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Pirates, Ninjas and Sleeves, The Quirky Rollercoaster Ride of Life

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Scared of the Skinny

Okay, so you know how sometimes you're ambling (or sashaying) through your life when all of a sudden something comes out of left field and blindsides you and you're left sitting on your butt with cartoon tweety birds flying around your head? Yeah, that's me. I realized something today. I am legitimately scared of being skinny. Weird, isn't it? Now don't get me wrong, I'm ecstatic about how far I've come in 11 months. This is so NOT a complaint. Yet at the same time I realized that I'm only 30 itty bitty pounds away from my goal. I've wanted to be skinny and healthy for over a decade....and it's practically here. And I am scared out of my ever lovin' mind about that! I was talking to my mom and I made some off-hand joke about being plumptuous...and she said that I didn't qualify anymore. I wasn't 'chubby', 'thick', 'plump' or anything else. You could have knocked me over with a feather I was so surprised. I look at me and I still see a muffin top...apparently other people look at me and see someone who looks normal. I really think that 2/3 of the battle after this surgery isn't actually the weight loss...it's the mind/body disconnect that occurs. Just when I feel like I've finally gotten a handle on it, I'm hit again with how things are different. Again, this is NOT a complaint, merely an observation. I feel...well, uncomfortable isn't the right word. Perhaps uneasy? Restless? A conglomeration of all of the above words? Maybe 'growing pains' (no pun intended. Maybe I should call it 'shrinking pains'?) would be best. I'm finally coming out of my shell and slowly building the life that I want to live. At the same time there was something so easy about being able to blame my weight for the lack that I felt in my life. Now I have no security blanket and it's time to grow up and pull on my (stylishly awesome) big girl panties and kick a little butt. I feel so much is changing and I have the feeling that I'm standing on the edge of a precipice and that the next year is going to be wild, crazy, and will dramatically shift the direction of my life. Scared? Yes. Excited? HELL yes. Nervous? Well...a lady has to keep some secrets, yes? *wicked grin*

Lyra

Lyra

 

Blushing Like Mad

I've had the past four days off of work to go back to my hometown for my mom and grandpa's joint birthday party. It was awesome as I haven't seen some of my family members in 6 months and they were all shocked at how I look. Okay, so here is my deep, dark secret. I've always kinda envied those women who are small and delicate looking (yet a total steel magnolia underneath!) but at 5'5 and within spitting distance of 300 pounds THAT wasn't a term applied to me. The best I could hope for was that I had a pretty face, or nice eyes or hair. Underwhelming since I always knew they were tacking on the "too bad you're so big". *rolls eyes*. Yet I had soooo many people tell me how tiny and dainty I looked. My uncle even picked me up when he hugged me and spun me around! I still have about 30 pounds I want to lose...but what a great feeling! I'm at a stage where you can actually notice 5 or 10 lb weight loss and I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I'm starting to look like. I adore my kickboxing, zumba and yoga classes and if I don't run several times a week I feel weird. Whats even better is that my amazingly supportive grandparents (so funny now as my grandma was not 100% on board when I told her about my surgery a year ago!) have said that when I run my first 10K this summer that they'll be there at the finish line. That's amazing considering they want to travel to ME and at their age (late 80s) the 3.5 hour trip is hard for them. Wow. Just...wow! This entire long weekend has been great motivation to continue my 'Battle of the Bulge' until I get to my goal!!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Mirror Mirror On The Wall....Wow! Has It Really Been 10 Months?!?

It's been about 10 months since my surgery and I've lost 109.5 pounds total with about 30-40 more to go. It's...strange...being on the downswing of this rather amazing journey. Looking back over everything it's crazy to see how much life has changed in less than a year. I mean, I started out at 280+ pounds and plagued with constant exhaustion of all that extra weight on a 5'5 frame. Now I'm at 171.4 and I run 3+ miles at a time, zumba, kickbox, yoga and am looking into joining a climbing club. Some of the issues over the last 10 months have been harder to deal with than others. For example, I intellectually knew that my hair was probably going to thin but actually standing in the shower with practically hunks of my hair in my hand was....emotionally hard to deal with. For all of those who are just starting this process I highly, highly HIGHLY recommend using Bosley shampoo/conditioner/hair serum to help prevent loss and regrow hair. Expensive, yes, but worth it. It not only slowed the hair loss down but my hair is growing in thicker than ever!   Another interesting aspect to deal with has been the body/mind disconect. It's just plan weird to go into a store and have no clue where to go or what to start trying on. Your body is melting away so fast (especially in the beginning) that its shocking and you feel like your mind says one thing, the mirror says another, and your body lost 5 lbs during the 2 minutes you were trying on pants and now you have to go back into the store and find a smaller size. Fun, sure, frustrating, definitely.   In the beginning my weight loss was meteoric. It seemed the only thing I had to do was sneeze and I lost a pound. Once I hit 6 months, it started to slow and while that is sometimes frustrating I think it's also better mentally. I now have a chance to get to know my own body and to actually see where I'm losing weight. I measure inches lost once a month and it's been a great way to see that I'm still making progress even if the scale hasn't really moved. I basically take everything in 10 lb blocks and have little mini goals set to help keep my spirits up during stalls. Oh, and I also need to thank pneumonia. The 170's will always be The Pneumonia 10 since I pretty much zipped through them during 1 week. I finally went to the doctor thinking I had a bad ear infection/sinus infection and found out that I actually had that AND a bad case of pneumonia. Oops? While I wouldn't lie and say that I'm sorry that the 170s kinda just melted away from my fever and lack of interest in food, I would also have preferred not to have the plague. Gotta look on the bright side though, right? At least I now know why I've been so exhausted for the last week.   So I'm in the bottom bit of the 170s and I can actually see what my body is going to look like. I've been overweight for so long and since before puberty finally let go of me that I'm not exactly sure what my body type is. Hourglass? Lean runner physique? Pear? Delicate southern blossom? Hunchback of Notre Dame? *amused*. Yet now when I look in the mirror I can actually see the line definition of where muscle ends and the layer of chub begins. I can tell that my legs/arms/face are thinning faster than my middle and that the last 20 lbs will all be in my stomach area. My mom carries weight the same way and so it's not that big of a surprise. I have a feeling that those last 20 will be the true "Battle of the Bulge" and will be both frustrating and delightful. I'm actally rather pleased that I think I'm going to get the body type I've always secretly wanted, which is more lean runner with enough feminine curves to be interesting but not be Jessica Rabbit. Both delicate and strong.   My mind/body disconect has lessened over time and it's getting easier to know that this is me. That when I go out in public that people don't look at me and think "look at that fat girl". When I go to the doctors now I dont get the automatic "you are so obese you have to lose weight" talks from a doctor that is also oftentimes also overweight. (Yeah, anbody else ever notice the double standard of that?). I feel strong within myself and more confident every day. I've learned how to deal with what people say about my weight loss and how to deflect or disregard their comments. Its amazing how many people feel they have a right to comment on weight loss and tell you that it's either 'too fast to be healthy' or that 'you are turning into skin and bones and need to stop'. That last always makes me laugh because I look so thin in comparison to how I looked before, but it's still obvious that I'm carrying extra weight. My basic response to most questions on how I've managed to lose weight is that I had a "Lifeystle change". While I'm not ashamed about having had the surgery I also don't think it's every Tom, D.ick and Harry's business to know. I neither require, nor want, a casual aquiantance's judgement on my choices. And trust me, people have strong opinions one way or the other on having weight loss surgery. There are so many changes in my life that I want to make and this has helped give me the confidence to go after what I want. I want to look back in another year and be as amazed as I am now about how much life can change in a short amount of time.   For everyone who is thinking about doing this...you will be amazed at how great life can become. I'm not going to lie and say that it was always easy, but it has been worth it and I would do it all over again.

