Friday, October 4, 2013

Oh How I Love Fall

 The title here just about sums it up.  I am one of the many fall lovers in the world.  Perhaps it is because I grew up in San Francisco and our fall is most of America's summer.... I am not sure.  But when September approaches I get giddy at the thought of all things fall.... boots, sweaters, pumpkin everything, changing leaves, earth colors, the chill in the air, and this year... the harvest up in Napa!  YEE HAW!

B's best friend Mike came to stay with us for 3 weeks and help B with work because he has just been inundated with new jobs (which is fantastic, but sucky at the same time!).  I would like to award Mike the "Best House Guest of the Century".  He just didn't even leave a footprint!  If I was staying with friends for 3 weeks, I'd be moved in! Haha!

Anyhow, we were all sitting on the deck talking and the subject of our weekend activity sans children came up.  B and I had never been up to the wine country, so I thought that it would be not only a great chance for us to head up there, but also for Mike to see more of the Bay Area.  And thus, our Napa trip was born!  Sadly, Mike was under the weather on the day we went, but B and I had an amazing day.

We started our journey by heading up to Rutherford to visit Frog's Leap Winery, which was recommended by a few friends of mine.  While it was indeed, gorgeous, the wines were just kind of eh.  The best part of the winery was the grounds. They of course had an enormous vineyard, but also fantastic gardens.  And we aren't just talking flowers.  They had fruit trees, vegetables, and even pumpkins!  When we were tasting our wine, the sommelier suggested that we walk the grounds and if we had the urge, to pick a snack.  Apparently she had no idea what she was suggesting to a girl like me.  Telling me there are free snacks is like telling a normal person there's free money in the garden.   I was so excited that I had brought a large purse!

First I was thrilled to find red bell peppers growing.  Then I grabbed a couple pomegranates (which, I might add, my 5 year old LOVES pomegranates now so really I was doing a service to my family by picking those : P ).  Then I saw an apple tree.  And B saw some squash he wanted.  By the time we left my bag was overflowing with fruits and veggies.  Thank you Frog's Leap!  Your gardens were much appreciated!
Our next stop was undecided, and my most favorite restaurant was located about a mile from Frog's Leap, but a mile in the wine country is filled with way more than one winery.  So we decided to stop at Caymus Winery, about 1/4 mile down the road.
Caymus was a little pricey, so we shared our flight (which quite frankly was smart because they poured some large tastes!).  We just sat in their gorgeous garden and talked about life, love, our family... it was wonderful.  And it was also wonderful to just enjoy each other.  Times like those make me fall in love with B all over again.  He truly is my best friend.

After that we headed a little farther away to Benessere Winery in St. Helena.  I had read on Yelp that it shouldn't be missed.  I would say if you want a tiny, casual, family run winery, it definitely is a great stop.  It doesn't necessarily have the "wow" factor like the other wineries, but it was quaint and our wine guy was super friendly.  AND there was a woman working who, when I asked her to take a photo of us, she decided to take us outside for a complete photo shoot!!  Which, I am obsessed with photos so I was in heaven.  Wine, sunshine, photos, my love... put them together and what do you get??? Heaven!  See below :)

With the kids' custody schedule the way it is, my calendar is measured in two increments: with kids, and without.  When I don't have the kids, B and I try to take advantage and continue to do things like we are "dating".  And when I do have the kids, it is all about the kids!  I try to go to kiddie amusement parks, create play dates, visit family, etc.  My kids hit the jackpot when my cousin emailed, inviting us up to Portland to visit her and her daughter for the weekend.

The kids hadn't flown since the end of 2011.  We went to Chicago and they vaguely remember flying.  When I told them we were taking an airplane to Portland I was asked about 100 times "Are we going today?!!!".  When the day came, they were more than ready to experience air travel!  B had to work, and my cousin's husband was out of town so it was a mommy-kid weekend. Kind of like Sister Wives, no??  If sister wife life is like that, I will totally be one.  We had so much fun!

We left the sunny San Jose sunshine for overcast skies in Portland.   But nothing could dampen the kids' enthusiasm for flying to see our cousins.  I must say, despite a delay, they were pretty well behaved at the airport and were excellent once we got on the plane.  Everything was fascinating to them, including the safety instructions and barf bag on the seat in front of us!  They did not argue over who got to sit next to the window (shocker for Mom), and they were thrilled when they got to pick their drinks and snack.  Now it is a short flight to Portland, and thank GOD for that, but I would give my kids an A for behavior while traveling this trip!

