Thursday, November 25, 2010


Happy Thanksgiving to all of you and your families!  I hope your holiday was fantastic!

Mine certainly was.

I spent most of this week curious about how Thanksgiving dinner was going to go for me.  It's my first "real" holiday since my surgery and I was nervous.  How much was I going to be able to eat?  Would I get sick?  Would I feel judged?  As I rocked my adorable new outfit and sipped a glass of merlot, I realized that it didn't really matter.

I put a little bit of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, green beans, and gravy on my plate.  I ate what I could and stopped when I felt full...(what I would consider an "average" portion....maybe half of what I plated)  A few hours later, I joined everyone in dessert with a 1/2 piece of cheesecake with fresh blueberries on top.  That's all I ate.  And it was perfect.

This year has been amazing.  I am thankful for so much and to so many people...almost too many to list. But, I really wanted to share my thanks with everyone, so here is a list of some of the things I am thankful for this year:

My job.  I love where I work and what I do.  Each and every baby is a miracle and delivering them never gets old.  Also, my entire work family is just amazing.  No really...they are awesome.  The people I work with make being there, even on busy nights, even more enjoyable.  It's truly a blessing to love what you do for a living.

My house.  I work very hard at the aforementioned job to afford my darling little house...and everyday here makes me happy.  (I am also thankful for all the people who help me maintain my house...for without you guys, I would probably have had a mental breakdown by now)

My cat.  As I embrace my inner cat lady, I realize just how lucky I am to have Gabriel here to keep me company.  Depending on how you look at the situation- he keeps me sane....or makes me crazy.  Your call.

My friends and family.  I am just so thankful for all of my friends and family who have helped and supported me through this entire year...(and even the ones who didn't.)  This past year has been full of ups and downs and I know I couldn't have made it through it all without all of the support.  I am so lucky  and feel so loved!

My surgeon.  I often hear horror stories of people with surgeries gone wrong.  I was so blessed to have one of the best doctors (and staff) at one of the best hospitals in the country to guide me through this process keeping me healthy.  Hence why I work there.  It's awesome.

My personal trainer.  No matter what I do, Beth continues to believe in me and keep me motivated.  She pushes me to my limits and I know that I wouldn't have been nearly as successful with my weight loss this year without her help.  Every day I think about how lucky I am that she was the one behind the desk the first day I sheepishly walked into the gym.  I love that I went in there looking for a personal trainer and found a friend as well.

My new self.  I am so thankful for all of the positive change that has happened to me this year.  You can never really know how different your life will be after this surgery, and for me- it is better than I ever could have expected.

It's so nice to really take the time to be thankful for all I have been blessed with this year.  I have learned so much and can't wait to see what amazing things next year brings to be thankful for!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Engage with Grace..."blog rally"...

Making end of life wishes known to your loved ones may be a little off topic for this blog but, as a nurse, this is something dear to my heart.  Please, take a moment this weekend to talk to your families about these important issues!!!  



We're continuing a tradition at THCB started last year. Asking you to take a moment this weekend to discuss your desires for how to live the end of your life as meaningfully as possible--If you want to reproduce this post on your blog (or anywhere) you can download a ready-made html version here

Last Thanksgiving weekend, many of us bloggers participated in the first documented blog rally to promote Engage With Grace - a movement aimed at having all of us understand and communicate our end-of-life wishes.

It was a great success, with over 100 bloggers in the healthcare space and beyond participating and spreading the word. Plus, it was timed to coincide with a weekend when most of us are with the very people with whom we should be having these tough conversations: our closest friends and family.

Our original mission, to get more and more people talking about their end of life wishes, hasn't changed. But it's been quite a year, so we thought this holiday, we'd try something different.
A bit of levity.
At the heart of Engage With Grace are five questions designed to get the conversation started. We've included them at the end of this post. They're not easy questions, but they are important.

To help ease us into these tough questions, and in the spirit of the season, we thought we'd start with five parallel questions that ARE pretty easy to answer:

Silly? Maybe. But it underscores how having a template like this  just five questions in plain, simple language can deflate some of the complexity, formality and even misnomers that have sometimes surrounded the end-of-life discussion.

