Thursday, December 23, 2010

Heading Home for the Holidays

We're headed home this morning to celebrate Christmas with the family.  I'll have to post an update when we return.  I've had no time this week with all the packing and preparing.

I hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.  See you when we get back!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

4 Month Bandiversary, pics and an update

Yesterday marked my 4 month anniversary since surgery.  My, how the time flies!  Overall things have been going well.  I have the occasional 'stuck' episode but I've pretty much figured out how and what to eat so that it won't happen.  I feel healthy and strong.  That's the most important thing to me right now.
This week I managed to lose just under a pound again.  I guess my body likes this pace.  I accept that because it's not a gain.  So, my total loss to date is...


Here are my day 1 pictures...



And today...


I really have no idea why I can't get the pictures to line up properly, but this is the best I can do.  I've labeled them so you can see which is the before and which is the current.  I think it's time I replace the pajama pants since they are so baggy, you can't really see any definition in my legs.  I just wanted to keep the consistency going for a while, but it's time for a change!
We're headed out for our Christmas vacation on Thursday, and my hope is to be down that last .4 before then to make it an even 35.  I think I can do it.  Now the trick will be to not gain it back while on vacation!  That's the tough part.

As promised, here's the picture of me in my new jacket that I picked up on the 'marked way WAY down' rack.  Ladies Large!

I love it.  And mostly I love my husband for saying "You should have bought two because you'll be in the medium soon".
We're doing our Christmas here at home tomorrow morning and we're leaving for our road trip on Thursday.  I'll try to do a quick post and weigh in on Wednesday before we head out.  Until then, be well and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Weekly weigh in and Reflections

It seems like my weekly weigh in has been pushed to Sunday more often than not lately.  I had wanted Saturday to be my day since that was my old Weight Watchers day, but we've been so busy over here I rarely get to it on time.  Anyway, I weighed in this morning and lo and behold I'm down another pound.  So, my total to date is


Slow and steady wins the race.  That's what I keep telling myself!  I figure as long as I'm not gaining and I'm comfortable with my band (no complications), then that's a win for me.

For some reason I woke up today thinking it was my 4 month Bandiversary.  Hubby had to remind me that today is the 12th, not the 17th so it's not time for a picture yet!  That made me think about how I'm less obsessed with the numbers these days.  As a matter of fact, when I weighed myself today I had to go back to last weeks post on here to see what my last number was.  I used to know my weight with absolute precision on any given day of the week.  It was a bit of a shock to me today that I couldn't even remember what I weighed last week.  I think that's a minor victory for me since it probably means I'm focusing more on how I feel, not so much what the number on the scale says.
I also don't care as much about food any more.  If I can only eat 2 bites of my dinner and come back to it 1/2 hour later, then so be it.  Doesn't bother me any more.  I guess that will be a problem if I'm out at a restaurant with people who don't know about the band, but in my regular, every day life, who cares!  I think my priorities are shifting from quantity to quality.  I'm pretty sure I'd rather have a few bites of a high quality piece of fish than a whole plate full of some junk that has no benefit to my body.  Oh my, times have changed!

Now, on to a Non Scale Victory.  I was out shopping with the kids the other day and happened by a small rack of left over fall coats that were marked way down.  I noticed they only had Medium and Large left.  The old me would have just walked away because there wasn't an XL on the rack.  But the new me tried on the large, and then bought it for myself!  I should probably be posting a pic of it here but I'm comfy under my blanket right now and I'm not getting up!  I'll have to do that tomorrow.
So, I'm not sure why I'm still in such shock that I'm wearing a regular ladies Large, but I hope it's finally sinking in.  Geez, maybe by the time it sinks in, I'll be in a Medium!
Until next time, stay warm and be well.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

My Favorite Breakfast

I know so many WLS people who can't wait to finally ditch their protein shake once they've graduated to solid foods.  I never had a problem with the shakes, which is odd because I'm very much a texture person.  I think you just have to find one you like.
Recently, I came up with a concoction that I actually wake up thinking about, and can't wait to have.  It reminds me of a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup, and who doesn't like those?!  Well, my husband wouldn't like them, but besides him, who doesn't love peanut butter and chocolate together!
So, here's what I do...

I use 1 Cup of this light chocolate flavored soy milk.  It has the same amount of protein as skim milk, and slightly less sugar, so that wins points from me.

Not so easy to find, but other brands are available
 Then I add this protein powder.  It's unflavored so it works well with the chocolate milk.  This particular brand of powder provides 25 grams of protein per 3 scoops.  Added to the milk brings the protein up to a whopping 32 grams!  And get this, ZERO grams of sugar.  Again a winner in my book.

Cheap and available at most Wal Mart stores
 Now, here's the best part.  I add 1 Tablespoon of this.  It's heaven in a jar if you ask me.  Just plain, all natural, no added junk, peanut butter.

Ingredients: Dry roasted peanuts!
That's 3 1/2 more grams of protein, so we're up to 35.5!  That's my kind of breakfast, and it's so yummy. 
Now, I'm sure most of us would agree that we no longer get enough fruit in our diet.  I love fruit but rarely have room for it, especially if I want to get in all my protein.  So, I have been adding a banana (that's equal to 2 fruits) to this protein shake.  It no longer tastes like a PB cup, but the banana makes it so thick and creamy, it's like drinking a nice thick milk shake.  Yummm-O!
I hope someone will try this and fall in love as much as I have.  Enjoy!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sometimes life gets in the way

This week my daughter was sick and missed 4 days of school.  She's a great kid and pretty low maintenance even when she's not feeling well, so all she wanted was a lot of rest and lots of popsicles.  I can't say it was a great deal of work having her home.  However, I was totally off my schedule.  I hate that something like this can completely throw me off track.  I've still been eating small amounts but my choices haven't exactly followed the #1 Band rule of "protein first".  It's been more 'a handful of this, a handful of that' sort of week for me.  I need to do some more work on making the band rules a way of life, every day, no matter what is going on.  I'm a work in progress. 
I also didn't get to the gym AT ALL!  How is it that I made it there 4 times the week of Thanksgiving, and this week none?  I'm actually leaving in a half an hour to do a spinning class, but this is the first time all week.  Yikes!  I did walk/run on my treadmill 3 times though, and the kids and I played around with the Wii Fit a couple times, so I did get some exercise in, just not the weight training that I'm used to.
So, with that being said, I did in fact lose a tiny bit of weight this week.  0.3 to be exact.  What a pain in the ass this is!  So, my total weight loss to date is...


Yeah, sure I'm thankful it's not a gain.  It's just frustrating that even after weight loss surgery I still have to work my butt off to see a change on the scale, while some people don't have to work at it at all.  Please don't think I was looking for a fast and easy fix when I signed up for this, I'm just venting is all.  I'll get over it and next week will be a better week.
So, I've still got some things to learn, some work to do.  With the holidays coming up, I better get my act in gear Pronto!
Happy Saturday everyone.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Weekly weigh in and Holiday wrap up

Thanksgiving is over and our family has gone back home.  I was secretly worried about the holiday dinner and how I would get through it, but everything went fine.  I had intentions of taking before and after pictures of my plate but then forgot all about it.  I was able to eat a small piece of turkey breast, about 3 tablespoons of stuffing and about 2 tablespoons of mashed potatoes (no butter).  I was full but not uncomfortable.  No dessert for me, and I didn't miss it at all.  I had a nice cup of coffee and enjoyed my company.

My goal this week was to make it to the gym 3 times but I actually made it there 4 times!  Twice my hubby went with me and got to witness what a crazy woman I am in the spinning class.  He is very motivating and kept saying "You're doing great.  Good job!".  It was really fun going to the gym together (we never have before).  I think he's hooked now, too.

