I got a Sleeve Surgery Date!

WOOHOO! In what feels like simultaneously the longest and shortest wait of my life, I finally have a date scheduled for my vertical sleeve gastrectomy: Friday, August 24. I had six months of insurance-required classes, and then had to fulfill some requirements like going to a support group, seeing a psychologist, and doing preliminary lab work to make sure my body can withstand surgery. In a little less than two months I’ll be on the table, and should spring awake after my surgery a full 120 pounds lighter. Um, nah – it’s not going to work exactly like that (I wish), but it will be an exciting turning point with my life-long challenge of losing weight.

double chin diary vsg surgery

Between now and then I’m having food funerals, lab work, long pre-op classes, and eventually, a two week liquid diet. What’s a food funeral, you ask? It’s when you mourn the foods you may not have for awhile with a final send off. Think last meal like when you’re on Death Row, except I’m not on Death Row, so I just have to say Hasta La Vista to movie popcorn, cake, and sourdough bread for awhile. Matt and I are hoping to nab the grandparents soon so we can send out my stomach in style with a massive cheese and charcuterie board from the Newhall Refinery… and then once that’s done, I feel pretty good about having properly mourned some old favorites.

I have a really busy month of August with work travel so it’s going to be hectic leading up to surgery, but I’ve also planned it around when I can have a few weeks off to recover and get ready for the remainder of a busy Fall. I’m starting to have slight nerves about the procedure, but for the most part I’m just genuinely excited. I know there are going to be really hard phases and moments where I probably wish I had just stayed fat (and I’ve explicitly told my husband to expect me to probably have a few crying episodes like this), but after seeing so many of my friends and peers have success, I know that this can be the tool I need to get me to my healthiest.

I’ve started making some positive changes, like attending a boxing class twice per week. I’ve also cut out soda, which is difficult for me, as I do love a frosty cold diet coke with a wedge of lime. I’m not drinking anything with my meals, and I’m dabbling with all kinds of different protein powders to see what I like best right now, fully anticipating my tastes may change after surgery. I’m not a huge protein person now, so I hope I can get a handle on that as I know it’s absolutely vital to success post-op. Thank goodness for greek yogurt? (Fun fact: I got super turned off by chicken in both of my pregnancies, so I’m still struggling to integrate chicken back into my diet. Bleh. Nasty little birds. Unless they’re fried. Then, delicious little birds.)

I’m updating my Instagram more frequently than my blog these days, so if you’re interested in following along, follow me on Instagram @DoubleChinDiary. I’d love to have you along for the ride, and as usual, I thank you for all your support and camaraderie. I’m so excited to write what I hope to be among the final chapters of my Double Chin Diary <3

 

Things I’m Reading and Loving

Hello there! One very subtle shift in summer to fall for me is that suddenly, my nose is always back in a book. I’ve always been a voracious reader, so much so that my parents used to buy books for me for vacations and hide them so I didn’t read them before the trip. However, in the throes of boring adult life, it seems like I never have time to stick my nose in a book; that is, until the seasons change, and there’s less weddings on weekends and allergy appointments and beach days (not bad things to be preoccupied with, other than allergy appointments.) I’ve been sick since Monday with a terrible cold, and the only positive of this crud (well, that’s being dramatic, because there’s lots of positives — like it’s not ebola, I work from home, and I have access to doctors and medications should I need them), is that I’ve had lots of time to read. Here’s what I’ve been reading: (And no, none of these are sponsored endorsements. As usual, if you click the link I may make 4c (I’m rich!), but these are my own heartfelt recommendations.)

1) Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

This book was given to me by an awesome friend and coworker, and it’s a wonderful mental vacation through the minds of a bored but genius architect mother and her 15-year-old daughter. Here’s the official blurb:

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle–and people in general–has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence–creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

I really liked the way the book was written via different forms of communication: email, letters, post-it notes, etc, and from so many different points of view. I liked the snarky commentary on the tech world that comes about from Bernadette’s husband’s job, and the creative twist on perspective offered by Bernadette and her dreary suburban life. This is a book you’ll rip through quickly, and I promise you’ll feel good at the end.

2) The SkinnyTaste Cookbook by Gina Homolka

I’ve been a fan of the Skinnytaste blog for years, loving that these light and delicious recipes aren’t loaded with chemicals or weird ingredients. I’m not exaggerating when I say that every single recipe I’ve made from Skinnytaste has been a hit. Pinterest? Not so much. (Pssst: Visit Pintester.com, which cracks me up, especially this post, because I’ve recently had the same fail.) I can’t wait to make the Skinnytaste Baked Potato Soup, or her watermelon lime granita, which I just may do as our dollar store is having a few sad looking late-season watermelons rolling in. The photos in this book are gorgeous, the instructions are easy, and I’m all about beautiful cookbooks that you can ooh and ahh over without feeling the button on your jeans simultaneously stab into your roll of tummy flub.

