Thursday, October 20, 2011

Life Is Amazing

My heart is incredibly full as I write this.  I am so very thankful for the Gospel in my life, and for the wonderful man who has become so very important to me.

Let me fill you in a little more.....
Concerning the Gospel, without going into it too much, I very very recently almost lost the church in my life completely.  I was scared and petrified of it happening, and could already find myself lashing out because of it.  But last night I recieved an incredible blessing, and am SO thankful, and SO blessed now.
(sorry for the vagueness)

Concerning the guy in my life.....
As you may have seen from last post, I have a "new" fella.  Its been a little over 2 weeks now, and its been wonderful.
We went to the local fair with his family last weekend, and I haven't had that much fun in FOR-EVER.
We got wristbands so that we could ride every ride as many times as we wanted.

The FIRST ride we went on was the one where you raise up way high, and then it DROPS you!
WHOOO!!  I'm not kidding, I was like a kid in a candy store.  I was giddy, and you could not wipe the goofy grin off my face.

On the Ferris Wheel (of looove)

Portrait/Drawing thing we had done.  (picture photoshopped into a drawing)

The "In-Laws"    The coolest couple around!!

On Pole-Position.  We made the car spin like crazy cuz it was soo full!

On Freak-Out.  I LOVE my hair!!

His Sis N Law took these while riding The Pirate.  My hair is sooo funny!


We git to ride twice in a row cuz there wasn't a line.

We had such a blast, I wish we could go every weekend!
Before we got to the fair, we all went to a chinese restaurant for lunch, and we got some very interesting fortunes........
The top was His, the bottom mine.....
Whatever "it" is....will be on Jan 15th! 

Now for some dressy pics...

LOVE this picture!

Like I said, life is good.  I have a wonderful man who loves me, and I love him right back!
I have the blessings of the Atonement in my life, and my beautiful family, both furry and human.
My beagle Ginger had to go in for surgery again today on her knee.  The implant wasn't taking, and the screws were pulling out of the bone.  Hopefully this sticks. 
Ok, Goodnight!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

100 lbs down BABY!!!!

100 POUNDS DOWN!!!!!

Here is a visual for you!  (DEEESGUSTING!)  *shudders*

I hit 100 lbs 2 days ago!! 
I am now actually at -102!!
I am 205 lbs, and soooo close ton ONE-der-land!

I have been rocking a size 16 pant, that makes the booty look great, even though I'm not in ALL 16's.
My foot has not bothered me in a looong time.  I still can't get over this concept!
My back actually bothers me more then my feet do!
I still tape my foot every day to provide arch support (I can't go without it, I've tried), but compared to a year ago, its night and day!!

I was looking through my scrapbook pages last night with my fella (more about him in a minute!!)
and I was SHOCKED at how much smaller I am now than I was in EVERY SINGLE ONE of those pictures!   I am smaller now - by a lot - than when I first got married in 2003.
I am about the size I was my sophomore year in high school.
This boggles my mind, as I used to look at my wedding pics, or my senior pics, and long for those "skinny" days to be back. 

Ok, so, I took some pictures of my 100 lb loss, and I wore a dress that I'd taken pictures of when I'd lost here is the comparison. 


-70 lbs, May 12th                                                                -100 lbs, October 9th
-70 lbs, May 12th                                                                  -100 lbs, October 9th
-70 lbs, May 12th                                                           -100 lbs, October 9th 
-70 lbs, May 12th                                                         -100 lbs, October 9th

This is just amazing to me.  I'm comparing for the first time, just now, and its insane.  Look at the difference in my legs! And my waist!  Goodness.....
Ok, here's a few of the pics from the past to compare to now......

Feb 2003       Size 20 dress                                                Oct 2011, size 16/18

Senior Portrait 2000                                                                Last Week on to my love life.  Heeeee....   <3
I can't BELIEVE how much has changed in less than a week!
I went out with the guy from Denny's for a couple days.  He was very sweet, and we got along great, but I decided it'd be best for us to part ways.  We're still friends.

The guy that paid for my meal at Denny's, and then came to my work to ask me out and I are now dating.   It was kind of subtle at first, and now it's just amazing.
Because I was with the other guy, he and I just texted to get to know each other and became friends.
I was amazed at how it felt like I'd known him for years.
He's pretty shy (in person), so he could open up over text more.
We got to have lunch together once, and apparently I didn't scare him off with talk of all my animals and my dream of opening up an animal rescue.  In fact, he liked me all the more for it.

