November 26, 2010-present weight loss

2012 weight loss

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Another day, another opportunity to swim

I am a slow swimmer, and even though I can keep going for ages, I don't think my time is improving much.  I am not out to shatter records, but a bit more speed would be nice.  I think that I am not physically strong enough yet.  So, I tried a new routine today.  Rather than just swimming freestyle for 2000-2400m, I swam 160m freestyle at normal speed and then 40m with a kick board- kicking with as much strength as I could muster.  I did this routine 10 times, so I completed 2000m in total.  I was breathing heavily, I was hotter than usual and my heart rate was definitely elevated more than when I just do freestyle.  I hope this helps me strengthen my legs and improve my cardio functions.  We shall see. 
I am also down .6 lbs.  I didn't lose anything when I was in the states, but in reality I barely moved at all.  This is one of the clear drawbacks to living in the suburbs.  In London I walk everywhere; it is a means of transportation.  In the suburbs, I drive for transportation- meaning that I only walk for the purpose of exercising.  And exercise of this nature doesn't always fit into my plans.  Oh well, now that I am back in London I should be able to shave off a bit more weight.  I'd love to be down 80+ lbs before I see Dr. K on August 1.  
In other news, we are hosting a 4th of July party this Saturday.  We always celebrated our independence from this wonderful country (note sarcasm) when we lived in the states and decided to continue this tradition after we moved.  We have about 25 people coming- Americans, Germans, Austrians, Welsh, British, and Italians- we will be the melting pot of West London this weekend.  I do all of the prep work and cooking (and I don't serve prepared dishes), and Kenny mans the grill.  I am starting with guacamole, salsa, pesto dip/crudite, and a white bean and arugula dip that I will put into individual croustades before serving.  For meats we are serving ribs, burgers and two types of sausage and sides will include a tomato salad, a spinach and pasta dish and corn on the cob.  I am also making key lime pies.  The only thing I won't be making is a strawberry and white chocolate cake.  I don't have the time or patience to bake in addition to everything else.  It doesn't look like a ton of food when I type it out, but I will need all of Friday and half of Saturday to prepare everything. 
So Friday will be a prep day.  At least I can relax a bit tomorrow. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Gypsies, Freaky Eaters and Willpower

I landed in London this morning, and yes, it is rainy and gloomy.  I don't suffer from serious jet lag the way many do... lucky for me considering how frequently I travel among timezones.  On overnight flights I bring my own pillow, blanket, fuzzy socks, eye cover, Ambien, and bottle of water (purchased at the airport, of course).  I skip dinner, drink a glass of wine, pop an Ambien immediately upon boarding and then tuck myself in and stay in the same position until about an hour before landing.  My strategy works very well, and my fellow travelers are always amazed that I can sleep as they toss and turn for hours.  Still, I am lethargic for my first day or two back in town- and it doesn't help that I frequently wind up crashing on the couch for two or three hours during the afternoon.  To get myself up and moving, I went swimming right after landing.  Now I feel like I really need a nap, but I will blog instead. 
On my last night at my mom's, I watched My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding for the first time.  I was dumbstruck by what I saw (people living in caravans- without toilets- on purpose).  It was actually fascinating and was like watching an hour long competition... who can dress her daughter most like a tramp while not violating international standards regarding the welfare of children... but at the end, there was no prize.  Had there been a competition, all contestants would have tied.  Apparently tramp is the 'traveller' norm. 
Afterwards I saw the first few minutes of Freaky Eaters.  The subject of this episode was a 50 year old woman addicted to ice cream bars.  She had had gastric bypass a few years back, lost weight and then gained it (thanks to the ice cream) after her divorce.  What amazed me was the quantity of bars she would eat- up to 40 IN A DAY!  The show said that she had been doing this for over a year (3 years maybe) and had gained 50 lbs.  This woman must have a fabulous metabolism.  If I were to eat 20-40 ice cream bars per day, I am 100% certain that I would gain much more than 50 lbs over the course of a year or two; I would put that on in months. 
This got me pondering WLS and how so much of this process is mental.  The band, sleeve, and bypass are so instrumental to losing weight, but each of us could fully sabotage our progress in a matter of minutes- a 'little' pint of Haagen-Dazs, a bagel with scallion cream cheese (or better yet a bacon, egg and cheese on a buttered bagel), fried rice, penne ala vodka, and on, and on, and on.  Before I started the WLS process, it was easy to rationalize adding these unnecessary calories.  Assuming I was eating 3,000-5,000 a day (I never counted, but I didn't get to my weight by following a diet of moderation), it wasn't such a big deal to add in an extra THOUSAND calories some days.  After all, what is really wrong with a 20-35% increase in calories when what I ate tasted so damn good?  Now I recognize that this mentality, this ability to rationalize my sometimes ridiculous consumption, contributed to the dire situation that necessitated my WLS.  It just occurred to me that I have not brought a pint of ice cream into our flat since about a month before I was banded.  It is just too much of a risk to bring in that pint.  I am still not convinced that I could eat 1/4 cup and put the container back in the freezer, so I abstain.  The same goes for most of the other foods listed above; I do my best to avoid them.  If I must sample them on occasion, I do so out of the house.  No leftovers, no ability to take just one more bite, no nothing.  
I've always been annoyed by people who say (mostly in the form of a lecture) that weight loss is all willpower.  While this might be the case for many people, losing weight was so much more than mere willpower for me.  I was hungry and nothing in my mind could make me anything other than hungry.  With the help of the band, I am less hungry.  NOW my willpower must step in.  I could easily continue to eat all of the junk I desire.  I went right from the airport to the gym... didn't I earn a pint of ice cream?  Don't I deserve that 1,300 calories of ice cream- even though the reality is that I burned less than half of that working out?  Of course I don't deserve ice cream.  That is just silly, and it is no different from an alcoholic who deserves a glass of vodka after cleaning the house or after a tough day at work.  What I deserve are the results I can get from working out.  I deserve a leaner, less sweaty figure, a stronger body and lower blood pressure.  Sweets and fatty foods should not be my reward, and from what I read, an understanding of this is something that many successful bandsters and I have in common. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I Love NJ