I've learned a lot about my band this holiday season.  I learned the hard way that the band is unpredictable.  I had no problem with the turkey on Thanksgiving but when I ate a home made enchilada made with the left overs, it went down fine, but then haunted me for hours to follow.  How does that make sense?  I've also learned that on the days that I work out really hard, I just can't eat most solids.  It's sad but true.  Spinning or running causes swelling around the band area and makes it impossible to eat.  I now know on those days to stick to soft foods and liquids and I'll avoid a lot of pain and slime.
I've also learned that the holidays don't have to be so much about food.  They're for me more about being with family, having good company and conversation.  I can enjoy all of those things without gorging myself on fattening food.

On that note I'm happy to announce that I actually lost weight during this holiday.  My total weight loss to date is


I'm pleased with that number.  The band and I are working well together.  Now, I know many of you Bandster Bloggers have set up a holiday challenge for Christmas.  I haven't officially joined that group but I can say that my personal holiday goal is to be down at least 35 by the time we go home for Christmas.  Phil and I are up to the challenge!  We can do it!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hair, Hair, it's Everywhere!

I remember that line from Dr. Seuss' "The Hair Book", a favorite around our house.  I feel like I could be one of the characters in that book now.  I'm shedding like a dog in July.  I've always had a ton of hair and it grows at an alarming rate.  I go to get a good cut at least every 5 weeks.  I also typically lose a lot of hair daily.  I remember my Mom saying she'd have to vacuum the bathroom walls after I was done drying my hair!  However, it has started to fall out even more now and it's starting to scare me.  This happened to me after my kids were born, which my hairdresser tells me is normal with hormone changes.
Somehow I had myself convinced that hair loss was not going to happen to me after Lap Band surgery.  I figured since I don't have mal-absorption (like with Bypass), I take my vitamins faithfully, and I'm losing weight slowly, that hair loss just wouldn't be a problem.  WRONG!  It's shocking how much comes out just while in the shower.  Yuck.  So, at the advice of my BFF, I'm taking Biotin.  I'm anxious to see if it helps.  I know other Bandsters swear by it, so I'm giving it a shot.

As far as the weekly weigh in goes, I didn't post one because I have nothing to report.  After my slight un-fill, I have stayed the same.  I'm just happy to be able to eat again without pain.  That's success for me this week.  I am making a commitment to myself that I will go to the gym 3 times this week, including Thanksgiving day.  They're having a special power cycling class on Thursday morning and I have no reason not to be there.  We'll have plenty of house guests who would be more than happy to take care of the kids while I'm gone.  I figure if I'm not losing pounds, I can at the very least build muscle and tone.

My bariatric center had their big annual clothing sale over the weekend.  They take donations of clothes that people have "under grown" and put everything on display, all items are sold for $1 each.  I figured this was a great way to pick up a few items to get me through so I don't have to spend a lot of money while still losing.  Sadly, I only found 4 items to buy.  One of the coordinators said "Well, you're little.  You'd have more to choose from if you were larger".  I told her I love her and she could call me little any time she wants!  I think I might be at the point where I'm having trouble wrapping my head around the new me.  I bought a pair of shorts that I figured would fit me next Summer.  I came home and tried them on and wouldn't ya' know, they fit me NOW!  Sheesh, do I still think of me as the BIG me?  I need to work on that.

So, until next time, be well and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

3 Month Bandiversary, update and pics

Here I am 3 months post surgery.  Unfortunately I had to celebrate today by going back to the surgeon to have half of that last fill taken out.  It's been a week and I've been literally surviving on protein shakes and popsicles.  I couldn't live like that any longer and finally broke down and made the call.  I kept thinking it was swelling that would go down and I would eventually get to the point where I could actually eat solid food.  Well, that never happened.  In fact I had a horrible sliming episode again yesterday while in line waiting to pick up my daughter from preschool.  Just awful.
The positive side of that is the whole not eating thing has of course caused me to lose even more weight.  I'm now comfortably in "One"derland.  Do you know what that is?  I'll let you figure that one out.
I also weigh at least 5 pounds less than my hubby.  That was a big goal of mine.  I think most women would like to be smaller than their man, right?  However, him being a man, he'll probably catch up to me again in about 5 seconds so I have to enjoy this victory while it lasts!
Before my wonderfully supportive husband went off to work, he took my 3 month picture and then said "WOW, you're really going to see a difference".  Here are the comparison shots.  Day one after surgery, and today.

August 18, 2010
November 17, 2010

The first thing I noticed once I put the pictures side by side is the amount of 'me' that used be in front of my arms, as compared to now.  Wow, that was a lot of belly.  The butt is still plentiful, but much smaller these days.  What differences do you see?

I broke down and did a little shopping yesterday.  Hubby kept saying I was wearing my 'big girl pants', so it was time.  At first I tried on some pants a size smaller than what I normally wear and I was so mad/depressed because I couldn't get them buttoned.  When I left the dressing room and went to put the pants back on the rack, I realized I was standing in the Juniors section!  Ah, OK, that explains it.  I made my way to ladies, grabbed some 16's and 14's, and guess what?  The 16's were way too big in the waist!  I came home with some cute little size 14 jeans and they look good.  It sure feels good to not have that darn 'W' after the 14 too.  I'm officially just a regular lady now.
Here's my attempt at taking a picture of myself in the mirror since I was the only one around this morning.

I feel good, and I feel like me again.  It's a great feeling when I bend down to put socks on and I'm not met by a bulging belly roll.  I have more energy and I'm pretty sure I smile a lot more now.  I think that's a victory!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

A Bump in the Road (Hiccup)

I've been having a terrible time since my last fill.  It was only .5CC but let me tell you, the third fill is a doozie.  Sure, it has helped me lose weight faster, but that's because I can't eat.  On Wednesday, the day of the fill, I stuck to liquids for the rest of the day, as the doc ordered.  I even tried some really runny oatmeal for dinner and couldn't get it to go down so I just skipped dinner altogether.  Thursday and Friday I got through the day on SF pudding and fudgecicles.  It seemed anything else I even tried just wouldn't go down and caused discomfort.  That brings us to Saturday, a day I'd like to forget.  I made my protein shake in the morning and had about half of it and then went to the gym.  I worked out like an animal for an hour, it was amazing.  I came home and had to rush to get my daughter ready for gymnastics.  I decided to scramble one medium egg and eat that since we would be at the class for two hours.  Everything seemed fine until I got to the class.  I had to run out in the hallway and slime into my hands while frantically looking for a bathroom!  It was nasty and I'm so happy nobody else was in the hall with me.  To spare you all the gory details, this happened 4 more times, just from one tiny egg!  Later in the day we went to a party at some friends, and I had 2 TEASPOONS of food.  I ate ridiculously slow and chewed like nobody's business.  Let's just say there was a repeat performance all the way home.  Thank God my kids were getting cranky and we needed to go home because it could have been pretty embarrassing.
So, today I am sticking to liquids all day, no matter what.  Hubby thinks there's some irritation and swelling going on and that I need to give my body a break.  I agree.  If things aren't better by tomorrow, I have to go back in and have the .5 removed.  I really didn't want to have to do that because before this fill I felt I was able to eat too much.  However, no amount of weight loss is worth the pain I have been through over the past 2 days.  I can't live like this.
I can't believe I made it through 3 months without a single complication or complaint, and then this happened.  Trial and error I guess.

With all that said, let's get on to some good news.  Yesterday was weigh in day, and since I was too sick to post it, here it is!
To date I have lost a total of...


