Friday, October 31, 2008

Happy Halloween!

I have some of the best coworkers...honestly. They're such an awesome and fun group of people. A few of us dressed up today for the holiday...I'm a Fire Goddess.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Getting To Know Me

On one of the boards I participate, someone posted a "getting acquainted" thread. And I replied...with more info than I typically do. I figured maybe this would be a good place to re-post some of my information for people know where I've come from and where I'm at these days.

My full name is Amy and I am 40 years old. I was born in New York City. My parents were from Texas (dad) and Oklahoma (mom). Most of my extended family that I knew growing up still live in those states. I have one sibling, a brother, who is 2.5 years older than me.

I was married many years ago, and subsequently divorced, from a drug addict. I cohabitated, planned to marry, and was in the process of buying a home with my son's father...just to clarify, he is not my ex-husband; we were never married. Instead, we split up when I was 17 weeks (4.5 months) pregnant. Our son will be 8 in January and I have sole legal and physical custody of him.

After graduating high school, I began working full-time at NYU Law School both to earn money and tuitiion benefits. I attended nursing school at NYU, and eventually at Norwalk Community-Technical College, but never finished nor got my degree or RN. These days, I do not do anything even remotely related to the medical field for my work (or the work I've done for the past 9 years). I worked at NYU Law School, and then in their Graduate Housing Office, until November 14, 1988.

Something few people who aren't that close to me know is that I started out self-injuring at the age of 8. I spent most of my teen years trying to die or mutilate myself in some fashion. At age 16, I was thoroughly convinced I would end up dead or committed to an institution by the time I was 25. My father died on August 31, 1988. I hadn't seen him in over 4 years when he died as a result of his Multiple Sclerosis.

When my father died, I suffered a depressive breakdown. I was 20 years old. That resulted in a 6 month "short-term" hospitalization, which led to a longer-term hospitalization in a psychiatric research hospital (voluntarily). Total of almost 2 years. It will be 20 years ago on November 14th that I was first hospitalized for that. It was one of the hardest times in my life...but also the first time in my life I was allowed to start caring about myself first and not everyone else. It wasn't selfish to have my own feelings. It was a rare opportunity to get on the road to loving and learning to take care of myself. I know I would not be alive if not for that opportunity.

I can be somewhat of a hard ass with least until they get a piece of my heart. Once that happens, well, I'm a complete and utter mushpot. I wear my heart on my sleeve. I have dreams of being a childrens' advocate someday, and trained to be a facilitator for Parents Anonymous when I lived in CT many years ago.

My favorite color is periwinkle blue, and my favorite flowers are blue bearded iris. I love classic rock, folk, classical guitar (and classical in general), blues, R&B, well, just about any kind of music except for rap. Not a huge fan of country and western, but there are a few songs here and there that I really like.

I have no tattoos, but I've contemplated getting one of an iris and butterfly. I am a serious cookie monster...when it comes to homemade cookies, I have zero self-control. So when I bake, we tend to package the bulk of the cookies up and ship them off to anyone who will take and hopefully enjoy them. And I also bring a lot of them in to my coworkers...they're always eager to devour them.

I am currently a software configuration/release engineer. It's a new role for me after being a software quality assurance engineer for the past 8 years or so. Some days, I really enjoy my job and some days, well, it's a rat race.

I currently live in northeastern MA (known as the "North Shore") next to Salem, MA (yes, the Witch City). Rich with history and I love it here. It's the first place I've lived that really felt like I belonged.

I had weight loss surgery (laprascopic RNY) almost 16 months ago, and I've lost 135 lbs. between the cardiac risk reduction program I participated in and my gastric bypass surgery (July 9, 2007). I'm currently maintaining my goal weight of 120 lbs. I pursued gastric bypass surgery because I was afraid I would die before I had raised my son. This is a comparison of my "then" photos, and my now photos. No wonder when I would lay down at night I felt like I was being strangled/choked. I had so much fat around my neck.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Week In Review

It's been kind of a wild ride this week. Zachary and I baked cookies last weekend. Aren't they beautiful? He did such a fantastic job decorating them.

I love to bake/cook, and so does Zachary. The problem for me, however, is that I don't have any self-control when it comes to homemade cookies. When we bake that means the "profits" need to be given away as quickly as possible. But, as is typically the case, I didn't get rid of enough of them or get rid of them quickly enough. I ate way too many cookies...the evil little things that they are. I had the joy of experiencing a lovely dumping episode on Monday evening that, once resolved, I felt good for abut half an hour before the predictable sugar crash ensued. The sugar crash post-dumping is almost as bad as dumping itself for me. Did I learn? Not exactly. Last night, we had a ladies night out/clothing swap. There were so many really yummy things there, and I made the mistake of trying them...which meant I liked them...which meant I ate them...more than in moderation...and so I spent a good hour and a half at the party quietly wanting to die because I felt so queasy. And then, on the tail end of the ride home the sugar crash set in.

I spent some time last night thinking "tomorrow, I'm doing protein shakes only to get myself back on track." And then this morning I thought "how is that healthy? You screwed up. Just STOP doing what you're doing and start eating as you should. JUST DO IT." So, that's where I am this morning. It really is hard sometimes to halt that internal voice that wants me to resort to diet mentality. I know that I'm not going to perfect every day, every week, for the rest of my life...I have to learn how to rebound from this crap without chastising myself endlessly OR making excuses for continuing to be lax. Sometimes I think "cripes, I've only been at goal for 2 months...I've got the whole rest of my life that I will do battle with this back and forth crap." I can't think in those terms...because although they're accurate, that's just too big of a chunk of time to manage in my mind. I don't know...maybe I'm just babbling right now.

Yesterday Zachary and I went on a really nice hike with one of my coworkers/friends and his son and some friends of theirs. Zachary had so much fun having two other little boys to keep up with. I certainly enjoyed the beautiful day, the physical activity and the ability to actually manage a hike after so much time where I couldn't. This is us at the summit of Wachusett Mountain. It was really such a beautiful day.