She who folds my undies.

untitledmother-in-law is a saint, have I said this before? She came down to watch untitledson during spring break. She took off work to do this. Certainly this alone would qualify her for cannonization. Not one to shirk off her holy duties, she then proceded to sweep out our muddy garage, do all of our laundry (two week’s worth), change and wash her own bed sheets and empty our dishwasher on more than one occasion. They just don’t make women like this any more. Let it be said that the greatest gift you can give your daughter-in-law is a week’s worth of free childcare and laundry service. I don’t care that she (gasp) saw my period underwear. They’re clean, folded and put away neatly in my underwear drawer, now aren’t they. She did fail to fold our towels in the shapes of little animals and place them on our bathroom sink, but I have forgiven her for this transgression.

To thank her for her goodness, we thought about stuffing some cash into her purse. But this felt a little indentured servant to us. So instead, we took her shopping. We bought her some Crocs (she would never spend $30 on shoes for herself) and some dishes are Pier One. At one point, I was literally chasing her around Pier One, because she didn’t want to let us pay. Good lord, woman. Get over here before I whip you with this sprig of pussywillows!

We also took her out to eat several times. We knew this would be a dicey proposition, since she gets a little intimidated by glamourous destinations like The Olive Garden. Always up for a good squirm-fest, we opted instead for an even nicer local Italian place. We had hoped to expose her to the wonders on linguini with pine nuts or maybe the lobster ravioli. But instead she ordered, of all things, the goddamned pasta marinara (but only after mispronouncing marinara and asking if it was a white or red sauce). We could’ve just served her Chef Boyardee at home and called it good. I would’ve ordered some bruschetta for an appetizer, but that surely would’ve blown a gust of cold air under her skirt.

untitledhusband forced her to drink a glass of wine, and before we knew it, she was all red in the face, trudging up all the guilt-ridden issues from her past. Like why she adopted two kids when they were living on poverty level incomes. And why untitledbrother-in-law gets to live at home for free when he’s 23 years old, whereas untitledhusband was basically on his own by age 17 (when he graduated high school). This is a woman that thinks only with her heart. And those kinds of decisions are rarely the right ones. But nonetheless, she is still a saint.

Hi, I’m morbidly obese. Damn glad to meet you.

Sorry for the infrequent posting, people. Work has been kicking my ass as of late (and we all know how I like to stick it to the man and write during work hours). By the time I get home, make dinner, work out, and put the little man to bed, it’s 8:30. And damn if I don’t want to sit on the sofa and watch American Idol for the last remaining hour of my day. Viva Sanjaya (or as I like to call him, Indian Michael Jackson). Blake needs to win, but I just can’t get enough of the po-hawk. In fact, I’m hoping to replicate the ‘do for casual Friday next week. That ought to go over well.

The good news is that I have lost 38 pounds since my surgery on 2/12 (a total loss of 56 pounds, when you count my pre-surgical loss). I now weigh 305. My BMI has dropped almost 10 points. I’m no longer super morbidly obese, just morbidly obese. For a woman who is 5’8″, if you weigh 198 or more, you are considered obese. 264 or above, you are morbidly obese. 339, you are super morbidly obese. Two words that need to be permanently extracated from the English language — morbidly and obese. Jeez.

This whole experience has been friggin’ awesome, people. Awesome enough for me to dust off the word friggin’ and add it back into my vocabulary. And awesome, for that matter. So many people out there are hesitant to suggest the surgery because of the minute risk of complications, to which I say “blah blah blah, my big fat foot up yo ass.”

But I tell you — anyone out there who is 100+ pounds overweight needs to at least consider this surgery. And what if you’re 90 pounds overweight? Well then I say gain 10! A few McGriddles ought to do the trick. I know, I know. Everything you read will scare the bejesus out of you. I was scared, especially when I saw these awful diagrams of all the changes they make to one’s insides. I would have anxiety about permanently altering my perfectly normal anatomy. But truth is, if it was perfectly normal, I wouldn’t have weighed 361 pounds. And wasn’t my anatomy already altered by all the extra weight I was carrying around?

The docs will tell you “this is serious surgery.” And they are right. But knowing what I know now, I would gladly do it all over again — even if it meant I had to take out a $60,000 loan to pay for it. You just don’t realize how much mental and physical energy it takes to be overweight until you start losing. I was one of those people who said, “I know I am fat. But I am smart, I have a good job. I found a handsome guy to marry my fat ass, contrary to untitledmother’s predictions. I’m fine.” But really, I had no idea how sad I was until this weight started falling off. Housework is so much easier. I dare say it’s even a bit fun. I had no idea I could run the stairs and not be out of breath. I didn’t realize how much self-confidence I would gain by simply being able to wear cute clothes again.

