31 May 2012

It's a slimmer, HEALTHIER Biird

365 days.
52 weeks.
12 months.
1 year.

That's how long it's been since my life altering surgery. What? You hadn't heard? Hard to believe.

31-May-2011 I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy.

My stats then:

  • 41 years old
  • 5'5" tall
  • average fasting morning blood glucose: 148 (diabetic)
  • weight: 305 lbs (heaviest = 345 lbs)
  • pants size: 26W
  • shirt size: 3x (sometimes 4x)
  • bra size: 44C

My stats now:

  • 42 years old (yea, I knew that one was coming)
  • 5'5" tall (nope, didn't shrink that way)
  • average fasting morning blood glucose: 88 (decidedly NORMAL)
  • weight: 233 lbs (that's down 72 lbs)
  • pants size: 16w (5 pants sizes down - 1 size larger than in high school)
  • shirt size: large to 1x depending on how it's made (I don't think I'll ever lose these shoulders)
  • bra size: 38D (same as in high school - welcome back, girls)
I mention some of these stats because they are the most astounding. To me at least. Astounding because I never thought I'd be here.

Things I've discovered since then:

  • I really (no, REALLY) hate most protein shakes
  • I can remember to take pills twice a day, every day (99% of the time)
  • plain non-fat Greek yogurt is great with sugar free Torani syrup
  • venti skinny hazelnut lattes have 170 calories and 16 grams of protein
  • I miss Cheez-Its
  • I can't seem to totally drop the Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
  • I still hate elastic waist pants

Some of my favorite things:

  • fasting blood sugar in the normal range
  • feeling good in cute clothing
  • being able to wear REAL cowboy boots again (and not stuck with shooties)
  • clothes actually fit better
  • walking up a flight of stairs without getting winded
  • collar bones - I have them again!
  • wearing women's watches
  • cleavage (it's fun feeling like a girl again)
  • I no longer snore nearly as bad as I used to (okay, it's one of Jim's favorite things post-surgery)
  • hot bubble baths without feeling wedged into the tub
  • fasting blood sugar in the normal range (no, really)
  • rings that don't feel like they are cutting off the circulation
  • toe nail polish
  • (did I mention cleavage?)

Some crazy (and not so crazy) things I've noticed/discovered:

  • the toilet dropped about 3 inches
  • Bat-wings aren't so bad (except in long sleeve shirts, short sleeve shirts, tank tops, camisoles ... )
  • my hair is curlier/wavier (and has more gray)
  • I look remarkably like pictures of me from high school
  • I'm much bolder when I feel more confident
  • I feel more confident knowing that I don't look like the fat slob I was/felt like 72 lbs ago
  • most social activities revolve around food
Things that are still difficult challenging next to impossible:
  • getting to the gym as often as I should (okay, just getting to the gym)
  • avoiding peanut butter cups when they show their cute little foil-wrapped selves
  • not lapsing back into boredom eating/snacking
  • keeping up with the food journaling
  • drinking enough liquids
  • ensuring I get enough protein and not too many carbs or calories
  • eating well in general (challenging, definitely challenging)

Things I'm not happy with:

  • the weight plateau (I'm sure there's something hidden in my head somewhere causing me to sabotage myself)
  • spare tire (which is now more like a poorly inflated pool flotation device - not nearly as taut as a tire)

I had/have a great support system. People who've been encouraging me to do this for years. People who weren't crazy about it but stood by me anyway. People who encouraged me from the moment they knew I was even thinking about it.

And I love every single one of them you for being here for me.

Thank you.


27 May 2012

Biird's eye view

Playing with photos. Got a whole buncha stuff loaded onto Picassa.

Non-Quilt Sewing projects like pillows and pillow cases and bags.

Quilts - baby quilts, bed quilts, in-between quilts. :)

I think I've got almost every fabric project picture posted. I know I've got a few projects that I haven't taken pictures of yet. As soon as I do, they'll get pushed up.

Eventually I'll get some kind of caption or description on 'em. Well, as much as I can remember anyway.


This Biird was BUSY

This Biird was BUSY on Saturday. I took my new book (fresh from Emily Herrick of Crazy Old Ladies / @CrazyOldLadies)

[and because I know anyone who quilts is going to want a copy of this book by the time they finish reading this, you can get it here: Crazy Old Ladies Etsy Shop or here: Fat Quarter Shop in either .pdf or paper.]

some batiks from my stash

and some seriously bad (aka cheesy) sci-fi

and dug in.

First step, cut, cut, cut. And then cut some more.

Then it was sew, press, sew. And then sew, press, sew some more.

Wow, that's alotta strip sets to continue to stitch together.

I made up some dots to help keep my brain and fabric strips in sync with the instructions.

Labeled some strips before cutting them up into the right lengths,

and then made the center.

OMG, I can tell already it's gonna be AWESOME!!!

Here it is a little more done and all dotted up so I can remember where the heck I am and what I'm supposed to be doing next.

Instead of free-forming the corner triangles on the floor like Emily says to do in the instructions, I dug out my AWESOME 20.5 inch square ruler. Of course, it does help that I have absolutely NO floor space that I could have spread this out on to do the corners the way you're instructed to in the book.

Turns out it was easy. Two large squares that I marked up to cut the triangles from. Each triangle it's own unique size.

Got the triangles on, trimmed 'em, and clipped the finished product up to the bookcase so I could get a good look.


LOVE it!

LMAO! The kid HATED me for about 10 min around 1am when I was doing my little kid "happy dance"/"can't keep still I'm so EXCITED" trying to get him to come look at it. I was practically pee-ing down my leg while bouncing all over the place. Soooo not like me. Surprisingly, he reacted somewhat enthusiastically and not just a let's-humor-mom "yea, nice".

Last thing to do is the back and to figure out how I want to quilt it. I've got some ideas rolling around but it could be a while before I execute (as usual).

What to do today between loads of laundry?



25 May 2012

The Biird is back!

I've decided to blog again. Specifically about my quilting and sewing (and anything else that crosses my mind). I think this will be a good way to keep the mom-inator and the female sibling unit filled in on what's going on with me since they moved to the other coast.

I made some curtains for the den a couple of weekends ago. I don't normally go for oranges, but they seemed to fit. And it doesn't look bad in the room. See?

I also made a curtain for the door to the backyard last weekend. Kinda classes up the place. What do you think?


I wonder what I'll work on this weekend ... I've got a bunch of stuff in the "I wanna" stacks that are kitted and just waiting for the urge. I've got a frakkin' BOATload of UFOs. Maybe I'll take some time and get them listed just to see how many I have and possibly get inspired to finish some of them.

I've got most of my quilts documented via photograph on Facebook. I should try to get everything there or moved somewhere else. This could work into a whole new look for WendyWeb. I haven't touched it in at least a couple of years. And I still own it for a few more ... :)   I just hope I can remember the password and find an easy FTP program to use.

Anywho, it's the Friday afternoon before a long weekend. I have a couple of new quilting books to drool over and dvds to pick out for the weekend's sew-fest.