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RESOLUTION: a firm decision to do or not to do something. – random online dictionary

INSANITY: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. – Albert Einstein

This year has been full of challenges, difficulties, and successes.  Two back-to-back surgeries and learning an entirely new job this year has left my well pretty dry right now, but I’m doing all right. The surgeries were worth it. 55 pounds lost, no helter-skelter roller coaster of emotions and the new duties at work have made today much better than this day last year.

I will go on record saying that, while this was a tough year, it was a good year. I do not do resolutions anymore, but I do have four goals for 2014. All hopefully achievable, all very necessary.

GOAL #1:  NO SURGERIES! This, I hope, is completely achievable. I enter 2014 in the best health I’ve been in for the last 20 years. While epidurals are great, morphine is awesome, and finding out who really has your back when you are medicated and laid out flat on it is educational, I’d rather not have any major medical problems to deal with in the coming year.

GOAL #2: TAKE CAMERA EVERYWHERE I do mean everywhere, except maybe the bathroom. People act a little funny when you walk into a bathroom with a DSLR around your neck. They do not, however, act weird when you walk into a bathroom with an iPhone. I will keep this in mind.

The goal here is to just take as many pictures as I can. Between the surgeries, getting healthy, work, and having my camera stolen, I didn’t take hardly any photos (in comparison to other years) in 2013. Any I did in the first half of last year are still locked away on my backup hard drive. I hope to launch my portfolio on 500x soon and I need to beef it up a bit. So if you see me walk into a bathroom with my camera tell me I need a break.

GOAL #3: HIT MY GOAL WEIGHT I had RNY gastric bypass surgery on March 25. In 9 months, I lost a whopping 55 pounds. After my first surgery this year, my weight went up to 251, the highest it’s ever been. On the day of my bypass surgery, I weighed 238 pounds. That’s the weight I measure by. My goal weight is 140-145. That’s what I weighed in high school. I will see what weight my body settles into. Meanwhile, I will exercise and eat right and do my part. The second half to the goal is always more difficult than the first. This is when I need resolve most.

GOAL #4: MORE “ME” TIME Because of all my surgeries, health issues, and work, I did not have a lot of “me” time.  In 2014, I am going on vacation and taking more short trips (with the camera, of course) and working on photography (which keeps me sane). I hope to be writing more, too. This all takes time with a recharged me. I’m an introvert, so don’t take it personally when I disappear to recharge. I will be a better me if I do.

That’s it. Anything I accomplish outside of these four goals is just gravy.  I find I accomplish more when I keep it simple and these goals seem pretty simple to me. 

Happy New Year! May your goals bring you the accomplishments you desire. 

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I have many things in my life that are “out of control.” Ten years ago, that fact would have terrified me and let me straight into a depressive spin. Now, I find that fact so liberating I almost want to bake a vegan cake to celebrate.

WEIGHT LOSS: I am down 54 pounds as of this morning.  I have absolutely no control over my weight’s descent right now. I can speed it up a bit with cardio, but in reality, right now, the weight comes off of its own free will, or the weight plateaus of its own free will. I can only do my part – exercise and eat right – and leave the rest up to the tool the surgery gave me.

I am still adjusting to the byproducts of weight loss. Buying new clothes (it’s so expensive!) and continually changing the way I eat. Now that I’m gluten and dairy intolerant, I have to cook a lot more than I used to, but I’m loving it. 

The best byproduct of the weight loss is, however, the confidence. I thought I was confident before, now I feel unstoppable. That notion is actually very humbling.  I am blessed beyond measure right now. 

OTHER HEALTH ISSUES: I am experiencing some very real, very troubling pain in my joints, especially my knees, hips and back. The current diagnosis is that the pain is due to a hormonal imbalance that, unfortunately, cannot be balanced right now. I am on an estrogen blocker (Tamoxifen) and I’ve lost a lot of fat cells (that store estrogen) so it’s all out of balance. I can’t take estrogen (my cancer was estrogen positive), so I’m stuck. My doctor said as long as movement alleviated the pain, it was hormonal and not rheumatoid arthritis and not to worry.  Just move. Easier said than done some days.

PHOTOGRAPHY: My plans to launch my own photography site, do shoots, and sell prints came to a screeching halt by cancer interruptus. The last two years I’ve had to pour so much time into getting healthy again that this project had to take a back burner and there wasn’t much I could do about it. I had to let go of my plans, but now I’m working on my site again and am hopeful about 2014.

