In A Groove And On The Road

nicole and rosie bullockIt’s been 6 weeks since surgery, and I feel like I’ve hit my groove. I’m getting better at listening to what my body needs and what I can safely consume. I’m usually at good energy levels, but still not as high as before surgery. Life feels different since surgery, but it’s a good different.

As funny as it might sound, my biggest complaint is my CPAP mask. I don’t know if it’s because I’ve lost so much chub in my face, or strictly because a TSA agent screwed it up (which wouldn’t be the first time), but I can’t get the mask to seal on my face, no matter how I adjust the straps. It hisses through the night, which wakes my husband up. It shoots dry air up towards my eyes, which dries them out…and has even made my eyelid chapped. The eyelid, right by my tear duct, keeps splitting and bleeding. I’ve been vigilant to apply Neosporin to the area, but it’s just not getting better.

I’m working 20-25 hours a week, and a few days I’ve made it over 7 hours. I usually start feeling fatigued in the early afternoon, and will head home to nap. But if I have a meeting or an urgent task to complete, I truck on through. When I’m lucky, I’ll hit my second wind. It’s SO difficult to get through the sleepy afternoons without caffeine.

One of the happiest things is that I’ve felt good enough to travel a bit. As a pilot wife with flight benefits, I have a hard time sitting still for too long. First I roadtripped to Portland to help a friend move up to the Northwest. The next weekend, our family was supposed to go to Anchorage to visit my brother and sister-in-law. But since flight loads were miserably full, Rosie and I opted to fly down to southern California.

One of the most humiliating things about being an obese traveler is needing to request a seatbelt extender. After losing 5 inches in my waist, I was certain that I’d be in the clear for buckling my seatbelt sans extender. This picture doesn’t accurately show the gap (buckling a seatbelt requires two hands, and I had one on the camera). I was about an inch and a half from securely buckling my seatbelt. Hopefully the next time I’m on the plane I won’t have to make the walk of shame to ask the flight attendant for an extender.

We flew into LAX, but after a one hour ground stop, we decided to grab a hotel and pick up our rental car in the morning. The hotel’s website said they had a “deluxe continental breakfast buffet,” which was actually just muffins, doughnuts, and a few mushy apples. I skipped the free food and went to Trader Joes to get some good food that I could eat on the trip. Afterwards, we drove up Pacific Coast Highway from Dockweiller Beach to Santa Monica. At Venice Beach, Rosie and I got out of the car and took a 40 minute walk on the cool, foggy boardwalk. It’s amazing how the ocean makes exercise SO much easier.

Being in California was tough this time, because I realized how much of my usual Cali experience revolves around food. I have a bunch of favorite Mexican restaurants, donut shops, bakeries, and dessert spots. I did indulge in a few restaurant things (like a little tiny bit of toppings from carne asada nachos from Tijuana Tacos in Pomona), but I avoided most of the places where I knew I’d get myself into trouble. My in-laws carefully watched me as I ate during meals, blown away at how little I was eating.

It was an enjoyable time in LA, but the trip home was tough. Due to a rental car return fiasco, we missed our flight from LAX. We ended up flying to Las Vegas, hoping to get a connecting flight to SLC. We lucked out getting seats in first class to Vegas, but flight loads to SLC were dismal. Instead of waiting 6+ hour for the next flight to SLC, I decided to rent a car and drive up to SLC.

Not only do I love air travel, but I love roadtrips. Unfortunately, I associate a lot of a roadtrip by the drinks and snacks I bring along. But by the time I got on I-15 in Vegas, I was dragging. I broke my 2 month Coke-free streak by getting a cup of Coke Zero, filled to the top with ice. I sipped it for the parts of the trip I was dragging, with Gatorade G2 and water for the rest of the time. But as I drove, I thought about what I wished I could be eating….chocolate Dunford donuts, caramel popcorn balls, and chewy candies like Swedish Fish. I was glad we stopped at a grocery store for some chicken salad at the deli to snack on.

central utah snowstormIt was tough to drive up to SLC without a relief driver, and I had to stop to nap a few times. I hit all sorts of weather…from warm cloudless skies…to sunny snowstorms in Central Utah, to torrential rainfall. When I finally arrived home, I was TIRED. I still feel like I’m recovering from the trip 3 days later.

I’d like to thank the people who checked up on me this week, worried because I hadn’t posted anything new in over a week. It was crazy with travel, and my personal laptop is having major issues. I hope to post 3-5 times a week from here on out.

Oh, and about my weight. I haven’t weighed myself in almost 2 weeks, but I’m guessing that I’m down about 40 pounds.


  1. Michelle says:

    Sounds like things are going great! You’ve been a busy girl! Keep up the great work!

  2. Oi! I’m glad you are alright (sorry I didn’t get to see you this trip), and I’m also glad you write about the daily little challenges. It’s amazing to get such a clear picture of something I have never experienced. Good luck!

  3. Thanks so much for the update! Sounds like you’ve been B*U*S*Y!! By the way, I LOVE those tiaras you guys are wearing; where did you get that? I’m thinking of signing up to do one of the Disney Princess half-marathons next year, and I think that tiara would nest perfectly into a visor and still be very visible.

    • We went to a mother-daughter tea party at my mother-in-law’s church. I wish I knew where they were from….they’re cute and surprisingly durable.

  4. Nicole, it’s nice to read this post 🙂 I just want to celebrate your victories with you little and big. You are doing so well with adjusting and listening to your body. I’m so glad that you have reached that point, from here on it should be a little easier because hopefully you are in the grove 🙂 It’s nice to read about your roadtrips and see the pix. I love Cali too. Sending warm thoughts and hugs from Italy! XOXO

  5. I would love to talk to you about surgery. I have my first appt. next week and am unsure. I have questions. I found your story while googling gastric bypass.

Speak Your Mind