Remember I wanted to lose 25 by Thanksgiving, so I'm so pleased to be past that already!  Hubby says I'm melting away before his eyes.  I just wish it was because I was eating healthy foods in small portions.  Unfortunately, this loss is because I'm not eating at all!  Hopefully things will be looking up this week.  I'll be updating soon!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Things Every Woman Wants to Hear

I went in for fill #3 today, and a 3 month check up.  I saw the doc first, which is a little weird isn't it?   Don't you usually see a nurse first?  Anyway, he comes in all smiles and says "Wow, you've lost 4 pounds in 3 weeks, that's great!  I didn't expect to see that at this point and I know it's because you're doing all the work, it's not the band".
Well well, tell me more great stuff to make me feel good about myself!  He went on to tell me that I have very little in the band at this point and most people don't see that kind of loss until the 3rd fill, and he's so glad I came in so we could tighten things up a bit.  Okie Doke, that's what I'm here for, filler' up!
I was all braced and holding my breath thinking it was going to hurt like hell, and then felt like an idiot because it didn't even hurt at all.  I told him we must be getting good at this because I didn't even flinch.
I then decide to confess that my port area is pretty much tender all the time.  Not really 'pain', but a little sore.  His response is "Well, you're SO LITTLE that the port is sitting right on your muscle tissue and it's constantly being irritated".  Um, excuse me, SO LITTLE is not an adjective ever used to describe ME!  I was laughing on the inside, trying not to beam too much.  I'm sure I blushed.
So far I've just had water since leaving the docs office.  I can actually feel it trickling down which is totally freaky.  I'll have oatmeal for dinner tonight, and then tomorrow will be the real test to see if I can eat.  I'm a little scared as well as excited.  Scared because of the fear of food getting stuck.  Excited because I'd LOVE to see a big loss this week.
The doc says that at this point I just make my appointments on an as needed basis.  If I feel like I need a fill, I call.  That's it.  I'm thinking I'll go in once before the end of the year since our insurance sucks and with the new year comes a new outrageous deductible.  Might as well get it in while it's free, right?
So, that's it for now peeps.  Be well!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Revenge of the Slime Blob!

For those of you who are reading this and are not weight loss surgery patients, I'll explain a little known phenomenon called "Sliming".  It's what happens when we eat something that's just too big or too sticky to make it through the 'hole' (stoma) leading to the stomach.  The offending food item gets 'stuck' and wants to either come up or go down, but can't.  That's why it's drilled into our heads to take tiny bites and chew everything down to a paste like consistency.
All the bandsters talk about it, and I thought it had happened to me, that is until it REALLY happened to me yesterday.
Here's the offender...

Actually, I'm the offender, because I didn't follow the rules, but right now I'd rather blame the darn chip!
I've had these chips many times before without a problem.  However, I usually have them with a bit of hummus or some tuna.  I'm pretty sure this was the first time I ate one dry.  Good Lord, what happened next is something right out of a horror flick.
Picture me, at the sink, feeling like I'm going to either choke to death or have a heart attack (or both).  My kids are asking "Mommy, why are you spitting into the sink?".  I'm trying to answer them but it hurts like hell to try to talk while having a chip lodged somewhere between my esophagus and my stomach.  This weird squeak sound keep coming out, and I feel like I have to burp.  Here comes the slime.  You know that feeling that comes over you just before you throw up, when your mouth starts to fill with saliva?  We've all been there.  Now multiply that by 1000 and you have "Slime".  It's gross and all you can do is keep spitting and hope it stops.  Then, all of a sudden, a huge atomic bomb mushroom of slime expelled itself from my body (no chip as far as I could see), and then it was all over.

Like I said, I thought I knew what all these other people were talking about because I had felt that feeling of a piece of food being 'stuck' and even had slimy mouth before.  However, when that happened all I had to do was sit and wait patiently for the food to eventually make its' way down and the feeling to pass.  THIS was totally different and a million times worse!
I have been initiated into the Bandsters Slime Hall of Fame, and I am so not honored.
Let's just chalk this up to a lesson learned and move on.  Please, OH Please, don't let that happen again!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Moving right along

Here we are at weekly weigh in day once again.  I must say I wasn't expecting much when I got on the scale this morning, for a couple of reasons.  First of all I'm sort of getting used to losing just ounces each week.  Also, my rings were so tight this morning I couldn't even get them off, a sure sign that I'm retaining water.  Well, I was pleasantly surprised when I saw a 1.5 pound loss!  WOW, Imagine if my rings weren't tight, it would probably be more (at least that's what I'm telling myself).  So, my total loss to date is...


I'm happy with that.  My own personal goal is to be down a total of 30 by Thanksgiving, and I'm a smidge closer than I was last week.  Hooray for me and Phil!  Yup, that's what I'm naming my band.  Get it? "Phil" (Fill).  Here I thought I was so cute and trendy by wanting to name the band, then I find out by reading lots of other blogs, that so many bandsters name their band!  So much for being unique.  That's OK, Phil and I don't mind.

I decided I do much better with food choices when I document everything.  The dietitian says I'm not supposed to be counting calories but I'm a perpetual Weight Watcher and I need to hold myself accountable.  So, I pick 3-4 days a week to journal my food.  I write down the item, calories, fat and protein.  I've been getting AT LEAST 75 grams of protein a day.  Calories are all over the place, anywhere from 750-1200.  I guess the good thing is that if I'm eating that much protein, there can't be much room for other junk.  Is that much protein good for the kidneys?  I seem to recall hearing something about kidney damage when the Atkins diet was all the rage.  I'll have to look that up.

I had the week off from personal training because the kids had off from school for conferences.  I'll be back at it this coming week and I'm ready to feel the pain.  Hubby says he can tell I look more toned.  I'm glad he notices these things!

I have my next follow-up with Dr. Hottie on Wednesday.  I'm sure I'll have more to write about then.
Until then!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Ounce by Ounce, Inch by Inch

I keep saying this is a process, and it sure as heck is...a slow one!  I'm having patience so far because the weight is coming off, even though it's S-L-O-W.  Today is weigh in day, so here it is.  My total loss to date is...

I really wanted to hit that number, and that's just what I got, not an ounce more.  I'll take it.  Ho Hum.

A couple years ago a friend of mine, who is also a personal trainer, convinced me to start taking body measurements.  I was working out a lot and not losing much, and she bet me I was likely losing inches.  She was so right.  Thankfully I kept the measurements saved on my computer.  I decided to measure myself today and do a comparison.  Unfortunately my last measurements were from January 2009, I  must have gotten discouraged along the way and gave up.  Anyhow, from then until now, I've lost a half inch here and there (arms, thighs, etc.) but the big eye opener was my hips.  I've lost 2 1/2 inches from my hips!  Holy cow that's a lot.  Anyone who knows me personally knows I definitely have some child bearing hips, and that area, including the BUTT, has always been a problem area for me.  So today I am thankful for shrinking hips and loose jeans.  Even when the scale is being stubborn, I can be happy knowing I am being successful.  Those power cycling classes must be doing something!

Remember I wrote about that support group meeting I went to?  Well, one of the topics was positive thinking and self talk.  I do know from personal experience that being positive will lead to positive outcomes.  Going to that support group just sort of reminded me of the idea.  That's why I try my best to remain positive about this process, and be patient.  
As far as the positive self talk, I'm not so sure about that.  My friends and neighbors might think I'm losing more than just weight!  Maybe I should have a daily talk with my band instead of a talk with myself.  Oh yeah, that's more sane, right?  I could say "Hey band, we're in this together.  It's me and you buddy.  Let's do this!".  Let's see how that works.  I must think of a name for my band.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Headed in the Right Direction

It's weigh in day, and it looks like the second fill is working.  So, my total as of this morning is...