So with that, we've included the five questions from Engage With Grace below. Think about them, document them, share them.

Over the past year there's been a lot of discussion around end of life. And we've been fortunate to hear a lot of the more uplifting stories, as folks have used these five questions to initiate the conversation.

One man shared how surprised he was to learn that his wife's preferences were not what he expected. Befitting this holiday, The One Slide now stands sentry on their fridge.

Wishing you and yours a holiday that's fulfilling in all the right ways.

(To learn more please go to This post was written by Alexandra Drane and the Engage With Grace team. )

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger...

One of the things I love to whine about is the inevitable soreness that occurs 24-48 hours after I work out.  My personal trainer, Beth, tells me it’s called “delayed onset muscle soreness” or something like that. 

I like to call it “a giant pain in my butt”...(or legs...or arms...or back)...

Beth told me that the best was to get rid of the soreness is to stretch and do the same exercise that made you sore in the first place.  I was (and still am) hesitant to try this…but it totally works…every single time. 

So, when I woke up on Sunday with some pretty sore legs after running sprints at boot camp, I figured I should run a little bit to make myself feel better. 

Yes.  I said run.

A few weeks ago, Beth informed me I was going to start training to run a 5k.  It is something I've wanted to do for a while, so I was pretty excited…and also scared completely shitless. 

I have spent my entire life being afraid of running.  My personal feeling was that the only time one needed to run was if they were being chased…so I generally avoided it at all costs.  Beth had me start slow.  Walk for 2 minutes…run for 1 minute.  Repeat for 15 minutes at a time.  

I was so nervous that I made her stand next to the treadmill the first time.  But it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be.  So, as time has gone by, I have been increasing my run time and decreasing my walk time by 30 seconds, hoping that someday I would be able to run for the whole 15 minutes without stopping.

So Monday morning, in my "post-12hour-night-shift" stupor, I hauled my butt to the gym and hopped on the treadmill for what I thought would be a quick, 15 minute “run/walk”.  I walked for a minute (while turning on my iPod) then upped the speed to 4.6 and started running...and watching Ellen.  (which happened to be on every single TV in the gym)

I think Ellen is hysterical.  I don’t get to see her show all the time but when I do, it thoroughly amuses me.  Maybe it’s her dancing, maybe it’s her quirkiness, or maybe it’s just the fact that every time I hear her voice I hear “Dory” from Finding Nemo.  I don’t really know, but yesterday she helped me obtain a goal I have wished I could do my entire life. 

I intended on running for 2 minutes at a time (my max up to that point) but Ellen thoroughly distracted me and when I looked down I had been running for 3….and I didn’t feel like I was going to die.
Holy. God. 

So, I started thinking.  

If I can run for 3 minutes, I can surely run for 5….so I did.

Then I figured, if I can run for 5 minutes, I can certainly run for 10…so I did. 

After running for 10 minutes I decided I would try to run for 20, thinking I would make it for at least 15.

I don’t know if it was adrenaline, Ellen’s humor, or my lack of sleep, but I refused to stop and when the timer on the treadmill hit 20 minutes, I was so excited I nearly cried!  After doing 60 crunches (again, I think it was the adrenaline) I booked it to my car and immediately texted Beth about my accomplishment.  I was just so proud of myself.

As of today, I’m down 120lbs.  The things I can do now never cease to amaze me.  With every new thing I can do, I am reminded that having this surgery was the best decision of my entire life.  

Me in my brand new Lululemon groove pants!  (A birthday gift from a friend)  I absolutely LOVE them and think they make working-out just that much more fun!  (and they make my butt look pretty nice, too!  : )

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Answer: My opinion on the Marie Claire internet controversy...

I wanted to get your view on this week's Internet uproar on the story controversy.  Although, the writer apologized (after) for her harsh words about her discomfort towards obese people/ obese people kissing--how do you feel about her original entry?

When I got this question, I had not yet heard about this article.  But I am so glad it was brought to my attention. 
This woman confirmed for me in one or two pages of writing, everything I feared that people were thinking about me my entire life.  This rush of emotion made me so horrified that I think I could have throw up.   I felt like my answer was too long to put in the "answers" post, so I'm giving it it's own entry.