NJ is at the wrong end of many jokes, and I (kind of) get it.  Between the Sopranos and Jersey Shore, the state has had some pretty bad advertising.  Still, I love my home state.
Today was a great day.  Mom and I went to the beach, and this was our view...
Then we went to dinner, and we started with...
Followed by...
Which looked like this by the time I was done...
All while sitting on the water here...
Yeah, I love NJ... poke fun all you want. 
I am happy to report that I was able to eat the clams on the half shell and the lobster.  I had to chew the lobster tail nearly to death (I think I counted about 50 chews for some bites), but it was well worth the effort. 
In other news, I saw Dr. K yesterday.  I have lost 9 lbs this month, so no need for a fill:) 

Friday, June 24, 2011

The Beach Gods Hate Me

So I planned two beach days with girlfriends while in NJ, but the weather gods have had other plans.  Tuesday was overcast but tolerable.  Today was terrible- it rained, it poured, there was thunder, it was just bad.  I brought two gigantic checked bags with me from London on Monday, and I must have inadvertently packed some of the city's charming weather.  Not happy.  I hope for a beach weekend with mom but am not expecting much at this point. 
I have an appointment with Dr. K in the am.  I have lost this month, so I doubt she will fill me up.  That is fine though- no need for being too tight.  My scale hates me- this morning I am 4 lbs heavier than yesterday morning.  I don't know if I could have possibly consumed enough sodium to hold 4 lbs of water, but I am pretty sure that this is just water weight (other than maybe .5 lbs).  Boo!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Measuring Up

I flew back to NJ yesterday and am spending today at the beach.  Other than that, I have absolutely nothing to report. 

I hadn't measured myself since the first day of my liquid diet (Nov. 26), so I thought this would be a good time to see how I am doing in inches.  I am down 7" in my waist, 6.5" in my hips, 7.5" in my chest, 2" per upper arm, 0.25" per wrist, 4" per thigh and 2.5" per calf.

Monday, June 20, 2011

You Did It!

You did it! You did it!
You said that you would do it,
And indeed you did.
I thought that you would rue it;
I doubted you'd do it.
But now I must admit it
That succeed you did.

