Saturday, December 31, 2011

Weekly Weigh In and Learning a Few Things Along The Way

Saturday means it's time for the weekly weigh in.

I did 2 classes at the gym yesterday. One was strength training, the other a massive cardio blast.
Then I had a really hard time last night with being too tight, and pretty much was unable to eat past lunch time. So I wasn't surprised when I got on the scale this morning and saw 159.6.

That brings me to a total loss to date of...


This is most likely the first time ever in my adult life that I haven't gained weight over the holidays. This year the holidays were all about being with family and having a good time, and not so much about the food. That feels good, and the way it should be.

Today we took the kiddos to Navy Pier for the annual Winter Wonder Fest. We go every year, but usually before Christmas. This was our best year yet. No crowds, no lines, no waiting!

 I learned a few things about myself today:

  • My fear of heights and tendency towards nausea only gets worse with age.
  • Just because I can fit on every ride does not mean I should go on every ride!  I thought I was going to lose my lunch even before I had lunch. So not cool.
  • The Tilt A Whirl is fun when you're a kid. Not so much when you're 40. Enough said.
  • I want one of these when I retire (and no longer have to cart 2 kids around town).
Beep Beep!
Perfect size for tooling around Chicago, wouldn't you say?

We came home from Navy Pier and had a sushi making party. I had the inner ingredients, no rice. The kids loved it and I think this is our new family tradition. 
Now we're in our jammies, camped out on the family room floor, watching the NYE party going on in NY.
We're right where we want to be. Healthy and safe, and thankful for a good year.

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Word For 2012

I've been giving it a lot of thought, and reading other blogs, and I think I've finally come up with my word for the new year.
Here it is...


Here's the deal. I'm 9 pounds from my goal weight. I don't have a whole lot of weight loss left, so my word can't really be about that. 
However, we all know that this is not just about losing the weight. It's about committing to a new lifestyle, making permanent changes, and keeping the weight off.

In 2012 I commit to accepting all the hard work I've done, and continuing that work every day. You know my motto all along has been 'never going back' and I have to make a strong commitment to ensure that I don't gain that weight back.

Have you chosen your word?
Happy New Year!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

What's On My Mind

It's 7:00pm. and both kids are in bed. They actually asked me to go to bed early, hallelujah! The house is quiet and here's what's on my mind tonight.

  • My older daughter has a problem with confidence, in almost every facet of her life. Never lack of ability with her, just lack of confidence. For that reason I signed her up for an 'intensive' swim course this week while she's on winter break. We have to go EVERY freaking day for a week, which I hate, but I can tell you it's making a huge difference. I do believe we have a swimmer in our house!

  • I've been eating like crap this week and I hate it. Many people with the band have stated that they love GOOD food, and even though they can only have small portions of it, they still eat wonderful food. Me, not so much. I eat pudding, peanut butter, cookies, and God help me, Pirate's Booty. Real gourmet stuff there, huh?I think part of the problem is that hubby is out of town for most of the week so I don't feel like cooking. That's not an excuse, just a fact. Every day I say I'm going to do better and get back to tracking my food, and every day I fail. 
  • I have not gained any weight with my crappy eating habits (yet). Actually I"m down a little bit (probably because crap eating doesn't leave room for eating an actual dinner!) But that's not the point. My body needs and deserves lots of nice protein and nutrients. I'm depriving my body of what it deserves. This has got to stop!  Tomorrow I will do better. I promise.

  • I'm gearing up for my annual post-Christmas clearance shopping extravaganza. This is my favorite time of year. I snap up all those 75% off deals all around town and have lots and lots of gifts to put away for next year. I do my best Christmas shopping in January. I swear I start to have heart palpitations when I see those mark down signs!
  • We had a fantastic Christmas but I'm secretly glad it's over. I can't wait to take down the tree and decorations and start packing up. This is our last Christmas in this house and I have the sudden urge to start packing up everything that can be moved to the new house. You know, the new house that we HAVEN'T BOUGHT YET! Is this like nesting? Maybe I'm house nesting. I'm so ready.
Well, I think that's all that's on my mind for tonight. I'm going to have some tea and finish this really good book I've been reading because thank you Jesus the house is so quiet!

Have a great night.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Did You Remember Your Word?

I totally forgot that many of us bloggers chose a word for the year and wrote about it. I couldn't remember for the life of me what my word was, so I had to go back in the archives and find it.
Here was that post from almost a year ago...