I really wanted that darn .2 to make it an even 25.  However, right after I weighed myself, I did a one hour Power Cycling class and burned 500 calories, so I'm pretty sure I got it!
Since the second fill, I can definitely feel a big difference.  Today I had 3 small 'meals' and 2 snacks, and I was stuffed.  Since I'm only able to eat small amounts, I have to be really careful to make sure what I do eat is really healthy and full of protein.  

Here's what today looked like:

Breakfast-Protein shake
AM Snack-cheese stick
Lunch-Hummus and corn chips (baked, all natural)
PM Snack-Banana
Dinner-one veggie burger and a few bites of a Mahi Mahi patty

Notice no sides, no mindless snacking, and sadly no veggies (except in the veggie burger).  There's just no room for anything else.  Before this fill I was using sugar free pudding or posicles to get me through the day, but not any more.  Pre-band I always had a salad and a starchy side with dinner.  No room for that now.

Unfortunately, I have experienced food getting "stuck" twice now.  The first time was with a bite of a muffin.  The kids and I made really super healthy muffins from the "Deceptively Delicious" cook book.  We're talking whole wheat flour, cauliflower puree, natural peanut butter, no oil...HEALTHY.  I really wanted one.  I broke one in half and took one teeny tiny bite.  Suddenly my band said "HEY, what the hell do you think you're doing to me?!".  Stuck, stuck, stuck!  Ugh, the pain, the slimy mouth, the hiccups.  I won't be doing that again.
The second episode was last night with a bite of the crust of a grilled cheese sandwich.  I hadn't eaten dinner, but the kids had grilled cheese and there was some left.  Of course, I made it with whole grain bread and 2% cheese, no butter.  I took a bite of the crust, and lets just say my band repeated the muffin performance.  

I have come to accept the fact that, like most bandsters, I  just can't have bread.  I have to tell you, I really like bread.  A lot.  I do know I can live without it, but am not delusional enough to believe I can live without carbs.  So, tonight I went to Trader Joe's and searched the aisles for some sort of substitute.  You see, when I have tuna or hummus, I need something to go with it.  I just can't eat a bowl of hummus with nothing to put it on.  Here's what I found...

I haven't tried these yet but I do like that they're all natural.  I try as much as possible to stay away from artificial crap in my food.  These have 3 grams of protein per serving too, so that's a nice plus.

After Power Cycling, I went to my first support group meeting.  This is the first one I've been able to make it to but I know I'll be back.  It was great.  Today the speaker was a therapist who talked about the physiology behind addiction, and what happens in our brains when we eat our trigger foods.  All good stuff.
I guess that's all the news worth reporting.  See ya' next time!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Just Top it Off Please!

I went in for my second fill appointment yesterday.  Funny how at my first appointment I had to meet with several different people and felt like I was there forever.  This time, it was just me and the doctor and I was out in less than 10 minutes.
He saw that I hadn't lost much since last time and we agreed that it was time for a fill.  He confirmed everything that I had read on the forums about people not feeling much of a difference after just one fill.  He says most people feel it after the second and third fills and really start losing.  I sure hope that's the case for me because I'd like to start seeing the numbers go down!
I told him about the little stitch that my body rejected.  He agreed that it was most definitely a stitch.  He says that they're supposed to dissolve but sometime the body just grabs onto one, and spits it out.  Funny, but that's exactly what happened.  The human body is a most fascinating machine.
So, last night I had oatmeal for dinner of course.  The day of the fill I'm supposed to stick to soft foods.  Today I can go back to 'normal' eating, but so far I'm afraid.  I had a protein shake this am. for breakfast, and really took my time drinking it, taking little sips.  I'm really afraid of that "stuck" feeling that so many of us talk about.  I'd rather avoid that.  The first thing I noticed this morning is that I didn't wake up starving, like I had been for the past few days.  That's a good sign.  I guess at this point it will be a day or two before I really know if I have restriction.  Lunch time should be interesting.
That's all for now.  More in a few days!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Two Month "Bandiversary"

Today marks month 2 since surgery.  I'm feeling good, and comfortable in my own skin.  I'm working out more and have tons more energy.  However, I haven't lost anything since last week.  I go to the doc on Wednesday and he was very clear when he said "If you aren't losing a pound a week, I need to see you".  So, it looks like a fill is in order.  I've been reading a lot about fills and understand that it's the second fill that is the humdinger!  I'm sure hoping this is the case because I'm sick of hanging out at 23 pounds.  I'm grateful for my loss so far, and all the benefits I've felt, but it's time to move on already!
So, as promised, here are the before and after pics.  Actually, it's before and 'during', because this is a process that I'm going through, so I'm not at 'after' yet!
Last time I said there wasn't much of a noticeable difference.  Dena called me right up and said she could tell in my butt!  That's certainly good news because that's exactly where I'd like to start losing the weight.  Thanks Dena!


Thanks for all your support ladies, it really helps!  I'll be back on Wednesday to tell you about my appointment.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

What Doesn't Kill Me...Will Make Me Stronger!

Well. I've met my personal trainer.  She's about 20 years old and competes in hot body bikini contests.  Yup, apparently she came in first place last year.  So no matter how good I think I look, or how loose my jeans are, when I stand in the mirror next to this chick, I look FLABolicious!  I'm certainly not trying to compare myself to this teeny tiny person who has never birthed a baby, but it sure is hard to feel good about yourself when you're standing in a full length mirror next to a bikini model!  Sheesh.  She has been very sweet though and said I am a lot stronger than most of her clients.  She informed me after the first day that she sees no reason to go easy on me.  Great.  Our sessions are only 30 minutes long, and even though the work out was hard, I didn't think I'd be sore the next day.  WRONG!  The backs of my arms and my inner thighs were on fire.  Thank you very much bikini girl!

On a side note...after my first training session, my primary incision site was really tender.  That lasted almost 2 days.  I thought I pulled or strained something.  Then, all of a sudden I saw something poking out of the corner of the incision.  I gave it a gentle squeeze and something black came out!  I believe it was a subcutaneous stitch that never dissolved.  How weird is that!?  After it came out, the hole closed up and no more tenderness.  The body is an amazing thing.  (I know my cute little nurse friend Dena is loving this).

Since Sunday is the 17th, which marks the 2 month anniversary of my surgery, I'll be posting my weigh in, and current pictures on that day.  I'm working all day on Saturday anyway so I won't have much time for posting.  So, until then be well my friends!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

A Day Late....A Pound Short?

Once again I'm late with my weekly weigh in.  We took the kids out for most of the day yesterday due to the gorgeous weather here.  I just didn't find the time to post.  So, here's the weekly report.  As of today, my total weight loss is....


Still coming off slow, but hey, it's coming off!  I'm a little torn about my opportunity for a second fill next week.  I sure would like to be losing the weight a little faster, and do wish I got full like I used to.  However, I read blogs of other people with the band and I'm terrified of what could happen.  Some people have trouble even getting water down, and often feel like they're choking or the food is 'stuck'!  I certainly DON'T want that.  I like the fact that I can sit down to dinner with my family and eat what they're eating (in smaller amounts).  I don't want to hate eating, or be afraid to eat.  I guess I could go ahead and get the fill and if I feel it's too much, I could ask for an un-fill.  The doctor is only one mile from my house so it's pretty convenient.  Decisions, decisions.

I'm getting into a good gym schedule now and loving it.  Spinning is kicking my butt, but that's exactly what I need.  I'm supposed to be getting a trainer to work with me for 8 sessions but haven't heard from anyone yet.  I'll be calling them next week if I don't hear from them.  I'm anxious to get started.

Well folks, that's all I have to report now.  I'll be in touch!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Huh? C'mon!