3) Not That Kind of Girl, by Lena Dunham

I don’t watch a lot of TV(probably less than two hours a month), but occasionally, I would check out old episodes of Girls. I didn’t fall in love with the show, but it did intrigue me; I appreciated the different perspective of ladies my age in the media. I enjoy following Lena on Twitter, and also enjoy seeing her challenge the media in a bunch of different ways: by wearing froofy pink and red ball gowns, by pointing out the very obvious fact that every time she gets told how “brave” she is for going naked in a film it’s implying that she should feel brave because she’s showing off her imperfect, non-Hollywood body, and by her unwavering stance on feminism and equal rights for all. Lena’s book is hilarious — it’s not going to be for everyone because she’s brutally honest in ways that may make some people squirmy, but her chapter about her food diaries had me guffawing and realizing how very much like her struggles with weight echoed my own life and my own Double Chin Diary. I think Lena and I would be friends in real life, and I already have two people in mind who are getting this book for Christmas.

4) Ebola’s Cultural Casualty: Hugs in Hands-On Liberia

As a sometimes journalist (Go CSUN, Class of 2008!), it warms my heart when I read a piece of journalism that not only informs, but also gives you all the feels in terms of story. This piece was the first piece of news about Ebola that made me really grasp the severity of what Africa, and now Spain and America, are experiencing. The piece specifically talks about the challenge of having to go touchless in a culture that is so built upon touch, and it’s a heartbreaking and eye-opening look into what this horrifying illness is doing. Read it.

What recommendations do you guys have for me? Now that I’m through these latest books, I need ideas for others! 🙂

Thursday Thoughts

Holy cow, you guys! How is it Thursday? I’ve been keeping busy in LaLa Land. So… let’s first address the double chin in the room.  I had my second Weight Watchers weigh in yesterday. No beatin’ around the bush — I gained a pound. There were some food indiscretions over the weekend involving chocolate cake, an enchilada, and frozen yogurt. There were also some hormonal things going on, if you catch my drift. Despite the gain, I kicked ass on making it to the gym, squeezing in extra steps, and drinking water — so I know I’ll be back at losing this week. No harm, no foul. Moving on. I’m past the point of beating myself up over a gain.

This week there’s a few things I wanted to touch on that have got me thinking.

1) I am now the proud owner of a FitBit Force. My initial thoughts are that it’s a neat little tool for tracking activity, but I’m having some user issues like it seems impossible to find and add friends, I only get “active” minutes from walking (and not from things like Zumba), and I am suspicious of its calorie burn functionality if it’s not based off of heart rate. It’s disturbing how little I move some days. Especially now that I work from home, I spend the majority of my day curled into my chair with an electric blanket around my feet. I’m trying to make a point of taking walking lunches. Today, I walked to the neighborhood ATM, which only took 30 minutes and scored me 3,500 steps. You’re supposed to shoot for 10,000 steps a day. I have modified my goal to 5,000 steps t0 begin with — still about 2.5 miles walked daily. At my new job there are a few FitBit power users, so I’m hoping they can tell me their secrets and get me into more of an “I love my FitBit!” type mentality.

2) This isn’t weight loss or fitness related, but how awesome is Lauren Conrad for coming up with this awesome, witty reply on the spot? You guys know I’m always on my media/feminism/body image soap box, so her snappy comeback delighted me. Go, L.C.! (Gif via TheFrisky.com)


3) My newsfeed has been blowing up about the Biggest Loser champion Rachel and her drastic 155 pound weight loss.  I’ve never watched the Biggest Loser with regularity, because I had problems with the fact that they paraded the contestants around shirtless and in sports bras, and to me, that just felt mocking. I understand the point is to emphasize what will be a transformation, but there’s no reason to shame folks by making them wear embarrassing clothes. As a non-watcher of the show, yeah, Rachel’s transformation looks like it went a little bit too far. But I feel for her, because she’d be scrutinized if she didn’t lose “enough”, and now she’s being scrutinized for losing too much. It’s a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation. Does she look healthy? Maybe not. Did she look healthy at her heaviest? Also maybe not. Does it matter how she looks? Maybe not. I’m starting to realize that the Golden Goose of this whole weight loss thing is really, at the end of day, not about how you look. It’s about how you feel, your blood pressure reading, your energy level, if you can schlep your booty up a mountain, if your skin glows, your jeans fit, if your smile says it all. It will be interesting to see how this story unfolds, but for now, I’m curiously watching along, specifically on Twitter, as Bob and Jillian refrain from making any comments. What do you think?

