Thursday, December 20, 2012

TOPS Weigh In

Well, last night I went to my 2nd TOPS weigh in and I was the biggest loser for the week! Yippee. Recorded a loss of 3.6 pounds, from 250.4 to 246.8.

I was very good about eating breakfast all last week and using my food diary. I did have to survive a Christmas party at work, but apparently must have done OK.

Just gotta keep it up. We won't meet for TOPS again until after Christmas and New Year. Gotta be sensible.

Friday, December 14, 2012

For Today...

Ate breakfast of an apple with low fat caramel (yeah I know it's a little decadent but at least I had fruit!) Listening to my body, eating when my stomach growls so I had some string cheese at about 11 AM. Trying to keep healthy snacks in the fridge at work. Keeping my food diary, shooting for 1500 calories per day. Yesterday I had just a little over 1400 calories.

I forgot that when you eat healthy you  actually can eat a larger volume of food and it is more satisfying. I just totally got out of that habit. I'm trying. Baby steps. Thanks for the encouraging comments all! :)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

For Today...

OK, I got a better start today. I went to my first TOPS meeting last night. First official weigh-in (fully clothed) was 250.4. Goal for this week is to eat breakfast each day and to keep a food diary. So this morning I made myself an egg and some peaches. It's a start.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day One...Again

I've lost myself. I haven't been back to these pages in months. My weight has continues to increase as I have used food as an emotional bandaid in my life lately. Stresses at work and in my personal life have been difficult and I have fallen back into old patterns.

My weight today is 249. This is an awful number to write here. I know that I desperately need to change my life. I have chosen to ignore my own well being and have soothed myself with the foods that bring me happiness--well temporary happiness, but eventually pain.

So here's where things stand:

  • I am not using my YMCA membership--either start using it or cancel it.
  • Start eating real food again, you cannot survive on the absolute junk you have been eating lately. There is no nutrition in it.
  • Start eating breakfast again, you quit when your band was too tight, but now you need the nutrition to start your day right.
  • You must keep a food diary. It is the only way you can be accountable.
  • You need to concentrate on protein again, and get rid of the carbs and sugar.
  • You should blog again, just another place to report progress and be accountable. Perhaps you even need an outside source to report to. TOPS? Weight Watchers? A friend or family member?
It's time to start over. One day at a time.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Doing Good So Far

Here's the report for the week...
  • The scale is down 4 pounds to 228 (gotta be water weight, but I will take it!)
  • Been to the Y three days in a row, walking, cardio machines and the pool!
  • Kept food diary three days in a row, meeting calorie goals each day!
Carry on!

Monday, September 24, 2012

It's a New Day!

It's a new day of living a better life. I have used a plethora of excuses for about a year and it hasn't gotten me anywhere but fat. So today, I promised I got myself out of bed at 6:00 AM and went to the YMCA. I walked and did several machines, exercising for about an hour. I had yogurt and a bit of granola for breakfast and tracked everything in MyFitnessPal. A good start, now to repeat and repeat and repeat. Scale said 232 this morning. That has to change!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Today is The Free-For-All...Then Tomorrow Starts!

Well, it's time to shake things up. Today I am having a free-for-all food wise. But I hope to make it my last for a long time. It's time to take hold of my life again and do good things for myself. I have not been feeding my body well for a long, long time and the scale shows it, my too tight clothes show it and I have had enough. So today was the day for Oreo's, Cheetos, pizza, ice cream and the rest of the crap I have been choosing for myself. Enough is enough. So get it out of your system and tomorrow is a brand new day. Here's the plan:
  • Get up at 6:00 AM and go to the YMCA for exercise
  • Eat a good breakfast
  • Keep my food diary again, shooting for 1500 calories per day
Day one is coming. I am ready to embrace it again. Scale today reads 230 and I am tired of it. I will work on losing again and I will succeed. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Angry Band

I have an angry band this morning. It was irritated on Saturday after a vomiting episode and I didn't take very good care of it. Then I had another episode last night. This morning, water is painfully going down. Well, guess today is liquids for me. Sigh. I gotta take better care of my tool.

By the way, the scale says 229 and I am 40 today. 

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Good Restriction

Feeling good about my last fill. It took a few days to get used to the new normal, but I am feeling very good about it. I can still eat normally when out with a group, but only 1/2 of a meal or less. So I feel good about that. Scale today said 225. Woohoo! It's slow, but at least is steadily heading downward. I know that exercise would help a lot, but I am having trouble squeezing it in--which is a good thing right now, as I found a new friend, via and he and I have been spending a good amount of time together. Life is getting better all the time. I feel content. :)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Slow is the Way to Go

Eating is a very slow process these days, and I need to get used to that again. I also need to get out of the habit of "finishing my plate". When I feel full, I need to stop. But sometime I feel like I didn't get enough, nutrition wise. Such a fine line of just enough and not too much.

Been trying to exercise when I can, I wish that my schedule was a little more forgiving sometimes but again, it is all about finding a balance. Scale says 226--but TOM is here, so I am just fine with that number. I just need to keep working on it. Steady is a good thing.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Saw a Glimpse of 225

It was a very short, fleeting moment that could not be repeated, but for just one moment this morning I saw a new number of 225. Thankfully the scale is headed downward. I am having a littel trouble eating this morning, feeling a little stuck after about half of my fruit and yogurt parfait. I must not have chewed my first bites well enough. It is also TOM this week, so perhaps my hormones are wreaking havoc on me too. At any rate, things are looking better for the moment.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Oh How Fickle!

Part of me says I am to tight, part of me says this is just going to take a little adjustment after having been so loose for so long. It's iffy right now. I have been trying to listen to my body and when I feel a soft stop, I stop. I don't want to abuse my band. But I am back to VERY small portions. Guess I need to give it a little time and if I still feel too tight in a week or two, then it's back to my doc's office for a tweak. Be smart, don't tolerate being too tight.

On a good note the scale is down again, today it said 226. Making slow progress. My schedule is wreaking havoc with my exercise right now though. Gotta find a way to squeeze that in.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Restriction...I Forgot What You Felt Like

Oh my, lunch today was a bit of a surprise. I had just gotten my fill yesterday--I thought it was rather non-aggressive, so I was surprised to day when scrambled eggs for lunch just did not agree with me. Vomit and sliming is not good. Guess I better think twice about my foods choices this week. This morning yogurt and granola went down OK, but I did feel a little tightness at the end. Don't want to make my newly tight band angry. Must behave myself until I am used to this new restriction level. Getting filled is always a new adventure in eating!

Keeping Up to Keep Weight Off

Keeping up to keep weight off

Very interesting (and frustrating) article that my bariatric clinic shared with us this morning. Ugh, no wonder I struggle. It is a constantly moving target.

Monday, August 13, 2012

No Loss, But No Gain...That's a Victory!

I had a fill appointment today and I was so pleased to see that the scale was exactly the same as my last visit about a month ago on July 3rd. There is a lot to be said for maintaining for me right now. So I think I have a good exercise plan in place, but I need to curb my snacking. I also think I need to just chose better, more nutritious food. I have been choosing crap and have been feeling empty and unsatisfied so I go looking for more food. I didn't lose like I had hoped to, but at this point, maintaining is an awesome thing. Hope I can get my act together soon. Willpower, determination and choice are the only things that will work. I am glad for a new restriction level again. Small steps.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Interesting Theory About Pouch Size

This was information that was on my hospital's baratric Facebook page today. Interesting reading!
Are you curious about how big (or how much) your pouch holds? A simple way to check is the cottage cheese test created by Dr. Flanagan.
  1.  Buy a small container of cottage cheese (or something with similar consistency if you don't eat cottage cheese).
  2. Begin with a full container in the morning before eating anything else. (This will be your breakfast).
  3. Eat faster than usual, about 10 minutes until you feel satisfied. The curds don't take much chewing and you are eating faster than usual to fill your pouch before there is any time for food to move out of it.
  4. After eating your fill of cottage cheese, you will be left with a partially eaten container that has empty space where the cottage cheese used to be. 
  5. Measure the volume of cottage cheese you have eating by filling a 2 cup (16 oz) measuring cup with water. Pour water into the cottage cheese container until the water leve rises to the original top level of the cottage cheese.
  6. The amount of water you pour in the container is the functional size of your pouch.
Dr. Flanagan's research shows the average volume of a GB patient is about 5 1/2 oz. Per his research, even pouches that hold up to 9 oz have no impact on a person's success with weight loss.
Hope this answers your questions, if not, please comment!
Have a great day, ~Stephanie

My Band Hurts When I am Hungry

My band hurts when I am hungry! It starts to ache about 11:30 AM as I am nearing dinner. It only stops aching after I eat. Anybody else experience this?