I never had a chance to post my weekly weigh in on Saturday.  We've sure been busy around here!  So, here I am one week post-fill and I'm down 1/2 a pound.  I feel like yelling at the scale "C'mon, are you kidding me?!".
Part of me says, OK I'll take it, it's not a gain.  But the other part of me says What the hell did I go through all this for, a lousy half a pound?!.
I can tell I've had a fill, I do have restriction.  Occasionally if I take a larger bite of something than I should, I can feel it struggling to go down.  I do get full pretty quickly.  So, why is the weight coming off so slowly?  It's so darn frustrating.  It reminds me of my Weight Watchers days when I'd do real well in the beginning, and then I'd be stuck for months.  I sure hope that isn't what's happening here.  I have an appt. to go back to the surgeon in 2 weeks.  He said if I wasn't losing a pound a week, he wanted to see me.  Maybe I'm prematurely paranoid, but a second fill might be in order for me.

On a more positive note, I'm back at the gym.  It felt good to get back into weight lifting.  I hate my flabby arms and not being able to lift anything for 6 weeks didn't help that at all.  I've done a weight lifting class twice this week, and one spinning class.  I do notice my clothes fitting much differently.  So, I guess that's a non scale victory!  I must say that getting back into a regular exercise routine is not easy though.  One day at a time I guess.

Kim wanted to know what I eat these days.  So, here's what I had for dinner last night...

One home made turkey burger (93% lean)
3 Tbsp. mixed veggies (no butter or oil)
2 mini pierogi (no butter or sour cream).
I was full full full!
Then an hour before bed I had a sugar free popsicle.
So, there you have it.  Not very exciting, I know.

Well, I don't have anything else to report so I'll end here.  Until I have more exciting news, be well!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Fill 'er Up!

Today was the appointment for my first fill.  I must admit I was really worried and nervous for just about nothing.  My port is right at the surface so there was no poking around trying to find it.  He just said "OK, you're going to feel a pinch" and then yup, I felt a BIG pinch.  It burned like hell for about 15 seconds but then it was over.  That's it!  The funny thing is the fluid was gurgling on the way in.  I was wondering if that was normal but I looked at the doctor and he didn't look alarmed, so I figured it must be OK.
When he was done he said "See, that wasn't so bad was it?  Now there's no reason for you not to come back and see me, right?".  My surgeon is quite a cutie so I was tempted to say "I'd come back to see you every week just to look at you and listen to you talk", but I kept my composure.  No offense to my hubby, he's a cutie too!

I met with the dietitian and we had a few laughs.  I really like her.  I think we're nearly the same age and have kids at similar ages.  I asked her when I would be able to have hummus and apple sauce.  She informed me that I could have started eating those things 2 weeks ago!  My response to her was "Hey, it's not on the list!  If it's not on the list, I don't eat it".  She figured most people would assume all soft foods were OK.  Not me, I'm a rule follower.  I need things spelled out for me!  So, I'm so looking forward to having some hummus tomorrow.  For today I was told to keep things light as to not irritate the port area any further.  So, it was oatmeal for dinner tonight, and I don't mind that.
Starting next week I can eat a 'regular' diet, just smaller portions than a typical person. I'm looking forward to cooking again.  Dinners around here have been super simple and quick.  The hubby doesn't complain, he'll eat just about anything I serve him.  However, I'm sure he'll be ready for a change as much as I am.  Hooray for variety!
Everyone in the office was impressed with my weight loss so far, as well as my awesome blood pressure...112/70 thank you very much!  I'm cleared to go back to the gym and have no weight lifting restriction at this point.  I'm anxious to get back into it even though after 6 weeks off, I'm sure I'll be hurting!  That's OK, no pain, no gain.
As far as restriction goes, I'm not sure how I feel yet.  I've been able to drink liquids with no problem, and my oatmeal went down just fine.  I'll see tomorrow once I'm eating some solids if I really feel the fill.  So many people with the band talk about being too tight and feeling like they're choking.  Thankfully, that's not happening to me, and I hope it doesn't.
So far, so good.  More news on Saturday!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nothing, Nada, Zilch!

That's how much I've lost this week, Nada!
The scale is exactly the same as last week, right down to the decimal.  Once again I'm happy I have not gained.  I continue to eat the foods allowed to me at this stage of the diet.  I am hungry more often now than I was before but that's to be expected.  When I get hungry, I reach for one of the approved foods.  I'm not sure if I'm supposed to be keeping track of my caloric intake but I did for a few days just out of curiosity.  I've been ranging between 875-1000.  More importantly, I continue to get at least 60 grams of protein in each day.  At the pre-op meetings they drilled the importance of protein into our heads so much, that I'm now a freak about it!  Oddly enough, my hair is growing at an alarming rate.  I think I could get it cut every 2 weeks now, and it has to be from the protein, ya' think?
This time period I'm in right now is commonly referred to as "Bandster Hell".  It's when you've healed enough that your appetite comes back, but you haven't yet had a fill.  I really don't consider it a hell.  Yes, I pretty much have a regular appetite back, and I'm hungry a lot.  However, I have been through a lot worse things than this (like numerous gruesome dental surgeries!), and I know it will pass.  This is a process and I'm along for the ride.  My fill appointment is on Wednesday so there's a light at the end of this hunger tunnel.
I am a little afraid about the appointment on Wednesday.  This is my first time so I don't know exactly what to expect.  I also don't want to have to go back to a liquid diet now that I've finally progressed to real food.  It shouldn't be that extreme as long as he's conservative with the amount he puts in, and I'm super careful about my portion sizes.  I'm just hoping for the best, and anxious to see that scale moving again.

I'm really excited that I should be cleared this week to go back to the gym.  I've been walking a lot on my own, especially with this gorgeous Fall weather, but I want to get in there and do some weights.  So far the only thing that's sagging are my arms, but I want to get right on that and try to avoid having a saggy flabby body!  My program here allows for 8 personal training sessions and I can't wait.  I'm choosing the trainer at my gym who teaches the spinning classes.  She is an animal!  She's like a pumped up Jillian Michaels.  I plan on getting the most out of those 8 sessions, and she's the one who will make that happen for sure.
So, I'll be back on Wednesday to write abut my first fill experience.  Until then, be well!

Friday, September 17, 2010

One Month Bandiversary and My Birthday!

Well, my one month post-op happens to fall on my birthday.  I have so many reasons to celebrate.  I am so thankful that I've had this band for a month and no complications.  That was my biggest fear in the beginning, and although I still fear something could go wrong, the more time that passes the better I feel about it.
I started the 'soft foods' diet on Wednesday.  It feels good to be eating some normal foods.  I can actually eat some of what the rest of my family eats at dinner time which is so nice!
A lot of what I've read says that once you start on the soft foods, it's likely you'll gain a little of the weight back.  I'm so happy to report that hasn't happened.  However, the weight loss has slowed WAY down.  I may as well post my weekly weigh in today as tomorrow is going to be a super busy day and I most likely won't have time to post.  So, my grand total to date is....

22 pounds

OK, so that doesn't seem like a great deal since last week, but hey, I didn't gain!  I am taking that as a victory.
Hubby's folks are on their way into town right now.  We'll go out for a birthday dinner tonight.  This is the first time eating out for me.  I've already checked the menu and know what my choices are for ordering without straying from the current diet.  I'm so excited!
Tomorrow the hubby and I are going out for a day at the races.  We've never been, but it's supposed to be a gorgeous weekend here so it should be fun.

As promised, I took a one month pic this am.  I really don't think you can see much of a difference.

