Put me in the zoo! By:Steph

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DSCN2252Spring break has sprung in my household. I have the privilege of my before and after school day-care kids here 10 hours a day for two full weeks. Can you hear the joy springing from my keyboard? LOL The older kids throw me off my routine a bit and the house erupts in chaos. But, I love my job so I think I can deal with it 🙂

Yesterday I had the insane awesome idea of taking them all to the zoo. Not only did we take my group of six, we added my oldest daughter, the three kids she is watching over spring break, and a friend with her two kiddos. So our group of 14 headed off with a picnic the size of a small dump truck to the park. We arrive and find that everyone else in town has also decided this lovely 80 degree day was a perfect zoo day (The top picture is only about 1/4 of the line we were in). Trek from the car to the line winding halfway back to the car. Take a few pics before the kids get dirty lol. Then finally we are inside the zoo.

First thing the 3 older boys take off running. We get them back and explain that they will be hanging out in the car with me if they take off again. Yes…I used myself as punishment! 🙂 About 10 minutes into the zoo one of the little ones is crying and trying to drag herself behind her big sister. We release the older one to the group of older girls and free her from the prison of older sister-bondage. The little one makes it known to everyone in the vicinity that she is unhappy with this decision. 5 minutes later, there are choruses of the one hit wonder, “I’m hungry”. This goes on for the next hour until we blessedly arrive at the petting zoo portion of the day. Everyone is excited (except the adults) and ready to go. We walk up to the gate and are told they are closed for 20 minutes. That went over like a fire drill during recess! We then decide a bathroom pit stop is in order. The boys go in with threats of bodily harm should they come out without the others and with dirty hands. They come out with clean hands, together AND vying for the quickest tattle tale title. He pushed me, he cut in line, he was drying his hands, he was sending an S.O.S. to Mars, he created play dough…. We continue past the most boring of God’s creations (at the zoo anyway) and get back to the “cool” animals. There is general happiness for the next 3 1/2 minutes and then BOOM a refrain of “I’m hungry” starts up again. We get to another restroom send everyone to wash up again and head to the picnic hill. Unfortunately at that moment the Bird Show is also in full swing. So it’s a toss up between “I’m hungry” and “I want to watch the Bird Show”. Hunger wins out. We have several brawls over who gets the little Cutie tangerines and a few, “Do I have to eat the crust, she’s not eating her sandwich, I want cheese crackers, I want milk, I want grapes, I want to lock these kids in the animal cages go to the Dino Dig…” Finally we get to Sea Lion Cove and the kids are all actually happy at the SAME time. We spend awhile there and decide that it’s time to call it a day after a fun 4 hours of whining, oohing, aahing, and looking at some animals in between!

As we go to leave I am saddened to find that the staff doesn’t even try and stop us and keep some of the animals we’re taking with us. At the very least, they could have kept ME and sent the rest of the group off without me.

I know this has been very low on the weight loss/fitness info but, there were a lot of really great moments. I ate healthy and well even on an outing with the kids. I packed a half sandwich on a high protein, high fiber sandwich thin, with extra turkey and provolone. Had half of a tangerine, several bottles of water some grapes and even a pink popcorn as a snack 🙂 I put one of the little ones on my shoulders and ran/galloped with him giggling for longer than I could have walked a year and a half ago without getting out of breath. Walked a few miles in the zoo and chased kids. All in all it was a great day and I was blessed to be able to spend it with a good friend, all of my children and some great “borrowed” kids 🙂

Weight loss has been a life changing experience and it’s something I don’t want to let fall by the wayside.

Hope you are all enjoying your kids if you have them and your Spring.

Move, smile and hug someone you love,

~Steph

I’m Pregnant!

pregnant dude

Seriously, I am. (In my weirdo head)

Stick with me on this one. It makes perfect sense. (bahahahahaha)

I have figured out in 42 years, that I need to make things goal oriented to have the best success. I had been operating under the idea that my goal weight should be 199. It still perhaps will be but it also may be higher. Something I did not factor in is all the extra skin hanging around.