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Softies, Swimming and Sanity

Well I have been taking it easy on my band and eating soft foods, mostly soup, jello and yogurt. That has been good for the band, I don't want it angry at me. I went to the Y for swimming today, did and hour of lap swimming and water aerobics. It felt so good! I love the pool. I am trying to find my sanity back where it comes to my band. I feel Ike I have forgotten how to lose weight...or perhaps just the gumption to get it done. At any rate, every day I think it's gonna be a good day and then I blow it midday and throw caution to the wind. This temporary liquid diet has helped me to slow down the calorie intake for the weekend so thank God for that. Just keep trying. Scale graciously gave me 226 today.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Pickles Cause Angry Band

Oh my! Dill pickles have caused me to have an angry band. I think it was slightly upset with me over a drinking and eating feast on Friday night and now it appears that pickles at lunch time have angered it more. I think it would be best to do liquids again for a day or so. Damn.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Why Do I Keep Doing That?

Every day I start out the day healthy and on a good track. But just goes down hill. I have been eating the most awful snacks lately. Someone brought donuts to the office and I had more than my share of them. I made brownies at home and ate the whole pan over the weekend. I have been eating Mike and Ike's from the vending machine. I just can't quit snacking on pure sugar. This is mental. I am choosing to sabotage myself. Why is making the right decision so hard? Today the scale is at 228. I know what I am doing wrong but I can't make myself do the right thing.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Up and Down...Up and Down

I have been absolutely amazed lately at the swings the scale has taken. Friday was 224, Tuesday was 229 and today was 227. I have never had such inconsistencies. One pound maybe, but not 3-5 at a time. I feel like I don't know my own body anymore. My main goal right now is to be at a lower weight than the previous 230 at my next fill appointment on August 13th. I have been trying to keep true to my food diary, I continue to exercise and have been trying hard to drink more water. I don't know what else to do. Just keep trying. It is a real mental battle right now.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Stepped on the Scale

Well, I didn't expect miracles and I tried not to even guess about a number, I just stepped on the scale and faced reality. So, the number is 224. My doc's office was 230--of course the two never match exactly, but at least that is better. I had weighed in on my own scale on July 5 and it was 225. So whichever number you choose it is still a loss and I will take it!!! I know that I made better choices in the last week or so and I feel good about that. I still have work to do and probably always will. For now, I will take even the smallest move downward.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Better Day Today

Today I was really trying to focus on doing the right thing. Replacing crappy foods for good home cooked foods and very low calorie snack choices has helped my attitude immensely. I went to water aerobics this morning where we did a high intensity workout of "100's" and I also took a 40 minute walk tonight. I have also been trying to drink more water and zero calorie liquids. I had a good day, now I just need to keep repeating those.

My nine pound gain at my doc's office was a good source of motivation for me. I don't want to feel that bad again. I was so disappointed in myself. I want to fee proud of myself and for the first time in quite a while I feel good about stringing together a couple of good days. Now I just need to do it again and again and again.

Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm Trying

I'm trying...that is my mantra. I am happy with my current level of restriction, as I can just feel my band once in a while. I am trying to eat, good nutritious foods and for the most part I have avoided snacking. I realize that I need to get back to basics, cooking for myself. I feel so much more satisfied with home cooked meals--with a little help from some convenience foods too. Tonight I made kind of a "hash". It had seasoned potatoes--they are precooked in the refrigerated isle and I added turkey sausage to that. I had a huge portion of satisfying, tasty food that I measured and weighed to get the portion sizes and calories right and it was only 320 calories. How many times have I chosen the wrong things with little nutrition and left me wanting something else? I have to cook again.

So for tomorrow, I am making my Turkey Meatloaf recipe and I will also make sweet potatoes to go with it. I am already looking forward to it. Turkey makes it so low cal compared to pork or beef. I did really good at the grocery store tonight, sticking to my list. I remembered an old trick for getting my sweet dessert fix on. I used to always eat sugar free Jello with fat free/sugar free Cool Whip. I can have a whole bowl full of yummy sweetness for only about 40 calories. I also bought some fruit to try to satisfy my sweet tooth. Abstinence just doesn't work for me, it always backfires. So I have to try to find acceptable alternatives to having my sweets.

I have a little over 200 calories left for the day and feel quite satisfied.Back to the basics! I haven't gotten on the scale, and plan to stay off it until next Friday. That's a bit of torture as I am a bit psycho when it comes to the scale. But I think this is a good respite. Just concentrate on good choices.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

You Are More Important Than This Number

Amen to that! I got this little message from my Bariatric support groups Facebook post for today. I think I need to stay away from the scale for a while and just work my plan. I need to take a break from some things, like obsessing about the scale. It tires me out. So instead I will concentrate on keeping my food diary and exercising. That's it. So I vow not to look at the scale for at least one week. So I plan to stay off the scale until next Friday, July 13...ooh could that be ominous? Nah, I'm not too superstitious. LOL.  Tonight I plan on going to my water aerobics class and so far I have done great on my calories and no snacking today. Stay focused! It will make a difference.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

New Day

Well yesterday's visit to my docs office was not the best. My lapband is fine. We did a barium swallow under fluoroscopy and all appears well. The bad news was I gained 9 pounds in one month. I cried in the docs office. I felt like such a failure. Kristin, my PA was wonderful she really tried to lift my spirits and help me figure out a plan of attack. Of course my problems were totally self inflicted. Anyway today I am going to totally purge the cupboard and fridge of all the foods that don't fit in my life. The goal for today is to eat as simply as possible and not snack. I also plan to exercise today. That's it. Do that enough days in a row and life will get better. Kristin gave me a small fill and I will go back in about 6 weeks for another fill. My only goal is to see a smaller number on the scale next time I am at the docs office. Anything less than 230 is a good thing. I can do this. Update...Step one completed. 45 minute walk done!!!!!!!

Another Update...I stayed 95 calories under my calorie goal for today. Still got work to do but better. One day at a time.

Monday, July 2, 2012

July "Progress" Picture...Well It's a Picture Anyway

Well, i decided it was important for me to go back to the basics of what works for me and that has been monthly accountability. One way I used to do that was to put a progress picture up on the first of each month. So here is my "progress" (or in this case a lack of progress) picture. Here I am back at 225 and I can feel the bloat in my gut and the tightness in my clothes. These are my new workout clothes. I specifically bought them a little snug hoping that I would be motivated to look better in them. So tonight I walked on the track and tried a new recumbent cross trainer at the Y. I worked out for about 1/2 hour.

Tomorrow I have a fluoroscopy and a follow up appointment at my PA's office. I am unsure about what I want. I have been eating so many wonderful foods--been on a band vacation and now it is the reality, will she add fluid back in tomorrow and am I ready to be tighter again. Ugh. I have never struggled so much with this. It is hard work. 

I can do better than this. Less junk in the trunk and get rid of that gut. I have work to do.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No Whining Zone

OK, here's what I have done right for far...
  • healthy breakfast of yogurt and granola
  • went for a 15 minute walk at break time this morning
  • tried to keep a positive attitude
  • drank 2 bottles of water this morning
Small steps...repeat...

Monday, June 25, 2012


Oh my gosh I was such a whiner in my last post. But I know you all can understand it. There are times you just get burned out. Ok, so for TODAY the goals are simple:

Try to eat right...stay within your newly set calorie goals...try to eat foods that give you nutrition and energy...avoid crap.

Try to exercise a little bit...anything is better than nothing...even just a walk around the block at break time.

That's doable right? Right. Keep calm. Try. That's it.

Saturday, June 23, 2012

I'm Tired of Trying

So frustrated. It was barely two weeks ago that I could claim 217 on the scale. Now I am stuck at 224. But I also saw 230 at one point. The scale has been taking unbelievable swings in both water retention and real pounds. I don't understand how it can possibly change that much in such a short amount of time. I am at a total loss as to how many calories I should be eating. It seems like that whatever I do, doesn't seem to work. I binge then I restrict and they both seem to produce the same results.

I am tired of thinking about my weight. I hate the fact that if I want to lose more I will have to work at it. And it seems as if even if I work at it, the pounds still don't disappear. So I give up. I just feel so worn out about thinking about it every day. I'm just tired.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I Vow...No More Food Today!

Ugh, I am really having trouble with binge eating all the sudden. Yesterday I ate 4 cupcakes and a bowl of ice cream along with the rest of my regular meals for the day. Yes, I said 4. What got into me? I was more than 800 calories over my normal target for the day. Wow. I haven't had a day like that in a long time.

It of course has a lot to do with the fact that my band is wide open! So I have already had my calories for the day and then some. So I am vowing right here and now not to eat any more today. It is 6:15 PM and I am done eating.No snacks. No giving in to boredom. So if I feel "hunger" tonight, I am going to drink water or no-cal liquids instead. Good grief, I am still in the grips of a food addiction. I need to get a hold of that, regardless of my current level of restriction. This is mental, not physical.

On a positive note, I did go do an hour of water aerobics tonight.That at least helped me work off that cookie I ate this afternoon and the chips and salsa I had for dinner. Why can't I eat just one serving of chips and salsa instead of three?

