Monday, November 29, 2010

Pounds are Gone...So Is My Insulating Fat Suit

Anybody else with a significant weight loss feel cold? I know my thyroid, etc are all normal, just had my blood work done. And I don't think I am getting sick. But I swear I am colder this year than I have ever been before. I used to walk to and from my car and buildings without a coat on in the middle of winter. I hated wearing a winter jacket.

Tonight I am sitting in a 70 degree house with polar fleece pants on, a hooded sweatshirt (with the hood up!) and an afghan on and I have yet to feel warm. Used to be that a turtleneck and a sweater would have left me sweating, now I crave layers and layers. I am just cold! Do you think losing nearly 90 pounds of insulating fat might have something to do with it? Brrrr! Might have to find some low calorie hot chocolate to warm my insides.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I Survived Thanksgiving!

Well, I got through Thanksgiving without stuffing myself too much. In fact I came home tonight to happily find the scale at 214! That is getting wonderfully close to a 90 pound total loss for me pre-op and post-op--just gotta see 213. That's crazy. I used a salad plate at Thanksgiving dinner and it made me feel so happy. I did eat more than I usually would, but in comparison to previous years I ate just a smidge.

One of my family's holiday traditions is to make lefse, for those of you who don't know what that is, it is a traditional Norwegian flat bread of sorts. It's made from potatoes, and is sort of like a soft shell taco shell. Knowing how I can't tolerate soft shells anymore, I figured that my lefse eating days were behind me. I was right. I snitched the smallest little morsel and it hurt my band. So I just avoided them. That was killer, to give up a tradition from my whole life.

Speaking of things I had given up post surgery, one of my other ultimate favorites was popcorn. I would eat it by the truckload if I could. My family and I went to Harry Potter at the theater and I couldn't help but snitch some popcorn from my sister's bucket. I ate handful after handful and I waited for it to turn on me. I finally quit when it hurt just a little bit. It was so buttery and delicious. That was the most I have eaten since surgery. So I cheated a little and tried a few potentially troublesome foods, but in the end I think I did pretty good over the weekend and the scale is showing a loss for the month if I can just hang onto it for another day or two. If I can make 214 stick, that is a two pound loss for November and I will shout from the rooftops, 'cause I didn't think I would have a loss this month. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

What Real Women Look Like

I was looking on the internet tonight searching for images of what a size 18 woman looks like. I have been having some moments lately where I just don't believe what I look like. For instance seeing my reflection in a window as I walk by. I feel like my legs are a mile long some days, but I just don't know what a size 18, 5 foot 6 body looks like and I don't trust my own judgement. I found this really cool website at My Body Gallery. You can look up random pictures of different REAL people and see what a typical body might look at a particular weight. It really gives you some perspective and also you can look ahead to a goal weight to imagine what that might look like. Too skinny, too fat, just right? Very cool. Helps give you some perspective.

Oh Sweet Restriction!

I didn't realize how much I needed a fill. I am feeling great restriction now. It's like realizing I have a band again. I can still eat, but I definitely know that I gotta go slow and chew, chew, chew. This morning for instance, I had my usual Frosted Mini Wheats--good fiber, lol. I had half as much as I usually have and felt full and stopped eating. Awesome.

Guess what??? The scale said 216 again this morning...eeeeekkkk, I screamed with delight. I thought this month was a lost cause. Now all the sudden I have hope. But when I write this one down in the books I may have to put an asterisk behind it, 'cause even if I end up with a loss, just putting a number down like -2 or -3 does not adequately explain the roller coaster ride those few pounds caused. Reminder to self, when you are struggling that hard you need a fill, duh!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Oh Kind Scale...Thanks for Going the Right Direction

So glad to see the scale cooperating a little again. This morning it was back down to 217. I suddenly have hope again that with my latest fill and a few days of mushies I may actually see a loss for the month. I need to get to 215 at the very least to claim a one pound loss for the month of November. That would make my day after the chaos I have seen with this month's scale. Anything beyond that would be icing on the cake. Ever notice how many sayings there are about food?