1.  the fact or power of enduring or bearing pain, hardships, etc.
2. the ability or strength to continue or last, esp. despite fatigue, stress, or other adverse conditions; stamina:  " He has amazing physical endurance."
3.  lasting quality; duration: His friendships have little endurance.

#2 is my favorite part of the definition.  I don't like the part about pain and hardship.  Well, I guess there was some initial pain with the surgery itself, but at this point I'm not suffering a hardship.
I've said many times that this is a process.  I am in it for the long haul.  This word makes me think back to when I was in training for my first 5K.  I didn't care how fast I finished the race, I just wanted to finish it!  My goal was to be able to run the entire thing without stopping for a walk break.  In fact, I was endurance training.
So here I am with the  band, doing the work, and not paying much attention to how long it takes me.  This is my life, and I have the rest of it to live, and work on my goals.  There may be bumps in the road along the way, and it's going to take a while, but I will continue the journey because I'm training in endurance.


So, how'd I do? I think I did pretty well with the 'slow and steady' pace, accepting that this journey is for the long haul. I figure I'll spend the rest of my life 'in training', like I'm getting ready for a big race. However, life is the race, and it's forever.

What was your word? How did you do? I'd love to hear about it.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thinks to Make You Go Hmmmm?

A few little nuggets for you...

  • I took the kids to lunch today for a rare treat since they are both off from school (and driving me nuts!). There were 2 women at the next table, I have to assume friends out for a casual lunch together. They sat across from each other the ENTIRE time, tapping away at their smart phones, and not talking to each other. Seriously? What's the point of going to lunch with a friend if you aren't going to talk? Is that what our society has become? No thank you.

  • For the last year + I've been thinking I'm not doing too bad in the loose skin department. I've lost 70 pounds (give or take) and I work out a lot, so sure my arms are a little flabby, but on the whole, nothing too serious. That is until yesterday when I bent over in the shower to shave my legs. Oh Holy Mother of God! There was so much wrinkly skin, for a moment I was pretty sure a newborn baby elephant had joined me in the shower! Where the heck did that come from? And more importantly, I must make sure my husband NEVER lays eyes on that hot mess. Ewwwwww!

  • The in-laws are on their way to town. This is the first year they'll be spending Christmas here in our home. You'd think I would be nervous or freaking out over the preparations. However, I sit here blogging instead of vacuuming my carpets. I guess I'm pretty comfortable with them, and they aren't here to see my carpets anyway!

  • My 4 year old told me yesterday "Mom, I can see your white hairs again. It's time to go get another box of that stuff". Great. Gotta' love the honesty of kids. I'll be heading to the drug store later today, maybe after vacuuming.

  • I had another vivid dream about my Mom last night. She passed away 2 years ago but in my dreams she's always alive. Sick, but alive and talking to me. I wonder if she's coming to me in my dreams to let me know she's with me. Kinda' weird but I tend to believe in that kind of stuff.

  • I took the kids to the gym day care today so I could get in a quick core workout. It was pretty grueling but I know my moods are better when I exercise, and I have more patience with the kids. It was worth the $2 fee the facility charged me. I'm pretty sure I'm going to spin class in the morning too, in my futile attempt to fight off the Holiday Hungries.
I think that's about it for now. I've procrastinated enough, I must clean the house a little.
I hope you all have a wonderful, healthy and happy holiday.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 19, 2011

16 Months, Weigh In, and Pics

Saturday marked my 16 months since band surgery. I didn't forget about it this month, but was at work for most of the day. Then Sunday is 'family day' in our house, so I'm just getting around to doing my Bandiversary post today.

Yesterday was also supposed to be my weigh in day. So let me get right to that.
I'm holding at a solid 160. That's a slight increase from last week but I'm OK with that. I've fallen off the chocolate band wagon and this is proof that I need to cut it out!

So, that brings me to a total loss to date of...

70 pounds

When I first lost that 3 pounds last week, I thought "Oh good, I've got a little holiday buffer". 
What a dumb way to think! It's like I was giving myself permission to gain it back over the holidays. I've decided I don't want to ever see that 3 pounds again. So my goal over this holiday is to maintain my solid 70 pound loss and not gain an ounce. Let's see how that goes!

And in keeping with tradition, I have some before and during pics for you.

The one on the left was one day post-op. The one on the right, just before heading to the gym yesterday.

August 18, 2010
December 18, 2011

And the last one was after the gym, wearing my husband's favorite "butt pants". That man cracks me up!

