I Have No Excuse

For not blogging over the past 2 weeks. For not reading my blogging buddies’ posts. For not staying on plan. For bingeing last week. I apologize to myself and to my friends. I am in learning mode – breaking down what led up to the binges because it was more than lack of stimulus control. Fodder for another time.

Vacation was great! We spent a week in Florida for fun and family then a week in Dallas for family and fun. A cottage on the beach was our home for 4 days on lush little Sanibel Island off the southwest coast of Florida. We walked, watched a few shorebirds (very familiar from living on the Texas coast), wandered around refuges, ate at cafes, enjoyed the 80° temps and humidity, took silly pictures, picked up shells, dreamed of living on Hawaii. Then it was off to Orlando to surprise Sue’s parents.

Sanibel DQ Santa

Last year on their annual visit to Sue’s sister’s home in central Florida, the folks spent 2 hours looking for the rental car – sigh. So, we spent a night at the Orlando Airport Hyatt (nice for an airport hotel), shocked the hell out of the almost 86-year olds, brunched, then caravanned to, well, let me just say that rebel flags and NRA bumper stickers dominated the mobile home neighborhood. (OK, I call it Crackerville, but so do they.) I love Sue’s sister not just because she is family but also because she is sweet and funny and thrives despite a tough life. We visited with nieces and husbands and boyfriends and babies. Ate BBQ. Drank a lot of coffee then flew off to visit my side of the family.

My Dad had decorated the house so beautifully. It was grand to see him looking well and actually playing the piano. It was difficult to be in their home at Christmas without Mom. I had to go shopping at the Galleria. (Tucson is not known as a shopping mecca.) Ooh, shiny! I bought more bras at Nordstrom’s after spending time with a “surgical fitter.” Sue and I enjoyed my sibs and their spouses; visited the cemetery where I left an angel on Mom’s grave; had a glorious Christmas Eve Eve (yes) dinner with everyone plus my mom’s sister (who looks just like her, which made me cry), my uncle, a cousin, and her kids. We are long past gift-giving except for the occasional doo-dad. Being together is more than enough.

A huge plus was seeing Ann of Dr. Fatty Finds Fitness for a delightful lunch between her morning and afternoon patients. Put two physicians together who “met” over their weight loss blogs and what do they spend the majority of their time talking about? Medicine. 🙂 I have no doubt that her patients love her because she is so easy to speak with and is passionate about quality health care. Those of you who read her blog know what a crazy schedule she has between her practice, family, and amazing exercise routine. Let me just add that to be able to focus on her own health and then share that experience with the world is amazing. She is amazing. If you don’t read her blog, please do!

Jan & Ann

So you might wonder where I went astray on my eating plan. At the quaint cafe on Sanibel? Confronting the numerous biscuits and gravy across the South? During some romantic dinner? While eating with family over mashed potatoes and gravy? No. I was fine for 12 days. Then. I. just. lost it. I continued to be out of control the first 2 days after returning home even though I felt like crap. I knew this could spiral into 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years. It’s happened before. It won’t happen again. I refuse to be undone by my self. All or nothing is no longer my way of life. I’m working hard not to hate myself because that only tugs on the periphery, urging me want to eat again. Yep, I did eat to punish myself in the past. I won’t do it now. I’m in the present. It’s good to be home.

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Holiday Party – The Revenge Edition

What could possible be fun about holiday parties when you are an adult? Especially work parties where now I play the doctor’s wife 😉 The last holiday party I attended for Sue’s work (she has 70 physician partners), I was royally snubbed by a few trophy wives after they discovered that I was just another wife, and a fat, gay one at that.