  • That was a piece of cake.

  • He's a bad egg.

  • I'm as cool as a cucumber.

  • I've got bigger fish to fry.

  • She's nutty as a fruitcake.

  • It's as easy as pie.

  • I'm a couch potato.

  • Take it with a grain of salt.

  • Don't spill the beans.

  • Go bananas!

  • He thinks he's the big cheese.

  • That's the way the cookie crumbles.

No wonder I have food on the brain all the time. LOL. Just a random thought for the day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

TGIF...On Monday?

TGIF...Thank God I'm Filled! I made the 400+ mile round trip to my doc's office today and bless Kristin, the PA's heart for giving me some saline! Who hoo, I feel better already. It's like a reset button in my head. It always helps to have to slow down and have a day or two of mushies, and then you think twice about what you cram down your throat as you aren't exactly sure what will go down. Getting fills is like getting a lap-band refresher course.

I know I have been getting a little lax on my band rules so it was good to discuss some strategies with Kristin. It gave me some new things to work on. I am glad that I am going to be a little tight over Thanksgiving too. Hopefully that will be a good deterrent to stuffing myself. Leave the stuffing for the turkey, thank you very much.

I was actually surprised, as much as I have been bitching about not losing (and potentially gaining) in November my nurse said that I had lost 12 pounds since my last fill on August 17. That's actually an average of 4 pounds per month which is quite respectable. It's just been this last month that has freaked me out. So I am glad to be filled and I hope I find my sweet spot again!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thanks for the Kick in the Ass Band Groupie!

For a good read, head on over to Band Groupies blog for an awesome post on getting the most from your LB. I needed this kick in the ass from her today...

I just got off the phone with my doc's office and scheduled a fill for Monday. I soooooo was not recognizing that I needed a fill. I realize now I was getting into a diet mentality. I was not letting my band tell me I was satisfied. Duh! I hit such a brick wall this month and I was getting into bad thoughts about that dirty "D" word...dieting. I am not on a diet!

I also forgot how to eat as a lap bander--protein first so you feel satisfied and not hungry. I need my sweet spot! Stop using your brain so much and use the tool that the surgeon placed inside ALONG with your brain--together they are a powerful force! Thanks Band Groupie, you are wise beyond your years!

Giving Up on November?

I am so frustrated with the month of November I am tempted to just forget about this month, whatever gain I have I just deal with it. It's just too hard right now to try to eat right and exercise. I know that is a bad idea, but I think I just need to reset my brain. Perhaps if I allow myself to have this "time off" from thinking so damn hard about it, it will free up my mind to refocus on things in December. Ahhhh...I feel better already. I just need to get rid of this self- induced pressure I am putting on myself. I need a little time to just forget about all the rules for a while, scale be damned. Then December 1st, I promise I will start fresh with a much better perspective.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

News Flash...I'm to Blame

This is not going well. This morning I stepped on the scale to see 221. That is up 5 pounds for the month. Yes, I said up, not down. This is not the direction I need. I don't know how to stop this freight train of a mess. My life feels so out of control right now when it comes to food. My work has got me stressed out, eating the wrong things and I have very little control over what's available for food this week as I am on on the road and involved in several meetings that include meals. Although I know that ultimately, I am in control of what goes into my mouth, but this schedule this past few weeks is kicking my ass.

I am also contributing a few pounds of gain to starting the Pill this month. That isn't helping anything both physiologically and hormonally and I know I have some water weight and some hormonally guided eating choices. It also doesn't help that there is a holiday next week and we know how food is often the centerpiece of those family gatherings.

