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.

Bits & Bites

We will be traveling for holiday joy with family. Well, at least one side of the family (mine) is joyful during this season. A side trip to Sanibel Island for a few days won’t make up for the missed vacation in Hawaii but should provide enough beach time for the family excitement ahead.

The critters and house always get tremendous care from our wonderful pet-sitting company, Nunn Better. Seneca does an amazing job with her staff, and our “Pack” usually has their favorite gal, Aubrey, to spoil them rotten when we travel. Of course we would rather they romp on the beach with us and visit their puppy cousins. I do worry about them. Ha! They are too busy enjoying respite from us and happy to avoid kennel-care.

Betsy & Scruffy

PeeTee & Lucy

After a reaaallllly long weight-loss plateau, I have dropped a few pounds. I continue to be fascinated how my body shape changes even without losing much weight. Don’t say I am toning up because my physical activity still is not up to pre-mastectomy level, but at least I’m moving again without discomfort. Although my goal seems to be only 14-pounds away, I think maintenance for me will hit when I can fit into the pair of really tight size 10 pants hanging. Who knows? Who cares. I’m pretty much eating what I plan to eat for life except there will be no hesitancy for treats in the future. This time of year. with my seasonal affective disorder flaring and the associated carb urge, it is a bit dangerous to venture away from my mantra: no grains, starch, added sugar.

My favorite/only plastic surgeon insisted on a huge hug rather than a handshake at the start of our visit this week. “What, after all we’ve been through you just want to shake my hand?” So, I pressed my artificial boobs into his chest and then flash him. “Are you satisfied with this?” I ask. He tells me I look great for just a little over 2 months since my tissue expanders were replaced with silicone. Scars are healing well. Skin flab might be removed after weight loss is done, depends on if I want more scars. We discuss how one foob hangs lower. Most women’s breasts are not even. I just never noticed because mine were hanging at my waist. He did not use any tissue matrix (we agreed) to reinforce the lower poles of the “pockets” holding my implants. So, I do have to watch and see if that one foob drops any lower. My symmastia (uniboob) has not recurred but I’m still at high risk for up to 2 years. In other words, I am like many women who undergo breast reconstruction after breast cancer – over 25% will require additional surgery after “permanent” implants are placed. I ain’t planning on it, but I am aware. The next step is to get nipple tattoos. (Just in case you were dying to know.) No nipple reconstruction. I don’t want “headlights” all the time, and the Barbie look is kinda weird. We are planning a trip to Baltimore in the spring to have mine done by a tattoo artist who works with academic reconstruction centers across the country. Always wanted a tattoo. Just thought it might be a green sea turtle…

Leaving you with a link to a fun read from the New York Times: Holiday Gifts From Your Kitchen Even non-chefs like make me can make healthy, lemon olive oil and dress it up in a pretty container.

Be reading you on the interwebs!