But you're the one who did it,
Who did it, who did it!
As sturdy as Gibraltar,
Not a second did you falter.
There's no doubt about it,
You did it!
For those of you who appreciated the references to My Fair Lady in my Ascot post, here is another one for you.  I've been singing this song for days, and I think the lyrics are very fitting for how I am feeling.  While the original lyrics were sung between Henry Higgins and Colonel Pickering after successfully passing Eliza Doolittle off as a proper lady at the Embassy Ball, I am just singing this to myself.  So I am the 'you', and the 'it' I am singing about is losing enough weight to get my BMI below 40.  This is all a very verbose way of saying I AM NO LONGER MORBIDLY OBESE!!! 
I was super obese on Day 1 of my liquid diet and quickly moved into the realm of the morbidly obese.  Even though 'super' sounds so much better than 'morbid', it isn't.  I really don't know why the people who name these stages of obesity don't call it 'super morbidly obese'.  Doesn't that sound more succinct?  It no longer matters to me, as neither term accurately reflects today's weight.  Now I am categorized as severely obese.  I would prefer something that sounds a bit more chipper, but no such luck.  So let's all start from the top and sing the first verse of You Did It to celebrate this accomplishment!  All together now...
The lyrics pretty much sum up weight loss with the band.  The band helps, but you must do the work YOURSELF.  It is a tool, and it is a fantastic tool.  I am trying to come up with some great analogy of how Henry Higgins is like the band and Eliza Doolittle is the woman who just had WLS.  It would take too much time to explain any further (and I would invariably bore many of you), but any MFL fans out there will get my point.  It was Eliza who had to do the work- struggle with unlearning old habits/learning correct ones- and then successfully implement what Henry Higgins was teaching her.  Henry Higgins was the TOOL.  If it were not for him aiding and teaching Eliza, she would have remained a Cockney flower girl in Covent Garden.  Once Eliza embraced what Henry Higgins was doing, she was able to become a success. 
When Eliza was finally able to pass herself off as a lady, Henry Higgins pranced around and took all the credit.  But this was a joint effort, and he didn't deserve all the credit.  He could have taught until he was blue in the face; if Eliza had no interest in the subject, his efforts would have been for naught.  Now onto my point--- the same goes for the band.  The band can do its best to help but can only help people who are interested in what it has to offer.  So many of us keep our WLS to ourselves because of negative comments concerning how we cheated or how we didn't lose weight the right way.  We didn't cheat.  We were just smart enough to use the tools available to us.  And let's even accept for a moment that we might have cheated a bit for the sake of argument (I mean, men cheat with Viagra and Cialis all the time, and that is acceptable).  I still refuse to let my band do a Henry Higgins and take all the credit- if I hadn't done the work, and if I hadn't retrained myself (with the help of the band), I would still be super or morbidly obese. 
I did it! I did it!
I said that I would do it,
And indeed I did:)

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Adios Clarence

I woke up this morning and read that Clarence Clemons died.  All I can say is huge loss.  I am a Bruce fan- have been for years (decades).  Kenny is a fan as well.  Bruce's shows are always amazing, but they will be a little less so without Clarence on sax.  Boo:( 

Saturday, June 18, 2011

What A Smashing, Positively Dashing Spectacle

I survived my first Royal Ascot today.  K and I attended with an expat couple and had a great time.  The races themselves were fun, but the real sport is the people watching.  Dresses and hats and fascinators, oh my!  Gone are the days when Ascot was one of the posh events of the year and people dressed accordingly, poor Audrey Hepburn.  Some rules still exist, and one must dress for the level of ticket one has.  But wowzers, the standards are pretty low.  I didn't have the guts to take photos of the trampy women in horrible dresses waddling around in high heels that didn't fit, but take my word that they were in attendance! 
I wanted to share some pics of us and of my fabulous hat.  I love this hat and really enjoyed wearing it!  And for more exciting news, I will no longer be cutting my husband's face out of the pictures I post.  I just told him that I started this blog (though I have not offered up the URL) and asked him if he would be comfortable with his pictures showing up on here.  He was fine with it, so here we go.  And on that note, his name is Kenny.  Now that everyone can see his face, hiding his name seems a bit silly, no? 

Friday, June 17, 2011


So this is my third post for the day- I think I need to get out more.  I've never done the whole BYOC thing, but I am willing to give it a try.  Here it goes...
1.  Do you make your bed every day? Tell us about or show us a picture of your bed comforter?
Hell no.  Making my bed is up there with folding my undies.  I just don't see the point.  K wakes up at 5 or 5:30 every morning, so he is obviously not going to make the bed with me still in it.  And I, well, I just don't believe in making the bed on a daily basis.  I will make it if people are coming over.  Better yet, I will make it in the next few days and post a photo.

2. Johnny Cash or Elvis? Thin crust pizza or deep dish? Coke or Pepsi? Beer or wine or neither?

If I had to choose, Elvis.  I can't say I have a strong opinion on the subject though.
Thin crust pizza with fab toppings- yum.  I've only had pizza twice since being banded, but it is a small loss in my book. 
I don't drink soda.  I try to limit my liquids to water and wine, which leads me to my next answer. 
In vino veritas.  I have yet to participate in Confessions Wednesdays, but if I ever do, there will be a confession about wine.  So maybe I will just put it out there now.  I. Drink. Wine. Every. Night. I love wine, am a bit of a wine snob and have so much fun with it that I 100% refuse to give it up.  I will cut calories elsewhere, but I will not forgo my vino.  I have reduced the quantity that I drink, and that is enough for me.

3. I recently went through my list of blogs I follow and was at my limit so I unfollowed bloggers who haven’t blogged in at least 6 months. I want to start following some more new blogs. Who’s your fave lately? Funniest? Most inspiring? Can you link them for me??