Monday, June 18, 2012

Weight Prejudice

I had a really odd realization today, that I have entered a new social category that I was not a part of before. Today at work our staff was doing the 6 month evaluation for our secretary, who I will call J. So we were all discussing things to put on the feedback sheet. Our secretary,is a wonderful young lady who happens to be morbidly obese. If I had to guess her weight I would say she is easily 350 or 400 pounds. I can only say that because I know what I looked like at 300 pounds. Anyway, one of my co-workers made the comment, that she was surprised that J really managed to do quite a bit, because you "sort of expect that someone who is that big wouldn't be able to." She stopped just short of saying the word lazy. I was so taken aback by this comment. It was one of the first blatantly weight prejudice statements I had heard from someone. It was really quite disturbing. I should have said something, but I just sat there quietly, not knowing how to react.

Then later, I thought of something...I never heard those comments when I was fat, because I was never in the room when someone said them...because the comments were likely said about me. So for the first time, I was considered...normal. Or at least normal enough to be included in a conversation about someone else's weight. If I had still been 300 pounds, would that comment have been uttered while I was there? Or would they hold their tongue, knowing that the weight comment would have just as easily been applied to me.

This is the second time this person has mentioned weight in reference to ability to do a job. The first time was during J's interview. My co-worker, myself and another co-worker were doing interviews. One co-worker was joining us via teleconference and therefore did not see the candidates face to face. After the interviews, we were discussing each of the candidates pros and cons and my coworker thought it was necessary to mention that J was a "big gal". As if to make sure the other co-worker joining us via distance would need to know that since she couldn't see her appearance. The comment bothered me then, but once again I stayed quiet.

The fact that these each of these comments are now made with me present makes me feel like, since I am not "fat" anymore then I fit into a new class of society--but not one I am particularly proud of being a part of. It's just the realization that I am on the other side of the conversation, one that I was not part of before. It is an uncomfortable place to be. I wonder what judgments people made about my ability in the past based on my weight or appearance. It sort of makes me sad. I knew that my appearance certainly had an impact on dating and self esteem, but I guess I was oblivious to the fact that it may also have had an impact on people's perception of my work ability, intelligence or other personality factors. It feels odd to be on the other side and makes me compassionate to those who struggle with their weight. I just want to tell them that there is a better life out there for them.

The Good News and The Bad News

The good news is that my stomach is back to normal! Yea! The bad news is that I ate with reckless abandon this weekend! I was camping this weekend with some good friends and we did everything to excess. Food, drinks, sun, laughter. It was all good. But apparently the combination of salty foods, sun and alcohol was enough to get the scale to jump up by leaps and bounds. Seriously, last week I had seen 217 and when I got home on Sunday the scale was...get ready for this shocker...230! OMG! Can you believe that? My fingers are like little fat sausages and I can leave in indent in my ankles. So I am guessing that the plan of attack today will be water, water and more water. Holy cow!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

I Ate a Banana!!

I am so excited to say that I had a banana for breakfast this morning!!!! I am so confused about this lapband thing. It's like I have had an epiphany or something. So here's the thought: Tight = Good, right? Huge amounts of food can't be eaten therefore you will lose weight. Right? Wrong! I'm loose now and therefore have more food choices, like bananas for breakfast. I have the ability to eat fruit for breakfast, which I can't have when I am tight--I just can't tolerate it. Hmmm...wait a sec. Not as tight = more food choices. Seems to make sense. Aha, but here's the kicker...which food choices? Healthy ones like bananas or not so healthy choices? Alas, there lies the issue. With or without the band, I still have to make good food choices!

Here's where my thinking got flawed. I wasn't losing weight, so therefore I thought "I need a fill!" Tighter is better, was my mantra. But in reality what I needed to look at was what was I eating, how was my exercise, how was my attitude? I didn't need a fill, I needed to change my behavior. It feels so good to be able to have a wider variety of food choices right now since I am not very restricted. But that means I need to choose the right foods that fuel my body--not just stuff I can cram down for the first time in months.

Damn, you mean I can't just go on auto pilot because I have a band? Geez, I guess it took me 2 1/2 years to figure that out. Some of us are slow learners. LOL

Monday, June 11, 2012

Are You Better With or Without the Band?

I have been reading some of my favorite bloggers this week--they are many of the people I have been following the past two+ years since my surgery. People that I have cheered on and been inspired by these past two years and people I could really relate to--odd how I don't know them in person, but rather know their blog self in a virtual way.

 In many ways we are at the same "stage" in our band life. I have been noticing some frustrating stuff lately (including my own). People who feel they aren't succeeding, people having technical troubles with their bands and just an overall sense of hitting a plateau I guess. I guess we are all at a point in our band life where we are scrutinizing our failures and successes and perhaps our disappointments and dealing with the unexpected.

It made me think about whether I am happy I have a band? Lately it has really been a love/hate relationship and I am trying to get my head focused again. So perhaps it would do me some good to revisit what positive aspects the band has added to my life and perhaps put a new spin on the things that seems to be weighing me down a bit lately. So here goes, a little self-therapy.

What's Good About Life with the Band?
  • I have lost and maintained at least 85 pounds average (sometimes more/sometimes less). I am working on losing again and I am making slow but steady progress.
  • I just bought my first clothes from Old Navy--I never used to get to shop in "normal" stores. I actually enjoy shopping now. I can wear an XL shirt and size 18 pants.
  • I am energetic, and don't dread walking, going up stairs or other physical activities.
  • I don't have fear and anxiety about things weight related, i.e. will I fit in that booth, will I break that chair, do I fit in that airplane seat, can I ride that amusement park ride, etc.
  • I would never have been brave enough to give my phone number to a guy when I was at 303 pounds. (I did this weekend! Yippee, keep your fingers crossed!)
  • Losing weight made my overall health better. My blood pressure is totally normal, metabolic stuff all normal, feminine health normal for the first time in my life (maybe I can still dream about having babies).
  • Tackling my weight issues helped me also tackle some of the other demons in my life. Through therapy and meds I am happier and more emotionally stable than ever. For once in my life I feel good about me. I have self-worth and I know that I am strong enough to handle most anything.
  • I have met some awesome people on the blogs and they have often provided great feedback, shared experiences and provided encouragement. Priceless.
What's Frustrating?...And Ways to Alleviate That
  • It's still a constant battle to lose and/or maintain my weight. Well duh...did your surgeon or other health care professionals tell you that it was a magic surgery? Nope! Guess what, you still have to work at it--but thank God you can say you are not struggling to lose 125 pounds. Instead you can say I am glad that I don't weight 303 pounds. Be proud of yourself!
  • I've never reached my final goal. Um yeah negative Nellie, but what about all those other ones you hit along the way? Losing 10 pounds...25 pounds...50 pounds...75 pounds...seeing onederland (don't worry you will get there again!) Out of morbid obesity into extreme obesity, then just plain old obesity and so close to being just overweight. How many pants sizes are you down? 28, 26, 24, 22, 20 and now 18 and sometimes even an occasional 16. How about shirt size 3X, 2X, 1X and now XL. Don't concentrate on the negative, concentrate on the positive.
  • What about all these extra medical issues--gall bladders, port revisions, dilitations, oh my! Well, you have a tool in your body and sometimes it's going to need some maintenance. Do these little hiccups outweigh the benefits you listed above? Nope, just some things you need to take care of and then move on. Are there things you could do to change them? Yes and no. The gall bladder is gone and you shouldn't have any more problems. So forget about it. The port flip could have happened to anyone, it should be fixed now and good to go. It was a very minor fix in the realm of things. The dilitation--now there's another story. Could you have prevented that? Yes, I certainly could have done a better job of listening to my body and my band. But guess what, I learned something and now I know what to look for and how to deal with it, so it won't happen again. So don't fret about the stuff you have no control over and take action on the things you can do something about.
Ok, do you feel better now? Yep, sometimes I just need to get out of my own head. I am better with a band than without it. So to those of you who are struggling a bit right now, I hope that you can quiet the voices in your head and find your happy place again. Then repeat it over and over and over to yourself.

So if you really, really think it through...what would you say today? Is your life better with or without the band?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Lessons Learned on Being Too Tight

 I found a great article tonight explaining my current problem, an esophageal dilitation. This article clearly explains that it happens for two reasons--having an overinflated band and the wrong actions by the patient in their eating. I have learned a lot from this most recent episode.I know what signs and symptoms to look for now and I know that I need to listen to my band. Tighter is not better. Tight does not make you lose weight. Your actions with the help of your band are what helps you lose weight. Keep repeating that, over and over and over again.

This article talks about how to avoid some common Lapband complications.My surgeon was one of the referenced authors, so that makes me feel pretty good. It's some interesting reading for us banders.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Behaving and Being a Dairy Ditz

It is so difficult to keep behaving on my liquid diet until Monday. I have been on liquids since last Friday. I am craving texture!!! It's amazing how much of the eating experience is based on texture and mouth feel. But although I am feeling a million times better than a week ago, I know that I can't push my recovery. Kristin, my PA said I need 7 days of liquids, and by gosh I am going to follow doctors orders to ensure that I don't make worse trouble for myself. I need to give my band every chance to heal. But man alive, I could really go for something crunchy!

