Follow me.......





Monday, January 30, 2012

Kicking off the final week of football.....

We're only days away from the biggest game of the year.....
Well, not for us here in Pittsburgh.
We're not playing in the big game....
Even so, we're still part of all the hoopla.
Even if it isn't black and gold.  
We can't escape all the talk about Super Bowl foods,  Super Bowl drinks, Super Bowl commercials, Super Bowl parties, Super Bowl fashions, Super Bowl bets......yadda, yadda, yadda
All weekend---from the Parade in the Sunday paper to every Food Network show to the evening news--it's Super Bowl, Super Bowl, Super Bowl all the time.
Since we can't talk about our home team, we're busy talking about food and drinks.  
Not an easy way to break free of the holiday food habit.
The year is filled with so many booby traps to derail even the best intentions!
I guess this is what you call an Interception....


Sunday, January 29, 2012

I get by with a little help from my friends......

Especially on a jam packed Sunday when there's no time to dabble in the kitchen. 












I'm getting out my crock pot.....
I got a  jar of this.....
   


And a  package of this......boneless chuck roast (found it on sale at Bottom Dollar for $2.48/lb)





  I got a package of this....
Trader Joe's is by far the best but any good quality brand will do!
About 10-15 minutes before we are ready to eat---I am going to slice my polenta a medium thickness and saute it up in a little olive oil.
 Then, I'm going to put 1-2 pieces of polenta in a flat bowl and slather with Italian Beef

Then......I'm going to top it with a hefty hand full of this...

I prefer Trader Joe's Italian Cheese blend but this will do just fine




After weeks and weeks of kitchen olympics and holiday cooking, no matter how much you love it all, you just get plain tired.
That's where I am at right now.
In addition to that--I am still wrestling with packing up all of my Christmas decor.  Here in Judiland--it's a very complex and tedious process involving lots of tissue paper and packing materials and labels and cartons and tape and scissors and bags and boxes.....and hauling it all down into the basement and into the Christmas storage room (yes, I have one!).  Little by little, I've been working on the deChristmasization of Judiland.   However, with what the next few weeks have in store for me work wise-- I am now at very critical point--- the transformation has to be completed today.   If it doesn't get finished today....it will be March before I have the time and the energy to devote to this arduous procedure!   
Am I up for the challenge?
God only knows.
But,  let's face it....if there's even a remote chance that I am going to win the war on banishing Christmas from my house once and for all, Sunday dinner can't be a major activity.
Even though Sunday dinner has to be a major activity.....well....at least I try to make it a major activity in the week since it's one of the only meals Carmen and I get a chance to have together and chat a bit.

 My inspiration came in the form of a gift from a friend coupled with a visit to Williams Sonoma yesterday.   My dear friend Angela got me a box full of Williams Sonoma goodies for my birthday.  And, in the box was a jar of Italian Beef Sandwich Starter.  She knows I love all things WS.
Then, yesterday, when I made a quick stop into Williams Sonoma to pick up a jar of one of my favorite things on the planet--Williams Sonoma Carmelized Shallots  , they happened to be demonstrating the Italian Beef Sandwich Starter.   It was yummy.  I decided right then and there that I was making it for Sunday dinner.  And, since it tasted almost identical to a menu item at one of my favorite little bistros--Italian Beef over Polenta, I decided that was how I was going to serve it. 


Although I am dreading the work that lies ahead of me, I'm looking forward to the aroma that will fill the house as my crock pot and my jarred sauce does my cooking for me today! 

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Yes, it's A LOT of work.....

What's that old saying?
About the only thing that comes to us without effort is old age? 
No, not that one.....
But, of course, it is one worth noting.
The one I'm thinking about is the one we all know.
Although the exact wording escapes me now.
It's the one that we have all heard a gazillion times....from our mothers, from our fathers, from our teachers....
Oh, you know the one.

The one about anything worth having is worth working for???

I suppose I've been so busy living it that I can't remember it verbatim.
All I know is that it's true....especially when it comes to weight maintenance.  



Friday, January 27, 2012

A martini a day keeps the stress away!

If only I could do one martini a day!

The fact that I didn't have one a day might be the reason why I became a stress EATER.
Martinis could have saved me!

