Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Merry Christmas . . .

While I still have New Year's Eve and the remainder of Kwanzaa ahead of me, I feel pretty good about publicly stating that I am going to survive my first post-surgery holiday season without any real incident or problem. The only down side to the season was the passing of Joy's maternal Grandfather (the beloved Grandpa Timmermeyer went to his peace on Thursday the 20th) and even that very sad event was marked with a beautiful celebration of his life and an amazing morning of FIVE generations of family in one room, happy to be together, while sad for the reason for the gathering.

Yet, I digress. The season is over . . . the break room here at the office is largely food free today (as the office is largely employee free, that makes sense). The sugar cookies Grandma Amore made with Ava have not tempted me in the least. The equally untempting candies, cookies, brownies and cakes that we had on hand for Christmas Weekend were either eaten, thrown away or both and all of our leftovers from Christmas Eve (Joy made about 15 different appetizers (most of which were fried) that my parents and our family on Joy's side dined on (I had hummus, a little cheese and a few Reduced-Fat Triscuits)) and the six course Christmas Dinner I cooked last night (highlighted with a duet entree plat with filet mignon and pork loin with a hot cranberry-orange sauce for the filet and a chilled cranberry-orange sauce for the pork) are all on their last legs already.

So it is back to business as usual. Gone are the holidays. Gone are the holiday foods that have plagued me for the 30 Christmas Seasons I lived through previous to this one and gone . . . knock on wood . . . are the traditional pitfalls the Holiday Season has brought me in the past.

This Christmas was probably the greatest Christmas I have ever had. Here are 12 of the reasons why (sing it like the song, if you feel so inspired BUT know now that it won't match up to the tune in any way, manor, shape or form) . . .

1 - Joy had the "Christmas Spirit" for the first time in our relationship. It was almost as beautiful as she is.

2 - Ava actually enjoyed Christmas this year and helped open her own gifts. Her reaction to her playroom slide set and her princess horse carriage were almost as priceless as her freaking out (in a good way) over her frog-faced kleenex cover. Ah, simple pleasures!

3 - I had my parents and Joy's entire family with us on Christmas Eve (and I spoke with my brothers three times on Monday and twice on Tuesday so they were sort of "with us" too).

4 - I got my Santa Suit back for the first time in eight years (I outgrew it in 1999) and it is wayyyyyyy too big on me - which means I am officially smaller now than I was in 1996 when the suit was made for me (it was a little loose when it was made but I SWAM in it the other day).

5 - I got CLOTHES for Christmas - from my family. I was not embarassed to tell my family what sizes I wear for the first time since 1997. That, to me, was a greater gift than the clothes I was given.

6 - We watched Uncle Larry's 2007 video (Joy's Uncle Larry makes a photo slide-show/video-archive every year to "record" the year that was) and I saw a picture of myself from last December that made me cringe and pictures from July 4th (I remember how "great" everyone thought I looked on July 4th) and I cringed again. I am HOPING to cringe at the pictures from 2008 when I view next year's video too. My body is changing . . . and it has been an AMAZING year for personal change.

7 - My mother has lost some weight and my father seems to be committed to his diet too. Very encouraging and another one of those great gifts that I can't unwrap but can cherish.

8 - Joy gave me glass blowing lessons for Christmas. People who really "know" me know that I've been obsessed with glass art and glass blowing for 15 or 20 years (I collect large (and sometimes expensive/fragile/soon-to-be-in-a-million pieces) pieces of hand blown glass)). These lessons, for me, are part of the promise of this surgery - that I have a new take and perspective on life and I am doing the things that I always vowed I would.

9 - I was fitted for a new shirt and new pants for Joy's Grandfather's funeral - my neck is now an 18 (it used to be a 22) and my sleeve length is a 34/35, down from a 36/37 - that does NOT mean my arms are shorter, it means my fat body needs less fabric to cover it than it used to and my waist is a 46. That is two MORE inches and I am now down a full 24" from my waist size last Christmas. TWO FEET off my waist. Merry Christmas to my BELT!

10 - I discovered the Nifty Nut House (and it is only an easy three blocks walk from my office) where I can get my fix on dry roasted, unsalted peanuts and - when I'm feeling needy - sugar free candies ranging from Hershey's chocolate to homemade sugar-free caramel, peanut clusters. I can buy all of the above (and more) by the OUNCE so even if I decide I have to go a little crazy, I can just got a LITTLE crazy.

11 - I discovered dessert flavored teas (Sugar Cookie is still my favorite) that not only help make my aching body (I think I'm officially sick after being sort-of sick for almost a month) but taste delicious and have 0 calories and 0 sugar. Yuhmay!

12 - I lost 40% of my body weight this year and, with one week until the start of 2008, I am in the 200s for the first time in a long, long, long time and well on my way to reaching my total weight loss goals by the end of 2008.

Merry Christmas to ME and best wishes to ME for 2008 (and, of course, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all of you as well)!

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