Hi. I am not dead.

This sad, sad little blog has been abandoned. Poor thing. There’s a lot going on in my world right now, and for some reason I think of this space as diet-and-exercise and weight-loss related. That’s not really where I am right now (though I could sure use a swift kick to get my nutrition in gear).

So! In the spirit of old times, how about some bullet points?

  • Let’s start with the bad news. I should weigh about 145 right now to be “normal.” If I had maintained all my loss, I’d still be at 161. Instead, I’m right at 185ish. I know! But it’s okay: I know healthy practices, I know how to treat myself well, I know what I need to do. Not about weight, just about wellness. It’s all good.
  • Now! Good news: my PhD program is progressing and I am 100% officially DONE with classes! That went super-fast, right? Now I have the next two years to pass my comprehensive exams and write my dissertation.
  • Better news: I’M PREGNANT!!! Only 8 weeks, so it’s super-early, but I’m super-excited. So excited, in fact, that I went and picked up furniture already and every time I think about it, I squeal “there’s a CRIB in my house!!!”

Lee & I planned this pregnancy so that the baby will be born after my exams and before I get too far into the dissertation. I have so many women in my life who struggle with infertility that I didn’t really know what to expect and didn’t take for granted that this would be fast or easy. I figured we’d try through August, and then see what happens. Surprisingly, we got pregnant quickly. Now we’re praying constantly for a big fat healthy baby! Unofficial due date is November 30th. Baby by Christmas!!

This is so exciting for my family, but it’s also hard. I have a cousin who is 31, and she has been trying to get pregnant for the last four years. Her husband is an officer in the Air Force, and he’s constantly leaving for duty or specialized training. I absolutely hate that while he’s off fighting for our freedom, Lee & I are getting pregnant at the first try. Their infertility is completely unexplained–there are no physiological causes that have been identified. Nobody understands why this happens, and I only pray that Candace and Jason will get their baby soon! Candace doesn’t live nearby and hasn’t said anything to me about the pregnancy, but I know she knows. It’s hard for her, and I wish I could fix it. 😦

But! We all know God has a plan for every family!

I also have a cousin (other side of the family) who decided to try for her second baby and got TRIPLETS! Out of the blue! The babies are due in 6 weeks, and although she’s on bedrest, the pregnancy has gone incredibly well. Triplets are coming soon, and that means a summer of baby boot camp for me!

So yeah, babies everywhere. Also, books everywhere. Time to get back to studying! One exam in August, two in September!

18 months

Today marks 18 months since my RNY. Somehow in my mind, I imagined weighing 155 on this day. I’m at 165, and that’s fine. That’s 20 pounds over “normal,” and that too is fine. It’s all good. It will come off or it won’t. And that’s fine.

But let’s be honest about why those twenty extra pounds are still here–food. End of story!

So a rundown of life as of now. Three major things:

  • I got a fabulous new bike! My Trek 7.2 was awesome, but she didn’t quite cut the mustard for rides upwards of 50 miles. It was time for a road bike. Behold the Trek 4.7 WSD! There is one word to describe her: smooth.

trek_madone_47_wsd_2009_silverwhite

  • I’m having some anxiety about the upcoming Fall semester. I passed my first-year review in the PhD program, but this year is going to be ridiculously difficult. Not only will I finish my full-time coursework, but I’ll also have to teach for my fellowship funding. That’s no problem, except that I already work full-time. It pans out like this: take 3 classes, teach 2 classes, teach 2 classes as part of my regular job, plus all the other duties of my regular job. That’s a heck of a lot. So much, in fact, that my counselor said I should take a leave of absence from work. And that she’d be willing to write a letter stating that its “medically necessary” for my mental health. I’m not sure I’d go that far, but she’s the expert. I’ll talk with my boss in 2 weeks to work out my fall schedule. I’m hoping to cut down to about 20 hours per week, and make up the rest with vacation time. Fortunately, I have enough saved up to account for the fall semester at part-time. We’ll see!
  • As far as post-surgical healing, I’m doing great! I don’t look very different from the pictures I posted, except that my abdomen is a much less swollen. Everything feels good!