Yes, I know, I talk about martinis alot.
(that's because I love them!)
But, I only have one martini night a week....Thursday nights.
Not counting weekends.
Each Thursday night, I have one martini.....my standard Tanqueray gin, shaken, up with a twist.
On my birthday....I had two. On a Monday!   So, beat me.....
At certain places, on special occasions,  I have my all time favorite---a Hendrix martini (I can only handle one safely....).  
Trust me....if you get a chance to try one...do it.  It will change your life!
Although I always have a jug a bottle of Tangueray gin in the house, I buy one bottle of Hendrix gin a year.
When we make martinis at home, I drink Tangueray on non-special days and Hendrix on holidays--I buy the bottle for my birthday and have the first one on my birthday and the rest on holidays---Valentine's Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter, if-I've had-an-exceptionally-bad-day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, my daughter's birthday, Labor Day, my son's birthday, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Carmen's birthday, New Year's Eve, New Year's Day and then I have the last drops on my birthday before buying my next bottle....
By the way...I do not share my Hendrix
 I guess you could say that I drink martinis very ritualistic.

I  sure wish I would have met martinis earlier in my life.
Thanks to my Lapband, I was introduced to them.
Another reason why I love my Lapband!
You see, I was always a gin and tonic girl.
But, after you get a Lapband, you have to give up the fizzy stuff.
I thought I was going to die giving up Diet Coke and Tonic Water.
But, I figured out how to survive without them both.
Instead of Diet Coke---I became addicted to Snapple Diet Peach Iced Tea.
Instead of Tonic Water--I found myself in love with a spritz of vermouth and a twist of lime with my gin.
THANK YOU LAPBAND!!!  
Now that I've become acquainted with my Thursday night martini, I truly believe that if I would have found it sooner, I might not have gained all that weight that I did from stress eating.
Perhaps I would never have needed to get my Lapband.

The road to what cures you is always filled with twists!
Lime twists---in my case!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Sometimes someone else says it better......

I didn't take the easy way out......

Lapband Girl posted a link to this wonderful article on her Facebook page. 
If you've got a minute, read it.  It won't take long, I promise.  
It couldn't have come at a better time for me.
These three simple opening sentences somehow comforted me.....Let’s start off by clarifying a few things. Weight-loss is hard. Weight maintenance is harder.
(the rest of the article is great too.....especially helpful in realizing that weight loss surgery is an essential option in the fight against obesity, the fight for good health and the fight to live!)


Those first words of the article served as a reminder that my journey is not over and I am not alone in that.
Sometimes it's easy to think that it is or that it should be. 
But, it's not. 
Yes, I have lost the weight with a tool that made all the difference for me. 
Now, I have to keep it off.
Funny thing....after four years of living with my beloved Lap band....I'm very familiar with it and I know how to work around it---which means that I know what I can safely get past my band without any major issues.
Sometimes knowledge can be a very dangerous thing. 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Midweek Midlife.....



Enough said.......

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The pants have spoken.....

"Judi, you are done!"

And, I heard them loud and clear this morning.
Evidently, my hearing is not so good between Thanksgiving and my birthday.
Thankfully, today, my hearing has returned.

It's back to Lapband basics.
Either that or tossing out my SIZE 8 Petites.

I've been on this road before.  
I'm not tossing any more sizes.
I'm going to listen to my pants.  
They are smarter than me.
It's time I admit to it!

I might have a higher education but my pants have street smarts.  
I can't outsmart them.
No matter how hard I try.  

Today, I'm a girl who admits to the fact that my pants win.  
A little pants humor.....


Hello 53.
Hello water.

Hello to the fact that even though it can pass through my  Lapband that doesn't mean I  should eat it. 
Good bye Trader Joes Cranberry Oatmeal Dunkers
Good bye Williams Sonoma Peppermint Bark.
Good bye  to all that other shit that I have no idea why I eat. 

It's time to believe in my pants.  

Getting into my pants is what it's all about......
 


Monday, January 23, 2012

Hello 53........


Please be gentle with me......




Carmen and I......our snowy weekend roadtrip!









Yes, it's my birthday.


Friday, January 20, 2012

Roadtrip!!!!



Which is exactly what I need...right about now!

Yes, the car is packed with everything my sorority girl needs for another semester at collegeland.
And, our bags are packed for a little weekend doing our quaint little town thing, visiting with our almost-PhD son and celebrating the end of me being a 52 year old.  
First stop---collegeland.
Then, we're heading over the hills and down into the valley.....until we land.

