Becoming the Pin-Up Girl

I'm on a journey from obesity to health.. and I'm hoping to reveal my inner Pin-Up Girl along the way ;-)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

OH Baby, it's cold outside...

...and I'm feeling ill. I wish that I could have stayed in my warm bed with the covers pulled up tight around me. I'm not sure what's up with Phyllis - I've been severely nauseous for about four days now. I spent three straight hours on Sunday with dry heaves, and then another hour last night. My whole torso (especially my neck and back) hurts.. and I can't keep any of my pain meds down. I have a feeling that it's the pain meds that have irritated my stomach to begin with. I hope Phyllis calms down soon .. I'm supposed to help my Mom cook in two days.

In other news, I've decided to attend an OH (ObesityHelp) event on Saturday, December 6, at the Marriott in San Ramon, CA. I haven't been on the OH site in over a year, but when I found out that two fellow blogsisters, Melting Mama and Eggface, were going to be there, I decided to give it a try. I could definitely use some support and renewed motivation - especially since I have a dress to buy soon! If you're in my neck of the woods, you should think about attending. You can even get a $15 discount off the ticket price - just enter "GOLDEN08" for reduced price tickets.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

He popped the question...

and I said "YES!"

It's official.. Chris and I are engaged. I've been walking around all day like a big dork with a cheesy grin on my face. I'm just so happy and excited.. I don't know how I'm going to make it through this day of work.

It was sweet and simple - he surprised me at work with flowers and chocolate covered almonds. And from the silly look on his face, I knew what was up. I told him "not here" and I started to blush. So we went for a walk by my office. He sat me down on the marble steps of the Federal Reserve Bank.. he got down on one knee.. and he sweetly asked me to marry him. I will remember the look in his eyes for the rest of my life.

There's no date yet. I'm just excited to have made it this far. For now, I'm content in using the word "fiancee" and showing off my ring. Oh yeah - the ring! Here's a pic:

I love it - I can't stop looking at it. I can't stop thinking about our future. I can't stop smiling!

Monday, October 06, 2008

What does the Pin-Up Girl have in common with a WWE wrestler?

WWE champ John Cena had a cervical discectomy with fusion after an injury to his neck - it turns out that he had his surgery a month before me. If he can recover and return to his career, I think I'll be okay.

Friday, October 03, 2008

My favorite pin-up to date

I normally would not approve of altering an artist's original work, but I love what Chris did for me in Photoshop with this Gil Elvgren piece (look closely). Sorry Mr. Elvgren.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

A very nice evening

Well, the eBay auction isn't looking good for the ring. Oh well. We'll try again if we don't get this one. The auction closes in about 2 hours - I'm winning right now, but we can't afford to increase our bid much more.

I had a really nice visit last night. Two of my best friends, John (to my right) and his bf Shane (to my left), came over bearing a huge bouquet of gorgeous flowers and yummy Thai takeout. It was a great pick-me-up. I haven't really been able to get out of the house much since my surgery, and I've been missing my friends terribly. Here is a pic from last night - you can see what my incision looks like. After my appt. with Dr. Randall next week, I can start putting some scar treatments on it. I can't put anything on it for now. I think I'll be wearing a lot of scarves and turtlenecks this winter.

*Update - yeah, we lost the auction :-( ..sigh. Oh well, we'll keep looking. It's still great knowing that I can call him my fiancee soon!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Shhhhhhhh.. can you keep a secret?