I will admit to being thin-skinned, but I felt humiliated at that party 4 years ago when a gaggle of skinny, bleached blond, boob jobbed, stereotypically never-had-a-job-or-scrubbed-a-kitchen-floor group of women literally turned their backs on me and walked away after this conversation: Them, “And, you are?” Me, “Jan.” Them, “Which side of town do you work on?” assuming no doctor would be married to anyone so fat. Me: “Oh, I’m not one of the partners.” Them, “Oh, reaaaally?” Me, “Yes, I’m with Sue, her partner.” Them, “So you aren’t a doctor.” Me, “Well, yes, I am.” Them, “Oh, Ph.D. or M.D.?” Me, “Both.” Them – silent stares, a unified flip of the hair, eye rolls and glide away to grill the next newcomer. Me, “Nice to meet you. Didn’t get your names.” said to their backs. “Hello?” No response. I was horrified, insulted, embarrassed, and mad. Interestingly the male physicians, once they found out that I was a doc, were happy to gab with me. What was it that made me so upset? Oh, I know – something about women supporting each other. In my professional life women usually bonded together. Here it was a very different story. I felt like I was in junior high.

Fast forward to this year – I am 140-pounds lighter, wearing a tailored, bright red jacket and nail shellac to match. A shimmery ivory camisole lies just above my new cleavage (still hurts, but looks nice). Sleek wool pants barely conceal my peek-a-boo “opera” heels. I hardly look like a lesbian and am not recognizable even to friends who meet us at the swanky resort. Feeling my oats, I tell Sue I am going to socialize (very uncharacteristic of me) and head off to find the gaggle of blondes. She grabs me because there are people who have heard about my breast cancer and want to catch up. Actually there are women docs and one wife who have just been diagnosed or who have had abnormal mammograms and who want to hear my experience. One takes me to a dark corner and asks how the plastic surgery went. I know her; I glance around and give her a quick peek since my lacy bra looks so good and hides the horrid scars and dangling flesh. She applauds and says that she would have chosen the same plastic surgeon and will use him if her biopsy come back abnormal.

I am still in search of the gang who hurt my ego. More people ooh and ahh that I am half the person I once was. Honestly, the weight loss is just part of who I am. My nail shellac is more interesting to me now. I try to be gracious as they ask what weight loss surgery I had – remember these are anesthesiologists. Then they want to know my diet plan. I provide only a few details: eating plan for life. Those who want more usually recoil in horror when I say no grains, starch, added sugar. “What, you mean no bread, potatoes?” “How bad was your diabetes.” (Never had even pre-diabetes.) Now I’m tired of the diet thing. I just want to find the offending creatures. Suddenly I realize that this isn’t very holiday-ish. I have come to the party like some people go to reunions, as revenge. I relax and meet some new people and have a really cool conversation with a doctor’s husband. What a neat guy! We sit down for dinner with a couple we haven’t seen in 2 years and catch up on family and friends.

As I head back to the buffet for more protein, I catch the eye of a blonde who is beyond big with child. I let it go, trying not to hope think how hard those 40+ pounds will be to lose postpartum. Suddenly, blondes start appearing. I can’t help myself. I pause to look each one in her eyes and say hello. “So, nice to see you again.” And, it really was.

gingerbread replica of Mission San Xavier del Bac

Gingerbread replica of San Xavier del Bac Mission at Loews Ventana Canyon

Things I Learned This Week

Reading good fiction is much more fun than writing bad fiction, but criticizing others’ work doesn’t help me write more (or better).

I love having my sweetie home on weekdays, but I really enjoy my private time.

Making an appointment with the dentist is easier now than scheduling a check-up with my primary care doctor. The last visit with her started a cascade of events that led to my breasts getting chopped off.

 

The older I get, the later in the season that I start playing Christmas music.

Lucy dog

 

I would have been a very neurotic mother. Our omega dog, Lucy, had some teeth removed. We cried together driving home. She was in physical pain. I was in mental anguish hearing her cries.

 

The closer I get to goal weight, the farther away it seems. I think my body is screaming “maintenance – soon.”

I cannot escape my SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by living in one of the sunniest cities in America. The > 350 days of sunshine just delays the onset and the severity.

Light box on my desk for the season

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After so many years of not wearing nail polish because of work, I don’t care if amethyst shellac makes my hands look old. It’s fun and less frustrating than trying on clothes.

Purple fingernails

 

 

 

 

 

I am very thankful for my amazing family and bountiful life, but the holidays are harder after a loved one dies. Missing you mucho, Mom.