Saturday, July 30, 2011

Sometimes We Get Just What We Want...

For those of you recent followers who don't know, my hubby has been out of work for a little over 4 months.  Because of that, we've been living in limbo, which has been pretty torturous.  He's been interviewing for jobs across the country and we haven't been able to make any plans since we weren't sure if we would be moving or staying.  Imagine not knowing where you'll be living a month from now and how that changes EVERYTHING!  It's awful.

While I've been totally open to the idea of moving to a new state and the adventure of it all, I've been privately not wanting to leave just yet.  We live in a wonderful school district and our oldest will be starting kindergarten in a few weeks.  I've been really excited about her going since it's such a great program.  I've also been thinking about what a pain it would be to have to find a new Christian preschool for the 4 year old, and how much we love the school she's in right now.  I know I'd be able to figure it all out if I had to, but my heart wasn't in it.  I figured whatever was meant to be would be.  I try not to get too worked up about things that I have no control over.
Well, I got my wish anyway!  Hubby just got a fantastic job offer AND we don't have to move until next year.  How perfect is that?  Kiddos can continue going to the schools here and we have a year to get ready for a move.  Talk about taking the pressure off.  Phew!

A few other things that were up in the air beacuse of our 'limbo' situation:

Chicago Lung Run
I'm registered to run the Chicago Lung Run 5K in September, which happens to fall on my birthday.  That's how I wanted to spend my birthday, running a race to celebrate my new healthy lifestyle (and the fact that I can actually run!).  Until yesterday I wasn't sure if that was going to happen.  Now I know for sure I'll be running it and that makes me happy!

A few days before the lay off, we booked a trip to Disney, minus the airfare.  Until yesterday we weren't sure if we'd be able to afford to fly, or if we were driving.  And even if we could fly, where would we be flying from?  Now we can buy our airfare!  Which brings me to my next point...

The BOOBS meet up is happening in Chicago at the same time we'll be in Disney.  However, now that we know we'll be flying, and won't need an extra day for travel, we will be back in town on Friday night. So while I still won't be able to attend all the events because of our vacation, I'd love to meet up with some of you ladies on that Saturday.  Lunch maybe?
I won't be going to the fabulous dinner that is planned for Saturday night for 2 reasons...the participation fee would be too high since I won't be there for the Friday activities, and I don't really eat much meat these days so the 'all you can eat' salad bar just isn't worth the price to me.
That being said, if anyone would like to get together for lunch or some sort of activity on Saturday please let me know!  I'll be happy to hop on the train and meet you guys down there.  Chicago rocks!

Life is just crazy sometimes, but sometimes you get just what you want in the end.  Isn't that great?

Now we're heading out for a quick last minute trip back East to see our family before this whirlwind of a new adventure/new job begins.  The kids don't even know we're going.  I packed their suitcases last night while they were downstairs playing! 

I'll be off line for a few days and not posting again until next Saturday.  Have a great week everybody.  See you when we get back!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Update on the Complex Carb Question...

I just heard back from the dietitian about the complex carbohydrate question.

Apparently I HAVE been getting in my complex carbs after all.  She tells me that fruit, yogurt and even beans are in that category.  I haven't been able to eat bread for a long time now, and I've sworn off rice completely.  But I do eat beans several times a week, and even get in a few grapes here and there.

Also in good news, I don't have to feel guilty for stealing a few of my kids crackers anymore. They're allowed!  In moderation of course.

I really need to look at the binder I got from my pre-op classes and get back to basics. Sometimes the simplest thing can make a big difference.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Anybody Want To Try This With Me?

I was on Lap Band Talk the other day and there was a big discussion going on about how much bandsters are supposed to eat at each meal.  One girl says her surgeon insists that his patients only eat 3 bites, yes you read that right, that's BITES, of food at each meal (three times a day).  This poor girl is starving all day trying to follow her doctors guidelines by eating a whopping 9 bites of food all day.  And of course, no snacking!  She has repeatedly asked for clarification on this as she's been told by other lap band patients that she must have misunderstood.  Nope, he's adamant about that 3 bite rule.

