Category Archives: Weightloss

Traveling Solo

So I did end up going up to Portland this weekend.  One thing I hadn’t considered was that this weekend started Spring Break.  Everywhere I went, there were college age young people, and lines to get into some of the more popular spot.

One thing I hadn’t counted on that was very new to me is that my social anxiety has gotten much worst.  I knew I was socially awkward but being surround by people in that sort of environment made me happy to get back to where I’m on detail too.

From that statement along, there are a couple things I want to say:

  1. Social anxiety: Freaking sucks.  So here I am in a city I love and have wanted to move to for a very long time and I feel like I’m drowning, floundering even, because of the sheer volume of people.  I’m already socially awkward as it is, especially lately (several months of people looking at you like what you say and do isn’t valuable doesn’t help).  I’m in a bookstore where I’m saying excuse me every few seconds because I’m looking for a book they don’t have and I’m terrified someone is going to not hear me, then get pissed off when I walk in front of them.  I didn’t used to be this way, or maybe at least I didn’t notice it as much.
  2. Touristy things: Are not for the faint of heart.  Sure, there are great things that everyone has discovered and is doing.  Don’t do them unless you don’t have any other options.  There is almost always another location that is just as cool as the one where people are standing in line.  Or has better food, like Georgetown Cupcakes vs Curbside (R.I.P).
  3. Weightloss surgery: This is where I’m drawing in a big breathe and remembering to breathe out slowly.  I’m not the same person I was when I went to Portland years ago.  I can’t eat how I used to, I certainly can’t drink like I used to, and the walking around was a lot easier now vs then.  So what’s the problem with this picture?  The problem is my mentality.  I still see myself as this big person who is taking up more space than she should, but when I was that big, I never thought I was that big.  I knew I could lose some weight, and I still could, but it wasn’t that big of a deal to me back then.  Now, and this a complaint, I have to think about food differently.  I have to think about my alcoholic nature differently.  I even have to sit at the bar differently than I used people.  I could start a conversation with people and not feel like I was being judged.  I don’t now because I’ve had several months of people’s eyes glazing over that’s trained me to not bother.  And that makes me feel like I’m not good enough anymore except to the people who I know love me, even though sometimes even then I wonder.  This is where the social anxiety aspect kicks in too, although there are a few other underlying things that I’m not going to voice until I have a long, hard conversation with a therapist when I get back.
  4. Travel with a partner!: I would probably have had more fun walking around, doing the scavenger hunt, enough the warm day, had I been with someone.  Not just any someone, but someone I wanted to share the city with, who knows that I’m crazy, and would have shared the food with me along with the experience.  Traveling by myself is great, but there is nothing like seeing the city with someone who actually wants to be there with you.

So my trip to Downtown Portland…

Lackluster?  Yes.  I still love the city.

Worth it?  Meh.  Eugene was slightly better and I only stopped there for food.

Short?  Most definitively!  I spent more time driving to and from than I actually did in the city itself, mostly because I couldn’t enjoy it the way I had before, which really freaking sucked.

Got sixteen new books out of that trip though.

Happy Monday.

Listening to:  White noise.

Reading:  The Cottingley Secret by Hazel Gaynor

Quote of the Day:  “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equal or greater benefit.” ― Napoleon Hill


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Filed under Books/Classes, Driving, Vacations/Travel, Weightloss

Serious Conversation

I’m coming up on my one year anniversary of weight loss surgery on the 12th.  I’ll do a blog post about the stats with that on the 11th.

Today’s post is about a side effect, or a cause, or a redirection maybe, of addiction.  It’s about alcohol.

Last night, I got slurred stupid off of two cups of wine.  I’m not going to lie—they were not small cups either.  The apples didn’t help much, except as maybe a food source.  I don’t have an excuse or a reason for drinking last night other than it felt good and I wanted it.

Before surgery, I might have gone through a six pack of beer in a few days.  It tasted good and I enjoyed the relaxed feeling that came from it and stayed with me.  I wasn’t chasing demons or anything like that, not like what I was doing when I was in my earlier 20’s.  There were days I still wanted to get smashed to the point of being sick, but that wasn’t for any of the reasons that I’ve heard people say before.  I also wasn’t one who thought drinking before noon was cool, although I spent much of my 23rd and 24th years of life showing up for work hungover.  Fun, right?  Not really, but it happened.  Moving on.

After surgery…  I’m not even sure where to start.  One drink can either hit you like a ton of bricks within minutes or several hours later, but you feel it in different way than before.

Food and eating it can be an addiction.  Please don’t tell me it can’t be; a recovering foodie here, so I know.  It’s one of the few used substances that is completely accessible in so many different forms and companies make billions of dollars to create food that makes us want to eat it—constantly.  All because without food, we don’t survive very long.

