Saturday, December 31, 2011


As we close out 2011 and look forward to a new year, I can’t help but be excited. I mean really, look how great 2010 was! I turned 40…and had a fabulous family and friends filled birthday party, I’m real real close to finishing up this PhD, I’ve reconnected with old friends, I had my stomach ripped out (in a good way), I’ve lost 63 lbs…and that’s just a synopsis since August!  If I could remember anything from before that I’d share it too (damn brain surgery).

So, as we look forward, I can’t wait!  Like I’ve said before, I know the weight is going to slow down…especially as I start eating “real” food (I ate a taco yesterday….or part of one…I was so excited!).  I’ve lost at least 5 inches in my waist…and that’s just from when I started measuring! It’s just crazy.  I have my New Year’s Eve outfit picked out and it’s a combo of old clothes that fit again and a new shirt that I bought that was too small when I bought it and fits now! Can you hear the Hallelujah chorus (watch the video below...way cool!)  right now??  Yep, 2012 is gonna be a great year! 

My resolutions for 2012: I will get this PhD in 2012.  It’s time. I’m over it and it’s time.  That is one of my biggest goals this year! The sooner the better in my book! I’m just ready!!!  And the best part is that I won’t have to get a plus size gown when I graduate!  Woo woo woo!!!  In the meantime, I’m teaching the “Intro to Autism” class at SFA (online) this spring, which I’m very excited about. I get to create the class from scratch! While this means more work, it also means that I get to do whatever I want! Rest assured that every power point will have videos from Big Bang Theory embedded into them!  Sheldon gives us a lot of material to work with!

As this will be my last blog of 2011, I just want to thank each and every one of you for coming here, for supporting me, and for being my friend!  I feel like I have my own little support group and cheering squad in my back pocket! I know that I can come here and say what I need to say for me and know that you guys are going to read it and be empathetic and entertained at the same time!  That makes me happy!  I’ve told several people that this blog has been therapeutic for me and it really has.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are benefits of heading to the support groups that the Dr. hosts, but right now this blog is the best support group I can have.  I don’t know that I’ve ever been this candid and honest.  Maybe because it’s in writing and I’m not having to say it out loud.  I can’t imagine sitting around a table with a bunch of other people, even those who are going through the same thing, and saying the things I say here.  I have so much to celebrate…and so far to go…and so much to bitch about…and so much to be grateful for…and clearly so much to say!!  Thank you all for listening…

I hope you all have a safe and fabulous New Years and I’ll see you all in 2012! (Wow…2012…that sounds so weird!)

~Stacey, The Incredible Shrinking Woman (as Alison at work calls me!)

Thursday, December 29, 2011


Wow...I came home from 5 days away from my own little bubble and I still managed to lose 6 lbs!  I was very excited when I weighed! Woo woo woo!  And my jeans that I took with me to wear that were tight when I got to the Ranch and fit me comfortably today! Woo woo woo!  I'm really happy with the progress I'm making...and am still trying to get the vision of 6 months down the road!  Wow...I can't wait!

Today I went to the Fort Worth Nature Center with some friends and went on a hike! It's gorgeous out there! They've been telling me for a while how nice it is out there and I'm happy that I have a desire to get up and go! The old Stacey wouldn't have even thought about it....ok, maybe I'd have thought about it, but I wouldn't have gone. It would have been too much trouble...or I would have been worried about something an ankle or something.  But today...I just went...and it was lovely! Yay lovely!

People continue to amaze me...and in a good way this time, I'm happy to report! I've decided that riding a bike might be a fun thing to throw into my exercise mix.  I've had a bike before and ridden it maybe I gave it away.  Well, here I am again, considering the bike thing, however, I don't want to invest in something I'm not going to use. So, I threw it out there on FB that I was looking for a bike and BAM just like that I have a friend who has offered her bike to me! How awesome is that!!? I love that I have so many people in my life who are supporting me on this journey!