After having an uneventful week of eating--no sliming, no constant spitting up in a cup after meals, I realize now that I had been living in denial about being in a good place band wise. I forgot that even with a band, the process of eating should be rather "normal" and uneventful. I was miserable at EVERY meal and that is not good band management. I should have recognized that sooner. Now that I am getting back to normal I realize that the way I was eating when I was too tight was really rather disordered eating and I can't do that to myself again.

In other news, it is quite possible I am losing my mind. The other day I had some chocolate milk for breakfast around 7 AM. At about 6:30 PM I was in the kitchen doing dishes and opened the cupboard where the drinking glasses are to put some stuff away. And what should I see on the shelf? The nearly new half gallon of chocolate milk. I put it in the cupboard rather than putting it back in the fridge. Damn, wasted milk. OK, so that was about a week ago. So today at lunch time I went to find the frozen yogurt in the freezer to have a little dish of it to top of my lunch. I couldn't find it anywhere in the freezer...I know it's in there somewhere...what the heck? Well, I opened the refrigerator door and there sat my melted, soupy container of frozen yogurt! Oh yeah, this morning I forgot my breakfast yogurt in the car--yogurt left in the car on a hot day, not so good. Doh! Why are all the dairy foods rebelling against me? I am such a ditz. LOL Where in the world has my mind been? Good grief, pushing 40 and my mind is already starting to slip!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Another Reason Not to be Fat!

Ran across this in the news today...just reminded me of another reason not to be fat! Oh my!

Graz Crematorium Fire Blamed on 440-Pound Corpse

A fire at the Graz Crematorium in Austria is being blamed on a corpse weighing 440 pounds. The crematorium's managers say that their facility was not designed to withhold that much weight or body fat and concerned citizens are asking that new measures be taken to prevent such accidents from happening.

According to reports, the unidentified woman's body weighted 440 pounds, which meant that there was an abundance of body fat. The crematorium, which was not equipped to handle the large body, went up in flames after reaching 300 degrees Celsius (572 degrees Fahrenheit).
Firefighters were able to put out the blaze by pushing water through the cleaning vents. Now officials and citizens alike are calling for crematoriums to update their procedures and equipment in order to accommodate larger bodies. Their concerns stem not only from the hazard posed by fires, but to the firefighters as well.

Those responding to the fire had to wear special equipment in order to be able to work at the crematorium. As the Daily Mail reported, they were covered in a "sticky, sooty" substance after the work was finished. "Crematorium officials need to be more responsible and not just automatically put everybody in to be cremated," explained fireman Otto Widetschek.
Funeral director Christea Bogdan told the Daily Mail that these incidents are incredibly rare.
"We do have large bodies that we have to deal with, which weigh 30 stone (or more), but not very often. We follow the same procedures as usual for large bodies. We have to check the size in the crematorium to check if the person in the coffin will fit in the crematorium," he added.

Officials in the United Kingdom and Switzerland have already caught up with the demand for larger equipment and now have several facilities specially equipped. According to Bogdan, the typical coffin size is that of 36 inches, but there is a need for special coffins measuring 50-55 inches.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Moment of Brilliance

Well, since I know I am on full liquids for at least a week, I figure I might as well buy something I love. I went to my local cash and carry restaurant supply place and bought a huge bag of restaurant quality Cheesy Chicken Tortilla cream soup. Yummo. It's spicy and flavorful, unlike the store bought canned one's which are never as good. So I shelled out $17.50 for a bag of soup that should last quite a while.I never have trouble finding sweet stuff to eat on a full liquid diet, but finding tasty, savory items is always a little difficult for me, so hopefully this will hit the spot. It's only 120 calories for 1 cup, so that's not so bad.

Monday, June 4, 2012

I DIdn't Break My Band! Woohoo!

Well, Kristin my PA seemed very upbeat and positive that we could reverse the problems with my band with a little TLC. So today she took 2 CC's out of my band (leaving me with about 3.5 CC's in a 10 CC band), opening it up a bit to let things heal. I am on a full liquid diet for another 5-7 days and then I can ease back into mushies and then eventually solids. I will go back in early July and they will do an Upper GI then to see how things look. I can feel a difference already! Thank goodness. I am going to be very, very kind to my band for the next few weeks. She didn't seem concerned at all and we discussed some good hints for the future:

  • If you have a stuck episode, or vomiting or anything that may irritate your band--ALWAYS do a day or two of liquids or mushies to let it heal and calm down.
  • DON'T tolerate being miserable for any length of time. Often things will not get better on their own. You need to go see your doc--or at least call their office and discuss some options. Things like reflux and/or heartburn is not good, if you have these symptoms you are probably too tight and/or irritated. 
  • If you have to think too hard about FOOD choices your band is not in the green zone. You should be able to eat familiar foods you know you can tolerate. When you start avoiding things (other than the obvious things) you won't make good food choices. Choosing foods shouldn't be full of "I can't" statements, instead it should be about what you can eat, what fuels your body. If your list of foods you can't tolerate keeps getting bigger, go adjust your band! 
  • Even though I have a band I am ultimately responsible for making good food and exercise choices. WORK your plan! Having a well rounded plan of attack is the only way to make progress, the band is just a tool, it alone is not enough. 
  • I will always have to perform MAINTENANCE on my band, after all it is a foreign object in my body. The human body is dynamic and changing, so your band has to be tweaked once in a while to work to its best ability.
I feel positive about the plan for the next few days/weeks--although doing a full liquid diet can be challenging and hard to come up with good food ideas. But I've been there and done that for surgery prep, so I just have to get creative. According to the doctor's office scale, I had lost 7 pounds in the 2 months since my fill. So good to know that the scale was headed in the right direction--now if I can just get it back to being a tolerable fill level and not feeling like it is a burden.

Thanks everyone for the words of encouragement and good thoughts for me! My blog buddies rock!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Big Day Tomorrow

I am hoping and praying that my PA Kristin has some good news for me tomorrow. Sounds like the plan of attack will be to completely empty my band and hope that the dilation resolves itself then we will recheck things in about 6 weeks. I have been on liquids since Friday, really trying to behave myself and I feel like things are still messed up but slightly improved. The most substantial thing I managed today was very runny mashed potatoes and gravy. The rest of the day was just liquids; apple juice, coffee, iced tea and soup for lunch. On a positive note, the scale kindly gave me 217 this morning. Keep your fingers crossed.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Feeling a Little Better

I managed to get chocolate milk down for breakfast and some coffee later in the morning. Lunch was very tolerable, I made a batch of really, really soft mashed potatoes and they went down well. It felt good to have something substantial. I am going to continue the rest of the weekend on full liquids and super soft stuff. I am hoping that I am doing the right things to help my band heal. On a positive note, the scale went down a pound to 218. But the misery is not worth the pound!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Yummy...Oreo Cookies and Cream Pudding

OK, since I have to go to full liquids and pudding counts as a liquid, I chose a yummy new box of the shelf. This stuff is awesome. so yummy. I was getting so tired of the vanilla or chocolate snack packs. This was a nice treat. Things still aren't sliding down very well, but if I have to get my calories this way, I guess I will at least try to savor the flavors.

I am so worried about my band now. I am hoping and praying that it will resolve itself with an unfill. I feel so miserable right now. I hope I can be kind to my band these next few days.

You Know It's Bad When Latte Won't Go Down

Mornings are such a struggle for me right now. Even my favorite vanilla latte is struggling to go down right now. If I didn't know better I would think that maybe I had a slip? But then last night at supper I was able to eat very normal foods and in good quantities--roast beef with mashed potatoes and even a little snack of popcorn. Those went down just fine last night, no sliming, no shoulder aches, nothing. Then this morning we are back to the craziest tightness. If latte won't go down there is no way that food would go down this morning. I can't wait until my unfill on Monday. This is miserable.

Update...called my doc's office to inquire that "if" I needed an upper GI, could they schedule me in on Monday when I have my fill/unfill appointment. Talked to a nice lady, that said I don't need the upper GI...yet. Based on my verbal history I gave her she suggested that we do a total unfill on Monday and let things heal for about 6 weeks. Then we will likely do an upper GI at that time to make sure that things are as they should be. So keep your fingers crossed that this unfill and healing time will resolve things! Also I am on full liquid diet until my appointment on Monday. So it was soup for lunch today. Gotta get my list of liquids together and do a little grocery shopping for the weekend. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

How Do You Measure Success When You "Failed"?

There's a conundrum in my head this can I still celebrate the success of losing 85 pounds (i.e. not being in the morbidly obese category anymore, wearing "normal" sized clothing, fitting in chairs, feeling healthier and all the other great things that my weight loss in the past has given me). But over the past 6 months to a year I feel like I have been a "failure" because I regained weight, I am struggling to lose it and I don't feel the "honeymoon" phase of having a band anymore.

I keep beating myself up for the latest failures, but I know that instead I should be keeping an eye on the big picture. Life is so much better than the 303 pounds I was at 3 years ago. Even at today's weight of 219 I know that I need to claim that and be proud of it. Instead I keep thinking about where I am NOT at. I want to be back to onederland, I want losing to be easy--like it was in the first year after banding. But I am afraid that glorious time has passed.

