everything. Oh yes....I could not only see my pink t-shirt with the word "FABULOUS" across my chest....but I could also see everyone else. And, it was not a pretty sight. Oh, everyone else looked just fine. It was me....I was the problem. I'm still not sure if it could be categorized as comical or pathetic. It certainly was not one of my prouder moments. Every nugget of my being was flopping up and down. It appeared that no one else's did. The instructor said "Double Jack" and everyone knew what to do. And, it wasn't a double shot of Jack Daniels. She said left. I went right. She said kick back---I ran over to the wall to hold on so I didn't fall. And, so it went. Thankfully, Toni was tolerant. And, she even smiled at me a few times. Or, maybe it was laughter. Or, perhaps pity. I'm not sure. But, when I leaned over to her and said "I'm only going to do a half hour", she looked both relieved and sympathetic. "It's not that important to follow everyone exactly. It's just good that you are moving," she kindly told me in between her huffs and puffs. She was trying to be encouraging. Thank God, I raised that girl right. But, I wanted out. An hour of Hi-Low just wasn't my thing. I danced my way over to the door and sneaked out the door. I didn't even last the full half hour. Twenty-five minutes. I'm pretty sure no one noticed me escaping . They all seemed to be in some "Hi-Low" trance or something. When I finally got outside and regained my ability to stand, I decided to peek through the windows and watch the class go on without me. Everyone was so intense. Sweating. So in sync. Everyone's arms went up at the same time. They went down at the same time. Their legs went in unison. All I heard was the thumping music and the instructor's amplified voice " right....left.....kick....side....". My legs began to ache. So, I hobbled over to a bench outside of the swimming pool windows. And, there they were.....the water aerobics women. Their arms were going up and down---at their own pace, in a random fashion. They were smiling and laughing and talking. A few of them had strands of grey hair. A few of them had jigglely arms. They looked friendly and happy. They looked like me.

I just didn't see that coming. I went to a Hi-Low class.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Hold my calls........

Remember that clutter I was talking about?
Well, I'm going to deal with it!

Happy Weekend Blog Friends!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Good Girls Go to Heaven......Bad Girls GO Everywhere!

I am on my third day of not practicing safe eating. And, it has been gloriously delicious. Delectable. Juicy. Spicey. Sweet. Lip smackin'. Tongue tingling. And, it feels oh so naughty! We're talking pasta, salad, grilled cheese and even licorice. Yes, I'm eating it all. And, I'm not stopping there. I plan to continue this provocative and promiscuous behavior. That's right, my days of demure soup eating is behind me. I will eat what I cook for my family. I will not shy away from any restaurant or party or picnic or holiday feast. I'm going to proudly (and loudly!) order from menus......"yes, that's right, stud waiter, I am going to have the shrimp cocktail.....". And, I'm going to stop being the world's least favorite dinner guest. That's right.....I will no longer send my generous and kind hosts and hostesses into mental breakdowns wondering what they can serve that will fit through my Lapband. I am going to uncondition my family. No longer will they have to accommodate my Lapband. I will tell them to throw caution to the wind and serve whatever they want! Yes, I am going to be bold and brave and oh so bad. I'm going to go everywhere and eat everything. And, you know what else I am going to do? Eat crackers in bed. Yes, that's right. In fact, I might even smuggle in some cheese too.

Have I gone mad? Have I abandoned my Lapband? No, friends. I've finally seen the light. Heard the bell. Got it. Figured it out. And, all that jazz. My Lapband is here to stay. It's part of my body.....just like my arm. It's part of me and my life. So, I'm going to embrace my Lapband. I finally figured out something very profound. And, I want you to be the first to know. So, here it is......drum roll please......I did not get my Lapband so I can spend the rest of my life figuring out what I can eat that can slide through it. No. I got my Lapband so I could stop eating so much. NOT EATING SO MUCH REGULAR FOOD. Not just mushy food. Or pulverized food. Or liquid-y food. Regular, everyday food. Normal food. The food that everybody else is eating. Of course, I'm a wee bit embarrassed that it's taken me this long....almost 7 figure this out. But, what's 7 months when I have the rest of my life? Now that I'm filled with this knowledge-- it's back to the business of living.....tastefully. No more pasta fears. No more restaurant panic. No more 5 days of soup for lunch. This is all about food. It always was and it always will be. HELLO PASTA!!!!!!!!

The plan is this--- I'm going to eat until I am full. And, I finally found out what the measurement of "lapband full" is---it's not so much:
Pasta: 3 fork twirls
Taco: 3 bites
Licorice: 4 "nibs"
Grilled Cheese: 3 bites

Sure, I may slip up. But, I know how to get back on
the rocket and ride again.......

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Judi, the Clutter Queen of Western Pennsylvania......

Alright, I'm off my weather rants. I have to be. I was threatened. Why, you ask? Get this--- several people blamed me for today. Those wicked downpours here in Western PA and throughout most of the Northeast......they say I'm the cause. All because I told Spring to go away and not come back...yet. Although, I must say.....I'm very flattered that folks consider me to be so powerful. And, I'm quite impressed if I really did manage to soak the entire East Coast. But, me...control the weather? Who knew. But, to be very honest, if I was going to have some kind of super power......why couldn't I control calories or aging or the cost of Italian shoes? Weather! Well, I won't mention the word again.