For me, food was a comfort.  I didn’t know how to work through feelings growing up.  I didn’t care a lot of the times, and we moved around so much as kids that keeping friends wasn’t the easiest thing to do.  Every year, new school, new people to meet, etc., until 6th grade, and then I was the weird kid.  Not really going to get into that too much; I’ll save that for therapy.  But, hey, excuses right?

I’ve always been fat and have always turned to not-so-great food choices.  When I left home a month before my 18th birthday, I started drinking.  It didn’t replace food, but it become something that went with food and made me feel good.  Sometimes, it was the only thing that helped me get from day to day, just numb enough that I could over look problems but not so numb I couldn’t function.

After surgery, I took a shot for New Year’s Eve.  I was fine.  I made it most of the way through January without drinking; had a sip at dinner and almost didn’t eat anything because I was full.  Tiny stomach equals not much room for things.  Went another month and some change and had a beer with a friend.  Started drinking beers once every few weeks and gradually increased the intake, until Thanksgiving this past week, with a beer before noon and then three glasses of wine in about three hours.  I was floating and happy and I was pushing my limits.  I’d been pushing my limits all year long actually.

Why so much (Because…reasons)?

Didn’t I eat (Yes, and Ray had to take my plate from me because I’m used to eating a lot at Thanksgiving; some habits never stop being habits)?

Am I depressed (With work, yes; life in general, no.  I just completed a first draft of my next book; who would be upset with that)?

Demons finally catching up to me (Maybe)?

News flash:  Alcohol, like food, is addictive.  When you have surgery, what they tell you is that you should avoid alcohol, at least for the first year.  Well, there’s a good reason for that:  You just had surgery to help curb one addiction, they didn’t want you needing to cope with another!

It’s damn hard getting past one addiction when all I really want right now is to take a bite out of a Red Robin cheeseburger without being full off that one bite, or to have a slice of cheesecake without getting the sugar shakes and needing to fall asleep as soon as possible because my body can’t deal with the sugar content.  That last happened with a slice of apple pie last week; wasn’t expecting it, but boy was I happy I was at home.

This surgery thing is not easy, and there are plenty of ways to still screw up.  But I wouldn’t make a different decision because losing what I have has let me do so much more with my life and with my wife.

So, I just admitted I have a problem.  Now what?

Listening to:  My writing mix

Reading:  Blood Bound by Patricia Briggs and Before the Devil Breaks You by Libba Bray

Quote of the Day:  Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody expects of you. Never excuse yourself.” ― Henry Ward Beecher 

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Filed under Advice Column, Weightloss

Weightloss and Comments

Yesterday I got hit with the whole “Are you losing weight because you look like you’re weight” comment.  My response was to look down, mutter “yes,” and walk back to my desk.

This morning, I was going through my e-mails before I got ready for work and saw something one of the vloggers I follow had posted about a woman who had flagged her down and wanted to talk to her about the Overeaters Anonymous group at the flagger’s church.  I shook my head; maybe the woman had had great success there, but to flag someone you don’t know down and interrupt them getting their groove on is a little much.  Unsolicited advice is a no-go.  Just don’t, please.

Over on Facebook, I’m in a couple gastric bypass groups.  Someone in one of them posted about their daughter who was going through the same struggles the person had before coming to terms with having weightloss surgery.  As a parent, she doesn’t want her child going through the same situation she did.  However, her daughter is over the age of 18; there’s not much a parent can do about their offspring’s choices after that.

Something about all of these things brought me to write this particular post this morning.  Here it goes.


Sure, I’ve lost weight.  Yes, I work around people and people are going to notice changes.  No, I don’t constantly want to talk about my weightloss journey and I definitely don’t want to talk about how you’re having surgery because I look like I’m having amazing success with it.  If I’m out here walking or exercising, I’m in my groove; please don’t comment about it.  Or how about asking yourself before saying anything, “Would I say what I’m about to say if this person was a [insert descriptors… for this, it’s ‘smaller person.’  For others, it may be ‘male,’ ‘female,’ etc.]?”  How about that?

In my monthly goal posts, yes, I put up how much I lost the month before and how much I want to lose over the next month.  That’s pretty much it.  I’m not constantly posting pictures for Transformation Tuesday, Weightloss Wednesday, etc., because I am over talking about my weightloss journey.  It’s been seven months!  The only thing I really want to talk about is how to mentally be the smaller person.  Can you talk to me how to mentally not respond to things the way I would have when I was bigger?

*Holds temples*

For people with kids, harping on their weight is just going to make them more self-conscious and insecure in themselves.  If you’re really worried about it, start cooking differently for the whole family.  Go for walks as a family; do activities as a family!  Make it look like you are trying something different as a family.  Don’t make weight the focus.  Why is weight even a focus at that point?