Guess who just put a bid on a vintage engagement/wedding ring set today? Chris did! I don't know if we'll get this one, but it's so fun to talk about rings and shop around a little bit. We've been talking about taking this next step for quite some time. Yep, it's been a pretty nice day - just the thought of being Mrs. Stewart is taking the edge off of the pain!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Wow - has it really been that long since I've posted?! Well, life has been rough for a while. The pain that I've written about continued to get worse and worse, and I finally found out what was wrong. The disc in my neck between my C5 and C6 vertebrae was completely ruptured - it had ripped all the way across the front and the material from inside of it was putting a lot of pressure on my spinal cord. It was causing severe pain, numbness and spasming from my neck, up into my head, down both shoulders, down my arms, and all the way to the tips of my fingers. On July 21, I went on disability because I just couldn't bear to type anymore. I saw a neurosurgeon, the amazing Dr. Randall, and he recommended that I have surgery to remove the disc. At first, I was just really scared and not ready for such an extreme surgery. The thought of anyone messing with my spinal cord scared the holy hell out of me. For four weeks, I tried some conservative treatments, like traction and physical therapy.. even acupuncture. Nothing worked and the pain continued to get worse. I went back to Dr. Randall and told him, "Ok - I'm ready. I can't live like this anymore. Let's just fix it." So he scheduled the surgery. I then saw a pain management specialist who put me on Fentanyl patches - they're very strong opiate pain relieving patches that give off a time-released drug through the skin. That helped me just to manage until the surgery. So - this Monday, the 22nd, I had the surgery. Dr. Randall cut a 2 inch incision in the front of my neck. He removed the blown out disc and replaced it with a piece of cadaver bone, and then he put a titanium plate over the C5 and C6 vertebrae to hold everything in place. Over time, my natural bone will fuse with the cadaver bone, and then the area should be secure. Everything went really well. I was up and around shortly after I got out of recovery and into my room. Chris was there for me (what an angel.. I am so blessed to have him), and so were my Mom and my stepfather Jerry. I spent one night in the hospital and I was able to come home yesterday.

It's amazing how much better I feel already. The nerve pain is completely gone - the pain that I have now is just from the surgery. My neck is swollen and it hurts around the incision, and I can't move my head a whole lot, and I'm having spasms between my shoulders - I think that's just from the position that they had me in on the operating table.

I'm very hopeful that this will help me heal and get back to the life that I had just begun to live after my gastric bypass. My 2 year surgiversary was on September 19. Thankfully, I've maintained my weight through this whole ordeal. I weight 186, which is kinda funny - I weighed 186 during my last post, over 2 months ago. I think that's a good sign. My next goal is to heal up and when Dr. Randall gives me the ok, I want to start strengthening my core muscles so that I can support my spine. I'll always have to be careful with exercise, because it is possible to break the fusion in my neck, but there is a lot that I can do. I can't wait to start!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Treading water

Chris and I finally joined our local Bally gym and started working out together. I really like the facility - it's really clean, has lots of equipment and lots of classes - and best of all, it has a pool and a hottub! Last night I did the stretch routine that my pt taught me, then I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, and I followed up with some laps in the pool. I could only do 6 laps (2 freestyle, 2 breaststroke, and 2 with a kickboard), but it's a start. I have a session with a personal trainer next Monday night. Two sessions are included with my membership. If I can swing it, I might do a few more sessions until I have a good routine down. I'm completely lost when it comes to weight machines, and I'm not sure what would be safe to do with the neck and back issues.

Something weird happened when I got home from the gym last night - I threw up for the first time since my RNY. I've had dry heaves plenty of times, but I've never been able to actually get anything up, which I've always thought was really bizarre. I read about other RNY patients that throw up all of the time, especially after overeating. Well, I tried to eat some steak and steamed veggies - got about two bites of steak in and a few veggies, and Phyllis decided it wasn't happening. I didn't feel nauseous or anything, like I do with a dumping episode - in fact I felt perfectly fine after the food came up. I guess I might have to just do protein drinks after a workout.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Happy Loving Day!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Picking up the pieces

Slowly but surely, I'm working to get myself out of the negative "poor me" frame of mind. I'm making small strides, but I still have a lot to do. I went back to physical therapy this morning, and we're joining Ballys this weekend. I really liked the physical therapist that I worked with today. She started off by warming me up on a big heating pad for 15 minutes, then we went through my stretch routine. I've been stretching on and off in the evenings, but I need to make it a daily (or better yet, twice daily) routine. When I told the pt that I would be joining a gym over the weekend, she was really excited for me and she showed me a few routines that would be appropriate for me to do with the weight machines. I'm also going to look into the times for their aqua-aerobics classes (they have a 3-lane Olympic length pool - yea!) and yoga and Pilates. All of the classes are included, so it's just up to me to make it happen.

Big incentive coming up - I'm going to New York City the week of July 14 for work. I'll be doing A LOT of walking, as I'll be doing several hotel site inspections. I really want to enjoy myself and I do not want to be in pain on the trip.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Lose a little weight and see the world - cheap!

