Wednesday, November 23, 2011

My First Thanksgiving Turkey! (reprinted here for your pleasure!)

Back in the dark ages of my youth...I was about 20 and had my first "real" job. Well, they gave us a gift certificate at Thanksgiving time "for a turkey." It was really a $25 gift certificate to Safeway - but I thought I had to buy a turkey with I did. It was 1980 and I bought a $25 turkey. 

I was single at the time. 

Didn't dawn on me to give it to a I was going to cook my first turkey for me and my friend! Yeppers! 

So there we are in this tiny apartment kitchen opening this turkey...okay, I remembered my mom sticking her hands in the turkey and taking stuff I did.

GROSS! I thought everything would be in a bag or something - I have no idea why. Then I didn't know what to do with the stuff I took out, so we put it in a dish then stuck it in the fridge. 

Step two. Stuff the turkey. 

Okay. This should be simple enough. We opened the box of Stovetop stuffing and poured it into the turkey cavity. Do you know how much Stovetop stuffing fits in the cavity of a $25 turkey? Lots!!! So we kept filling the cavity until it was full. YAY! Now let's cook the turkey!

It took forever. We thought we were suppose to baste the turkey with it's own juices...but there really wasn't any juice coming out, so we didn't. Somewhere...I probably should have called my mom...but no. I was 20 and living on my own. Why call mom????

Sometime around Christmas I think the turkey finally popped it's little red timer thingy...and so it was done.

Yum! We couldn't wait! 

Did you know you're suppose to let the turkey sit before you slice into it? I didn't. So we fired up the electric knife and butchered the hell out of that turkey. Oops! Forgot to remove the stuffing...I guess we'll just serve it from the turkey...YEA!!! Turkey and Stuffing!!!! WOOHOO!!! Let's eat!!!

Have you ever had cottonmouth? 

Have you ever shoved like an entire pack of crackers into your mouth and tried to chew them and swallow? Have you ever had all your bodies' moisture sucked right out of you?

Yeah. we did. Remember when I said we poured the Stovetop stuffing into the turkey's cavity? Did you know you're supposed to first mix the stuffing with water? 

We didn't. 

Wonder where all that turkey juice went that we were supposed to baste the turkey with? Yep. into the cavity. The wads of dried breading was sucking the literal life juice out of the turkey.

So there we were...CRAVING turkey and dressing with a frickin' huge turkey as dry as the sahara desert surrounded by piles of semi-moist turkey-fied breadcrumbs.

I didn't prepare another Thanksgiving meal until I was in my 40's...

Friday, November 18, 2011

Interesting insight into a friend and weight loss...

A male friend of mine took me to dinner last night to celebrate my birthday. Anyone who has followed my blogs, etc, may recognize "said friend" as the man I was infatuated with for the past 4 years. He started dating a woman last February and I met her for the first time about 6 weeks ago. 

Obviously, the conversation drifted toward her and their relationship. (warning...I may get a tad snippy in this blog!) 

She had gastric bypass surgery about 3 years ago and has lost over 120 pounds. She has also had a tummy tuck and a boob job. Duh. At least my eyes could tell it was obvious. Now don't misunderstand me - I have six friends who have gone the gastric bypass route (not lapband) and one who had the cosmetic surgery. I understand. However, I also know that you can lose weight the old fashioned way - through hardwork, dietary changes and exercise. 

Here's the best part of doing it the old-fashioned can still eat food. I don't mean pick at it, or avoid certain things - I mean you can flipping eat food. 

I proved that last night. I have lost 40 pounds this year. Last night I had no difficulty having a petite filet, broccoli, and a blue cheese/pecan salad with a sangria to wash it all down. Will I eat like that again today? No. And that's okay. But I can eat it. 

His girlfriend cannot. But she's "skinny" and has perky boobs. Yeah for her. I would love to be skinny and perky again. But I'm 52. Perky is not part of my body image anymore. 

And that's okay too. 

Last night, my friend told me how wonderful I was looking. How had I lost the weight? What was I doing differently? He complimented me on my hair and even thought it was time I bought a new wardrobe to reflect the changes I've made. Instead, I told him I was moving forward with my life and planning a way to travel the country in a RV - my 5 year plan. I was ready to live for me...FINALLY. He seemed surprised that I was willing to venture out - cut my roots and live by "chance." 

He thought I should live a more stable life. I should date and maybe even settle down. Find a nice man who appreciates the eclectic person I am. Like he does - but one that isn't involved with another woman. WHAT? 

The worst part was his confession that he would not have dated his current girlfriend 3 years ago before her weightloss, yet today he is considering it as a long-term relationship. She's the same person she was 3 years ago except with a ton of surgery. How shallow is that? 

