…a person’s a person, no matter how small…

So it has been a little while since I posted an actual post about WLS here on Shut Your Piehole…things have been pretty quiet on that front.  I have been steadily losing weight but there weren’t any significant milestones.  Oh sure, I have been in and out of jeans and most of my ‘once favorite’ tops look pretty tragic on me now but I was kind of just bee-bopping along.  I have been good.  I feel good.  I noticed the other day that my elusive collarbone is becoming less enshrined in fat and can at times be seen by the naked eye.  Exciting!  Bones…who knew they could be so attractive?  The real reason for this post is because I am approaching my first real weight loss goal that I set for myself.  As of today I have lost 70 lbs since I started this process in late February.  Which is amazing!  Which is impressive!  Which is downright phenomenal!  Which is…just shy of my first goal!  You may be thinking that my first goal must be to lose 75 lbs.  75 lbs. would be a great goal but it is not my goal.  My goal is to lose…drum roll please…74 lbs, which means I am 4 lbs shy of my first goal!  I am sure you are wondering why 74 lbs vs. 75 lbs.  The answer very simply is that in a mere 4 lbs I will weigh in at the much more reasonable number of 299 lbs.  I will be under 300 lbs…FOREVER.  Putting aside the fact that I didn’t think I would ever weigh over 300 lbs to begin with, I eventually came to believe I would never weigh under 300 lbs again either.

So that is my deal, to weigh under 300 lbs.  My next goal will be 275, then 250, then 225 and so on…but for now I can’t think of anything better than weighing 299.

Love to all my girls out there, we are living our second chance.  God is so very good.

Love ya all…JustJil

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Behold the Karma of a backsliding coffee quitter…

A little back-story here is that I used to consume massive amounts of Coffee.  Not to keep myself alert or even just awake but because I loved the taste of it.  I seriously used to drink a couple to a few pots a day.  Can you say out of control?  Anyway, after some time of drinking this way, I think I actually may have damaged my stomach a little.  It got to the point where drinking more than one cup of coffee made me nauseous.  Seriously, I would get queasy and have a lingering temporal headache.  So gradually I began to listen to my body and lessened my coffee intake to the point of quitting altogether.  That is quite a transition to make let me tell you.  Even as I quit, I missed it.  Not the hi’s or low’s of a caffeine roller coaster but the taste.  The sheer taste of it.  I have always loved coffee.  When I was little I used to beg my father to let me have some of his coffee.  My dad drank it strong, black and no sugar…as a lesson once, he finally consented to me having some of his coffee…I held the valuable liquid just beneath my nose inhaling deeply the acrid smell of coffee-too-long-in-the-pot, and had never smelled anything sweeter.  It was as though all of my senses were heightened during that first exquisite gulp…of course, as my father had known it would, it scalded my mouth all the way down my throat…but his lesson ultimately was to fail, for as it burned it’s way to my stomach, I caught a small hint of how much promise that cup held.  On that day a coffee drinker was born.  I was 10, and I snuck coffee every opportunity I had, never missing out on a chance to imbibe in that incredibly sinful concoction of cream, sugar and the best Columbia could grow…these were the days before Guatemala Antigua.  Drinking coffee for me was a visceral experience.  Deep and real…

Which brings us to the pain of quitting…I quit drinking coffee about four years ago…oh sure, I have had a cup every now and then but that has been about it. Until recently…at work I have begun to build my coffee consumption up again, not crazy, it started out at a cup or two a week; lately though I have been wanting more and more…and it has now worked itself up to the point where I have a cup or two everyday.  On some level I hate the idea of being a slave to anything, but that sweet, hot cuppa joe pulls me in every time. Which brings me to this mornings happenings…

Today began like any normal workday, I just returned from Vacation where I indulged in multiple cups each morning…it was a holiday wasn’t it?…..Anyway, I stood in our little work kitchen and fixed myself one, big, glorious cup of coffee…reveling in it’s depth, its heat….I drank one cup, it was perfection – all that was good and right in the world could be found swirled together with cream, and sugar in that cup. Ahhhhhhh….sweet sustenance.