Lyra

Lyra

 

Dear Hormones, I Want A Divorce. Sincerely, Lyra

Okay.....this is going to be one of those rambling "off your chest" sort of posts. Emotional upchucking at its best (yeah, I know, I put it so delicately, don't I? I'm such a frail southern blossom of femininity.). Seriously, though, sometimes I feel as emotionally hormonal as an adolescent! It directly correlates to a big sudden drop of weight and the release of fat locked hormones into my bloodstream. I intellectually know this, but I hate _feeling_ like this. Combine this with how stupid I feel about how _frustrated_ I feel and I feel like a mess. I guess for all of those who don't speak "Lyra" I should probably explain this....   I've spoken before about how it takes awhile for the mind to catch up to the new body. People treat you differently and suddenly you're dealing with flirting, and come-ons and half the time I'm bloody oblivious to it all because nobody has looked twice at me in years! And no, I'm not complaining, because it's awesome, but I feel like I'm speaking the same language as everybody else, but with a different dialect so that things get lost in translation. It rather reminds me of when I went to England as a teenager and had a little misunderstanding involving biscuits vs. cookies. Basically I need the Rosetta Stone for social situations. I thought I had outgrown my lack of social acumen in my late teens, but apparently not so much. I've gotten myself into some really embarrassing situations because of my oh-so-charming inability to read the bright neon social signs.   Add the above together with the fact that I caught Ebola (translation: the flu) for three days and was a miserable wreck of a human and it's been a crazy week. Literally, if a ninja had suddenly broken into my home I would have gladly asked for a quick beheading. Ya'll, I highly highly HIGHLY recommend getting your flu shot this year because you don't want what I had! Granted the flu got me over my little 189ish lb stall (185 now! huzzah!) but it meant that I lost those four pounds in 3 days. Thus my poor body was inundated with hormones besides having to deal with Bubonic Plague.   Add on that I feel sad (for no reason, life is good!), frustrated, exhausted, and moody and I'm sure my coworkers are loving me right now. I loathe feeling so overly emotional and finding ways to channel it has been interesting. Running seems to be the best method I've found, along with working on my artwork. Strangely enough though I don't think my bosses would like it if I went for a couple mile run when I should be decorating cakes! *amused*.   I know that this too, shall pass and I'm aware enough to be able to reason out why I'm feeling this way and that that it's purely biological. If I follow the normal pattern I should be back to 'normal' within another few days as my body absorbs, processes, and resets...but man, is it aggravating while it's going on!   So my query to all you fine readers out there; Does this happen to you? How do you deal with it when/if it does? Any good stories that may bring a smile to my poor, wan face? *puppy dog eyes*. The flu is good for nobody's complexion, lol!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Dancing On Tables, Tequila, Turning 30 And.....jumping Off A 60 Ft Tall Platform!?!