(ps... it's just a joke kids)

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

So much for so long

I've missed you (my friends and my blog) so much for so long. I've been afraid to come back to you, though I think of you every day. This blog has been my truth and I've run away from it. And now I'm running back to it because I need it. I really truly need it.

Where to start.. well, ok. Let's start with the hardest stuff. I've gained weight - anyone surprised? No? I didn't think you would be. I seriously considered taking the ticker off of the top of this page because I want so badly to hide it.. to lie.. to put on a big smile and say, "Me? The pin-up girl? I'm doing faaaaabulously, darlings!" But I'm not. The number is there at the top for all to see. I need to see it. I need it to scare the fuck out of me. And it is.. it's scaring the fuck out of me.

What's next? Ah yes.. pain. I'm in pain all. of. the. time. Beginning on Sunday, I started traction therapy three times a day, 15 minutes per session, for 6 weeks .. because the disc in my neck is herniated to the point that's it's compressing a nerve that is making my left arm go numb. Then there are the severe muscle spasms that I still have in my lower back. I feel like I've been tricked.. hoodwinked.. the surgery was supposed to take the weight off and my back would be healed - right? Right?! No. Damnit.

The latest thing? My father is going blind. His diabetes has been so out of control for so long that he's fucking going blind. He moved back to St. Louis a few months ago to live with my Aunt Kathy again. He took his girlfriend, who I cannot stand and don't trust at all, with him. Yesterday, he called me and told me about the problems with his eyesight and his upcoming appointment with the opthomologist, when he expects he'll be told he can no longer drive. My Dad - the bad muthafuckin biker - can no longer drive or ride. This morning, he called me to book a flight to come out to visit in July. He couldn't see well enough to write down the flight details. My heart just sank.

And with all of this sadness and anger and frustration.. you know what I want to do? I WANT TO EAT GODDAMNIT! I want a cheeseburger.. or Red Vines.. or something. Something to please take it all away. Just for a minute.

I need my friends. I need my blog. I'm sorry that I ran away .. I really really am.

Monday, May 05, 2008

Thankful for Loving

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Where, oh where, has the Pin-up Girl gone?

This is an email that I sent to a very good friend today.. it explains everything that I've been avoiding posting to my blog. I haven't forgotten about any of you. Life's just been tough.


"Hi - omg.. I didn't mean to make you worry. I did get your text and have been meaning to call.. you know how that goes. I know I haven't blogged in 2 months - believe me, it's been on my mind. The major reason is - I was very sick for about a month. The week before Christmas, I passed 3 kidney stones and ended up with such a bad kidney infection that it took 3 antibiotics to finally kill it. I've been referred to a urologist, who ordered a CAT scan to see how many more stones I have. Looked like one to the tech, but it could be two more. My regular doctor also took me off of glucophage, which is a diabetes drug that I've taken for several years for Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome. It's basically an endocrine disorder that makes your body resist the use of insulin.. causing obesity (shock, right?!) among other things and it basically screws up all of the hormones involved in your reproductive system, making fertility very very difficult. Since the surgery, the weight loss has reversed many of the PCOS symptoms, but it doesn't reverse the disorder. So anyway.. her rationale was .."you're not diabetic.. you don't need it".. which is not the reason I was taking it. I take it to help my body use insulin more effectively.. keeping me from being a diabetic and keeping me FERTILE! So long story short.. I've gained 15 pounds back. I'm back up to 180 and very scared. I have an appt on Feb. 12 with an OB/GYN that I've never seen. I'm PRAYING that she knows enough about PCOS to put me back on Glucophage.. that should help me take the extra weight back off. And now that I've got energy back since being so sick.. I think I'm ready to start exercising again. For about 3 weeks, I could hardly get off of the couch. I missed almost 3 weeks of work which was pretty financially devastating..especially at Christmas. Oh - and we had friends from LA in town during New Year's.. something that had been planned for months that I didn't have the heart to cancel. BUT - I (and I should say WE because Chris was just the best partner I could ever wish for during the whole thing) made it through. Yesterday we celebrated our 3 year anniversary together and Thursday is my 34th (eek!) birthday. We're down in T-town celebrating my b-day and my nephew William's very first birthday, which is today. My brother is such a proud daddy.. it's very cool to watch him with his son.