The one caveat on this travel alone with kids thing is that any time anyone had to do anything, i.e. go potty, buy a soda, etc.... everyone and everything had to go with us. And that SUCKED.  I couldn't leave 2 kids in a seat and say "Be right back", so we dragged our carry ons up and down the airport a few times, until I had had enough and just left them in the boarding area.  If someone wanted to steal toy dinosaurs and coloring books, so be it. I was sick of packing up!  Thankfully, my cousin's husband was kind enough to park and wait for us inside of the airport and help us carry our junk from the gates, to the baggage claim, to the car.  Sooooo nice of him, and much appreciated.

The highlight of the trip for me was that my cousin had purchased tickets to see Kelly Clarkson and Maroon 5.  Yeeeehaw!  One of my favorite concerts was seeing Kelly Clarkson last year.  She is absolutely incredible.  When I saw her, it was in a tiny venue in San Jose, and we had awesome seats, and I could literally see her from about 10 feet away.  Yeah.... this concert was slightly different.  We were in an outdoor amphitheater.  In the back.  In the rain.  In the cold.  Without seats.  This princess was like "oh hell no!".  But this princess also loves Kelly so I sucked it up.  By the time we got to Maroon 5, it was absolutely POURING.  As in, sheets of rain.  The grass had turned to mud, and I was tired of being rained on.  Maroon 5 was great, but my enthusiasm was indeed "dampened" by the rain. (Chuckle Chuckle).  This photo does not include my plastic bag poncho that I was so incredibly grateful to have because by the time we left, I was wet... even with the poncho.  I would have died without it!

Another highlight of my trip was getting to see my cousin's new house!  In the Bay Area it is rare to hear of my friends making home purchases.  Particularly an actual HOUSE.  With over 2000 square feet.  In a cute neighborhood.  With a yard.  I could not be happier for her.  Her home is adorable, and decorated beautifully.  Congrats Cara & Jared!  Below are my munchkins and Cara's daughter Kate modeling in front of the door.  Classic "Welcome to my new home" picture! (Notice all three are wearing rain gear!  Welcome to the Pacific Northwest)

On Saturday, Cara had to work, so the kids were mine to entertain.  We had originally planned to go to the zoo, but the pouring rain had other ideas.  So instead, we went to the Portland Children's Museum.  The kids had a blast, but their favorite exhibit was the veterinarian office.  Benji was checking out all of the animals, while the girls were very interested in the kennel and putting bandages on the cats and dogs.  Crazy kiddos!  They also got to paint their own faces so all of my photos of them at the museum have them with kitty cat and a "SpiderMan" face (aka bright red all over).

Aidan was begging to play in the rain all day. From the time they were dressed until the time we got home from the museum, she was just DYING to use an umbrella and those rain boots and go to town.  So once Benji went down for a nap and I got Cara's okay for Kate to be out there, the girls went to town in the backyard.  Water logged chalk drawings, trampoline, puddles...they had so much fun!
Our trip was only Friday through Sunday, but by the time Sunday rolled around, the kids were exhausted!  How can you not love these sleepy little faces??
When we got home, it was back to the old grind and.... OCTOBER!  I am slightly obsessed with deorating my mantle in our playroom.  I had decorated for a general "Fall" theme, but was waiting until October to put out all of my Halloween decor. When I told B I was changing it for Halloween specifically he looked at me and said "You certainly have a lot of time on your hands!".  Ummm no.  I just love to decorate!!!  Here are a few pics of the playroom decor.  I feel like it is the least "finished" of all of the rooms in the house, simply because of layout and the fact that it is full of kid crap.  BUT, I tried :)  I included all angles because I don't think I have posted updated pics of the house in awhile.

And then there's my beautiful, wooden front door.  For some reason I have a love affair with the color of the stain on our front door.  It looks so warm and cozy. We added the topiary planter thingies a few months back, and I got lucky to find some garland in my Halloween bins.  I plan to add some pumpkins once we take the kids to the Patch.

And then throughout the house there are little Halloween touches here and there. Like my spiders in the dining room, a ghost flag thingie in the kids' room, and I have our ficus tree decorated with garland and orange lights.  I think the kids are going to absolutely love it when they get home from their dad's house.

So, as usual, I have been very busy!  My weight has remained exactly where it was before, which, is a good thing or a bad thing depending on your viewpoint!  For now, I am just happy that I am stable, and that life is good!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

I'm Alive! I swear!

I received an email today from a woman who had contacted me upon reading my blog.... quite a long time ago!  She was checking in because I hadn't blogged in quite some time.  Yeah... 6 months have flown by!

