Wednesday, April 30, 2008
Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 28, 2008
Friday, April 25, 2008
Thursday, April 24, 2008
While I'm not a true "tree hugger" - I have been a long time fan of the planet earth and am hoping it will stick around for at least the rest of my life and the lives of the generations that I have sewn (breed (in 25 years or so) as you like, Ava Grace).
Anywho, here are the details of the Care-A-Ton giveaway if you are interested . . .WHO: Associated Advertising, Johnson’s Garden Center, KFDI-FM, Westar Energy and Marketplace Properties LLC
WHAT: The Second Annual Care-A-Ton Arbor Day Tree Giveaway – 1,000 FREE Red Maple Saplings
WHERE: In front of the Old Town Warren on Old Town Square, 2nd and Mead Streets (between Central and Douglas)
WHEN: 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. (or until our last tree is given away (first-come, first-served))
ABOUT: Wichita area residents who stop by for a free sapling will receive a tree, planting suggestions and instructions and a list of tips to help reduce and offset their carbon footprint. Folks don’t even need to get out of their car (Associated staff will be available for “drive-thru” service). The small saplings fit easily in your car’s passenger or back seat and you can be on your way in seconds.
If you can't get a free tree from us - please DO plant a tree or do something to honor all-things-Arbor this weekend (even if that just means going for a walk and appreciating the returning leaves and blooms of the greenage).
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
The story does a great job of showing some good success stories but doesn't sugar coat things (it gets in to failure rates and the risks, etc.) and it talks about the well known/documented link between gastric bypass and diabetes BUT this cancer link is new (to me at least).
NOW - as I try to be the voice of reason when people blame gastric bypass for stuff I am going to point out that it is the reduced weight, reduced physical strain and enhanced self-awareness (diet, excercise, etc. etc. etc.) coupled with the reduction in other co-morbidities (high blood pressure, cholesterol, apnea, etc. etc. etc.) that actually LEADS to the lower rates fo cancer BUT - if gastric bypass puts that all in to motion . . . more power to the procedure.
The piece does go in to detail on the differences between gastric band and gastric bypass (again, long term effectiveness and impact is in favor of bypass itself).
An interesting read of the story with some great video footage (likely the entire feature package, it is 13:00 long) is available here. A second video that talks about the differences between band and bypass is also available at the link above.
One great statistic to keep on hand when your critics start piping up . . . only about 1 in 1,000 patients now dies from gastric bypass surgery! That is down from the 1:100 figure that was cited just a decade ago.
Monday, April 21, 2008
Saturday, April 19, 2008
It struck me, about half way through the class, that my daughter was chasing floating duckies while I held only her hips to keep her afloat and learning to kick and float on her back unaided and was even swimming under water with the greatest of ease.
She was very brave. She IS very brave. Far more brave than I was at that age . . . or any age close to it. In some ways, relatively speaking, I still don't know if I am more brave.
It made me very proud of her and her bravery! May she always "see" fear but never "know" it . . . that is my wish for today.
Friday, April 18, 2008
The good news is that I'm still losing weight. The better news is that I now weigh 258. The even better news is that, while it took me four weeks longer than I had hoped it would . . . I have lost my 225 pounds since surgery. The best news is that I'm no longer in the high-200s (I was on the cusp at my last weigh in at 267) AND while I'll still be in the mid-200s for a while, I'm only 8 pounds away from being in the lower HALF of the 200s.
I also went to JCPenney last night to get some new pants (yep, the ones I bought six weeks ago are too big again) and I am a 44-inch waist. I have not been that small in a very, very long time and I am very proud to tell you that I bought my pants from the regular part of the store (versus the "Big and Tall Men's Shop Inside JCPenney") for the first time since I was a freshman in high school (they only carried up to a 40 in the regular men's department at that time).
Now that I wear an XL shirt and 44 inch pants . . . I am no longer considered big or tall by MOST clothing manufacturers.
Today marks the start of a whole new era accordingly. That's right. I'm Sean Amore - regular guy! And I'm damned excited to tell you that!
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
The only DOWN side to the finale is that I am without my show until at least the fall now. Boo-hoo!
Tuesday, April 15, 2008
Monday, April 14, 2008
Anywho, with inspiration credit to my friend Carrie, here ten of my favorite things these days . . .
1 - A half-cup of Panera's Black Bean Soup and 1/2 of a grilled cheddar cheese sandwich on multi-grain bread with red onion. Simply delicious and a great splurge meal for my post-surgery pouch (eating bread still makes me very, very anxious). Spring is MESSING with us here in Wichita (here one day, gone the next (it is in the 60s today, it was in the 40s yesterday) so warm soup and gooey cheese is a nice comfort.
2 - Adele's Debut Album, 19. Some people call her "the next Amy Winehouse" but a) I think it might be a little too early for "the next" Amy Winehouse and b) I think Adele is better. She's a great example of how the music industry is moving back to talent v. beauty in deciding who is talented (not that she's not a beautiful young woman, but she's not your textbook "beauty" either). More over, the chip on her shoulder gives a subtle hint that her larger body might have influenced how she views herself and the world and how the world has viewed her. Check out Hometown Glory if you only want to spring for one track on iTunes. You'll be back for the rest of the album though - you've been warned.
3 - Ava's BIG laugh. I need to get a good recording of it to post here. It is hard to describe but she laughs like someone who gets the joke far more than her 20 months of life could allow for and furthers our belief that she's an old-soul in a young body. It is also highly infectious and has a tendancy to make any day better.