Well, I am new to blogland still.  My favs are:
Catherine- if it weren't for her, I might not have had this surgery.  She will always be a top for me.
Yana- she was upfront with me about her surgery (we had worked together briefly).  She has fallen off the blogging wagon, but I hope she hops back on at some point.  With that hope, I will still consider her a fav.
Jen- everyone knows Jen... not to much to say.
Stephanie- same goes for Stephanie:)
Amanda- um, stop by just to see the super cute pics of her precious little girl!!!
4. Repeat question: Summarize your week in blog land and in real life.
Both are A-OK.  Real life is going well, and I am thrilled that I swam for 4 days in a row.  K has been swamped with work (boo), but this is our reality.  I can't expect him to pay the mortgage and the other bills while only working half as much.  Blogland is great.  I am having a fantastic time here and enjoy seeing how so many women are doing in their lives, with the band, etc.  I started my blog last month and really didn't know if I would keep it up (or if there would be any reason to do so).  Well, I am hooked.  Blogland, I am here to stay. 
Enjoy the weekend!

Thanks For The Motivation, You A$$

I swam 2400m today, but it almost didn't happen.  My left calf cramped at about 1850-1900m.  I stretched and figured that I would just stop at 2000m if the cramping continued.  Then some a$$hole jumped into my lane, and I changed my mind. 
Half of the pool is open- not divided into lanes; the other half has two lap lanes, one slow and one fast.  I always swim in the slow lane.  I accept that I am not a fast swimmer, and I make sure to stay in MY part of the pool.  I don't swim in the fast lane with the fast swimmers.  Now let me paint the picture- I have been swimming for nearly an hour at this point, and my body is getting tired.  Plus, this is my 4th consecutive day of swimming after not having been in the pool for months.  Again, getting tired.  None of this should matter though, as I am... you guessed it... in the slow lane- a lane specifically dedicated to those of us who are, uh, slow.  There was one guy swimming next to me in the fast lane and two people swimming in the non-divided section.  Then this jerk dives into my lane, channeling either Michael Phelps or Lenny Krayzelburg... I'm not sure which... in the SLOW freaking lane!  This guy is a really solid swimmer.  I give him that.  He has a fluid stroke and glides effortlessly through the water.  But the bum is swimming at twice my speed!  We were finally at the same end of the lane at the same time, and I asked him how he wanted to share the lane.  Typically, swimmers will swim either clockwise or counterclockwise.  This only works when swimmers are at the same level.  I suggested that we each take half the lane so that we can each comfortably swim at a reasonable pace.  NO he said, let's swim counterclockwise.  I told him that I would slow him down because I am much slower than he, but he was pretty insistent.  I understand that we all have to share the pool- I get it.  This was just silly though, and let's not forget that there is a fast lane, with a fast swimmer already in it, on the other side of the rope.  So then I made my decision...
While the old Nora would have made it to 2000m and hopped out of the lane, the new Nora did not.  I decided to swim the 2400m, and the pushy bastard who should not have been in my lane to begin with would just have to suck it up!  And this is what I did.  I swam and I swam... an extra ten laps.  I assume the guy finally figured out that I was not going to change my pace and he was not going to get the workout he wanted, and HE moved to the open side of the pool.  I finished my additional laps and left the pool with a little grin on my face. 
The moral of the story is that the glass can be half full, even if one initially views it as half empty.  I could have seen that I was holding up a superior swimmer and sacrificed my workout because my performance wasn't good enough.  Instead, I used this guy to push myself to get to the point I had wanted to be at from the beginning!  So thank you, you pushy a$$, for helping me get in my best swim of the week. 
Now for some eye candy... pics of Michael and Lenny.  Enjoy ladies!