So - that's the story. I promise that I will call when I can sit down and take a minute. It's just been tough.. being away from work for so long.. getting caught up.. then I got to hire a third agent (which is wonderful!).. it's kept me super super busy.

I just haven't known how to post all of this in my blog. Maybe I'll just copy this email and post it. In fact - that is what I'll do.

Thanks for being concerned - I love you guys and miss you all so very much!"

xoxo Danyele

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Back home

I'm finally back from my trip to London - and it was fantastic! I have lots of pictures and stories to share, but I'm afraid I haven't had a chance to sit down and get it all together for you. I had a big scare the day before I left - my Dad was in a pretty serious motorcycle accident. He broke his left femur and hip socket, but he's otherwise okay - thank goodness! So my time aside from work has been spent on the phone with him, my Aunt who is caring for him, and his lawyers. But I promise I'll get the "Thanksgiving-London-and a few other things" post out very soon. Cheers!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

She works hard for the money

I'm sorry that I've been away from my blog for so long. My life.. my professional life in particular, has been crazy-busy and very very exciting. Last week I was given a promotion along with a 10% raise. I'm now the account leader for my account, so I'm supervising my colleague Michael, and I'll soon be adding a third person to our account. I've worked very hard on this account and it's volume has nearly tripled in the 18 months that I've been on the account. Today, my manager Lynn took Michael and I into a conference room to tell us that we would be receiving bonuses for the hard work that we both did in the month of October - apparently she just got our transaction numbers and they were through the roof! The bonus will come in very handy because... my trip to London is back on! I've actually known about this for a few weeks, but I hesitated to mention it in case it somehow fell through again. But no - we're now being sponsored by Virgin Atlantic, which is fantastic. I've always wanted to fly Virgin in business class - so posh! This weekend I'll be doing lots of shopping for winter clothes, of which I have none. I did find a gorgeous wool and cashmere coat at the Salvation Army last weekend for $14!!! It was a hell of a good find. I think I may do more thrift shopping this weekend. This weekend is the last time that I'll have to shop and pack, because on Wednesday Chris and I leave for my parent's house for Thanksgiving. That Friday, my Mom and my Step-dad and Chris and I are headed up to a cabin that we've rented at Pinecrest Lake. Then that Sunday morning, Chris and I will drive home early in the morning - then I leave for London that afternoon. It's going to be a whirlwind couple of weeks.

I hope that you all have a joyful holiday with your families - we all have so much to be thankful for. I'm especially thankful for the opportunity to share my life with all of you - so thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Another stone

I had another kidney stone this weekend. A much smaller and much less painful one.. but a stone none the less. I feel like I'm really screwing this up.. and not in a weight loss sense, but in a maintaining-my-health sense. My company just changed insurance plans on the first (thankfully Dr. U is still part of this plan), so I need to make an appt. with my new primary. I decided to change primary doctors - I couldn't stand my old one. He was really worthless. I chose a woman this time - I hope she's supportive. Anyway - I'm drink-drink-drinking away. And I'll try to keep this up.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


I'm REALLY having a tough time with liquids. I just can't seem to get in the amount of fluid that I need. I'm beginning to feel some of discomfort that I was feeling right before I ended with a kidney stone a few months back, so I'm worried. To all of my post-op friends - how do you get all of your fluids in?? I start the day off with the best intentions. I drink my double-scoop protein drink. I get to work and make myself some hot tea - Earl Grey with milk. I drink a cup or so and then the day gets away from me. I'll have some water before lunch.. then I have something to eat. I tell myself that I can't drink after eating.. and then my afternoon is gone and I haven't had anything to drink for hours. I just don't know how to make drinking a bigger priority. Help!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

The hard truth

I can't tell you how true the opinion in this article has been for me. Before my WLS, I was invisible in my workplace. I didn't have any friends at work. I was working in a small office by myself.. no one came to talk to me.. no one invited me to functions.. I missed out on so many opportunities. Now I'm visible. I have friends at work. Vendors send me invitations and gifts and give me (and my clients) A LOT of attention. I rock this office in my dresses and heels and my red lipstick and blonde hair. I feel powerful when I walk in the door. I feel unstoppable.