I have had an absolutely crazy past few weeks. Not only did I have my sixth month surgiversary where my total weight loss was 90 lbs, but my doctor and I had a touching Hallmark moment where I thanked him for doing the type of job that he does and that it was the best decision of my life. There was also a hug involved. My doctor is really awesome and I swear I saw a glimmer of moisture in his eyes! *grin*   I also turned the BIG 3-0! It's kinda funny because people at work made me show them my license because they didn't believe me. They were convinced I was in my early to mid twenties. Then they couldn't believe the difference between my license picture and what I look like now! I had a big 3 day celebration for my birthday! It was a validation and affirmation of life at its most basic. The first night I went clubbing with friends. I had searched long and hard for a hot outfit and I would be lying if I said I wasn't nervous. My brain still thinks I'm the old overweight and frumpy woman that I was 6 months ago, and not my new curvy size 12/14. Guess what happened yall! *gleeful smile* Men came up to dance with me! Good looking men, too! I was invited up by some of the dancers to dance on this lit dance table in front of the entire club! Apparently I'm "a hot and sexy dancer" who "knows how to move". I might have also gotten my first impromptu lap dance, but a woman has to have SOME secrets, right? *wicked smile*. (HAHA! I just reread this and realized it sounds like I went to a stripclub. It was actually a regular dance club that had platforms that people could dance on.) Swear to god I'm still blushing about this....I always thought men wanted the perfect skinny girls BUT apparently there are many of them out there who are attracted to me even now! It was SUCH a boost to my ego and my sense of sexuality. I know that I shouldn't let other people's opinions define me and blah blah blah, but for someone who has often felt invisible to the opposite gender....it was amazing.   The next day my friends and I traveled to a place where we could zipline, megajump (jumping off a platform 70ft in the air into a controlled fall) and doing obstacle courses set 40-60 ft in the air. We were in climbing gear and it was amazing. I kept expecting things not to fit, or for someone to pull me aside and tell me that I was over the weight limit....but nobody blinked. I don't know when my brain is going to catch up with the rest of me, but I have to say I'm enjoying these little shocks of surprised delight that I keep getting. I've decided to join a rock wall climbing club as I've fallen in love with climbing, ziplining, and jumping from tall places. This is amazing as I'm actually terrified of heights! Again, it was very life affirming.   The third day of celebrations involved going out to dinner and going to a burlesque show. It was awesome and the perfect way to say adios to the 20s and welcome in my new and sexy 30s!   Okay, now for the down and ugly. I had been stalled out at 191.4 for ages. I think the truth of it was that I was tired. I had fought for the last 6 months to lose weight and break 200 and I almost felt like where I was, was okay. Silly, I know, but I was so tired and discouraged when my stall kept going. So I fell off the diet (I still ate small portions, but I didn't make the BEST choices and while I didn't gain weight, I sure as hell wasn't losing it either). It's like my subconscious was saying "eh, you're looking great and this is good. Relax and have another chicken tender". Stupid stupid stupid. I would like to blame my exhaustion and the fact that work has stressed me out beyong all belief to the point of edging into burnout. I had to actually beg my boss for time off or that she would be working me into the ground. But all those are, are excuses. For my birthday I drank and ate whatever I felt like and I realized how much I don't like the way I feel when I do that. Sodas, tequila, and fried foods make me feel heavy and icky. It is definitely not a habit I want to pick back up!   So my birthday put me back on track, ya know? I felt how amazing life was....that I could go to a club and people would WANT to dance with me....that I could overcome my fear and zipline, and that I sure as HELL didn't have surgery and go through all the complications afterward to be satisfied with 191.4. Screw that. So I pulled on my big girl hipster panties and gave a good long look at my current diet. And decided that I needed to switch things up a bit. I've gone back to eating mostly fish and lots of fruit and veggies. Because I work a really odd schedule (and because I work around food) I have a chocolate protein drink as a 'snack' so that a) I'm full and I can have a taste of chocolate and this keeps me away from snacking on brownies or other crap. Even if you only have a bite or two that adds up over time. I'm forcing myself to drink so much water that I'm in danger of turning into a fish and have rededicated myself to running. I ran 20 minutes without stopping tonight and it felt great!   I may have temporarily 'lost' the battle, but I'll be damned if I lose this war. I set some new goals for myself for weight loss and I'm gonna meet them and smash them to itty bitty pieces!   And would you know, when I stepped on the scale today I weighed 188.8? Lyra is back, wearing her fabulous knee high ass kicking boots, and is ready to wage some serious war!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Vikings, Fairies, And....bowling?

So today I felt very much like a Viking. I have those days. I would say only occassionally, but seriously, who am I kidding? Sometimes you roll out of bed to the thunderous sound of the alarm clock and think to yourself, "Self, today is a Viking day". I knew it was going to be a glorious Viking day when I got out of bed, strutted into the bathroom and found that I had lost more weight! Yeah, broken stall! I have conquered thee! Thus I then gained an appropriate Viking attitude that says "Arg! I shall plunder and pillage the countryside! Beer wench, bring me more mead!" (On a side note, occassionally I also feel like a pirate, but thats a different blog. *wink*). So, my fellow Norse Men, The Stall Hath Ended! I knew I was totally rockin' my innter Viking warrior when people kept commenting on how awesome I looked today! Which, let me tell you, it's hard to look fabulous in a white chef's jacket. I pretty much pretend that the chef jacket is battle armor against the hordes of rampaging customers, but even MY imagination can only go so far!   Speaking of Vikings, my bffs went to Iceland and asked what I wanted them to bring back to me. I said (of course!) "A Viking". Translation: A 6'4 HUNK of virility whose only desire is to...er *blush*....play scrabble with me. Yeah...um...scrabble. *rolls eyes*. Did anybody believe that, 'cause not even I did. Anyway, I figured they could FedEx me a Viking. Hell, if it fits it ships, right? Instead I got Erikir The Red who is about 4 inches tall, very rotund, and looks like he would rather be protecting his rack o' sheep ribs instead of other things. *wink wink, nudge nudge*. Still, he's kinda cute. Although not quite what I was looking for....   Work was nuts, as usual, and now I'm researching bowling alleys because a bunch of us are going bowling and I am, apparently, She Who Organizes The Who, What, When And Where. Sometimes I swear getting everybody to the correct place at the correct time is like herding cats. So, research. Thank god for google and smart phones.   I have about 1.5 weeks until my sixth month surgiversary doctor's appointment. I need to lose 4lbs to get to 90 total lost. I'm kinda hoping that the Chub Fairy will come and suction about 14lbs from me overnight (and leave me money under my pillow), but it seems that the Chub Fairy is having beer with the Laundry Fairy, Vaccuum Fairy, and the Cleans The Litterbox Fairy as they are all AWOL and not visiting MY house. *sigh* It's so hard to find good help these days....

Lyra

Lyra

 

Why, Hello Collarbones, It's Been So Long Since I've Seen You!