Portugal Pictures

Today is my mom's birthday, so I'd like to wish her a happy birthday and post a few pics from our recent vacation.  She hates pictures of herself, saying that she is fat and old.  I think she looks great- not to mention that she is 65 today and has not one wrinkle!  Isn't she cute?
Swimming is paying off, and the scale is moving in the correct direction.  I doubt I will swim in NJ next week (I don't have a gym membership there anymore) but am glad that I didn't wait any longer to get back into the pool.  A few months ago I attempted a flip turn while swimming freestyle.  I couldn't flip fast enough and got very dizzy.  It was a disaster.  I tried the same turn yesterday and was successful!  It isn't the prettiest flip turn yet, but it will take some practice for me to have a more fluid motion.  Having a lot less stomach getting in my way will make improving much easier:)  I completed 2000m yesterday and will try to make it up to 2400m today.  My left calf starts cramping when I near 2000m, so it will just depend on how my leg feels. 
K and I are going to the Royal Ascot tomorrow with another expat couple.  Consider it the English version of the Kentucky Derby.  I was in Monte Carlo for it last year and am excited to be attending tomorrow.  Everyone dresses properly, and the women wear outrageous hats.  I am pure American and am not part of the hat culture (except for when I am at the beach, of course).  Anyway, I bought a fantastic hat for tomorrow.  It is large and yellow, and it has a yellow and blue ribbon with blue feathers in the front.  It is probably on the conservative side for English standards... I will know more tomorrow.  K is less than thrilled to be in attendance.  When I mentioned that we should go, he was pouty and said something along the lines of, "well, watching horses race is certainly not my idea of a fun Saturday".  I gently, errr... less than gently... reminded him that I have attended the US Open with him (in the MUD), am attending the British Open with him next month and have even flown to Scotland to golf with him, so he can suck it up and deal.  And deal he will!  I hope we will have some good pics to post:)
Off to the pool!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Body Creams

I was reading Stephanie's post on face moisturizers that are supposed to help with hydration and elasticity.  I use fancy schmancy products on my face but refuse to spend beaucoup bucks moisturizing 30 square feet of skin.  It is just too expensive.  I have been using Palmer's Cocoa Butter and Palmer's Firming Cream, as they are cheap and moisturize nicely.  I'm a bit tired of smelling like soured chocolate though, and I doubt that the firming cream is doing what it claims.  I've read decent reviews of Neutrogena's Visibly Firm Body Cream but have yet to try it. 
I understand that I will have loose skin as I lose weight, but I'd like to minimize this as much as possible.  Does anyone have recommendations for creams that do help with elasticity/firming?  I'm happy for all information but am especially interested in any products that have worked for women losing 100+ lbs.  Also, I've been seeing some posts/VLOGs on the reality of loose skin (and thank you for your info and honesty).  At what point do you you start to notice this?  I am still way too big to see it on me, but it is just a matter of time. 
On the food front, my body was craving fat yesterday.  I hadn't noticed how little fat I was eating (not on purpose), but my body did.  So yesterday I had a handful of cashews and an entire avocado in addition to my normal food intake, and man did it taste good!  Now that I am eating smaller portions and a more balanced diet, I am surprised by how my body will tell me what I need to eat.  I just need to listen to it. 
I had another successful swim yesterday, increasing my distance from 1600m to 2000m.  It is raining cats and dogs today, so I am less than anxious to leave my flat and hoof it to the gym.  Poor K has a corporate golf outing today- 18 holes, lunch, another 18 holes.  He hates being wet and cold, so what could have been a fun day out will probably be miserable. 
Happy Thursday! 

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Finally Swimming

Thank you for all of the compliments and well wishes yesterday.  I really love the support!
I made it to the gym yesterday and swam 1600 meters (.99 miles).  It felt so good to be back in the pool, and I plan to swim today after my cleaning lady leaves.  I was doing 2400 meters daily before I was sidelined in April and am pretty sure I will be back there in a few days.  Even though I hadn't been in the pool for two months, I was so much less winded yesterday.  The difference 20 lbs makes!  I bought the below gloves in April and used them for the first time yesterday.  They are meant to increase resistance and aid in building muscle definition in the arms, chest and back.  I could feel the resistance when doing laps and hope that the gloves will help me get toned arms. 