Is Your Image Hurting Your Career?
by Penelope Trunk

Being overweight or sloppily dressed is worse for your career than being a poor performer.

I'm not saying this is fair, I'm saying it's true. So manage your weight, and manage the image you project at work, and you'll do wonders for your career.

If you doubt that your image can inhibit your career, think about this: According to a 2005 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, good-looking people make more money than average-looking people for doing exactly the same work.

Fit in Every Way

Before you get up in arms over how unfair it is to discriminate against people who are overweight, consider that there may be some rationale behind it. If you're overweight, you're probably not exercising every day. But regular exercise increases peoples' ability to cope with difficult situations in the workplace and, according to University of Illinois kinesiology professor Charles Hillman, might even make people smarter.

And the same self-discipline we use to make ourselves exercise regularly and eat in moderation carries over into other aspects of our lives. This is probably why, in a study from Leeds Metropolitan University, people who exercise regularly were found to be better at time-management and more productive than those who don't.

So don't kid yourself that if you do good work it won't matter if you're overweight. It's sort of like people who have messy desks: The perception is that they're low-performers, poor time-managers, and not clear thinkers. This might not be true at all, but the only thing they can do to overcome the perceptions of their coworkers is clean their desks.

Make Image a Priority

What makes this information particularly troubling is that so many people say they can't make time to exercise and eat right because they need to work instead. In fact, if you're overweight, you should probably put aside some of your work, accept that you won't be performing as well at the office, and manage your image more closely by going to the gym.

That's right -- get rid of that perfectionist streak, do a little less work, and use that time to make yourself look better. People will perceive that you're doing better work anyway. So instead of rationalizing why you can put work ahead of taking care of your health, start acting like a healthy person. Go to the gym at lunch, or leave work at 5 to hit the gym. Reorganize your schedule to make health a priority and your coworkers will respect you for it.

Here's something else: Dress like you care. Building a strong brand for yourself is the only way to create a stable career in today's workplace. You'll change jobs often, and what influences your ability to get new jobs most is the image you convey. People judge that before they judge one word that comes out of your mouth.

A Career Constant

I didn't have a weight problem when I owned my first company, but I did have an image problem -- I was younger than almost everyone, and my mentor told me my age was creating problems. So I hired an image consultant to drag me around town and spend lots of money until I looked more grown up.

I still worry about image issues today -- everyone does, no matter where they are in their career. It's just that today I worry less about looking older and more about what shirt is right for an appearance on CNN. The point is that issues of image are ongoing in a career that matters.

So don't be overweight and don't dress carelessly. These are just as detrimental to your career as doing your work poorly. And if my bringing this up makes you angry, consider being more forgiving, because anger is a risk factor for obesity. Besides, forgiveness makes people more resilient to difficulties because it's about seeing the world in a positive light -- which is, of course, also good for your image.

Monday, October 15, 2007


Our friends Aaron and Ivy's son Tyler is now in a better place, free of pain and smiling down upon us. Chris and I feel blessed to have known Tyler while he was with us, and we're so thankful that the Huge family have included us in their lives.

Tyler - we're going to miss you so much. We'll be here to help take care of your Mom and Dad and Andrew and Devon. We love you .. Chris and Danyele

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Checking in

My work schedule has been NUTS! lately, but thankfully it quieted down enough for me to take a full lunch break today (shock!), get a manicure (no!), and get caught up on the blogs in the webring (wow!). I don't expect this to last, so I'm making the most of it. I'm just crossing my fingers that I can get the hell out of here at 5pm and make it to my Pilates class. I've missed 2 weeks!! and I'm not happy about it.