That is a large topic perhaps to be discussed later. However, for now, it is a factor in the end game number. It seems I will not really know until I get a whole lot closer.

That said I figure I have somewhere in the neighborhood of 90 pounds to lose. Things should begin to slow down some in the loss rate so 10 pounds a month seems reasonable. Right?

You know those excellent word math problems from school. Like, I have 7 pencils and you have 9 lucky rabbit feet, how much gas will it take to get to Portland Oregon if TBS is running a Jerry Seinfeld marathon?

I am glad I was good at those because it allowed me to come up with this.

I am pregnant in reverse. It will take me 9 months to “have my baby.” I believe I will be naming him something cool like Oscar Bravo. Time will tell.

Makes sense obviously. Right about the time my beloved Milwaukee Brewers are getting ready for the baseball playoffs I will be tucking in my new Brewers size L shirt. It feels GREAT to have a plan.

It’s Friday! Have fun. I surely am! -Clint

Now you see me…but, I sure don’t! By:Steph

stephandclintI have a problem with what I look like. I think it’s because, I don’t truly KNOW what I look like. I look in a mirror and all I see are the flaws glaring back at me. I see a smaller but, still very large women looking back at me. I am aware that I have weight left to lose. I have more muscle to build and it’s not something that even in maintenance will ever be a completed process for me. Life is forever moving and forever changing.

Today I was looking at a dress in my closet that I bought a few weeks ago. I want to wear it on Easter but, I’m nervous because, it’s ***GASP*** sleeveless and I don’t do sleeveless! However, I love this dress and I need to get past this issue to wear it. The other problem is the size of the dress. I hold it up and look at it and double check the tag even though I TRIED IT ON in the store and then again at home that night. I am convinced that somehow it has shrunk or been swapped for a smaller size while hanging in my closet. I am pretty sure the magical evil elves Ping and Pong (that’s for you Clint) have snuck into my room and replaced the one that fit me with this imposter just to wreak havoc on my self confidence. I take a deep breath, strip down and slide it over my head. I wait for the pulling and tugging, that awful material stretching and then tearing sound but, it doesn’t come. It slips down over my tummy and hips with room to spare. WTH??? How could that even happen? I mean I know I saw that dress on the hanger and it was definitely too small for me but, here I am standing in front of the mirror wearing it. I tie the sash and look into the full length mirror. It’s pretty bad. I see saggy arms, thick legs, lumps and bumps in the tummy and hips. I am ready to take it off but, I remember something. I need to try the picture trick.

I call Ebby my younger daughter to the living room and ask her to come out front and snap some pics for me. She loves being my personal photographer and readily agrees. After much direction and a few tantrums about lighting, shadow and lack of poses, we are done. I come inside and don’t even look at the pics. I slip the dress off get ready for my Ladies Night Out with some friends tonight and come downstairs. I make the kids lunch, clean up a bit and lay kids down for naps while listening to the melodious sounds of the older children expressing their extreme dislike love for each other. The little cherubs 🙂

Now I am sitting at the computer I am trying to be objective and not think about the pictures being of ME. So, I will judge them a bit more fairly. I pop in the memory card and open them up. At first I am seeing only flaws but, then something magical happens. I am able to see what others will see. Sure they may notice some of the same things I did but, for the most part it’s not too bad. I am actually happy with what I see in the pictures. The only bad part is that the girl in the pictures isn’t the same girl I face in the mirror. Those aren’t the same legs I look down at with judgmental eyes, while they are propped on my husbands lap at night. The arms that make me want to cry when I walk past the mirror in a towel, aren’t as horrible as they look in the mornings. Why does the camera find something that my own eyes fail to see. Why can I see it in print but, not in reality? I wish I knew these answers.

