It’s erev my 45th birthday. For my non-Jewish readers, “erev” is Hebrew for the “night before.”
I can’t believe I’ll be 45 tomorrow. Seems old. Aren’t I still 21?
I saw my therapist today and we took some time to reflect on my last year. It’s certainly had some high highs and some low lows. But, fortunately, it’s wrapping up on a high. Things with Ted are great. In fact, we both took tomorrow off from work to spend it together. 😃
Mom is doing amazingly well. She’s back to Broadway trips, travel, planning for the future.
And I’m enjoying my job. Our big boss sent me a note today to tell me how great I’m doing at work. So nice. And my immediate boss sent me a gift of chocolate covered pretzels. Yum!
I wanted to write this morning to comment on how much better I’m feeling after my evening of anxiety. While I did have some insomnia, I feel less stressed this morning and ready to tackle the day. I thought it was important to show the other side of anxiety, that you can get through it.￼￼ In the moment, it can feel all consuming.￼ but sometimes, you wake up in the morning, and you just feel better.￼ happy Friday!￼
Ted was over earlier, and I was dealing with some anxiety, and we joked about being able to “snap out of it.” I shouldn’t say that I “was” dealing with anxiety when I “am” dealing with anxiety.￼￼ I try not to get too specific about my job here, but I will say that my anxiety is related to my job. I’m currently holding down the fort at my office, without a change in job or title, which leads me to feel extremely vulnerable. While I know I’m working hard, there is a lot of mess to clean up and I can’t seem to tell sometimes if I’m coming or going. Yes, I can see progress, but as an overachiever, I want to see the fruits of our labor coming quicker.￼
It’s funny. I virtually heard my own words coming out of a lay leader’s mouth today, and it made me feel really good to know that he had bought in.￼ but of course there’s that small part of me that knew they were my ideas coming out of someone else’s mouth. Perhaps that’s what my job has to be right now.…Being a sort of silent partner if you will.￼
I can’t tell yet if my hardwork is going to pay off. I’m hopeful, but I’ve been disappointed before. I don’t wanna be a fool and stick around just to be overlooked. I guess I don’t have to make any decisions tonight, but I thought it was important to get my thoughts out on my blog.￼
OK so I know I’m Jewish but I can’t get enough of advent calendars! I’m not talking about the ones that come with chocolate Santas or Christmas ornaments. While those are￼ lovely, I am talking about the ones that allow you a little taste of “self care” every day. Last year I treated myself to a target beauty advent calendar, but I opened up all of the compartments at once! Oops.
I saw a promotion for a $20 beauty advent calendar from Trader Joe’s, where I buy most of my soaps and shampoos and the like. So I hopped over there a few days ago and treated myself to the calendar. I am only opening one compartment per day so for 12 days, when I get home from work, I get a little treat!￼￼￼￼
It’s an inexpensive way to give yourself a gift every day.￼ try it!
This is been a very surreal evening. Around 3:30 PM, I received a phone call from one of our board members that the chair of our board from my job passed away. He had actually been acting as our chair for the last two years while we looked for his successor. I literally sent out an email last Friday transitioning him out and our new chair in. I knew he was sick, but when I spoke to him last week, he told me he was improving. Perhaps he said that to everyone to ease our worries￼.
These are the type of moments that remind me that work is more than just work. Even if we sit behind a computer we are still interacting with other people, living and breathing and existing. While we may have a different personality at work, we’re still living and breathing and existing. So when someone passes away, it’s hard not to feel. This was one of the nicest man, a true gentleman. He will be missed and I will remember him fondly for his kindness.￼
It has been a whirlwind few weeks. Visit to NH with Ted’s family followed by a visit to my family and Philly to meet my friend’s little sweet baby (shout out!), and in between, I’m covering about 2.5 jobs in the office since my boss quit in July and my assistant left last month. This weekend my parents will meet Ted’s parents over brunch at my place so trying to clean and get ready. Oh, and my big boss is coming to Boston and we’ll throw an event at a private home.
My therapist asked me when I’m going to fit in time for myself. So, tonight I’m writing as my nails dry. Me time. Then, I plan to watch some Hulu and play games on my iPad. Ted is with the kids tonight but he came over last night & we just hung out, which was nice!