Nothing too earth-shattering to report.. scale is bouncing around between 165 and 170 (I like the 160s.. gotta stay here!).. eating is ok, though I know I should be snacking less. It's mostly been on cheese, popcorn, or a protein bar.. but you know. It's never good.. this is related to the crazy work schedule and lack of a proper lunch break. Money is tight, so Chris and I are trying to be frugal and live off of love for the next two weeks. We'll be fine.. it's just a bummer, you know? Good stuff - I get to see my friend Katrina and her new baby Loren, who are out visiting from Minnesota. I'll see them on Saturday. And next weekend I'll meet my Sassy Sistah Melinda from San Diego - too cool! That's about it for now - I'll be back to check in soon.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Year one in the life of the pin-up girl

Wednesday was my one-year Surgiversary - how time flies! I had my one-year post-op checkup with Dr. U on Tuesday. All my labs came back great, though my protein was on the low side of normal (I'm going to add a protein drink in the evening) and my B-12 was lower than it should be for someone taking B-12 every day, as I am. So he's going to recheck my labs in 3 months and see how things are progressing at that point. I'm seriously considering B-12 shots. I've read that Madonna is doing vitamin injections.. and look at the energy that woman has at almost 50 years old! Anyway, it's something to consider. And I'm in the 160's - yea!

The most exciting part of the week came Wednesday when Magda, the very fabulous VP of Operations at my agency, invited me to the Macy's Passport Gala event on Thursday night. It's a big fashion show to benefit HIV/AIDS charities.. this was the 25th annual Passport show. It's a big deal.. the "who's who" of San Francisco society is always there.. celebrities.. lots of beautiful people. I said, "of course, I'd love to".. and then I immediately began to panic. "What the fuck am I going to wear?" I thought. I called Chris almost in tears.. I had literally three hours after work to figure something out. He told me to relax, and that he would go with me and we would find something for me wear. He picked me up from the train and we drove directly to Nordstrom Rack. I was there about 10 minutes when I found it.. the perfect dress. A black 40's style cocktail dress by David Meister. Regularly $350, marked down to $80.
I tried it on and it fit like a dream. When I got home, I looked at the website for the event, and that's when my heart skipped a beat - Dita Von Teese was going to be performing at the event! I sat in front of the computer and started to cry. It was like a dream come true - the perfect way to celebrate the new me. Like my own personal coming out party. The next day of work went painfully slow .. I couldn't wait to get dressed and leave for the show. Finally 5 o'clock rolled around and I went into the ladies room to change. As I walked back into the office, every head turned to look at me as I walked by..and let me tell you - jaws dropped! It was the best feeling! Magda and I got our things together and let for Fort Mason, where the show was being held. We walked into the event hall for the pre-party and it was just spectacular. I was so happy to see one of my favorite local artists, Lavay Smith and her Red Hot Skillet Lickers, performing. If you've never heard Lavay Smith,you have to check her out. She does a bluesy-jazz swing kind of thing. "Everyone's Talkin' About Miss Thing" is like my theme song.. and she played it. I was grinning from ear to ear! We watched her perform for a while, then got some drinks and walked around to the booths where many of the hot restaurants in town were serving food. I couldn't eat a thing - I was too excited. Then it was time to walk over to the building where the fashion show was being held. We took our seats (really good seats!) and met up with our host from American Airlines. She was so nice - I thanked her over and over for inviting us. If only she knew how special the evening was for me. The lights went down and then the show began. It was amazing.. the music, the sets, the models and the style - just amazing. I kept thinking to myself, "none of this is out of my reach now". I can be the person on the outside that I've always been on the inside. Well, on a budget.. but you know what I mean! LOL Anyway, then it was time for the finale. The lights went down and then came up.. and there was the trademark champagne glass. And then there was Dita. She was wearing this outfit.. it looked like it was made of diamonds.. it sparkled like nothing I had seen before in my life. On either side of the catwalk, there was a girl dressed in a French Maid costume. As Dita did her seductive, playful strip-tease, she would hand each piece of clothing to one of the maids. When she got down to her corset, I was in awe of how tiny her waist is. It couldn't be more than 18 or 19 inches around! She got all the way down to a bra and panties .. and then she made her way back to the glass. She took a big bottle of champagne, popped the cork, and then slowly poured it down her beautiful body. Then she climbed into the glass, pouring the champagne and writhing around .. it was the sexiest thing I've ever seen. Magda kept looking over at me and smiling.. like she knew what I was feeling. As I sat there, I felt like the luckiest girl in the world. I thought of all of my friends here in the webring.. especially Dagny, and how happy they would be for me. I thought of my sweetheart Chris, who was more excited for me on that night than I was for myself. I thought of all of the toxic people that I've eliminated from my life and how much happier I am without them. And I thought of all of the wonderful people in my life now, who appreciate who I am and love me for me, inside and out. And I realized that I've become the woman that I've always wanted to be.