A couple of weeks ago I mentioned that I might need a small top up when I see Dr. K this month, but now I'm thinking that I don't.  I am losing weight, even though I do feel hungry more than I have previously.  My main concern is not wanting to be too tight.  I have been reading more blogs recently and see that serious problems can arise when the band is too tight.  I'd rather be as loose as possible while still losing weight rather than being overly tight so I have trouble drinking liquids, getting stuck and PBing.  I also live 3,500 miles from my doctor.  Needing an emergency unfill is never fun; needing one when I am on the other side of the Atlantic would make the process much more stressful.  I understand that I could always go to the ER or find some doctor to do it for me, but I like my Dr. K and her gentle touch.
Onto PBing.  I have only run into this twice, but Holy Mary, I have no interest in a third encounter.  My main issue is with the name.  I expected a productive burp to be something little and innocuous- like the burp one might get after having had too much sparkling water, only with a bit of food.  Ha!  I hereby move that PB be officially renamed projectile barf.  Am I alone in thinking this would be a more accurate description of a PB?  My first PB was when K and I were out to sushi with my mother.  I eat sushi often and didn't expect an issue.  Frankly, I still don't know what went wrong.  I ate a little something, swallowed and said, uh oh, this isn't working.  In the beginning I just experienced a bit of slime, then a load of slime, then so much slime that I was thankful for my empty water glass (which, grossly, became the receptacle for said slime).  I am usually obsessed with manners, but I had much bigger issues to deal with that night.  Anyway, I knew the PBing was going to start and rushed to the bathroom.  Not only was the women's room occupied, there was another woman standing in line in front of me.  Not good.  So I became 'that woman' and ran into the men's bathroom.  Post projectile barf I returned to the table.  But wait, I wasn't done.  This continued for about 45 minutes.  What a horror.  It didn't help that my mom kept asking me if I was OK.  The wonderful K just left me alone, and for that I was muy appreciative.  My second PBing attack was luckily when I was home, but it again lasted the better part of an hour.  I was completely traumatized, and the worst part was that my mom was present for this episode as well (the night before we left for Portugal).  After seeing this twice, she was really concerned that I was having trouble with food, but I promised her that she just witnessed my two episodes.  Anyway, who is with me in using the phrase projectile barfing in lieu of productive burping?
So what is up with the coins at the top of the post?  Add them up, and that is how much weight I have lost.  It is very difficult to find clip art for the number 71, and this was the best I could come up with.  When I saw Dr. K last month she seemed very excited that I had already lost 60+ lbs and mentioned that the average weight loss in a year is around 70 lbs.  Because I started at a higher weight than many bandsters, the reality is that I should be able to lose more than the average.  It is still nice to know that I am making good progress statistically.  I understand that losing weight at this pace will become more difficult, but I am committed to maximizing my weight loss in a safe and healthy way!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

My Loss Might Be Your Gain

Yesterday I disclosed that I have a bit of a shopping problem.  I still question whether it can be called a 'problem' when it feels SOOOO good, but I digress.  Much of my clothing is now too big on me, and during one evening in Portugal mom saw parts of me that hadn't been on display to her in about 30 years.  It is finally time to clean out my closet, and I hope that my loss of both weight and clothing can be someone's gain.  
So far I have come up with 21 dresses (sizes 20W and 22W) that I'd like to pass on, 2 pairs of fantastic JAG jeans (both with tags still on, size 20W), a bunch of skirts (many are linen and are 20W), and some khakis, etc. (size 20W and 22W).  All of these pieces are in London, but I'd happily fly them home next week and ship out on or before June 28 when I return to London.  I don't want to post pictures of everything, but below is a sampling.  Please pardon the big box over my husband's face.  He is so cute that I'd love to show him off, but I feel that I shouldn't out him quite yet. 
Donna Ricco

I also have a dress very similar to the below in navy blue, black and red (I love the little pleats)

David Meister- note the detailing at the waist

Calvin Klein- drawstring waist

I have this dress in the 3/4 sleeve (shown) and short sleeve
There is also the white dress (posted 2 weeks ago), but I don't want to repost.  I could go on and on with posting pics, but the above sample enough for people to say, 'yeah, I like her style' or 'hell no, not for me'.
Does anyone out there need clothing in these sizes?  If any of you have fellow bloggers or friends who could benefit from my loot, please pass my info along.  For bloggers who have done dress sharing previously, is there a better or more efficient way for me to be doing this? 

Blue Skies- Smiling at Me

Happy Tuesday bloggers... it is certainly a happy Tuesday for me.  Please stop reading for a second or two, look up at my ticker, and then come back here.  What do you see?  I am under 100 lbs from goal as of today!  Yes, 100 lbs is still a LONG way away.  I know, I know.  Many of you had under 100 lbs to lose from your pre-surgery weights.  Still, finally being in the double digits is a HUGE scale victory.  Very exciting:)
I read a CNN article yesterday and was surprised by the title: Bariatric surgery doesn't help obese live longer, study says.  The study, published in JAMA, seems very strange to me.  First, in only dealt with gastric bypass in men.  Second, all of these men were 'older'... the study was conducted at Veterans Affairs centers after all.  So now, they take really fat old guys, perform gastric bypass and learn that these guys don't have reduced mortality rates several years in.  No sh*t!  I guess the only way to address mortality rates in the short term is by dealing with an older demographic to begin with, but I still find the study, and the headline, to be misleading.  Let's see how the mortality rates would look after performing bariatric surgery on severely obese patients in their 30s or 40s (or even in their 20s).  Let's see how this would look if medical intervention meant that previously obese patients no longer suffered from high cholesterol, high blood pressure and diabetes for most of their adult lives.  The men in the study had probably been dealing with the side effects of obesity for decades, and that had taken a serious toll on their bodies.  I'm no doctor, but this study is just so limited that I am not surprised by the outcome at all.  Any thoughts?
Today is the day I will start swimming again.  I've been so afraid of infection that I haven't been in the pool since April.  I didn't even swim in Portugal, neither for exercise nor for pleasure.  I am finally healed and really just have to take the plunge.  Off to the pool. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

