One Hundred Thirty Pounds Ago,

I shed my shell and Got My Wings!

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Somewhere Over the Wrong Side of the Rainbow

I don't know how old I was in this picture, but I do wonder what happened to this little carefree girl. Who would have ever thought that she would become who I am today? Did anyone look at her and know that she'd get molested at 11 years old, pregnant and forced into and abortion at almost sixteen, graduate high school a hear and a half ahead of schedule and dive head first into college to get a jump start on her career, only to be working two jobs and cleaning her mother's house once a week for extra money to pay bills while she struggles through one class each semester-still at the same junior college she started at- five years later, knowing that somehow it's all worth it while she loves a man who may or may not make it past the next two years?

Quiet houses make you think things you normally wouldn't. I'm going on just over an hour of sitting here alone on my couch. This is the first time I've actually had alone in my home in almost a year. I used to love time alone more than anything; I needed it to stay sane. I enjoyed being with just me. Cleaning, sewing, baking, doing laundry, writing, reading, watching movies...I could occupy myself contently for hours, days even, without another living soul. Since Ruben stopped working I don't get time alone anymore, at all. There is never a time when I'm home and he's not, except for the occasional 10 minute trip to the corner store to get milk or ice cream. I'm sure you're thinking this can't be true, there's got to be at least a little time or one day where he's had errands to run, but there isn't.

Just over a week ago I actually had the nerve to complain about this. Ruben and I even sat and tried to figure out what we can do so that I can get some time alone at home. We came to the conclusion that perhaps he could take an evening class next semester purposely on a night I don't have school. That would give me about three hours to myself one night a week. Now, I wonder. Have I gotten so used to not having that time that I now don't know what to do with myself without him? This afternoon we watched a movie together. He gets so easily tired, even when things don't take any energy, like cuddling for a movie. When it ended he asked me if I'd be ok with him taking a nap. I could tell he felt guilty asking; normally he naps while I work so we can spend time together in the evenings. I could also tell how incredibly exhausted he really was, because he didn't even take with him the new book he's lost himself in. Normally, even when exhausted, he always reads even if just for a few pages to get his body to relax and calm down, but "Tuesdays with Morrie" lies next to me on our coffee table still while he's in our room sound asleep.

When he went to lay down I almost felt a burst of excitement. I made a nice big cup of hot tea and as I walked into our living room it hit me that I didn't know what to do with myself. I sat and stared into space for a good twenty minutes, only my space was our closed bedroom door he lays on the opposite side of. Then, I began writing here. I'm lonely, almost sad now. All I can think about is the smile that will be on my face when I see him open that bedroom door. Perhaps the depressing sound of rain on the roof of the porch and wind rattling the windows doesn't help. Hector helps a little. It's amazing what the love of a little puppy can do for you. Is this loneliness without my partner another side of love, or just a dependency I've let myself fall into? I miss the cooking, baking, cleaning, movie watching, and sewing part of me. I also miss the dedicated academic over achiever that started college so many years ago. I need to find me again. I need to find me and figure out how to balance it with loving Ruben. I want both, not just one or the other. Am I asking too much, for my cake and eating it too? I feel like I just want to give so much to Ruben incase he doesn't make it through this battle. I want to know I gave him all of me to enjoy. But, while I keep thinking this way I'm telling him each day to only live for today, one day at a time. Am I doing this for myself? Maybe I need to listen to my own advice. It would be unfair of me to keep living this way now that I've realized what I've done to myself.

Got My Wings at 6:51 PM


Friday, March 18, 2005

The Day is Coming!

It’s Official! This is where I’m getting married. Well, almost official, we just have to show it to my parents and give the lady a deposit, but we are penciled in her book for Saturday, April 22, 2006.

There is a staircase I will be walking down, a gazebo for the ceremony, ponds with waterfalls full of koi, and flowers every where! The name of the place is The Heirloom Inn. It’s a bed and breakfast in Ione, California. It’s perfect and beautiful and everything I’ve dreamed of…and cheap! Cheaper than comparable places anyway. Plus it’s only 15 minutes from Jackson Casino and thirty minutes from some great antique towns like Sonora, Jamestown and Columbia, so our guests can have a fun little weekend vacation while they are in the area.

Ruben and I are excited. This is our first big step and now we are realizing that it’s actually gong to happen, and in only one year! It doesn’t seem far away at all. Just the other day he was telling me how he can’t wait to wear a wedding ring again and feel complete. He’s jealous that I already get to wear one. He just keeps telling me that he can’t wait to call me his wife…I can’t wait to call him my husband either. Although, funny enough, I’m having the hardest time calling him my fiancé…that’s just a funny word, but he is so much more than a boyfriend.

We have so many plans and ideas already, in our heads the entire day is planned, we just need to figure out where to get started and make it all real. From flowers to dresses and tuxes and shoes and hair and centerpieces…we know it all! We've even began planning the honeymoon. We're thinking Belize and Guatemala. The next thing on the list though is my dress!

Got My Wings at 2:27 PM


Thursday, March 10, 2005

Feeling Great!

I just thought I'd update about my weight loss. The picture above is of my newest niece and me. It isn't the most recent, it's about a month old, but I don't have any more current.