It is still a work in progress--and it may ALWAYS be. How do you stay motivated in the moment, remember the progress you have made and not beat yourself up for the setbacks. I don't know if I have an answer to that or not.

I guess I can look at the "failures" from a different perspective and give myself a little slack:
  • I had a ROUGH year--one of the most tumultuous in my life with job changes, moving twice, new relationship, failed relationships and two surgeries. I think I am entitled to a small setback considering the stressful, emotional intense year I lived through.
  • It was a SMALL setback not a big one. Yes I gained some weight back and fell into old habits, but I didn't regain all the weight. I only gained back about 25 and then I started to find my way again to fix it. Since refocusing, I have lost about 5 pounds, it's small but it's progress in the right direction.
  • I KNOW WHAT TO DO when I fail. I pick myself up, I go back to the healthy habits that have worked in the past...exercise, food diary, blogging, regular band adjustments. It works.
Am I doing everything in my power to help myself lose the weight again? Ummm...if I had to be totally honest with myself I would say no. I make choices every day, good and bad and I have to live with that. But I think that I need to allow myself to just be happy where I am at. Live in the moment. I have a little saying posted on my wall and I need to read it more often...

"I made you to carry the weight of one day. Do not weigh yourself down with the years behind or the days ahead."

So my words to all of you banders out there gentle with yourself...don't beat yourself up...remember to celebrate where you are right here, right now. Love yourself.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Ugh! So Miserable

This morning is what a typical morning has been like lately. I tried drinking Powerade Zero--my version of no-calorie juice in the morning. The first swallow immediately rebelled. I was optimistic and though I would try yogurt, in attempt to try to get some nutrition in my body. 2 spoonfuls, and that was it. It is sitting at the top of my throat, just waiting to come back up. It is slightly uncomfortable, not painful but it doesn't feel good. I managed to get down about 10 ounces of Powerade. I also take 2 pills in the morning, and that really is a challenge. So far the are staying down and I hope they are dissolving. I know I will spend the next hour burping, sliming and swallowing up and down, and up and down until it passes through my stoma. Not fun.

I have been trying to adjust to this level of tightness since April, with some success but mostly with misery. Not eating in the morning is not healthy for me, searching for slider foods is not right, going down a list of foods and not being able to identify ones that will work causes stress and makes eating a chore, which then in turn makes me reach for comfort foods--ice cream (if it will go down, and sometimes even that is a challenge).

Since my fill in April I have lost about 5 pounds, but that was immediately after the fill. Since the beginning of May I have been at a standstill. Mind you, I had surgery in there which threw things off my routine as far as exercise and added some surgery fluid weight. Those five pounds are not worth this misery. Lately I feel like all I do is go up and down with fills, I fill and it's too tight. I unfill and I don't feel restriction. My green zone is incredibly hard to find and maintain.I realize that the human body constantly changes and you have to keep making mental and physical adjustments all the time. I just wish I could find the right combination again--and it has several components:

  • Workable restriction levels
  • Good exercise routines
  • Tracking my food intake
  • Good mental status/motivation
  • Accountability
It is constantly juggling these things with an already crazy life. I wish that food and my weight didn't have the grip on me that it does. It has since I was a young girl and I feel that it will always have an impact on my life. I wish that I was one of those people that rarely had to think about it. Ugh. Feeling mentally tired by all this stuff. 

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Unfill Appointment Scheduled

So happy to say that I have an appointment for a lapband adjustment scheduled for next Monday. I am too tight and I am miserable. Today I skipped breakfast altogether and just had coffee instead. I struggled with lunch, being totally miserable after about 4 well chewed bites. I slimed/spit up half of what I put down my throat and I am quite certain I will send the next hour burping and swallowing. This is NOT the way to live with a lapband and I know it. So back to the doc's office to find a new restriction level. I am relying on slider foods (like frozen yogurt) and sometimes that doesn't even go down all that well. I am so sick about thinking about my food so much...wondering will it go down, feeling restricted to the point that I don't know what foods to chose anymore and to top it all of, I am not losing any weight. I am not gaining either, but I can't live like this.

Monday, May 28, 2012

I'm Too Tight

I am so sick and tired of eating being a challenge. After trying to adjust to this level of fill since early April,  I think I have been putting up with too much. Lately I have been waking up with heartburn in the middle of the night. There are some mornings where even clear liquids are not tolerated well. It seems that all I do is slime and spit after nearly every meal. I can't go on like this. This is not a good way to live with my band and I am not losing either so why be so miserable? So I guess I will call my doc's office and make an appointment for an adjustment. Ugh, this is such a fickle thing sometimes.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Down the Hatch and Right Back Out Again

Ugh, I think I angered my band again. Tonight I decided to have tacos and it just did not want to stay down. Such a fickle band lately. For a while I would swear that I was too tight, then it seemed to be just right, and now I feel as if I am too tight again. I can't win. Guess, I will try to take it easy on my band and give myself a day or two of mushies.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

219 and Steady

Well, the scale is holding still at 219. There is something to be said for consistency and not gaining. SO the scale isn't moving much right now but at least it is not moving up. I have been on limited activity after my surgery and I need to change that and get into a better routine of swimming and walking. But it always seems as if something else gets in the way--work schedule, weather, etc. It's always some excuse. Time to kick it in gear.

I was at my surgeon's office yesterday for a follow up on my gallbladder surgery. All is well with that and I hope that I can put all that behind me now. Now my focus needs to be on seeing my next weight loss milestone. Right now I am at 84 pounds lost from my highest--I want to see 90 again and then 100 and then it's onederland. Gotta get moving!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Thought For the Day

I ran across this quote today and it really struck me. I need to do a better job of living in the current moment and letting go of yesterday. I also can't worry about tomorrow. Anyway, just like this little gem and thought I would share it.

Back in the Pool

Well, today was my first day back at water aerobics. I only worked at about 50% of my usual level but it felt good to get back in the pool. I was able to stretch out my abdomen and it just felt good to move around a bit. The scale is back up again, to 221 but I am totally feeling bloated this week. It's doing it's usual routine up and then down again. Just need to get back into the routine that works. Little by little.

Monday, May 14, 2012


Today is my first day back at work. Who knew that sitting upright in my chair would be a challenge? Still working on healing. I'd say I am at about 85%. Still a slight bit of pain/discomfort and my stamina is quite short, but I am coming back little by little. The scale gave me 219, which I think I can live with. I know I have my eating under control, now I just need to work on adding the exercise back in. It's is a constant effort! But worth every moment.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Shouldn't Have Peeked!

Ugh, I was so right, I should have avoided the scale right now. This morning it read 223--up 5 pounds! I know that is a side effect of surgery, but oh my it sounds awful. Constipation, fluids added during surgery, inflammation and inactivity are a few causes, but golly I hate seeing that number.

Today is day 2 post-op. I managed to shower this morning and eat some yogurt for breakfast. I am also trying to get lots of liquids in today. Still hurting a bit so I am continuing my Vicodin--my pain relief friend. I think it may also cause some constipation issues. I am hoping to take a little walk later and get some much needed movement.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Recovering From Gallbladder Surgery

Today is my first day post-op recovering from gallbladder surgery yesterday. Feeling good as long as I don't move too much. Got my Vicodin and that makes life better, LOL. Hopefully this takes care of things, I was not enjoying having attacks.

I am not even going to go near the scale in a while. I am just coming of of TOM, and that always causes bloating. I am not eating much just yet, easing back into a normal diet. So hopefully that will help the scale keep on moving. Only bad part is I won't be doing much exercise for a while. Gotta ease back into that too.

So that's the report for today, healing is going well so far.

Saturday, May 5, 2012


OK, I know I can talk openly to my blog today's topic is my time of the month, also known as TOM. As a fat girl, I didn't get my period. It just stopped. The official term would be amenorrhea. As a woman in my 20's and 30's I went through all the tests, ultrasounds, etc. They ruled out PCOS and many doctors over the years just scratched their heads and prescribed birth control pills as a "fix" to make me menstruate. Not once did those doctors are too fat and your body is telling you that by stopping menstruation. My fat cells and messed up hormones were interfering with my menstruation. My body was telling me loud and clear for over 10 years, "you are not healthy" but I didn't listen.

So, why all the talk about TOM today? Well, number one it started today and I have been tracking it using on online calendar. Today I realized that I have had 14 periods in a row--that's a real record for me! They are nearly "normal" in length, flow, predictability, etc. Something I have NEVER experienced in my life.This is all a by-product of losing weight. I never knew that I could be "normal".

So that also makes me think about another part of TOM, and that is the potential ability to get pregnant. Now mind you I am not currently in a relationship, but I am working on it. I am nearly 40 years old and wondering about the potential to still become a mom someday. I guess after all those years of having no periods I just assumed that infertility might be an issue. But now, after over a year of being normal in the world of menstruation, it makes me wonder about my fertility. Perhaps there is a chance yet? But first things first, gotta find the "baby daddy" LOL. Just some thoughts rattling around in my brain today. It's another one of those "I didn't realize what being that fat was doing to me" kinds of epiphanies.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Gallbladder Attack!