I’m like the opposite of an anorexic. I’m now wearing size 28s and I feel like I should be trying out to be a Denver Broncos cheerleader. I know that’s funny (especially to those wearing size 14s and freaking out about it), but it’s true. I actually look for my reflection now, instead of avoiding it. It’s amazing how much happiness it gives you to look in the mirror (or step on the scale) and be proud of what you see. It makes everything in life (even folding untitledhusband’s skid-marked underwear) more sunny. What is it with men and skid marks, anyway? As untitleddad used to say, “wet fart.” Wet fart, indeed.

I feel almost completely normal these days. I can go out to eat, as long as I choose wisely. Some things I have had include 1/2 of a chicken fajita and some refried beans at a local Mexican restaurant, 3/4 of a grilled Buffalito at Buffalo Wild Wings, and 3 pieces of sushi. And yes, I get quite full off of this (you think I’d quit eating mid-fajita if I wasn’t full?). I made the mistake of eating 4 pieces of sushi once. ONCE. I ended up in the passenger seat of the Jeep, straight as a board until the food began to clear out of my stuffed stomach. “What? What? Haven’t you ever seen a person digesting before.”

Now, all together now — let’s ask untitledhusband to take my picture so I can post it for you!

Junk in the trunk.

Did I say I’d lost 23 pounds? Make that 28 (actually 46 total, counting my pre-surgery loss). I have asked untitledhusband to take my photo, but it seems he is busy reading right now. He has no shame, which is precisely why I married him.

So why five pounds in one week? I don’t know. I have been doing a few things differently. I have upped my daily water to 60 oz. (from 48 oz.). I also recently switched my exercise bike’s setting from a constant resistance level within my target heart rate zone (138 approx.) to interval training, in which the resistance alternates from zero-gravity to my-quads-my-quads-my-quad-are-on-fire. Since doing this, the weight seems to be coming off much faster. I had read on that there is something magical about interval training, in that it pumps up your metabolism. Notice they didn’t saying anything about the liquifying-your-leg-muscles part.

I’m officially on soft foods now (oatmeal, ground meat, cheeses, eggs, etc.). Unofficially, I have been eating soft (and a few hard) foods for about two weeks now. I ramped up slowly and was extremely careful. I have not gotten sick yet (which can happen when you eat something too sweet, too fat, too bulky or too fast). I only eat healthy foods with lots of protein. I am scared to death to try sweets (although I did have 3 of untitledhusband’s Junior Mints the other night). I kind of view my three Caltrate chewable calcium tablets as a sweet since they taste like big Sweet Tarts. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating — do NOT make the mistake of buying the Target brand of chewable calcium (they taste like ashtray). I try a few new foods a week. Turns out I can tolerate half of a Buffalito (grilled chicken with lettuce, tomato and sour cream in a tortilla) at Buffalo Wild Wings. I also had half of a beef soft taco at our favorite local Mexican restaurant (or as untitledson calls it, “the place with the gum.”). untitledhusband says he has been surprised at how little it takes to fill me up. Meanwhile, I’m watching what he eats, and I’m amazed he can fit that all in (keep in mind, he is perfectly thin). If I eat one bite too much, I’ll get the sensation of a cannonball trying to pass through my egg-sized stomach. Very pleasant. In these situations, you will find me reclined, belly in the air, looking like a snake who has swallowed a rabbit. “Do NOT talk to me! I am DIGESTING! Arrgggh!” And then it passes, and I am ready for my cake and ice cream.

I am waiting for the day when I eat something that doesn’t agree with me, and I end up shatting myself in public or something equally as disgusting. Sadly enough, it won’t be the first time (see “Female poop etiquette“). I suppose this brings me one step closer to fulfilling untitledmother’s prophecy (in which I, like her, will be forced to carry a miniature roll of toilet paper in my purse and an empty coffee can in my car trunk, you know, just in case).

