Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Graham crackers for dinner

My drain output has been decreasing quite a bit since I put on the smaller compression garment--which is good news!  I just hope it's low enough by tomorrow for my surgeon to take it out. I have a post-op appointment tomorrow. It's annoying trying to hide it when I go out. Today I went to Aldi, and this is what it looked like under my shirt:

I had it hanging from a chain around my neck. Then I put a sweatshirt over it, but the sweatshirt still bulged out in front from the drain. (And no, that is NOT a cardboard cut-out, haha--it was funny how many people commented on that last time!)

ETA: Since there appears to be some confusion whether this is my front or my back (lol) the pic is cut off just underneath my bra. So no boobs in this pic ;)



I did my Wednesday Weigh-In today, and I was very happy to see that I lost a pound this week!
Lost 1 pound from last week

And I took my body fat percentage--I forgot to do this last week, so I don't know how it compares. But it's definitely down quite a bit from recently!
Down 3% body fat since Nov. 2nd
I'm still hesitant to call this weight loss "permanent", but for now, it makes me happy!


My little brother Nathan called today (the one that was in the Army, not the pilot in Minnesota). He had two tickets to the Red Wings game tonight, but he said he had to go to a funeral, so he asked if Jerry wanted to go with my older brother (the pilot). Jerry was thrilled, and I told him of course he should go! I asked Nathan whose funeral he was going to, and he said that one of his co-workers took his own life.

It always makes me so sad when I hear about suicide. It makes me wonder if someone had done something differently or treated him differently, would the outcome be the same? Nathan said the guy was only about 30 years old, and he never gave any indication that something was wrong. I think about the people in my life (including all of you!) and I would be so devastated if something like that happened.

I can totally empathize with the feeling of being completely hopeless, because I've been there. But, even during my worst bouts of depression, I'm able to keep in mind that it's not forever, and I'll feel better. I just wish that Nathan's co-worker would have known that it would get better for him, too.


Anyways, I didn't want to make this a depressing entry... so guess what I had for dinner?!
Graham crackers with peanut butter and mini chocolate chips
Since it's just going to be me and the kids for dinner, I made a frozen pizza for them, and I had something that just sounded really damn good.  I've been eating SO.MUCH.PROTEIN. lately, at the request of my surgeon, that I just wanted something that would make my soul happy ;)  I had two salmon fillets for lunch, and a protein shake for breakfast, so I'm sure I got in enough protein today.

It's actually been a LONG time since I've allowed graham crackers in the house. They are a big binge food for me, and I've avoided buying them for that reason. But I'm in a very good place right now, and I am determined not to binge on them. I haven't binged at all since before my surgery--hence the 10 pounds I've lost post-op :)

I'm SO HAPPY to be in the 130's again, that I will do whatever I can to stay here. I'm only 5 pounds away from my goal weight of 133!


We finally put up our Christmas tree, and Eli loved putting on the decorations. Noah had no interest in it.
I absolutely LOVE the kids handmade ornaments--like the gingerbread man you can see. My mom saved all of mine when I was a kid, and I'm so glad that she did. I'd rather have a homely tree full of handmade ornaments than a pretty tree any day! ;)

The cats immediately picked out their spots:
Can you spot Estelle??  This is 3/4 of the way up the tree.
Chandler and Paolo haven't moved from their spots
Phoebe wasn't interested. Typical.


Tuesday, November 29, 2011

What a difference!

After my shower today, I decided to go ahead and put on the size small compression garment that I bought, even though I am feeling anything but 'small' with all this swelling. I was afraid to put it on too soon and stretch it out or something, I don't know.

After I got it on (it looked so TINY, I thought it would never fit), I felt AMAZING. I felt very "compressed" how I am supposed to feel with a compression garment on. It stays up very well, and doesn't get bunched up on the sides. And best of all, it's tight enough that it doesn't slide up and down over my incision, which was a problem with the size medium. Now, I can't even feel my incision , because there is nothing rubbing against it.

This is seriously such a relief!! I'm still swollen, but I feel so much better with this smaller size garment. If any of you are going to get a tummy tuck or lower body lift, I'd highly recommend getting a size smaller than you think you need. I was told to use my pre-op measurements to pick a size, and my hips were 37". The size medium was for 37-39", so I ordered the correct size, but all of my excess skin was sitting around my hips--and now that it's gone, I definitely needed the smaller size. I should have just asked my doctor before ordering, because when I gave her the garment before surgery, she said it might be too big.

Anyways, I am in a MUCH better mood because of this! The only problem is that I only have one of the small garments, and two medium. I'd been alternating the medium ones every day (so that I could wash them). Now I'll probably wear the small all day, and wear the medium while I'm sleeping, allowing the small to dry overnight.

I had Jerry take some more comparison pictures today, and I think I'm ready to show you my backside ;)  My lower back is VERY bruised, but it doesn't hurt at all. The reason it's bruised is because she did a small amount of liposuction there--it's almost as swollen as my front, but I can see an AMAZING difference in my ass! lol
My butt isn't really crooked, it just looks that way because I am numb and I can't feel if my undies are on right! (I can't believe I just posted a picture of my butt on the internet. I've come a looong way as far as my confidence and shyness!)

I am SO SO SO glad that I opted for the lower body lift instead of just the tummy tuck. My belly doesn't really look much different today than the last pic, but here is a new comparison:
Before lower body lift
Day 15 after lower body lift
Before lower body lift
15 Days after lower body lift
Look at how SMOOTH my silhouette is! I love my hips. The lower body lift technically doesn't address thighs, but even my thighs look so much tighter.  It's unfathomable to me that there is only a 15 day difference in these pictures.



Jerry is off work today, so he's been waiting on me hand and foot in order to let me rest--and hopefully get the swelling down a little. I spent the morning crocheting an afghan that I volunteered to make back in October. At my dad's birthday party, I saw a family friend who is a nurse. She is on a mission to give out a handmade afghan to every single patient in the hospital on Christmas Day. Naturally, I said, "I can make one!"

Well, you all know how busy I've been the past month or so with The Dr. Oz Show and my surgery! So for the past week, I've been making it a goal to crochet at LEAST two rounds a day--which doesn't sound like a lot, but the bigger the blanket gets, the longer it takes to crochet a round. Here is what it looks like so far--I have about 10 rounds to go...
I didn't choose the colors. She just gave me the yarn and told me to use whatever pattern I wanted. So I just did a rectangular granny square. I will be so relieved when it's done! I hate to crochet or knit under pressure.




Yay! I just got the Hood to Coast movie in the mail :)  Michelle (very generously) gave me a gift card for Amazon after my surgery, so this is what I ended up ordering. Something I've been DYING to see since last winter!

