Follow me.......

Friday, May 23, 2008

I won't gain weight, I won't gain weight, I won't gain weight.....

29 hours and counting. My ship will come in and I will board it. I will be wearing a pair of darling pink, size 14 capris, a pink sequinned tank--size large and a gorgeous white denim jacket with bright colored sequin designs--size12. On my perfectly pedicured feet....I'll have those amazing sandals I bought to celebrate all those celebration-worthy things in my life. Oh...and pink undies with matching bra from Victoria's Secret. The perfect ensemble to walk the plank. Being the conservative packer that I am, I decided that I'd also like to wear that very same outfit (not the same undies, of course!) to disembark the ship at the end of our little holiday.'s the thing---I have never been on a vacation where that has been possible. I always needed to pack a "going home outfit"---a size larger or at the very least--elastisized! And, given the fact that cruises are notorious for putting at least 10 lbs on their guests...well, I'm a bit worried about my darling pink pants. So, I keep reciting that little ditty to myself....."I won't gain weight, I won't gain weight, I won't gain weight....." Yes, I know, I said my scale will be taking a holiday. I won't know the number on the scale and I don't want to to know it. So, I'm starting a new ditty.....

I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.
I will be able to wear the same pants getting off the ship as I did getting on it.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The scale takes a holiday.........

Alright, as of this precise moment, I am off the scales. You heard me. I'm going on a scale hiatus. I'm taking a little break. Scale cold turkey. No more scales for me. Adios. Toodles and see ya later gater. Yep, it's good-bye scale. Good-bye every scale. The one at the gym. The one in my bathroom. The one at work. My sister's scale. My other sister's scale. My father's scale. My mother-in-law's scale. The random scale I come upon. All of them. It's time to be thankful for the number I read this morning. It's time to declare a national holiday in thanksgiving for the number my scale told me this morning. It's time to go it alone. Time to not let the scale tell me if I'm doing okay or if I need to adjust this or tweak that. It's time to go forward without the crutch of the scale telling me I'm working hard and being successful. It's time to stand on my own two feet---without the scale beneath me---and reap the benefits of how I feel not what I see on the scale. Live life without the scale. Feel my body. Understand my body. Really get to know it. Learn to live in it and with it. And do it all without the scale. For now.....

Just one tiny little thing, though......
I sure hope they don't have scales on the cruise since I might be a bit looser when it comes to being a well-behaved rule follower. Those umbrella drinks might bring out the misbehaved girl in me. And, I can tell you right now...when that happen, I just can't be held responsible. For anything.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


Sing it David!!!

Here I am, only days away from boarding that big cruise ship and all I can think about is David Bowie. Well, not exactly David himself. That song he sings....Changes. It's been going through my head for the past 24 hours. You'd think I'd be hearing conga music or the Beach Boys or some kind of steel drum sound. After all, I am going on a cruise! But, no, it's David Bowie. It's not that I don't like David or that song....because I do. They are just not in my top 10. But, it's a good song. It's one of those songs that takes me back to a place in time. To my days of hanging out at the ice skating rink. They played that song over and over again. (shit, I can still smell that darn ice skating rink as I sit here and think about it!!!) But, that's not why I'm thinking about David Bowie. Trust me, I'm not trying to relive my days as a 16 year old rink rat. No. No. This song just happened. In my head. I was getting some clothes ready to pack up for the big trip and found myself thinking about all the changes in my life. I mean, there I was packing to go on a cruise.....of all things. A big change. I was packing cute capris and little tops and shoes that weren't only meant for comfort and the most adorable undies. Again.... big changes. All of a sudden, in between the undies and shoes..... there he was.....David Bowie with his stuttering "ch-ch-ch-ch-changes". That's how it happened. Don't ask me why. My good friend, the rock and rollin', Nike wearing Professor H is a big proponent of letting music into your life to get you through the good times and the bad times. She's right........she's a professor. Letting the music in is one thing, Professor H. But, holy heck, this song just waltzed right into my head and stayed there. Like I just happened. Anyway, since this song has taken up permanent residence in my head these past 24 hours and I'm humming it and singing it, this morning I figured I better try to figure out what the heck Bowie is singing about. So, I did. And, by golly.....I'm pretty sure he wrote that song for me. I know it seems a bit far fetched. But, hear me out. Get this....he sings:

Still dont know what I was waiting for
And my time was running wild
A million dead-end streets and
Every time I thought Id got it made
It seemed the taste was not so sweet
So I turned myself to face me
But Ive never caught a glimpse
Of how the others must see the faker
Im much too fast to take that test

If that doesn't scream Judi, I don't know what does! I mean, it's exactly what I've said a million times......why did I wait so long to get my lapband? And, the song is definitely referring to all of my years and years of dieting and thinking I found the perfect diet but then I didn't. Yes, it's definitely about me.'re not convinced? How about this line.....

I watch the ripples change their size
THAT line alone seals the deal for sure, don't you think? I mean, come on, what have I been talking about all these months? The changes in my ripples. Yes! Rock on David! I wonder what other songs he wrote about me.....

Yes, I's a strange fascination, fascinating me.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Women are for friendship.........