I know I’m not the only one out here who feels this way. Who sees the worst in the mirror and can’t admit how far they’ve truly come. Some people are incredibly well adjusted and willing to take the credit for the changes they readily see in their bodies. I am among the group of those who can’t. How do we change this? How do we become more accepting of ourselves? I obviously haven’t discovered these answers yet or I’d apply them to my own life. I’d love to hear your opinions or experiences. I know that one day I will be in a place where I feel confident enough to see my true outside and not just the image in my head. I think that being able to see it in pictures is a step in that direction. To all of you struggling with the same thing I say start taking photos and find a thing or two in them that are undeniably good and work from there. Week by week, month by month you will get better at recognizing the real you. Hang in there and know you aren’t alone in this war with your own head.

Say cheese,

~Steph

Saturdays Should Be Fun Too!

ice

Dedicated to the excellent Stephanie aka: Queen of Reasonable Expectations.

Yo Healthy People, Let’s Kick it!

Sweet Sweet Potato
Sweet Sweet Potato
All right stop
Collaborate and listen
Sweet Potato is back with my brand new invention
Something grabs a hold of me tightly
Then I flow that a harpoon daily and nightly
Will it ever stop?
Yo, I don’t know
Turn off the lights and I’ll glow
To the extreme I rock a mic like a vandal
Light up a stage and wax a chump like a candle

Dance
Bum rush the speaker like I wish
I’m killin’ your brain like a poisonous stink-fish
Deadly, when I play a dope melody
Anything less than the best is a felony
Love it or leave it
You better gain way
You better hit bull’s eye
The kid don’t play
If there was a problem
Yo, I’ll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork

Now that the party is jumping
On the fake bike now, the knees are pumpin’
Quick to the point, to the point you oaf
I’m cooking MC’s like a pound of turkey meatloaf
Burning them if they’re not Hyde nor Jekyl
I go crazy when I hear a heckle
And a hi hat with a souped up fake bike
I’m on a roll and it’s time to go vin-hike
Rollin in my blue Jetta
With my window down and my hair in a netta
The girlies on standby
Waving just to say hi
Did you stop?
No, I just drove by
Kept on pursuing to the next stop
I busted a left and I’m heading to the next block
That block was dead

Yo so I continued to a1a River Bend Park
Girls were hot jogging past Vin’s bark
Rock man lovers driving Lamborghini
Jealous ’cause I’m out getting some razzle
Vin with a bone and Sweet Potato with vajazzle
Ready for the chumps in the bad mood
The chumps are acting ill because they’re so full of processed food
Gunshots ranged out like a bell
I grabbed my nine
All I heard were shells
Fallin’ on the concrete real fast
Jumped in my car, slammed on the gas
Bumper to bumper the avenue’s packed
I’m tryin’ to get away before the jackers jack
Police on the scene
You know what I mean
They passed me up, confronted all the dope fiends
If there was a problem
Yo, I’ll solve it
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork

Take heed, ’cause I’m a lyrical poet
Horicon’s on the scene just in case you didn’t know it
My town, that created all the goose crap
Enough to shake and kick holes in the bad rap
‘Cause my style’s like a damn ol ho-ho
Feasible rhymes that you can vision and go-go
Conducted and formed
This is a hell of a concept
We make it hype and you want to step with this
Vin plays on the fade, slice it like a ninja
Cut like a razor blade so fast
Other DJ’s say, “damn”
If my rhyme was a drug
I’d sell it by the gram
Keep my composure when it’s time to get loose
Magnetized by the mic while I kick Dr. Suess
If there was a problem
Yo, I’ll solve it!
Check out the hook while my DJ revolves it

Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Sweet Sweet Potato, Dork
Yo man, let’s get out of here
Word to your mother

Sweet Sweet Potato
Too cold
Sweet Sweet Potato
Too cold too cold
Sweet Sweet Potato
Too cold
Sweet Sweet Potato
Too cold too cold

Friday Fun for my co-blogger :) By: Steph

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I have changed a little in the last year or so. For many years I had lost my “fun side” and no matter where I grumpily looked for it, I couldn’t keep track of it for long. Lately though, it’s been sneaking up on me. Like the other day when my husband and I were in Chick-fil-A and the mascot cheerleader came strolling through. I jumped to my feet and requested a picture. We posed, we high fived, shook pom-poms and then after taking pics with a giant cow wearing clothes we headed to my first psychological support group for weight loss surgery patients. Which by the way was an amazing meeting and I can’t wait to get back there.