I'm going to invite my runner friends over for wine and a viewing.  This movie only had ONE public showing (I believe it was in January), and I bought tickets to go with my friend Evie.

Well, we had a huge snowstorm that night, so we didn't get to go... and since there weren't any more showings, we had to wait until it came out on DVD. But this isn't something you can find at a Redbox--I think you have to buy it. So now I have it, and I'm excited to watch it!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Time flies like an arrow, fruit flies like a banana

Or in this case, a sweet potato.

For the past couple of days, I've noticed some fruit flies in my house. Usually when I notice a fruit fly, I just have to take out the garbage or maybe throw away some too-ripe bananas. But I have no fruit on my counters, the kitchen is (fairly) clean, and the problem wasn't coming from the garbage.

When I went in the pantry, I saw more fruit flies, so I assumed they were there for the empty cans and bottles from Jerry's beer. I made a point to tell Jerry to take the bottles back for the deposit refund.

Then today, I walked in to the pantry and noticed a bad smell. I checked the potatoes that I keep in a brown paper bag, and they were fine. I couldn't think of what it would be inside the pantry, so I started looking around on the shelves. I stopped moving for a couple of minutes to see if I could see where the fruit flies were coming from, and I noticed a white plastic grocery bag on the bottom shelf.

I opened it up and there were fruit flies all over the place. There were three sweet potatoes in the bag--and I cannot tell you the last time I bought sweet potatoes! One of them was completely rotten, and liquified. I was going to rush it outside to the garbage, but of course I had to stop myself and take a picture--because I have no other pictures for the blog today ;)
Yum!
So disgusting. Please tell me I'm not the only one that finds disgusting old food in my house...?  One time I found a stick of margarine in a cupboard--THAT was the most rancid, disgusting smell I've ever come across!!  And I won't even mention all the sippy cups half-full of milk that we found days weeks months after the boys found a good hiding place for them. *Gag*



I ran some errands today, and was feeling pretty good... until I got home and noticed that the drain in my abdomen was clogged, and the stuff that normally would come out through the drain actually came out through the incision for the drain. I had a piece of gauze there for that reason, but it soaked through the gauze and there was a spot on the front of my jeans. Frickin' awesome.

I was able to clear the clog in the tube, so it is working fine again. But I am swollen as fuck right now. I hate this! I think THIS must be the low point that my surgeon was telling me about; that I would feel annoyed and depressed about this. My lower abdomen is swollen enough that I look pregnant. Not hugely pregnant, but it looks like a baby bump or something. I know that it's normal, and I know that it could take 3-4 months for the swelling to go down, but I want it NOW. I want to look normal NOW.

Insert Jerry saying in a sing-song voice: "Someone call the waaaaaaambulance for poor Katie!"

I know I'm being whiny and pouty. I guess I just expected the swelling to be similar to the swelling from my jaw surgery--it was HORRIBLE the day of surgery, but kept decreasing, and then by two weeks later, the swelling was gone.

The lower body lift was the complete opposite. I saw my tiny little tummy after surgery, and the first week I thought how lucky I was that I didn't swell up. The second week I swelled up huge! Tomorrow I'm going to eat as little sodium as possible and drink tons of water; and I'm going to rest, preferably on my back, all day. Hopefully that will make me feel a little better.


I bought some more flea stuff for the cats today. After I gave them those pills, the fleas were gone for a few days, but then they were back. I've always had them on Frontline for flea control, but it quit working about 3 months ago--I have no idea why. So today I bought Advantage and more pills. The pills kill adult fleas within an hour. The Advantage is to kill the eggs and larvae and all that. I really hope this works. We still have Paolo, so I had to buy treatment for all four cats.  $$$


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Things I'm looking forward to

My drain output is very slowly decreasing--but at least it's decreasing. Today the color of it was a lot lighter, which is also a good sign. I have a post-op appointment this Thursday, regardless of what the drain is doing.

As annoyed as I am about the drain, it definitely beats getting it out too early and winding up with a seroma--that's a pocket of fluid that the body doesn't absorb and it has to be aspirated with a needle. The drain isn't painful at all, it just gets in the way. And I really want to sleep on my stomach, but I'm afraid to with the drain there. My doctor said sleeping on my stomach is fine, if I'm comfortable.

Some of you asked if the swelling or incision is painful right now--it's not at all! It definitely looks like it should be hurting, but I'm numb all the way around. Even my ab muscles don't hurt much anymore. This surgery was MUCH less painful than my jaw surgeries, and the healing time much faster.


There are so many things that I'm looking forward to, based on the outcome of my surgery:

-Wearing tight jeans with fitted tops, and not having the muffin hang over.
-Spending a Victoria's Secret gift card that I've had for over a year.
-Having sex (I wonder if it will feel different?)
-Not having to "suck it in" for pictures.
-Not constantly tugging my shirt down, for fear of someone catching a glimpse of my belly.
-Wearing cute lingerie, and not feeling gross because of my belly.
-Not having to wear Spanx under a dress.
-Not feeling embarrassed to undress in front of friends.
-Going for a run without getting a rash under my "apron".
-Wearing low-cut jeans and workout pants.
-Wearing my "goal jeans". 

I'm sure there are more, but that is what I can come up with right now. It's going to feel so liberating! All of those reasons sound so vain, but I've honestly never experienced a flat stomach before. Even when I was a very young child, I had a round belly. My sister totally hogged the flat-belly gene in our family... her weight has gone up and down over the years, but her stomach remains as FLAT as can be!

I remember the first time Jerry saw me naked-- it was a few weeks after we started dating on our wedding night  ;)  --I was SO WORRIED that he was going to run screaming when he saw my stomach. He obviously didn't. But he later learned how self-conscious I was of it, and I've ALWAYS said that "when I get to my goal weight, I'm going to get a tummy tuck!" I just can't believe it actually happened!

I can probably do some of those things on the list as soon as I get this drain removed. I will have to wear the compression garment for 24/7 until the six-week post-op mark, so I won't really feel healed until then, though. I wish I had more patience ;)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Renee to the rescue!

This morning, I was sitting in the recliner that I've grown to hate over the last 12 days, crocheting an afghan, when I got a text from Renee. She asked if I wanted to go shopping with her. I said yes right away, knowing that I would feel much better if I got out of the house.

I took a shower and dried my hair, then put on make-up--which I haven't worn since before my surgery--and dressed in jeans (my big "fat day" jeans, for comfort) and a sweatshirt. I managed to hook my drain to a chain around my neck and it rested just under my boobs. Hopefully it wasn't noticeable, it just made me look like I had a bigger belly.