I feel like life is passing me by right now and I’m not able to live in the moment. So, I’m doing that now. In this very moment, I’m taking care of myself. Because if I don’t, who will? (Yes, Ted, I know you will 🙂 )
It has been almost one year since I had my bariatric surgery. As writer Roxane Gay said, “this surgery is barbaric when you think about it.” Did I mention she said that directly to me? See how I threw in that name drop? Yes! I met Roxanne last Friday at a conference, and I raised my hand, and asked her about how she was doing since she had the gastric sleeve (same as me). She said that she is happy that she did the surgery, and I agreed. She said that she misses being able to “eat her feelings” and I nodded. Food is fuel. Repeat after me. Food is fuel. Here, Roxane writes about her feelings on the surgery.
So, one year later, would I do it again? 100% yes. Now, if you secretly think it is an “easy way out” of obesity, I will say that having 75% of your stomach surgically removed through five small incisions in your body is anything but easy. The recovery time is fairly swift (back at work after 2 weeks), but it took me a few months before I really got the hang of my newly-renovated organ.
Last night I went to the support group at the hospital where I had the surgery, and it was the “meet the starts” panel of people reporting to pre-surgical folks about what to expect. I went because some folks have been doing some diet talk around me lately, and it is bothersome on many levels. I wanted to ask the group how they handle it. I learned that everyone’s recovery is just a bit different but there are some commonalities. Here’s my list for curious readers and people contemplating the surgery:
Everyone’s recovery from bariatric surgery is unique.
Protein is crucial. With a tiny stomach, protein provides slow and steady energy. And make sure that protein is moist. Dry stuff tends to get stuck. Honey mustard, ranch dressing, etc are perfect accompaniments to grilled chicken, steak, salmon, etc.
You may have to say goodbye to your favorite carbs, like rice, pasta and bread. I can’t remember the last time I had sushi. Before my surgery, I ate it religiously. Now I go for a teriyaki salmon instead when heading to a Japanese restaurant. Still delicious.
Your shoe size may change! I was a solid size 8 for years while heavier. I am now a 7, maybe a 7 1/2. I’m slowly replacing all of my shoes. If you’re a size 8 and want to raid my closet, give me a shout out before I sell them all on Poshmark!
Speaking of Poshmark, resale websites are a great place to get rid of clothes that are too big. I also do a lot of donating via the Vietnam Veterans of America, who pick up at my front door. I’ve sold about 7 bags to ThredUp as well.
Many people will comment on your body changes. Some won’t. It’s good to decide up front how you want to respond. My general response when someone tells me I “look good” is to say, “thank you, I feel good.” I did this to feel better and be healthier, so my response is appropriate. I do not mind if people comment. It happens. I don’t sweat it.
You do not need to be so open about how you lost the weight. While I am open about having the surgery, others just tell select friends and family. Totally fine too.
Your tastebuds may change. I can immediately tell if something has added salt now. At first, I can’t stand it but after a few bites, I am usually ok.
Going out to restaurants can be incredibly stressful. Since I’m open about my surgery, I usually say to wait staff, “I am going to eat a small amount of food, very slowly, and take the rest home. It doesn’t mean I didn’t like it.” I find this allows me to eat in peace. I do not do this to help the wait staff. I do it to help me. Remember that if I say this when I’m out to eat with you. It helps me eat in peace.
People are curious and generally uneducated about this surgery unless they know someone who had it. People will think you had a lap band or a bypass. It’s an easy thing to clarify. Don’t sweat it. And I don’t mind answering questions for curious minds.
Not drinking enough can really be detrimental to your body. You’ve seen my previous posts about “severe constipation.” Drink up. I’m sipping on a Powerade as I write. No sugar gaterade-type drinks are fantastic to help with this problem.
Speaking of drinking, be very careful when you drink alcohol again. I will only take a few sips when out in public because you can get drunk very quickly. No one wants a DUI.
You can gain the weight back. The human body is a miraculous beast – that stomach can stretch, you can fill it with ice cream and then fill it up again shortly thereafter, and suddenly, your weight can go up again. So, it’s good to be mindful about food intake.
Exercise is important to one’s success. I wish I could say I’ve been diligent in this area, but I’m trying. Wanna take a walk?