Then, he went to a little concert at a bar/restaurant of a 70's/80's cover band with his brother, sis in law, and friends, and invited me to come join them after work.
We were still in the friend phase, and just enjoyed each other's company.
But there was a very nice moment when we went on the porch and talked.  And something really just clicked. 
We went to church the next day, still as friends, and it started to feel like "ok, time to make it official, there's something there...."

After I'd ended things with the 1st guy, we discussed being a couple, and both thought it was a good idea.  Since then, it's just been moment upon moment of greatness.
He helped me study for Pharmacology, we went to lunch, we went to the movies, I met his parents, I showed him all my scrapbooks, we went to a church activity (we played Disney Scene It! with the singles, and he's as good as I am at it!!)

Photo Booth in the Mall


He's such a good guy.  He's so gentle, and is such a gentleman.  He listens to KLOVE (a Christian station that I love), and has such a strong testimony in the Gospel.
Oh, and do you see his eyes??   I told him he had very pretty eyes, and he told his brother and sister in law and was like "FINALLY!!"
I was shocked, and he said they'd JUST been talking about that, and they'd asked if I'd said anything about them, and were surprised I hadn't, because that's the first thing EVERYBODY says.   LOL
They're like ice blue, mile long eyelashes, and just stare into your soul.  Just dazzling. 


Anyways, I'm really really happy.   It's been kind of fast, but if y'all know me, you know I'm kind of impulsive.  We've got very similar goals, and we're both cautious in our relationships so we don't get hurt again, so we'll take it day by day and see where it goes.
In the mean time, I'll be smiling!!

Down 100 pounds AND a boyfriend all in the same week!  SCORE!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

GUYS Guys guys..... My Favorie Subject!!

Did I mention I was single??  Cuz yeah, I am.  And....I'm "skinny" for the first time since high school.  I actually weigh less now than I did my senior year.  Booyah!
And I'm sorry, when your butt looks like this.....ya gotta flaunt it!!!

LOL....anyways.  I have been dating.  And it has been fun.  The first guy, was just talking, and it was while I was still married technically, and he just became a tird and stopped talking to me, so....moving on to other things. 
Next guy....I'm still not sure what I saw in him, other than attention. 
Casual was the word to describe it.  Occasionally fun.  Still, there was an undeniable spark, and its still tough to see him without feeling silly.
Third guy.....
I met a guy online.  He was really really sweet.  Lived in Austin, and LDS.  We talked a lot.  Went through scenarios of how life would be "if and when" we were married.
We'd planned out our first date, and were trying to set a time good for both of us.
He has 2 kids, and a lot of baggage emotionally, but I was still on board....
Until he stopped talking to me.
SERIOUSLY?!?!?!  Come on guys, buck up and just break up with me, don't just be silent!  GRRRR

And now for the fun part!!  A real live LDS BOY!!!!
Ok, I should back up a few steps.....
Yesterday I had a strong heart to heart with God.  I was clinging on to guy #2 and 3 just because they were there.  Guy 2 was purely a physical being, and it was just leading down a dangerous path....
So I gave it to God.  I asked for patience.  To help me stop SEARCHING for guys, and just be able to be calm, and wait. 
Wow..  all I can say is wow.  He answered my prayer a few hours later.

I went to my church's scripture study for the singles, and I started talking to a few guys.  Normally I don't think anything about this.  Just making friends.  We all went out for a bite afterward, and had a blast.  One of the guys I was talking to sat by me and we talked one on one a lot, and touched knees and little giddy stuff like that.
Another guy was super sweet and paid for my meal (scrambled eggs and cheese!!).
The guy who sat beside me (guy #4) hung out in the parking lot afterwards, and we talked for like an hour.
About anything and everything. 
About temple marriages, about sin and forgiveness, about my weight loss surgery, about what we like and dislike in relationships...
He asked at first, "so when are we gonna go out?" and I said,...."um, when you ask me?"
So we set up a date.  Then talked.

I thought that was the end of the night when he said he had to go get to bed. 
We texted a few times, and had a few sweet comments back and forth.
He decided to come over, and we hung out a few hours more.  :)
We shared some nice kisses, and cuddles.  We played Uno a few dozen times, and he totally kicked my butt.  It was a really really surprising end to the day, and a sweet first date.
God truly immediately blessed me when I gave up my guy #2 "addiction" and he gave me a good LDS boy.  :)

OK, you ready for it??
When I went into work today, the guy who paid for my meal was there, and asked me out.

Unfortunately, it was for the same night I already had a date.