I have been reading up on the 5 day pouch test, I am sure you've seen this. It's a way to sort of "reset" your band. I am sooooo thinking that this may be a needed action step. I am cringing at the fact that I may not have a loss this month. I do not want to write that down here on my blog. So I guess I need to figure out how to wipe out these 5 pounds in the next two weeks. I would even be happy with just getting back to 216, which I started the month off with. A one pound loss would be awesome. For the first time in over a year I am really at a loss of how to make my body do what I want it to do. For the longest time all I had to do was listen to my band, and right now it's just not helping me out. Then again, my brain isn't helping me much either...I could definitely make better choices. Let's be honest, based on the food you have been throwing down your throat lately, it's not your band that is's YOU.

So starting this morning I am drinking water like it was going out of style, trying to flush my system a bit and maybe get rid of some water weight. I am going to try very hard today to only eat extremely healthy choices. No junk food, no chocolate, very little carbs and lots of high quality protein. This is a tough month and the clock is ticking to rid myself of these extra pounds.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Evolution of My Face

Just for kicks I put together a collage of my face and the way it has changed over the past five years. In 2005 I was right around 300, then you can see a slight difference in the 3rd and 4th photos in the top row when I managed to drop 45 pounds, then you can see how I ballooned back up over the next few years. The first photo on the bottom row is me over 300 again. Then slowly you start to see the evolution of the past year as I drop a few pounds a month in these random head shots in chronological order. Then there's the last photo on the bottow row at my current weight of about 220 pounds.

All these years I thought I had a round face, but suddenly I am beginning to see a more square or oblong face. Oh my, it is good to look at these photos and really see the difference. Part of it makes me happy to see the transformation, but I also have a slight twinge of sadness as I see so many years of a life lived at "less than". I wasn't happy for many of those years, and while I may have filled my life with work, travel and other things, I was truly empty inside. Thank God for the ability to change my life. What a gift the lap band has been to me. I have more work to do and I can't wait to add another row of pictures to my collage.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Is It The Pill?

I just possibly had an aha! moment. As I was lamenting the fact that another zit was forming on my face tonight and a girl friend of mine said "wow are you moody today" I thought, huh...perhaps the full effects of the hormones of my recently prescribed birth control pills were starting to kick in. Could my struggles with the scale this month be caused by the fact that I am on the pill? Maybe. So I checked the package insert and sure enough, water retention and weight gain are pretty common side effects. It's been a while since I have been on the pill and I forgot what to expect. Thank goodness, I finally have an excuse and a scapegoat to blame just in case the scale shows a gain this month. I thought I was losing my mind. Hope it is a short-lived side effect. So hmmm, which is better? No love life and losing weight or actually having a love life and chalking up one month of slow weight yeah, I think I know which one I prefer, LOL. :)

My Steamy Love Affair

I am feeling so stressed at work today I decided the only thing that would make me feel better was to crack open a cold, frosty, delicious, carbonated, sweet, caffeinated, nectar of the Gods which has not crossed my lips in nearly a year...oh my dear friend Mountain Dew, I have missed you so. You and I were once like lovers. I don't care if I hurt all day from drinking you. I will savor every sweet drop all the way to the bottom of the can. I will drink you full strength...forget that diet sorry excuse for a substitute. Oh how I have longed to touch your glistening can...yes, gulp...oh yes...yes, give it to me! Oh the ecstasy! Ahhhhhhhhhh......the sweet release. Whew, sorry that almost got a little X-Rated!

Ever have one of those days? I hate my job right now, I am being pulled in 10 different directions. Stress is a bad thing, as I tend to want to drown my sorrows in calories. Isn't that what many of us were famous for? Don't deal with your emotions, just eat until your problems disappear. I haven't felt this stressed in a long time. I need a vacation and I need to survive this week--that's going to be tough. Excuse me now while I go guzzle my Mountain Dew.

