Post Op Week 14


After a couple of weeks of my weight loss slowing down to less than what had become the norm of 4 pounds per week, the past week saw a sudden upswing to nearly 8 pounds loss. I have no idea what I've done differently over the past week that spurred this on, but that's part of the joy of losing weight - sometimes it just happens.

I finally built up the courage to eat a real salad last week. Looking at the paperwork from the doctor's office I was allowed to finally try raw vegetables now, so it was time to revisit my old friend the salad. My salad did not require a building permit like my salads of old. This new salad was fairly dainty, in a bowl that could easily be held in my hand. For the actual salad, I mixed in some good old fashioned Iceberg Lettuce, broccoli, mushrooms, along with a little chicken and (fat free) cheese. I was nervous about how the salad would settle after I ate it, but it actually sat better than most other meals I've had.

Saturday I was out running errands and decided to be adventurous and eat out. Mexican food has been one of my safer foods of late (ironic since I've never really cared for Mexican) so I opted for Moe's as I was on that side of town. For fun, I called Jer and invited him out. He brought a date.

Lunch with Jer and Alice was nice - I think I managed to not provide too bad of an influence.

The hardest parts about eating is to not eat too fast and not eat too much. I ordered a small burrito but told myself I wasn't going to eat all of it. A small burrito from Moe's is still roughly the size of my fist. I ate about half of it.

Half was the right point to stop at.

diet gastric sleeve

What I did over my Christmas Vacation


Over my work-granted holiday break, I managed to do something I've been preparing and prepping for the past 2 years. I finally made a table top battle field to play Dust, and allegedly other wargames.

My goal was to make something fun to play on that would also be easy to store. With that I knew I would need something modular. My biggest drawback would be my inability to cut a straight line, especially multiple times so things would line up modularly. After lots of investigating and changing my mind, I decided to make 12 inch tiles with the following:

12" Cork Tiles. These are pre-cut and available at both Hobby Lobby and Amazon. The cork would be the top of my board so that I could do something artsy and crafty. In step 1 I would glue the cork tiles to:

12"ish styrofoam. Hobby Lobby has styrofoam sheets that are an inch thick, 12" wide, and 3 feet long. I would cut the styrofoam into 12" squares. The cork would be glued to the top of the stryrofoam which would stiffen the cork and hopefully make everything fit together flatter. This is where my inability to cut straight line would come into play, but lukcily it was offset by the next step:

Spray paint the above green. The green paint on the cork would cover any missed flocking/grass spots later on. The paint would also help to seal some of the styrofoam edges so little beads of styrofoam wouldn't fly everywhere once this stuff started to get used. Styrofoam generally doesn't like spray paint (the paint melts the styrofoam), but spraying from a distance minimizes this. A little melting occurred, but it was actually a goal to try and make the styrofoam base shrink to not expand past the bounds of the cork. It worked most of the time. This was followed by:

Glue shelf liner to the bottom of the styrofoam. This step would hopfully minimize the tiles scooting around the table. Originally I was going to use toothpick in the styrofoam to hold the tiles to each other, but over time that's going to leave little balls of styrofoam all over the place. I have no idea how well the shelf liner will work in action. Now the tiles are ready to get pretty:

Apply flocking/grass. Covering the (painted) cork in a layer of Elmers Glue, I then applied a mix of grass flocking most people use for train layouts and also used on the bases of the minis I've been working on. They make giant paper sheets that I could cut to the right size and would have been more economical, but I wanted a little more variety and something that didn't feel like sandpaper. Plus, on of the reasons I'm using cork is so that I can dig into it down the road if I want to try rivers or blasted craters. I didn't add any other features, like hills, because at this point the tiles are still stackable for storage. My table is 51" square, and using 12" tiles I can get 4 rows of 4 on the table. Storage for those 16 tiles should take 12" x 12" and 16" high (maybe a little more once you factor in the thickness of the cork and shelf liner).

From there I started making customized trees, but I cheated. Instead of making trees from scratch (people do that) I armed myself with Hobby Lobby coupons and got trees marketed for train layouts. The key here was just to make sure the tree would look big enough next to a soldier. I had gotten some sheets of styrene (what I called "plastic" a year ago) to cut into bases. After cutting them, they then got painted green to help cover missed spots when flocking.

My next wave of trying something new was to make plaster (technically Hydrocal) rocks with the rock molds that have been sitting on shelves for years. I could use real rocks, but these were lighter and more artsy! Once the rocks dried I added them to some of the above styrene bases and applied a brown wash (thanks to some YouTube videos) and suddenly I've got dirty looking rocks! Add in some various grasses, a bush here and there, and now there are trees to populate the battlefield.