So, what do I do?  Do I date both?  Do I become exclusive with someone I've had one date with?
I'm a month+ out from my divorce....I wanna shop around, but I also don't wanna hurt anyone.
So, I told my current guy about potential guy, and vice versa....
And with their reactions, and some thought, I came to the conclusion, that I need to see where this thing with Guy #4 leads.

I'd asked him what church was gonna be like this Sunday, and he said that we would sit by each other, and people would talk, and then he'd be like "what?  we're gonna get out of the singles branch before you!  :P   "  LOL  So, I'm totally looking forward to church now!!!

Speaking of guys in my life.........
My ex-husband and I saw each other on web cam for the first time in months.  I'd seen him, but not heard him, back in maybe June.  I hadn't heard his voice since April.
It was very very interesting.....
Its amazing how different the same conversation can come across differently over IM verses webcam.
We talked like 3 hours.  It was really nice.  I missed him.  He was, and is, still my best friend, and it sucks not talking to him.   I was really happy getting to talk to him, but afterward, stuff started to sink in, and it put me in a weird mood.  Guess its to be expected.

Well, ok, update on my weight loss progress.  I hit a speed bump when my family came in to town, which I knew would happen....
I'd gotten down to 210 when they came, and hovered at it +1 or 2 lbs for a few days.
Now I got back on track, and I hit 209!!  Single digits!!  In 2 lbs, i'll have lost 100 lbs.
in 10 lbs i'll be in ONE-der-land!!!

While mom was here, I tried on everything I owned, and got rid of 10 large trashbags worth of clothes that were too big.  This is in addition to the 2 HUGE piles I'd been adding to since the beginning.
So yay!  I'm in an 18 now.  20's are WAY baggy, and 16's are too tight, but they close!
Hooray!  I'm happy to see results!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

The BIG Game, and Why I Chose WLS

Well, my birthday was last week.  I was kind of dreading it, because it was my first after getting divorced.
I worked on my actual birthday, and it was awful.  It was payday, and everyone was there cashing checks.  At one point, I literally ran out of money.  I'd given one customer $200 in $5's and had a line of angry impatient people glaring at me.  All I could do was apologize, say I'm getting a loan, and then say "its my birthday, you can't be mad at me.  :)"  

So, the next day I went to the University of Texas vs Brigham Young University game at UT in Austin as my birthday present.
I'd heard about it through the mid-singles facebook page, so I assumed it was a mid-singles activity.  I imagined meeting some older guys, and having fun at the game making new friends.
Yeah, nope.....
It was a BYU Alumni sponsored event.  So, my friend and I went up, and at the tailgate party, were surrounded by BYU alum and families and couples and most of them had flown down from Utah.
It was still fun, but not what we expected.

Tail Gating

The game too, was fun, but again, not what we expected.  We were in the very very very top section.  It made it nice though, because we could lean against the railing on our backs.

I learned right away that I am a UT girl.  I wasn't sure which way I'd go at first, and the second it started, I knew.  This made sitting in the BYU section awkward!  They'd all stand and cheer and I'd sit there, and when it was our defense up, and we needed to be noisy, or we'd score, I'd be hooping and hollering, nearly by my lonesome. 

I loved all the band stuff.  Made me miss marching band, and wish I could be in a university band.  I was impressed.

The game itself was really close.  BYU was in the lead most of the game, with 2 field goals, and the UT scored a touchdown and fieldgoal, leading by 1.  Luckily, they held onto the lead, and won the game!!  YAY! 
Coming onto the field

After UT won

I had a good time, even if it wasn't what I'd anticipated.  I did however really really feel the void of my (ex)husband not being there.  UT is HIS team.  Half his wardrobe is UT shirts.  I thought about him close to the entire time, and how he woulda loved it.  How he shoulda been there.  :/

The next day, I gave a talk at church on Prophets of God during Sacrament meeting.  I went over my allotted time, but I think I delivered a good talk.  :)

Here's the outfit I wore last week.....

As for my weight loss progress.....I've hit a slump.  Again, it happens every other month at the very least. I start eating more and more carbs, and can't stop.  I couldn't turn down the cake in the breakroom, or the leftovers my friend left for me.  Or the candy I'd split with people. 
I'm certainly not losing right now, if anything I've gained a pound or two....  :P
But I've acknowledged it, and am TRYING HARD to stop. 
I'm obsessed with the Popsicle brand sugar free popsicles.  I eat probably 10 a day.  They're only like 5 carbs.  (which, do the math, that's a lot of carbs, I know, but shhh!!)