~Love is blind. But friendship closes its eyes~

Through thick and thin and every weight in between

Happy Birthday Kate!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Sex, lies, murder, coming back from the dead and lapbands.......

Check out the Guiding Light. It's a Soap Opera. I think it's the longest running one ever. As a matter of fact, my mother was a huge fan. And, yes, I admit that I did my share of watching too. Grade school--remember Papa Bauer? High School--oooh, that Roger! College---ooh, that Roger! In my 20's---ooh, that Alan! In my 30's--will Reva and Josh ever find happiness? Well, anyway, I haven't seen it in many years. But, every once in awhile I'll check the weekly updates in the paper just to see how my friends in Springfield are doing. So, yesterday when I was reading one of Toni's tabloid gossip magazines and came upon an article about the Guiding Light, I couldn't help but read it. What until you hear this!!!! Amid all the sex and divorce and murder and people coming back from the dead, Lapbanding has made it's way into the Soaps! And, it's happening on MY soap! One of the actresses on GL (that's what we insiders call it) had Lapband surgery in real life and now she is going to have it on the show! Now, this is big. Once something reaches the soaps, you know it's going to take off like crazy. Look what soaps did for baby names and evil twin sisters!!! I'm going to be walking mighty proud today. To think....I did it before it became the thing to do. I did it before they did it on the Guiding Light. It's the first time I could ever say that.......

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sundays at Nana's...........

I think that's where it all started for me. Those Sundays at my Nana's. Walking into her house after mass on Sunday morning meant meatballs frying, garlic sizzling and fresh basil wafting through the air. Nana in her full apron with her braided hair coiled at the nape of her neck. Her black laced shoes with the square heel. And, her big beautiful pot of sauce. My stomach would actually have excitement was so high. Eating Nana's Sunday pasta or lasagna or ravioli was probably one of my all time favorite activities. Add that to the fact that Sunday was also the day when most of my cousins would be at Nana's too and it was the highlight of my entire week. Papa would sit in his chair in his Sunday vest, smoking his cigar, yelling at all of his grandchildren in a language we didn't quite understand. The boy cousins would tease the girl cousins and the girl cousins would scream in mock misery. My sweet deaf mute aunt would set the table while keeping a watchful eye on us. She'd snicker at our antics and make faces at her very special way..... as we agitated our dear grandfather. Aunts, uncles, older cousins with babies on their hips and assorted boyfriends and girlfriends of our 20-something cousins would be bustling about the house. All of it in preparation for another Sunday at Nana's with the pasta, the meatballs, the braicole, the roast, the bread and of course the best home made wine. Life could not be sweeter as far as I was concerned. We cousins would get hunks of crusty Italian bread and dip it in the sauce when Nana wasn't looking. We'd fight over who would be the one to test to see if the pasta was done just right. Nana would pull a few strands out of the boiling water, put a little sauce and cheese on it and then you'd get to decide if it was time to strain the pasta. Ah, that first taste of Nana's sauce was always the best.

Sunday at Nana's wasn't just about food. Although, at the time I didn't really understand that. Probably because it seemed as though it was just about food. The feeling I got from those Sundays was one that has stayed with me all of my life. And, so it was no wonder that I always equated food with feeling good and love. Of course, I'm not blaming my Nana! She'd hit me with her wooden spoon for that! I'm just saying that when I think of Sundays....I think of Sunday dinner. When I think of Sunday dinner, I think of massive amounts of food on a table surrounded with aunts and uncles and cousins and lots of love. And, I think of my Nana. And, her wonderful meatballs and sauce and lasagna and pasta. Wonderful memories. Wonderful times. Wonderful food.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

It takes 9 months.......

You know and I know that I've been losing weight for the past 9 months. So, why is it that all of a sudden it's so noticeable? It's like a switch went on and everyone sees it. In fact, I even see it myself. I look in the mirror and I think to myself "holy shit girl, you lost weight!". People are walking up to me and saying things. My own daughter noticed---"Mom! You look hot!" A woman I see every so often at work stopped me in the hallway to tell me something and as she was talking, she just stopped.....mid-sentence....and said "wow, Judi, you look great." It happened overnight. Really. So, it got me to thinking......what is the moment when weight loss kicks in? What is the magic number? How much weight does it take to make a difference?

Several years ago during one of my Weight Watcher love affairs, I remember the same thing happening. At the time, the leader told me that it takes a while for the body to redistribute and shift and acknowledge the weight loss. I guess it's like getting comfortable in your own skin. Is 9 months that magical point? That makes sense from a evolution standpoint. It takes 9 months to go from a teeny little embryo (yes, I did pay attention in my 10th grade sex ed class!) to a full grown infant. So, maybe our bodies are programmed for the 9 month thing from the moment we are conceived. I'll tell you, this journey of mine has been one learning experience after another! Who would have thought that I would have ever come up this losing weight -gestation theory? It's pretty brilliant if you ask me. Wonder what I can expect in 9 more months. Hopefully it's not a baby.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Prisoner of my Love Handles......