I don’t know what kind of people Maura Kelly, the author of this article, finds acceptable in the world.  

OH…I’m sorry.  I meant HER world.  Because we are obviously all here for Maura to judge upon.  

I have no idea how this article got published, because it is not only horribly insensitive, but also offensive to anyone who doesn’t fit into what this woman finds appropriate to look at. 


Anyone who knows me knows that when I get angry at anything in writing, I like to respond with a point-on-point response.  So I copied and pasted this article and responded to every insulting, hurtful, and uneducated statement in it.  The black type is the article….the red is my response.  

All I really wish is that I could say this to her in person…

Should "Fatties" Get a Room? (Even on TV?)

The other day, my editor asked me, "Do you really think people feel uncomfortable when they see overweight people making out on television?"  Because I can be kind of clueless


I'm not much of a TV person — I had no idea what she was talking about, so she steered me to this CNN article, about the CBS sitcom Mike & Molly. As CNN explains, "the show centers around a couple who meet at an Overeaters Anonymous group [and] has drawn complaints for its abundance of fat jokes [as well as] cries from some viewers who aren't comfortable watching intimacy between two plus-sized actors.  

I read that was about how weight shouldn't matter when you get cast for roles in TV and movies.  It was great.  I haven't see "Mike and Molly" but it sounds great.  

My initial response was: Hmm, being overweight is one thing — those people are downright obese!

Annnnd….your point?  These people sound happy.  Sounds like good TV.  Who cares what they look like? 

And while I think our country's obsession with physical perfection is unhealthy,

Finally…an intellegnt thought…congratulations. 

I also think it's at least equally crazy, albeit in the other direction, to be implicitly promoting obesity!

Oh, so how about the popular show "Dexter" on HBO.  It surely promotes becoming a murderer.  And how about "True Blood"???  As soon as I watched that one I wanted to become a vampire.  Yeah...soooo, I'm fairly certain that when people watched "Mike and Molly" they didn't come away with the thought "Hey, I want to be obese now!"

As a matter of fact, advertising Overeaters Anonymous might even inspire some people to go to a are promoting weight loss!  

Yes, anorexia is sick,
I think you meant to say that anorexia is a disease….(just like obesity, by the way)...but you’re the writer here, not me. 

but at least some slim models are simply naturally skinny.

Suuuuure they are.  Take me to a runway and show me a woman who is 5’10 and a size 00 who is “naturally” that way…

No one who is as fat as Mike and Molly can be healthy.

I’m sorry, are you a physician now?  yeah…I thought not. 

And obesity is costing our country far more in terms of all the related health problems we are paying for, by way of our insurance, than any other health problem, even cancer.

“Even cancer”?  I would like you to site your source for this little gem, please. 

So anyway, yes, I think I'd be grossed out if I had to watch two characters with rolls and rolls of fat kissing each other

Oh, You are  “grossed out” when two happy people are kissing each other?!?!?!  Well, how about if it were two ugly people making out...or cancer patients...or two alcoholics….would you be so “grossed out” then?

To be brutally honest, even in real life, I find it aesthetically displeasing to watch a very, very fat person simply walk across a room — just like I'd find it distressing if I saw a very drunk person stumbling across a bar or a heroine addict slumping in a chair.

I’m so sorry that all of us “very very fat” people are all up in YOUR world being “aesthetically displeasing” to YOU.  We should just go jump off a bridge and let you get on with looking at all the "beautiful" people you approve of…

Now, don't go getting the wrong impression:

Too late…

I have a few friends who could be called plump. I'm not some size-ist jerk.

Actually, yes you are…

and I’m pretty sure your “plump” friends won’t be calling you any time soon.

And I also know how tough it can be for truly heavy people to psych themselves up for the long process of slimming down.

OH, do you now? I’m sorry…unless you have ever been 100lbs overweight and tried everything you can think of to lose it, you do NOT know how tough it is, darling….not even close…

(For instance, the overweight maintenance guy at my gym has talked to me a little bit about how it seems worthless for him to even try working out, because he's been heavy for as long as he can remember.)