If I think of the past 6 months I feel like I have been on auto-pilot.  Not a lot of major things have happened.  Life is really, really good.  I am very fortunate to say that.  My kids are healthy, my fiance and I are doing great, my family is all well and healthy.... still loving where we moved and the amazing weather. We haven't been on any huge trips like last year, but it seems like we get a chance to hop around the west coast quite a bit, and have been to Reno, Tahoe, Washington State, the Central Coast.... etc etc etc.  I was very blessed to get to spend lots of time with the kids this summer, and they are learning to swim, which is great.   And I guess the most exciting news is that I have decided to go back to school to get my AA in Paralegal Studies.... something that I find interesting in light of my former custody battle.

But what this blog is really supposed to be about is my life with weight loss surgery.  And unfortunately, it is still a struggle.  I currently weigh anywhere from 153-155lbs depending on the day.  So that is down 90 from my pre-surgery weight, and up 20 from my lowest point.  HOWEVER, due to the fact that I have not been working out, and especially not working out with weight training, I have gone from a size 4 to a size 8-10.  That my friends, is not something to be proud of.

However, with that said, I am happy to say that 155 seems to be my "comfortable" weight.  I eat pretty much what I want, when I want.  I try to make good choices, but still slip up, and I have not been working out regularly.  I just haven't been in the mood.  I am hoping that getting back into a fall school schedule will boost my ambition level.  Afterall, summer was so hectic and I had the kids way more than I do during school so there was always that "Excuse".  But look how cute my excuses are! (we went to an awesome kids amusement park and zoo called Happy Hollow in San Jose, CA.... it's amazing!)

The one thing that I have learned about this process of maintenance is that it NEVER ENDS!  A fact that depresses me quite frankly.  And I feel like weightloss and nutrition are major hot topics everywhere I turn.  My facebook and instagram feeds are bombarded with Beachbody and Shakeology and motivational quotes.  Everyone is going Gluten Free or Paleo, or whatever other fad is in right now.  It drives me NUTS.  But, on the other hand, maybe daily reminders that I need to take responsibility for my own health are what I need.... which is why I haven't blocked any.

I am the queen of excuses.  And I am the first to admit it.  But I am at the point right now to where I don't see any need to give one.  While I am not thrilled with my size, I am a helluva lot smaller than I started.  I have decided that I do not want to spend the rest of my life beating myself up because I am not maintaining a size 4 in clothing.  I would rather enjoy the small things in life, make educated and thought out choices, but also LIVE MY LIFE.

I am still so much happier now that I was before surgery.  And I am so thankful to have had the opportunity to get it.  I still remember the rules: protein first, lots of water, small portions (that's a must for surgery obviously), very low carbs.  And if you want to shrink, you need to exercise. Yup, got that all in check!  But here is where a year of on and off excercise and eating what you want will get you:
That is my reality check.  Which side would I rather look like? The left of course.  Which side is my body "comfortable" at? The right.  And where do I NEVER EVER want to be again....see below.
THAT is the real reality check I suppose.... Me, in Hawaii at I believe 225lbs... something around there.  And the kicker was that I had no idea I looked so large!  I knew I was a big girl, but everyone kept telling me I wasn't THAT big.  Ummmmm yeah. See above.

So I guess the point to all of this is that I am still here, still alive, still struggling, still succeeding, and just living my life the best way that I know how.  One thing is for certain.... I have found the person to see me through the peaks and valleys and who I can say without a doubt is truly the best thing that ever happened to me.
He has shown me love, friendship, and support at my heaviest, my thinnest, and now.  I am a very lucky girl.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Through the Looking Glass... Life is all about Perception

So, I posted most recently about my slight weight gain and about how life after surgery is a forever process.  And that is all fine and good.  But the reality of the situation is that life after surgery has become very similar to life before surgery for me... full of excuses and "i'll start tomorrow".  And quite frankly, it just is NOT acceptable.

I went to Weight Watchers a few weeks ago.  149.6.  WOWZA.  Oddly it was comforting to not see a 15... but it was a harsh reality.  Now I am heading towards gaining 20lbs instead of 15.  I have no one to blame but myself and the irony of it is that I know my issues! Just like I know how to eat right and lose weight... it is just a matter of doing it!