As we were exiting the restaurant I encountered the rather striking firefighter cow cardboard cut out. I immediately thought of a conversation I had just finished earlier that day with my co-blogger Clint. He bahahahahahaha’d at my assertion that there is no such thing as a non-hot firefighter! Point being the middle picture above, that I demanded my husband take even though it meant blocking the doorway to the restaurant. Clint…you must now admit that I am totally correct in saying, “All firefighters are hot!”

Trust me when I say there was not enough persuasion in this world to get me to pose next to a cow of any sort a year ago. It wasn’t going to happen! Last night thanks to some great friends Lisa and Rachel I got out for a ladies night. We went to a women’s conference and who did I run into??? My cow was stalking me. We had a chat we high fived and then posed for a pic after catching up 🙂

Sometimes I think I give the impression that there are more unhappy consequences of weight loss than positive, happy ones for me. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I love 90% of the changes it has brought. I love that I can see a glimmer of the person I used to be before I worried so much about what the world around me thought, that I buried myself under layers of camouflaging fat. Day by day, I see the real me peeking through a little more and one of these days that’s all I’ll see when I look at myself. I can’t wait for that moment. I’m so blessed to have some great people to share this journey with ❤

So basically this post is just an in your face Clint/rebirth of a goofball kinda post.

Happy Friday, enjoy your family, friends and be a little more yourself than usual…because, you're pretty awesome 🙂

~Steph

Happy National Goof Off Day!

kid

When trying to find something fun/interesting to talk about today I came across the word vajazzle.

vajazzle To give the female genitals a sparkly makeover with crystals so as to enhance their appearance.

Jennifer Love Hewitt regularly vajazzles her va-jay-jay with Swarovski crystals.

If you think that is inappropriate I am sorry. I blame urban dictionary. I prefer to address the situation in a more adult more glass-half-full manner and be thankful because I like to play scrabble.

In any event it is Friday Fun Day so please enjoy these excellent quotes pertaining to food.

Vegetarian: an old Indian word for bad hunter
-Author unknown

I like rice. Rice is great if you’re hungry and want 2000 of something.
-Mitch Hedberg

Fish is the only food that is considered spoiled once it smells like what it is.
-P. J. O’Rourke

I love Thanksgiving turkey…it’s the only time in Los Angeles that you see natural breasts.
-Arnold Schwarzenegger

Ever wonder about those people who spend $2 apiece on those little bottles of Evian water? Try spelling Evian backward.
-George Carlin

Fun-sized Snickers? Who’s this fun for? Not me. I need six or seven of these babies in a row to start having fun.
-Jeff Carlin

I cook with wine. Sometimes I even add it to the food.
-W.C. Fields

Soup is just a way of screwing you out of a meal.
-Jay Leno

The two biggest sellers in bookstores are the cookbooks and the diet books. The cookbooks tell you how to prepare the food and the diet books tell you how not to eat any of it.
-Andy Rooney

Pepperidge Farm bread… that’s fancy bread. You can tell it’s fancy because it’s wrapped twice. You open it, and it still isn’t open. That’s why I don’t buy it. I don’t need another step between me and toast.
-Mitch Hedberg

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces, because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.” ~Yogi Berra

Red meat is not bad for you. Now blue-green meat, that’s bad for you! ~Tommy Smothers

Me think, me eat, hot dog……stand!
-Cookie Monster

Have a good day! -Clint

Sums up a lot of feelings for me…By: Steph

http://gu.com/p/3caxv

I stumbled upon this article while surfing for information on how to deal with the new person I’m becoming. In all honesty this is a search I do almost daily. I need to know how to make sense of the changes mental and physical that I’m going through. I’ve said this a few times but, it’s worth repeating. I’m happy and I wouldn’t want the weight back for a second. However, I still struggle with the emotional aspects of losing it. I think that Julia Kozerski is an incredibly brave and beautiful woman. I can’t imagine having her courage.

~Steph