I drove over to Renee's and she drove us to the stores. We went to Hobby Lobby first, where I got some more key rings for Gockets. Then we got a coffee (tea for me) to go and headed to the mall. I bought some more egg protein powder at the vitamin store, and a couple of calendars. It felt SO GOOD to get out of the house, and I was surprisingly energetic. Much more so than I have been post-op.  I'm so grateful that Renee asked me to go, it was just what I needed today!

On the way home I stopped at Kroger for a few things that we needed, then I picked up my boys from my parents' house. I brought them home for a few hours, and they were very well behaved. They're spending the night one more night (tonight) and then they'll probably stay here all week. Physically, I'm feeling pretty good. Mentally, I'm still pretty irritated with the swelling and drain (which is still putting out too much to get removed, but it's starting to decrease now). To give you an idea of how bad the swelling is now on Day 12 post-op (versus Day 2 post-op):
Almost no swelling on Day 2
Like a water balloon on Day 12!
My doctor and all the people on the tummy tuck message boards swear that the swelling goes away and my belly will be super flat--but looking at it here makes me feel so discouraged.  My stretch marks look worse, too, but I think that's because I took the pic myself and the camera was VERY close to my belly this time. I am happy with how my belly button is shaping up--it looks very natural and not like those perfectly round, super tiny little belly buttons that some woman have post-tummy tuck. But I've read that belly buttons change shape and size in the months post-op, too.

I was really tempted not to post pictures of the "bad" parts of the surgery, because I don't want to discourage anyone from getting it (or embarrass myself by posting the 'ugly' pics!). But I do want to have a very honest account of it all--good and bad--so that you know what you're getting into, should you get surgery. When I was researching the surgery, it was VERY hard to find any blogs that went into any kind of detail about what to expect.



My mom came over and told me my dad brought me something from Canada. As soon as she said "from Canada" I knew what it was!
These candy bars are AWESOME and we can only find them in Canada. We live pretty close to the border, so whenever one of my family members goes to Canada, they stock up and share the wealth at home :)  Each package has two bars (195 calories each bar); I'll let Jerry have one package, so this will be my dessert for the next two days. I LOVE Coffee Crisps!!

My mom said she didn't want to "tempt" me, but you can't wave a Coffee Crisp in front of me and ask me if I want it! The answer will ALWAYS be yes. So I just have to work it into my diet, like I do with everything else.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Ready to be healed

Today was a VERY frustrating day for me. My belly is really swollen today--the most swollen it's been since my surgery. I've been meticulously recording my drain output, hoping to get the last drain removed today, but it's still putting out 50-60 cc's every 24 hours. My doctor said it has to be less than 30 cc's, and then I can go get the drain removed. So now I have to wait until Monday, at the earliest.

My doctor warned me that the next couple of weeks are the worst to handle (mentally). That I would feel annoyed and depressed and regret the surgery, because I'll just want to "feel like a normal person" again. She was totally right. I don't regret the surgery at ALL, but I'm SO SICK of taking care of the stupid drain, and being afraid to even touch my incision; not being able to wear jeans because my hip bones are super sensitive, and the jeans rub my incision; having to wear big, baggy clothes; having to eat tons of protein when I don't want to; sitting in the recliner all damn day; and not being able to sleep on my stomach.

I know that this is all just temporary, but I am dying to just go back to normal. Jerry wanted to go Christmas shopping tonight, but I really don't want to go anywhere with this stupid drain. I thought I had lucked out with the swelling, because it hasn't been bad at all--but right now I realize why people complain about swelling after this surgery!

I did go to the mailbox, and was excited to find a package from Czesia! She celebrated her one-year blog anniversary with a (self-funded) giveaway. I received a "girly" package, which couldn't have arrived on a better day!
Cleverly wrapped up in a super-cute kitchen apron!

Earrings (for my blue Dr. Oz dress!), eyeshadow, soaps, aromatherapy things, a ring, and...

This flower for my hair (I forgot it was in my hair when I took the pic of all the goodies)

LOVE the ring!!
Czesia said she picked the sparrow on the ring because it represents strength--to show how strong I am! ;)  I'll take a pic of me in the apron when I'm having a better day. Right now I just feel gross. I love everything, though, and like I said--great timing for my bad day!!


Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving (and jeans)

I woke up bright and early at 4:00 AM. That is becoming the norm lately. I wish I could sleep! I just laid in bed and watched a movie on On Demand. It was actually really funny--it's called "Going the Distance" or something like that with Drew Barrymore. She usually plays such a "cute" character, so I loved how vulgar she was in this movie. I laughed out loud numerous times.

It wasn't at all fun being home alone all morning and part of the afternoon. Jerry wasn't here to wait on me like he has been after my surgery, so I had to do everything, which was actually really tiring. That is actually the biggest thing I've noticed about this surgery--it's not so much painful as it is EXHAUSTING. Just taking a shower leaves me breathless and feeling like I'm going to pass out. It's getting a little better, but I don't know how I'll ever run again if I get so tired from doing everyday things!

I went to my mom's house at 3:00 for dinner. I had one small plate of food--turkey, mashed potatoes, corn, cranberry sauce, a roll, stuffing, and sweet potato casserole (my favorite). I left a couple of bites of everything except for the sweet potatoes, which I had seconds of  ;)  In all, it was about half the amount of food that I'm used to eating, but ever since my body lift, I get full much faster. I think it's because my abdomen feels so tight that it's like wearing a tight pair of pants while eating.

So after eating the dinner, I was too full for dessert. I took a piece of pecan pie and a piece of pumpkin pie home with me for dessert later. I didn't take any leftovers home with me. The only food that is really tempting to me on Thanksgiving is the sweet potato casserole--it's loaded with butter and sugar! I probably had about 1/3 cup total though, so it shouldn't be too bad.



A couple people asked me about how my protein/carb ratio has been since surgery, because I somehow lost 9 pounds last week. I haven't been tracking my food, but I tracked it yesterday (after the fact) just to see how it breaks down. It was a "typical" post-op day, and it ended up being a little over 1,600 calories. Nutrient breakdown was like this:
Almost a perfect 40-30-30 ratio, without even trying.  Normally (meaning when I'm not just post-surgery), I probably have more like 55% carbs, 30% fat, 15% protein. I feel much better when I have higher carbs, but I'm following doctor's orders for the protein right now.



I tried on some jeans yesterday, and I was AMAZED at the difference in how they look on me!! I've always HATED how my excess skin would make my jeans look very pouched out at the front. Let me see if I can find a picture to show you what I'm talking about...
See how it sticks out in front, almost like I have a butt there?  Well now it's completely FLAT. From hip bone to hip bone. After I get this stupid drain out, I'll take a lot of pictures, including some in jeans, so you can see what I'm talking about.  For now, this one that I took myself will have to do:
Day 10 post-op

 I have one pair of "goal jeans" that I only wore once--when I was at my low of 128 pounds--so I'm dying to wear those! I tried them on pre-op and took a picture; they didn't even go up to my hips. Then I tried them on over my compression garment, and they went all the way up, but are about 1 inch from buttoning. I'm hoping once my swelling goes down, I'll be able to wear them--and look GOOD in them. When I can wear those goal jeans, I'll consider myself AT goal--no matter what the number on the scale is!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

It had me in stitches

Pun totally intended, of course.