Support is different for each person.  Why can’t we say something nice to people regardless of size, race, gender, cultural aspects, etc.?  For my co-worker, just say something nice about my outfit or my hair.  For people we see out on the streets, if you have a moment to say something nice, do so but don’t interrupt them while they are in their groove.  For the parent, encourage your kids to do things with you like game night; communicate with them.  Actually have a conversation with each other where you are supportive and not destructive towards them or yourselves.

Food for thought today.

Listening to:  My Amazon Playlist

Reading:  Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling

Quote of the Day:  “Each of us has lived through some devastation, some loneliness, some weather superstorm or spiritual superstorm. When we look at each other we must say, I understand. I understand how you feel because I have been there myself. We must support each other because each of us is more alike than we are unalike.” ― Maya Angelou

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Filed under Advice Column, Weightloss

Race Day #2

I did it!

Saturday, I completed my second major race, the Baltimore 10-Miler.  It was a beautiful course through Druid Hill Park and then through JHU out to Lake Montebello and back.  Ten miles of officers and people being supportive and plenty of Gatorade and water.  It was awesome… until it wasn’t anymore.  I got to the finish with a broken blister on my right heel again, two rolled ankles, and cramps so bad in both legs.  Oh and my mid-upper back on fire.  Reasons?  I didn’t really train for this one.

Bmore 10 Miler

I finished though… in under the time limit with almost a minute faster pace than the Frederick Half.

Bmore 10 Miler medal

There would have been no way I would have done either of these last year.

So what’s the difference?


In December 2016, I had weight loss surgery.  I was sitting at 396 at this time last year (right picture).  Right now, I’m at 280/281 (left pic).


This was not the easy way out.  There is a lot of work that went into getting the surgery.  I started the process a year ago this month in fact.  Every day is a struggle to get through all the fluids and all the protein that I need to intake just to keep going.  Hence the walking more, the getting out more, the doing more things, etc.

Last year, Maryland’s King Crab Challenge was just a thought on a piece of paper of things I wanted to do.  Now, thanks to the surgery and the support I have, it’s a reality this year.  My feet aren’t thanking me for it yet, but my esteem is.

Now to get my legs elevated so my ankle and heel can heal.  19 weeks and 5 days until Baltimore Run Fest!

Have a great week everyone.

Listening to:  Hamilton

Reading:  The Shack by Wm. Paul Young

Quote of the Day:  “Nothing stops the man who desires to achieve. Every obstacle is simply a course to develop his achievement muscle. It’s a strengthening of his powers of accomplishment.” ― Thomas Carlyle

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Filed under 1001 Days, Bucket List, Goals, Weightloss


Morning everyone.

Yesterday, I completed my first ever half marathon.


I really want to stop talking about it because I feel like I’m bragging about it.  I get that I should be proud of my accomplishment because not everyone has done a half-marathon before.  Maybe I’m just a little weird on this one and I don’t like bragging.


A half-marathon is definitely not something I would have ever done before losing 100 lbs.  I had thought about it and had even put it on my Day Zero Someday list.  I signed up for the race in February when Crystal and I had been talking about it.  I reasoned that it would be a good goal and reward to myself for getting the surgery and for staying mostly on track.  With me, it’s go big or go home so I signed up for not only the Frederick Half that I completed yesterday, but also the Baltimore 10-Miler (June) and the Baltimore Half (October).  Completing all three runs puts me in the King Crab category of Maryland Races.

After that run, I’ll have gotten five medals this year and completed three in-person races, just in time for the Time-Turner event through the HRC.  In October, there is the chance to order the medals/register for the events we may have missed throughout the year.  There is only one medal I want from that one this year:  The Perfect Prefect!

So other than getting over the soreness I’m still experiencing from yesterday, I’m not doing too much right now.

Have a great week!

Listening to:  Amazon’s Long Weekend Rock playlist

Reading:  Fables Volume 10

Quote of the Day:  “Never quit. It is the easiest cop-out in the world. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit.” ― Bear Bryant

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Filed under 1001 Days, Goals, Weightloss


That’s where I am today.  I have a few reasons for why I’m here but there’s only one colossal reason that being unfeeling is hitting home for me, and Ray too, right now.

One of the things never really talked about before weight loss surgery, or after, is how hard emotions can be when the one thing you ran to when you were feeling hurt, or happy, or sad, or anything that is above or below “numb” is taken away.  Food has to be replaced by something because then we have to face the monsters that are the reason we ran to food in the first place.

Right now, my vice is music.  Music and whatever kind of candy I can find to put in my mouth to help with sugar cravings.  My office keeps a dish of Jolly Ranchers, Fireballs, and mints.  Willpower pushes me past them sometimes; others I just give in.  I tell myself it helps me write, which is true, in a way.  But sugar is addictive, and I had surgery to get over one addiction only to dive harder into another one.