One more random thing...  I talk so much about jeans that fit now, that I haven't stopped to talk about the clothes that DON'T fit anymore! It's a good thing, but mercy does it look funny to me to see clothes that are too big!  It's crazy! I put on a shirt this morning and I just couldn't wear it.  It's so big on me!  It's a good's an amazing thing...but it's odd for me.  I assume this is another one of those emotional things I have to learn to handle? I've used clothes for years to hide this old body of mine...and now those clothes are too big. I'm going to have to start wearing clothes that fit...which is a good thing...but a new thing.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Honesty, food and long walks in the cold!

My sweet 5 year old nephew looked at me last night and said, "Why do you always wear your Superman PJ's when we see you?"  My reply, "because they're my favorite! I love them...but they are getting too big!"  To which my amazingly insightful and conscientious 9 year old nephew said, "Ya know, I think you might be losing some weight!?!"  I turned to my parents and asked if they had prompted him...nope, he just recognized it.  He's such a sweet kid and it was very affirming to hear that come from the mouths of babes!  Their level of honesty is so real.  So now, I think I look at things a little differently.  If Parker can see it, I need to LET myself see it!  Reality is hard to swallow sometimes, especially when you've lived one way for so very long! Just like the picture I posted on FB today, "Be your own kind of beautiful"...find the beauty and embrace it!

Today was my first full day with the whole family post surgery....and let me tell you, these people like to eat! Not that they eat a lot, they just eat good food!  I made it through breakfast with my one little egg...while everyone else ate Mom's famous pancakes!  I made it through an uneventful lunch...and I made it through dinner with my aunts famous hamburgers!  I ate chicken that she grilled for me.  It was yummy...but it wasn't that big yummy burger!  I'll be honest, I looked at that hamburger and couldn't even imagine eating that whole thing!  It's amazing how behaviorally you change when pain/discomfort is your consequence for eating the things you shouldn't!  Next week I can officially start "normal" foods, but the Dr. said earlier this week that I could be on regular food.  I'm not planning on pushing that limit too much while I'm here, because the last thing I want to do is be sick when I should be enjoying my family!

Finn (the 5 year old nephew) and I went for a one hour walk today! We were in no hurry, so it ended up only being about a mile and a half, but still...we were outside and moving and it was lovely! I enjoyed my quality time with him and I got to move!  It was pretty chilly outside....which again, I'm hoping counted extra towards my efforts! If I'm trying to keep myself warm AND walking, surely that's a bonus!?!?!  While walking we were able to identify and name different animal poop and tracks that we saw! Love that about 5 year old boys...Poop is important!  This is the same kiddo who recently said, "Mom..Poop is the boss of me."  Love him!

So, I realized as I was driving up here yesterday that I will be without a scale for 5 days! After weighing ever least once..for the past 6 weeks, I'm having some withdrawals.  But I will admit that I'm very excited to see how much I lose in the 5 days! Maybe this will encourage me to take a day off from the scales every now and then during the week!  Sweet Meaghan (the nutritionist) will be excited!

I've been on several tangents tonight...a little I typically am!  Enjoy!  I don't know if I'll be back before Christmas, so to your and yours...and Happy Merry Christmas and every other holiday you hold dear to your heart!  Thanks for reading my blog. I definitely think this has turned into a theraputic space for me and I'm lucky that a) I have it and b) people read it and c) people read it because they want to!

Love to you all!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Doctors, calves and slip-ups!

So, I have several things to report today.  First, while shaving my legs this morning I realized that my 40 year old calves...have definition! What...wait...where did that come from!?!  Really, walking...that's all!?  Well shit, I should have done this years ago! (sarcasm)  But really...I have this little dent on the side...of both legs...where you can see the muscle! I love it! Not that I'm into muscle showing, but after many years of no definition whatsoever, I'm excited!!!