The devil and daylight savings.

untitledson has been a savage since Monday. We set our clocks ahead on Sunday, but he’s now on mountain time — which is fitting, given how rocky things have been ever since. The little cuss won’t fall asleep until 9 or 10 p.m., no matter when we lay him down. He sits in his bed in the dark, rolling his little cars over the hills and valleys of his bedding. He pages through his books. He recites satanic incantations (a.k.a dialogue from “Air Buds”).

One night, he came sauntering down the stairs in time to watch the opening minute of “Rome” with us, featuring some old school doggy-style action. “Where’s the clicker! WHERE’S THE CLICKER!” By the time we found it and changed the channel, Atia and Mark Antony were eating nachos and watching Conan.

We check on him when we go to bed, and he’s laying there in the middle of all this crap. The blankets are a twisted mess, and he looks like he spent one to many nights playing Stratego before crashing amongst the empty bags of Doritos and crushed Red Bull cans. By 5 a.m., he is recharged. That’s when he drags all of his booty into our bed for a pre-dawn party. I have woken up more than once with a Hot Wheel stuck to my torso. And let me tell you — it feels magnificent.

At the very least, he wants his cereal and milk. “Here’s your Kix, here’s your banana, here’s your milk. Now eat, watch the Wiggles and don’t return to our room until the sun is up. Unless you see flames or hear an explosion. Then, and only then, can you come get us.”

As bad as we have it, his Montessori teachers have it worse. He’s been spitting at them, screaming, crying and being an overall pain in the ass. His teacher called me Friday at 10 a.m. and said I needed to bring him home, for he was posing a threat to Homeland Security (or something like that). Even the naughtiest boy in class (his best friend, unfortunately) told him to settle the fuck down lest he get an ass-whoopin’ from the looming mob of four year-olds who were sick of his shenanigans (again, I paraphrase).

So I left work early and hauled the poor thing home. A pariah in his own classroom, he skulked to the car and rode the whole way hunched over like Margaret Thatcher in the St. Patty’s parade. Once home, he slept for three hours, and woke up a sweaty mess. It’s as if his demonic fluids has escaped from his scalp. He woke up looking like that mugshot of Nick Nolte after his weekend bender. He’d also wet himself (a rarity) — which was further proof that the evil would take any path necessary to escape. If this continues, there is no way he’s staying up late to watch the “Real Sex” with us.

Down 3 and feeling foxy.

I had my one-month checkup at my surgeon’s office yesterday, and all went well. I’m down three more pounds since last Friday. Since surgery (2/12) I have lost 23 pounds. I was told that 23 pounds in one month is an average amount (some lose more, some lose less). I am doing everything I’m supposed to, so this is clincial proof that your body will lose what it wants to lose. I am simply along for the ride.

Physically, I’m feeling great. Those first few weeks on liquids are mentally challenging, drinking 2 ounces of broth by my myself as my family sits down for a meal, but as soon as you start eating soft foods, it’s so much better. You feel very close to normal again.

Last night, untitledhusband and I went out for Chinese. I has 4 California rolls of sushi and a smidge (maybe 1/4 cup) of sizzling rice soup. I almost blew a gut. But it was so good. It’s odd how I no longer crave cookies and chocolate. I crave sushi, tuna, turkey and things like that.

untitledhusband tells me I’m looking thinner. I’ll be walking up the stairs in front of him, and he’ll say “you really are getting smaller!” I’ll never tire of hearing that.

No one at work has noticed (or, they haven’t commented). That’s fine with me. I don’t look forward to the daily scrutinization, but I’m sure it will come eventually.

Even though I am supposed to still be on pureeds, I have carefully introduced a few soft foods into my diet, including melba toast (soft when chewed), cereal, scrambled Egg Beaters, peanut butter (sparingly), sushi and low-fat string cheese. I chew very, very well (applesauce texture), and nothing has made me sick yet. I never eat more than 4 ounces for a meal, and I’m completely satisfied.

What a gift, I’m telling you. I can’t say enough about this surgery. Already, stairs are easier. Physically, I am more nimble (as nimble as one can be at 320 pounds). My tummy no longer touches the steering wheel. Turning over in bed is easier. And I’m just happier, in general. I have so much to look forward to, and every day is a little bit sunnier. I vascillate between wanting to tell the world (especially other big people) about this fantastic surgery, and wanting to maintain my privacy. I’ve decided that if someone big asks me, I will be honest. The skinny ones will be deceived, because they are skinny and they need a little harship in their lives.

If you don’t see an updated photo with this post, check back. I’m going to have untitledhusband take my picture tonight. Perhaps you’ll see a difference.