Oddly enough lately I haven’t been losing any weight, but I have still been losing inches around my body. This, I'm told, is normal for my surgery...it's a break my body takes to catch up from losing weight so fast. Yesterday, despite my recent trip to McDonalds I told you all about, I got into my first pair of size eights! I don't think I've been in a size eight since I was about six years old (regardless that those are a different kind of size eights...this kind of size eight I think I just flat bypassed as an adolescent and went straight into 14's, 16's, and XL's). I also bought a size small t-shirt. I'm still very comfortable in a size 10 dress though.

Almost a year after surgery and this all still seems so surreal to me. It was only mid January when I got so excited that I fit into my mother-in-law's size 12's that I left her standing in a room in her underwear while I ran to the living room to show everyone that her pants fit me! Not even two months later and I'm already down two more sizes! Man oh man is this getting expensive though! I'm starting the summer with nothing...literally...at the end of last summer I was happily just getting into a size 16, now all of those just fall off me.

Got My Wings at 1:51 PM


Monday, March 07, 2005

Hamburger Happy

Today, for the first time in ten months, I sat alone in my car and stuffed my face with a McDonald's Big 'N Tasty Hamburger. A year ago this was a daily ritual, sometimes twice daily, for me and would never have seemed so sinful. A year ago through, it would have been accompanied by a super sized fry, soda, and vanilla ice cream cone...today it was just the burger, and I only got through half of it before I just couldn't take another bite.

I haven't yet used this site to journal much about my Weight loss Surgery Journey, but I'm going to take today as an opportunity to start. 10 months ago I had my surgery at 292 pounds and a size 26. As of today I've lost 120 pounds and am in-between a size 8 and 10. Sure, I've been in hurries or on road trips where I've eaten fast food, but I've consciously made better choices...like chicken or salad, or only eating the insides of something and discarding the bread or tortilla, but today I just wanted to bite into a huge greasy, bread included hamburger and enjoy it! I'm not proud of myself, even in the slightest....and I actually feel worse because I don't even have the excuse of stress, PMS, or a big fight with Ruben...nope, everything is fine for me today, I just wanted a hamburger!

Part of my reasoning for posting this is because many people think my surgery is the easy way out of fatness. It's not that at all. I've worked harder in the last ten months then ever in my life to stay healthy and make the right choices. A few bad choices have made me very sick even. It's a struggle every day to know that there are things I want and shouldn't have (not can't though). I can eat whatever I want, knowing that in doing so I would in fact gain my weight back. My surgery isn't the answer to my addiction to food and obesity, it's just a tool that has helped me see a better way of life and get healthy. My surgery fixed my stomach, not my head. Fast food still tastes as good to me as it used to, and as good as it does to the person sitting next to me.

Got My Wings at 1:39 PM


Saturday, March 05, 2005

Happy Birthday Boy

Today is Ruben's 30th Birthday. This beautiful balloon bouquet was sent to him earlier today from his girls. We took this picture and emailed it to them along with a thank you.

I miss them so much. It's been just over a month since we've seen them. It always seems to go that way. We see them for about six months out of every year. Everything gets really great and our weekends with them are the happiest times we have, then something always goes wrong and we go a few months without seeing them again. Ruben says it's his ex’s entire fault, but I wish he could see that yes, it is her fault for purposely trying to push him out of his kids’ lives, but he is the one that ultimately makes the final decision not to see his kids. Is hurting your children and ruining their childhoods really worth not having to deal with their mother that you hate so passionately?

Without trying to sound conceded, I was really the best thing those girls had within a few hundred miles. I'm the only one they have that actually cares about their mental and physical well-being. It's so sad to me that they have to grow up with two incredibly shitty biological parents that care more about making the other one’s lives miserable than putting their children first, a step dad that doesn't care for them and would rather pay a babysitter to watch them while he only watches his ‘real’ children, and a soon to be step mom that loves them more than anything in the world but isn't even allowed to call them because their mother resents that they actually love me back and wants to keep them away from me.

It’s difficult to deal with these feelings today. Last night should have been our legally scheduled dinner visit with the girls. I should have been able to see Lauren’s smile while her dad read a carefully hand-crafted birthday card, and heard Grace’s squeaky voice sing Happy Birthday to her daddy while I took pictures for our family photo album for Lauren to later help me put together. Something just doesn’t feel right without all this. It doesn’t feel right when I hear Ruben on the phone answering with, “I just don’t know Lauren; I can’t play your mom’s games anymore. This isn’t my fault,” when I know the question he’s answering is, “When will I see you again Daddy?”

At twenty, I know this is all wrong. Why is it so hard for a man of thirty to see? Will I be hoping for the same smiles, hugs and squeaky voices on this day next year? The ring on my finger promises my forever love and dedication to Ruben, as well as his children, how is it possible for me to hold up my end of the bargain when the children aren’t in my life to be loved? It hurts to be an adult who understands all this; I can only imagine being a child who doesn’t.

But, today Ruben has enjoyed his birthday, with or without them. Last night we saw an amazing movie and had a wonderful dinner. This morning we woke up holding each other and listening to his mother sing Happy Birthday into our answering machine. I took him to a nice breakfast and then we got grocery shopping done for his party tomorrow. It is also my mom'’s, brother'’s and cousin'’s birthday this weekend so we’re having a “"Together"” party at our home. It will be nice to be surrounded by family. I just wish Ruben's family was close enough to share his special day with us as well. They are in our hearts though, and this is one of many birthdays we will have with Ruben, I'’m convincing him of that more and more each day!

Got My Wings at 5:28 PM