I guess I could have put last month and this month side by side, but if you really want that, you can scroll back and look at the old one.
I can tell you that I have a big bag of clothes ready to go to the Good Will, that are way too big on me now.  That's good enough for me!
Well, I'm off to do some birthday celebrating, so until next time, be well!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weighing in

Hi All...
As promised, I'm posting my weekly weight loss.  Three and a half weeks post-op and I am down a grand total of...

I am VERY pleased with that number.  When I started this journey, a personal goal I set for myself was to lose 20 pounds by my birthday.  Well, I managed to surpass that goal a week early.  I feel great.  I'm amazed that I continue to lose even though I haven't had a fill.  
On Wednesday I can start the 'soft foods' diet and I'm so looking forward to a change.  I believe part of the reason I've been losing so consistently is because I'm terribly bored with the foods I'm currently allowed to eat.  I'm so sick of cottage cheese and yogurt.  I just can't get excited about (or choke down) pureed meats.  So, instead of eating something I don't want to eat, I just don't eat at all!  I know that's not good, but it's got to be better than cheating and eating something that's not on the approved list.  When I can have soft foods I'll be able to have a baked potato, and I can't believe how happy that makes me!
Some of you have asked when I'll be posting new pictures.  Well, I decided to do that once a month.  Since surgery was on August 17, I'll post pictures on September 17.  I'm really hoping you will notice a difference!  I know 21 pounds isn't a huge difference, but hopefully you'll see it.
Enjoy the rest of your weekend people!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

It FINALLY happened!

Someone finally noticed I've lost weight.  With the start of a new school year, I've been running into people I haven't seen since May or June.  Not a single person has noticed, or if they have, they haven't said so.  Well today, in the grocery store of course, someone finally noticed!  It was a woman who I used to run into occasionally at a local play group.  I don't even recall her name.  It doesn't matter.  In the course of our brief conversation, she mentioned it twice!  it felt good.

When I got home, I had about an hour before getting preschooler #1 off the bus.  I decided to go through my closet since it's almost time to change everything over for Fall.  I found 2 pair of jeans that I can now wear, that were out of the question a month ago.  I filled a nice big bag for the Good Will with things that are too big for me.  I never plan on going back to that size, EVER.  They're just taking up space in my closet so, Adios!

Those were my 2 mini milestones for the day and I wanted to share them with you.  It feels good.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

As promised, here is my Saturday morning weigh in.  I am pleased to announce that I continue to lose weight even before having a 'fill'.  My doc said any weight loss at this stage is to be considered a "bonus" because there's nothing in the band yet.  Well, I like the bonus because I'm down a grand total of ...
I'll take that! Here are a few of my mini successes so far.
*I weigh less than my drivers license states.
*I weigh 4 pounds less than I did when I got pregnant with baby #2.
*I now weigh less than I ever did during two years of Weight Watchers.
*All my clothes are loose and I have to start making a bag for the Good Will.

I'm pretty happy with the progress so far and I'm enjoying it.  I'm still not able to eat more than 1/2 cup of food at a time, and oatmeal is only 1/4 cup.  I'm not sure why but I really have no interest in food most days. I'd say that's pretty awesome for someone who has spent their entire life as either overweight or obese.

Until next time...Be well!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Oh, Heavenly Eggs!

This morning I was in heaven!  I know it sounds silly, but after drinking my cold breakfast every day for 24 days, it was heavenly to have a hard boiled egg.  Today was  my first day on pureed foods.  Here is my chopped up breakfast, and it was SOOOO good.
I have a new appreciation for food these days.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Two Week Bandiversary

Today I am two weeks out from surgery, and feeling great.  The bruising and swelling around my incisions is all gone.
Remember I said I was having that horrible back pain that the doc said was gas.  I didn't believe him or the nurse and was sure something was really wrong (however I did not go to medical school).  It got so bad I was actually taking my pain medication at night just so I could fall asleep!  Well, lo and behold (TMI alert), yesterday, without warning, the gas flood gates opened up with a vengeance.  It's all gone, and so is the back pain!  I'm just so glad we weren't out in public, and I have an understanding husband!  I'm feeling like 'me' again, and that feels great.
So, tomorrow is the big day.  I get to move on to the next phase of the plan, 'pureed foods'.  I have to review my food list to see what I can have but I do know one of the things is mashed potatoes.  Now, I know I can't have them like my Mom would make them, butter is out of the question, but I don't care.  I'm just so looking forward to having something warm at dinner time.  I looked on line to find low fat recipes and most of them agree you should use low fat sour cream instead of butter.  I'll give it a try.
I'll be posting my weight loss again on Saturday but I can say that I am happy that all my pants are loose, even fresh out of the dryer.  It's been a long time since I've been able to say that.  It's all about the little victories.
Until next time, be well.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Saturday Weigh In

Well, today's my official weigh in day.
Since surgery I'm down 8.6 pounds.  Add that to my 6 pound pre-op weight loss for a grand total of 14.6.  
I'm pretty darn pleased with that number, but of course I wanted a round 15!  I know, it's never good enough.

I was even happier with my loss to date when I started reading some of the on line forums.  So many people have been on there complaining of no weight loss at all since surgery.  I remember the doc telling me that this is a time to heal and the weight loss will come later, but I still don't get it.  How can you not lose weight if you're following the liquid diet?  Well, I think just I've answered my question.  I've read so many posts by people who are not listening to their doctor, or tweaking the diet to suit their needs.  Some people have actually written "I'm not staying on liquids for another day, I'm moving on to the next stage", or "I can eat anything I want with no problem...why isn't the band working?".  Are you kidding me?  Why would you even be trying to eat whatever you want?!  Maybe I'm just a rule follower but I figure there are guidelines and rules that go along with this surgery for a reason.  I have committed to this process and I am aware that it is a PROCESS.  I have a huge fear of failure, and another huge fear of having a complication that would require more surgery.  I will do everything in my power to not let that happen.  The decision to go ahead with this surgery was not taken lightly.  So, I'm not saying I'm perfect, or better than those who are doing things differently than I am.  I'm just saying I will continue to do everything by the book and hope for the best.  If my weight loss stalls, which I'm sure it will when I start adding solids in a couple weeks, then so be it.  That's also part of the process.  I'm OK with that.  I'm not OK with cheating the program and then blindly ask "why isn't it working?".
I've been noticing that I'm not really bothered when I have to cook for my family.  Sure, I would have loved just a taste of the pizza I made for the girls last night, but I was OK without it.  I'd definitely like a little more variety at this point, but I'll get that on Wednesday.  The dietitian told me to mark my calendar so I would remember to progress to the next phase of diet.  HA!  No need to mark that down, I'm so ready for something new I'm counting the minutes!  I'm not exactly looking forward to pureed meats, but I'd love a mashed potato.
I've rediscovered my love of oatmeal.  In fact I've been adding half a packet of Carnation Instant Breakfast to it to boost the protein, and it makes chocolate oatmeal.  It's to die for!  I'd suggest you try it even if you're not on a special diet.  Yumm.

Now, to share something not so yummy with you.  Remember I told you about the bruise from my IV?  Keep in mind that surgery was 11 days ago.  Here's what it looks like today.  Imagine what it looked like last week!

I'm pretty sure it resembles a map of something, but I'm not sure what.  It's just darn gross and I really wish it would go away.
On that unpleasant note, I  bid you all good night.  I have to go puree some oatmeal!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Check UP

I had my one week post-op check with the surgeon and dietitian today.  Everything went well, and here's what I learned...