Mmmm…what a great writer.  I’m so glad that you talked to your “plump friends”  and the “overweight management guy” at your gym to find out what it’s like to be overweight.  What is this, a third grade book report?  Jeeze…

But ... I think obesity is something that most people have a ton of control over. It's something they can change, if only they put their minds to it.

FYI, missy, obesity is not something people have a “ton” of control over.  With a lot of hard work, yes… some people can change….if THEY want to.  

People do have to put THEIR minds to it…not YOURS.  Just because YOU want someone to change, doesn’t mean that they should…or can.  Like my mother always says…mind your own business!

(I'm happy to give you some nutrition and fitness suggestions if you need them

NO THANKS!!!  I’m pretty sure you aren’t a doctor, nutritionist, dietitian, or exercise physiologist…

— but long story short, eat more fresh and unprocessed foods, read labels and avoid foods with any kind of processed sweetener in them whether it's cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup, increase the amount of fiber you're getting, get some kind of exercise for 30 minutes at least five times a week, and do everything you can to stand up more — even while using your computer — and walk more. I admit that there's plenty that makes slimming down tough, but YOU CAN DO IT! Trust me. It will take some time, but you'll also feel so good, physically and emotionally. A nutritionist or personal trainer will help — and if you can't afford one, visit your local YMCA for some advice.)

Guess what, honey…you can take your advice and shove it where the sun don’t shine!!!  Even if you were qualified to give this advice (which I’m sure you are not) I wouldn’t take it from someone who has been belittling me for the past 10 or so minutes... 

Then again, I guess these characters are in Overeaters Anonymous. So ... points for trying?

Points for trying??? POINTS FOR TRYING????  What the hell is that supposed to mean?!?!?  Just think about how offensive that statement would have sounded in your skinny little head if you had written that about someone in AA. 


Then again, I tend to think most television shows are a kind of junk food for the mind and body. The boob tube gives us an excuse to turn off both our brains and our bodies and probably does a helluva lot to contribute to the obesity problem, over all.  So ... I don't know.

You sure as hell don’t…

What do you guys think? Fat people making out on TV — are you cool with it?

Yeah, I’m “cool with it”…I’m pretty cool with anyone making out on TV.  Fat people…skinny people…gays…blondes…brunettes…vampires…witches…little cartoon bears.  

oh…and FYI, if I’m ever NOT “cool with it”  I just friggin’ change the channel…

BRILLANT, I know…  

Do you think I'm being an insensitive jerk?

Yes, without a question….but, if you needed to ask, you probably already knew the answer....


Feel free to read her apology at the end of the original article...but for me the fact that she used to be anorexic is no excuse for writing such a disgusting piece, never-mind actually having someone equally as clueless approve it to be published.  

It is my opinion that Marie Claire needs to have some sensitivity training in the work place.  But, whether they do or don't doesn't really matter to me, because I never intend on giving them my business again.  Ever.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Happy Halloween!!!

Some people hate Halloween.  I like it.  I think it’s because I am dramatic...and I like eating candy...and dressing up...and being scared.   

OK…so I love Halloween. 

Halloween used to be like an open excuse to eat candy.  As much as I wanted.  So I would always stock up on Reeses and Snickers.  My ultimate favorite candies ever. 

I would buy these candies for the trick or treaters, telling myself that I wanted to be the awesome house that had awesome candy.  But I would also buy a bag….or two…just to have around the house.  So, yeah….mainly just for me.  

During one season, I could legit eat two bags on my own.   

But, although I did love Halloween, I never dressed up.  Why, you ask?  Well, because most costumes for women are…shall we say...risqué.   And with that being the standard, I really couldn’t find a costume I liked…and could also fit into.  

So, because of this,  I just decided that my days of dressing up were over and I needed to stay home and hand out candy.  But this year I went to visit my friend in Orlando for Halloween.  So, for the first time in a long time I was determined to dress up…and look adorable. 

We decided to go as Alice and The Mad Hatter.  We had a great time together and we looked totally awesome...turning many a head when we went out to dinner!  I was so happy that I found a costume that was cute, but also didn't make me look like a $10 prostitute.  Let me tell you, It wasn't easy.

It really was my best Halloween yet! 

And I didn’t even eat a single piece of candy!