I laughed SO HARD today while reading something on a tummy tuck message board, and good grief! I think I felt every single stitch of every muscle in my abdomen. You know how when you start laughing about something, everything else is even funnier than it normally would have been? It was awful--awesome, but awful.

Someone had started a thread where she talked about her pubic hair line was now up waaay too high after her tummy tuck, and she asked if anyone else had that problem. Someone said something like, "Good news is you have a brand new, flat tummy; bad news is, it has a vagina in it."  That started it. Then, the more I read, the more I was busting a gut (okay, I'll stop with the puns now). Then Jerry said something about it giving a whole new meaning to a "fuzzy navel" and I almost died.

I'm so grateful that I don't have that problem. It wasn't something I even thought about before surgery, so I couldn't ask my surgeon to avoid it. I'm definitely tightened up "down there", but my incision is in the perfect spot, in my opinion. I'm healing so well that I don't think there is anything I would have changed or done differently. I'm SO PLEASED with my surgeon--she's fantastic!

Speaking of healing well, I took Vicodin for the last time yesterday, and today I just took a couple of Motrin (which I probably didn't even need). I stopped the muscle relaxer too, and I had already finished the antibiotic. So I'm off the prescriptions.

I must say, I am NOT impressed with Vicodin. After my jaw surgery, I was taking oxycodone, and it was FANTASTIC. I took it for about 2 months, and then stopped cold turkey one day because Renee was going to come over for wine, and I asked my surgeon about wine + oxy (which was a big 'no'). That evening started the withdrawal symptoms, and I had to cancel with Renee. I was SO sick for about three days. It gave me a whole new understanding of people who get addicted to pain killers.

I haven't taken it since (but I can't bring myself to throw it away...)  I was hoping that the Vicodin would have the same effect on post-op pain for me, but it felt like nothing. It didn't even take away my headache! I decided to quit taking it yesterday, and I haven't felt the effects of not taking it at all. Right now, the pain is pretty minimal--just a twang here and there, and my incision is a little sore.

What drives me crazy is this feeling in my belly just below my belly button--it feels like I have a nearly-full-term baby moving around in there. (I hated that feeling when I was actually pregnant--it drove me crazy!) Another thing that is annoying is that "heebie jeebies" feeling in my belly. I imagine all the nerves are repairing, and it's causing everything to tingle--kind of like a constant state of goosebumps. I remember that happening with my jaw (which the oxy took care of!) It lasted a couple of weeks.



Jerry was playing a chicken shooting game on the Wii today, and the kids were totally fascinated, watching. Remember Duck Hunt for Nintendo? It's kind of like that, just with chickens--and better graphics. So he was playing for a while, and doing really well. The kids were super excited when he finally had a 'game over', because he was whooping about his great score. Then this happened:

"Daddy" was in SECOND place. And not just by a little, either. BAHAHAHA, I don't even remember the last time I played that game, but apparently I did very well. So Jerry was teasing me about "So THIS is what Mama does when she's at home all day!"  Jerry and both boys were in shock that I.AM.AWESOME. At shooting chickens, anyway!



I got a phone call today that made me SO HAPPY. The phone rang, and Jerry answered. He handed it to me, and I mouthed, "Who is it?" He shrugged, saying, "I don't know."  As soon as I heard her voice, I almost screamed. It was my old boss from when I worked at Curves (2003-2005). We were VERY close, and when I quit working there, we kind of lost touch. I haven't seen her in about 5 years.

She told me that one of the members (that I had signed up when I worked there) brought in the newspaper article of me, and told her about Dr. Oz. So she called me to tell me how happy she was for me and how proud she was of me. I told her that I would go in to Curves next week one day and see her.

I've thought about it time and again, going in to see her. I always think of stopping in when I drive by there, but I just felt ashamed (when I was fat) and then I kept thinking, "I'll go when I reach my goal weight"--which didn't "really" happen. Stupid reasons!  She's much older than me--I think maybe her late 50's now? But we always got along so well, and we spent a lot of time together. When Noah was born, we even referred to her as a "grandma" to Noah.

Anyways, I'm so happy that she called, and I can't wait to go in and see her. She said a lot of the same ladies are still exercising there, so I hope to see them, too.


Tomorrow, I'll be alone all morning--Jerry's going back to work, and my kids are staying at my parents' house tonight. Then my mom is going to pick me up to go have dinner at her house. I would say that I probably won't blog tomorrow, because of Thanksgiving, but I have nothing better to do--so I probably will!  Hope you all have a great Thanksgiving!  I'm not a huge turkey-dinner fan, so I actually don't even get tempted to overeat on Thanksgiving--just another day for me. Although if there is pie, I just might have a piece for dinner and piece for dessert! ;)

I almost fainted

If you're squeamish, skip this part. Just go down to the page break line.

I never really understood how the sight of something could make someone faint. I watch the needle go into my arm for blood draws, I was very conscious for the removal of my arch bars, I had no problem emptying my drains from surgery... but yesterday, it almost happened.

My incision had a thin piece of extremely sticky tape all the way around the length of it. It took me a few days to even notice it was there, because it was SO stuck to my skin. It was kind of stringy, like gauze, but as sticky as super glue. Anyway, my doctor noticed it was still there yesterday, so she told me I could pull it off when I got home.

Last night, I went into the bathroom, stripped down, and found a little piece to start working on. It took me a while to just get a small piece up, and I swear I thought my incision was going to burst open. It didn't really hurt (much) because I am still so numb, but all the spots that the tape came off was starting to sting. I kept pulling, and going over certain spots felt like I was splitting open. It was so scary!

I had Jerry do the tape over my butt, since I couldn't see it well, and I kept asking "Are you sure it's not opening?!" There were a couple of spots that show a tiny speck of blood, but other than that, it was still okay. When I really couldn't see it, but I could definitely feel it, I got extremely light headed and started getting tunnel vision. I walked to my bedroom and tried to lay across the bed so that if I did faint, I wouldn't fall and break my damn jaw again.

It felt like it took forever, but the tape was finally off (oh, and I won't even mention how badly it hurt when removing the piece that was across the top of my pubic hair--imagine waxing in slow motion).