Now, I'm sure anyone who is reading this knows how ridiculous that is.  However, there's still a big debate about what docs prescribe as the optimal meal size.

I decided to email one of the dietitians at my surgeons office and ask for clarification.
I had been taught, and promptly forgot, the basic portion size/measurement we should follow at meal time, so I'm glad I asked.

Here's the run down...

Meals: (eat protein first, save carb for last and don't eat it if satisfied)
1-2 oz. protein
1/4-1/2 C Veg. or Fruit
1/4-1/2 C complex carb

1 oz. protein
1/4-1/2 C. Fruit OR Veg OR Complex carb.

Here I am 11 months out and I don't think I've ever really kept track like that.  What the heck have I been doing? I can tell you that I do eat protein first, but I've probably been eating more like 3-4 oz. at a time, and totally skipping the vegetable and complex carb.  Honestly, I'm not even sure what the heck a complex carb is! I have to google that ASAP.  We generally don't eat any rice, pasta, potatoes at night in our house anyway (even pre-band).  I've been pretty tight since my last fill, which was many moons ago, so I usually just eat  whatever protein I can get in and call it a day.  I know that's not exactly the healthiest way to eat but if it helps, I take my vitamins faithfully!

So I decided to take my plate into my own hands, so to speak, and measure my food. What a concept. Here's my plate from lunch today...

This is a salad plate
That's 2 ounces of lean turkey breast, 1/2 C of tomatoes, and a few tortilla chips (I wasn't sure how to measure those).  I'm pretty sure I would normally have more turkey and skip the chips, but I'm trying to follow the guidelines here.

For some perspective, here's my plate compared to the plate of my 5 year old...

I added a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese to my tomatoes
I should also mention that about 20 minutes before we sat down to eat, she had a cheese stick and an apple sauce.
She ate every bite and asked for more grapes.  I had 2 chips left over.
I must say I was skeptical at first but I was totally satisfied (and not stuffed) after eating this. I wasn't tempted to go rummaging around the pantry for something to snack on.

I just did a huge grocery shopping today, and I'm off from work the rest of the week, so there's no excuse for me not to do this.  I'm going to measure and weigh my portions to get an idea of how I feel at the end of each meal, as well as how long I stay satisfied.  I'm going to the surgeon in a few weeks for my one year check up and honestly, if he asked me today how much I eat at each sitting, I'd have no idea.  I need to take some control back and be fully aware of not just what, but how much I'm putting into my pouch. Otherwise, how will he or I know if my restriction level is appropriate for me?

So, are you with me?  Anybody want to try following these guidelines?  I'd love to hear from anyone who decides to try it.

Go forth, and measure!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Weekly Weigh In

I have a bit of good news to report.  After 2 weeks of sitting still, the scale has decided to move again.  I'm down a little more than a pound this week for a grand total of...


It probably helps that for the past 2 days I've measured my food and written things down. Funny how that happens.  Why do we all seem to hate journaling so much when we know for a fact that it works?  It's a necessary evil I suppose.

I've also noticed that with this heat wave we're having, the band just seems super tight.  I had yogurt for lunch today and I could literally feel it trying to squeak through the band.  Not exactly comfortable.  I had to give up after a couple bites and went back to it later.  I've noticed so many other bloggers complaining about tightness in this heat, and some even going in for a slight un-fill just to get through it.  That makes me wonder if we'll all be complaining about not enough restriction during the winter months!  You know how the roads expand and contract depending on the temperature?  Maybe it's like that with the band too!  Funny.

Well, we've been having severe thunderstorms in our area for the past couple of nights and I haven't gotten very good sleep because of that.  So, I'll keep this short and bid you all a good night. I have to be well rested and fresh so I can kick some imaginary butt in my kick boxing class tomorrow morning!