Food Amnesia

Work is crazy this week. This morning I was in a rush to leave the house and I forgot to grab something for lunch and also for dinner since I have dart league tonight and won't be home again. It also didn't help any that the fridge is empty again! So what does my lack of planning get me? Being nearly out of calories for the day by midday. So tonight I guess I don't get any supper. That's a bad way of life. I decided it would be a good idea to do a little food journaling this week to get myself back on track. I forget how easy it is to mindlessly choose all the wrong things and then get "food amnesia" about how many calories you really did consume for the day.

I was hungry and made some bad choices for bad I am not even going to tell you what I ate as it is embarrassing what I succumbed to picking up at the local truck stop. Let's just say they don't have the healthiest food choices and in the small town I work in the choices are very few. I get into a lot of trouble when I don't plan ahead. So to make this work week 10,000 times more challenging, I have work meetings 4 days this week and 3 have catered meals and one is probably eating out at the local greasy spoon or ordering pizza. What a food mine field! Then of course next week is the holiday that we not only stuff the bird, but we stuff ourselves...Thanksgiving. Oh my, this month may be my first non-loss or even a gain in more than a year. I have really got to kick things in gear.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Slightly Nicer Scale

Well, after this roller coaster ride on the scale this week, I did manage to see 217 again. Still not where I want it to be but at least it bounced back a wee bit. I get the feeling that I am really going to have to fight for the next 15-17 pounds toward 100 down and onederland. But oh boy, I have not been in the mood for it lately. I feel like I have been going into hibernation mode. This cold weather makes me want to just sit around and eat and curl up with a blanket in my favorite recliner in the living room. I am not spurred on to exercise at all and the foods I have been choosing lately have been a little more substantial and hearty. I may need to write down some specific goals for myself again...but lets wait until the weekend is done. I'm too lazy right now. Perhaps a fresh new start on Monday with goals for the rest of the month to kick my but back into gear. What a never-ending saga! No rest for the weary!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Size 16's...Almost!

I was shopping yesterday and on a whim decided to take a pair of size 16 jeans in the dressing room. I actually got them zipped! I'm not ready to buy 16's yet, as they are still pretty tight, but wow, I was absolutely shocked that I could actually pour myself into them. So here's a rather fuzzy picture from my cell phone. The are tight enough to give me a muffin top, so I am not ready to jump in to them just yet. But wow! 16 sounds like such an average, normal number. I still look at pants and expect them to be a certain width around the waistband and when I picked up the 16's I thought there's no way these actually fit me. I still have a warped view of my body size. It will certainly take me a while to figure that out.

In some other not so good news, the scale and I are having quite a battle. I don't know what has triggered it, but the scale is sitting at 220 this morning, that's a 4 pound swing since the first of the month. At this rate I may have a gain instead of a loss for the month. That's scary. I don't know what I need to do, but I have to do something to nip this in the bud.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Great Article on Referred Pain

I came across this blog post tonight as I was dealing with another episode of shoudler pain. I think it has to do with when I am feeling a little bloated/gassy--sorry for the TMI, but I know my band buddies can handle it. Anyway, I really think when I am feeling bloated, that pushes on my diaphragm and that has some effect on my band, my port or my port tubing. Ugh, I hate this feeling. Can't seem to find relief tonight, but I know this too shall pass. I am trying to keep track of the episodes to discuss my with doc's office at my next appointment. Here's the article on referred pain if anyone wants to read up:

Sprucing Up My Blog

Decided to test out some of the new design features in Blogger tonight. I was a little afraid to move stuff around for fear of losing my data. That made me think about how much info I have invested on this blog that I wouldn't want to lose. I think I may work on backing up some of my info to another location soon, like some of my stats and milestones. Anyway, I don't know if I have it how I like it yet, but I think I will keep playing with it. I wouldn't want to get bored with it.
I am testing out mobile blogging.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Holy Cow Moments and Appreciating The Little Things

I sent my most recent progress picture and my stats to some good friends and family this past week and they were so shocked at my 88 pounds lost so far. I guess that number hasn't really sunk in. But when they said the number out loud and said "look how close you are to losing 100 pounds", it was a little shocking. I think when you lose weight so slowly and you break it down pound by pound and you dissect every little number like we tend to do here on the blogs we forget to look at the cumulative effect of our accomplishments.