~I have to be on the full liquid diet for one more week (yuck)
~I can start moving as much as possible, without hurting myself.  Walking, yoga, stairs are all good things.
~The back pain I'm having is likely still from the gas they use to inflate the stomach during surgery.  It should go away in a week or so.
~At the sight of the bruise on my arm, the doc said "Oh My God!  is that from your IV?".  He said it's not exactly 'normal', but he has seen it before.  It'll go away.
~My weight loss thus far is impressive.
~Since my band is still empty, any weight loss over the next 5 weeks is considered a "bonus".  I'm not expected to lose anything until I actually have a fill. (we'll see about that!)
~When I told the doc I'm not hungry, his response was "enjoy it while it lasts".  Hmmm.
~I have to stop weighing myself every day because the weight loss is going to slow down.  They don't want me to get discouraged.

So, pretty much everything is progressing along nicely.  I go back in 5 weeks, at which time I can have a fill if I feel I need one.  Apparently it's up to me.

I'm happy with the results so far and I'm feeling better every day.

Thanks everyone for your support!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

One Week Later!

I've survived my first week of post-op!  It hasn't been that bad really, just a lot of reminding myself to take it easy and heal.  Yesterday was my first day on my own as hubby had to go back to work.  Because I must be mildly insane, I decided to take the girls to Wal Mart.  I hadn't driven in a week and needed to get out of the house.  It started out OK but after a little shopping I was starting to get sore.  I couldn't take the pain meds in the morning because then I wouldn't be able to drive.  Believe me, as soon as we got home I took one!  The rest of the day was pretty rough so that tells me the shopping trip was too much.  Lesson learned.

I've been doing better at getting close to the goal of consuming 60 grams of protein a day.  It's no so easy but I am keeping track so I can see how far off I am each day.
I have continued to lose weight (not posting until Saturday!).  I've been walking a little and can't wait to REALLY be able to exercise again.  I've been having some pretty bad back pain.  They told me in the hospital that I would likely have gas pain in my back and shoulder for a while.  Somehow this doesn't really feel like that.  It feels more like my body wants to stretch and move, and hasn't been able to.  I'd love to be able to do some yoga, or just basic floor stretches.  That's not in the cards just yet.

Here's a picture of what the band looks like.  I thought I'd share it with you so you can have a better understanding of what's going on 'behind the scenes'.  Freaky, isn't it?  You can see how huge the human stomach is in it's original form, and how little of it is used after the band is put on.  That's why I get so full after just a few spoonfuls of yogurt or oatmeal!  It's a modern marvel.

I go to the doc tomorrow for my follow-up.  I'm anxious to hear what he has to say, and I have a few questions for him about my 'port'.  I'll let you know what he says!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Milestones in the Making

It's only been 4 full days since surgery but today I feel like I've turned a corner.  I have only taken one pain pill today, and haven't needed any more.  I feel I have more energy and even got outside today.  It seems so simple, but just a quick trip to the grocery store with the family made me feel more human!  The smell of food cooking didn't make me nauseous today, and actually started to smell good.  I felt a bit hungry too, which is good because I've been having a lot of trouble getting in even half of my daily protein requirement.  I also took a multivitamin which I had been afraid to do until today.  Lots of baby steps, but steps in the right direction!

I guess my biggest accomplishment is that I'm down a total of 10 pounds.  That's 6 from my pre-op liquid diet, and 4 since surgery.  That means I now weigh less than I did when I got pregnant with baby #2!  It feels good to get the baby weight off since the 'baby' is 3 years old!  Now I'll be working on the weight from Baby #1.  All in due time.

I've decided to post my weight loss once a week, on Saturday.  I chose that day because that was my old Weight Watchers 'weigh in' day.  I'm more likely to remember to do it if I stick to the familiar.

Until next time, be well!

Friday, August 20, 2010

Thank God it's Friday!

Yesterday was pretty rough.  I have this problem of thinking I'm Super Woman, and don't take all of my pain meds, then over do it, and of course pay for it.  I was so sick.  I couldn't even stand the sound of my kids voices!  Everything just seemed too loud.  I was in bed a lot, feeling guilty for not being present for them.  I also figured out I was probably dehydrated.  Since I can only sip water all day long, not guzzle it like I normally would, I've not been paying much attention.  Nurse Hubby got me back on track though and even woke up in the middle of the night to bring me some water.  Today is a much better day because of that, along with taking my meds when I'm supposed to!
At this point I'm pretty sure I'm under nourished.  According to my guidelines I'm supposed to be having 2 protein shakes a day, plus things like cottage cheese, oatmeal, soup, etc.  I can barely get down 1 shake so far.  I tried the cottage cheese and started to get sick.  I made 1/4 cup of oatmeal today and only ate about half.  Part of my problem is that I'm absolutely terrified of throwing up!  I stop eating the instant I feel the least bit queasy.  Throwing up is one of the big reasons people have band slippage.  I don't want that to be me.  The other problem is that the pain medication makes me feel icky.  I think once I'm off the meds, I will be able to eat more.  Right now, I'm just not hungry.
I'm just so thankful to have my hubby home with me for these past couple of days.  He's been here to take care of me and the kids.  Yesterday he took them to piano and out for ice cream.  Today it's off to the library.  I don't know how I would get any rest if he wasn't here.
I just need to sit back and enjoy this help while I have it because he goes back to work on Monday.  If I don't feel better by then, I'm out of luck!
I look like I've been battered or tortured.  I have bruises all over, the worst of which is from the IV in my arm.  I've been wearing long sleeves so the kids can't see it because it's really THAT bad.  It's actually black right now.  How do I explain that to them?
So, for the next couple days, my goal is to heal.  That's all I need to do, just heal.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

It's Done...I'm Banded

Yesterday went pretty smoothly.  The babysitter was here at 5:40am. and hubby and I were at the hospital at 6am.  They got me all settled in and then the doc came in to see me and meet my husband.  It was funny, he said "Good morning, are you ready?" and I said "I'm ready, are you!?".  I told him I hoped I had done a good job shrinking my liver for him, and wished him luck.  I met my anesthesia team and politely apologized for my huge tonsils.  They took a look and asked why I had never had them out!
I can vaguely remember the doc telling me that everything went well and I was all done.  I guess I started waking up an hour later and said I had pain.  They gave me lots of great drugs and I was feeling great.  I slept a lot.  The doc came in and said everything went great and that I did an awesome job shrinking the liver, he had easy access to my stomach.  Then I had to laugh because he said "All of your organs are just beautiful!  Everything in there looks great!".  I told him he was the very first person to ever tell me that!
Then he proceeds to tell me that I'll be able to see my port through my skin because he didn't really have any place to hide it.  Are you kidding me?!  I sure have enough belly fat but according to him, there wasn't a lot of tissue where he has to place it and I might not like the look of it.  I assured him that I would never be wearing a bikini, so it probably wouldn't be a problem!
I was way ahead of the pain curve while at the hospital and was walking around like nothing happened.  Unfortunately the pharmacy messed up and didn't fill my Rx so I was 2 hours late getting my meds and have been in pain ever since.  I'm trying to get ahead of it again but it's taking time.
I'll be trying to get lots of rest over the next couple days while I have the hubby here to help.

Here's a "day 1" picture.  I'm thinking of taking one a month to track my progress.

I'll keep you posted!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Big Day Has Arrived

Tomorrow is the big day.  I had a hard time sleeping last night and was having some anxiety.  I was better this morning once I talked it out with the hubby.  He is the calming effect in my life.

Thankfully Sheila has been here to keep me occupied and sane.  We spent the better part of the day at the outlet mall enjoying the gorgeous weather.  We walked a lot, which would please my surgeon.  He wants his patients to keep active prior to surgery to reduce the risk of blood clots.