Good thing anyway. Because I have clutter on my mind. At the moment, I feel like every nook and cranny of my house, my life, my magazine rack, my office, my mind, my closet, my purse, my computer desktop, my refrigerator....oh hell....every damn filled with clutter. And I'm blaming it all on clutter. I know that sounds ridiculous. But, the way I see it---clutter breeds clutter. I'm on clutter overload and I need to declutter. Now, I'm not talking about decluttering to the point that I've lost my identity. Just enough so that I can stop cluttering my thinking up so much about clutter. I mean, it's to the point where I am fantasizing about running around my house with extra strength drawstring garbage bags throwing everything away. And, then the next minute, I'm having an anxiety attack that I threw away something I may need.....some day. I'll tell you.....I'm all cluttered up.

Like always, when my mind gets fixated on this clutter usually leads me into some analytical mumbo jumbo that makes perfect sense by the time I'm finished with it. And, this is no exception. Here's where I am with that analysis---I've concluded that all of the weight that I had on my body is very much like the clutter that surrounds me. And, my Lapband is what is helping me declutter---or, in this case---getting rid of that weight. My body was cluttered. I couldn't control the clutter. So, I downsized (my stomach). I'm loosing that weight.....essentially throwing it away. And, I am not at all concerned that I'll ever need those pounds again....ever. So, it makes perfect sense to me now---I have to Lapband my clutter. That's what it will take. A permanent solution. A miracle helper. A Lapband. Because that's exactly what I believe my Lapband is. I couldn't have decluttered (aka lost weight) without it. I just have to downsize every aspect of my world. Now, I just have to figure out how to Lapband my world.....

Monday, March 3, 2008

Stop toying with me OLD MAN!

It was 67 degrees today. Sunny. Warm. Very Spring-like. Right here in Pittsburgh, PA. I'm not complaining. Especially since this past Friday night, my normal 45 minute- 1 hour commute home took over 2 hours (not counting 2 much needed bathroom breaks) because of a day long snow-rain-ice-sleet storm. Well, maybe I am complaining. And, yes, maybe I am a little annoyed. And upset. And feeling funky. But, I'm not good with teasers. Today was just a teaser. Sunshine and warm breezes. I know better. It can't and it won't stay this pleasant for long. Let's face's winter. OLD MAN WINTER.

I don't have to remind was only a few days ago that I sat right here at my computer and swore like a truck driver about the weather. Probably makes folks wonder if I'm ever happy. Well, before you accuse me of going hormonal...... hear me out. It's not Spring. I'm not ready for Spring. So, I want it to quit acting like it is Spring. It's Winter. I am still wearing boots and jackets and sweaters and scarves and gloves. My porch is still sporting it's winter decor. My garden is ugly and brown--it looks much better blanketed in snow. And, my Spring cleaning plans are many weeks away. And, most importantly---my body is not ready yet. Not ready to be THIS close to summer---you know, shorts and bathing suit season. No ready at all.

A day like today had the potential to put me into an orgasmic frenzy. As soon as I walked out the door this morning---I could feel a little tingling in my toes and a little flutter in my stomach. You would think I would know better. Right? Well, I'm just like any other sick-of-winter person. When there's a little hint of nice weather, I do get all excited. But, thankfully, I'm wise enough not to let it get the better of me. So, I calmed myself with a chai latte and reminded myself of the torment brought on by all those other beautiful Spring-like days that popped up in the middle of winter. They had me running in circles trying to loose all that weight I vowed to take off. They had me racing to find catalogs that carried skirted bathing suits and wandering aimlessly through malls chasing down an entire new wardrobe---since the one from the year before no longer fit. Call me cynical but I've been down this road before. A day like today has derailed me many times. Sent me into a get-ready-for-Spring frenzy---only to be let down within 24 hours. So, it's not really cynicalism. It's wisdom. It's the sheer fact that I'm old enough to know better. It can't last long. It won't last long. Anyway, I am not ready for Spring. No. No. No. My garden is not. My porch is not. My windows are not. My legs are not. My arms are not. Spring, Spring GO AWAY! Even in my more rational moments today---I realized that even if, by some miracle, I had everything ready for would all be for not. Why? Because it's Winter. Not Spring.

If days could be categorized like genders---these are MALE days. I'll spare you my deep reasoning on that. It doesn't take much to figure out why I've come to that conclusion. All I can say is..... zip up your pants Old Man Winter. Put away Mr. Spring-has-Sprung! It's on my terms now. It will be Spring when I say so. Take a cold shower. Or, snow or something.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Road Trip!

Geesh! With all the colleges I've visited lately, you'd think one of them would give me a degree! Or, at least a dorm room.......

Yes, today we are off to visit another small Pennsylvania college town. My darling niece will going there for grad school. So, she has to attend to a few things, my sister wants to look around and they want to check out some apartments. So, we're tagging along. Now, I'm going under the guise that I want Toni to be exposed to several campuses before we head into the crush of college visit time in the Fall (she will be a high school senior.....I get teary just typing those words). But, there is a method to my madness......I want to go to Ollie's. Ollie's-----the home of good stuff cheap.

I'm just in the mood for some good stuff cheap......!


Saturday, March 1, 2008