I have many other out of control things I’m juggling right now – work, hobbies, life. I just need to remember I really don’t have control over any of it and I’ll be fine.

I remember when I was paralyzed by the illusion of control. One thing would go “out of control,” and the anxiety level would climb so high I’d be ill from it. Then one day, I realized control is an illusion. Nobody really is in control of random happenings, the only thing I control is how I react to all the random.

Yes, I still get stressed, but I am happy with where I am right now, even though so many things are up in the air. I can relax because even though nothing is under control, I’m still ok.  

Let go of the illusion of control. Relax. Nothing is under control… and that’s an amazing feeling.


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I’ve been lingering right under 50 pounds in my pursuit of losing 100 pounds. I have been at the gym quite a bit lately, and I know that’s holding the scale hostage somewhat. I am going broke buying clothes and have purchased my last until January unless I go through such a weight loss spurt my pants won’t stay up.

I’m trying to save money, which isn’t easy where I’m at right now. Redoing my wardrobe every six-nine weeks isn’t helping, nor was that $1000 worth of deductibles from the robberies. I’m going to Hawaii in March, regardless.  I will figure it out.

My trainer said I was pushing myself too hard. I never, ever, thought I’d hear a trainer tell me that, but she did. I tried to tell her that if I give in to the fatigue or side effects of the Tamoxifen, I will never reach my goal. This is my life now. Push, push, push. Rest on the weekends. Push, push, push.

It would help if she wouldn’t start me out with 50 pounds on certain apparatuses, but she does. I give it a shot, but usually have to cry uncle. Loudly. Then she looks at me and says, “I keep forgetting you are over forty.”

Between my trainer and the aqua fit class, I am usually exhausted by the time Friday night rolls around. Not a weekend party girl, anymore. I’m not boring, I just need the rest.

Yes, I do have more energy than I used to. Much more. I feel so good most days.  Still not sleeping well. I don’t think I ever will. So I will sleep somewhat adequately and keep pushing.

Those who know me wouldn’t expect anything less.

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Sharing this photo wasn’t easy. I never saw myself like the lefthand side shows me. I thought I was beautiful then. I was, but I had no idea what lie ahead. 

Four and a half months after RNY gastric bypass surgery, I am down a little over 45 pounds and have lost almost 6 inches (that’s a half a foot!) off my hips. After weeks of seeing next to no progress below my rib cage, all of a sudden clothes I’ve barely had time to wear are baggy.   I’m still working out the logistics of my new food reality but I have ZERO regrets about this surgery.

The photo to the right is a perfect example of how I feel right now.  My trainer C wonders, now that I’m looking really good and fabulous and rocking the tunic sports bra, that I still wear a t-shirt to the gym.  I told her I never have had the opportunity to wear any sort of sports bra that actually fit and that I wasn’t pushing the limits of, and, well, I’d never ever dreamed that taking my t-shirt off in a gym would ever be an option. I will see what happens Monday at my next work out, if I can find exercise gear that won’t fall off while I’m on the treadmill.

In other news, still unpacking my apartment. I keep rearranging the furniture and sorting books (up to three boxes to go out so far) and trying to relax when I can. I do enjoy sitting in my recliner and staring out the windows at the view of the sky and trees.  One of these days I will post a video or photo of what I’ve done, but I’ve changed my mind again and am moving the furniture around. 

I finally feel at peace in this new place.  I’ve heard no news or updates on my hoodrat thieves, but as long as They are done taking my stuff, I’m okay with that. I did find that they were using my Netflix account through the other tv and I reported that to the police and I hope that they can use the IP address to track the hoodrats down.  Given that the police took no prints, photos or made much of a report, I don’t know if they’ve given up or what, but I’ve done my part and I’m still doing my part protecting myself.

I’ve procrastinated long enough. I need to get these shelves moved!

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I wasn’t expecting to get to this milestone so quickly after getting to Onederland. I’ve lost four pounds rather quickly after a week of catered food and little sleep, but nonetheless, I stepped on the scale this morning and I’ve lost 40 pounds! 

Tomorrow marks the third month since my surgery. I had hoped to hit this milestone before then and I did it! 

Still in disbelief over how far I’ve come so fast. I’ve worked hard at eating right, eating enough, hydrating enough, and exercising. I’m still not in any routine I’d like to be yet, but I’m getting there. 

