Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year?

I have to ask the question - is it a happy new year?  It is the time of the year when people vow to D-I-E-T.  Do you know how much I despise that word?  It's almost as bad as the "F" word!  Diets aren't for losing weight; lifestyle changes are what do it.  So, for those people making RESOLUTIONS <ugh> to lose weight, do you have a plan or is it just the general "eat better, " "drink less soda," or "go to the gym more?"

Do I have a plan?  Yes, I do.  My husband's car is paid off in the Spring and we are going to join the "Y."  I am going to take water aerobics classes.  I am going to eat less junk food, fewer calories, not have a full dessert every night for dessert and pay attention to <gasp> portion size.  Yes, these things are all important.  No, they are not "fun."  I have to admit the last water aerobics class I took was pretty fun!

However, I have surgery this week and am going to be laid up for 4-6 weeks.  That gets us that much closer to when we can get to a workout facility.  I do have an exercise bike here (recumbent, so better on my back), but I'll still be very limited with any extreme movement for a bit.

I lost 75 lbs in 2007 and it felt great!  Then some stuff happened and I gained it all back, not able to go to the gym or interested in eating right.  Well, I had surgery that year, too!  Maybe this is a sign.  (no, I don't really believe in signs)  So, is anyone with me?  Does anyone want to join in?  We can share progress reports!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Home Again, Home Again

Well, it's official, I am at my highest weight ever, although I only gained 1 lb while on a 10 day vacation in Disney World (WDW).  The seat belt extender worked fine, but my poor husband wasn't comfy sitting in the seat next to me - we both couldn't lean back, as our shoulders didn't "fit."

I had someone take a picture of my husband and myself, despite the fact that I despise that.  I am tired of being this weight, looking this way, feeling this way... BEING this way.  So, that picture can serve as my "before" photo.  Now, I am having major surgery next week and will not be allowed to do even light exercise for at least a month afterwards.  However, when I lost 75 lbs before, I had ankle surgery that May and was unable to do anything for 6 weeks.  I had a trip to WDW the end of that year, too.  Oh right, did I mention that we're booked to back the end of next year, too.  Yes, it will be my 11th trip and yes, I know that I am fanatical.

You know, maybe this is just the right combo for success: it's a new year, I'm having surgery and I have a trip to Disney planned for the end of the year.  When I get within 20 lbs of goal weight (136 lbs away, though at this point I'd be happy with it being 126 lbs away), my father will send us on a cruise.  It's not exactly a "carrot" since it's been out there for 6-7 yrs, but I won't turn it down, that's for darn sure!!

So, I have some food leftover that we bought on vacation and then it's on to my new lifestyle.  D-I-E-T is a 4-letter word in this house.  People go on and off diets, but this is something that has to be a change everyday for the rest of my life.  Will I allow myself to have some sweets which aren't "light" or enjoy dessert most nights?  Absolutely!  I would be setting myself up for failure otherwise!  A few more days of being less-than-careful and then it's "new way of eating" for me!

Thursday, December 8, 2011


Yes, I'm fat and I'm feeling it right about now.  I'm .5 lbs less than my highest weight.  I'm about to get on a plane and have to ask for a seat belt extender, praying it's big enough.  I just hope they don't ask me to buy a second seat.  It's embarrassing enough to look this way.  I've never flown at this weight.  I'm so self-conscious.  I feel like people will be looking at me thinking "I hope I'm not in the seat next to her!"

Clothes I bought to wear while I'm away were snug when they arrived; there is no way they will fit now.  UGH!

I. Am. Fat. and it's disgusting!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Still Here....

Ok, ok, I've been a bit neglectful, but doubling our critter population has kept me very busy!

I don't know about anyone else, but I have NO idea what I look like.  My poor husband... we'll be walking in a store and I'll ask him "do I look like her?" or "am I fatter than her?"  I want him to be honest!  I have no idea.  I know what I see when I look in the mirror and know how everyone in my life tells me how much I need to lose weight, that it will help with the pain I'm having, that I'll be better able to be active with the dogs, blah, blah, blah.  I know all of that.  Please, I've been fat long enough to know that - and I know how to lose weight!  What I don't know is what I look like!!!!  Sure I have a body image and it's of a cow or better yet, a sperm whale.