Wineries. Breweries.  Little shops.  Taverns.  A charming little inn. 
A nip in the air.   Snow capped mountains.  A roaring fire.
A little time away from Judiland.
Sounds like a perfect way to close out being 52 and getting ready to greet 53.   

Although my house is not completely deChristmased and I have more work and chores and projects than I can shake a stick at right now, I'm not going to worry about any of that....for the next 72 hours.
For the moment, I am all about bidding my little girl farewell and goodluck and all that jazz and then enjoying some quality time away from it all.  I've come to the conclusion that the only way to ease into empty nesting....no matter how many times you have to face it....is to schedule a little trip ASAP.  So,that's what I am doing!
We'll think about all that other shit on Monday.
No.  Tuesday.
Because Monday is my birthday.
I don't mess with anything messy or yucky on my birthday.
I'm a Diva like that.  



Thursday, January 19, 2012

I BLACKED OUT......

in protest of the ANTI PIRACY LEGISLATION.  
The government is not going to tell me what I can't write on my blog!  Only my children have that right.....


Hey, I am a girl who likes to be at the height of fashion.
I like to be trendy and in the know.
So, when I heard about the SOPA blackout yesterday, I took it as my cue to stand strong  with my fellow cyberspace brethren and really impact the world..
I didn't blog yesterday.
Did you notice?

No one can say I'm not in touch with what's going on!
I wonder if those legislators got the message when they found out that Stories from the Road had joined the blackout.
No matter.
At least I got a little bit of extra much- needed sleep.
Sometimes protesting has it's advantages!
  

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Sometimes I think I'm the only one......

How about you?


I think it's normal to look around and think that no one else has to deal with the things you have to deal with, that no one is exhausted as you are, that no one thinks the crazy things that you think, that no one feels the same way as you.....
Maybe that's just me....

When I find myself feeling this way, I know it's time for a girlfriend intervention.
Either that or prozac.  


I don't know about you but  when I am with my girlfriends over the holidays.....it just ain't the same.
Sure, it's good.  No, it's great.  It really is. 
But, it's not a re-energizing or soul-soothing time. 
We're all merry and bright or bitching about all the work involved in bringing the holidays to life or we are so damn preoccupied with holiday stuff  and sharing appetizer recipes that we don't really get the true benefits of  our friendship.
We party on.  We laugh.  We drink.  We talk about how we are going to stop all the madness....next year.
Then, we go home and keep on going.....because.....hey.....it's the holidays.  
We banish all the negative thoughts and narly issues and things that keep us up at night.   
We turn off the maddening to-do lists in our head, we put our careers on the back burner, we try not to think about the festering problems that won't seem to go away and we put on our smiling faces and greet everyone with a kiss, a hug and a merry smile.

When real life starts creeping in.......the pity party begins.
And, I'm having a pretty big pity party.  
It would be nice to know there are others out there suffering in their own pity parties to share my thoughts with. 



I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling this way.
Or, am I?
I think it's time for some research......I need some girlfriend time. 
I'm feeling a wine night coming on!



Monday, January 16, 2012

Happy Monday.......

If today is a work holiday for you, I am very jealous.
Very jealous. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Detox me, please!

 I'm feeling the effects! 

*Saturday Happy Hour at home--one Tangueray Rangpur Martini (try it! amazing!, 3 oz. Tanqueray Rangpur gin, 2 drops aromatic bitters, lime twist, pour gin in a shaker FULL of ice and shake vigorously, strain into glass and garnish with the lime twist)

*Girls night out with my little girl and my sister. 
*Dinner at Stone Pepper Grille-- Thai shrimp and martini
Since we were headed to the movies at Settler's Ridge, we had hoped to get into Anthony's (this is our third attempt! boo! the place is always packed!)
Given we were on a time table--due to the movies, we had to find a place nearby that did not have a 2 hour wait.
That's how we ended up at Stone Pepper Grille. 
The martini was just fine and the Thai shrimp was tastey enough.
But, for some reason, my band was not too happy with that tastey Thai shrimp.
Thus, the many visits to their restroom.
Which, might I add was tastefully decorated and very clean. 
By the time we left the restaurant, I can assure you that I did not retain one calorie from the martinis or the shrimp!  

So, it only stood to reason that I felt completely justified in ordering myself *the extra large vat of buttered popcorn* to share with my movie mates (although they did not eat that much!).