The only excuse I have for having totally dropped of the VSG website is that life has gone absolutely NUTS (as in working 6 days a week at my full time job, and doing wedding cakes for my side business) and the fact that my computer hates this site. It locks up like crazy everytime I try and bounce on to check out whats going on. *rolls eyes* At some point I'll get around to fixing that....   So what's been going on with moi, you ask? Well, my sixth month surgiversary is nigh (2.5 weeks away!) and I am down 85 pounds and a hell of a lot of inches. I actually slipped into Onederland about 2 weeks ago. That was....hard. You would think I would have jumped up and down (if you heard a strange noise at 5am EST that was me, squealing like a little girl) but I actually had a mini freak out. My dad had this surgery and I know that he had a hard time mentally as the pounds slipped away. A sort of brain/body disconnect that stressed him out (he's better now). I didn't have any problem as I slipped down into the low 200s...but something about going below 200 freaked me out. I didn't realize how much my weight was wrapped up in my self-image (duh, right?) and that I used it as an excuse to not engage the world. When I no longer had that my subconscious was sucking on its thumb, rocking back and forth while clutching the metaphorical blankie at the 'stressful' idea that I was becoming 'normal'. And that maybe the cute guy at work was flirting with me the other day. *blush*. So after having a very stern talk with my subconscious, taking away the blankie, and putting tabasco on it's thumb we are both finally on the same page. Granted, I'm now dealing with sullen teenager subconscious, but whatever. (Yes, I'm joking. I realized after re-reading this that my metaphor made me sound like I had multiple personalities. Frankly, if I had multiple personalities one of them had better be a kick ass Valkyrie. Or a dragon. Or Xena. Sometihng much more interesting than a sukly subconscious with thumb-sucking issues. But that's another blog entry....)   So now I'm at 195.2 with 55 more to go. Did I mention that I (and other people) can actually SEE my collarbones?! It's been so long since I could see them underneath my skin that I find myself constantly touching them (as if they're gonna disapear or something). I felt so stupid as I realized this after I got out of the shower and was brushing my hair. I had looked into the mirror and though, "What are those weird bumps under my skin". Yeah, facepalm time. *laughs at self*. Still, very, very cool. Also, as a side note, does anybody else notice how uncomfortable it is to sit sometimes now? I swear my butt is so boney and I'm not used to sitting on it rather than all the extra padding that used to be there!   So what else is going on in the Life Of Lyra? I haven't been able to exercise much in the last few weeks because I got Tboned in a vicious gocart accident. Don't snicker! It was horrible! My friends and I were on an adult gocart track where the things go up to 20 mph when I got clipped which caused my gocart to flip horizontal to the track. Then this douchebag Tboned me and promptly started swearing at ME! The harness that we wore went over the shoulders and crossed at the waist and chest area. Basically the force of the hit caused the buckle of the harness at chest level to dig into my ribs and cracked them. I literally had a bruise the size of my open hand across my ribs. Along with black bruises going over my shoulders, across my stomach, and on my legs. Plus a 'rugburn' across my neck where the shoulder part dug in. Lots of pain. Then (as if I wasn't in enough trouble) I got bronchitis. Has anybody ever had to cough with cracked ribs? Yeah, it sucks. Major. But I am now on the mend and am looking forward to running soon.   So what have I learned over the last 5.5 months? That this was the best decision that I have ever made. That I actually enjoy eating mostly veggies and fuits and that a girl really can happily survive without pasta and pizza in her life. That physical exercise is fun. That the amount of food restaurants give out is nauseating. That life is amazing! That in a few weeks I turn 30 and that for the first time in 10 years I feel....worthy. That I am not damaged and all the things that used to make me grab a snickers bar and stuff myself are not worth it. That life is beautiful and crazy in all its mysteries and that I CANNOT wait to see what happens next. I think I'm going to join a dating site, or maybe even get up the nerve to ask the cute guy at work out. I'm joining a kickboxing group with a friend and some other friends and I are going to take climbing lessons. And I'm going to FINALLY buy a pair of zipup knee high boots, because my calves FIT IN THEM!   Oh, and this time last year when I was humiliated at the State Fair when I couldn't fit in any of the rides and had to get off in front of all those people and I went home a cried all night? This year those rides better watch out! I've bought 2 full packs of tickets and I plan on using Every. Last. One. Of. Them. *wicked smile*

Lyra

Lyra

 

Hair? What Hair?!?

Wow, when they said I might have hair loss they weren't kidding! I just started my Bosley shampoo/conditioner/hair regrowth treatments and I hope that they kick in soon. Every time I shower I literally have hunks of hair falling out into my hands. Yuck! I'm not exactly happy about this, but I'm resigned that its happening and will continue to happen for awhile. On the other hand, I'm so DAMNED excited that I'm 9 itty bitty pounds away from ONEDERLAND! I haven't been this weight since college. I went shopping the other day and was able to find clothing in the regular section of the store. I about started to cry! Actually my friends had to keep pulling me away from the plus size clothes because I kept thinking that's where I needed to be. I actually where between a L and a XL in shirts and am a 14 in pants. Not bad since I started at almost a 3XL and a size 24! I look into the mirror and I think "I look pretty". It's been sooooo long since I thought that. I'm still flabbergasted about how much my life has changed in a little over 3 months. This is the BEST decision I've ever made. I'm hoping to lose a full 100 pounds by my sixth month surgiversary. That will put me at the weight I was my senior year of high school at 180. Then I just need to lose 40 more itty bitty pounds and will be at my doctor's suggested weight for my height and body build. I'm going on a rockin' vacation in February and hope to be, if not at my goal weight, to be within spitting distance of it.   Thank GOD I decided to do this. I don't regret a moment of the pain, crazy hormones, or stress that I've gone through over the last few months. Literally this has been the best decision EVER.   Now, if only my hair would stop falling out.....*amused*

Lyra

Lyra

 