Until next time, be well.

Monday, July 18, 2011

11 Months And Counting

Yesterday marked my 11 month "Bandiversary".  Man, this year is flying by!
My one year check-up with the surgeon is just a couple weeks away and I'm really excited. Who gets excited about going to the doctor?  I do!
I like going, not just because the doc and his staff are all awesome and very encouraging, but also because I'm ALMOST at that 60 pound mark that he wanted to see.  He told me he would be happy if I could lose 60 pounds, which would take me out of the danger zone for co-morbid conditions.  So, even though I will still be considered 'over weight', 60 pounds is the goal I'm shooting for.  Anything after that is a great big bonus in my book, and the numbers won't matter so much for me (I hope).

At 11 months I'm down approximately 57 pounds (I'm bouncing between 56.5 and 57...Saturday is my official weigh in day).
I've had a lot of Non-scale victories along the way.  Too many to list here.  So today I'll just focus on the fact that I no longer have to wear a knee brace when I run.  In the past I would try to run and could feel my knee cap popping and cracking (um, warning sign, ya' think?!). Now, I run with no noises or pains.  I think that's a huge victory.  Well, that and the fact that I can actually run!

And, of course in keeping with tradition, I provide before and during pics for comparison purposes.  Sheesh, any time I feel like I'm not successful, all I need to do is look at this before shot and all is right with the world.

August 18, 2010

July 18, 2011
I could have sworn I was standing up straight here.  God, I have horrible posture.  At least it's not my grossly large belly pulling me down any more though!
I had to wear the tank to show you all the hard work I'm doing on getting rid of the 'farmer's tan'.  It's coming along.

And now, since I've been up and on the go for 17 1/2 hours today, and can no longer see straight, I'm going to bed.  I hope you all have a wonderful night, and keep cool. Here in Illinois it's hotter than Hades on Hitlers birthday out there!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Saturday Stuff

Today is weigh in day...yadda yadda yadda.  Of course it's the same as last week.  I had that big 4 pound loss 2 weeks ago and now my body is in full on protest mode to make up for it.  I figure as long as I still feel good, and I'm not gaining, that's cool.  Actually, one day this week I was unable to eat for most of the afternoon and evening and the next day I was down a pound, but I don't think that counts much.

In other news...

~I did 2 Combat (kick boxing) and 3 Pump (weight lifting) classes this week.  I remember back when my goal was to get to the gym 3 times each week, now 5 is my new normal.
In fact, yesterday I hadn't planned on going and didn't set the alarm.  I opened my eyes at 4:50am. and thought 'oh, what the heck, I might as well go'.  Who does that!?  It's craziness, but it makes me feel really good.

~A friend of mine is moving out of the area this weekend.  Her hubby got a promotion that involved a relocation.  She called me over to take all her freezer stuff, since she couldn't take it with her.  When I got there, she told me the movers wouldn't let her pack anything liquid in the truck, so she sent me home with THIS...

She cleaned out her liquor cabinet.  OK, hubby and I are what you might call 'occasional drinkers'.  His occasion is usually once a week.  My occasion is about 3 times a year!  Alcohol is just not my thing, especially now that I get up so early to go to the gym.  But, in honor of this auspicious occasion (free booze), we implemented "adult beverage night" last night.  I have to say it was really nice.  We popped in a movie and had a drink together after the kiddos were in bed.
The best part?  I slept like a baby AND the scale wasn't up this morning.  Now those bottles are probably going to be sitting there for the next 5 years.  Anybody want a drink?

~I was hit on by a 70 year old man at the grocery store!  I offered to let him go ahead of me in line, and he declined.  He told me he likes to take his time looking at pretty ladies.  If he wasn't so darn cute, and OLD, I'd think he was a perv.  He then went on to tell me he's been married for 50 years, God bless him.  I told my hubby he better watch out, now that random guys in the grocery store are checking me out.  We got a good laugh out of that one!