It actually made the incision look much better though, after the tape was off:
On the left, the tape was still on (this is the incision right above my left butt cheek)--I believe this was Day 4. On the right, you can see where the tape WAS, but is no more. And how much cleaner the incision looks with the tape removed. Don't be freaked out by the bruising--that's why I didn't show you my back yet!

I was trying to explain to Jerry was the heebie-jeebies was... you know that really squeemish feeling? Yeah, looking at this stuff gives me the heebie-jeebies. Try and say that word out loud without at least smiling. You can't!


Now, onto the most important part--the REAL reason I almost fainted! Just kidding, I didn't, but it probably would have been appropriate. I'm talking about my Wednesday Weigh-In today.

Remember, how I said I was prepared for a big number, because the doc said I could gain up to 10 pounds post-op from fluid retention?  I mentally prepared myself for that, and all week long I've been RAVENOUSLY hungry. I've been eating 3 meals and at least 2-3 snacks a day, because my body is hungry all the time--I think it's just wanting extra calories to heal all the trauma that was done to it during surgery.

Well, I got on the scale and saw a number I haven't seen in... God only knows how long.






Yes, friends, that would be the 130's!!! I haven't seen the 130's since early this year, probably April? So I'm actually down 9 pounds since the morning of surgery.  The doctor said she only removed 2-3 pounds of skin, so this is quite the shock.

However, I'm going to be VERY careful about considering this weight loss "permanent" until at least 6 weeks after surgery. I learned my lesson last year after my jaw surgery, when my weight dropped to 128.

I've been eating a ton of protein, at the request of my doctor, but I make sure that I'm not eating low-carb. I definitely get in a lot of carbs and protein and fat--maybe my metabolism is just going super fast to try and repair my body after surgery. Also, I haven't been running, and my body drops weight very fast when I don't exercise--weird, I know. I'm not sure what the reasoning is behind the weight loss, but I'm VERY thrilled with it!!

Well, I might write again tonight, but I was dying to post my weigh in!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Surgical drains (and other TMI)

Ahhh, relief!  I got three of my surgical drains removed today. Unfortunately, I still have one left in for a couple more days. Some of you were asking about the drains, so I'll do a quick explanation.  After abdominal surgeries, most doctors insert a number of drains (number depends on the extent of the surgery), a tube that rests inside of your abdomen for about 6-12 inches or so, and comes through a tiny incision (held in place with a single stitch, so it doesn't slide out) and then there is a few feet of tubing that leads to a grenade-shaped bulb.

Any fluid that accumulates in your abdomen (blood, pus, saline solution that was used to irrigate during surgery, etc) goes out through the tubes and into the bulbs. It was my job to record how much fluid came out (there are measuring lines on the bulbs) and empty the bulbs by removing the little cap and squeezing them into the toilet.  I had to do this a few times a day. It's not as gross as it sounds, honest.
This is what I looked like today after my shower--wearing my compression garment, with drains coming out the top of my pants and clipped to the waist band of my pants.

The drains aren't really painful, but they are VERY annoying to lug around with me everywhere. Especially in the shower. I can get totally naked in the shower, but I have four tubes coming out of my groin and hip areas. Jerry (or my mom) has to stand there while I shower and hold the tubes so that my hands are free to wash myself.

You'll notice that the color and amount of drainage varies in each drain. That's normal. The one on my left hip hasn't drained anything since about two days after surgery.

The compression garment I have to wear is bothersome sometimes, but it actually feels good to have everything feel like it's being held together. Sometimes I worry that one little sneeze or cough will make my whole incision pop open. Or it'll make this new "girdle" of skin pop open and my stomach will look like what it used to (not that it's possible for that to happen).

Even with the compression garment off, it feels like I'm wearing some sort of girdle. Everything feels so tight and compressed.  I have to wear the compression garment 24/7 for at least 6 weeks. To give you an idea of how tight it's supposed to fit...
Yes, Dilaudid was flowing through my veins, thankyouverymuch
This was a few hours after surgery, so I look like I was busting out the seams of the garment. Now it is definitely looser, and my surgeon actually had me order a size small (this one is a medium) to wear since the swelling is going down. 

The point of wearing the compression garment is to help the skin adhere back to the muscle wall and keep it in shape, which can take 5-6 weeks. Like I said, I like it because it holds everything together. When I'm really swollen, it can be hard to take a deep breath though, because it is so constricting!  My abdomen feels SO WEIRD all the time--it's completely numb, but when I press on it, I can see the fluid retention underneath, so it looks "puffy". The doctor said this is normal until the skin adheres back to the muscle.

As far as dressings for the incision go, it totally depends on the surgeon. My surgeon didn't have me use any dressings, which was FANTASTIC. There weren't any stitches on the surface skin--she used internal stitches that my body will absorb, and then she used some sort of glue for the surface. I didn't have any dressing to change, I just have to wear the compression garment at all times (except showering). I actually haven't had any problems at all with the incision (thank goodness!) and it's healing really well. I've been following my surgeon's instructions to the letter for everything, and it's definitely working.


So about the drain removal...

I was terrified. I've read from some sources that it doesn't hurt and just feels "weird" but from other sources that it was excruciating. For the past couple of days, my hips have been hurting, and I think it was from the drains in my hips. They passed right over the bone, which was a very weird feeling and very achy.

Anyway, my appointment was a 3:15, and Jerry drove me. It was about 40 minutes away, which is much closer than the hospital or the Detroit clinic. They had me undress from the waist down, including my compression garment. It was so uncomfortable while waiting for the doctor to come in--I hated sitting there without the garment on, because it felt very tight and weird.

When the doctor came in, she said, "Let's remove some drains!" and I was so excited that she was going to remove all four of them. She looked over the record of the drainage output, and decided to leave one drain in (my left groin) until it puts out less than 30 cc's in a 24 hour period. She said probably Thursday or Friday.

She did my most annoying drain first, my left hip. I was the most nervous for this one, because my hip bones have been so touchy--just weird feeling--lately. She told me to take a deep breath and then blow out hard. While I was exhaling, she pulled it out. Honestly, it didn't hurt at all--just felt VERY VERY strange. Next, she took out the one in my right hip, and same thing--very strange, but no pain. Then she did my right groin, which was the weirdest one of all, because it was SO LONG. I exhaled and it was still coming out, so I took another breath and exhaled again. Finally it was over. I felt so relieved after that!

She checked out my incision all the way around and said it's healing just as expected, so that's good. She told me two more days of lying down or standing (no sitting up). She also cleared me for exercise! She said I can even run if I feel like running--just for the record, I DON'T. She just said no ab-work for a couple more weeks. I've never done ab-work in my life, because there was no real reason to. She said I can sleep on my stomach, if I'm comfortable--hopefully that will cure my insomnia! I hate sleeping any way other than on my stomach. She again stressed the importance of eating a lot of protein for at least the next 5 weeks.