I know what size clothes I wear, that I can feel that size getting smaller and smaller, and that I'm F.A.T!!  Just feeling frustrated today.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Sunday was a long day!

Dogs, dogs, and more dogs!  We're trying to find the perfect match and never thought it would have been so hard.  But, we just may have a winner, two winners.

Sunday we went to meet the foster Mom we know who had a dog of interest to us.  We were also interested in a dog coming from the South on transport, so we met them all at the transport meeting location.

We fell in love with "Wesley" (above).  The dog from transport was going to be too much for us, although she is beautiful and I'm sure will have a home in no time.  As we sat with "Wesley" another dog came up and started to play with him; this was "Wendy."  After their playing was over, "Wendy" came up and laid down right in between Keith and me.  At one point she rested leaned against Keith's leg and later she rested her head on my knee.  She totally picked us.

Now, we had no intentions of adopting TWO dogs, but these guys played together and then rested together and just chilled with us!  I've been in contact with the foster Mom since and the two are even choosing to share a crate.  You'd think they were siblings, but they aren't!  "Wesley" is a shepherd mix; "Wendy" is a vizsla mix.

We're waiting to see how they do individually and then together with cats.  If all goes well, we may be doubling the number of kids we have!  The kitties are not going to be happy at all!  Everyone will need some time to adjust, but the ratio of male:female remains the same.  Whew!

By the way, we're going to change their names.  I'm not going to get into that now, though.  I'll wait until we sign the adoption papers.  Oh, and yes, it's an open adoption that we're negotiating  :-)

"Wesley" and "Wendy"

This is Wesley.

This is Wendy.
This is Wesley and Wendy resting after playtime.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Our furry family

It seems these little guys were feeling left out, so I had to add them to the blog.  This is Victoria, left and Albert, right (aka Tori and Bert), named after an amazing restaurant in none other than Disney World.  Yep, always with the Disney reference, albeit often too obscure for most to realize.  We've had them since 2/09, just 11 days after we lost this precious girl:

This is Nikki... sadly, no Disney reference.  This one was a Christmas reference (ok, so I like the obscure): St. Nicholas --> Nikki.  Yeah, whatever.  She thought she was a dog, very affectionate and social.

Then there was Kilter (who I figure I might as well show you since he comes up from time to time and this is a furry kid post).  The first is the day we met, the second is when he's more than a year old.

He's a beautiful boy and I miss him, but hear that he's happy where he is.  It's far too complicated to explain why he's not here, but let's just say that I'll always love him and leave it at that.

So, that's the furry kid history in our home.  Now we wait to see what the future holds!

Life is complicated!

OK, you know it's true - nothing is ever simple.  A family from NC came to pick up "Sasha's" puppy.  You have to keep in mind that these dogs were weaned very late!  This was the last of her pups to be adopted.  When the family took the pup out to their car, "Sasha" started ramming her head into the fence, a cyclone fence at that.  Evidently puppy was freaking out, too.  They let puppy back into the yard and Sasha laid on top of the pup.

When we met them on Saturday (foster Mom, K, brought the pup), a joke was made about us taking them both.  With "puppy dog eyes" (as K said), I looked up at Keith, who reminded me that when we had a puppy, I got too overwhelmed.  Hanging my head down in disappointment, I agreed.

Today, when I talked with K she said that the NC family was not expecting to take "Sasha" but realized it was a package deal - no "Sasha" = no puppy.  Should it not work out, both dogs are to be returned to K/the rescue.  K told me that we have first choice if we want to take both dogs.  The puppy thing is still an issue, but this little girl was calm for a 3 month old.  My suspicion is that it will work out in NC.

So, we can adopt "Sasha" and pup (on the off chance they return from NC), we can foster if we want (and God bless people who do; I get too attached), we can wait until the end of the year (for personal reasons) to even start looking again, we can look now and K will make the initial contact to see if that foster family will keep the dog until the end of the year - if they can, we'll meet, if not, K said she will foster the dog until we can bring him/her home... the list of options seems nearly endless.  K is going so far out of her way to help us connect with the dog that's out there for us!