4) Kinda loving this as this week’s reminder as I charge ahead with trying to lose weight and committing to being fit. Just a great reminder, over all.

So there you have it — a few random Thursday thoughts. Give me one of yours!

Till next time,

The Double Chin Diary Siggy

 
 

Monday Musings: FitBloggin’ 13 and the Double Chin Diary

Hey guys! I hope you’re having a great day so far this Monday. I’m exhausted from my incredible trip to Portland for FitBloggin’ 2013, and I was sitting at my desk thinking, “How am I going to sum it all up?” So tonight, I won’t sum it up, but give you a couple snippets. You know the song “Seasons of Love” from Rent? This one?

I feel like I want to create this huge slideshow with all of the photos from this weekend and tweak the whole “Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes” to be just the amount of time in a weekend. (I’m far too lazy and tired to look it up, so you know, it’d probably be like.. what… hmm… umm… 3,000 minutes?) Anyways! This weekend was beyond words one of the best weekends of my life and I don’t say that lightly, as best moments of my life include marrying my husband, graduating with my BA and MA, spending holidays with my family… you know, major stuff like that. This weekend was AWESOME.

Why? Because of all these beautiful, warm, radiant talented people.

FitBloggin' 2013 Bloggers in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Carrie D Photography.

FitBloggin’ 2013 Bloggers in Portland, Oregon. Photo by Carrie D Photography.

Do you guys have a friend or person in your life who just GETS you? The person who you can look at, and in a split-second, know exactly what they’re thinking? Maybe you have the same weird hatred of those strings in the sleeves of your clothes that are supposed to be there for hangers, but really just dangle on your armpits? Or maybe you both love feta cheese but can’t stand goat cheese? The friend who has no problem telling you that you’re being a big old bitch, but they forgive you because they know you’re just hungry? That kind of friend. They just GET you, every fiber of your being. Imagine that friend at FitBloggin’ — times 300. The sense of community at this conference is amazing! We are all one big like-minded tribe.

We did SO much this weekend. We walked around the waterfront of Portland.

Walking bloggers at Fitbloggin' 13

Walking bloggers at Fitbloggin’ 13

We met new friends, people who decided that YES, weight loss bloggers SHOULD go on late night treks to Voodoo Doughnuts. (Don’t worry – I ate half of one and gave the rest away. They’re good but like, eh, overrated. We’ll discuss later.)

The Double Chin Diary and Project Unfluff take their mission of losing weight very, very seriously.

The Double Chin Diary and Project Unfluff take their mission of losing weight very, very seriously.

We got to try tons of new things, like doing squat challenges on a trampoline.

Jumpsport Trampolines had me bouncing with joy at FitBloggin 13!

Jumpsport Trampolines had me bouncing with joy at FitBloggin 13!

We cried, and they weren’t pretty little delicate cries, they were big, snortin, honkin’ ugly cries. We got some things off our chest and shared our “Ah-ha!” moment about weight loss. (There’s a whole blog coming for this one!)

FitBloggin' girls earn pretty peonies for sharing their stories!

FitBloggin’ girls earn pretty peonies for sharing their stories!

We learned about awesome things we can to make our blogs better for you, the reader, and better for us, the blogger.

Nicole Bullock presents SEO strategies for bloggers at FitBloggin' 13. Photo by Carrie D Photography.

Nicole Bullock presents SEO strategies for bloggers at FitBloggin’ 13. Photo by Carrie D Photography.

AND…. we scored some amazing swag from our VERY generous sponsors! Look who happened to walk away with a Tiffany Key necklace from Nutrilite!

Celebrity chef Jason Roberts and Alyssa Curran of the Double Chin Diary celebrate a raffle prize win from Nutrilite!

Celebrity chef Jason Roberts and Alyssa Curran of the Double Chin Diary celebrate a raffle prize win from Nutrilite!

I have so many wonderful gifts from sponsors that I can’t wait to share with YOU. I even packed up a whole duffel bag just for my readers – would you guys rather me have a giveaway where one person wins a TON of stuff, or break it up into a couple smaller different prizes? Let me know!

There’s so much more I want to tell you, especially about all of the wonderful bloggers I really got to know this weekend, but I need far more time than this Sunday night at 11pm type stuff is gonna give me. I’ll be back tomorrow with some more details, but this weekend has confirmed that writing this blog is one of my very favorite things to do — and it wouldn’t be half as special to me if it weren’t for you reading along. So thank you from the bottom of my very full heart! I am so excited to reach my goals with you by my side.

So now you know what I was up to this weekend – what were you doing? Dish!

(Special thanks to the awesome Carrie D. Photography for the pro shots and from FitBloggin’ bloggers instagrams for some of these pix. I think most are mine but if I missed a credit, let me know!)