But then the coffee glutton inside of me reared it’s ugly little head and said…”insufficient…need more”…and because I am weak…I obeyed…stumbling toward the kitchen to partake again of coffee joy…the first sign was there, the coffee pot was full but coffee maker had been turned off, I should have walked away…but I pressed on, that’s what microwaves are for right?  so I made the perfect cup and as I was reaching to open the microwave door to place this precious cargo inside to be heated; the inexplicable happened…I caught the edge of my cup on the counter and down went my cup, splattering coffee everywhere…it was an unholy mess…so there I am – Happy Thursday to me…just back from vacation on my hands and knees in the kitchen mopping up what seems like gallons of creamy coffee mess with hundreds of paper towels (at least 30)…after cleaning I arose dusted myself off and contemplated just returning to my office to sulk over the lost cup of coffee, to mourn it’s loss ~ but alas, it was not to be…I could not just walk away, so I gathered close to my chest my unconquerable spirit and set off with determination to replace the lost java…with an even better cup, perhaps the best cup ever…by now the coffee in the pot was quite cold so I poured it ever so gingerly into my bruised coffee cup (freshly washed) and as I passed my cup over the quart of half & half sitting by the coffee maker, the unimaginable happened, the coffee cup handle caught the edge of the carton of half and half and down it went, in my attempt to stop the carnage I upended my own cup of coffee trying to stop the flow of cream, into the utility and supply cabinet below with pathetic inaccuracy…so now I find myself again on the floor cleaning, wiping, opening cabinets and cleaning them out, getting the coffee and creamer off the wall…wondering…what has happened to me?  I am not a clumsy person…I have got excellent hand/eye coordination…so how do I explain the great coffee disasters of this morning…finally I finish my Cinderella act and contemplate once again just returning to my office sans coffee but…No, it will not get the best of me, I will have coffee.  So I set about ever so gently preparing that hot coffee goodness…I decide to wait to add the cream until after I microwave it.  I set the cup gently in the microwave close the door punch in two minutes and sit back and watch it…with a mere 20 seconds to go I check the coffee as it spins around inside the microwave and head over to the refrigerator to collect the half & half.  While I close the refrigerator door I hear the beeeeeeeep…of the microwave and I think smugly to myself that I am only moments away from my mornings bounty…the best cup of coffee ever.  I punch the open button on the microwave and stare in morbid fascination at all that coffee that used to be in my coffee cup that has now formed the mighty Euphrates river inside the microwave…in the last 20 seconds of it’s micro-journey the coffee had boiled completely over the sides of the cup, which sat, quietly with all the dignity a cup can muster while being surrounded by 2/3’s of it’s former contents.  Why did I not just walk away, you ask?  Why indeed…because it had now transcended the very Coffee-ness it had once represented and become the battle for every thing in my life that I could not control.  I was emotionally committed to the cup of coffee and everything true and imagined that it now represented.  I would have my cup of coffee or I would go down fighting.  One way or the other the battle was to end!  I cleaned the mess up in the microwave, and with military precision prepared my what was to be my final cup of coffee.  With exact measurements, precise movements, strategic placement of components the coffee was assembled, heated and transported to my desk.  I sat with all of my righteousness shrouded about my shoulders as I contemplated this cup of insolence and fury before me and…the phone rang.  I spoke to one of our salesmen for awhile, wrote a couple of notes, hammered out an email and then absent mindedly reached for my coffee.  With little fanfare I took a big gulp…of cold coffee.  I drank it anyway.  I am not sure who won the battle but the war rages on…

…and the T.V. glowed that long hot summer with all the cities burning down…

Every year I dread it.  I know it’s coming, I know there is nothing I can do to stop it and still…summer comes.

I think the thing that marks the arrival of summer is different for everyone.  For some people it is a date on the calendar, for others maybe it’s the day the neighborhood pool officially opens and still for some it is an intangible thing, a feeling.  For me, there are like ten things that signify the coming of summer.  As I tick off each thing it’s like one more nail in the coffin ’til begrudgingly I acknowledge it has begun.

I hate summer.  It has always been that way.  I can’t remember a time when I didn’t dread it.  I always looked forward to the end of school with mixed feelings.  Yay, no school!  Boo, long, sunny, hot days!  Granted, it’s not just the heat, or the brightness of this Texas blue sky, it’s everything.  It’s the smell of coppertone sunblock, it’s getting out of the shower feeling good and then walking out of the door into the summer heat and feeling a drop of sweat roll down your back, it’s burning your fingers trying to put your damn seatbelt on, but for me all of these things pale in comparison to the real travesty of summer days.  Oh sure, the days are longer but I achieve less in those hours.  The sun kills any creativity I have.  I lose motivation.  I start calculating how long this will go on, making little bets with myself about how soon I can expect Autumn to begin it’s slow campaign to squash the life out of summer.  When did it begin to cool down last year?  Was it September that had those first stirrings of the possibility of Fall, or was it October?  When was the first night that it fell into the 60’s?  Will this be an early Autumn or late?  Is it too early to start thinking about Hallowe’en?  Thanksgiving?  Christmas?  I mentioned to a co-worker yesterday that it was a mere 7 months ’til Christmas and she looked at me with dead calm and said, “DO NOT even start talking about that, I don’t want to think about Christmas”, I questioned her further, saying,  “Really?  You really don’t want to even think about it?” and she was serious when she said, “No”.  So I let it go, contemplating as I did, how one makes it through these long bleak summer months without thinking about all of the great things that come with the death of summer.  It’s my coping mechanism.  It is how I make it through summer at all. 

All of my friends accuse me of being dark and twisty and there is some merit to that.  I crave gray, overcast skies, the whistle of the wind through barren branches, watching all of the brilliantly hued leaves as they spiral down, the reverent crunch of fallen acorns as you step on them, the cool snap in the air around twilight, the death everywhere of all mosquito’s, the short days, the long evenings, it’s almost enough to make my synapses fuse just thinking about it.  Creativity abounds, I start painting again and writing again and optimism once again takes root in my psyche.  The stars are brighter, sound carries farther, people move with a noticeable skip in their step.  The energy is electrifying!  The possibilities infinite, full of hope and wonder.  Soon, you can smell the essence of smoke on the winds as people throw logs into the fireplace.  It spreads through you warming you down to your toes.  Life is good, the world is at peace and the only thing that brings me down at all is knowing that it will come to an end…Autumn and Winter will fade and Spring will begin, promising new growth and then with singular melancholy, Spring will hoist it’s white flag of surrender to Summer, and I will be driven indoors to contemplate once again, seasonal averages, rainfall, and Hallowe’en, Thanksgiving and Christmas and whether or not I will make a my famous, Post-Thanksgiving Day Quiche this year…

Well, It seems like it started to cool down mid October of last year, so just five months to go…

…Girls like me aren’t hard to find, we grow like roses on the vine…

My appointment went well.  My labs were good, my Surgeon is proud of my progress and I feel good in general.  I am trying very hard to live in the moment and be happy with my progress instead of focusing on how much I still have to lose.  I am better at this some days more than others.  Today is one of those days.

I wish for everyone today, a day of unadulterated hope, boundless joy and uncensored optimism!

XoXo…justjil