I'm breaking out. Yet, sometimes I think I'll never be free. I may have found the key but I haven't figured out how to turn the latch. I'm working on it. But no matter how much I try, I'm still not sold on the fact that I'll ever really accept certain parts of my anatomy---my stomach, my hips, my backside--to name the top three. From what I understand...these are the areas called love handles. As far as I am concerned....the whole concept of that is completely disgusting. Please, please....don't think less of me because of my admission. Truly, I really am trying hard to love each womanly part of me. But, to be honest.....if those so called love handles were made for lovemaking, count me out. Honestly, the thought of having sex as my lover holds on to huge chunks of flesh just doesn't appeal to me. If that makes me a shallow person then so be it. Even if those lovehandles are cloaked in silk, satin or lace, I still won't like the visual of it all. It would surely kill the moment. No matter how many glasses of wine I had!!! Deposits of fat is just not my idea of anything worthy of a good romp. Maybe it's just me. As I'm unshackling myself from the grips of obesity, I'm coming to terms with many things that I never thought I would be able to. But I draw the line at flab. There's nothing sensual or comfortable about it. Fortunately, I've evolved enough to admit it. I've got love handles all over the place---my eyes, my hair, my face. Not my hips, my stomach or my ass. Enough said.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

The cover-up.......

When I was 17, there were no gray roots to deal with. In my 20's, I never worried or even knew about stray chin hairs. When I was in my 30's, I doubt I even imagined that wrinkles could exist on anyone except my dear Aunt Sarah. And, I'm absolutely certain I never gave a moment's thought to spider veins or bunions or less-than perky breasts during those blissfully ignorant years. Now, these thoughts creep into my mind on a daily basis. Not only that....they have become part of my everyday upkeep. I need to dye, pluck, lift up, suck in, harness, deal with, live with and sometimes even hide.....all of those things and more. I'm not sure when all this upkeep began. All I know is that I have come to the point in my life that I have to put quite a bit of energy, resources and creativity into the simple act of walking out my door!
Clothes. Shoes. Jewelry. Make up. That's the fun part. Fashion is my friend. Shoes are my soul mates. Jewelry is my creativity. Make up is my colorful flair. The other things---the gray roots and all that other stuff--they aren't so fun. They slowly and unexpectedly found their way into my life without an invitation. So, now I have to make time for appointments to get rid of my gray roots. I have to be vigilant about pesky unwanted hair. I have to wear longer shorts to cover those little purplish marks on the sides of my knees. I have to wear supportive, underwire bras and I've become very friendly with Spanks. I try not to squint. When I have a contraband cigarette, I try not to suck on it too hard. And, these days, I take notice where the seams are on shoes before I buy them. Yes, I am always on the look out for interesting and fresh ways to make things not look or feel so bad. A master of disguise, that's me.

My mother used to sing a little song to us when we were went like this....
My little girl when we were married,
On the first night we were wed,
You put your false teeth on the mantel
And your wooden leg under the bed,
You put your falsies on the table
And your wig was on the chair.
My little girl I'd love to hold you
But you're scattered everywhere.
Yes, I know.....some mothers sang "Jesus Loves You" to their children. I guess my mother was a realist. Or, maybe she didn't know all the words to "Jesus Loves You". Or, perhaps she just had a wicked sense of humor. No matter. We loved that song. We would giggle and laugh. So, she would sing it over and over again. To us...her 3 little girls----the story was absurd. Now.... not so much. I get it. On one hand, I understand aging. When it is happening to someone else. On the other hand, I'm okay with aging. When I can make it look good. If the day should come that I can't make it look good---I will be scattered everywhere. And, I won't be giggling. (can't have laugh lines you know)

So, I'm vain. Not a shocker. Yet, all of my vanity can't stop the clock. It can't slow it down or turn back the hands of time. I hate not having control. So, on those occasions when reality hits me smack in the middle of my forehead, I feel quite miserable. Especially when my hairdresser (my own sister!) says to she adds the dye to my roots...." WOW!!!! You really need this!". As much as I am grateful for the technology that allows me to walk into her salon with gray roots and walk out an hour or so later with brownish roots, I still can't help but feel the misery of knowing what my real hair color is these days.

On most days, I try not to think about all of the upkeep I need. Therein lies the true COVER UP! The TRUE cover up is not the hair dye or the make up or all the other things I do to hide my age. The TRUE COVER UP is right my head---I try NOT to think so much about it! Or, I try to convince myself that I really am the young woman who lives inside my head. Go ahead, you might as well send in the FBI. I'm not who I say I am. I am really a 49 year old woman with gray hair, droopy breasts, wirey chin hairs, bunions, crow's feet and creased lips. Yes, I know, I do cover it up quite well. And, I will continue to do so. But, there's one thing that I am not having much luck with in this regard. Finding a bathing suit. I haven't been able to find a bathing suit that will cover up my body in a way that I want to cover it up without really covering it up that much. Does that make any sense? Okay, okay.....maybe I should just stop all these shenanigans and buy a damn bathing suit. If it fits, I should just buy it. Maybe I should stop trying to find the perfect bathing suit and just buy a great COVER UP.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A fork full.......