Wiping the slate clean – A whole new weekly weigh in!

I feel like there should be trumpet fanfare for this post – the penultimate post in which the wannabe weight loss blogger, but really, weight-maintenance and sometimes weight-gain blogger, reveals how much she’s lost, and how much she has to go. It’s Confession Time! Well, it’s probably nothing you don’t all know, and here it is, out in the open – I have not reached my goal weight. I am nowhere near my goal weight. Not a big surprise, right? Yeah, I figured.

Anyways, because I’m still weird about revealing the number (cuz it’s 2 much! heh!), from now on I’m going to use the number 79 pounds… which is the bare minimum amount of weight I need to lose to reach an acceptable BMI. When I first started blogging, I focused on losing fifty pounds, because I thought it was a nice, round number… and that it would somehow be less scary if I lost a big amount first, but not the “whole” amount. It’s kind of like dipping your toe into a cold pool instead of just jumping right in. I’ve basically dipped my toe in the pool of weight loss the past year, and then freaked out at the temperature, pulled my toe back and thought “I’ll just sit here in the shade and sip Diet Coke, mmk, thanks!”. But now, I’m jumping in again — and prepare to get wet.

As of last week, on Wednesday, May 22, I had 79 pounds to lose to get to a healthy range. I’ve been using MyFitnessPal diligently, and to my shock, today the scale was friendly and now I only have 74 pounds to lose. (ZOMG 74 pounds?! That’s like the weight of a small person. EEEEEEK.)

MyFitnessPal – Free Calorie Counter

Those five pounds are pretty much just water weight and my body going into shock at the STRICT  regimen of calorie counting on MyFitnessPal. However, I’ll take it. The only time I’ve ever lost five pounds in a week is when I decided to carry a fanny pack instead of my purse. Here are a couple things going on that will hopefully help keep me on track from now on:

1) As I said, I’m using MyFitnessPal. Add me as @lyssacurran. If I haven’t logged in in a few days, write me a comment, send a homing pigeon, or set off fireworks in front of my house. The accountability keeps me going.

2) On Monday, I’m having a follow up blood panel done to check some hormone levels and such with my doctor. Depending on what she thinks, I may be visiting a fancy-schmancy metabolic expert to see if there’s any underlying reason for my sluggish metabolism (PCOS? Thyroid? Tiny calorie-loving elves?).  I’ll keep ya posted!

3) Water, water, water. No eating processed crap. Very little sugar. More protein. Continuing no soda or artificial sweeteners. Trying not to eat past 7 pm. Blah, blah, blah. Oh… and exercise. I exercised tonight, at 10 pm! My husband went out for a run while I was lying on the bed all slug-like, which compelled me to get off my rump and MOVE to the Biggest Loser 30-Day-Burn DVD. Woot! Like my shirt?

 

Chillin' after some cardio.

Chillin’ after some cardio.

 

4) Because Diet to Go is awesome, they’re providing me a few weeks of meals in exchange for some blog posts and Twitter participation. I love the convenience of their yummy food, and am confident this will help me succeed. Also? Being able to microwave a freshly-made meal when I get home from a crazy 12 hour work day instead of chopping, dicing, boiling and roasting my dinner? The best.

5) FitBloggin’ is a short four weeks away! This year the event is in Portland, and it’d be great to go to a fitness conference and you know, actually feel fit. I’m hoping when I go I can describe my blog and boast that I’ve lost weight, rather than be like “Yeah, I yo-yo-ed the same weight for the past year.”

Ok, there it is. I feel like that was a bunch of confessions all at once.They weren’t really confessions, more like a “Let’s start at zero.”  This blog is no good to me if I use it as a place to only boast and brag and not be real. The blog is here for accountability and to connect with people like you, and while the freebies and perks are nice, the real reason I do it is I need that commitment of putting my challenge out to the whole world. It makes it harder to quit. It keeps me going. So yes – the bad news is I haven’t lost fifty pounds, 74 pounds, or even 24 pounds. But the good news is I’ve lost some pounds, and I’m still trying. As long as I keep trying, it might taken ten years to do this, but I’ll do it, by hook or by crook. Thank you for reading as always…. I really love seeing all of your comments and even if you don’t comment (Hi Lurkers!), I can see on my analytics that you’re popping in from all over to see what’s up in my little old world. THANK YOU. <3

Now – does anyone else have anything they’d like to confess or get out in the open? I’m here for ya.

(Here’s one more: My kitten has about 50,347,12 cat toys, and his favorite thing to play with right now is an empty Coors Light box and a tampon. (Don’t worry – it’s sealed and brand new and he got into our bathroom cabinet and made himself a little play date with all the supplies. Sigh. How’s THAT for a confession?!)