~My band is really tight this morning.  I'm sipping on my protein shake and it's going down VERY slowly.  Could it be from the drink last night?  Hmmmm.

Well, it's Saturday so get out there people.  Enjoy the beautiful day and have a great weekend!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Drive Thru Danger!

At the last support meeting I went to, the nutritionist talked to us about the dangers of slipping back into bad habits.  I remember her specifically mentioning going through the fast food drive thru, and how it's not a good idea even if you're just buying a bottle of water or cup of coffee.

Even when I was at my heaviest, fast food wasn't really my thing.  Believe me, I ate my share of junk but it was usually in the form of junk bought at the grocery store, not a fast food joint.  I guess that's why I really didn't understand the harm in going thru McD's for a bottle of water or coffee.  What's the harm?

Well, let me tell you that today, I understand.  I had to leave the house at an un-Godly hour to get to work this morning.  I didn't want to brew coffee at home because my machine beeps loud when it's done.  I didn't want to wake the kids.  I figured I'd just hit the McD's on my way.  They do have .99 coffee ya' know!  I'm such an amateur at this I didn't even know that you pay at one window, and pick up at the next.  I looked at the guy expecting him to give me my coffee and he had to tell me to move to the next window!  Obviously, lack of drive thru experience on my part.

Anyway, I pulled up to the next window and when it opened, I was instantly overwhelmed by smells, the most amazingly good and horribly bad for you smells.  These smells enveloped my head and penetrated my whole car.  Instantly my brain said "Oh Mother of GOD...what is that?  Mmmmmmm, That smells like something I'd like to have".  Then my brain said "QUICK, get the hell out of here before it overpowers you!  Run.  Run!".  I got out of there with my coffee, and my dignity intact.

If those smells had that much of an impression on me, imagine if I had been a fast food junkie in my former life.  I wonder how hard it would have been to just drive away.

So, I now understand why the drive thru is a dangerous game to play, and why the nutritionist said to stay away.

Be afraid people, be very afraid!

I hope you're all having a fantastic and healthy weekend.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Beware of Expanding Food!

These are not my friend.

In fact I now hate them so much I'd like to write to the manufacturer and tell them they should put a warning label on the box!  I'd like to sue them for the agonizing THREE HOURS I spent sliming, PB'ing, spitting, and then eventually puking them up.  Pain and suffering people, Pain and Suffering!

Let me 'splain.

Pre-band, cereal was my absolute favorite food EVER.  Now, life after the band doesn't really allow me to eat cereal in the traditional sense.  However, I do like to add a little to my yogurt now and then, for texture.  It's usually a handful of Cheerios, or whatever happens to be in the pantry.

My lunch today was one Dannon Lite and Fit yogurt, with a handful of Satan's Spawn here...

Seems like a pretty healthy, protein and fiber packed lunch, right?  Well, let me just tell you that those little suckers EXPAND in your stomach after you eat them.  That's why they can tout that eating this cereal will keep you feeling full all morning.  Well, since I have a HARD plastic band around my stomach, the expanding thing...not so nice!  I couldn't so much as take a sip of water for more than 3 hours.

These nasty little pieces of Devil Doo Doo are the reason that I had oatmeal for dinner, while my kids enjoyed  pizza.  Ohhh, the suffering.

Live and learn, I tell ya' and freaking learn!
I have to go drink some water now, I'm sure I'm dehydrated after this lovely, slime filled afternoon.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011


On Sunday I went to a kick boxing class in the morning. I've been working a lot of weekends so I don't normally get to do this class, but since I was off I figured I'd go.  I don't know what came over me but I was like a crazy woman, kicking some imaginary ass in there.  My face was so red that the instructor actually called me out in the middle of class saying "Your face is more red than your shirt!".  I went in with that new attitude that if I drag myself there, I better make it worth it.  It felt great.