We're having the in-laws in this week for Christmas. It'll be our first year staying home and having everyone here. We normally drive back East. The kids are super excited! 
We're having a traditional Italian Christmas Eve, with fish and pasta. Fish works great for me and the band, so I'm happy.
We'll be baking one batch of cut out cookies, mostly for the tradition of it, for the kiddos. I'm sure at least half of them will end up in the freezer. There will be no cakes or pies. One of the benefits of hosting the holiday at your own house!

Until next time, be well and have a wonderful Holiday!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The New Love of My Life

I have a new found love. My hubby is OK with this new love. He's in love too. We all are.

Isn't he lovely?

At first glance, this might look like an ordinary blender. But believe me, it's anything but ordinary.
It's the Vita Mix 5000 and that baby can do anything from make soup to peanut butter!
Hubby has been eye balling this thing for years. They demonstrate it at Co$tco several times a year and the guy stands there and makes samples of all the different types of things it can do.

We've enjoyed numerous samples, and then the frugal wife says "No way in hell we are paying that kind of money for a blender!".

Well, Saturday the cute little guy was there yet again, making more amazing things in his magic machine. Hubby was mesmerized. Star struck. He stood there watching for a looooong time.
Then he turned to me with his sweet little face...the face of a man who never asks for anything because EVERYTHING we buy is for me or the kids, and says
"What if we get it and call it our Christmas gift to each other?".

OK, FINE. Sounds good to me. Not that we've EVER spent that much money on each other for Christmas since we've been together, but FINE. Throw the darn thing in the cart.

I think I've used it 4 times a day since Saturday. Yup, me, the El Cheapo skeptic who said NO for years and years, can't stop using this machine. I made my protein shake in it this morning. Wanna' see?

That frozen dream come true has an entire cup of unsweetened blueberries, and a handful of raw spinach. That's right, I had SPINACH for breakfast. Don't hate me.

I keep thinking 'why didn't I have this when I was banded and had to do liquids and pureed foods?'. Ugh!

As a bandster, I know I never get enough veggies in. It's just not physically possible to get enough protein AND  veggies in when I have a pouch the size of an egg! But now that I have my lovely new appliance, I can puree those veggies and drink them! Pretty cool, huh?

So far I've made:
Several different soups
Peanut butter
Cashew butter
Strawberry sorbet (yogurt and frozen strawberries)
Chocolate ice cream (milk, Instant Breakfast, and frozen bananas)
smoothies for the kids (with carrots!)
protein shakes for me

I have to say that I am not being paid by the Vita Mix company, although I wish I was because it could help me pay for their machine! I'm not being endorsed at all. I just wanted to share with you my latest obsession. It really is amazing.
I know this is the wrong time of year to be thinking about spending money, but if your wallet will allow, I think this thing is a great investment for people like us weight loss folks who need to get all their nutrients in, and have trouble doing so.
OR you could just come on over and I'd be happy to whiz up something delicious for you!
I love this thing!

Have a great day.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Night From Hell

I don't think I have any men who read my blog, except my hubby, but if you happen to be of the male persuasion, please stop reading and go elsewhere...

Normally, every single month, the day or two before I get my T.O.M., I go through a need to devour everything with no nutritional value (junk) that may be in my path. Then T.O.M. arrives and I say "Oh yeah, that's why I wanted to eat six pounds of chocolate yesterday. That explains it.". And that's the end of it.
It's the one time that I can eat like that and NOT gain any weight, probably because the band gets so tight I can't eat anything else.

Then there's yesterday. I had a pretty normal day. Not much of an appetite. I started to have a dull headache pop up here and there throughout the day and even mentioned it to my hubby, saying "I really should take some Tylenol before this gets worse". I even said "this almost feels like a period headache, but it's a week too early for that".

We had a very busy afternoon and evening. I kept putting off taking anything. I finally took some Tylenol at 8pm. and was in bed by 9:00.

I woke up at 2am. to go to the bathroom and instantly felt like somebody hit me in the head with a baseball bat. Wham! Complete agony. My eye started to water profusely and I had to find my way to the medicine cabinet in the dark. I downed 3 more Tylenol and prayed they would just slide through the band. They did. I crawled back upstairs and back to bed. Hubby woke up and asked what was wrong. He said I was making a sound he has never heard from me before, like a squeaky wimper. He was scared.
I swear, this must be what having a stroke feels like! All I could think about was Draz and her migraines that get so bad she has to go to the hospital. I can now imagine what that feels like because if it got even a teensie bit worse, I would have been heading to the ER myself.