Yes, there are pics, but they're not great. My camera was on a weird setting and I didn't realize it until I got home.

But here's me:

And this blur is Dita von Teese:
Check this out for really good pics of the famous Champagne Dance.

Thursday, September 13, 2007


Why do I always forget what a great stress reliever exercise is?

My work day absolutely sucked yesterday. The only thing that kept me going through the day was the thought of shutting everything out and enjoying my Pilates class. As it turned out, I had to work about 40 minutes late and I was 10 minutes late for class. But I refused to miss it.

The best part of the class was the 10 minute relaxation/cool down at the end. The instructor (I still don't remember her name!) had all of the lights turned down and she had some groovy new-agey tribal-ish music playing. She had us get into the position that you see in the pictue - but with our backs on the floor and our butts directly up against the wall. Basically like an upside-down frog. Omg - I felt every one of my vertebrae pop back into position. It actually took my breath away for a moment. We spent about 5 minutes like this and the next 5 minutes with our legs spread out into a 'V' - minds clear, just connecting to our bodies. Loved it. I left with a warm buzzing in all of my muscles and a big smile on my face.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Bummer for the day - British Airways cancelled the Fam to London. I'm pissed. That is SO tacky. Guess how much BA I'll be selling now...


I'm psyched for my Pilates class tonight. I've been doing some of the stretches that I learned in my last class after each of my Curves workouts (Saturday, Monday and Tuesday so far.. I've promised myself that I will go every other day MINIMUM). My abs feel tight - it's a good feeling. I hope she works us really hard tonight. I'll have some extra negative energy to work through.. I'm sure I'll feel better after I sweat it out.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Upside down and twisted

Today we went to Six Flags for my company picnic and I got to check off one of the things on my "To Do After WLS" list - I rode a rollercoaster!
We had a blast! I walked for miles and I didn't get tired AT ALL.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

I HEART my Pilates class!

I had a great time. There were about 12 women in the class all together - and most of them were about the same size as me.. they ranged from about a 10 to a 14, most with pudgy middles. I felt so comfortable and confident. It's great not being the biggest person in a group any longer. The instructor is this late-30s blonde hardbody.. bit on the airhead side, but nice. So the technique that we learned.. it's a lot like yoga. But with less focus on "poses" and more focus on very controlled stretches. I didn't find it difficult. Not to say that it was easy, or that I'm not sore today (cuz damn! am I ever), but I didn't struggle. I was able to do all of the moves without feeling like an elephant attempting ballet.

And - big news! I have some serious motivation to get in shape now. Yesterday I was invited by British Airways for a Fam trip to London over Thanksgiving! It's a really sought-after invitation - only 2 people in my company were asked. Business class.. 5 star hotel.. wining and dining.. and this will be my first trip to London. Can't wait! The bad news is that I'm not able to take a guest, so Chris can't go with me. He made me promise that I would go and have a fabulous time. He's really proud of me and excited for me. God, I love that man so so much.

I want to look H-O-T for my trip across the pond, so I'm going to work HARD. I promise.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Feeling like a Dummy

Just added this to my Netflix queue. It's gotten pretty good reviews, so I'm hopeful. If I like it, I'll buy it. I need instruction if I'm going to be successful. I've done some browsing around on the net for ab and core workouts .. I read them and my eyes glaze over. Hopefully my Netflix account and exercise videos will provide an inexpensive option, since a trainer is out of the question right now.

I've got my workout clothes with me - I'm going to Curves after work. Doing a carb detox too - I need it. My parents were in town this weekend and they took us out to eat a few times. Scales up a few pounds this morning - it isn't pretty. I walked past a window and caught my reflection on the way to work this morning - my midsection looks like a Shar pei puppy - but not as cute. ((sigh)) I'm researching exercise classes at the local junior college and adult school too - there are options out there. I've just got to pick some and follow through.