Despite the stats, relationships can survive the surgery!
It’s the Jewish New Year today so for those who celebrate, Shana Tova.
As I reflect back on 5779, I can’t help but think of my mom & the year we’ve been through, starting out rocky and ending with a sweet new year. Pour the honey on those apples! But the irony isn’t lost on me that after services, my parents went to visit the oncologist. It’s that nagging reminder to be joyful, but don’t be cocky. (Jewish guilt, anyone?).
At the same time, 5779 brought me a stronger bond with Ted & his boys. And, 5779 was my surgery year, where I lost 85 lbs but more importantly, gained so much strength. And I adopted Nermal this year (she just growled at me because I pulled the iPad charger out of her mouth).
It’s the time now where we ask for forgiveness, before Yom Kippur. May we forgive each other as we’re humans with flaws & just doing our best. I’ll even cut Nermal some slack despite probably needing a new charger!
It’s Sunday night, a bit after 9 PM. Today, I worked most of the day, helping with an alumni event for the University where I work. It’s really nice to work with such great people who really respect me and appreciate my hard work. With other jobs, it was assumed that I would work until exhaustion. Like, for example, I ran a board meeting this past week and many of the members acknowledged that I am doing the work of three people until we replace my boss that left and my administrative assistant who is leaving soon. My organization is committed to helping me be successful. It’s quite refreshing!
I had a really nice time with Ted this weekend. We went to see the new Downton Abbey movie, and we both enjoyed it. Even though we’ve been together for about a year and a half, we realize this is the first time we’ve ever gone to the movies together! It was really lovely. We shared a drink and a popcorn. It was so nice to be there with him.
I’ve been busy gathering my fall wardrobe, which has been so fun. I love wearing calf high boots, so I just ordered two pairs online in the hopes that they fit. I’ve gotten some new blazers and I’ve been feeling good about myself. I also chopped off my hair the other day and it is, in my opinion, cute and more stylish.
So, I will conclude this blog post, by saying that this is one of the Sunday nights in a long time where I don’t dread Monday. Have a good night!
On the train on my way to NJ to see my folks before heading into the city on Monday for a work retreat. Yesterday, one of the founders of my office called me and said during the call, “So, you survived the cut.” Everyone has their theories about why the staff in my office are gone. I leave them guessing – not my place to share or feed into the gossip. Just trying to press on and do a good job running the office until the next shakeup occurs.
Saw Ted last night. He came over after work, and cooked a delish dinner. We haven’t had a lot of adult time together so it was good to have a date night with just us. I got a bit drunk from the wine we drank. It was fun to let loose, even for a short period of time, but I’m good on the drunk part for now. I couldn’t stop laughing. It was uncontrollable. Very different experience than before my surgery.
Speaking of, I’m finally over the hurdle I mentioned previously when it comes to my digestion. I have never experienced anything quite like that – so simple yet so debilitating. I able to eat again without the repercussions. Makes like a lot easier!
Looking ahead, I have a few busy fall with a lot of work stuff, personal obligations, and little free time so I know I need to make sure I find some “me time” or “self care” time (which often includes Ted-time too). When I’m overly scheduled, I go crazy. So, finding time for nails and hair and stuff is important! How do you take care of yourself when your busy? Suggestions welcome!
For some reason, it always feels like an artificial “new year” the day after Labor Day. Many kids start school again, the weather seems to get that fall chill, and it seems like a good time to get new clothes. Oh wait, that’s everyday… it’s almost like a cycle. When the seasons change from summer to fall, you want to whip out your sweaters and pick a bunch of apples from the trees. Even Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks are on the bandwagon, introducing their pumpkin spice everything even before September 1 hits.
I used to feel like the fall became my “busy season” at work, but it seems like every season is just as busy now. With the departure of my two bosses, it’s up to me to hold down the fort. My assistant is now part time so there is a lot more on my plate. I will say that I am enjoying it though. I don’t have a short leash anymore and I’m able to accomplish a lot more, quickly, with little supervision. It feels empowering.
I’m still dealing with the side effects of my surgery that I described in my one of my last blog posts.
And my boyfriend’s kids are dealing with their parent’s divorce, which I can only imagine is incredibly challenging for a 10-year-old mind. It’s hard not to wanna hug them and say it’s going to be OK, but I do believe that it ultimately will be.