I managed to fall back to sleep for a little while. However, and here's the funny/gross part...

Hubby comes in at 4am. and wakes me saying "Honey, your period came".
Um, What?! 
My first thought was, 'I'm laying in bed, how the hell would you know if I have my period?'
But before I could ask, he reminded me that I went to the bathroom at 2am., and did NOT flush the toilet.
Oh good God. I'm so happy we've been married for a while and we don't embarrass easily! This man is part saint, I tell ya'.

So that was my night from hell. Today the headache is still there, but a much more manageable dull roar.
Now I'm wondering. Is this another change happening to my body? Am I no longer going to have the intense cravings each month? Can I expect this horrific pain in my head instead of the cravings?
I have to tell you, I'd rather be able to eat a bunch of chocolate and move on with my day. This totally sucks!

And just so you know, getting on the scale the first morning of your period...not a good idea. My scale tried to tell my I gained 5 pounds in 2 days. Whatever!

So, have any of you bandsters out there noticed a difference in these 'monthly' sort of things? I'd love to hear about it.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Weigh In, another Milestone, and Trying Something New

A few days ago I weighed myself and saw a new all time low, but was pretty sure it was temporary. I mentioned that to my hubby and his response was "you always think it's temporary, and it never is!".
I guess I have a lot of self doubt.

So today is my actual 'official' weigh in day and guess what? The numbers were all the same!



Which brings me to a total weight loss of...


I remember clearly that I weighed 175 for my High School physical. Never as an adult have I been able to get below 180. I've been able to drop weight here and there through different programs, but NEVER this much.

Thank you very much Phil The Band. I love you!

And now on to the something new, and what I believe is the reason I was able to drop nearly 3 pounds in one week.
I watched the documentary "Food Matters" this week. The amount of information about food, nutrition, and toxins was absolutely overwhelming. I like to make positive changes but I'm a simple kind of gal, so I've decided to take it one step at a time...

One of the experts who was interviewed said that people should start their day by drinking at least a liter of water before they do anything else. We should all be cleansing our kidneys to get rid of toxins, and get things moving. Easy enough for me!

So every day this week I've been filling my 32oz. water bottle, adding a squirt of fresh lemon juice, and having that before any coffee or my protein shake.
Easy Peasy.

So just for this week, I challenge all of you, my dear friends, to do the same. Get that water in first thing in the morning, get those kidneys working, FLUSH FLUSH FLUSH, and see if the scale thanks you for it. You'll never know unless you try.

Have a fabulous weekend!

Friday, December 9, 2011

What Makes You Kick Butt?

This morning I threw some sneakers on to take my kiddo to the bus stop. It wasn't until I returned to the house that I realized that I was wearing my gym shoes, and since we got a little snow last night, they were wet.
I can't wear wet shoes to the gym unless I want to break my neck, so I went into the closet and grabbed my 'running shoes'. I've only ever worn these particular shoes on run days so they look brand spanking new.

I arrive at the gym, go to the locker room to get changed, and this fell out of my shoe...

Uh oh. That's the birthday badge I wore to run the Chicago Lung Run 5K. That was back in SEPTEMBER. It's been in my shoe since I packed up after the race that day. That means I haven't run outside since then.
That's sorta' sad.
I'm totally a fair weather runner. On top of that, I only run when I have a goal in mind, like training for a specific race.

I want to be a runner. I really do. I know I feel great after a good run. I know I feel a sense of accomplishment when I complete a race and see that I've beat my time from the previous race. I just can't get my head around running in the cold/ice/snow/wind. And once you've run in the great outdoors, the treadmill just seems boring.

Seeing that button made me feel like a slacker. That was my inspiration to go into kick boxing class and seriously work my butt off. I racked up over 7,000 steps on my pedometer in just one class. I was sweating like a pig in July.

I can't promise I'll start running again, at least until the weather is a little nicer. But seeing that button today made me promise myself I will work as hard as I can in all my other work outs along the way.

What's your inspiration?
Get out there and kick some butt today!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Don't Be A Statistic

I have to send out a great big thank you to Lap Band Gal for her post today. It made me stop, do some math, and realize that I'm doing great with this band thing! It also made me realize I do NOT want to be a statistic. I'm kind of happy that I didn't know the research on what was 'expected' of me when I had my surgery. I might have stopped losing weight after I dropped the expected 50% of excess body weight, and not been motivated to go further.