Today is my one day of clear liquids before surgery.  I can't eat anything all day except for jell-O and popsicles (not sugar free).  I can drink lots of broth though, and that helps.  It's funny how for 9 days I wasn't allowed to have any sugar at all, and now today I can have all the sugar I can handle.  I brought some juice with me to the mall but it was WAY too sweet for me, even after I diluted it with a lot of water.  I think I had finally detoxed myself from the sugar and my body doesn't like it any more.

You know how little kids don't even want something until you tell them they can't have it, then they really must have it?  That's how I feel right now.  I've been looking at fast food signs with lust in my eyes!  I haven't had fast food in years.  Even if I'm stuck having to get something to eat while out with the kids, it's usually a salad or soup.  I wouldn't dream of getting fried food.  But now that I can't have it at all, I want it.  Hopefully this too shall pass.

I'm down another pound which was a welcome surprise this morning.  I hope the liver shrinking diet has worked and the surgeon will be able to get in and out.  He's famous around here for getting Lap band patients out of the OR in 30 minutes or less.  I sure hope that's true tomorrow!
They tell me that since I'm outpatient, I don't need to bring much with me to the hospital.  I've decided to bring a few things for luck.  I'm bringing the lovely compass necklace that lovely daughter #1 made me (so I don't lose my way!), the charm bracelet that D.R. gave me on our wedding day, a book mark that lovely daughter #2 made, and my mother's rosary from The Vatican.  You think that's enough good luck for one surgery?

So, here I go.  I check into the hospital at 6am.  I have no idea what time I'll be home and what I'll feel like, but I'll try to at least post an update on how it went.  Wish me luck, or say a prayer if you're so inclined!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Plugging Right Along...

Remember I was down 4 pounds?  Then yesterday morning I was back up a half pound.  I was thinking "Were my grapes too fatty?  Was the 1% fat from my 99% fat free chicken broth too much for me?!"  Come on!  Of course, it was just water weight, but it made me mad all the same.  Michele says I should ditch my scale for a while.  I think I agree.  I wonder if I can discipline myself to only weigh in once a week and leave the scale alone on the other days. That will be tough.

Speaking of 'water' weight.  Oh my God, how could I possibly pee any more?!  Hubby used to say I had the smallest bladder in the world, and that was before I started the liquid diet.  Honestly, I pee ALL THE TIME!  Think about it, I'm drinking my food, and drinking my drinks.  I'm definitely flushing out the system, so to speak.

Yesterday I had to actually cook for the first time since starting this.  We were out of town for the weekend, and even when we got back on Sunday, it was sort of 'fend for yourself' with sandwiches and snacks for hubby and kids.  Monday and Tuesday hubs had to work late and got something on the way home.  Yesterday I had to cook because I signed up to prepare a meal for one of the women in our Mom's group who just had a baby.  That service is wonderful and we enjoyed all the meals that were delivered to us after we had our baby.  I cooked chicken, rice and green beans.  I made it at 10am. right after having a protein shake, so I wasn't hungry.  I'm proud to announce that I didn't even have a taste!  I put enough aside for dinner here so I wouldn't have to cook again, just warm it up.  I think I'm getting better at this not eating thing  because I wasn't really bothered by it.  I sat at the table with the family but had my shake and some canteloupe, and was just fine.

I'm counting down the days until surgery day.  It's approaching so fast.  I think I'm having some low level anxiety about it but I just keep trying to focus on the positive.  I have you guys to help me through this!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Only in My Dreams

I had a dream last night that I made pancakes for the girls, and ate 4 of them myself, before remembering that I'm supposed to be on a liquid diet!  I woke up relieved that it was only a dream.  I wonder if I'll be dreaming about food for the rest of my life.
The good news is that I'm down 4 pounds from all this madness.  I get mad when I hear people say things like "I gave up drinking pop and lost 25 pounds!".  I gave up pop, artificial sweeteners and most sugars back in January.  I didn't lose an ounce.  So, I've been on liquids for 4 days and I've lost 4 pounds.  I'm not complaining, because I'm grateful for any weight loss, but is this what it takes for me to lose weight?  I have to eat only fruits, drink my protein, and go to bed hungry?  Seems a little unfair to me, but I guess I have to accept that as my fate.  It just kind of pisses me off, that's all.

I am feeling better than I was, and I think I'm finally detoxed from carbs.  No headaches, and I don't feel as weak as before.  I've been keeping up with my weight lifting classes but have stopped "Power Cycling". It's a grueling 60 minute, fast paced class and I just don't think I have the energy to get through that!  At this point I think weight lifting is the key.  I really don't want to have sagging skin after all this hard work!

Surgery is one week from today.  And so the count down begins!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Here I am at day two of my 10 day liquid protein diet and I am insanely craving carbs.  I could live without bread but I'd probably pay $100 for a bowl of cereal right now.

I totally understand the purpose of the 10 day plan.  I know that it's best to shrink the liver so the surgeon can get to the stomach easier, and have more room for the instruments.  I watched the procedure on Youtube.  I get it.  However, I don't care, I want carbs!  I hear it gets better after day 3, and I sure hope so.  My husband will probably move to a hotel if it doesn't!

We just got back from a family wedding in Michigan this weekend.  I was so tired and weak on the car ride home, and very thankful that my husband was driving.  I had lots of cut up melon for the road trip.  Would you believe I actually got sick of fruit!?  I never thought that was possible.  We stopped at McDonald's for a potty break and even though I NEVER eat there, the food suddenly smelled delicious.  I think I would have eaten a burger if given the opportunity, and you know how I feel about meat!

The ray of light to this day is that my beautiful husband remembered that I can have sugar free popsicles.  I can't believe how excited the mention of a popsicle made me.  I couldn't wait to get home and we all had popsicles BEFORE dinner.  That doesn't happen in our house.  Then, my husband says "Well, I didn't have much lunch today so I'm going to eat an early dinner".  Ha, HE didn't eat much lunch?  How about I DRANK my lunch.  So he makes me laugh by saying "well, you paid for the all you can't eat buffet".  He's right.  I'm paying BIG $$$$$$ for this procedure, and I won't screw it up!

So, tomorrow I'm off to the store to stock up on more protein powder and fruit.  I CAN do this...I CAN do this...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Paving the Way

Hello Team!

As you know, I have only told a handful of people about my plan to undergo LapBand surgery.  You are my "team".  I've told you few because I know you'll be there to help me through this process with your love and support! 
I've decided to start blogging (anonymously) to keep the team up to date on the progress during this journey.  I love to write and can't imagine going through this without documenting it.  So, why not share that progress with you!

Today was the big meeting with the surgeon for final instructions regarding the 10 day liquid diet, and pre-surgery prep.  Every time I go to one of these meetings or info. sessions, I have doubts and can't believe I've gotten to this point.  I never thought in a million years I would be signing up for weight loss surgery!  I wonder every day why I couldn't make it work on my own.  I'm trying not to feel like a failure.  Speaking of failure, my biggest fear at this point is having all this done and still not losing weight.  Talk about a nightmare!

So, the 10 day plan.  They call it a liquid diet but really, it's not.  I'm allowed to have lots of fresh/raw fruits and veggies each day, along with my protein shakes.  I can also have sugar free popsicles and jell-O (not a big fan of jell-O).

We're going away this weekend, right at the time when I have to start this 10 day.  Here's some of what I'm packing for the trip.  Doesn't it look nice?  When I was washing, cutting, and packing, I thought to myself "Wow, why couldn't I just eat like this before?  These are all things I like".  I guess there are times when grapes aren't going to cut it and you just have to have a bowl of cereal!  I wonder how that will change after surgery.  Hmmm?

So the journey begins, with you by my side.  I'll try my best to keep the blog up to date and I welcome you to leave comments.  All you have to do is have either a Gmail or Yahoo email account to be able to comment.
We'll be in touch!