K and the rescue are being great.  She said that they want to help us find a new family member.  I love K.  She is wonderful - kind, thoughtful, caring, compassionate, passionate about making sure the dogs are matched with the right family.... I could go on, but will leave it at the fact that she is really great.

Keith and I are both really sad about "Sasha" because we fell in love with her (and the pup, for that matter), but we certainly do not want her to be stressed and miserable!  God has a dog out there for us, we just have to find him/her and the rescue is going to help us!

Monday, October 31, 2011

The big meet and greet!!!

We met her - the furry girl we hope to be our next kid and she's WONDERFUL!  Beautiful too, right??  She's beautiful and calm and loving and fuzzy... I could go on and on.  Keith and I are in love!  She's being spayed and chipped today and I'll be a little anxious until I know she's out of surgery ok.

We met at my folks' house (the one they recently moved out of) so the foster Mom didn't have to drive all the way up here.  Sasha (that's the dog's name -- until we change it to Casey) did fine.  The foster Mom and her boyfriend brought alone Sasha's puppy, who left for her forever home in North Carolina yesterday.  Sasha was such a natural nurturer.  When I went to give Sasha a treat, when puppy got in the way, Sasha just let her have it.  It's no wonder she needs to put on weight!

I think she'll be perfect for us.  She's not super energetic, nor is she high maintenance.  She does shed, but evidently loves to be brushed and I find that time to be really special between me and a furry kid so I look forward to it.  There were two other families for the foster Mom to meet, but things went really, really well on Saturday and I have a good feeling about this!!!

I can't wait to post the good news!

Friday, October 28, 2011


Here it comes - the weekend!  This is an exciting one for us because we're going to get to meet a dog we hope to adopt!  For us, having a dog means more than just some furry critter laying around the house.  We have two cats for that (just kidding, little ones).  Having a dog means this fat chick is going to get exercise!  Doggie is going to need to be walked and I'm the one home all day.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining, not at all!  Something has to get me motivated.  Although, I spent about 2 minutes on the exercise bike both yesterday and today.  That counts for something, right?

I'd like to go from XF to plain old F.  Now, for the food side of life.  What the heck is up with that?  Those with drug addictions or alcoholics fight their tushies off every minute to keep clean.  Us fatties, well, we have to eat.  There's no avoiding the bad neighborhood or old friends to help us.  What's the deal with that?  Ok, so "deal with it" says the skinny world.  Ummm, ok, you deal with being a toothpick and have a burger - make it a double!  Not so easy, is it?

Enter cutie pie dog and her need for walks.  Historically, when I've started to see some success, that's what gives me the big boost of motivation.  Let's hope that the dog-walking and bike-riding will do that.  I can't keep away from food that shouldn't be in the house anyway... and yes, *I* am the one who wants it here and it's my responsibility to control what I put in my own mouth, but darn, that hunger...  Big ol' catch 22 right there.

C'mon lil dawgie!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


When I was at the pain doctor last week I was telling him about the wonderful job I did when I was younger of abusing my body.  I was a ballet dancer for 14 years (ages 2-16, until I broke my knee) and I added jazz dancing in there somewhere before the teen years.  He said something, but all I heard was "blah, blah, blah.... athlete... blah, blah, blah."  An athlete?  Nobody has ever called me an athlete.  Those are people who run and throw things, or do something involving water, but me?  Well, darn it, he's right!  When I think about it, I recognize how harsh I was to my body.

I can hear you -- you're asking "but Jen, I thought you said you've struggled with weight issues your entire life?"  My answer to that is: it's true.  It also goes to show that you can exercise endlessly and still have weight problems.  I have to add in here, and my fellow band geeks will agree, marching band is not for the weak!  My band was competitive and marched at each football game all season long, as well as in parades.  By the end of a 10 minute field show, you're sweating and out of breath!  Oh, and the sweat wasn't only from heavy polyester uniforms and hats, though the show wouldn't have been the same if we weren't half covered in bright pumpkin orange.  We WORKED to pull off a field show.