B and I have discussions regarding my weight gain all the time.  He jokes about my "babies" (butt cheeks) growing and I give him crap about his baby (belly).  It's all in good fun but the serious side of it is my babies need to SHRINK not grow :(  It is hard for him to understand my addiction to food.  He does not have this problem. His addiction is to beer.  Not in the alcoholic need a buzz sense, but simply he really enjoys the taste of it... the same way I would like a soda.  So many times while I am eating my booty bigger, he is drinking his belly the same.  Bad and bad.

We also have discussions on strategies for me to get back on track.  I joined Weight Watchers because I wanted to see the point values for food so I could get a sense of how "bad" what I was eating really is.  The higher the points value the worse it is for weight loss....generally speaking.  That lasted about a day.  Kind of like My Fitness Pal.  About a day.  I really suck at tracking what I eat. And it shows.

Then I joined a Zumba fitness studio.  I LOVE IT.  Absolutely love it.  It gives me something to "do" on days I don't have the kids, it is super fun, and a great workout.  The one downfall is that I want to do more with weights, but it is a start.  So... fitness, I am on the mend with.  Diet.... not so much.

I was having a discussion with a friend who is interested in weight loss surgery and I was telling her that even after surgery I still get hungry and I still have a love affair with carbohydrates. Not the healthy whole grain ones... the white processed sugar kinds.  And  both of these are not my sleeve's issue.  They are mine.  And it is an issue that I had better address quickly because at the rate I am going, in 5 years I will be back at square one for weight.  That thought is extremely frightening. So anyway, she suggested I go onto my online support groups for inspiration. So I did.... and inspiration is what I found.

A woman who attended the very same support group I posted about last time had a perspective COMPLETELY different than mine from the same topic.  I left thinking "I'm ok.... everyone gains weight... it'll be ok".  She left thinking this:  He pointed out that if  extra pounds aren’t working for you, then as he sees it, you’re no longer in maintenance.  Maintenance should be a range in which you feel comfortable both physically and emotionally and in which you are truly maintaining within a small range of weight.

As Oprah would say.... an "Aha!" moment.  Wow.  I need to completely switch gears with my life.  I am completely UNcomfortable with my body right now.  I feel "fat".  I feel embarrassed.  I feel like I am failing (and I am!).... and until I get myself into the mode of  "this is not ok" nothing will change.  So today, I reached out to my surgeon's dietician and a woman who I met at the meeting who has been extremely successful for over 5 years.  And I am hoping their guidance can force me to get myself back on track.  Back to the reality of no one can MAKE me successful other than yours truly.

I need to lose 15 lbs.  Plain and simple.  And that is the verdict of the day.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Starting off my 30's with a Bang!

Greetings from my third decade!  That's right, this crazy lady turned 30 on February 10.  And it feels great!

All last year I was super excited to turn 30.  It was so symbolic of all of the fantastic life changes that I had experienced and I do indeed feel more confident and self assured, so I had expected turning 30 to be wonderful.  Well about a week before my birthday, with no big party, no vacation, nothing planned, I started to have an early life turning 30 freak out.  30.... it sounds so.... OLD.  Omg.

But, when the time came, with the help of family, friends, and my honey, turning 30 was AMAZING.  I like to say I started it off with a bang because I started it off with 3 consecutive "blow-outs" at Dry Bar, a salon that only washes and styles hair. I had answered an ad on Craigslist where a girl was looking for a hair model.  I got there and they switched up the stylists and the guy who was doing my hair needed a model for the next day.... I was having so much fun (drinks, snacks, and a free hair-do.... yes please!) that I offered to return on Thursday.  Then I mentioned wanting to look pretty for Friday night and he said "Well we are having a soft opening so come back then and get your hair done"... so I did!  They all did wonderful jobs.... here are my first 2:
You're surprised right???  WHOA Bangs!!!  Yeah.... since right before Christmas.  And let me tell you it is amazing how bangs change what people say.  I got different reactions but my personal favorite was what B had to say when I came home from the salon that fateful day in December: "What happened?!".  Ummmm I got bangs!  That's what happened!!!!

One thing that I heard repeatedly (other than "you look like your mother"  or "I like you better without them") was:  You look so YOUNG!  Well.... thank you very much!  Here is a picture from right after I first cut my hair with B, me, and B's son Bailey..... we joked that people probably thought I was either his sister or girlfriend.... certainly not his stepmother to be!

And as you can see, the bangs were a little.....short, shall I say?  I don't know the best way to say it other than I was not 100% on them.  And I was stuck with them.... STILL AM!!!!  However, see above with my model doggie Luke.... I learned how to work with them. I think that is a cute picture, right?

So, I digress... I turned 30 with bangs, and with a bang.... here's how!