Mom and dad are doing well, which is always a relief. I’ll be heading to see them this weekend on my way to a business trip in New York.
Tomorrow night is a big event for work. It’s surprising to me how I feel more excited about it than nervous. I know I have things under control, and I’m excited to enjoy the experience. What a difference with this job and others of the past! Despite the challenges with staff coming and going, I’m determined to see it through and dedicate myself to it’s success.
Still processing my experience being fat shamed. I had a work meeting and the woman I was meeting with made a comment about how I look more professional now that I’ve lost weight. Honestly the only difference in style of clothes was a smaller size (same style) and I was wearing dangling earrings (that cost $29 from StitchFix) versus my usual gold & diamond studs/hoops that cost, let’s just say, more than $29.
She said that they don’t sell “professional” clothing in my old size. Let’s look at some of the items I sold through thredUP, shall we?
Lots of dress pants, blazers, and dresses.
Listen, she realized what she said was wrong and later called to apologize. It was the right thing to do but some damage had been done: she fat shamed me in an attempt to tell me “how great I look now.”
It’s her issue, people said to me. But she made it mine.
I don’t want to dwell on this so I’ll leave you with these 3 thoughts.
1. No one (!) has the right to comment on your body or appearance! No one.
2. Just because someone is overweight doesn’t mean he/she is not professional, capable, intelligent, attractive, nice, funny, lazy, etc etc etc.
3. Thin doesn’t always equate with healthy, and fat doesn’t always equate with unhealthy.
Please, think twice before you comment on someone’s weight loss, appearance, or the like. 😍
I know I haven’t written much lately. My writing tends to ebb and flow. Here’s the latest update.
Post-Surgical Complications: I promised never to “sugar coat” my recovery from my bariatric surgery. For the most part, it’s been smooth. But for the last month or so, I’ve been having some serious digestive issues. I went to see my surgeon this morning, and it looks like I have “severe constipation.” I’ll leave it at that and post this photo. Which one of these things is not like the others?
Cat: The cat and I are adjusting well to each other. She seems settled in and likes her new surroundings. She likes her new cat food, catnip toys, and scratching lounge chair. She doesn’t like not going outside, when I close my bedroom door, and vacuums. Here she is exploring her Petco box.
My folks: Both are doing well. Mom is in remission (yay!) and dad is still dad. They’re heading for their first vacation since mom was diagnosed – a weekend in the Berkshires with friends, and then a visit to Boston to see us. We’re going to take a look at some independent living facilities – not for now, but just to be educated since many have long waiting lists. Trust me, they’re not moving anywhere soon. But it’s good to have options.
My boyfriend: Yep, he’s still sticking with me! It’s been 1 year and 3 months since we started dating. Longest relationship since college. He’s still a keeper. This weekend we’re going shopping with the kids and maybe a hike or walk. We’ll see how my “severe constipation” cooperates.
Work: It’s been a bumpy road over the last few months at work, but I’ve been reassigned to another boss – and this one is great. He lets me do my thing and seems to be supportive of my success. I needed that after the last few months of feeling beaten down. I am fully aware of how good I have it at my job – good benefits and salary, nice coworkers, freedom to do my work, ability to grow, nice office that is 5 minutes from home, opportunity to travel. As they say, the grass isn’t always greener…so unless something really amazing shows up on my doorstep, I’m going to keep pressing on at my job and go from there.
Moods: So, in or around 1999, I was diagnosed with a mysterious mood disorder, later categorized as major depression and anxiety. That was 20 years ago! I can safely say that because of medication and talk therapy, I am doing really well with it all. There’s depression and then there’s major depression. I’m not trying to take away from other people’s problems, but until you’ve experienced a major depressive episode, it’s hard to understand what it is like. It’s incredibly hard to do pretty much anything unless curl up in a ball under the covers. I don’t have many of those experiences these days. I am pretty much functioning with a balanced lens – some days are better than others, as with life. It’s a lifelong struggle.
A quick shout out to JB, loyal friend and reader, who recently had a little girl! Can’t wait to meet her soon.
My boss resigned, so I’m now on my 3rd boss in 1 year. And, my assistant is going back to grad school so she’ll be leaving. So, I’ll be the last person standing besides the national team member who works out of our office (who is a delight).