I look back at my weeks during high school and have NO idea how I got anything done, let alone done half well.  Band met every morning at 7am (and this was all year long) so we ran through the field show at least once and usually more than once.  During marching season (i.e., football season for the rest of the world) we rehearsed two nights a week and had games on Friday nights (it was a blessed weekend when the game was Saturday morning!).  Two evenings a week I headed off to the dance studio - once for ballet, once for jazz.  Two nights band, two nights dance, one night football game.  There were my weeknights.  Ahhh, to be young.

So yes, I was an athlete.  Even I'm shocked to hear it!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

And the truth shall set you free....

I'm fat.  Period.  Some people are upset by the name of my blog.  This wasn't my first choice.  In fact, it wasn't until maybe 45 mins after I started this process that I came up with a unique name.  It could just as easily be "Musings of a Crazy Chick" but I, obviously, decided on the latter.

How fat, you may ask?  Well, that's my own business and *if* I decide to post any numbers, it will be the amount of weight I have to lose or have lost.  Other than that, mind your own business and if you have a problem with it, stay off my blog!  :P

I'm limited to shopping in catalogs for 90% of my clothes, I'm mortified when I have to ask a flight attendant for a seat-belt extender, I'm having some medical treatments and barely fit in one of the "normal" wheelchairs, I take my own bath sheet to hotels because the ones they provide are useless, I sometimes have to *ASK* for the larger gown when I have x-rays (or whatever) done.  Ok, people, is it not clear that I NEED the larger cuff when taking my blood pressure?  The paramedic tried it with the smaller cuff and got some absurd number like 220/180.  Ok, we'd be traveling to the hospital a whole heck of a lot faster if that were my actual blood pressure.  Think... just think!  It's embarrassing to have to ask for larger things, it really is.  Take one look at me and it's not as if I'm on the cusp of "normal" things!

I am responsible for every bit of food that goes into my body and every minute of exercise I'm not getting.  I know that full well.  However, when you see someone who's fat, don't judge.  Personally, the massive number of medications I take slow down my metabolism, which also slows with age.  I haven't been able to get to the gym for nearly 4 years and gained back the 75 (yes, you read that right.... 75!!!) pounds I lost in 2007.  Fat people... we know HOW to lose weight so please don't lecture about portion control and exercise and the proportion of meat:veggies:starch on our plates.  We know it.  Personally, I've been dealing with it for a good part of my life.  I'll tell ya, though, if I could look like I did in high school (where I was endlessly teased), I'd do it.  I'm not sure how everyone thought I was so fat - disgusting if you ask me!

So, that is my fat rant.  The world is not built for us fatties, but judging - that doesn't help the matter any.

All that being said, I still like to say that "I'm not fat, I'm fluffy" (just like the dog I'm trying to adopt!).  Yep, I'll take size XF (extra fluffy), thank you very much!

Crash, boom, bang

It was suggested to me that the following story would make a great blog post, so I'm taking her idea and sharing this with you.

Last Friday, my Mom and I were in an accident.  It wasn't serious - it could have been a whole lot worse.  This particular car "wreck" (in quotes because no cars were wrecked beyond repair) shows the ineptitude of some people.  There was a car in the right of two lanes; we were in the left lane (my Mom was driving).  The right lane ends; I figured this was why a little teal-colored sedan cut in front of us... as if he just then realized it.

Of course it couldn't be that simple.  Noooo, this guy wanted to turn left.  Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you hang out in the left lane if you know you have to turn left?  I mean, if he was unfamiliar with the area, he should have been in the left lane from the get-go.  Well, he zapped in front of us and wasn't able to turn due to a school bus coming the other direction.  This meant he had to slam on his brakes.  Of course, to avoid hitting him, Mom had to slam on hers, as did the guy behind us.  Well, Mr. Teal Car made his turn while the big pick-up truck behind us didn't stop in time and rammed into my Mom's SUV.  It was loud - there is NO way the guy didn't hear the accident!  No, though, he evidently had more important things to do.

We get out of the car and the truck is driven by a kid with a junior license who has four friends with him.  There was talk of PA adding a clause to the junior license that there can only be 'x' number of passengers in the car (I want to say it was only one, but that is just a guess from someone with a bad memory); this kid had one in the front seat and three (!) in the back.