Stepping back to the emotional reason for this post:  My passion for some things is fading.  I feel like I’m in a permanent state of numb.  Sure, in the moment of awesome things, I’m good.  But that feeling never really stays unless it’s a negative feeling.  I find myself holding on to the anger and the need to scream.  I find myself not doing things I used to love and avoiding people and situations I used to enjoy.  Part of that is getting married and not having to work on finding a mate because you found the person who makes you happy and that you want to spend your life with.  The other part is that I can’t drink like I used to, I’m almost always working on something, and being in situations where you have to watch just about everything you eat can be embarrassing depending on the people you are hanging out with.

The upside to this is that I do want to do more.  My numbness and anxiety has me wanting to do everything and nothing at all.  If I do something, the pleasure and the passion is there, and then it’s not.  There is plenty to look forward to, but the instant gratification that food used to bring is gone.  Exercising and moving until I’m sore helps me remember that, and I’m happy that I can move better.  The downside to moving a lot more and doing more physically is that I don’t do much at home, which means that unless Ray is cleaning the house, it doesn’t get cleaned.  It’s not fair to her at all.  So what’s a person to do?

That’s where I’m at today.

Sorry for the melodrama.

Listening to:  The Laughing Corpse by Laurell K. Hamilton

Reading:  Wolfsbane by Patricia Briggs

Quote of the Day:  “Life has many ways of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen all at once.” ― Paulo Coelho

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Filed under Weightloss

Food and Celebration

This weekend, I went to an event with one of my best friends.  Something that came up in conversation was how much food has become a part of the holidays and most celebrations.  For birthdays, there is cake and ice cream.  For St. Patrick’s Day, there is corned beef and cabbage.  For Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is almost never a party or event that doesn’t have food of some kind, be it holiday pies, turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, cookies, you name it.

There are even food calendars which list which foods go with each day!

So what are former/recovering food junkies supposed to do?

Keep a Log

This seems like a pretty basic thing to do since everyone can do it.  That’s the point, though:  Everyone can do it.  I prefer Lose It!, a free application for both Apple and Android.  I can add my own recipes, serving sizes, calories (if I go to Potbelly and use their nutrition calculator), or search their database of foods.  I’ve also tried Weight Watchers before, too.  Both systems let me track the food I’ve consumed.  Sometimes I go over the limit I set for myself, and that’s okay as long as I don’t make it an everyday thing.

Host Alternative Events

Happy hours are a great way to network, but they aren’t often held in places where calories and portions are small, not to mention the drinks.  I will be the first to say that I miss going out with some of my friends but that seemed to be the only time we hung out was when there were drinks involved.  If your friends live close by, hosting different events like a game night or a book club night or even a movie night either at home or out.  I’m doing a Paint Nite event with Ray, but there are companies that will come to a person’s house for a paint event.  It depends on what you and your friends like to do that doesn’t revolve so much around food.

Create a Non-Food Reward System

One of the issues that I’ve always had and have noticed in others is that food is often part of our rewards system.  I lost 15 lbs this month?  Great!  Now I can have that cookie I’ve been craving all week, right?  I could, but isn’t there something else I’d like to do?  Sure.  I could go get a new book, get a pedicure, take myself out to a movie, go for a walk through the mall and not buy anything, go play in the park, binge watch a few episodes of a show I like, etc.  These are just things that I use for my rewards.  Find something that works for you and keeps pushing you to reach for your goals.

Find People on a Similar Journey

Youtube, Google, Facebook, Pinterest, and Meetup can be your best friends when it comes to finding other things to do besides eating.  I’ve found videos on how to self-publish my book, alternative history, crash courses, and vloggers who are on their own weight-loss journeys.  Sometimes seeing other people going through similar things helps keep things in perspective.  I use Google and Pinterest to come up with exercises, non-food rewards, and other blogs or information that I can use for this blog.  Groups can be found on Facebook and Meetup.  There are running groups, coffee groups, social groups, etc.


These are just a few things that can help in a recovering foodie in a foodie world.  It’s so easy to fall back into old habits.  I still want pizza and soda some days.  I can have a few bites of a slice, but I don’t want to stretch my stomach back out with soda.  But finding alternatives like a ricotta bake and infused water can help me stay on track.  Keeping that log holds me accountable and having a non-food reward system isn’t always exciting but using some of my 101 goals for those rewards helps me tackle both.

Listening to:  Sunday Spiel:  Let’s Talk about Health by Glitterandlazers

Reading:  The Line by J.D. Horn

Quote of the Day:  “Nothing happens by itself… it all will come your way, once you understand that you have to make it come your way, by your own exertions.” – Ben Stein

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Filed under 1001 Days, Advice Column, Weightloss