Well, I hope I had what will be my last gallbladder attack. Had lunch and went back to work when the pain started in. So I went home, took a warm bath and some pain reliever and waited it out. Then slept for 2 hours after the pain subsided. Hopefully this will be my last one, as I have surgery scheduled for Monday to get it removed. Hope that all goes as planned.

Claiming a 6 Pound Loss for April!

Woohoo, I am going to officially claim a 6 pound weight loss for the month of April! I started the month at 224 and ended at 218. I have seen glimpses of 217 and 216 but they aren't ready to stick just yet. I am so happy that I am losing again, and doing about a pound a week+ is just fine with me. I know that I can help it along a little more with adding some more exercise, but I will get there. My eating is going good because of good restriction and keeping a food diary again. I am creeping back towards being able to say I have lost 90 pounds (need to be at 213 for that)--so with a little luck and hard work maybe I can see that sometime this month. Next stop after that is getting to 100 lost (again) and onederland (again). Then the trick will be to stay there.

So for today I shall celebrate 6 pounds!!!!! Yea me!!!!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Can't Believe My Eyes! 216!

Wow, couldn't believe my eyes this morning as the scale gave me 216. Wowee! Not sure if it will stick but that is so cool to see it. Oddly enough, it's when I increased my calories a little bit again, I started to lose. It's hard to find just the right calorie level that helps you lose but doesn't shut down your metabolism. So fickle! Anyway, I am pleased that the scale is going down instead of up!!!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

217, Feeling Satisfied and Lubrication

Well, I was super happy to see 217 on the scale this morning. I am not sure if it will stick just yet, but I always love seeing a new number! Yippee for me. I am headed in the right direction again!

In other news, I was trying really hard to not drink with my meals, but it was so tough. I was having terrible episodes of sliming and feeling full way too early. So I decided to allow a little bit of "lubrication" and it has made all the difference. I sip just a little bit of liquids to help things go down but not so much that it washes on through. So I am feeling satisfied and not spending a half hour after eating, trying to swallow down slime. Feeling really good about that. I can tolerate this level of restriction much better now. I feel like I am in a good place.

I went to water aerobics this morning and had a great workout. I am really starting to push myself harder in class and I can feel my heart rate going up. Awesome. We do a move called ab rollers, it's hard to explain but you use your whole body and a resistance barbell. It is an awesome move. I love the Y! As the weather gets nicer I would also like to add in a little more walking. Feeling good today!

Friday, April 27, 2012

I've Got the Gurgles

You know your banded when you get the gurgles. Today, I am like a noisy factory churning away on digesting my food. I was having an afternoon smoothie and I think I could hear every spoonful go down one at a time. Quite embarrassing, thankfully I don't share an office with anyone. LOL.

Lunch was slightly better today. I am learning to listen to that soft stop sensation, knowing that pushing any more food down my throat will only result in misery. It was pretty slim pickins for calories though, so I supplemented today's lunch with the fruit smoothie. Other wise all I managed to get down was a 1/2 cup of cottage cheese, about 3 thin slices of deli meat and 5 reduced fat club crackers. That's only about 220 calories for the meal before I had to call it quits. So I threw in the smoothie for good measure. I make it with a frozen fruit mix of peaches, strawberries, mango and pineapple with some yogurt and a splash a apple juice. Yummo, and it helps me get my fruit intake which was nearly non-existent before I got the idea of making smoothies from my PA.

Scale gave me 218 today. I sure hope I see 217 soon. Next week may be a little challenge as I am at a work conference which means extra calories through endless buffets and breaks and some liquid calories with my after hours entertainment. So I will have to try to behave.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Is There Such a Thing as Lapband Fatigue?

I had a thought this morning, as I was struggling to get my breakfast smoothie down. Is this what I expected lapband life to be like? I think in the first year after banding I didn't mind feeling my band, because then I knew it was working and I was losing weight. I was happy with it. But lately, it almost seems like a nuisance to me. I am feeling good green zone kind of restriction right now, but I am always tight early in the morning, so I have to go slow. It's taken me a half hour to eat my smoothie--a liquid!! I have felt pressure, had the hiccups for going to fast and am sliming just a little bit. What a process. Granted my meals later in the day go a little better, but they too take at least a half hour and are a bit of a production. All part of being banded I guess.

Is there such a thing as lapband fatigue? Like I am just tired of having a lapband and all the fuss a weight loss surgery comes with? Maybe it's just frustration in not losing as fast as I would like. Maybe I had a taste of what unencumbered eating was like again (that's why I gained 25 pounds back!!). Maybe it is as others have described, the honeymoon period of easy weight loss is over and I am not at goal so there are major frustrations in that.

I am kinda sick of having a lapband, yet I know that if I were to be without it I would easily regain all of my weight back and more. Today the scale said 219 and that means I have lost a total of 84 pounds. I should be proud of that, that's huge. But I am also kicking myself because at one point I was able to say I've lost 100 pounds! At one point I could also say I am under 200 pounds, finding my way into onederland--not any more though. Ugh. It is a constant mental and physical battle. I'm tired of the fight, but I know that without the fight I would be back to 300 pounds plus in a heart beat.

Well, perhaps I need a reminder of what 84 pounds looks like (my high of 303 to my current 219), so for posterity sake here's a comparison picture. (Who is that girl!?) You have made progress. It is worth the battle. You will get to a goal of being under 200 pounds again. Just keeping going. You still have important work to do.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Took a Calorie Vacation

Every once in a while my weight loss just stalls out. I think I have been on track every day with calories for about 3 weeks and I finally needed a free-for-all day. So today I threw caution to the wind and ate pretty much whatever I wanted without regard for calories. Sometimes that jump starts my weight loss again. So I will get back on it tomorrow, but for today I went wild.Scale was at 219 today. It's been hovering between 218-219 for quite some time. I am ready to see it move down a little more again. One day at a time!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Abdominal Pain Again

I had another episode of abdominal pain last night, that was two days in a row--not good. Could it really be my gall bladder or is there something else going on? I am concerned about my band. Anytime you have a mechanical device implanted in you there is always a chance for something to go awry. Well, the pain is gone this morning. I feel achy but not in pain. The fact that it subsides, makes me think that it is not band related, because if it was the pain would remain. Anyway, it was a horrible night and I didn't sleep well. I am taking the morning off from work, hoping to catch up on a little sleep. I just didn't feel up to getting ready this morning. Ugh!

Monday, April 23, 2012


Well, for those of you who tuned in yesterday...I did go for a walk and "earned" that delicious cupcake. But in typical karma fashion, I think that cupcake may also have set off another gallbladder attack! (Well, I'm not sure if the two were related, but it sure felt like my body was punishing me.)

So last night, shortly after supper (which included the cupcake--but also stayed within my daily calorie goals) I started feeling the pain around 6 PM. Ooooohhhh it hurts so much! The horrible pain lasted for about an hour, then the dull ache lasted until I went to bed finally a little after 10. But before the night was over I dealt with awful nausea and some dry heaves. As a bandster I always get so afraid of violent vomiting or dry heaves, just certain that my band will slip! Ugh.

So today my whole body aches from the pain and the dry heaves. My abdominal muscles are so sore. I just have this overall feeling of yuckyness. What a great way to start a Monday. Thankfully, I have gallbladder surgery scheduled for May 7, and hopefully that will take care of that.

If there is one bright spot in my day, it is that the scale finally gave me a new number...218. Took a long time to earn that one.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Soooo Feeling Like a Piece of Cake

No I don't mean, that things are a piece of cake...I truly mean I want a sugary, frosting laden piece of cake. Specifically the white cupcake with a 1/2 cup of frosting on top that my grocery store sells from the bakery department. I am even willing to give up my supper calories for it. But I am also trying to convince myself that I must walk, not drive to the grocery store. Which is a two mile round trip walk. So will I get the gumption to walk to the store on this beautifully sunshiny day? And once  I get there, will I actually buy and eat the cupcake? Hmmm. Or will I continue to sit my ass in my recliner? Or is there another scenario here that is more sensible. Oh the battles of mind over matter.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Better Day Today

I did much better with eating today. Decided to have taco night for supper and it want down pretty well. I tried to really watch my chewing and take a break between bites. The other thing I did well today and the past few days is to drink between meals and try to stay well hydrated. Feeling much better about the day. Hope to wake up in time for water aerobics tomorrow morning.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Oh Barf!

Darn it, I overdid it tonight. Apparently the beans I choose for supper were just a little too thick and sticky. Anyway, I slimed, then tossed my cookies. So it begs the question I too tight or was I just not paying attention? Hmmm...I am still trying to answer that question. I was beginning to appreciate the tightness and feeling restriction again and watching the scale either go down or at least hold steady. I'm torn. The green zone is such a fickle little spot.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Things I Knew But Forgot...Or Ignored

It was very helpful to go to the Back to Basics session offered by my docs office for weight loss surgery patients who were gaining, felt stuck or just needed an update. There were about 15 people there, both lapbanders and gastric bypass patients. Some had surgery years ago and other were relatively recent. It was interesting to hear their stories, get ideas and share experiences with them.