And that just about covers everything in my world. Where on earth did summer go?!

Quickness

In my typical style (bullets):

  • 2 conferences down, 2 to go (Rhode Island and New Orleans). They went very well! At the conference on gender studies, I received 7 condoms in my “goodie bag.” Including banana and vanilla flavored.
  • Speaking (frankly) of condoms, I don’t need to be worried that I stopped birth control in January and still haven’t had a “lady visit” from Aunt Flo, right? Condoms are 99% effective, right? RIGHT?! I just need to be patient. It’s just my body getting back into its own, non-artificial-hormone groove. RIGHT?? Because a surprise right now is so not on the spreadsheet!
  • 7 weeks til brachioplasty/boobs. Wahoo.
  • Beach today. WAHOO! Pictures coming!
  • And here’s the biggie: I ran a mile last night. If you recall, I quit the C25K program a while back because it was just too danged hard. Last night, I took to the treadmill again and banged out a mile with no problem. Screw the C25K plan, it’s too structured. Here’s what I’m doing: every other day, I’ll do 3.1 miles… run as much as I can, walk the rest. Eventually, I’ll get up to running the whole thing and voila! 5K! (I’m aiming for this one April 25th. But no pressure, it’s just a maybe thing.
  • In the spirit of full disclosure, my 200-pound weight loss lasted all of 12 hours. But that’s my cycle–down a few, up one, down one, up one, down a few, up one, down one… you get the drift. Since I saw 164 I know it will be back. No biggie! I guess this is how “losing” works when you’re getting near the end. ??

OK, I’m off to avoid sunburn!

Randomness

Since I’m refraining from the unmentionable subject, I shall proceed with my standard Bulleted List of Randomness.

  • If Jessica Simpson is fat, I want to be fat.

jessica_simpson000x0300x400

  • Is it weird that I’m still upset that Nick & Jessica got divorced? Doesn’t it seem like a cosmic mistake? And I remember it was announced on Thanksgiving Day 2005. I was so sad. I’m still sad. Waaa.

nick-lachey-jessica-simpson-400a0212071

  • I am now obsessed with the OH board devoted to the unmentionable subject.
  • I am presenting at a billion conferences this semester. March 6th–Gainesville, FL; March 7th–Tampa, FL; March 28th–Kingston, RI; April 3rd–Lookout Mountain, GA; April 11th–New Orleans, LA. It’s like my world tour. Lord help me survive the next few months!
  • I love my bike, but I have my eyes on another. Lee gave me the go-ahead. We don’t have the money now, but it will be very, very difficult to restrain myself if the opportunity to buy this bike does arise. I’m drooling just looking at it!

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  • I would like to join the Bobbies. A group of women cyclists? Sign me up!
  • I’m getting tingling in my toes. I’m hoping this isn’t the beginning of neuropathy. I’m going to be proactive and get on a B-complex instead of just B-12.
  • I ordered Baby Love from my local library via books by mail. I love Rebecca Walker and her famous writer mother Alice Walker. I can’t wait to read about Rebecca’s decision to “choose motherhood after a lifetime of ambivalence.” Something always resonates with me when a Walker writes, so I can’t wait to devour this book.
  • I want to get my husband eating healthier. It wouldn’t be that difficult, since I prepare all of this man’s food! I feel so guilty when I pack his lunch every day with two Orange sodas (45g of sugar EACH!) because I’m too lazy to prepare him some splenda-sweetened tea in a thermos. Heart disease, stroke, and diabetes run in his family (like many african-americans) and I have a responsibility to do what I can to prevent it. I need to find alternatives to the teddy grahams, cheetos, and little debbies. I wouldn’t feed it to myself, so why am I feeding it to him? LAZINESS. Bad wife!

And that is all for now!

Happy 2009!

I tore into a fortune cookie last night and it read:

You have had a good start.

Work harder!