Hi, my name is Judi and I'm a foodie

Last night, I had to clear everything in the kitchen. We're having new counter tops installed and some other cosmetic work done. Even though I'm excited about the new things to come, the activity itself was not fun. But, it had to be done. As I was trying to figure out where the hell I was going to put everything while the kitchen was undergoing it's little transformation, I suddenly realized just how much stuff I have that revolves around food. Or, to be more much stuff I have that revolves around eating. Afterall...what is a kitchen for? Cooking and eating. Right? Well, I have it all. Not only do I have several cupboards,a big side-by-side refrigerator-freezer, several random shelves and an entire pantry filled with food, I also have more cooking and eating paraphenalia than a department store! And, there's spices galore. I could easily season vats of stews, chili, sauce and soups and still have seasonings left over to do it again...and again and again. I mean, I have an entire kitchen filled to the brim...and then some. More pots and pans than I can count. Overflowing silverware drawers. Several sets of dishes. Cabinets filled with potholders and aprons and towels. Big bins of utensils. Gizmos and gadgets. Platters and bowls and spatulas and big serving spoons and measuring cups. A gravy separator. Strainers. You name it....I have it. Go ahead....try me. Name a kitchen thing and I can pretty much assure you that I have it. It's gluttonous. Complete and utter gluttony.

Outside of my amazing shoe appears that I spend most of my money on food or food related things. Now, I know the joy I get from shoes. So, shoes fall into the category of being worth it. They make me feel good. They give me a sense of pleasure. And, of course, I don't like to be barefoot. Yes, there's the feel good thing. There's the pleasure thing too. And, of course, I do need to eat to survive. I need so much? And, why do I have so much? How many pots can one woman have? How many big serving bowls? How many pasta servers? Why do I need a total of 58 everyday plates? How many knives are too many?
How many cans of tuna do I need to stockpile? And what about all the salad dressing? Do I really love salsa that much?

After all the kitchen work is done, I have to put the kitchen back together. Perhaps between now and then, I'll have time to reflect on my food and food-related stuff mania. Maybe I'll come up with some more concrete answers as to why I could feed a small army for days on end. However, for the moment.....I think I've stumbled upon a few very interesting insights that I will have to ponder. Dragging all of those pots and pans and dishes and other kitchen clutter out of the cabinets and drawers has opened my eyes to what lies behind the pounds and the misery I dealt with for years leading up to my Lapband surgery. Now, I wonder....will I put them all back or will I give some of them away? What do I really need? What do I really want? Just a few things to sink my teeth into today. Gimme a fork.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

BS-ing continues.......

Maybe these 2 girls had the very same problem. Perhaps I need to get more creative with my BS. What do you think of BH? (Big Hat) It's not quite as catchy as BS. But, I'm way past the "coming up with cutesy monikers" stage. It's Judi-force-delta time. I'm talking big guns. Big ideas. And big hats. Although I wonder..... how do these girls cover their backsides? Maybe they don't. Then again....maybe their backsides are more reveal worthy than mine. Maybe I could get 2 big hats and then bungie cord them together. Now, there's a thought. They would slide off easily. They would hide a multitude of sins. I could start a whole new fashion trend. Just a few more details and I might have it. Critical things. Like how I'll sit on that barstool in the pool? And, how will I lay on my beach chair? These are the 2 things I plan to do quite a bit of. Well, I'll just have to put on my creative hat (no pun least I don't think so) and figure that out. But, really.....I may be on to something. 2 big hats attached with bungie cords. One size fits all. I could single handedly bring back the millinary industry. I could quit my job and be on Oprah and stuff. Maybe write a book. Maybe even get a BS degree. Maybe even get my own TV show. Oh, this could be BIG. BIG BS.

Monday, May 12, 2008

BS Countdown.......

Bathing suits. And, bull shit. Don't tell me that normal women can wear some of these bathing suits. Let alone afford them! Come on! I've read all the articles on which bathing suits flatter which body types. Trust me, I've come to grips with my body type. No problem there. And, despite my horror over what they cost, I've come to terms with the sticker shock. Plus, I've spent a great deal of time thinking about bathing suits. And, looking at them. And, trying them on. And, talking about anyone who would listen. I'm very bathing suit educated at this moment in my life. Yet, I am still bathing suitless. Here's my thing.....I'm all for getting a bathing suit that makes me look 10 lbs lighter. But, once I get that girdle of a thing on.....let's just say the situation arises that I have one too many ice teas or fancy little beach drinks with umbrellas in them. And, let's just say I'm drinking those drinks in a pool bar....sitting on a stool that's in the water. And let's just say that I have to excuse myself to go the ladies' room. Are you seeing the picture emerge here? Me. A wet girdle-type bathing suit. Little stall. Will I ever be able to #1--get the damn thing off? and #2 should I get it off....will I ever get it back on? There I'll a little stall (on the cruise....small bathrooms, I'm sure!) wiggling and jumping up and down and doing a little jig. It just doesn't seem plausible. Will I have to emerge from said stall with another birthday suit?

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Celebrations! Angela's 50th, Bandiversary and Shoes.....

Celebrating Angela's 50th, my bandiversary and a great pair of shoes....oh what a night we had. Okay, I admit it.....we were only celebrating Angela's birthday. But, considering how much we celebrated....I figured I'd throw in a few extra reasons. Wouldn't want anyone thinking only one celebration kept us out all night. Yes, you heard it here....all night. Longer than when we celebrated her 40th birthday! We are getting better with age. See for yourself.....
Oh, and the shoes you ask.......look here.....aren't they worth celebrating?