I came home and had a pumpkin brownie that I baked earlier--NOT from scratch ;)



So Robin, one of my readers (she doesn't have a website to link to, otherwise I would), is a graphic designer, and she very generously offered to make me a blog title banner for my page. I sent her a bunch of pictures, and she sent me 3 different banners to choose from. So if you visit my blog, you'll see that I have a new look up top :)  I think it turned out GREAT.  Can you tell I'm getting bored with all this time on my hands?!


Monday, November 21, 2011

I need thicker skin

I feel so fortunate to have such amazing readers that are so positive. I'm such a sensitive person, and I don't handle criticism very well. That is one of the reasons I don't advertise my blog--I'm afraid that if I have too many readers, some of them will start to be critical or I'll have people leave me critical comments. It's a fear I really need to get over. I can be myself on my blog, and I think I just fear that if people criticize, it means they don't like ME.

Today, I noticed that my pumpkin brownie recipe was posted on the Dr. Oz Show website. It's not even a "real" recipe, just something I throw together sometimes--a box of brownie mix + a can of pumpkin + a couple tablespoons of peanut butter swirled on top. It gives me a chocolate-peanut butter fix with a little extra fiber from the pumpkin. (Oh, and FYI-- the food stylist added the lemon zest completely on her own--I would never add lemon zest to my brownies!)

When I told the producers about the brownies, they loved that idea and wanted to use that on the show. A food stylist made them and they looked amazing. I talked about them for a minute on the show (which was cut out). I also talked about how you don't have to eat healthy food 100% of the time in order to lose weight. That I ate healthy all day long, but always allowed for an indulgent (read: junky) dessert at night. I managed to lose 125 pounds doing this, and never thought anything of it.
These were my brownies and wine part of the show that was cut

So today, when I read the comments that were posted on the recipe on the website, a lot of people were critical about it being a boxed brownie mix and not from scratch--and that brownies from scratch are so much healthier. I get that--I totally understand that we should avoid processed foods--but those people have no clue all the other sacrifices I made to get healthy. I used to eat ice cream by the half-gallon, M&M's by the one-pound bag... so it was hard to read people being critical of my making a healthier version of a boxed brownie mix.

I think the producers liked the idea because it was so simple--not everyone wants to make brownies from scratch! People like simplicity, and this was an easy way to make a healthier brownie. NOT a "healthy" brownie... but a "healthier" one.

I could NEVER be a celebrity--I don't have thick enough skin for it! I couldn't imagine how hard it would be to read things in tabloids about myself. I feel bad for the celebrities that have to deal with it all the time. They must have very thick skin!

If I may ask, PLEASE don't try and defend me (or even mention me) in the comments on the recipe page--Jerry wanted to so badly when he saw that I was crying while reading them. It would just make me feel worse. I wrote one comment, and left it at that. I'm just not going to read any more of the comments about it!


I'm really starting to feel soooo lazy. My legs are aching to run, and I can almost feel the muscles turning to Jello. I'm going to give it the full six weeks recovery, but I think I'll ask the doctor if I can at least walk slowly on the dreadmill every day. Then I won't feel like I'm doing NOTHING.

I'm going to post a weigh-in on Wednesday. My doctor said that I shouldn't even look at the scale for weeks after surgery because I'll be so swollen, but I am expecting that, so it's okay to see the number. I haven't been bingeing, and I've been focusing on eating tons of protein to heal as fast as possible. I'm not in any rush to lose weight, so it is what it is.

I actually feel like I could be happy at the weight I've been maintaining for over a year--145ish. Now that my belly skin is gone, my clothes will fit so much better. I don't feel any pressure to reach a certain number (because of the People magazine goal being non-existant now). My sole focus is going to be on eating "normally", exercising for health and fitness, and setting some other goals.

Since my 30th birthday is in January, I am going to compile a list of small goals to accomplish in my 30th year--30 goals, of course.  I used to have a 30x30 list (30 goals to accomplish before I turned 30) and I actually DID accomplish all the major ones. The others seemed unimportant, so I stopped marking them off. I'm going to pick 30 simple and meaningful goals for my 30th year.


For those of you that were asking about whether my Dr. Oz segment was going to be available online, it is! I posted the links here.





The Dr. Oz Show is online!

One of my readers just pointed out that my episode of The Dr. Oz Show is online!  My segment is split into two parts, so obviously you want to watch them in order.

Katie on Dr. Oz Show "part 2"  (Watch this first, and I come in on the end of this clip at 2:53).
Katie on Dr. Oz Show "part 3"  (Watch this second, and my part finishes up in the beginning).

So glad that if you missed it, you can still see it!  Make sure to watch Jennie's story too (she's part 1 and 2)--she's AMAZING and I feel so happy to have met her at the show!

If you haven't read about my experience in NYC for the taping of the show, you can read that here and here.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Lower body lift, post-op day 7 progress

I can't believe I'm already on Day 7 following my lower body lift surgery. Surprisingly, the week has flown by for me. I haven't been able to do much, but I've been recovering really well. And having my Dr. Oz Show air on Friday definitely took my mind off the surgery for a little bit.  For those of you that haven't seen the Nov. 18th episode that I was on, I still don't know whether I'll be able to post it to my blog. I'm hoping that the show posts it on the website or something!
Yep, I'm much prettier on TV! lol

I took a new progress photo of my belly today--it doesn't look much different than the last comparison pic, though. I still feel swollen and my stomach protrudes a little because of the swelling. The incision is healing really well, and my drains aren't draining much any more--which is good, because I'll probably get them removed at my post-op appointment on Tuesday. Here is the comparison pic--last Sunday vs. today:
My belly button is still very scabby, but I don't want to pull the scabs off. It looks like it hurts, but it doesn't. Actually, the weird thing about this surgery (that I wasn't expecting) is the numbness! My whole abdomen and lower back are completely numb. It's a very weird feeling when I touch it.

Before lower body lift
Day 7 after lower body lift
My belly button is starting to look more centered, thankfully. However, I read about off-centered belly buttons after tummy tucks, and it's very common--but not necessarily a fault of the surgeon. Your belly button "stalk" stays in the same place, but the surgeon makes an incision around it and then pulls the belly skin down around the stalk, and makes a new hole to sew to the stalk (hard to explain).

So if your belly button isn't centered before surgery, it's not going to be centered after surgery unless you request extra work to center it. Hard to explain, but chances are, my belly button was off center prior to surgery, and it will remain a little off-center. I don't think it looks too bad though, and I'm not going to be showing my belly off--too many stretch marks remain to wear a bikini!