Later in the day we had some people over to celebrate the 4th of July.  I love hosting because I have control over what's on the table.  I had one turkey hot dog and a scoop of my own healthy 3-bean bake that I got from Cooking Light magazine (high protein, no carbs).  But you see, there's a reason for all this good behavior.  The reason I was so good all day?  There was pie.  Real, all-American, home-made Apple Pie.  Not fat-free or reduced sugar.  This was the real deal.  I had a piece.  I knew the pie was coming and that I was going to have a piece, so I prepared for it.  I enjoyed it and didn't feel at all guilty.  I'm sure I burned AT LEAST 350 calories during that intense morning work out, so it's all good.  I was thinking "this is what life with the band is all about...I can be normal".  I consider that a successful day.

Now, let's talk about today.  Why can't I plan and be successful every day?  Today started out just like every day with my am. work out and then a protein shake for breakfast.  It's the rest of the day that was just a mish mash of picking, snacking, and not so healthy choices.  My morning snack was a handful of ChexMix.  Come on!  I could have just as easily had a cheese stick or a handful of almonds.  Why am I so inconsistent?  I feel worse about today than I did about eating pie!  Today there was no rhyme or reason, no plan, no real meals to speak of.  That's a bad habit sneaking back into my life and I don't like it.

When I finally sat down and realized I was out of control, I read a bunch of blogs.  You blogging ladies always help to bring me back to where I belong.  You gave me the strength to stay out of the darn pantry tonight!  I'm sitting here having some green tea and reminding myself that tomorrow will be a better day.  I will plan my meals, I will make mindful decisions, I will journal my food, and I will stop the nonsense!

So tonight I thank YOU, all you banded bloggers who are helping me along this journey.
Have a good night, and be well.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

What The.....What?!

For those of you who have been reading and following for a while, you know I am not a big loser.  My body likes to take things s...l...o...w.
So I was pretty surprised earlier this week when I hopped on the scale and saw a loss.  Imagine my even bigger surprise when I got on the scale today for my 'official' weigh-in day and saw a loss of 4 pounds!  Holy crap, where did that come from?

That means my total loss to date is...


So what has changed?  I've been thinking about it and this is what I've come up with.

I've been trying really hard to reduce my intake of artificial sweeteners.  Before surgery I had given them up completely.  But post-op, I've been consuming a lot of sugar free stuff.  I know that's totally fine for us bariatric folks, but I also know sweeteners are not good for our bodies in general.  Instead of using Truvia/Splenda in my tea, I've been using fresh lemon.  I've discovered I actually like the taste, and of course lemon helps cleanse the body of toxins.  Bonus!

I went off the pill this month, totally by mistake.  I know that sounds ridiculous, so let me explain.  I thought I was out of my pills and tried to order a refill.  I was told it wasn't time and I should have plenty left.  At first I thought they were wrong, but sure enough I found the missing pack in the back of my spice cabinet.  What?  Isn't that where you keep your birth control?!  So because I'm a total flake and misplaced my pills, I've been off them for a few weeks now.  I'm pretty sure this has something to do with the weight loss, since most pills have a known side effect of weight gain.  And not to worry folks, I'm not on the pill to prevent pregnancy (the factory is closed!).  I just take it to stabilize my hormones (and to keep me from thinking I hate the world and everyone is stupid, about every 21 days).

I haven't really changed my exercise routine, and even missed one day this week due to hubby's travel schedule.  However, I have a new mind set that I believe is making me work harder while I'm at the gym.  I figure if I have to drag my butt out of bed at 5am., I darn well better make it worth it.  So while I'm in kick boxing class, I'm not just weakly punching at the air in front of me.  I'm pummeling the crap out of my imaginary opponent.  I make every move count, and I feel it.  I walk out of there dripping in sweat, looking like I just got caught in the rain.  Just going to the gym isn't going to cut it.  I have to work to make the exercise work for my body.

That's it  in a nut shell.  Things are changing and my body is noticing (thank God!).

I hope you all have a wonderful holiday weekend.
Stay safe and be well!