Those are the shoes I stayed out all night in. Aren't they adorable? If you ask great pair of shoes deserve another. So, that's what I did today. Some people take 2 Advil and go to bed. Me? I go to my fav shoe store and buy a pair of amazing shoes. Look at them....tell me if you don't agree! Aren't they delicious?

Considering how much they cost, I also bought them to celebrate my bandiversary. And, I might as well throw Angela's 50th into the the mix because they really were ridiculously expensive. And Mother's Day. Oh, and the fact that it's a Saturday. Oh, and because the rain stopped. Oh....yeah......and because I can stay out all night and live another day to buy a great pair of shoes. And because I love my Lapband. Oh.....and because I lost 70 pounds. Yeah.....

Friday, May 9, 2008

Tap your way to thinness.......

So, today I thought I'd try something different here. Instead of my typical ramblings about who knows what, I figured I'd share something a bit educational. Well, I don't know if you can call it's more informational. Did anyone ever watch the show "I Can Make You Thin with Paul McKenna". I'll be honest, I never even heard of it. Toni and I stumbled upon it awhile back. I'll be does draw you in. Maybe it's just me but I am a sucker for real life, heart wrenching testimonials. And, boy does this show got them! Each person has a story about their struggles with weight. There's crying and clapping and hugs and all that good support group stuff. And it's real people. My kind of show! And, to top it off---I can empathize...BIG TIME! When that lady got up and talked about mindlessly eating an entire back of chips and then crying the next day when she could not fit into her jeans, I just wanted to hug her myself and say "get a lapband....".
Anyway, being the life long dieter that I am, I figured I had tried every diet and weight loss technique known to mankind. But, just when I thought I knew it all and done it all.....this guy comes along and says all it takes is a little tapping. Who knew? And, you don't even need tap shoes (thank God because I threw those out years ago). It's just this tapping thing. Now, I've never tried it....I'm not very coordinated and I do get distracted easily. However, I have been planning to give it a whirl. I'll just have to do some practice sessions. Just because I have my lapband doesn't mean I don't get cravings......

Go ahead, read for yourself and have a great weekend. Don't forget to TAP.......

The Tapping Technique
1. I want you get the biggest desire for a food that you can right now. If you don’t have a big enough craving, put this technique to one side and come back to it when you’re really feeling it.
2. Focus on this craving for a moment, and when you’ve thought of that I’d like you to rate your desire for a food on a scale of 1-10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest. This is important, because in a moment we want to know how much you’ve reduced it.
3. On a scale of 1- 10, how strong is your craving? Remember, if you’re not really craving a bite (i.e. your craving is not at least a 7), come back to this technique later.
4. Now take two fingers of either hand and tap about ten times under your collarbone while you continue to think about eating.
5. Now tap under your eye ten times.
6. Now tap under your collarbone again.
7. Place your other hand in front of you and tap on the back of it between your ring finger and your little finger. Continue to think about your desire for food as you do this and each of the steps which follow:
  • Close your eyes and open them.
  • Keep your head still, keep tapping and look down to the right then down to the left.
  • Keep tapping and rotate your eyes round 360 degrees clockwise, and now 360 degrees anti-clockwise.
Remember to keep thinking about the food you were craving as you do this!
  • Now hum the first few lines of ‘Happy Birthday’ out loud.
  • Count out loud from 1 to 5.
  • Once again hum the first few lines of ‘Happy Birthday’ out loud.
8. Stop and check – on a scale from 1 to 10, what number is your craving at now?
If it hasn’t completely gone yet, just repeat this sequence again until it does.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Hello Pizza.'s me Judi...we are SO over

Sometimes I get sick of cooking. Even in my little family---every meal has to be an event. Even on a weekday. Other families are happy to eat scrambled eggs or even cereal for dinner. But, not mine. Leftovers are even cause for an uprising. My fault....I'm sure. I should have never let them know I could cook. For years, when the sick of cooking bug hit me, I just picked up the phone and called our local pizza man and told him to bring over an extra large with pepperoni. But, once I went lapband, calling the pizza man wasn't the thing to do. It was a good thing really....that meant that my entire family was eating better. Home cooked meals with a focus on healthy, nutritious foods...every damn night. No one seemed to miss those pizza call outs. As long as they were eating, they didn't care much. In fact, no one begged me to stop cooking and call the pizza man. It all went unnoticed. So, even on the longest days....when I was dragging and not in any mood to cook....I cooked. Even if the pizza man did miss me, he didn't call me or send me "miss you" cards or stop by just to see if I was okay. I thought we were friends--that pizza guy and I. I mean, I'd invite him in on cold nights and he even saw my Christmas tree. And, I always tipped him extra. If that's not friendship, I don't know what is. I suppose I didn't matter much to him. Sad, really.