Along those lines, I went to my orthopedic doctor, Dr. John Crates (best Dr. in the WORLD...even though he puts me through a lot of pain) today and got a shot in my foot.  Every time I start exercising my plantar fasciatis goes haywire, especially on my left foot.  I've been muddling through the walks around the park, just sucking it up, because that's what  I do.  Hurt no more foot! I thought I was going to DIE when they were giving me the shot. I really think they should put you to sleep for that. It is a pain like no other and one that you kind of forget about until you are there and are about to get the 3 inch long needle injected into your arch! Ouch!  I'm good now though...all wrapped up and ready to walk!  Well, except for the back pain...that also started when I started exercising. I have a herniated disc that gets fussy every now and then, but now that I'm moving more it's decided to hurt.  I blame most of my medical woes on my bad genes, but this one I'm pretty sure is related to years of picking up kids while teaching PPCD!  Anyway, I'm going back to the Dr. for that in the morning and hopefully he'll be able to get me lined up for shots in my back next week.  They DO put you under for those!  I really want to get all of this in before the 1st of the year as I've met my out of pocket!  The only benefit of insurance is that when you use it a lot, it's eventually free! This is only the 2nd time I've hit my out of pocket, with the first being the big brain surgery.  So, hopefully I'll have a fixed back real soon too!  Until then, power through!!

I saw my surgeon today, who was really excited about my...drumroll please...wait for it....51 lbs lost!  Yep...I'm not real big on sharing the numbers, but I'll share this time.  I figure there will come a point when I'll stop sharing because you people are smart and can add things up and figure out where I was when I started!  :o)    My incisions are healed and all is well!  I go back in 6 months.  When I tried to visualize (because I'm trying really hard to do that) what I would look like in 6 months, I just couldn't.  I can't see it.  It's inconceivable to me, even with the success I've had this far!  It's exciting...and I'm looking forward to it, because there's a lot to be done (spring without my partner at work...she's having a baby, and a dissertation to start...and finish!)!  It's exciting!

He also encouraged me to start regular foods.  I'm nervous about that.  While I am a little bored with my limited food selections, it's been successful.  Why would I want to try anything new??  I need to...and I will, but I'm still bringing what I know works with me to the Ranch for Christmas.  No slip ups here, please and thank you.

Saturday, December 17, 2011


I'm so very excited about all the clothes that are now too big...and there's plenty of them...however, I'm a little disappointed about the clothes that are still too small! I have my eye on a couple of things and I'm not quite in them yet.  Since it's only been 4 weeks, I don't really have an established pattern of how this weight loss thing is going to go.  Granted, I know it's going quickly, but no time for a pattern.  I've heard many times, and probably mentioned it on here, that it doesn't matter what the scale says when your clothes are falling off of you! Agreed.  Definitely agreed. However... (there's always a however or a but isn't there) really, the clothes thing is just another way to measure things.  Another way to judge.  I don't really like judging...but it's inevitable.  So, if I take my obsession away from the scale, then I transfer it onto a pair of blue jeans or the measurement tape and then we're back where we started with the "don't get obsessed" thing that sweet sweet Meghan (the nutritionist) was talking about!

I wore a pair of jeans Thursday night that I haven't worn in years.  They were a little snug and honestly, I've gotten so used to my really big comfy jeans and my elastic waist pants that I was dang near miserable with these jeans on! Big sigh.  It's ok though...I couldn't put them on my body 4 weeks ago! Let me say that again...I could NOT put them on my body 4 weeks ago!  That's profound! That's huge! That's exciting...even with the judgement.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Reactions...I don't know that I really have/had any expectations as how to receive/accept the comments/compliments people make when they see me for the first time! I saw a lot of friends tonight who I haven't seen since weeks/months before surgery. So, tonight, 4 weeks after surgery, there were some "wow" faces! I'm thrilled!  I think in my mind I will be the same size I was 4 weeks ago for a while....or actually where I am now, really, because I don't think I really realized how big I had gotten until...well, now.  Maybe not right now, but for sure in the last 6 months, since that's when I decided to go ahead and go through with the surgery.  Anyway...I did have a moment the other day when I saw myself in the mirror...just my face...and I took a double take. I was surprised. I think as women there is something inside us that can't ever really see what's really right in front of us...especially when it comes to self perceptions.  It is always skewed.  So, imagine my surprise when I thought I was going to see the old me...who, remember, I didn't really realize was as big as I was...and when I looked again, it's this newly evolving me?  Are you confused? too...but just go with it...I was/am consistently shocked.  Shocked by the jeans that I haven't worn in 2 years fitting again.  Shocked by my Susan Gibson tshirt fitting me with no need for tugs or stretches.  Shocked that people are so kind and supportive.  Shocked that this really is working!  It really is working!  I've had requests for some pictures...I'm not sure I'm quite ready to post any pictures for the sole purpose of seeing where I am with my weight loss, but I'm sure as the holidays progress there will be some pictures posted of me...especially on FB.  I think the day is coming soon...just not yet.