The next big hurdle is learning how to actually play the game. I've read the rules and watched plenty of videos, but I've yet to actually practice any of it. One of my side projects has been to make an army builder for Dust Warfare. There are army builders out there, but I want one that doesn't just give you an army and how many points it's worth, but also the stats you need during the game. One of the fall-backs of Dust Warfare is that (currently) there's nothing that lists unit stats outside of the rulebook and some fan made cards that are of non-standard proportions.

In hopes of making the game easier to learn, I've mostly got my army builder working. One thing that would help would be if there was a picture of the unit shown next to the stats. The fan-made cards do this, and the original Dust Tactics cards do this, both with stock art of the minis. I'd like to go one step further and have pics of my actual units as it would make keeping up with what's what a whole lot easier. I think. With that in mind, I took glamor shots of the units I've painted so far.

With all of that, I should have everything to play a beginner game as everything from 1 core set of the game is now painted.

With that said, I've already got 3 more squads of Allies primed, 3 squads of Axis primed, and another 29 home-made bases with tress, rocks, or just general obstacles and objectives sitting there for the next round of inspiration.

gaming miniatures hobbies

Post Op Week 13


Pretty much 2 weeks after the last update and I'm (only) down 2 more pounds. It was about time for me to hit a plateau.

Part of the plateau has been me eating a wider variety (ie carbs) while letting the cold weather slow down my exercise. The holidays would also be a great excuse, but I didn't pig out on anything (although some sausage balls at my aunt's in Greenhill were calling to me).

One of the nice things the holidays brought was that this was one of those times I needed some new clothes and I lucked out on a couple of presents and holiday sales. Back on Black Friday I bought some work-appropriate Polo shirts that were 3XL instead of the 4 & 5 XL I've been wearing the past 2 years. When I bought them they were still a little too snug, but at 75% off what I normally paid I knew I would fit in them soon enough.

Gina and her mom got me some exercise shirts, too. This sounds trivial, and more than a little vain, but I like nice shirts for exercising. I trick myself into exercising. To motivate me to walk, I first got a Fitbit (since dead) and now have a Nike Fuelband to give me feedback on my daily walking around. When Gina and I go for our walks at night, I've started using the Nike Running app on the iPhone (they don't make a Walking app) and then go look at the Nike website to see the path and little bits of data that got collected along the way (I've walked 21 miles since I started using the app on the 17th!).

But, back to shirts. Gina and her mom picked up some Under Armour shirts for me. I didn't know Under Armour had shirts that would fit me, even in my newly rediscovered 3X size. Granted, they're tight, but they're supposed to be tight. They're performance compression shirts! I have no idea what that means except it that it shows off how freaking massive Dwayne Rock is when he wears the shirts.

I have way more curves than Dwayne Rock, but he is my exercise inspiration. In my head, I have a body like Dwayne Rock. That motivates me to get out and walk around the track at the school when it's 37°. That gets me bangin' and clangin' the weights at the Wellness Center when I'd much rather sit home and watch a movie, even a Dwayne Rock movie.

Even though I don't look like Dwayne Rock in my Under Armour shirts, I look better than I did 3 months ago. The shirts fit my arms well, though. I'm still packing some guns. Not big, massive guns like Dwayne Rock, but not spindly dainty arms either.

gastric sleeve

Holiday Hours


I've gotten off-kilter on my scales pictures (today managed to be exactly the same as last Tuesday, but I'm supposed to be doing this on Mondays!) so I'm going to skip this week's "official" weight update and try to get back on track next week.

Maybe I'll have some pics of my holiday vacation project to show off. It involves a tabletop battlefield for Dust, that's all I'm saying. I've got to get back to some hobby crafting with way too much glue now.


Post Op Week 11 + a day


The above weight is a big deal for me. February my weight maxed out at 441, I emotionally bottomed out and decided that gastric surgery was the route I needed to go if I wanted to realistically live a couple more years. 6 months and 40 pounds later I had gastric sleeve surgery, with no complications, and wondered what would happen next. 11 weeks and a day after surgery, I've lost another 60 pounds - still with no complications.

100 pounds gone since February, total.

100 f'n pounds.

Yesterday this would have been a different post. My weight was 2 pounds higher. Mentally, I was all over the place - halfway to work I realized that I forgot to bring my vitamins that I've been taking 4 times a day for the past 11 weeks, so I turned around and went back home to get them. Once home, I found that I had about half the gas in the car that I needed for the day. Holiday & financial crap (nothing bad, just things to take care of) kept popping into my head. The one good thing to come out of this was that I decided it was a walking Christmas shopping day after work so I got my walking for the day in (13,000 steps!).

Today is a better post. Skip the paragraph above and I'm not bitching. Instead, I'm relishing 100 lbs lighter and I'm bitchin.

diet gastric sleeve

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As always, correct spelling is optional in any blog entry. Keep in mind that any links more than a year old may not be active, especially the ones pointing back to Russellmania (I like to move things around!).

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