My PA who does my fills, an RN and an RD spoke to the group and they all had great advice. It wasn't necessarily new information to me but it was certainly things I had forgotten or had just plain ignored for a while. It was all things that I need to recommit to, and ways to use my tool better. They also reminded us that we had surgery on our stomachs...not our brains and that is a big factor. It is a constant, daily choice we have to make to eat healthy and exercise.

So here were a few of the tidbits I was reminded of again (and where I can make changes):
  • 3 meals, no snacking - This really always did work best for me. Not to say that there wasn't an occasional snack, but when I was doing my best at weight loss I stuck religiously to the three meals a day rule. I have been snacking constantly lately, and it has been high calorie food with little nutritional value. If I really need a snack I need to look for healthy choices. Each thing I eat, I should ask the question...what does eating this provide or is it empty calories?
  • No liquids with meals and waiting 1/2 hour before and after - Again, this was a successful method for me. Lately I had been having liquid with almost all of my meals. It sure helps those calories slide on through and then I felt hungry later and went in search for snacks. That needs to end.
  • Planning Your Plate - Using a small salad plate or small bowls to help you with appropriate portion sizes. Planning to have your plate divided in three: 1/3 protein, 1/3 fruits or veggies and 1/3 carbs/starches and eating them in that order...protein first, then fruits and veggies and saving carbs for last. I was really cheating on this rule.
  • Eating Slowly and Chewing Well - This is a must when I am at a good restriction level. It is a deliberate action or chewing food down to the consistency of applesauce. Meals should take about 20-25 minutes to eat to allow your brain to feel the satiety feeling. I was wolfing food down and looking for the next thing to eat.
  • Listening to Your Band - Being aware of the soft stop feeling and STOPPING! I don't know how many times I just had one, two or three more bites and then ended up sliming, barfing and being miserable because I overate. Knowing the difference between full and satisfied is so important. I need to be more deliberate.
All in all, the things I heard were not rocket science and it was things I already knew but I needed a good reminder. These are MY rules, I know everyone else is different. I just know that I was successful when I followed these. I need to start living like I have a lapband again.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Off to the Back to Basics Session!

I am really looking forward to the Back to Basics session offered by my doc's office today. I just want to soak in all the information and remind myself what it was like to be a new lapband patient. I hope I get some new (or renewed) information and can use it to my advantage. Today the scale gave me 219. Still trying to be gentle to my band, really taking it easy with soft foods for the time being.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Another Day of Softies

So far today i have just water and yogurt for breakfast. I think I will stick with a diet of soft foods today and give the old band a good rest. Today already felt better when I ate the yogurt, a little restriction but not the unbearable sliming and regurgitating. So I think that I will just be gentle for one more day. Tomorrow I am off to my doc's office for a lapband refresher course and a support group. Then I have a surgery consult the following day for my gall bladder. It's the same surgeon who did my port revision for me last summer. So we will see what he has to say about that. Scale has been hovering between 219-220. I guess I can live with that, it is down from the beginning of April and that is a good thing.

Update...I had soup for lunch, and that worked pretty good. Tonight for supper I thought I would try something just a little more substantial. So it was some ham salad, which went down so-so. Then I had a craving for cheesy noodles, which after a few bites it was pretty obvious was not going to go down. So I stopped immediately and now I am doing some sliming. This is not good. I had such a small fill, I don't think I need an unfill, but this is really quite miserable. Not sure what I want to do just yet. Perhaps tomorrow's refresher course will help me decide if I am just forgetting what real restriction is like or if I need an unfill. I was really hoping that my band would have calmed down by now. Ugh! So fickle! 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

No Solids for Me Today!

I am going to do just liquids today, trying to get my band to calm down. I am just having a glass of milk for breakfast and even that is difficult. It's going down but I am definitely feeling the tightness. Mornings are always my tightest, usually I have yogurt or a bowl of cereal and that is a challenge. So milk being slightly uncomfortable is a little concerning.We will see how the rest of the days goes.

Update...I was very good to my band today, only liquids and/or extreme mushies. The most solid thing I had today was soup. Things got better throughout the day, but I would say that I am not ready for solids yet. I will try to add a few more substantial mushies tomorrow. So far so good, I think it was just irritation rather than being too tight. Gotta learn to be nicer to my band! It seriously feels like two years ago's like a new band again!

Update #2...I am feeling a lot of gurgling tonight, which I haven't felt in a long time. I am also feeling a little heartburn tonight. So I popped a Tums and I hope that makes things feel better. I sure hope I get things figured out. 

Friday, April 13, 2012

Irritated Band or Too Tight?

Ah yes, that is the question...have I just irritated my band with the last few days of difficult eating or am I too tight? Tonight for supper I only managed to get about a 1/2 cup of cheesy green beans. I was also going to have some ham salad, but after a bite I realized that, that would be a losing battle. I think I have irritated my band and perhaps a day or two of liquids would do me some good. Then I would know whether it was too tight or just irritation. This re-learning how to live with a band is a little fickle. I kept saying I would try just liquids, the last day or so, but didn't follow my own advice. I guess I better really mean it. So for the rest of tonight and all of Saturday I vow to only have liquids! Gotta get my band in a happy place again.

Like Learning to Walk Again

Eating is a while new adventure again. I am back to lapband size portions of things and it is so different. It is almost a chore to eat. It takes a long time to chew stuff down and my portion sizes are incredibly small. I had almost forgotten what this was like. I still am eating just a bit too much, and I am sliming and having to swallow down again and again after my meals. Soon I will learn to just stop. But I haven't got that notion of finishing my plate out of my head just yet. I can't believe how little food I had for lunch today...about 2 ounces of turkey, 1 oz of cheese and about about 10-12 baby carrots. I topped things off with a little sweetness, with some sugar free jello. I should have stopped before the jello, because now it is sitting at the top of my stomach taunting me.

I look at the size of what I ate and think how in the world can that satisfy me?! But back in my weight loss heyday, that was enough. I realize now how long I have not been feeling my band and taking advantage of the benefits of restriction. It is a brand new world again. Welcome to the green zone!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Lesson Learned

I hate a rather let's call it a "rejection" of my lunch today. What I thought was just a cough turned into me expelling my slime and part of my lunch. Apparently I have angered my band and things are pretty tight down there. So I am gonna put myself on some self-imposed mushies/liquids for a day or so to give it a rest. There is a price to pay for finding the green zone. Like I said, I need to learn to eat like a bander again...I haven't been doing that for some time, and so it is a whole new learning experience again. I am miserable this afternoon, with sliming and having to continue to swallow down my lunch. Better give my band a rest, the rest of the day and perhaps tomorrow.

219 & Listening to My Band

Saw 219 on the scale this morning which is so awesome. Thank goodness I am headed in the right direction. I realize that with my new tightness it is more important than ever to listen to my band...when it says I'm full, it really means it. I had gotten into the habit of cleaning up my plate again and I can't afford to do that. I think in my subconscious there is a "fear" that if I don't eat what I put on my plate I will be hungry later and so I feel the need to eat the portions I placed on the plate. But that's pretty stupid as I demonstrated to myself last night when I vomited, rather violently the last bits of ham and potato that I thought I could squeeze down my throat. Yeah, don't want to do that again.

Even this morning, my cereal bowl was telling me, just leave those last two or three spoonfuls, but I went for it anyway, and now I sit here sliming and uncomfortable. I need to get back that mental awareness of when my pouch is full and convince my brain that it is enough and it's time to stop. It had been so long since I felt a good green zone restriction, I think I forgot what it was like. I am glad to have found it again, now I just need to learn to live with it again.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Oh Sweet Restriction!

It is taking me a long time to eat! Yea!!! Took a good 25-30 minutes to slowly chew and eat my supper tonight, a good sign that my band is at a good restriction level. Feeling the green zone again is awesome. Tonight I went to my usual water aerobics and then I also stayed for water volleyball. So I had a great workout today. way under on my calories for the day, I even have room for a low cal snack later tonight.

New Number!

Oh my, it has been a long time since I have been able to say that! I didn't believe the scale this morning, so I stepped on it 3 seperate times, and each time it came up with 220. I can't believe how much weight will fluctuate in one week. But I will take it. I have been keeping my food diary and trying to really watch my calories again. So glad for restriction, it makes life so much easier. I need to keep my focus.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Feeling Better

Feeling slightly better about the scale today, as it is down to 223. Much better than the numbers I saw a week or two ago. I have been very good about keeping my food diary. Easter weekend was a bit out of control, but it is back to the grindstone today, as I was within about 50 calories of my daily goal. I also was good about drinking my water today. Was traveling for work today so I didn't get in my exercise today, but I will get back to it tomorrow.