I want to include this video. I have heard this song hundreds of times...and sang along to my friend Susan Gibson singing it show after show and around the campfire...I know it by heart....but tonight, as I was writing this blog, this song kept coming to my mind! "I don't mind things that don't matter these days"  "The leaves are changing, from green to gold, I'll change with them, I'll be so bold..."  "Vivid colored dreams, nothing's what it seems, I've turned inside out then back again."  Change is coming, thoughts and feelings and emotions...and pants sizes!   ...and I'm here, ready and very glad that you're here with me on this journey!

Evergreen by Susan Gibson

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Christmas Parties

Ok, so I had several Christmas parties to attend last night and being the social beast (that's supposed to be funny) that I am, I didn't want to miss them! So, I headed out to Plano to my Miss Blair's house for her shindig! Now, what I can tell you is that Blair is Martha Stewart on crack!  Her house is decorated so beautifully and the food...oh the food! I called Blair in advance to see if she'd have anything that was mushy.  She gave me a couple of ideas so that I could be prepared.  (See..just like my kids, information before hand is a good thing!) I get there and walk into a sea of people who I just don't know.  I've been out of Plano for 6 years now and wow has the topography of people changed!  I did see some folks who I love...and have missed, so that was nice!  Back to the food...there was a spread. Everything from pate' (sp?) to iced cookies to savory cheesecake (that I still haven't figured out exactly what it is...but I'll be asking!)  And then, on one little plate I see these things...these cheese looking things.  Chips...yes, they were cheese chips! I was sooooo excited!  Those are my favorite "snack"! Leave it to Miss Blair to have something I can have! Yay!!! Party #1 SUCCESS! No need for a Danimal's yogurt between parties!

Off to party #2!  I'm headed back to Keller to Kim D's.  Now, the situation here is that Kim is making Hebert's famous stuffed chicken.  I knew that getting there late I'd miss the formal seated dinner...which was kind of my plan.  But good old KD saved me some chicken and some dressing!!!  I can't wait until lunch today to eat that chicken! I think I'm going to tear it up and make chicken salad out of it! :o)  Now, on a more immediate front, KD had Melba Rounds! I can eat those! Score! I got my piece of American cheese out of my blue insulated bag I take everywhere...just in case... and had cheese and Melba!  It was fabulous!  Aside from the food, we exchanged gifts and I came home with a Bobber floating cooler! I LOVE IT!!!  We also played a rousing game of Left-Right-Center which was pretty uneventful until I won!  Good times...good people..good Melba...good party!

Don't get me wrong...this wasn't the easiest night for me.  Christmas I figured it's a good thing I like people! :o)

On another note...while at Party #2 a couple of girls were talking to me about this blog and they firmly explained that I needed to change my blog intro on fb from "In case you're bored..." and explained how that sounded kind of negative.  I was shocked. It was not my intent at all.  It was meant to be light hearted and I surely didn't mean to be a downer.  I'm sharing this blog with everyone because you are all my friends and family and I put the "in case you're bored" in the intro on fb as a way to let you know that there was a new blog.  So, now I'm going to come up with a new plan...and even if you are bored...or aren't can read it!   I really do appreciate you guys giving me a place to say the things I need to say...the things that make me laugh and the things that make me laugh.  Your feedback and support is much much appreciated!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


It's been a most exciting day! I started the day with 1/4 c scrambled eggs...had 3 small shrimp for lunch...and for dinner, 4 oz of refried beans! I made these amazing cheese chips that I made by overcooking shredded cheese in the microwave. I dipped the chip into the beans and I was in Heaven! So excited! I've had some pretty good food over the last 40 years, but I think tonight might just be the highlight of all those 40 years!

I've had a great week. I've really enjoyed getting back out into classrooms and being around kiddos again! Don't get me wrong, I'm looking forward to the Winter break...but it was nice to leave the office!