Something that I really didn't think I would care much about before surgery was my butt lift (part of the lower body lift). My butt was just never something I really complained about, even though I knew it was very jiggly from the loose skin. I'm so shocked at how much perkier my butt is now! When I walk, I can actually put my hand there and feel my glutes really well--my butt feels firm for the first time ever.  I might post a comparison of that (in undies, of course!) soon, but I'm not brave enough yet.

I'm so excited to try on my jeans after I get these drains out! I used to have to tuck my skin into my jeans, so I hope that they go on much easier now.

I think my biggest complaint right now is how much my throat hurts. I don't think it's related to the surgery itself, because it was fine for a couple of days post-op. But I have that horrible lump in my throat and it's sooo hard to swallow or think of anything else. I've also had a headache on and off, which I discovered can be a little relieved with a cup of caffeinated tea. I hope I'm not getting sick, but those are the only bothersome symptoms I have.

Right now, I'm totally looking forward to my post-op appointment with my surgeon on Tuesday to (hopefully) get these drains removed!  I'll take more pictures then too.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A trip to the ER

Thank you for all the kind things you had to say about the show yesterday! I am so glad that I can finally talk about it now... not that there is anything left to say, with my four blog posts yesterday!

Last night I noticed that my left hip was hurting a little bit more than usual. There is a drain there that hasn't had any drainage since the day after my surgery. I poked around a little, and felt a hard lump. I immediately started thinking of all the bad things it could be-- hematoma, seroma. I was very careful with how I slept last night to avoid any trauma to it.

This morning, when I was taking a shower, I noticed that it's definitely a noticeable lump. I pressed on it and it felt really hard, so I didn't think it was just normal swelling. I showed my mom, and she was worried that the drain tube was blocked, and all the fluid was just collecting in there. I called my doctor (who is away) and one of the residents who works with her called me back. She asked me about all the usual signs of infection, and I had no other symptoms. She said for peace of mind (if nothing else), I could go to the nearest emergency room and have it looked at.

I debated whether to go, and finally decided I would rather be safe than sorry. So my mom drove me to the ER, and I was seen right away. The first person to check it out (a nurse practitioner) seemed completely undisturbed, but he got a doctor to come look. The doctor was pressing around, and I pointed out the spot. I said, "It's a hard lump right here. It's hard enough that it feels like my hip bone."

The doctor said, "Katie, that IS your hip bone."

Cue stupidity.  It gave me deja vu from when I went to my gynecologist and during the breast exam, I told her I had a lump--she felt it and laughed and said it was my rib!  I just didn't know what a rib felt like, because I was always fat.

Now, I've certainly gotten used to my hip bones since losing the weight, but only by feel--when I looked in the mirror, I just saw skin hanging over them. So my seroma or hemotoma--whatever--just turned out to be my hip bone. It's slightly more swollen on one side than the other, but nothing unusual.

That was a waste of time. Thankfully I have a lot of time on my hands right now (four posts yesterday, Katie? Really?)

When the mail came today, I was SO shocked and excited and touched--I got an amazing care package from Stacey at Runs for Red Velvet.  She had asked me for my mailing address because she was addressing Christmas cards--very sneaky! There were all kinds of goodies in there:
Sorry for the really bad picture--I still can't stand up straight and I was hunched over trying to arrange everything.  There were lots of high protein snacks, tea, super soft socks, emery boards, a running book, Hershey's kisses, word puzzles, all kinds of good stuff! The neck pillow was perfect, because I've been sleeping in the recliner with a towel rolled up and wrapped around my neck.

I originally met Stacey on Sparkpeople, and she is one of the first people I started conversing with. Hopefully we'll meet in real life someday, too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

My thoughts on the show

Sorry to bombard you with posts today! So much stuff going on. I just wanted to comment on a few things and post the pictures that the producer sent me as soon as the show aired.

I never said I didn't like NYC!  I barely saw the city because I was so busy. The only encounters I had with people were the taxi drivers (who were extremely rude if they didn't want to drive where you wanted to go) and the people at the restaurant when I ordered food. I guess I didn't mean everyone was rude, I just meant that I'm from a super small town where everybody waves hello to each other on the street and people know who you are when you say your last name and where you graduated high school from. My experience with NYC was--well, the total opposite of that! I would definitely like to go back some day when I have more time!

The producers did NOT make me say anything I didn't feel comfortable with. They interviewed me a LOT through the week, and took little tidbits of things I said and wrote the show. They just had me repeat the things they wanted me to mention. In fact, there was one thing they asked me to read in that little narrative that wasn't true, so I pointed it out and they changed it--no questions asked. They kept saying that there are no right or wrong answers--I'm just telling my story. The producers were fantastic!

I'm definitely bummed that a lot of the show was edited out, but if they left everything in, the show would be two hours long. It wasn't just MY part that was edited--Jennie had some stuff that was cut too.  I was so completely amazed at how much WORK the producers do for each show. To top it off, as soon as the show aired, Ali e-mailed me the pictures from the show... I was excited that I didn't have to wait forever to get them.

Yes, the red dresses were ugly. I'm glad I made the choice I did to wear the dress I brought with me. The producers agreed that the blue dress was more flattering and said it was my choice--thankfully! They had the idea to add the little black belt and the necklace, which I liked. The Lucky stylist chose the shoes--wish I could have kept them!

I felt guilty that Dr. Oz said I was 125 pounds lighter--because I'm only 110 pounds lighter today. I was completely honest with the producers, but it must have gotten confusing along the way. I just don't want anyone to think I was lying and still claiming to be 128 pounds!

Anyway, here are my "after" photos--after 25 months in the making :)


I think this is my FAVORITE :)





My appearance on The Dr. Oz Show, Day 2 (of 2)

I woke up at 5:00 am. There was no chance of me going back to sleep, thinking of the day ahead of me, so I took a shower and dried my hair. Put on my jeans and a sweatshirt. I got a text at 7:10 saying that the driver was on location to take me to the studio. I didn't have to be there until 8, but I was already ready, so I just went down anyway.

I had the same driver that picked me up from the airport. He was surprised that I was ready so early. When I got to the studio, there was someone waiting for the guests, and he took us upstairs. I saw Margaret and Ali, and they showed me my dressing room.
I drank a bottle of water immediately, because I was super thirsty. I'm used to drinking tons of water, but I was afraid to drink the bottles that were in the hotel room--I figured they'd charge me $10 a bottle or something! ;)  There were bran muffins, fruit skewers, and almonds too. But I didn't eat anything. I was too nervous to eat, and I really didn't want to have to go to the bathroom after eating all that fiber, lol.