Warning: Female Stuff

I cried today.   To be honest, I'm still kinda shocked about the above statement. I can count on one hand the number of times I've cried in the last decade. I've personally never thought tears fixed anything and am a 'going in guns blazing' instead of 'delicate weeping beauty' sort of lady. Steel southern magnolia, anyone?   So there I was, looking forward to my day off and realized that something had happened that hasn't in a number of years. Ever since I gained that last big amount of weight I developed pcos and my period stopped. I never told anyone, but I felt so cut off from my sexuality and from being a woman when that happened. I also worried that maybe my uterus was broken and I would never be able to have kids. I think I submerged those feelings of inadequacy/guilt/anger/despair so deeply that it wasn't until I dropped 65 pounds and get my period back that they just overtook me. It definitely rocked my world and I can't believe how happy I am with bloating, back pains, and food cravings again. *shakes head*   It's been several weeks since I've updated and I apologize, yet again. So much is going on and life is good, if confusing. My weight loss has been slow and steady and I'm 14.4 pounds away from Onderland. I sometimes get caught up in the mental belief that I am still 280 and then I realize that I can mostly shop in the regular clothes section now. My grandparents saw me for the first time in 3 months (since surgery) and my grandpa got all chocked up and teary eyed. They've been so worried about me. People keep telling me how pretty I am and I hope that I can soon start to believe them without doing the automatic 'big girl humor' to laugh off something that I don't believe. It's nice to not feel like people are looking at me and judging me all the time. I actually flirted with a guy the other day and didn't feel like said guy was only being polite back. I don't feel as invisible anymore and it's taking time to get used to that.   Another thing that has surprised me is the change in my personality. I've always been somewhat hyper and 'artistic' (read: eccentric) and people have said that while I am still funny that I've calmed down a lot. I think I subconsciously felt like I had to be overly amusing to overcome my weight. As if I somehow had to justify my existence in a group of prettier/skinnier people. Which is a load of crap, but apparently my subconscious is an idiot.   So many changes and every day I thank god that I did this surgery. I sometimes feel whistful about what my life would have been like if I had been skinny from the beginning, but you can't change the past. You can't change the hand that life has dealt you....although you can definitely throw in a couple of cards and pull new from the deck! Life changes so quickly, and I must say that I will deeply enjoy what is to come as I continue to lose more weight and find out who I really am.   Well, I'll enjoy everything except the hair loss. I've resigned myself to shedding more than Chewbacca the Wookie, but damn, it sucks. If anybody is looking for an amazing hair gel that helps give curl, definition, and body to whatever hair you have left look up Herbal Essences Curl Control Gel. It's new and worth every single penny!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Invasion Of The Body Snatcher

Today I went to Zumba again for the first time since surgery and having dropped 53 pounds. For some reason I thought that I would be more graceful and more able to swing my hips and do my thing but I'm still gonna have to work on that. Thank god I 'dance' in the back of the class! Before I dropped this weight I had actually gotten pretty good at Zumba, but now I feel like my body is going nuts. My center of gravity is shot to hell, I drop everything and I just generally feel off. Not bad, as I actually feel pretty good, but different. Lighter, in some ways, and both stronger and weaker in others. I feel like I have a greater range of movement without all the previous fat globbed onto my bones, but I kinda feel like I'm 13 again and had just grown 3 inches overnight. Where do all the knees and elbows go?!?   I sometimes find myself shocked when I can sit cross-legged in a chair that I use to wedge myself into. Or when I cross my legs without thinking. Or when I put on that shirt that hasn't fit in 3 years. Little blasts of shocked pleasure and then I remember that my body is radically different right now. I almost feel like I'm going through puberty and having to relearn a drastically changing body landscape. Just today I realized that I needed a smaller sports bra. Of course, this realization happened during a particularily energetic Zumba song, but I was still surprised as I often remember it being almost too tight. Strange. I catch myself on those memories fairly frequently.   I also wonder what my body is going to feel like in another 90ish pounds when I get down to my goal weight. I sometimes feel like my body is melting away around me (totally not complaining!!) while my mind is off somewhere in an Irish pub singing bawdy sailor songs only to come back to a totally redocorated house. It's strange, and lovely, but so very confusing at the same time.

Lyra

Lyra

 

So Happy I Could Cry!

After seemingly forever going up and down The. Same. Three. Pounds. I have FINALLY dipped down into the 220's! I don't remember how long its been since I've weighed this...maybe freshman year in college? Seriously, I'm so happy I could cry! Onederland, here I come!

Lyra

Lyra

 

What Happened Behind The Eclair Case?!?

Inches Lost! Huzzah!   From 4/23/12 Waist: 5.5" Under Breasts: 4" Neck: 0.75" Forearms: 0.75" Upper arms: 1.25" (stupid bat wings!) Upper thighs: 3" (woot! Thunder thighs are being defeated!) Calf: 1.5"     Wow. Looking back on that it's amazing! I'm glad that I've kept a journal of my measurements because my body has really, really hated getting out of the 230's. It keeps flirting with 229 before mischeviously gaining another pound then losing it, then gaining...my fat cells have a nasty sense of humor! Yet looking back on this really shows me how far I've come in a little less than 2 months. I mean, seriously, I started out at 280 and now I'm at 231ish. Not bad, says I!   Father's Day kicked my rapidly diminishing butt today! Granted the bakery isn't as busy as it is on Mother's Day but in my (stupidity) I made this cake that looked like a grill with hamburgers and hotdogs on it and everybody and their sister wanted one for today! It's not that they're difficult to make, but that they're time consuming. Also, the Powers That Be (managers) decided that today would be a great day for there to be only one decorator. Which is total and complete crap. I seriously made 30 cakes today and people were buying them out of my hands. Ah well.   So as my weight loss has slowed to a crawl I've decided I need to step up my A Game. If my name was Stella I would definitely have to be getting my grove back! Yeah, ya'll heard it here first, ladies and gents, but Lyra is going baaaaaaaaack to Zumba. Hopefully my hips will be able to better shake my thang than they were almost 50 pounds ago.   Okay, another thing, I really really need a boyfriend. I'm about to molest a customer with how haywire my hormones are. I can picture it now....the innocent (and sexy) unaware male customer coming in to buy a cupcake....he stops and his head goes up as he looks around, sensing danger on the savannah....the wildly beautiful and slinky lioness (moi!) slowly tracks her prey that she plans to cull from the herd for nefarious purpases....she crouches...LEAPS...and pulls Mr Sexy down behind the Eclair case to have her way with him....aaaand black censor boxes go up as this is a PG rated crowd....*shakes herself* Okay, yeah, maybe I shouldn't be daydreaming while writing on the VSG website....   Growl. *grin*

Lyra

Lyra

 

Afraid To Shop...wait, What?!?