Thursday night I came home with my hair done, and the salon had been giving me wine.  The girls really liked me because on Wednesday I had brought Aidan with me and not only is she the cutest kid ever, she was PERFECTLY behaved.  Like not a peep, not a whine, not an anything.  They were so nice to us, and remembered me when I returned Thursday.... child free.  And since I was sans-child, and I was turning 30 in a few days.... why not live it up?!  I took them up on their free wine offer.

And I think I am one of those people that is in the business of  "Once you get started, why stop?!".  B came home to a tipsy lady, because I just continued the party.  Well, WE did.  You see, that is the one thing about us that I love so much.... all we need for an amazingly hilarious and fun night is us two and some cocktails.  We had a full on Thursday night party in our "Cabin" (house)....and come Friday morning oh man.... I was HUNGOVER!

However, I hadn't anticipated our imromptu fiesta so I had already planned to "hike" the Stanford Dish (google it... it is a walking/running trail that overlooks the entire Bay Area).   God Bless America, I actually got up and went!!!  So proud.  After that I tried to relax and get ready for my final "blow out".... a NON alcoholic blow out mind you!  B had told me he was planning something for my birthday, but on Saturday.  So Friday night we went to dinner with a friend of mine from high school and her boyfriend in downtown Palo Alto and that was wonderful.  She and I got our makeup done (like we were in high school! haha) at the mall, and my hair was all sexified, so I was feeling fabulous.  And we discussed the "surprise" B had planned.

Was it Napa??  Was it SF?  What was the plan???  All I knew was that we had to drop the dog off at my parents' house in SF and that was on the way.  Saturday morning I woke up bright and early with excitement and within about 15 minutes had guessed my surprise.  I am a pain in the butt like that :)  We were staying at the Hotel Vitale on the Embarcadero in SF, AND having dinner at Epic, my favorite fancy restaurant!    Yes, I was happy and excited, but I have to be 100% honest... it wasn't like "Oh WOW I AM SO SURPRISED".  I kinda figured it would be something like that.

And just when I was feeling eh, my honey turned out to have planned the best birthday ever.  Seriously.

We checked into the hotel at around 4pm and dinner was not until 8:30pm, so I suggested that we walk over to the Ferry Building to check out the little shops and wine bars, etc.  We walked over and right when we walked in B saw a cooler with beer on tap.  I am not a huge beer drinker but he loves it so I suggested he get a cup.... afterall the cool thing about the Ferry Building is you can walk around with your alcohol so long as you are inside!  Well, he got his beer, took a sip, and proclaimed how delicious it was.  Of course I had to try it..... and it truly WAS delicious!!!  So, beers in hand, we started wandering the stalls.
In our usual "uniform"! We tend to match a lot!
We wandered the stalls checking out all of the fabulous gourmet foods.... $60 a pound chocolates (YES PLEASE!), $3 macaroons, and $35/lb cheese later.... we were set.  And on a roll with the beer.... we had befriended the guy at the stall where our fabulous beer was and when B would buy a new one, the guy would just top mine off (I am a slow drinker).  But oh how we had a blast!!

Come dinner time, we were feeling good... had gone home to change and get fancy.  Dinner was incredible.  Amazing view of the Bay Bridge, fabulous food, great wine.... and the best company I could ever ask for.

When we were done B asked me what I wanted to do.  Well... I have a confession to make.... I love cheesy bars.  I don't know if it stems from when I was a big girl and didn't want to impress anyone, but my very favorite place to celebrate in SF is at the Starlight Room.  It is a bar and lounge in Union Square that sits on top of a hotel and overlooks the city.  The view is gorgeous, and the people watching is TO DIE FOR!  Think hookers, tourists, and old people.... and always a fun cover band.  At the Starlight Room people truly dance like no one is watching.. because quite honestly... there is really no one to impress! haha!  As evidenced below..... we were God knows how many cocktails deep, and I was dancing like I was turning 30...... just GOING FOR IT!!! lol
B survived the fact that we didn't have a table to sit at (he complained when we arrived) and ended up having a blast also.  He even danced with me.... first time EVER.  White boy can't dance but he tried and  it was so much fun.  He also admitted that he really enjoyed himself ( I think he was surprised!).

Sunday we spent hungover as all get out.  A $150 bar tab will do that to you :X  Woke up at 11:45.... hurriedly showered, and checked out, and had a great lunch at the Cheesecake Factory downtown.  We were supposed to go to dinner Sunday night with my family but we both felt like we had been run over by a truck, so that didn't happen. 