Uh, little cookie, you are beyond wise! Now I must eat you.

But isn’t that exactly what this year is for me? The final lap, the big push, the grand finale? Time to go for the gold.

I know everyone is excited during New Year’s, but it’s always a tiny bit sad for me. I loved 2008. I made excellent decisions in 2008. I had an awesome year! Let’s review the successes of 08:

  • I had gastric bypass surgery on January 22, 2008. It wasn’t a hard decision or a trying experience; it was totally and completely the right thing to do and I knew it.
  • I presented at my first professional conference just a few weeks after surgery.
  • I started the year at about 307 and ended the year at 177. This is exactly what I had hoped from the surgery: to get me through the 200’s so I can fight this battle in the 100’s.
  • I got a job offer at another University and used that to secure a substantial pay raise in my current position. I went to a 4 day workweek. Said goodbye to a boss who wasn’t liked.
  • I started a PhD program. I started a PhD program. On a fellowship. On a fellowship. This is a huge life-long ambition being fulfilled right before my very eyes!
  • I became aware of how much I really can trust my husband. With me, these things are only built over time. I’m amazed by how he has loved me no matter what I look like, how he’s always honest with me, and that he’d give anything he could to make me happy.

That said, I wave a fond farewell to 2008 and look forward to 2009 when I will:

  • Reach the goal weight of 145 and maintain somewhere in that area for the remainder of the year.
  • Get my arms and boobies fixed, paid for free and clear through savings.
  • Continue surviving the work-life balance that is taking care of myself, excelling at my job, and managing school. Keeping all three going is a big enough goal for the year!

And I’m going to stop there. I’m  not resolving to do anything amazing this year, I’m not going to make myself a list of crap to stick to, I’m just going to take care of me and keep plugging along.

And if 2009 is anything like 2008, I’ll look back on the year with wonder!

My New Weekends

I’ve officially survived my first week as a doctoral student. I love it! I’ve been so energized by what I’m reading that I wake up at night with research ideas and I literally cannot sleep until I think them through and do a little writing. I’m sure that will change later in the semester once I’m sufficiently exhausted.

But weekends aren’t for fun anymore. It’s Sunday afternoon and I have:

  • Finished and emailed my chapter in an anthology about “Femininities and Masculinities in a Global Context” which should be bound and published by the end of 2009. It began with a paper I presented back in February about Bessie Head’s novel A Question of Power being a feminist retelling of the biblical Job narrative. So I’m glad that’s done and shipped off. (At least until editorial revisions come back).
  • Read 400 pages in an anthology about digital humanities
  • Read probably 60 pages worth online about the same topic
  • Decided upon, clarified, did initial research, and posted on a potential topic for a white paper in one of my courses
  • Made contact with: an alum from my program, a professor I’ll be job shadowing, a professor I’ll be interviewing, and my new faculty mentor. I have three appointments on schedule next week to meet with these folks.
  • Collaborated with a classmate on an assignment we have due Friday. Provided feedback on her work and incorporated her feedback into improvements on my own work.
  • Laundered, folded, and put away all of our textiles.
  • Rode 37.8 miles on my bike yesterday.
  • Completed week 1 of the Couch to 5K program this morning.
  • Oh! And learned to skim rocks in our not-draining very scary neighborhood retention pond.

And now I’m going to take a nap before I go grocery shopping.

Fay is on her way

So the first Tropical Storm of the season (for us) is heading our way. During the busiest week of the entire academic year. So this should be interesting!

You guys, I am stuck at 208 for the SECOND week. I am eating right. I am exercising (31 miles on the bike today!). But I am also stressed, and we know cortisol slows weight loss. Grrr.

This is my last week before school begins for me, and I have a big project to finish that’s due on day 1 for one of the classes. I’m not even sure how I’ll make time for it all this week, but I’ll have to figure it out. Step 1: read at least 400 pages by the end of the day tomorrow.

So while the stress builds and I feel like my life is on the verge of exploding, know this: I LIVE FOR THIS CRAP. I love it.