I finally had to bite the bullet and go shopping as my pants almost hit my ankles at work the other day! May I just mention thank god for goodwill? I have absolutely NO desire to spend $20 on jeans that wont fit in two weeks. Also Walmart has decent $5 plain t-shirts so while I am in no way fashionable, at least I don't look like a hobo anymore!! It's bad when even your boss starts giving you hints that maybe you should go buy some new clothes! All told I got 2 pairs of jeans, 1 pair of shorts, a new bra, and 3 shirts for $53 bucks. Yeah I spent extra money on the bra, but I'm a firm believer that the ladies have to be slung high and comfy! *grin* I've been washing clothes and sorting them for the thriftstore over the past several days and my walk in closet is looking verrrrrrry anemic!   I will say that I was scared to go shopping and was thankful that my BFF went with me. Isn't that hilarious? I have enough guts to move on my own to places where I know nobody, fight in martial arts against huge muscle-y guys, and have this surgery but shopping scared me?! After some thought I realized I just felt so overwhelmed at how much stuff I really need. Literally from the skin outward I not only had no clue what size I was anymore but what I should wear. Don't get me wrong, I have very decided opinions about fashion but being..err...plumptious for so many years I often just had to dress in clothes that I would not have chosen if there were other options. It was kinda funny because my BFF had made a comment that with my laid back style I should be able to find lots of clothes as I get smaller. I told her that she had never actually seen my preferred type of clothes because they didn't make them in my size and that I thought she would be very surprised. I don't think anybody really realizes how girly I would dress if I had a choice! I can't wait for that day when I can go into any store and realize that I can fit in their clothes. It's already happening as I'm down to a size 18 in pants! Still big, but thank god no longer a tight 24!! I'm also super excited that I lost a cup size and 4 inches around my ribcage.   When we went shopping it was just supposed to be my BFF and I but her husand decided to tag along. It was kinda funny because when he asked me if it was okay I told him that yeah, it was fine but that he wasn't allowed to b***h and moan after 45 minutes when he got bored. That I had to get clothes and we would be going in and out a ton of stores and it might be a good idea for him to bring a book. Which he did and was very thankful for, although to give the man props he didn't complain over the entire 5 hour ordeal.   It's hard to believe sometimes how much my life is changing, and I'm so thankful that I could just kiss my doctor!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Where Does The Weight Go?

So I have a bit of a philosophical question. Now I've been stalled out for the last 1.5 weeks but somehow I've lost almost 2" around my waist. So where has the fat gone? It DEFINITELY hasn't gone to my butt (which is now bonier than an underfed horse and twice as uncomfortable to sit on!) and I must admit that I've given a bit of deep thought to this conundrum. Basically after researching all the scientific data that I could get my google-obsessed hands on I reached a major scientific breakthrough of an answer:   Worm holes.   Yep, worm holes. Basically we all have worm holes hooked up to us and as we lose inches (but not weight) the fat goes through the worm hole to another dimension where it floats around in 'space'. Since technically it's still attached to us (via worm hole thermonuclear physics and trans-dimensional laws of relativity ((I really love google! And Star Trek.))) the scales still count that fat. Yeah, it's a bit of a bummer but I figure if I ever get lost in the woods somewhere and can't find a bear to eat I can just reverse the worm hole and live off my stored fat. Kinda like a camel does water, or maybe a bear....   Okay, enough of the silliness (and I'm REALLY impressed if someone actually read this far. Give yourself a strawberry scratch-n-sniff sticker!). Today I had my 6 week checkup and I'm doing great. Thank goodness! These last few weeks have been hard but it's nice to know that everything is okay. Also, mom and I ate at Ruby Tuesdays and they have a surprising number of entrees that someone like me can eat. I think I about died and went to heaven when I found that they have a spaghetti squash pasta. Yeah, mmmmm, good! Granted I was only able to eat about 1/5 of it, but that's why people invented carry-out containers. Soooo good!   I hope all of ya'll are doing well!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Computer Problems And Patronizing Family Members

Sorry I haven't been around a lot, but I'm battling evil computer gremlins right now. Do not fear though, as I shall be triumphant. As for the rest of my life, things are going better. I'm stalled again, but it's giving me time to get my act together at work. Also I'm trying to be careful and not think that I've only lost 42 pounds in 5 weeks because I lost 42 lbs in 5 weeks! Yes, I am breaking out the Hammer moves!   I'm finally back to full 8 hour shifts (thank god) and my naps are getting shorter and shorter. I am getting somewhat tired of my family always trying to figure out how I feel about everything, though. They seem to expect me to be stressed or having all sorts of problems and don't believe me when I say that I'm fine. My dad had this surgery and went through crazy emotions after he started to lose weight and it's like they expect me to be going through the same thing. It's kinda frustrating, honestly. I about lost it when they kept saying how "they knew that I had to be going through a lot, because they had been there with my dad, and I just didn't realize that I was going through it.". If I wasn't pissed before THAT little bit of patronizing family trivia then I definitely wanted to make short, pithy statements that would have made a sailor blush! They keep telling me I was withdrawn and not telling them everything and I kept telling them that I was in agonizing pain for 4 weeks after surgery (I had major suture complications so it felt like my side was being ripped apart every time I breathed) and wasn't chatty because I was in pain. *rolls eyes*. Nothing is more annoying than having people tell you how you should be feeling and then patting you on the head when you say that no, you don't feel like that at all. Hence why I wasn't calling them and thus started the vicious cycle. I've never been very communicative when not feeling well and I would think that after 29 years they would know that.   Alas life is pretty good, though. My ego and self-confidence is increasing and I'm even thinking about hitting on the cute guy at work. This weekend I'm going shopping with my BFF because out of all my clothes I have about 3 things that fit. Also, I've never been happier that I need a new, smaller bra! Oh the inhumanity!! *grin*

Lyra

Lyra

 

Bad Hormones! Be Good!