I mean holy cow, 88 pounds--that is just 12 pounds away from 100 pounds and 15 away from onederland. If I saw someone else write that down I would really compliment them on their progress, but somehow when I read it it seems sort of unsubstantial. I think it feels that way because I know how much more work I have to do before hitting my goal weight. That is a mind set I need to change. I need to appreciate the work I have done so far and shout it from the rooftops. It helps to take a look at your work in progress once in a while and really look at what you have done.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Nice Scale...Thanks for the New Number!

So happy to see 215 on the scale this morning. It's always to pleasant to see a new number. In other news, spent an awesome night with my E-Harmony honey. Wink, wink, smile! I had given up on meeting anyone or having anything that resembled a dating life. Not sure this is anything more than a fling, but by gosh it sure is lots of fun! I truly think lap band surgery saved my life in more ways than I can count. I am blessed.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Back Down to 216

This week has been a roller coaster ride on the scale. Seems like the first part of the month is always a little dicey for me. I was down to 216, then I crept back up to 219 and finally today I am back to 216. Wow, your body sure can take big swings of fluid. I am really needing to find some exercise again this month. It is a constant battle to find motivation. I know that to really keep up on my average 5 pound loss each month I need to move my body. I keep waiting for the point where my metabolism just bottoms out. I feel like I may be on the verge of a plateau if I am not careful.

All in all, life is good though and I have no complaints. I waiting for some laundry to dry and then I am headed out to see my E-Harmony friend to do something fun tonight. Not sure how exactly to define our "relationship". Friends? Friends with benefits? Dating? Yeah, I don't exactly know what kind of a label to put on it, or if it even needs to be labeled. Just hoping to have some fun. All I can say is that dating is definetly a NSV of my weight loss and I just need to enjoy every moment of it! :)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Feeling Good in My Smack Ass Jeans

I decided to take a random progress picture today. i usually save the monthly progress pic until about halfway through the month but today I was feeling particularly good in what I affectionately call my "smack ass" jeans. I bought these size 18's in September and at the time I was worried about buying a smaller size, they were a little tight and I didn't think I could pull them off. But my niece Kayla was shopping with me and in the dressing room, I asked do these look OK? She said "turn around"...and then she smacked me on the ass and said "you look hot!". It just made me smile. So I bought my "smack ass" jeans and I find that they are already a little baggy in places after just over a month and a half of wearing them. They are my favorite go to jeans for date night, as I feel so awesome in them. Date night! Who'd have thunk it? night. What an awesome thing!

I can't even imagine buying a size 16. I have never in my adult life worn anything that size. The top I am wearing is a 16/18 or 1X. I have a cute new sexy bra on underneath too, that makes my girls perky. And I gave myself highlights earlier in the week. I was just feeling good today and decided to share it with the world. Still lots of work to do, but what an awesome feeling to see the progress. Hoping all my blog buddies feel the same way, take a photo of yourself and enjoy the progress you are making every day! :)

Thinking About Chairs Today

Isn't it funny how you suddenly think about something. Today I was having a thought about my office chair. I moved into this job about 4 years ago and when I got to the office I hated the chair that was at my desk. I didn't fit into it. So I ordered myself a new office chair from the office supply company and I literally paid attention to the width/measurements of the seat and arms. Now, 4 years later as I sit in my custom ordered office chair, I am drowning in it. You could almost squeeze another person in here. So that made me think about some other chairs in my life...

Here's another thought on chairs. I fit so much better at the movie theater. I was at a movie a few weeks ago with my new E-Harmony friend (woohoo!) and I was actually comfortable and I could even cross my legs. For once I wasn't spilling into the next seat, making the poor person next to me uncomfortable. I actually had room to breathe. In fact, my new honey is kind of a bigger guy and I even made a point to give him the aisle seat for a little more room. Made me realize that I while I am still a big girl, I definitely don't take up as much space as I used to. I feel average, and that's awesome.