Well, friends, I ain't feeling so great this morning.
After a very long night of tossing and turning and stomach misery and feeling just overall lousy, I am facing my long Sunday to-do list not so chipperly! 
I feel like I'm looking down the barrel of a gun right now.....


Oh, don't blame it on the martinis.
It was completely the result of that huge tub of movie theater popcorn!
Believe me, I know a martini hangover and this ain't it.
THIS, my friends, is the result of that damn popcorn that I munched my way through as I bee-bopped in my seat while watching Queen Latifah and Dolly Parton sing and snipe through the movie Joyful Noise (a cute enough movie, worth watching, a little disjointed, good music, will keep you bouncing in your seat, not an academy award winner but a feel good kinda movie that's not all that probable but gee, go see it...)

Sure, sure, that movie theater popcorn sounds innocent enough.
After all, movies and popcorn is an American rite! 
Let me assure you, that might have been the case--last night.
This morning---not so much. 
It is guilty as charged!!!

Here's the evidence:
From Web MD:
Would you scarf down a pound of baby back ribs and a scoop of Haagen-Dazs ice cream or maybe two Big Macs while watching the latest release at the movies?
That's what a new report says you’re getting in terms of fat and calories with a large tub of movie theater popcorn, and that's before they pour on the buttery topping.


Holy Popcorn! 

I'm heading to Detox.....right after I clean the kitchen, take my aunt grocery shopping, make Sunday supper, do the laundry, clean the kitchen again, do more laundry, clean the bathrooms, put away the laundry, change the bed linens.....
Um, well, maybe I'll go to Detox  after I have a glass of wine. 








Saturday, January 14, 2012

The party has to end sometime.....8-(



My little girl......who makes me laugh like no one else can!
 Sigh........... 

I'm heading into the final week of being a working mother with a child at home.
Yes, the holiday/semester break is coming to an end for my princess daughter.
By this time next week,  she's back to college and I'm  back to my quiet house empty nest.
Although I will miss her terribly, it will get me back to my not as exciting regular life.
How boring is that?
Since she's been home, life has been a party and I gained weight and I'm exhausted my body is feeling the effects.
First, we kicked off the holidays in grand style with lots of eating, drinking and making merry.
Then, we rollicked and frollicked our way from Christmas until New Years.
After that, we had lots of girl dates--dinners, lunches and get togethers with friends.
Many, many, many trips to Starbucks for Chai Lattes.
Late night reruns of Friends while munching on Trader Joe's oatmeal cranberry dunkers and pop corn, drinking Snapple diet peach iced tea (then not being able to fall asleep due to all of the caffeine!).
Not to mention all the cooking and cleaning and shopping and movie watching.
But, we ain't done yet!
Before she goes, we're planning to sneak in all those things we didn't get to while she was here.....a few movies, mom and daughter facials and pedicures, a trip to our favorite sushi place, trying out my new recipe for macaroni and cheese with carmelized onions (I'll share the recipe if it turns out as amazing as I heard it was!) and whatever else is left on the list.....

One more week of partying.  
I'll take it. 






Friday, January 13, 2012

Fatdoom dreams.....


When I woke up this morning, I didn't give much thought to the fact that it was Friday the 13th.
I was just thankful that it was FRIDAY.
Somewhere between throwing water on my face and running down the steps to put the kettle on for tea, the dream that I had came rushing back to me.....
All of a sudden, I recalled the feeling that I had in my dream....that old familiar feeling.....of  fatdoom.
What is fatdoom and why did I feel fatdoom?
Fatdoom is that feeling that weight is creeping on and you have no control.  
 And, in my dream, I was standing on a scale that registered 152. 
No! No! No! 
Of course, 152 is by no means FAT.
But, for a girl who has fought her way past 200, past 190, past 180, past 170, past 160, past 150 and wrestles between 135 and 142, 152 means fatdoom.  
Rational?  Who in the hell cares.  It's just what it means to me.  


Now, in my family, the fact that I had a specific number appear in my dream means that I should rush out and play that number because it was sure to hit. 
But, despite my family's history with THE NUMBERS,  I have never subscribed to that type of thinking.
Carmen, being the engineer that he is, tells me that there's no mathematical or logical correlation between numbers that you dream or numbers that appear to you or numbers that are associated with dreams and the actual number that hits on the lottery (or anyplace else for that matter).   I believe him.  Since I know nothing about logic and mathematical stuff and he's the master of it all.  
And, anyway, I've never been one for playing numbers or lotteries....unless someone comes and collects my dollar from me and tells me I am joining in on playing....as we do every so often at the office. 