I apologize to everybody who has messaged me asking where I was. Frankly, it's felt like the last week has flown by, what with going back to work and everything. My managers have really pulled through for me and decided that I needed to be on half days for last week and this week as I was struggling to make it through the day. If my job was less physical I would have been able to stick it out, but I just couldn't deal with an 8 hour shift yet. I'm hoping that by Friday I'll be back to normal hours, although I've never been so glad that I accumulated so much PTO! Things have been going okay. I still have trouble with getting my gallbladder med, vitamin, and my protein in but each day is a little easier.   I have felt very cut off, though, and I realize that it's somewhat self-inflicted. I'm so exhausted from work that I go home, sleep for about 4 hours, then get up and work with my weights or go for a walk. Which exhausts me and then I go to sleep. I've always been someone who is always doing things and its hard for me to take the time and relax. I'm hoping I can schedule some fun stuff for this coming week, though! Today I'm going to go to the new wing at the science museum and then to the art museum and I'm really excited about it!   Okay, on to the 'blushy stuff'. I read that people can get really horny as their hormones get released from the fat cells...but damn. I swear I'm about to jump on the first available man I see and do a "wham, bam, thank you sir" in public! I'm going to end up on Channel 10 local news if this doesn't come under control! I feel like I'm once again a hormone-bombed-15-year-old. Seriously not cool. Okay, so it is cool...but it would be so much better if I had a boyfriend right now. Although he probably would have to call in sick to work from massive dehydration and pulled muscles....*grin*

Lyra

Lyra

 

The Scale Is Stuck, But I Feel Sexy

So I have officially stalled, which doesn't come as a shock as I'm a couple weeks out of surgery. Yet I really don't care. I know that the scale will move again, and frankly I've felt so nasty the last week (I'm finally feeling better) that I've kinda had a lot on my mind. Also, I've lost 30 pounds and I feel sexy and prettier than I have in a loooooong time. Granted I still need to lose a lot of weight, but baby steps!   Tomorrow I go back to work and I'm kinda nervous about it. I have a physical job and because of my problem with my sutures I know it's gonna hurt. But I'm still excited about seeing all my friends and coworkers.   Wish me luck, ya'll!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Not Yet Superlyra, But One Step Closer...

So it's been a few days and a lot has happened in that time. I ended up having to go back to the hospital for them to check me out but luckily everything was easily fixed. Apparently when I threw up the first time it can cause your sleeve to constrict and get pissy, which can cause a cascade failure of epic upchucking. Which pulled and semi-tore some of my internal and external stitches. And because I couldn't keep anything down the ketones from the fat breakdown build up in your body and kidneys. Which don't have the liquid to properly flush them. Which means you get a lovely kidney/UTI infection. Which makes you feel worse. Yeah, do ya'll see where I'm going with this?   So they ended up giving me 2 bags of fluid, 1 plain saline and the other a 'banana bag' that is full of vitamins and stuff. Then they prescribed me 3 different "Stomach Be Good" medicines that I have to take for the next month. Seriously, though, I about cried when I could eat and drink without having burning/stabbing pain. Unfortunately the suture pain I'm just going to have to deal with but at least I can eat and drink!   So this little adventure set my physical recovery back, and I still have to go into work Thursday. My boss rocks, though, and I'm going to be honest that if it wasn't Mother's Day coming up the doctors recommended I take another week off. I think she'll let me work some half days so that's good.   Anyway, overall things are better and I'm back on track. Rock on and I hope ya'll are doing well too!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Worried And Concerned

So for the past couple of days (ever since I moved to soft/mush) I've been throwing up/dry heaving like crazy. When I eat or drink something it hurts like a b***h, kinda like somebody shoved a hot poker into my chest area. I would think maybe I had sprung a leak, but I don't have a fever. Has this happened to anybody else? Do ya'll think it might be because my sleeve isn't ready for food yet? I'm kinda concerned and figure if I'm not better by Monday I'll call the doctor.....

Lyra

Lyra

 

Huh, Weird...but Strangely Cool...

Before I got the sleeve I had a ever so slight (more like OMG I can't help myself more more more!) addiction to anything peanut butter flavored. My favorite cookie? Peanut Butter chocolate chip. And yeah, there couldn't be just one. I loved peanut butter.   Fast forward 2 weeks and I'm struggling to get down protein drinks. My sleeve, The Sheriff, is very stern and very strict. He loathes lactose and anything sweet which means I've barely been able to stomach anything thats not watered down crystal light. My dad, however, decided to change up the protein mix for me and used soy milk and some reduced fat peanut butter. Which scared the crap out of me because what if I suddenly found myself launching through the space/time continuum in search of my favorite peanut butter choc chip cookie?   So, hesitantly I took a sip...then another sip...and guess what?!? Yeah, I could eat it because peanut butter no longer tastes sweet to me. It's okay, and kinda chalky, but it's nothing that I would write home about! I would rather eat something crisp and fresh tasting instead! Isn't this awesome! I'm totally uninterested in tracking down the nearest PB confection like a blood hound! YIPPPEEEE!   I LOVE The Sheriff!