I’m working on whipping the office into shape, and have asked for a promotion, but I don’t know where I’ll land.
I met the rest of Ted’s family! So lovely. I really like them all, and they’re very good to me. And of course, Ted is the best! ❤️
Mom is doing well. She’s in remission so she’s been living her best life. We splurged on Gucci purses from Amsterdam so I can’t wait to give her hers!
And me? I’m hanging in. Very tired. Sad my trip to Africa has come & gone. I need to go through my photos and create an album. Maybe this weekend??
My friend Jen and I are headed for makeovers and dinner on Sat. Should be so fun.
Oh, and I’m now caring for Nermal, Ted’s cat! Here she is:
Vacation countdown! 1.5 workdays left until I’m off from work for 2 weeks. I need this break so badly! Even though it will be a very active vacation – full days of education and discovery with 24-hour travel cycles – it will be so nice to take a breather. I can’t completely unplug because I have a work event on the Sunday when I return, so I may need to check email & whatnot.
Having lunch tomorrow with my good friend, and then vacation begins! Getting a massage in the morning on Saturday, and then spending the day with Ted. Heading to hear/see a podcast recording in the evening with another friend. Sunday will be packing/saying goodbye/hanging with Ted.
Still can’t quite believe I’m traveling across the world to Kenya and Uganda. I can’t even imagine what it will be like. That’s the fun of it – exploring a new part of the world – and experiencing it for the first time.
I bought 5 inch jean shorts today at Target in a size 14. Last summer I had Bermuda shorts from Avenue in a size 24. Listen, I rocked both pairs but the freedom I felt today wearing my new shorts, a T-shirt, and Flip-flops on an 88 degree day was pretty awesome. I had a little more sass in my step (in my ass?). Granted I wore them to pick up a slice of pizza but who cares?
Today was a good day. Ted and I took his kids to Hampton Beach, NH which we agreed was “honky tonk” (thank you for that term, mom) but super fun! We hung out on the beach and then wandered to the sand castle contest (see below), then hit up the arcade where we played skeeball, Ms. Pac-Man, centipede, and other childhood faves. We stopped for dinner and then wandered a bit more before heading home. Kids passed out in the backseat while Ted and I made plans to see each other as much as possible before I head on my Kenyan/Ugandan adventure. They may come over tomorrow to swim in my pool.
Celebrated what a difference a year makes, between mom’s remission & my nearly 80 lb weight loss. I felt comfortable for the first time in years in my swimsuit & realized I could probably bypass the Bermuda shorts for shorter ones at the beach. All great feelings!
Last year at this time, we were waiting in the lobby of the hospital as mom was in her 12-hour surgery to save her life. We didn’t know what would come of the future.
Today, mom is in remission and embracing every day. She’s got plans to travel to the Berkshires and to attend a family wedding outside of Boston in Oct. Some days are better than others, but overall, as I told her, I’m starting to believe in miracles.
I’m heading to the beach today with Ted & the boys. My arms are sore from my vaccinations – because I’m going to Uganda & Kenya a week from Monday! – but I’ll suck it up. I’m going to embrace life today! ❤️
I finally pulled the trigger and did it – I unaffiliated from any political party in the US. I was an independent for years, and when I moved 7 years ago to a new town, I changed my affiliation to the Democratic Party. I’m a Dem, I thought. And I was. I rallied for Hillary and cheered on Obama.
But then something changed. I felt the push and pull of the 2 party system. I felt the rift, the divide between them growing larger & larger. And then I voted for our governor, Charlie Baker, who is a republican. I felt guilty, like I had betrayed my people. But when I read his statement, I was more aligned with his views. I seriously felt guilty.
And then the government shutdown happened. I was embarrassed how both parties handled it. I felt myself pulling away again.
So, I changed my voter registration to “unaffiliated.” This doesn’t mean I don’t still love Obama & Hil. I do! It just leaves more room in my soul for others. 🇺🇸
I couldn’t resist the title above. For the first time in probably 10 years, I painted my own toe nails today. It sounds silly but it feels like a big milestone that I could bend & paint! In full disclosure, the polish is kinda a hot mess but you have to start somewhere.