I was sharing this dressing room with Jennie, who was in the same segment of the show as me. She appears just before me on the show. She's lost 300 pounds!! And she did it all by diet and exercise. We were swapping recipes and tips in the dressing room. Her daughters came with her too.  Our dressing room was right across from this:

The Jimmy Fallon show! There were a lot of people bustling in and out of there, and I kept hearing music. I think they were recording music for the show or something.

Someone from the Dr. Oz Show came in and had me sign a waiver and also gave me a $60 stipend for food and/or parking expenses. I wish I'd have known they would do that when I got my dinner last night! I would have chosen something much more indulgent ;)

Margaret insisted that I take out my nose piercing :(  She also wanted to shorten the length of my dress, which I was fine with (as long as it would still allow me to wear Spanx!). I went into the wardrobe room and a woman had me try on my dress, then she used some sort of tape to hem it shorter. I was wearing Spanx underneath, which came down almost to the bottom of my dress, so I was worried the Spanx would show when I sat down on stage to talk to Dr. Oz. Margaret saw it after it was hemmed and STILL wanted to go even shorter, but when I showed her how short it got when I sat, she agreed to let it be. I'm not a prude, I swear! I just didn't want my Spanx sticking out.

Next began what would be my FAVORITE part of the day. The show brought in a celebrity hair-stylist and make-up artist (and their assistants) to fix us up! Normally the show doesn't do the hair and make-up stuff, but this show included a couple of make-overs, so they had all of us get done up.

I don't watch the show What Not to Wear, but I learned that my hairstylist is a stylist on that show! His name is Ted Gibson. I didn't learn just who he was until after I did my part on the show. He was SO NICE and I absolutely loved what he did with my hair. He cut some more layers into it and blew it out straight. Then he used a curling iron to add some big curls.

Meanwhile, I got my make-up done as well by the sweetest man--and dammit, I forget his name!  I was in shock at how great my skin looked when he was done. He kept fussing to make sure everything was perfect, and he remained so calm, even though Margaret was telling them that we needed to be done NOW.  I wanted to take him home with me!


I loved the hair and make-up! I was a little concerned about how RED my lipstick was, but I figured that he knew better than me, so I might as well just go with it. I quickly put my dress back on and then Margaret hurried us to the stage for a quick rehearsal.

I was amazed by the audience! They were having so much fun, and I wanted to be in the audience as soon as I saw them. There was a comedian there, and loud music playing, and everyone was singing and dancing. They saw us come out for rehearsal, but didn't really watch us. Jennie and I had to practice stepping through a huge zero... this was the 400th show, and they had the numerals up on stage and that is how we would make our appearance.

It was so hard to do! My shoes were a little too big, so they wanted to slide on and off. The (stage director?) told me to go slowly and NOT touch the side of the 0 while I stepped through. It included going up a step, over the bottom of the 0 and onto another step, then down to the floor. I felt like it took me forever to step through!

After that, we waited backstage with a bunch of the (stage crew? not sure what the technical names of these positions are!)  We got to watch a TV that was basically like watching the show live. Jennie's story was first, and I almost cried watching her photos and narrative. I had to turn away when they revealed her surprise phone call from Dr. Oz about her teeth. Then she walked out on the stage and did an AMAZING job--she was funny, she looked natural, she had great answers.

I was just thinking, "How the hell am I supposed to follow THAT story?!"

Then, as I was sitting there, I heard my voice--loud. I saw that they were playing my photos and narrative, and I just cringed. I felt like I sounded horrible. Then it was my turn to walk out. The stage director man walked with me toward the 0, and told me to go slow and easy, stop at my mark, wave and smile, then watch for a the signal to go to Dr. Oz.  I stepped through the 0, trembling something fierce, and walked to my spot. I smiled and waved, feeling a little silly, then walked to Dr. Oz and gave him a hug.


I don't remember the first few things he said as we sat down, but then I made sure to listen really well in case he asked me something that I didn't prepare for. I couldn't.stop.trembling.  It was driving me crazy! You know how your body shakes when you try to hold a certain pose (like holding plank!) Well, I was shaking like that, and I couldn't control it. I hope it wasn't visible on TV!

I answered a few questions in the chairs, then we walked over to the food props. I talked about breakfast and I wasn't too thrilled with the way my "No Bake Cookie Oatmeal" looked, but I hope I sounded okay there.  Then I walked to the dessert table, where I saw my pumpkin brownies with peanut butter swirled on top. They looked fantastic! I was surprised to see red wine there, because I thought that had been cut from the show. I wasn't prepared to talk about it! I just said that I love wine, especially red wine, and I like to have it with chocolate sometimes (or something like that!)

After that, Dr. Oz mentioned my "before" picture with him, and asked if I would like to take an "after" pic with him as well. I said "Absolutely!" and we posed on stage for a photographer. And then it was over! The stage director waved me off, and I stood by watching the rest of the segment when they surprised a mother and daughter with make-overs by the team that did my hair and make-up.

I went back to my dressing room and watched some of the show, but mostly chatted with Jennie. I made sure to grab my make-up artist and hair stylist to tell them thank you, and I got a picture with each of them:
My make-up artist

My hair stylist

I changed into the clothes I wore the day before, because I didn't want to wear my dress home. And I had to give the heels back to the stylist. My driver arrived (a different man this time, who didn't speak more than a couple of words to me). He drove me to the airport (it was about12:30, my flight was at 3:00). My plan was to go through security and then find a bar restaurant that I could sit and have a big lunch (I was starving at this point) and a glass or two of wine. Well, La Guardia sucks! All the sit-down restaurants (and alcohol!) was BEFORE security.

So once I got past security, my options were a couple of shops that sold tons of baked goods and Au Bon Pain. I got a turkey sandwich from Au Bon Pain and a little container of chocolate covered almonds (to have on the plane). The sandwich was super dry and gross, but I ate about 3/4 of it because I was so hungry.

The plane was just a little bigger than the last one--four seats per row this time--but there were only 15 people total on the flight!! I was seated in an aisle (which I hate--I must be by a window to avoid sheer panic) next to a woman. I asked the flight attendant if I could move up a row, and it was fine. Everyone on the plane got their own row!

I paid $7 for a glass of cheap pinot grigio on the plane, but I totally needed that. I ate all of my almonds, and enjoyed every bite.  Flight was a little bumpy, but it didn't bother me after the wine.  Got into Detroit and rushed to get out of the airport and to my parents' house to pick up my boys. They gave me flowers :)

It was SUCH an amazing experience, and I'm so happy that I got to do it!!

I e-mailed Margaret and Ali to find out when I will get the "after" photos of me with Dr. Oz (as well as a DVD of the show) and they said they will mail them out as soon as the show airs. So I'll post them when I get them!


I just watched the show, and a LOT of it was edited--not just from me, but from Jennie as well. Bummer! Did you see the brownies and wine in the background at least?!  lol