** a quick update **

I found a Pilates class at San Lorenzo Adult School - it starts tomorrow night and runs every Wednesday night until the end of November - cost is only $25, which I can totally do. The class description says "Pilates is core conditioning. It helps to increase flexibility and to tone and strengthen muscles.".. which is EXACTLY what I need. I'm excited now and no longer feeling like a "dummy".. I guess I just needed to work through my self-deprication moment. Yea - I'll let you know how it goes!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Month eleven in the life of the future pin-up girl

The last piece of the puzzle .. is exercise. And I'm struggling with it. I got totally psyched to start swimming with the Manatees and then two things happened. One - I found that my neck/shoulder injury was worse than I thought. Swimming was causing me so much pain that I could barely type at work. When I originally injured myself, I was off of work for 6 months. Can't have that again. Two - we got some bad news financially. For the last year, Chris and I have been working as the managers of our apartment complex... showing units for rent, dealing with noise complaints, that sort of thing. In exchange, we were paying $400 a month for rent. Unheard of in the Bay Area. It was really helping out while Chris is in school and only working part time. Well - the owners of our building (who we really love) decided to sell the building and the new owner will not require our services. So we're back to $900 a month for rent and struggling. So.. that means that the monthly fees for swimming are no longer in the budget. All of this brought me really down. I was feeling like a failure.. feeling a lot like I have in past when I've announced my intent to start a new diet.. and then failing with it.

I've spent time thinking about it.. working through the suckiness of the whole situation.. and now I need a solution. I do still have my Curves membership. I'm paying for it, forchristsake, might as well use the damn thing. But I know that I will need something more. I NEED to strengthen my core. The weight that I have left to lose is all around my middle (mid-tummy and back), with a little on my upper thighs. I'm still having back pain. I still slouch.. not from lack of self-esteem or anything, but from pain. Straightening my back out HURTS. I'm still taking Valium on occasion for the muscle spasms in my back. As lovely as the occasional Valium chill-out can be, I'd really like to not need them anymore.
And - in addition to all of this, my energy level still has peaks and valleys. I thought that this would have evened out by the time I was nearly a year out. I'm taking B-12 every day now. Maybe I'll need B-12 shots..?? My one year check-up is on September 18 (has it really gone by that fast?!), so Dr. U will be able to look at my bloodwork and see what the story is.

Some good news - my friend Michael's niece Josie had her WLS earlier than I had thought - she's about 2 weeks out now and doing well. Get those liquids in girlie! And - my cousin Stephanie only has 15 lbs left to lose and she'll get her approval from Kaiser - I'm so very excited for her!

If anyone has any advice about the exercise stuff, let me know. I need a serious kick in the ass.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

My changing face

I created this slideshow for Anne over at Body of Work.  It really stuns me to see how my face has changed in just 10 1/2 months.  It's still hard to look at my hospital pic.. I guess it always will be. 

Friday, August 10, 2007

8 Obscure Things About Me (Thanks a lot Jen)

I've been tagged and now must tell you 8 obscure things about me.

The Rules:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with eight random facts/habits about themselves.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight things and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and that they should read your blog.
5. 8 is a magic number.

Ok, here goes:

1. I skipped third grade and graduated from high school a year early. A boy named Lum Dinh, who was in my second grade class, ended up skipping two grades. I was jealous of him all the way through school. I'm sure he graduated from MIT and works for NASA or something.

2. I went to the tomb of
Marie Laveau and made a wish and an offering. And my wish came true!

3. I was caught shoplifting when I was 13 years old, at a local drugstore. They called my parents and I got into BIG trouble. I felt very ashamed about it until the first time I heard "Shoplifters of the World" by Morrissey. Then I thought it gave me mod/goth credibility.

4. I like mayonnaise on my spaghetti.

5. I MUST sleep closest to the window in any room. Doesn't matter what side of the bed it's on.

6. On my Mom's side of the family, the girls were named after their fathers. Paul and Paulette - Steve and Stephanie - Andrew and Andrea - Dan and Danyele

7. When I was in elementary school, I would go to my babysitter's house after school. They were a crazy Portuguese family and I was very close to them. The father, Manuel, made homemade wine in his backyard and stored it in big wooden barrels. The son, Junior, and I would sneak into the back, drink the wine and kiss. I think I was 7 and he was 9.

8. I can rap all of the words to "Paul Revere" by the Beastie Boys.

So - since most of the ladies in the webring have already been tagged, I'm just going to tag three friends... mi amigas Mamacita Chilena, Katrina, and SignGurl. Have fun!