Damage: Mom's rear window - gone... instant and constant a/c (great for the end of October in PA); Mom's rear door suffered a fatal wound and can no longer be opened; the truck's hood is bent up, not to mention there is glass all over it from Mom's back windshield; me.  Yep, my neck hurt immediately after we were hit and my back started hurting - badly - shortly thereafter... the neck pain disappeared.

My Mom called 911 and then my Father.  I called Keith.  He didn't pick up at first, so I immediately dialed a second time figuring that he'd know it was important if I did that.  Well, he didn't hear the phone (I later learned), so I texted him.  The only words I got typed were "been in accident" before the paramedics arrived (since I had back pain).  I told the paramedics and as soon as I'd given all necessary information, I was able to let him know the rest - that I was fine, at least in the grand sense of the word.

Like I said first on the scene were two very nice paramedics.  One was even a Disney fan and had just gotten back from WDW, staying at the Wilderness Lodge, our favorite.  The two local hospitals here are ones I wouldn't take my worst enemy to but they were all I had to choose from; the good hospital is too far unless it's a more serious injury (or serious at all, for that matter).  So, I gave a statement to the police officer and off I went - by flipping ambulance.  I know, I know, it's procedure, but it's embarrassing.  It's also nauseating - riding backwards, looking out the window?  Not good.  I'm getting old if these things bother me.  Also, that first step in to an ambulance is a doozy!  Try carrying a bunch of extra weight and heaving yourself up in to the ambulance.  It was NOT a pretty sight and I sure hope the teens didn't video it with their cell phones.  Who knows... my butt may become an internet sensation!  I'd say my butt would go viral, but that sounds like I'd need another trip to the ER.

I arrive at the hospital with Mom showing up shortly thereafter.  Keith arrived as soon as he could.  Of course he was in Princeton (one of his furthest clients) that day.  My first human contact was with one very cranky woman.  She came to take all of my medical information, which meant that we had to interact for quite some time because it's extensive.  I was seen by a PA who ordered x-rays and told me what I already knew - there were no fractures.  The med assistant gave me Advil.... on an empty stomach - who does that????  If I wasn't still nauseous from the backwards trip to the joint, I was now!  My discharge instructions: take some pain reliever (OTC) and muscle relaxer and follow up with my GP on Monday.  She didn't even order me to have an apple every day.  How disappointing!

Before I knew it, Monday was here and the phone rings.  It's a nurse from the GP's office.  It seems that the x-rays showed some dense collection of cells, a 15mm mass, probably in my gall bladder.  This is perfect, just perfect.  I've been having abdominal pain for years, but not on the side of the gall bladder, not to mention that I already had testing done in '09 which showed the stupid stones.  The surgeon then said that there was no need to remove my gall bladder if I'm not in pain.  Anyway, I'm having surgery in January (a post for another day) and didn't want to go under the knife again.  Fortunately since I'm not experiencing any pain, they are leaving well enough alone.  While I was waiting in the doc's office, one of the nurses came into the waiting room and told me that she was in the middle of dialing my phone number when she looked out and saw me.  She wanted to follow-up on the ER visit.  I know I've been seeing them for 14 years, but is it bad that they know me by name?  This is not Cheers!  "JEN!"  Yeah, I think not!

Here's the kicker (and the main reason this whole experience is rather comical): I was on my way home from an appt with a pain specialist when we were hit.  Ironic much?

And so it begins.....

Here I am.  I'm staring at my screen wondering what on earth to write.  My life is a crazy whirlwind and sometimes it seems like I can't stop to take a breath and yet trying to figure out how to write this, my first blog post, has me stumped.

I guess I should start by saying that this isn't going to be some site with me whining about my weight every time I write.  Is it a big (haha) part of who I am?  Absolutely, but that doesn't mean I have to talk about it or food or exercise all the time.  Who wants to read that?  I know I certainly don't want to write it!

You'll read silly stories of thing our kitties did.  I'll share my love of Disney.  I'll talk through the adoption process of our new dog - we're still in the midst of that, plus s/he will have his/her own blog, of course!  Sometimes I'll vent or rant or carry on about something for absolutely no reason at all.  I just like to write, so write I shall.

Come along for the ride, won't you?