Adorable Blog Award

Back again.  I am catching up on my blogging, and I don't want to forget about the Adorable Blog Award.  I'd like to thank Christine and Rachel for nominating me.  Here are the rules:
*Thank the women who gave you this award, and link back to them in your post.
*Tell us 10 things about yourself.
*Nominate your bloggers.
*Contact these bloggers, and let them know they received this award.
1.  I love tomatoes.  I never thought I would- I hated them more than just about anything when I was younger.  Then something happened, and I just LOVE them.  Give me a ripe tomato, or ten, some sea or kosher salt and a knife, and I am in heaven.  I have my tomatoes, salt and knife in front of me RIGHT NOW:)
2.  I am a very social person but still value my alone time.  One day I will have lunch and dinner plans with friends; the next, I will spent the day alone.  I enjoy both and make sure to schedule time for both. 
3.  I speak with my mom several times a day.  I call her when she is on her way to work, at work and before K and I go to bed.  There are sometimes multiple calls at work.  We even spoke every day, but only once a day, when K and I were on our honeymoon in Mauritius.  Yeah, we talk a lot. 
4.  I love shoes but hate feet.  Remember dorm living when we were freshmen in college.. the way your bed was also your sofa?  I do.  It was horrible, people sitting Indian style on MY BED.  Gross.  Keep your dang feet off my stuff! 
5.  I yearn for suburban living.  I am from the suburbs but have lived in cities for years.  When we move back to the states, we plan to move to the suburbs.  This excites me to no end.  A house with a yard, perhaps a pool, so many rooms to decorate, fabulous!  
6.  I still bite my nails.  It is a disgusting habit, and I wish I had to the control to stop. 
7.  I hate the smell of food once I am done eating.  One of the joys of living in London is not having central air, so the smell of cooked food lingers for days.
8.  I like blogging.  I am only about a month into my blog, and I really enjoy it.  I like the comments, and I like reading what other people are blogging about.  If you happen to like what I am writing, kindly show some love and give me a shout out.  The more the merrier:)
9.  My husband and I met when we were freshmen in college (he was smart enough to not sit Indian style on my bed).  We started dating that summer, dated through college, graduated together and took a break in my second year of law school.  Then we got back together after I graduated and he was more settled in his career.  I cannot imagine life without my husband.  He has been part of my life for so long, and we have grown (and grown up) together.  I love him dearly!
10.  I have a shopping issue.  I like shopping- A LOT.  I have more clothes, shoes and pocketbooks than any woman should. 
I mostly follow veteran bloggers, and I doubt they will appreciate this nomination (considering they have probably all done this multiple times already).  Instead, I will nominate women who are just starting their journeys...
Amanda at Hopeful Bandster- she was banded just before Memorial Day and is still on liquids. 
Lee Ann at Stealing Skinny- she is hoping for self-pay VSG next month.

6 Month Bandiversary

I celebrated my bandiversary in Portugal last week.  It was actually a non-celebration, as I completely forgot about it on June 9.  But it still happened.  So where am I half a year post-surgery?
I am down 68.6 pounds.  I lost 20 pounds on the liquid diet, but this is still almost 70 pounds in 6.5 months! 
I am easily fitting into 18W clothes, and most are getting very baggy.  Before surgery I could barely cram myself into a 20W or 22W. 
I can breathe.  I am no longer huffing and puffing all the time.
I can walk without sweating.  It is so nice to walk to see my friends and not be covered in sweat after a short stroll!
I fit into airplane seats and can consistently fasten my seat belt.
I am excited about the next step!  Weight loss has always been something outside my grasp.  The few times I did lose weight, I knew it probably wouldn't stay off.  Now I know that my success will continue as long as I focus on it.  What a relief!!!
So now onto my trip.  To sum it up, the week was fantastic!  Mom and I had such a nice time in the Algarve.  We spent a week laying out (under an umbrella), reading our Kindles and going out to yummy dinners.  We chatted and relaxed.  More importantly, she relaxed.  She is always super stressed with work, and it was great to see her decompress.  My driver is bringing her to the airport as I type, and I already miss her.  We are close friends, and I like when we are together.  I go back to NJ on Monday, so I will see her next week.  Not too shabby considering that we live 3,500 miles apart. 
While I see my mom on a monthly basis, this was our first vacation together post-band.  I think she was a bit concerned that I no longer eat three meals a day.  Breakfast was included in the room rate, so we sat for breakfast every morning.  Before surgery I was a breakfast buffet whore, and that is the Nora mom remembers.  I ate omelettes, sausage, bacon, smoked salmon, rolls, butter, and fruit.  Now, I have little interest in breakfast.  During the week I ate some kiwi, pineapple and grapes for breakfast.  One morning I tried a bite of bacon and a little fork full of scrambled egg- yuck.  I was much happier with a bit of fruit than with any of the typical breakfast offerings.  Back to my mom...  even though she knows that the whole point of this band is to eat less, the reality freaked her out a bit.  I had fruit for breakfast, maybe an octopus salad for lunch, grapes or pineapple for a snack, and fish of some sort for dinner.  Even though most bandsters will probably read this and say WOW, you can really eat a lot, she sees the drastic reduction from what she is accustomed to seeing me consume.  By the end of the week she was better with my eating pattern, but it was funny to see her initial reaction.  
Has this happened with many of you- that even people who know about the surgery want you to eat more than you should, not in an effort to sabotage you but due to concern for your well being?