IF I am strict on my diet, here's how my daily meals tend to go.....
Morning:  hard boiled egg, or protein shake (PS)
Lunch: chicken or tuna salad, or egg, PS, or cheese
Breaks at work/snack: cheese stick, and nuts
Dinner: fajita chicken meat, or PS, or crab meat, or cheese, or turkey dog, or pork rhinds and cheese dip.

Really very little variation.  I've even gotten comments about it at work.  I don't do many veggies, because its a "waste" of tummy space when I need to get in my proteins.
Fruit is all carbs, and makes my stomach hurt, even though I've bought some this grocery trip. 
No breads unless I'm cheating, but I do have some crackers with my chicken salad.

I take a TON of vitamins to make up for my lack of fruits and veggies.  Every blood test I've taken post surgery shows good levels.

I can consume between 3-6 oz.  I have pushed past it before, and I severely regret it afterward. 

I've had a few people question my decision on doing weight loss surgery lately.  I think it's because I'm at a point where I'm not SEVERELY overweight anymore, and it seems like a cop-out.
I even had someone call me a cheater.
As you can see from my daily meal plan, there's nothing EASY about this.  I KNOW when I eat carbs, I will stop my weight loss, and potentially gain.  I am human, and I can only be strong for so long before breaking.  I do my best to fix it though.

My weight loss surgery has changed my life.  I was 307 lbs.  I was depressed, and in chronic pain in my foot every single day.  I was pre diabetic and had fertility problems.  And on A LOT of medication.
Today, I've lost 92 lbs, can walk long distances with little concern towards my feet, have my blood sugar well under control, and feel less depressed now (divorce and all) than I did back then.

I had tried Weight Watchers, and lost 55 lbs in a year.  Had I not torn a ligament and gotten nerve damage in my foot, I may have been able to continue that trend, and lost all that I needed to.  Unfortunately, my injury kept me from exercising at all, and I gained it all back. 
For me, WLS was my option.  It was my saving grace. 
It may have caused additional problems in my marriage, but it didn't cause them all.
And, there's NO way I would be as well off as I currently am IF I was still 307 lb, broken, sad Manda.

I may look different, but I FEEL like me.  I honestly, for the most part, still feel like I did 92 lbs ago.  I'm still Manda, I'm still a goof, I just don't feel fat, don't hurt, and am not depressed.

I am however, lonely.  I'm trying to make good choices, and not depend on a warm body, just because it's there.  My counsellor wants me to focus on working on me, and not replacing my husband. 
I know she's right, and that's pretty much is what it still is at this point. 
I'm just lonely and impatient.  I'm ready to start my family and live "happily ever after".  Not be single and struggle to survive on my own.  BLUGH. 

Ok, I went off on a side road there. 
In summary, I do not regret my decision to have weight loss surgery one bit.  It's NOT an easy way out by any means.  It was a ridiculously painful surgery, and the strictest diet I've ever been on. 
But like I said pre-surgery, it's worth it to me to sacrifice food to have my health, to be able to walk, and to have a baby. 
For any of you out there considering it, just weigh the pros and cons out.  Can you try a strict diet on your own first?  GO FOR IT, and if there's something in the way (like my foot injury), then this may be for you. 

Ok, good luck, be safe, and good night!!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Everything's Changing (Again)

First of all, let me just say, I think it's awesome that I actually have "readers", and that they actually want me to post!!  :D   THANKS VIV!!

It's been a little while since I posted, and I know I even said I'd post a picture of the new hair color.  Well, I TOOK the picture, I just didn't post it.  Heee.

So, here are a few of the last couple week's progress pictures.

I think this is post-dying.  Yes.  Indeed.
This was a few weeks ago.

About 2 Weeks Ago......

This was taken today.  Excuse the scruffy-ness.  Just got back from work.
Down 92 lbs.  Woot.

I look like a goober here.  Der.....
Oh, and I re-did my roots, and went a little blonder in the process.

School started last week.  It's gonna be tough..   I'm in pharmacology.  I'm glad I'm ONLY in that one class this semester.  It's gonna take all I got to stay up with it.
Work is good.  We're down a few people, so it's pretty much one person per shift.  You should hear all the comments we get from impatient people in line.  It REEEALLY sucks on paydays, and the line is out the door, and it's still just little ol me plugging away, one person at a time.