I'm still walking alot...not as much as during Thanksgiving...but I am walking. I took tonight off because my Plantar Fasciatis is flaring up. I'm ok with that...I needed a  night off! :o)

So when I met with the nutritionist yesterday she asked how often I was weighing.  I told her once a day...when really, it's like twice a day.  I have been doing this weight loss thing for long enough to know that I  don't need to be on the scale once...let alone twice...a day! But seriously, if there was a chance that you weighed one thing in the morning and had lost weight by the afternoon, why WOULDN'T  you weigh twice  a day!!  So, she says I need to only weigh once a week...and eventually once a month. I laughed at her.  Now get this visual...cute little Meghan the nutritionist who looks like she ran to work and doesn't have a dimple on her body, besides that cute one on her telling much to weigh...or not weigh! Meghan, Meghan, Meghan.  Funny girl.  So, I agreed with Meghan and assured her I'd stay off the scale, but...but...I weighed this evening (because I can) and weigh 3 lbs less than I did this morning! See, Meghan, had I not weighed I wouldn't have known! Just saying.  Now I can go to bed a food eating, 3 lbs lighter weighing, fully satisfied happy girl!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

All in good time

So, I'm not gonna lie...I have these terrible cravings. I have to assume that these are because I'm going to see that dietician on Tuesday.  But let me tell you, if I don't get an egg after my visit on Tuesday, there will be a real problem! I don't know what it is about an egg...but I'm craving an egg! Yes please!  Don't get me wrong, the food at the Christmas party Saturday night was tempting....but I didn't even put myself in a position to be anywhere near it. Rumor has it I can have beans (refried) soon and the infamous boxed mashed potatoes! I haven't made those since college!  So, I assume those will be my 3rd meal over the next couple of weeks and I'm hoping that surely by Christmas I can have a little something!!!  Whew! I'm not hungry...just missing the concept of chewing!

I went to the apartment gym today for the first time and was thrilled that I was the only person least for a little while.  I do believe I like better walking outside, but since it's been raining all weekend I had to do something to get moving!  2 miles (not k) in 45 minutes while I was reading the Gabby Giffords story and listening to my iPod. It certainly made things go much more smoothly!

So, a fellow Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) friend told me the other day when you're not losing lbs, you're losing inches! Tomorrow morning I'm getting out the measuring tape! I need data to support that statement! Or maybe even a pair of pants to fit me better! I did go shopping this weekend, just out of curiosity and left a bit disappointed.  My mind is moving fast than my body! Baby steps...and all in good time!  I need those words up on a poster in my bathroom!  All in good time....all in good time.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Big Sigh.

When I met with my neurologist before surgery he said, "You know this surgery won't make your Fibromyalgia go away.  Skinny people have Fibro."  I nodded, smiled, and acted like I understood, but I think in the back of my mind (or the front) I thought, oh heck yea...when I lose weight, this fibro is finished! I was abruptly yanked out of this reality yesterday.  I couldn't figure out why my hips, of all things, hurt.  I haven't really been walking much this week (and I was walking 3 times a day last week) so why would I be hurting.  This morning when I woke up and climbed out of bed it hit me...almost literally...the hips hurt and now the body hurts...the feet hurt....the back hurts...I hurt. Shit. It's back.  What I know about fibro is that weather is a trigger (hello cold wet weather) and stress is a trigger (hello back to work) and trauma to the body (hello, I just had my stomach ripped out) is a trigger.  Ouch. Ouch. OUCH!  I think I'm more sad than anything.  Sad because the walk I took a week ago, 3 times a day, killed me tonight.  All I wanted to do was see Santa down at City Hall tonight in Keller.  It's half the walk that I typically take.  OUCH! Big sigh.   So, I'm trying really hard not to let this get the best of me.  I'm trying hard not to be mad and sad.  I'm trying hard not to whine.  And I'm trying real hard not to let this slow me or my progress down. I don't have time for this. I can't have time for this.  It has to go away.  So, if you're a praying person...pray to whomever it is you pray to that this will just go least for another couple of weeks.  If you can ask for forever, that'd be great...but I think that's a little too pie in the sky. I feel silly asking for prayers for something like this when I really do feel like the luckiest girl in the world, especially when I know there are so many people who are truly struggling.  What gives me the right to ask something like this? Big sigh.