The other night, I just didn't feel like cooking. I was exhausted. I had been running here and there and the stresses of life were just closing in on me. Thinking of cooking was wearing me down.....not to mention that I just didn't have the energy or the inclination to do it. So, mid day, I started thinking that maybe I'd call the pizza man. It got me to thinking.....I had not had a piece of pizza or even a bite of pizza in close to 10 months. It's not that pizza is a forbidden food for lapbanders. In fact, nothing is forbidden. Some foods just don't work well. Take for example....breads. They get all balled up and can get stuck in the small opening (made by the band) of your stomach. After that happens....things could get ugly. So, given the fact that pizza is made from bread....I stayed clear of it. And, like most things I thought I would miss---I didn't miss the pizza. Interestingly, I didn't even miss the idea that I had the option to call the pizza man. But, on this particular night.....the thought of making dinner by picking up the phone was what I needed. Toni was not too keen on the idea. Her protests fell on deaf ears. I wasn't going to cook and that was that. So, despite her request for a healthy home cooked meal, I called the pizza man.

Well, I haven't been the same since the pizza man cometh. It wasn't the fact that he was a new pizza man who wasn't half as cute as the other pizza man (who I thought was my friend). It was because the pizza did what I feared it would do. Yes, that's right. It got ugly. And, not just a little bit ugly. Really ugly. I-think-I-am -going-to-die- right-here-in- the-dining-room ugly. Trust me, the way I was feeling......physically and emotionally.......death by pizza may have been a blessing. It was just one of those days when you want to scream....."what the hell else can go wrong?" But, I worked through the glob of pizza crust. And, I somehow dug deep inside my soul for the will to go on. It took a few agonizing, pitiful hours but I did manage to muster up all of my self-help techniques to dislodge the food and calm my spirit. Thankfully.

It's over. It all is. Me and the pizza man. I gave the best years of my life.....for this. All those years of dedication and kindness. All of those times when the pizza man was my life line and I was his good tipper. Over. It just didn't work out......the pizza man and me.

Angela ain't so bad........(easy for me to say).....oh, just give us another round.....

This is what you get for not answering your phone at midnight!

Happy 50th Birthday to my spirited and sexy girlfriend!
This one is for you......I love you!!!!!
(click on the song....)
May the good Lord be with you
Down every road you roam
And may sunshine and happiness
surround you when you're far from home
And may you grow to be proud
Dignified and true
And do unto others
As you'd have done to you
Be courageous and be brave
And in my heart you'll always stay
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young

May good fortune be with you
May your guiding light be strong
Build a stairway to heaven
with a prince or a vagabond

And may you never love in vain
and in my heart you will remain
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young
Forever Young

And when you finally fly away
I'll be hoping that I served you well
For all the wisdom of a lifetime
No one can ever tell

But whatever road you choose
I'm right behind you, win or lose
Forever Young, Forever Young
Forever Young ,Forever Young
Forever Young, Forever Young
For, Forever Young, Forever Young

No matter what.......there's NO tears my sweet friend.
We've shed enough.
I love you girlfriend!!!!

I'm thin, you're's all good.
Party on.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Skeletons in my closet........

This weight loss journey has brought with it a lot of surprises. Yet, one surprise perplexes me more than most. My closet. To explain--it's no surprise that for the past 8-10 years, I've hated the fact that I would go for months not being able to wear half the things hanging in my closet. I would grow out of clothes in a matter of weeks....sometimes even days. Give me a weekend and I could blast through a pair of jeans and all of my black pants. Give me a holiday season or a week at the beach and I would need a new wardrobe to go back to work. So, unless I wanted to bust zippers and seams at the speed of light, I'd have to go out and buy a few new things. So I did. I'd go shopping and buy the next size. Oh, I wasn't too happy about it. But, I did it. Even knowing that within a relatively short period of time--they too wouldn't fit. So, why is it that now that I am 70 pounds thinner---my closet it still filled with things I can't wear? Why are those 2X's and 1X's still hanging in there? Why haven't I purged it all? I mean, I hated those clothes so much, you'd think I'd just open the window and throw them on the next passing vehicle. Why haven't I went out and bought an entirely new wardrobe? Sure, sure...I know, I did have a secret stockpile of smaller clothes in the attic--I didn't have to go naked. Now those clothes don't even fit. I mean, I can understand my reluctance to go out and buy a bathing suit. Who enjoys that? But, come on, why haven't I---a girl who loves to shop-- blazed a trail through every store at the mall buying up all the clothes that I craved for so long? Why is my closet still packed with unwearable clothes? Can't I just give these things away? Can't I pack them up in bags and tote them to Goodwill? Can't I have a fat clothes burning party? Or, why can't I do the green thing and give them to someone who could really use them? Why am I holding on to a Size 18 pair of jeans that needed hemmed when I bought them and still needs hemmed? And, what about that white get up that I had to wear to my godchild's wedding? Or, that peachy number that I was forced into buying for my girlfriend's wedding because I could find nothing else to fit me? And, how about that caftan of sorts that I used as a cover up at the beach but then turned it into a night out on the town dress in a pinch? Am I secretly in love with those clothes or do I want to keep my closet looking well-endowed? Like I said---perplexing.

