I’m sucking on a gummy penguin. I found them yesterday in the checkout lane at Trader Joe’s, which was the only thing that distracted me from watching the hot cashier scan my friend’s flowers. I’m not really sure if I like them or not (the gummy’s, not the flowers), nevertheless I continue to stick my fingers in the bag. The penguins have squishy bellies.

So, it’s been about a year since I had my surgery. Some call it a surgiversary, I did at one point. Then I realized I’ve had an appendectomy, bilateral shoulder surgeries, knee scoped, carpel tunnel release, my gallbladder removed, lower extremity AND abdominal wall cellulitis and MRSA. Though I’m frequently reminded of these medical phenoms, I don’t celebrate them (serioulsy…could you imagine getting an invitation in the mail: “Come to my MRSA Survival Party”???).

Everything has changed.

No longer am I medically considered obese. Last week I checked the BMI chart and it said I was moderately overweight. After spending 20 plus years as super morbidly obese (almost sounds like a super hero. Not.), I was thrilled to death to finally be able to post that. Though my online pal (Nikki) says the charts are bunk (“Shaq is considered obese by those charts!”), it was like a milestone. Well, another one at any rate.

Does one ever run out of mile stones?

I initially set my weight loss goal for a loss of 200 pounds. It’s still a possibility, though some speculate I’d look like Skelator vying for first place at the potato sack dress party. As of this silly blog post I’ve lost 140 pounds (by my scale at home, it’s the one I frequent most). I think I’ve lost 3-4 feet in total inches. Don’t burn that into a log yet, I’m not 100% certain in the figure. However, the last time I had measurements I had lost almost two feet off the largest area on my person, so I’m fairly confident in my guess (sounds like an oxymoron). I do not idolize the scale. If it moves it moves, if it doesn’t it doesn’t. The before and after pictures I have say everything.

My blood pressure is below normal. I think I’ve stopped snoring, but I reserve the right to confirm this until I’m on vacation. I still have sleeping problems which require the assistance of Ambien (which has resulted in some strange amnesia eating, phone calls, text messages and Facebooking. This seem to be all the side effects I experience. I’m pretty fortunte…have you read the possibilities???). I’ve exhausted the clothing budget on more than one occasion (yeah. Right. What clothing budget? Seems like every time I put on a new pair of underwear in the morning they fall off that afternoon).

I hate the extra skin under my arms. Hate. Hate. Hate. I wear a lot of t-shirts, which keep the bat wings covered. But I have been wearing tank tops at the gym for some time now, and God help me. Mark, my trainer, will stand in front of me if we’re near a mirror at the gym because I pick at myself like a vulture gnaws over a carcass. Say what you will, but honestly – unless you’ve spent a considerable amount of time as a fat person, you won’t get it. I know plastic surgery is in my future. I’ll get the wings clipped, the girls lifted, and the tummy tucked. Out of all of it, the arms bug me the most. Maybe it’s because I really want them to be as cute as my legs (LOVE my legs!).

My diet is fairly normal and I enjoy a variety of foods, just in moderation. I love a strong coffee (Starbucks and Caribou are my favorite places to go. I recently discovered a Sugar Free Carmel Frappe. Proof there is a heaven!). There’s a soft spot for Goldfish crackers (oi-vey!) and mint chocolate chip ice cream (Edy’s Slow Churn). I really can’t do bread, it just sits there for-ev-er. I found that out by nibbling on a bagel one Thursday morning. Full for the whole day. I’m a snack monster. I love Greek yogurt mixed with Kashi Go Lean Crunch! Really, it’s the crunchy-ness. Sugar snap peas, fresh green beans, seedless red grapes are always in my fridge.

I have spent a LOT of time at the gym. I love spin class, even though the past few weeks wouldn’t suggest that (been feeling kind of crappy with the weather changes and sleep problems. Blah.). I also love the elliptical. I dig working out with my trainer. The surgery helped me get a handle on my diet, but exercise has been key. For the first three months I didn’t do anything, then my doctor got on my case about moving more. So, to appease him, I shuffled some things around and hired a trainer. OMG. I had no idea the changes would be so dramatic. Mark has been awesome. Patient. Pushy. Rewarding. So much of my weight loss success has been solely attributed to his working with me. I’m happy as a clam.

With a mean right hook. 😀

I’m really grateful God opened up the opportunity a year ago for me to get this new chapter of my life started. It really did save my life.

This is the most recent picture. Pardon the quality. I’m slated to have some pictures taken (and a new tattoo!) when I go to San Diego. Until then, this will have to do.

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