We picked up the dog at my parents' house, drove home, and ended up grocery shopping and ordering pizza.  How funny that my actual 30th birthday was spent pretty much doing nothing...but really, it was absolutely perfect.  

I would also like to add on here that the advent of Facebook really makes a girl feel special on her birthday! SERIOUSLY!  I got so many messages and posts wishing me a happy birthday.  They really made my day.

So, although I didn't end up celebrating in the way that I had envisioned turning 30, I learned yet again that life works in mysterious ways.  I celebrated with the one most important person in my life (aside from my kiddos who were with their dad).... and he managed to remind me why I love him so so dearly. He is truly my best friend.

Cheers.... my thirties better look out because I have a lot planned coming up! haha!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

I'm a lifer

So I am ashamed to admit that I often forget that I have a blog until someone mentions it.  In this case it is someone who I do not even know but who posted the kindest comment on another post!  It is things like that that make me a) feel incredibly special and b) incredibly inspired to keep posting and chronicle my journey.  Like the title says: I'm a lifer when it comes to the sleeve.  Forever changed and forever learning to live with it.

I recently attended a support group for my surgeon's office.  Why I did not regularly attend for the past 2 years I do not know.... but the opportunity presented itself to me and the topic was plastic surgery so it was destiny!  I definitely want to get plastic surgery at some point....but that is not the purpose of this post.

You see, while there my surgeon had two very interesting points that I took note of.  The first being that his goal is not to make your life miserable because you cannot eat anything.  A year or two out, we SHOULD be able to eat more "normally".  The sleeve is simply a tool to control portions and HOPEFULLY a chance for us to learn healthy eating habits.  He asked me if anyone I met could tell that I had had weight loss surgery.  The answer is a resounding NO!  Any time I meet a new person in any setting, whether it involve a meal or not, they are generally shocked when I tell them that I used to weigh 245lbs.  Yes, I eat much less now,  but I am still able to taste pretty much anything.  And of course there are times when I still get mad at my sleeve for not allowing me to consume as much as I want of something!!!  But I am then quickly reminded that that is WHY I got it. Two years and a couple months into this process, I will be the first to admit that it is hard to resist a tasty meal.

The second thing my surgeon said is that about 10lbs of weight gain is completely normal... and here is why:  He likened getting the sleeve surgery to driving a car.  When you first learn to drive you are incredibly cautious; two hands on the wheel, eyes straight ahead, no background noise... just completely focused on the task at hand.  A few years pass and all of the sudden you have the music blasting, talking on the phone, reaching back for your kids..... you are now confident on how to operate the vehicle so you start taking chances.  For the most part, you are accident free.  But it is possible for you to get in an accident.  And that is how we are with our sleeves.

Right after surgery we are super careful about every little thing that goes in our mouths.  Vitamin intake is charted, protein charted, water charted, calories counted impeccably..... we are in safety mode because we know that there is so much to lose.  Come goal time we are learning to cruise.... working out, eating healthy, making good choices....but certainly not as vigilant as when we started.  A few years down the road we are "treating" ourselves every now and again.... aware of the rules of the "road" (sleeve) but fully aware that there are not always police officers handing out bad eating tickets!  And so.... we gain weight.

BUT with that said:  If we can gain about ten pounds but learn to live in a healthy lifestyle that works for us and keep that weight constant (not 10 + 10 + 10+ 10....) then we are doing well.

And although lately I have been very down on myself for being lazy and making bad choices I have to say that if you had shown me a picture of myself right this moment, love handles and all, I would have asked how much money I had to pay to look like this.  I may have gained about 15lbs, but by golly I am still a size 6 and a size small.  I would have looked at me and been rolling my eyes at myself about complaining about my weight.  But the truth of the matter is that once you have a weight issue there is never satisfaction in how "small" you are.  At least not for me.  Even at my fittest, leanest, lowest weight I was wondering "I wonder if I can get into a size 2??".  A size 2?!  Was I freaking crazy?!!!!  I mean, yes, technically I am sure that had I put more work into it, yes, I could have.  But what percentage of the population is a size 2????  I don't call these unattainable goals, I call them unnecessary ones.

So when I say I am a lifer, I am still learning every day how to handle my own desires, my own struggles and my love of food.  I do... I still love food.  And that is a very scary thing.  BUT, I have come so far and am so incredibly thankful for the head start that I have on being healthy.   I really could not be more blessed in all aspects of my life.... which actually just gave me the idea for my next blog post.... I am on a ROLL today! :)