Every day I tell my family they have to go through their summer clothes and figure out what they need for our cruise. And, I become increasingly more frustrated when they don't. Last week, for example, I had a bit of a melt down..."don't tell me at the last minute that you need shorts!" I warned them all, raising my fist in front of my face. Then, a few days later, I pulled out all the new cruisewear I bought Carmen for our anniversary and demanded....."here, go through these and figure out if they fit you!" And yet...they still lay in a heap on top of his armoire. And, I've had multiple discussions with Toni--telling her she has to set aside one day from her demanding social calendar to try on clothes..."we're not just going out to buy things you don't need!" I told her. Yet, she hasn't found the time. But me? Well, I haven't even begun to figure out what doesn't fit me. And, why? Well, because down deep I know that nothing does. A good thing---yes, I know. Thinking back to last year when we were going to Disney and Daytona.....I also knew that I had nothing to fit me. So, what did I do? I went out and bought new things. In fact, I made several special trips to stores far and wide to pull my wardrobe together. Even then, I hated most of them. I have the pictures to prove they were awful. But now? I have nothing that fits. I am going on a cruise that I really want to go on. And, I have lost a significant amount of weight. These are all good things. Dreams come true things. What the hell is going on here?
I need to come out of my closet. There, I said it......

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

An Affair to Remember................

I'm always shocked when I read statistics about affairs. And, I'm even doubly surprised when I read first person accounts of affairs. Just the other day, I read somewhere that 39% of married women admit to having an affair outside of their marriages (is there any other kind?) and of those 39%, over half of them eagerly provided details. Who in the heck runs these surveys? And, even more puzzling--who answers them? Let's face it....if one of those survey people called me and asked if he/she could ask me a few questions about my sex life and my extramarital activities, I suspect I'd politely tell them I'm eating dinner. But, somewhere deep inside me, after I hung up the phone---I'd have some regret. I'd be just a tad bit curious about the questions. And, knowing me, if I did stay on the phone, I'd soon turn the conversation into me interviewing the interviewer (how did you pick me to call? did you call any of my nieghbors? tell me, did YOU ever have an affair? ...). I'm an information junkie. Well, to be more accurate---I like knowing stuff. So, to please folks like myself, I suppose someone has to go out and gather this info from people who are willing to give it. How else would we find out what's going on behind our backs, in front of our faces and in our neighbors' bedrooms? Maybe I missed my career calling---should I have been a researcher?

An affair is something illicit. Something you do behind closed doors. It's a secret. Or, at least that's what YOU think. It's that one-two punch---it makes you feel good when you're doing it but can get you into more trouble than you ever dreamed possible. You know...the forbidden fruit. Satisfying your hunger for a pleasure that you've been unable to find elsewhere. I suppose there's a bit of shame involved. Do you hate yourself in the morning? Can you look in the mirror? Do you know you are doing something wrong or can you justify with with a myriad of reasonings? I don't know. I've never had an affair. Unless you count my affair with food. YES! YES! YES! I could talk for hours about that tawdry little affair. But, I won't. We all the know the story. Bad day=extra helping of pasta. Happy day=extra helping of ice cream. Boring day=big bag of chips. Bad fight=give me the oreos....NOW. I know I'm not alone. That makes it feel a little bit better. Just like those 39% of women who are doing the sacred act outside of their marriages. They probably like knowing they are not alone too. I guess I get it now....that's why researchers do what they do. So we don't feel so bad.

Here's the thing about food and sex---we need it. We just have to tame how we get it. (Just go with me here folks) In committed relationships--whether it's with another person or with food--we have to respect those relationships and ourselves enough to do just that. There's no reason why we can't find the same excitement and pleasure with our significant others or from reasonable helpings of pasta as we find with other lovers or two pounds of pasta with meat sauce. It's all the same. Are you following me here? Why should we deprive ourselves of the simple pleasure of sex and food by assaulting it all with reckless behavior? Don't we deserve to enjoy the taste of chocolate and the afterglow of meaningful sex? Don't we want to experience the pleasure and not the guilt? Can't we see how destructive our behavior is? Don't we want to live freely and without fear? But, is it as easy as answering those questions? Apparently not. That's why we have 39% of women having affairs and 65% of adults considered obese. None of us are alone. Not by a long shot.

As I pondered these statistics and thought about sex and food, it occurred to me---is my Lapband merely a chastity belt?

Monday, May 5, 2008

A girl always remembers her first taco......

Mine? The spring of '78. In a sleepy little college town. In a yellow kitchen. With strawberry cafe curtains. On the second floor of a green house on Fourth Street. Oh so many years ago. So many tacos ago. There have been many since. But, I never forgot that first one. The one that stole my innocence. The one that left me wanting more.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

GO Pens!

Hockey. That damn season last forever. It's May for cryinoutloud! Enough is enough. Not that we watch every hockey game. In fact, I'm embarrassed to admit......we're fair weather fans here at my house. Now that the Pens are in a fight for their lives....our lives revolve around it. Not that I sit and watch the games. No. I just have to know when I have to cook. That's it. Just tell me when I have to make a huge plate of nachos. Just tell me what time I can call everyone in for dinner. And, please let me know if I need to pick up some extra beer. That's all I want. Okay, of course, I want them to win. Winning is good. I like all the whooping and yahooing and hi-fiving. And, hey....I'm all for young guys in uniforms. But, honestly....I just need to know when it's safe to eat.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

A Lapbanded Junkie....that's me......