Having said all of that, I still believe there is something to be said for what we dream.
Toni is always talking about her dreams and what they mean and how they relate to what is going on in her life.
For some reason, my daughter has a lot of dreams about teeth....
I have had a reoccurring dream for many, many years---that I am in one place but am also supposed to be in another.  In  high school and college, I would dream that I am in a class but while there I would remember that I was also supposed to be at work or in another class.  As the years went on, I would continue to have that dream about work or picking up the kids or attending a meeting, or going to a school function when I was also scheduled to be another place. 
There was always a lot of panic in those dreams.  
Even to this day, every so often, I have that dream.  
I always figured that it correlated well to my life....for many reasons.
So, I never bothered to investigate it's true meaning. 
I was sure I had it all figured out. 
So, as I waited to the kettle for tea to whistle, I thought about my dream....that I weighed 152. 
I figured it was probably a result of the few pounds that I've gained over the holidays and my fixation on that. Or, my fear that those few pounds would morph into a few more and then there I am.....250 pounds again. Or, perhaps it had something to do with my blog post yesterday. 
All of those scenarios made lots of sense.
However, I figured for the sake of pumping some interest into my blog, I'd do a little research online before I wrote this post this morning.  I knew Toni had bookmarked a site online that analyzes dreams.  So, I decided I'd spend a few minutes seeing what the expert online dream analyzer....Dream Moods  had to say.
Honestly, I was quite sure I knew what it would say---it would tell me that I was just preoccupied with weight gain.  But, I figured.....hey, they might say it little more eloquently than that and I could use it to propel my blog post. 
Well, wasn't I a little bit shocked to find out that the interpretation had nothing at all to do with  weight--- as in pounds.......
To dream that you are overweight or that you are gaining weight suggests that you are feeling over-burdened and pressured. You are carrying too many responsibilities.


It stopped me in my tracks.  How did  they know?
Just when I thought that my life long reoccurring dream was really trying to tell me that all these years, I find out that my newest dream is trying to tell me the same thing! 
I guess the powers-to-be in dreamworld are trying a different tactic after years of that reoccurring dream and I wasn't listening....they must have figured that I would finally LISTEN if they talked in my language...the language of FATDOOM!

Whew. 
Whatta way to start Friday the 13th. 
I thought I was just having a fear of being fat.
Now I find out it's lifedoom. 
Maybe I'll just play 152.







Thursday, January 12, 2012

Struggling makes me more popular! Right?



 I gained a few pounds.

Does my admission give my blog a bit more relevance?
Does it up the excitement quotient of my life for you?
Will  my challenge increase my readership?
Will it pull me out of the blog doldrums?
A certain lurker seems to think so. 



There's no denying that after four years of blogging about my Lap Band, sometimes it's a bit of struggle to find something new to say.  How many times can I say....I love my Lap Band??
A while back, I made peace with the fact that my blog was not a commercial entity, it was not going to be the end-all, be-all in anyone's day and that it might just get stale.  I acknowledged to myself that it was enough for me that it  is something that I enjoyed doing, it keeps me focused on my Lap band and it also fed my interest in having a regular forum where I could  write and at least have a few people read along and comment every so often.  Yes, I figured it was enough for me.  After all, if anyone who was new to their  Lap band journey really wanted to see my path--my archives were there for them to peruse.  Plus, with all the wonderful and successful Lap Band bloggers out there---I was confident everyone could find a place to land.   Yes, it was enough for me.
Sort of.
I'm pretty sure I could have lived with the thought that my blog's heyday was a thing of the past as long as I had a few folks who continued to stay connected---if for no other reason than reading it was a daily habit for them.  
Until last night.
A sometimes-blog-reader/lurker and I had a quick online chat about something unrelated to my blog.
During the course of that quick conversation--the sometimes-reader/lurker mentioned something about my lack of staying on course with my blog.....that I was just talking and that I had gotten away from the original purpose of my blog.  
That stung....
Although I didn't tell the sometimes-blog-reader/lurker that I had been struggling with it all for a bit, it was evident.  Even though I didn't like the tone of  the comment that I had been just talking (I, for one, would have never said it THAT way!), I respect this sometimes-blog-reader/lurkers opinion very much.  So, I asked "what do you think I need to do?"
The response was something I hadn't thought much about......
"Rather than providing insight into struggles, you are just ranting about your life, which probably to most people isn't that interesting.  Your original intent was about a struggle.  A challenge.  That's why people read it.  They felt connected to it.  You need a struggle. 
People need a reason to read your blog! You have to get back to the struggle!"