If I followed the statistical bell curve for Lap Band patients, I would have lost 40 pounds (50% of my excess body weight). That would have left me at 190. Ouch!

My first goal when I set out to do this was to get down to my wedding day weight which was 183. I got there, stayed there for a while, then decided to move on. I'm so glad I did!

I went back in my archives to try to find a picture of me at about 40 pounds down. This one was taken a year ago and I was down about's as close as I could get.

So glad I didn't stop HERE!
And here I am at 60 pounds down, taken almost 2 months ago...

I'm down almost 10 more since that pic was taken, but I haven't taken a new one yet.

So my point in all this is...don't be a statistic! Just because the experts say you'll lose about 50% of your excess weight doesn't mean you can't lose more. Do what you know is right for you. Blow those numbers out of the water!

Thank you Lap Band Gal!

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Weekly Weigh In and My 2nd ever BYOC!

I weighed in this morning at the same weight as last week. Holding steady at 162. I've actually bounced back and forth between 162 and 162.8 all week.
I find that funny since I'm still not able to eat much at all. Yesterday I had a protein shake for breakfast, SF chocolate pudding mixed wtih protein powder and 1 T natural peanut butter for lunch (super yummy but no crunch factor!) and instant mashed potatoes for dinner. Phil is killing me...I want food!
I can say that I feel better and more normal today after my day of full liquid/mushies yesterday. Maybe there was some irritation going on and it's settling down now. Who knows.

I'm at work today and since I really have nothing great to write about, I thought I'd participate in Drazils' "BYOC" from yesterday. Here goes...


It’s Friday so it’s time for BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy! We answer a few questions in order to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break! Copy to your own blog if you wish and ENJOY!

Let’s do a little themed version of where you live and why!

1. Describe the structure you live in. (apartment, condo, house, mansion, cardboard box?)

We live in a 4 bedroom colonial house. It's pretty standard for the homes around our area. Nice, but not fancy. It suits us just fine.
2. Describe the city you live in. (population, main attractions)
I actually had to look this up on line because quite honestly, I had no clue. We've only lived here 5 years.
According to the last cencus records, the population here is about  23,000. It has tripled in 8 years. There's a lot of development going on. The area used to be ALL farm country but with families moving out of the city of Chicago to the suburbs, there are houses going up everywhere. The farmers have done very well for themselves by selling off their land to home developers.
Most people have never heard of our town, except if they've been to the outlet mall. That's our main attraction. There's also a HUGE retirement community at the edge of town which is so weird to me because from my perspective, it's all young families, just like ours.
I'm from a pretty big city so this is defintely 'small town USA' to me. We've lived here such a short time but I can't go anywhere in town without seeing at least 3 people I know.
I like that.

3. Why do you live in the town you live in? (job, to get away from a different town, family, schools?)

We moved here when my husband got a job working at the headquarters of a major retailer in a neighboring town. We chose not to live in the town where the job was because the school district here is way better, and we liked the area much more. I guess none of that matters any more since we'll be moving again over the summer.
This area has served us well, and we've enjoyed our time here. It's just time to move on.

4. What’s the view like from your backyard?

Corn fields for as far as the eye can see! Well, actually I can see the middle school WAY off in the distance, but mostly it's just corn fields. The area back there was supposed to be developed into yet another housing tract, but since the market tanked a couple years ago, that's all been put on hold. I sort of like not having neighbors out back, and we love watching the farmer harvest the corn every year. We do have to be a little careful though because there is a family of coyote who live in the field. They don't usually come in during the day, but we have heard them hunting rabbits at night, and it's a bit disturbing!
My kids are definitely growing up differently than I did.

5. Repeat question: How has your week been in blogland and in real life?

Well, in real life we found what we would consider our 'dream home', and tried to put in an offer, only to find out another offer had just been accepted. We were both disappointed, to say the least.
We're continuing to look but it's exhausting, especially when we thought we had already found "the one".

Blog land has been fun. I've been getting up before the kids and doing a lot of blog reading first thing in the morning. I love being caught up in all the lives of my blogger friends. I've found a wonderful community!
Have a fantastic weekend.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Some News You Can Use

I've written before about how I can't eat anything at all around my time of the month. I also mentioned this to my surgeon and he looked at me sort of puzzled. I wondered if I was crazy, or alone in this feeling.

Here's an article about this very thing, so it's real and I am NOT alone.
Check it out...