My woes are minor – it’s my parents anniversary this weekend & we’re gathering the NJ crowd to celebrate. I can’t come up with a speech idea! Ok, I think I have one now but talk about writer’s block!
Ted & I celebrated our 1 year anniversary back on 5/20/19. Congrats, Ted, for surviving a year with me! We spent the long weekend on the Cape at his folks with the kids. A lovely weekend!
Mom is doing well – appears to be in remission – and busy getting her life back. She even went to NYC last week with her friends to see a matinee. Love it!
Been busy buying my summer wardrobe and gathering items to take with me on my upcoming trip to Kenya & Uganda.
Looks like I’m getting a cat. Ted’s cat will likely be coming to live with me. Decided it’ll be nice to have the company when I’m alone. Go figure! Years ago when I broke up with Dan #2, he told me I was too picky and was going to end up alone with a house full of cats! Look who has the last laugh now – a great relationship AND a cat! 😃
My poor parents. They read last night’s blog post and were very concerned. I assured them that I wanted to document my anxiety attack to educate my readers but to also remind myself that I can overcome said attacks. I did. I woke up this morning, got to my 9am call and 9:30am meeting, and did fine. This is what high-functioning people do. They struggle, deal and move ahead. We have no choice if we want to function well in our lives.
When I got home last night from work, I bumped into my next-door-neighbor and I told her I thought something was brewing. She said that I have a lot going on and it was understandable. My mom told me this morning that my dad said that I have so many good things going on…why be so glum?
It only takes one small thing to set the anxiety in motion, but fortunately, I have learned strategies to deal with things when they come on. First, I can tell when they are brewing. I often warn Ted or my folks or my brother/sister-in-law so they will look out for me. I tell my two best friends. I reach out to my supports. So, today, I told them all that things are stirring up for me right now. They then know to be patient and check in on me.
I often take a social media break when I’m in this place. Social media can be wonderful to wish friends happy birthday or whatnot, but it can also be triggering if there is a lot of negative political or news on there. We’re all subject to that.
Listen, it is vulnerable to write about this stuff. Who wants to point out their vulnerabilities? Because I know it doesn’t define. I can also be a caring daughter, loving girlfriend, successful fundraiser, and good friend while dealing with depression and anxiety.
In this article, it discusses some of the side effects of high-functioning anxiety, including some physical ramifications. Remember I mentioned my stomach issues the other day? Clearly they are stress related. How do I help them? I work on eliminating the stress. It’s not easy – it’s a day to day struggle – but I’m conquering it little by little. Stay along for the journey!
It’s 3:15am & I’m wide awake with a head full of remorse. I’m regretting something I said earlier in the day. It was none of my business. Now, rational me tells me to let it go, it’s done. Learn and move on. But anxious me can’t. I’m gripping it with my brain and stressors.
I’m writing about it in the hopes this helps. I can’t figure how to disconnect comments on this post, so I’m asking – please don’t. I just need to vent.
Do you have anxiety too? You can imagine this moment, right? Heart pounding, pulse racing, the swirl of wind in your ears. Tossing & turning in bed as you ruminate over and over about your regrets.
It’s brutal. I can use my CBT skills to calm it down or take a pill, but then I may not make it to my 9am meeting. So I opt to wait it out.
This is anxiety. I will go listen to a podcast to distract my thoughts.
Had to take my medication. Couldn’t stop this attack on my own. When my anxiety gets to the point where I can’t talk myself down, I take medication that will kick in & lull my thoughts. Can you believe I’m live documenting this? Even within the moment, I understand the importance of documenting my journey so that I can go back & read about a heightened moment & hopefully know it will get better. But in this moment, it’s unbearable.
Not sure what else to say. Waiting for that lull. In the meanwhile, brushed my teeth (again) and listened to a podcast. Those usually calm me down. It’s quiet outside – peaceful – but I still feel the ringing in my ears.
You are experiencing me with anxiety. I’ve been dealing with it, that I can recall, since I was 24, but maybe even sooner. Still waiting for the lull.
ah, the lull. The moment my medication kicks in. My thoughts start to calm now. I can focus on rational thoughts again.
I have just taken you with me during a raw moment – a panic attack. If this stirs up anything in you, I apologize.