Alrighty then, bring on the struggle!   
I guess these holiday pounds came at the right time.....


Please come back and bring your friends......




 



Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Back to BAND business......

So, here I am---4 years and 5 months into my BANDED life and it is still as much a part of my everyday world as ever.
These days, it's like my arm or my leg.  It's just another  part of my body.
In fact, I think it might be my favorite part of my body.  Besides my blue eyes.  
Especially now!   
For the 5th New Year in a row....I am not resolving to lose weight THIS YEAR. 
In fact, my hopes and dreams have nothing at all to do with weight (I am not exactly sure what my hopes and dreams are but I know they have nothing to do with weight....).
It's a beautiful thing.  

Weight is one less thing I have to worry about, think about, obsess over.....
But, that doesn't mean I don't miss those days when every New Year diet article  gave me a little tingle of excitement and a whole shitload big shot of hope after 6 weeks of  careless eating and wreckless indulgence.
I've always been a diet junkie.....I love the thrill of weight loss promises! 
 
Speaking of a "shitload"......



As we glide into a new year, diets and weight loss programs and exercise regimens and magic pills are all the rage.   Every magazine cover is screaming something about weight. TV advertisements are either assaulting us with income tax commercials or weight loss promises---ugh.  Just what a diet junkie like me loves!  Yes, I read them all and even imagine myself doing them!
It's a sickness, really.
Not wanting to be fat is nothing new.  It's BIG business. 
And, I mean.....BIG.  BUSINESS. 
Income tax is a whole other story.....


I'll bet you that you could go into any store, any restaurant or any bar little cafe and eavesdrop on a conversation among 2 or more women and 99.9% of them will mention the word diet or say something about weight.    Go ahead, try this little experiment and let me know how it goes.   Although I wasn't doing any heavy duty research, I always find this to be true.  Even more so at this time of the year. 


Just the other day, while out doing a little after-holidays shopping, I ran into four different women and chatted with each of them.  All four conversations either started with the subject  of weight loss or dieting or somehow found it's way there.  A few good little fixes for a girl like me.   Now, you could argue that people just naturally talk to me about weight loss since you know....I lost all that weight.  But, really, that's old news, ya know.  I'm  pretty sure we would have entered into our chats no matter what.   One of the women said she had just joined Weight Watchers.  Another of them was "back on Atkins".   The third one had decided on Jenny Craig and the fourth one....well....she was doing the HCG Diet (a diet I wrote about here.....).  I'm pretty familiar with all of those diets. In fact, I'm pretty intimate with them---I shared quite a bit of my earnings over the years with them!  I'm a full lifetime member of Weight Watchers, an alum of Jenny Craig and a veteran of  Atkins.   My mother happened to be a victim of HCG.  As a matter of fact, once I figured out what diet this woman was talking about, I've been wrestling with sharing  my knowledge of my mother's experience with the program with her (a desperate dieting woman who thinks she hit the jackpot--eating 500 calories a day and giving herself injections while working 2 jobs as well as her having her own design business on the side).  I just hate to take away anyone's hope.  But....I figure saving a life is worth it. 

I'm not knocking any weight loss program.....I've done most of them that were available since 1974. So, who am I to judge?   And, I certainly  recognize that some people need programs or regimens or directions to help them with their challenges. And, some of us just like the thrill of new diets.   But, if I have learned nothing else on my Lapband journey, I've learned that I just ate too much damn food. That is why I was obese.  Sure, sure...there was the thyroid thing and the fat grandmother and the pregnancy weight and the busy schedule and all that other stuff--all of it very valid.  But, in the end--what my Lapband did was stop me from eating all that food.  That's how I lost the weight.  Believe me, I didn't exercise all that much.   My Lapband did not change my genetics or cancel out my fat grandmother or give me back a healthy thyroid.  It just cut down my food intake.  Too much food was my enemy.  So, if you look at it that way--it all seems rather simple...right?  Eat less=lose weight. 
Hmmmm.....not so fast.
I know that stopping all the overeating is not as easy as just stopping it.  Every body is different, every metabolism is different, everyone has different genetics and there's all kinds of different lifestyles. It's an entire combination of things that effect why you gain weight and how you lose it. 
My Lapband happened to  work for me.  I think it's the best thing I ever did for myself.  But, I don't think everyone should do it.  Well, that's not true.......sometimes I do have to stop myself from shaking people until they come to their senses and get a Lapband.   
Am I saying that everyone who is really serious about losing at least 100 pounds should do it?  
No. 
But, geez, it's definitely worth thinking about.
Let me put it this way....if you are currently thinking about what diet you want to pick or weight loss promise you want to believe, take a few moments to consider the option that changed my life......Lapband surgery.
But, only if you want to. 