Starts to make sense why he and I never dated. That saddens me. Not because we didn't date - but because of the idea that he didn't date me because of my weight. 

I'm sure I was a tad catty when he mentioned she "had" to have the surgery for health reasons. No she didn't. She lost a ton of weight and was saggy. That doesn't affect your physical health. It affects your vanity. It's okay to admit vanity - but call it what it is. Don't say it was for health issues. The weight loss was for health issues...not the boob job. 

The funniest part was when I found out how old she is. My friend is 47, and I'm 52. He can never remember how old I am because I don't look like I'm 52. I look younger. I act younger. Call it good genes - but the fact I don't look 50. I'm thankful for that. But when I met her last month I was sure she was older than me. I based that on her skin, wrinkles, attitude, the way she carried herself, oh, and the fact that she has a grown and married son. Nope. She's 43. SERIOUSLY??? When he told me that I physically choked on my drink. How embarrassing. I couldn't even hide my shock. 

Last night, he didn't seem to understand my surprise. He tried to write it off and say it was because she's had some difficult years (Really? Difficult? I can compare lives and I bet I can match her difficulty for difficulty and then some.) Well he emailed me today and here is his direct quote: "It *was* interesting after your comment about XXX's age, to see you and her standing next to each other. Not sure if it’s genes, or life, or that red-heads don’t age as well. But yes- just take it as a compliment that you DO look a LOT younger than XXX. Oh well." 

I've got 30 - 40 more pounds to lose. I will manage that in the coming year. When I'm done, I'll be saggy. But I will have done it on my own - no invasive surgery. I will be able to eat Creme Brulee if I want without throwing up. I can go to a party and not pick at my food. I will have learned what creates a proper diet and will be able to maintain a healthy outlook on food and how to eat. I will be able to move and workout. I will know the importance of a healthy life - and not bypass the efforts because I was in the medical field and had someone offer a quick fix. 

And when my friend is comfortably ensconced in a relationship built upon her vanity and his shallowness - I will be long gone, thankful my guardian angels were keeping my heart protected when all I wanted was to be loved. What I wanted he couldn't give me. Last night, it all came together so clearly. 

And all because I have lost weight. 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

The sigh of relief

Biopsy's are scary things.

Just being told you need to have one can strike fear in the best of us.  For me, it became a flood of "what if's" and a constant reminder to breathe until the results are in my hand.

Last week I had a major health scare.  I didn't tell many people...maybe only four because I didn't want to be seen as over-reacting.  I chose three of those four people carefully.  One is a friend who was diagnosed recently with cancer and has gone through treatment of varying stages throughout the past year and 1/2. Another was a stable...very grounded family member....someone I could depend on to get me through.  The third was my son.  I have never kept anything from him and this was something he needed to know - at the very least to understand why I was on edge.  The fourth was my ex-husband because he called right after I left the doctor.

I knew when I walked into the doctor's office what she was going to do. I hate pain and I knew the biopsy would hurt like a SOB.  It did. And I cried. I'm not sure how much was due to pain and how much was due to fear - but the tears leaked from my eyes and there was nothing I could do to stop them.

When a person is faced with uncertainty, I believe they fall back and re-examine a lot of their lives.  I know I did.

If I were to die tomorrow, what would be my regrets? Would I even have any? Have I done what I want to do? Do I even like the person I am?

In short, I realized that I do like me and that my real regrets were for the future that may not be so real for me.  Understand, I've made a lot of mistakes in my life - but I'm not really sorry.  I've done alright.  I have an amazing son and have had some great adventures.

I still want to see Europe.

I still want to visit all 50 states.

I still want to figure out what I want to be when I grow up.

But other than that, I've done okay.  My son said it best after he told me that he would stay within the moment and deal with the "worse-case scenario" only if that was our reality. He said - if he were to lose me today, he couldn't have asked for a better mother or a better upbringing. He has no regrets when it comes to his childhood.

I cried.

I've done that a lot in the last week...quietly in the dark after going to bed.  I'm not ready to leave this life.  I'm not done.  Damn it - I didn't see this possibility coming and I don't want to expend the effort to deal with it.

And that is as far as I allowed myself to go down that path.  No further.  Not until I had something tangible in my hands.

Today, I received my "unofficial" results.

There is no cancer.  No pre-cancerous cells.

Even the small pity-party journey I allowed myself to take was overkill and paranoia.  I'm going to be fine.  And while there is no definitive reason as to the condition I have - it is not cancer.  Whatever it is will not try to kill me.

I have survived to fight another day.

Today is NOT a good day to die, and for that I am thankful.