Lyra

Lyra

 

It's Not Onederland, But...

So for the last few years I've gone up and down the same 10-15 pounds. The lowest I've been is 260 and that's when I've dieted until life had no joy, but if I so much as looked at a piece of bacon I immediately jumped to 270-275ish. And, man, you can really feel a difference in your body at that weight! Yet today I jumped on the scale and it read 257.4!! It might not be onederland, but I'm just as happy! Go Lyra! *happy dance*

Lyra

Lyra

 

My Mom Rocks

I woke up today not feeling so hot. I definitely didn't get enough water yesterday and today I am paying the price. Nothing too bad, but I'm listless and feel like I was run over by a runaway camel. I'm also not able to tolerate any chicken broth or the protein drink that I was able to drink just the other day. So today I've been concentrating on getting my water in and I'm half way to the mark. Also, I couldn't tolerate the liquid Vicodin that the doctor prescribed so I've been moved to a different pain killer. Which is awesome since the one big incision that the doctor did to pull out my stomach has a good four inch bruise around in. Yeah, its sore.   So, working on the water and I went for a 'walk' outside. Basically I walked to the end of the street and back. It's not much but the movement helped. I stepped on the scale today and was down 6 pounds from my surgery day weight for a total of 18 pounds!!! I guess I should work on getting a ticker set up....   My mom, who is concerned that I've barely been able to get water in went and found some greek yogurt that is low sugar and high in protein. I've never been a plain yogurt sort of girl, but this stuff is amazing! It goes down easily and my stomach isn't cramping and gurgling. Yeah, success! The food has helped clear my head a little bit, which has helped the general lethargy. It's really easy to forget to eat and forget to drink, which is a big no-no. It's odd to not feel hungry and to be uninterested in food.   Still not regretting my choice, but I can't wait for the initial after surgery healing to be over with!

Lyra

Lyra

 

Oh Dear, That Hurt

Well, I definitely learned my lesson today! What I think is eating slow and what The Sheriff thinks is eating slow are two totally separate things. Basically I ate too fast and my stomach went from "Yeah, we're good" to "DEF-CON 1 ABORT ABORT!" in about .01 seconds. Needless to say the pain that I felt from that is gonna make sure that I don't do that again! It's hard getting my liquid in, but I'm working on it...   Overall things have been good since surgery last Wednesday. My stomach is still swollen and my back and breastbone area are killing me from trapped gas. I'm exhausted a lot (I still can't believe that I needed a nap after taking a shower!) and I'm really glad that I ended up taking a full 2 weeks off of my physically demanding job!   I am not regretting my choice, but I think I'll be a lot happier once the weight starts coming off and I don't feel like somebody shoved a hot poker into my side!   I'm also going to start researching how to change over some of my favorite recipes to be sleeve approved. Life is going to be good, I just think it'll take a few days to get there!   Hope ya'll are well!   ~Lyra

Lyra

Lyra

 

Feeling Yoda-Like Calmness, And A Letter To My Stomach

So I'm here at the hospital in one of their 'hotel-style' rooms. Very comfy. My check-in is at 7am for a 10am surgery and I know that this is right for me. My feet are on the right path and my head is in the right place. I don't know whats going to happen after surgery and what life will be like, but I have faith that everything will work out. I am calm. I am ready. Bring on the scapel, Doc, and let's do this.   Tomorrow is the day, thank you to everyone who has been with me so far on this journey and I'll keep ya'll posted.   See ya on the flip side!   ~Lyra   PS: A Note To My Stomach   Dear Stomach-   We've been together through thick and thin, literally. We've had good times, great times, and "how many tequila shots and burritos did I actually eat" times. Looking back on it, we've had a good run over the last 29 years. Granted, you were always a little bit finicky about lactose, and good at making epically loud grumbly noises that were better suited for the soundtrack of Star Wars (the part where the Death Star exploded, to be exact) but overall our relationship has been just a bit too good. For whatever reason you didn't have any boundaries, and I was a champion at crossing mine. So, in all due respect for services rendered...I want a divorce. Don't worry, though, my dear stomach, part of you will live on inside of me. We will still have a relationship, albeit a much healthier one. Remember the humiliation I felt when I couldn't get on the rides at the state fair? Yeah. I'm not saying it was all you, I definitely had a hand in it, but we're just not good together. You're just too much stomach for me to handle.   Please don't look at this 'divorce' as a forever goodbye. We will still enjoy food, just in smaller and much healthier amounts. Overall my happiness and future will be brighter because of this decision. Together we will strive for a better future. Together we will succeed, and together we will ROCK OUR SLEEVE!   So, goodbye dear stomach. In the morning we will go to sleep and when I awake I will no longer have a demanding and lazy stomach. Instead The Sheriff will be born, and a new sheriff will indeed be in town.   With love for the last 29 years of overly dedicated service, and with hope and faith for the future-   ~Lyra

Lyra

Lyra

 

The Day After Tomorrow!

Okay, seriously, has anybody else felt that nesting instinct right before surgery? I've cleaned the heck out of my house! I'm practically seeing animated sparkles floating in the air...or at least I did until my kitty just threw up on the floor. Thanks, Mara. Also I'm totally diggin' this liquid diet. I feel really light and bouncy on my feet and have lost over 10 pounds. Another humerus aspect is that I'll be gone for 2 weeks as I'm staying with my parents and when I get back it'll be all dusty again, lol! So, the day after tomorrow is it! I'm so excited! And it's gonna go by fast, because I have to get up at 4am for work, then after I get off at 1pm I run on home to pick up the kitty and then drive 3.5 hours to my parents. Then we wait for my mom to get home, then we get in the car and drive 1.5 to the hospital (they have hotel-type rooms you can rent for $25) as I have a 7am check in time! Finally, surgery!   Ya'll, life is plain peachy right now! Woot woot!

Lyra

Lyra

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