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Dancing in the aisles......

video
I don't know about you but I'm 10 days into 2012 and I haven't quite got the hang of it.
I need to hit REWIND..... 
 


Monday, January 9, 2012

Everyone deserves an off day.....

'Tis January, 'tis Monday, 'tis tired.....

Sunday, January 8, 2012

And, on the 8th day.......

I have decided to be a Domestic Diva.  
Last night, I was  Wine Diva.   


We had a lovely wine drenched dinner with lovely wine-lovin' friends at a lovely little bring- your-own-wine restaurant.
Yes, it was lovely.
They make an amazing rendition of zucchini rollatini. 
I'm telling you, the stuff is to die for......


 As for today......the wine is gone (although it did leave behind a little wine headache).
But, there's a hefty portion of my zucchini rollatini in the fridge.  Thank you Lapband!
There's lots of work to be done around here--from yard work to laundry to all those other fun housekeeping things that took a back seat to all the hoopla and merry-making of the past  6 weeks.
It's not that I didn't do those things.....I just did them haphazardly and with different intent.  For instance, in December if I was doing laundry--it was probably at 2 am and I was also wrapping presents and making an appetizer to take to a party.  If I said I was doing yard work in December--that meant that I was putting Santa Clauses on the porch and trying to get the spotlight to shine perfectly on my red sleigh.
I was more of a  Santa's Helper Diva instead of a true Domestic Diva...wearing my leopard trimmed Santa hat.  
Now,  it's back to real life---where towels need washed because we are out of them and bathrooms need scrubbed  because....well.....they need scrubbed.  The leopard trimmed hat is safely packed away with all of my holiday wear until next year and I'm done with the business of making Judiland merry. 
I know....doesn't sound so glamorous or fun....does it?

Well, just so I feel like a true Domestic Diva and to add a little glamor to the thankless drudgery of housework--I have put on my fancy apron, I'm making a huge pot of Italian wedding soup with ricotta dumplings while the washer and dryer is going.....wearing lipstick.  
Some things just need to be done. 







Saturday, January 7, 2012

Keep some of those Christmas gifts!



Remember last month?
The month that you feel like you are paying for this month.
December--the month with all the  gluttonous debauchery and spendthriftery that would surely shame us any other time of the year. 
Yeah, that month.  
The one we are cursing right.about.now.




STOP IT!  
Let's just take a whole different approach.....
I've been thinking about it and I think that there's a few things about December that are worth doing all year long.
No, not the early morningand lunchtime drinking and non stop daily cookie scarfing.

I know,  I know---- you are sick and tired of all the hoopla and woo-hooing but really....what's so wrong with that?    Feeling merry ain't such a bad thing---is it?
Alright, alright.....so, if you don't want to do the whole merry, yippee, woo-hoo thing, maybe you can just do some of those other things you did during December......
(CAUTION:  These are not to be misconstrued as New Years resolutions. They are, as I said, things you did in December that are worth continuing.....) 
How about.....
*Treating everyday like it's a special day. 
Go ahead, eat off the good china!  Sit at the dinner table.  Dress up a little!
*Staying in touch with friends and family.
Yeah, I know, we're all busy.  But, just think about how good it feels to chat with an old friend, go to happy hour with your gal pals, have lunch with a cousin, visit  with an elderly aunt.   Why limit it to just once a year?
*Buying good food and cooking your best recipes!
Sure, you don't have to do that everyday but why eat the lousy, same old, same old food day after day after day?  Sometimes you just need turkey and stuffing in June!
*Eating three meals a day!
I don't know about you but I am sure we ate 3 meals a day all through the holidays!  How do I know that?  I cooked them all!  But, really, eating three meals is a good idea.....having me cook you three meals a day is not a good idea.  