One more chair example. My sister built a new house a while back and furnished the kitchen island with lovely wooden bar stools. While it was a great gathering place, I avoided them at all costs because I knew that my fat ass wouldn't fit in those skinny high armed chairs. I am finally starting to fit better in them too--it's still a little tight but so much better. Even my sister noticed that I fit better.

One more thing that only fat people think about, and that is the choice of chairs around a table in a crowded room. Case in point, last week I was at a work conference and for the first time in a long time I didn't have to think twice about choosing a chair in a certain position at the table. I hated it when in the past I felt like I was in the way of the waitress, or that I prevented people from being able to walk behind me or get through a crowded space. I just sat down without thinking.

Or how about the times you thought twice about sitting on a folding chair or a canvas lawn chair wondering if your 300 pounds was a little too much to ask of the screws, nuts and bolts holding it together. I've bent my share of hardware over the years. Anybody ever broken a toilet seat? Yep, guilty. That one is rather embarrassing. It was at home, the seat bolts were a little loose and the seat had slid to one side, when I sat down it went crack! Poor thing, it saw that 300 pound ass coming and probably got so scared it cracked itself.

I don't think I realized how much I didn't fit in the world, both literally and figuratively. Some days I just get so introspective about this stuff. I love my little blog, where I can exorcise some demons once in a while. Who would have thought that the subject of chairs would have warranted this long of a post. So silly.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

It's Not That Hard to Eat Healthy

I have been thinking lately about how much my diet has changed in the past year. I used to think so little about what I ate that I usually made all the wrong choices. For instance, I rarely thought I had time for breakfast. So I was so hungry by lunch time I picked horrible, high fat, high calorie foods and I wolfed them down so fast I barely tasted them. I often wasn't prepared for lunch, so I ended up eating at the local bar and grill--we have very few choices in the small town I work in. The typical lunch special was a gravy laden hot beef combo or a bacon cheeseburger and fries. God forbid you saw fruit or vegetables on the plate. What a difference a year makes. I eat breakfast every morning, even if it means grabbing yogurt and fruit on the go and eating at my desk if I am running late. I rarely eat out anymore, which is easier on my waistband and my pocketbook.

I used to think that eating well meant a lot of extra preparation and I realize now that it is actually pretty simple. I just need to keep good foods in the cupboard and the fridge and plan ahead just a little bit. I am so much better about including fruit and veggies in my diet and having a much more well rounded meal. In fact sometimes it seems as if I have too much food when I add in an apple or yogurt along with my main dish. How odd is that. I am finding that I am satisfied for the first time in my life, I truly eat what I like and then feel like it is enough. I also question myself when I feel a late night craving--am I hungry or am I bored...lonely or whatever and then decide if I truly need a snack or if I need to address my needs in a different way. It is finally starting to feel routine, like I don't have to think about it so much and that is awesome. Just more of my rambling...again I am ever amazed at the emotional and mental part of this weight loss journey of mine.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Left Shoulder Pain

I am working with my surgeon on some left shoulder pain issues. I have been reading up a little on this phenomenon with lapbanders. There was of course the shoulder pain following surgery but this is different. Obviously I am nearly a year out from surgery, so that's obvious. Anyway, lately I have been getting what I believe to be referred pain from my diaphragm. It feels like I can't take a full breath without a stabbing pain. But if I lay down or stretch out sometimes I can get it to go away. I have read some other lapband blogs and message boards and have found others who have experienced this too. Anybody else have this? My doc's office is supposed to call back sometime today and decide what, if anything, I need to do. Otherwise, weight loss is going good, scale still reads 216 this morning which is awesome to see that number stick. Now I am just waiting for the follow up from my surgeon's office.