I’m still fighting nausea and fatigue from the Tamoxifen, which is also keeping the weight loss at what seems like a crawl. I will face that challenge another 8 years, so I just have to keep plugging away. I know I can do it. 

Meanwhile, if anyone has some size 14 or 12 clothes they don’t need anymore, let me know. I’m running out of clothes.

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I blinked a few times when I looked down at the scale this morning. I couldn’t believe my eyes. 199? Could it really be? 

It’s been decades since I’ve weighed under 200 pounds. So grateful to have reached goal #2 in 11 weeks!

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When I was a kid, Memorial Day marked opening weekend at the lake cottage my grandparents owned. I grew up in the water, learning to swim early on and becoming an expert in water and boat safety whether I’d planned to or not.  I was a strong swimmer and yes, my element is water.

I live where the UV warnings are out daily, so I do not frequent the pool or the beach. My skin, fueled by genetics and medicinal side effects, burns rather quickly no matter how hard I try to protect it.

When It came time to look for a gym, however, the main selling point for me was a pool. Had LA Fitness not had a pool, I would not have joined.

Fast forward a few months and I am an Aqua Fit junkie. I go every Saturday morning and I’m trying to work in Tuesday and Thursdays after work. My LA Fitness does not have those classes, so I am having to hunt around other LA Fitness locations to find a class nearby.

Aqua Fit is a highly underrated workout. 50 minutes of aerobics, weights, and core toning, with music and a motivating instructor, all the while being in the water, not getting overheated – who can beat that?  I certainly can’t. 

With Aqua Fit, the scale is moving again.  I am at 206.5 pounds now. I can’t remember the last time I weighed this, but I am certain it wasn’t in this century.  As I close in on “Onederland” I am ecstatic, but the NSV’s (Non-Scale Victories) are even more exciting.

Months ago, I made a list of things I look forward to as a thinner person – NSV’s.  I am 70 pounds from goal and I have already achieved some of them – shopping on the first floor of Macy’s, crossing my legs effortlessly, enjoying getting photographed, and having one chin. Others are right around the corner, and I’ve even achieved NSV’s that I hadn’t even thought of at the time, like putting on a shaper and having no back fat spill over. 

My surgeon was a bit disappointed that I’ve only lost 31 pounds so far until he remembered that I am taking Tamoxifen, which makes me gain weight, and now is very happy I’ve lost 31 pounds while taking Tamoxifen.  As long as the scale keeps moving, I will be satisfied as well.

The weight loss is exciting, but my ultimate goal outside of health benefits remains the same – appearing on the outside what I feel on the inside. I am still amazed that I’m even on this journey, but I am ever so grateful. 


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I weighed myself this morning and so far I’ve lost 27 pounds! This is the craziest ride I’ve been on!

I went to the gym Saturday morning to ride the recumbent bike.  It felt good to be back at the gym. I saw the water aerobics class already in progress and decided that was something I wanted to try.

This afternoon, I went to buy a bathing suit. Normally, this is the bane of a woman’s existence, especially mine, but if I wanted to be in this class I needed something that fit. I went to Academy to get a nice bathing suit, although I doubt I can wear it for more than two months or so.  

This process was not nearly as painful as it was in years past, especially since I fit in the clothes, workout gear, and bathing suits that Academy has to offer.  So I bought my first Speedo bathing suit, and hope to be in class Saturday morning!

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A month ago, I let a doctor rearrange my innards so I could lose weight once and for all. It’s been a roller coaster ride of sorts, an experiment on the grandest of scales. I’m still learning my new stomach’s limits, not just with volume, but types of food. I haven’t always done well with this venture, but I’m learning. 

As of today, I’ve lost 23 pounds. I lost 20 rather quickly, plateaued, then started losing again this week. Even with the plateau, the weight loss has taken me down a size and I can look in the mirror and see results.

My plan is to go back to the gym next week for cardio and as soon as the doctor releases me, I will call my trainer and let her whip me into gear. I know once I’m back at the gym I will lose weight even faster. Sometimes I can’t believe it’s actually happening, but it is.

I’m still waiting for all the supposed “energy” to arrive. I am still on Tamoxifen, so maybe that’s what the holdup is. I do, however, feel better than I have in a long time. A long, long, long time. I will try to remain patient and diligent and when the energy does come I will put it to good use!

In the meantime, I’m eating tiny meals, taking my vitamins, and taking care of myself!