4 - Joy's Joy. While never "lacking" for poise, intellegence, grace and wit - coming "home" has done wonders for Joy's self confidence and how she presents herself and how she handles herself. As her husband, I find it sexy. As her friend, I find it highly likable. As an observer, I find it exciting and encouraging that sometimes it is more about one big change bringing about thousands of smaller ones (a la gastric bypass surgery's impact in my life).
5 - Murray's Lemon Sugar-Free Sandwich Cookies. As honesty is the best policy, I must admit that I have to use my daily calorie count as motivation to get me to put down these delicious little pieces of heaven. I will buy a package - pace it out for a week or so and then go a few weeks without them. Danger lurks inside the plastic wrapper but . . . yuhmay!
6 - My bike. I don't ride it NEARLY often enough but I like knowing that it is there, in the back of the garage, waiting for me and ready to take me from "here" to "there" at a moment's notice.
7 - Shopping. The support group before my surgery, Techia presented an article from People magazine about a woman who had gastric bypass and went on to loose her ever-blooming mind shopping. She bought EVERYTHING and LOTS of it. The idea being that the mind has a preoccupation for obsessive behavior and excess and, without food, your mind WILL find something else to cling on to. I used to HATE shopping. Clothes, groceries, household/decor stuff, errand shopping, shoes, etc. NO more. I love it all now. ESPECIALLY clothes shopping. It MIGHT be that I wear a size XL shirt for the first time since my SOPHOMORE YEAR OF HIGH SCHOOL and it might be because the word "sale" has replaced the words "super size" in my vocabulary but - either way - I am an unashamed shopaholic. Our checking account balance can reinforce this if any one doubts me.
8 - The Big Over Easy by Jasper Fforde. Faithful blog readers will know I started reading this book in October. And just lost sight of it in early November (upon arriving here and starting my new job). I'm back on top of it now and ripping through it. I can't wait to finish and start some of Fforde's other books. He's not Mike Manguson but he's on par with Christopher Buckley's books and I am really enjoying the read.
9 - Harold's Tie Table. Oh, sweet mercy of God . . . my tie obsession draws me to this place once every few weeks - the price tags only let me buy once every few months. I love, love, love a good silk tie that is thick enough for a nice fat knot up top. Harold's must feel the same way.
10 - 12 Step Awareness. I've not been going to any alcoholics anonymous meetings nor have I been to over-eaters anonymous or any other "insert problem here" anonymous meetings but I have been doing extensive research on 12 step programs and the way they allow you to sort of rebuild your life. I don't know how much I want to talk with God about where I've been with my eating, depression and general self-loathing over the past decade or so BUT I am on step eight, pushing to step nine in the process (started immediately after my surgery) and I must say that it really is making all the difference in me feeling "okay" about me and where I am today and where I am going from here. I don't look forward to all of step nine but I feel it is really important and I will be going through it accordingly. Don't be surprised if you get "that" call from me accordingly.
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
Listen to the mustn'ts, child.
Friday, April 4, 2008
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
I'm stressed. VERY, VERY stressed. I'm struggling with work (I know some co-workers read this blog so I'll leave it at that) and I'm just not having the time of my life on this particular Wednesday.
I know what I would have done, once upon a time, on days like today. It would involve at least three trips to the vending machines or snack shops of my office building, a few thousand calories preceeded by "How can I help you?" coming from a loudspeaker on the drive home and, upon arrival home, taking out my stressful day on the one person that has always loved, supported and tried to calm me.
Well . . . some bad news . . . there isn't a gosh darned thing in the kitchen here that I can eat (sugary, fatty, chocolaty goodness, you hold no power over me) and I have a five minute drive home with no one to "help" me along the way. That means just one very sad thing . . . my stress goes home with me.
Some WORSE news . . . the food that I leaned on never stopped the stress from making it all the way home in the past. It made it worse, frankly, as I loathed myself all the more for being so full of bad food and bad mood.
In the last year my FIRST focus (beyond myself) has been making and keeping Joy happy. I've tried to not be the "old me" and I've tried to be more openly appreciative for every thing Joy does for me and to be more honest and open and communicative when my stress does start to bubble up.
I've failed at that lately and I've not been the best husband and friend to Joy. I've worked until seven (and in a few cases eight) most nights the last few weeks and when I do get home I just want to watch bad television and go to sleep before getting up to do it all again the next morning. I don't want to talk about my day and my stress. More over, I don't protect that I want to talk about Joy's day or its stress.
Now I'm a changing man. I'm learning to "own" my stress and my anger from it and to compartmentalize the things I'm not crazy about from the things that I love but that's not always so easy and I'm still in the process of learning how to do this so it is not a perfect system. That just creates tension between us which furthers my stress and her stress. We don't fight, foresay, but we're not really talking or sharing or partnering either.
What is my point? I don't know . . . I guess that I need a good, swift kick in the pants to remind me of what is really important!?! That I need to learn faster and better how to compartmentalize? That is it just plain sad to care as much as I do that the Wichita Wingnuts logo lost an online contest? That I SHOULD figure out a way to go for a walk or a bike ride in between work and home so I can get a boost of energy and peace to share with my beautiful wife?!
I'm sure all of those things would help and they all make total sense to me but they aren't helping me as I sit here at my desk and just wonder why every day can't be as much of a wonderful gift as many of the days of the last year have been.
Regardless, I love you, Pop Tart and I HOPE tonight can be a nice evening at home for all three of us.