I hit another "milestone" I guess.  I am now down 92 lbs, and hit 215.   Ironically, I haven't gone down a size exactly, but the clothes I have are getting saggy.  I have a belt that I couldn't wear til I'd lost like 50 lbs, and now, I need to add belt holes to it, cuz it's not tight enough.

I started the Singles Branch.  It was a rough transition at first.  I completely and utterly missed my "home ward", and felt all out of place there.  But, about 3 weeks later, I am starting to make friends, and am not feeling like the odd man out anymore.  I like it.  I had had delusions of grandeur that I'd instantly meet cute mormon guys and we'd date.  Well.....the Lord is teaching me humility and patience.  I have a plethora of non-mormon, and retired gentlemen hitting on me, but none that I want to accept.
So, remember last post, the guy who said "hey Gorgeous" to me?  Yeah, we went out.  (I'm a sucker, I know).  He checked out a drink at my register, and wrote his number on the back of the receipt, and folded it up and handed it to me.  I actually have never had a guy give me his digits before. 
We texted some, then hung out some.  We sort of are dating, but not really.  He's technically the closest thing to the guy in my life, but.....yeah not really.  It's fizzled quite a bit here lately too.

I had a friend come temporarily move in with me.  Her and her two kids and two cats.  It's a very very full house now.  We were playing it by ear whether or not to make it permanent, and it looks like it won't be.  But that's been a big chunk of my time too.  Moving around and packing up things, to make room, and cleaning, and hanging out.  It's different with people around again.

My Ginger girl had to have surgery on her knee last week.  She tore her ACL.  She was forced to stay in a cage and be leashed walked all before surgery, and now for 8 weeks post surgery.  She's being a good sport, but is very much tired of being cooped up.  So, at night, I let her on the bed still.  Cuz otherwise she was freaking out in the cage by my bed, and waking me up every 2 hours and panting like a maniac.  So, for my sanity.....I caved.
Close up of her shaved bum and stitches.  She's been licking at em, hence the red.

Yes, I caved again, she's not cage long as she stays calm.  :P

Um, I guess lastly is the divorce.  It's final.  It went down on the 18th.  I had a newer friend come with me, and I'm glad she was there.  It was sad, yes, definitely, but it was more disappointing than anything.  This just feels like such a waste of such a good thing.  He and I had something very rare.  And through losing the gospel in our lives, and taking each other for granted, we lost that spark, that special-ness. 
As per my counseler's advice, I told him I still loved him.  I don't want anything from him, nor do I expect anything back, but I wanted him to know.  My mistake was, even though I didn't expect anything in return, I started to hope for it.  I started planning "our" future together again.  And.....I inevitably got yet another response that crashed me back down to earth. 
I'm not gonna say we'll never get back together again, anything is possible..... but I need to stop planning on it.  Or wishing for it.  I KNOW what I want.  I want a worthy priesthood holder, and to have an actual temple marriage for once.  I had a temple marriage on the surface only before.

I made a list of what I want in an eternal companion.....
It's like super long, and probably picky, but there's a lot of good stuff in it too. 

  • loving
  • caring
  • kind
  • funny
  • cute
  • respectful
  • animal lover
  • Mormon
  • Priesthood Holder
  • temple recommend
  • Return Missionary
  • wants big family
  • education
  • good job/income
  • potential
  • my age +/- 5 years
  • calm
  • peaceful
  • receptive of the Spirit
  • good family
  • not military (haha)
  • sweet
  • humble
  • God fearing
  • music lover
  • active
  • healthy
  • eats healthy
  • can and will cherish me
  • willing to lose a fight
  • charitable
  • Christlike
  • does service
  • will help support my animal rescue dream
  • non-drinker
  • non-smoker
  • non-swearer
  • bigger/stronger than me
  • thinks I'm adorable (cuz I like am...)
  • won't look at anyone else
  • can talk to me about anything
  • good role model
  • no tattoos
  • obeys Word of Wisdom
  • not a work-a-holic
  • handyman
  • good with kids
  • Good father
  • good husband
  • prays
  • makes me feel wanted and loved
  • supports my career
  • trustworthy
  • honorable
  • scout/eaglescout/likes to camp
  • I can be myself with him
  • forgiving
  • has a strong testimony

Yes, i know probably no one can live up to ALL of this, but a lot of these are similar, and a LOT are super important as well.  I'm trying to focus only on guys who can actually live up to this.  I'm also trying to much as I may want it, it's no longer how I can describe my (ex) husband.  That makes me sad, but I'm a big girl, and I'm moving on. 

:)  I promise to keep up with the writing more.  NIGHT!!!!