Maybe it should be Christmas all year long.
Nah.....













Friday, January 6, 2012

One week down, 51 to go.......

 

We made it to Friday during one of the hardest weeks of the year!
I don't know about you but I am this close to declaring that I am  sleeping until November 2012.
God knows who will take down  all my Christmas stuff.....
2012 looks and feels way too long and too hard from where I am sitting right now.  
I think we all deserve a round of applause a trip to Happy Hour!
I'm sure I'll be a much better blogger next week. 
Until then.....let's try to think positively and drink wine. 




Thursday, January 5, 2012

Do I really have to go back today?

There's something mighty miserable about everyone returning to the office after the holidays at the same time.
And then me coming in a day later.
Yesterday was proof of that!  
I mean....I did go into work for a few days over the holidays while most of them were home basking in the love and joy of their families, watching movies and eating peppermint bark. 
I was the one fending off  answering the phone calls and emails, cleaning out the fridge, running the reception desk and hiding from dealing with students and their questions.  


Why do I have to be treated as though I somehow got a free pass just because I took January 3 off?
I'm telling you right now---I'm not happy about the fact that there's 53million things that need done and it's a new year and that all the spirit and joy of the holiday season has been beaten down into ash!


This after-the-holidays-new-year thing is a bitch not going well.....











Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Saying Good-Bye.......

to the holidays and our full nest......
Bittersweet.

The White Christmas that we were hoping for finally arrived.....not exactly when we wanted to see it....it was 2 weeks too late.
Thankfully, our house is still completely decked out in all it's holiday splendor.
So, we could pretend.....even for just a moment.
It provided a scenic backdrop for our good-byes and well wishes as our almost PhD packed up his repaired car to head back over the snowy mountains to PhDland.
As the snow fell and the winds blew---we said farewell to what is probably his very last extended Christmas break.
Now that he's *this* close to ending his career as a student and he's talking about his applications for real jobs and post doc work around the country.....next year will be quite different.
I felt it in my mother's heart as he pulled out of the driveway.
Something special has come to an end.
Somehow the falling snow made it even more bittersweet.
If I wasn't so busy shivering from the cold and barking orders about driving in the snow and other motherly directives, I would have shed some tears.
But, I kept my composure and told myself that maybe the next chapter holds many new exciting things to look forward to.
And, the snow fell.
Lots of good memories remained.
And we said good-bye.

This morning I'm thankful for those memories.




Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Easing into.......

the day, the week, the month.....the year!
Slipping and sliding.......



Although most of the world is back to their regular lives today, I am not.
Nope, I scheduled another day at home.
A day off from work but not a day of no work....trust me.
It was supposed to be a day off to pack up Vince and get him off to PhDland and to bid farewell to some other holiday guests.
Then, Vince's car had some problems.
And the garage was closed for the holiday weekend.
So, Vince is staying put until the car is safe to travel in.
They are working on it right now.
Then, it snowed.
And, it snowed some more.
So, the guests are staying put.
This is no way to kick off a brand new year.
Ugh. Ugh. Ugh.
And, wouldn't you know it....when I needed to blog the most....THIS MORNING....Blogger was also having some issues.....
So, in between cleaning up the kitchen from last night's unexpected dinner and a movie guests and making yet another gourmet breakfast, I decided I needed to BLOG......
This blogging moment might be the only snippet of sanity in my day!
Easing into insanity is more like it!!!

Monday, January 2, 2012




A few more dishes linger in the sink.
There's lots of food and goodies to deal with.
Not to mention trash that needs bundled and stray gifts that need to find homes.
But, this girl is not dealing with any of it.
Instead, I am going to rest these weary bones.
Every crevice of my body aches.
There's not a patch of comfort from my tippy toes to the top of head.
The holidays have come and gone.
Yahoo! Yippee! Woo-hoo!
They left me battered and worn.
I'm taking today as a Judi holiday.
So, pardon me while I sip my chai and contemplate how I will celebrate it.
I'm thinking....on the couch, watching movies, making my family wait on me.
Check back with me to see how this plan goes.
You just never know....miracles do happen.

Sunday, January 1, 2012


Every new beginning comes from
some other beginnings end.
Semi Sonic- Closing Time



I would chat a bit more but there's lots to be done in the kitchen.
Plus, I'm nursing a little gin headache.

Happy 2012!!!
Oh, and.....GO STEELERS!!!!