Junking. It's one of my favorite things to do. I just love junk. I'm not alone in my junking passion. It's turned into a huge industry. Who knew? For years, we had to be closet junkers. Now, we're out there. Loud and proud. And, we junkers are a very friendly bunch. You can always find a friend and kindred spirit when you're out there junking. Junking can soothe your soul, lift your spirits and make you feel just a little less lonely. know what else? Most junkers....because they love all kinds of shoes and purses and bracelets and necklaces and rings. Yes, they are my sisters through and through. So, a little junking trip....even if it's for a brief period of time....can do wonders for me. That's what happened the other day.

There's this great little junk store around the corner from me. It's one of those places where you have to step over stuff to walk around. Just delightful. I always feel so triumphant when I uncover something amid the masses. Oh, I can't tell you how many treasures I unearthed there. It's just a fun place to go. And, when I walk in.....I am greeted as if I am family. The owner--an absolutely stunning and stylish woman--is not only all about junk but she is all about chit chat and fun. Over the years....we've chatted about everything from diets to martinis. Last year when I decided to have my lapband--I told her.

So, the other day, as I walked in....she called to me from the back office...."Hi Judi!". Instantly, my mood brightened. A friendly voice. A store filled with.....junk. What could be better? Well, I'll tell she came to greet me she said...."Look how much weight you have lost! You look beautiful!". Yes, that's how it could get better. And, so our discussion began. As it turns out...she has been thinking about getting a lapband. She told the right person. You know me....I am madly in love with my lapband, I am all about sharing information (well...I like to talk) and I want everyone in the world to be happy. My perfect stage! Every worry and stress left my being as I talked Lapband.....surrounded by junk.....with a friendly person who thought I was beautiful. Now, it doesn't get much better than that.....does it?

Friday, May 2, 2008

When the going gets rough.......the tough wear STILETTOS and listen to ROCK N'ROLL and POMP and CIRCUMSTANCE.....

The idea. The rock n roll...advice from my smart, rock n rollin', groovy, Nike wearing friend. It's like that whole idea of turning lemons into lemonade (sugar free as my other in-the-know friend Gerry says). It all makes sense. It's all calorie free and makes you feel good. I think that's the key.....making the best of a situation that's not so great....without packing on the pounds, wrecking your lapband or adding to your already pudgy belly. Life will throw you tomatoes and potatoes and even big 10 lb zucchinis....of the fried variety, no less. But, you don't have to dip them in fat laced mayonnaise with gourmet pesto. You can take cover. Dodge 'em. Duck. Or....stop, drop and roll. Take your pick. Because, no is what it is. Even if it is what it is, you can find a way to make what it is not so lousy. I choose Bob, Bruce and amazing shoes. I guess you could wear flip-flops and listen to country music. If that's your thing. It's all a matter of preference. The important thing is that you do what you need to do even if it sucks big time. But, while you're doing it, you can feed your soul...with whatever it takes. And, in my case....the stilettos and rock n roll might just do the trick.

As for the Pomp and Circumstance. Today is a big day in our family. The first female in my immediate family since ME who will be graduating from college. Oh, I know...lots of girls graduate from college every day. I come from a big family of females. There's lots of us. We are smart. We are strong. And, damn, we can cook good.

We're a beautiful crew....all of us (see above!). But, there's not many degrees among us. Not that it's ever been a big deal. But, this thing with my darling niece is a BIG deal. She's gorgeous and bright and kind of Type A. She's creative and intense and funny and a little bit quirky. She has no idea how amazing she is but yet she is striving to figure it out. She's got this freckle on her foot and she has the same blue eyes as the rest of us. But, hers are luminous and young. When she steps up to grab that diploma....she's doing it for all of us. For all of us women who came before her. For her grandmother---who never got to hold her in her arms but I am sure moved heaven and earth to swoop down to wipe each and every tear she ever shed (and always will). For her loving and giving mother....who did everything in her power and beyond to make her life happy. For her great grandmothers....who could have never imagined what wonderful opportunities would await a woman in their lifetime. And, for her great aunts....women who stood on the sidelines watching their beloved late sister's grandchild grow....knowing how much it would have meant to her. And, for my sister and I... her aunts. We watched her flourish and become the woman she is today. The little girl who sat across the table from us on holidays. The toddler who smirked at us. The teenager who made us wonder. The young woman who made us proud. The woman who we embrace as one of us. Our niece Alexa will graduate today. She has no idea where she came from or where she will go. But, it is all beautiful. So, no matter what rain will fall today or what clouds will cover the sky.... I will find my most amazing pair of shoes and I will climb the steps of the Palumbo Center. And, I will smile. And, I will cheer. And, I will clap. And, I will toast and laugh and kiss and hug. Because there is nothing....and I mean absolutely nothing....more important today.

Today....the world will keep turning. People will keep wondering. Problems will fester. The higher powers will wield their higher powers. But, I.....well, I will wear stilettos and I will listen to rock n roll and Pomp and Circumstance.

Thursday, May 1, 2008


But, don't eat the cookies......