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Down 0.8 and Other Exciting News

After putting on the dreaded 3.4 pounds, I am finally down .8 lbs from my low.  So I am smiling, I am happy.  This has been the hardest month to lose weight so far.  I am losing, but it is a slower process.  I need to start swimming again.  I haven't been allowed in the pool due to a recent surgery and have been limited to walking.  I am doing my best to eat small portions, chew slowly and drink no less than 1.5 liters of water throughout the day, but boy am I getting hungry.  I am not a fill junkie but think I could probably use just a smidge when I see Dr. K towards the end of this month... we shall see.
In other news, I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of my mother this evening.  My mom is a fantastic mother, a wonderful friend and my strongest supporter.  The London move was difficult for both of us, but it was harder on her.  I am her only child, and we are extremely close.  I still have K to rely on, and she is flying solo.  I still get to see her on a monthly basis, but it is just not the same as living 45 minutes away.  Until the move, I saw her on a weekly basis. 
Before the wedding (March 28, 2009)
Tea at the Dorchester (Spring 2010)
As our Christmas present to mom, K and I gave her a week at the beach in Portugal with ME.  She and I are having a girls week together (or as my mom likes to call it, 'a mom and her kid week'), and I couldn't be happier!  We will be away from Saturday-Saturday and are staying at a lovely resort in Albufeira.  K and I spent a week here last time and really enjoyed it:)  Mom does not like taking the red eye flights, so she leaves Newark at 9am and makes it to Heathrow at 9pm.  I think she is mad to waste an entire day flying, but it works for her.  She hasn't had a proper beach vacation since she and I went to Aruba before K and I were married; it is about time that she get some R&R.  Mom likes to just lounge on a chair and read, so it will be a very chill week. 
I figure that I should be able to get in the pool next week and am bringing my swimsuit, goggles and cap so I can do laps at the gym.  If I am healed enough to lounge in the pool, I am healed enough to exercise in it as well (and the only reason I was banned from the pool was due to risk of infection, not risk of injury).  Before April's surgery I was swimming 2400m (about 1.5 miles) 4-5 days a week and would like to build back up to that.  My old 20W swimsuit was WAY too big, to the point that it would slide down and my girls would just about come out to visit anyone lucky enough to share my lane.  I will be trying out my slightly smaller 16W at the gym next week:)   
Now I am doing my grocery shopping and will roast a chicken for K tomorrow afternoon.  I have taught him to cook a few meals, as I am away for at least one week every month.  His options are quite limited though, and the least I can do is prepare a chicken to get him through a couple of days.
But first, time for my pedicure!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Quick Recipe

I made one of my favorite, and easiest, fish dinners last night.  It is band-friendly and super tasty.  I prepare fish most nights but hear from my friends that they are afraid of cooking fish and stick with chicken most evenings (boring).  I assume my friends are not alone, so I thought I'd share this way too easy to taste so good recipe.
Cod with tomato and cilantro
4 fillets of cod
1 quart of grape or mini plum tomatoes, halved
1 bunch of cilantro, chopped
3-4 cloves of garlic, chopped, minced or crushed
Flour for dredging
Lightly salt cod fillets and dredge in flour (you can skip the flour, but it helps the fish brown a bit)
Oil pan (I love the Misto) and heat to medium/medium high
Once pan is hot, add cod fillets
Cook for about 4 minutes on one side- cod should brown slightly
Flip fillets, add garlic to pan, then add tomatoes and sprinkle cilantro on top
Lower heat slightly and cover pan for 4-5 minutes, until fillets are fully cooked (by covering pan, tomatoes should give off enough liquid to have a little sauce)
Salt as necessary and serve.
Side dish suggestion:
Sauteed zucchini and onion with crushed red pepper