Having a gall bladder surgery consultation next week and I will also be attending a "back to basics" course for lapbanders. I am feeling great restriction right now, it's nice to know that I have a lapband again.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Did pretty good this week, following my calorie intake on My Fitness Pal. Today was the only day that I went over my calories. I'm OK with that, just need to get back on track again tomorrow. I am feeling good restriction and that helps a lot. I definitely can't just sit there and mindlessly stuff my face like I did a week ago. I hope i can keep that feeling and help re-learn what it feels like to be in the green zone. It's been a long time since I have felt it.

Didn't do great on exercise today, it was windy outside so walking wasn't much of an option. Could have gone to the Y, but I guess I just needed a break today. Back on the horse tomorrow with water aerobics at 9:00 AM.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Thank You Restriction!!!

What a difference a new mind set and some restriction makes. Today I finally started eating like I had a lapband again. A small, salad size plate, measured servings and I am half way through and feeling full. Slow eating, taking a full 30 minutes to eat and a good amount of protein. That's how you lose weight! Keep it up girl. Now, this afternoon I will be drinking lots of water and I have a local snack figured out if I get the hungries. You know how to do the only thing to do is repeat, repeat, repeat!

For later today, I have water aerobics at 5:30 and I plan on getting on my new shoes and new workout gear and taking a walk in the beautiful sunshine.

Afternoon Update...Took a sugar free chocolate pudding break---such a better option than my previous, reach for a candy bar break. Only 70 calories versus 250 or more. Gotta be smart!!

I'm Ready to be a Loser Again

It's time to really get serious about things here. I was at my docs office for a fill yesterday so my band is nice and tight and ready to be used in the right way. I am scheduled to go to a "Back on Track" session at my docs office in about two weeks and I am hoping it will help me really get serious about things. I always love getting a fill because it feels like a clean slate to start with.

My goal is to track my food intake on My Fitness Pal on my smartphone for 2 exceptions!!! I am going to continue going to water aerobics and I am going to add in walking this week too. It's time to concentrate on me. I want to see onederland again. I will get there.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Testing my posting capabilities with my Blackberry...

TIme to Turn the Page...

Well, I have had what is perhaps the most tumultuous year of my life and I feel like it is time for me to turn the page on the past and get my life in order again. Since April of last year I have been through job loss, job interviews, moving twice, port revision surgery, falling in love, an engagement, a broken engagement, the end of a relationship, going back to therapy, increasing my antidepressant dosage and the most recent in my line of not so lucky stuff is dealing with gall stones. Well, I am tired of the path I am on and I refuse to let my life take me in that direction anymore. I see now that I am stong enough to withstand just about anything. 

So here's the problem...or perhaps let's call it a challenge instead...I have gained back about 25 pounds this past year. It is a number I am not proud of and I know that I can do better for myself. I have a lapband adjustment scheduled for next week, I have a brand new pair of walking shoes and a membership at the Y. I just download the newest calorie tracking app to my smart phone and I am ready to tackle those 25 pounds so that I can once again be counted among the people who live in onederland. It's time to find me again.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

ADD, Gall Bladder and LIfe

I totally feel like I have ADD when it comes to taking care of myself. I can concentrate for about a minute and then I totally lose my focus. My personal life is handing me some unexpected challenges and it is affecting my eating, exercising, sleeping and nearly every part of my life. It's too hard to concentrate on this right now.

To make things worse, I think I have started to have occasional gall bladder attacks. I have incredible pain for 20-30 minutes at a time, typically after a fatty meal---yeah I know, I shouldn't be eating those types of things that would trigger an attack.

Ugh. I am feeling so cruddy right now.

Monday, February 13, 2012

I'm So ADD...There's a Squirrel!

I'm so A.D.D when it comes to my weight loss focus lately. So easily distracted. This weekend was a total calorie fest. Pizza, cake, ice cream...ugh. Today I tried to get back to normal, but it's tough. I did go to Aqua Power at the Y tonight, and it was a heck of a cardio workout. Not sure it will undo the calories of the weekend but at least a moved a little bit. The scale is all over the place again, I think it was 216 this morning. Well, all I can do is keep trying.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Keep on Going

Scale was very generous this morning and gave me a 213! I must have an incredible amount of water weight right now, because that is a 5 pound swing in a week. Incredible. No wonder the scale drives us crazy. I know everyone has different theories on whether they weigh every day or not. I have always been a morning, naked, right before I take a shower weigher. I would much rather be aware of the day to day fluctuations rather than be shocked once a week. Just helps me feel more in touch with my body. Another good start to the day.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Awesome Day!

I went to Aqua Power at the Y tonight, not as much cardio as last time but a lot of toning. Feel so awesome when I am done. Came home and rounded out the days meals with some healthy fixins, even have about 200 calories left for a little snack later. Just gotta keep the streak going!

Moving Up and Down

Scale gave me 214 this morning. I don't really trust it just yet, it is fluctuating way too much. But at least it is headed downward even if it is only temporary. I want to see onederland again. I was so focused a year ago. I need to continue doing what I am doing and string enough days of good choices together to see some progress. It is so important to track my food and blog. I need to be here.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Oh the Fluctuations!

Scale today said 216. I am headed to Zumba tonight. Still keeping my food diary and doing well on caloric intake. No snacking either! You can do day at a will start to add up to progress. You go girl!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Aqua Power!

I had so much fun tonight (and it kicked my ass!) at a water aerobics class at the Y. It was a major cardio workout! Then I came home tonight and ate a wonderful, low cal dinner. I forgot how good healthy eating can make me feel. I also forgot how filling it can be to eat a large volume of low cal foods. It was almost hard to eat the whole plate I made for myself. I have been keeping my food diary again too. Huge pat on the back for me today. Now to pick myself up and start again tomorrow!

Good Choices and Progress Picture

Decided I needed to put a progress picture back up here. Eek! I can see where I have gained around the middle. It is certainly time to make some changes and get back to losing. Here I am in Size 18 pants and an XL shirt. The scale today said 218. I was a good girl today, so far. I went to the Y and did a mile on the indoor track. For lunch I got back to basics, weighing and measuring my food and counting calories. I had lean turkey breast, cottage cheese, club crackers and peaches. Lots of volume, not a lot of calories. I am also working on getting 100 ounces of water today. It's a good start to get back into a routine. Good choices!!!

Day One...This is War!

OK people, I had one last hurrah over the weekend: a house warming party with a plethora of snacks and 5 beers, cupcakes for my mom's birthday and a Super Bowl party. It may have been my worst calorie filled weekend in years.
This is day one! I cleaned out the cupboards and the fridge, purging the house of all suspect foods. I grocery shopped last night and replace the bad with the good...lean meat, fruit, cottage cheese, yogurt, etc. No more snacking. The candy jar is empty and has been removed from my desk at work. I had yogurt and fresh fruit for breakfast. I am planning to go walking at the Y over lunch and am going to try to drink at least 100 oz. of water today.

I know the right, exercise, blog for accountability. Scale today reads 218. Time to get serious about this and help the scale move down instead of up. It isn't going to do it by itself, I need to make  real choices throughout the day that make the scale move. It may be slow and may seem like I am not making progress, but I have to be patient. One day at a time!

Friday, February 3, 2012

A Little Self Assessment

I get a newsletter from the bariatric surgery group at the hospital where I had my surgery. Today's e-mail asked us to take a little self assessment and I thought, how appropriate! So here's my quick Q & A. I challenge you to do the same for yourself!

Where are you at in your journey? I have made good progress as a whole, but have recently gained back some pounds and lost my focus. I am a constant work in progress.

What have you gained when you lost? I gained better self esteem, I can shop in the non-plus sized section of the clothing store, I fit better in chairs and booths, I got engaged!

Where do you have yet to go? I want to lose more. I want to be under 200 pounds again in onederland, I want to be in the normal range of the BMI charts.

Where do you want to end up? I want to be healthy, content and feeling like I am managing my life well...emotionally, physically, nutritionally, etc.

How will you get there? I have to think about what I put into my body, I have to stay active and I have to take care of ME. I need to find a balance using the tools I already have. I know how to achieve success, I just need to practice that every day.

I Lost One Pound!

I went from 217 yesterday morning to 216 today! Ok, I know it's probably just some water weight fluctuation from TOM, but dammit you gotta celebrate all the successes as they come into your life. I was such a good girl yesterday! I did a Zumba class and I also went to the YMCA and did a circuit training workout on the nautilus machines with 15 minutes of cardio. It felt really good to be exercising again. I think it's going to be good for my mental and emotional health. I've been a bit scattered lately and I think this will help to focus me.

Just wanted to say thanks to the people that made comments on yesterday's post. I forgot what a wonderful support group this was. I also enjoyed getting back and reading some of your blogs. I see that we all share so many of the same struggles and successes. What a great group of "virtual" friends!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

It's OK to Pick Yourself Up and Start Over

Well, I have been nearly non-existent here on the blogs. My life has been the most crazy, amazing confusing, wonderful, unmanageable ride lately. I am seeing a need for a brand new start for me again and to focus myself in a way that I was able to do when I was earlier into my weight loss. I would say I am sort of at a maintenance stage but also feeling a need to lose a bit too.

The obvious reason for getting back to blogging is accountability. I need to be honest with myself and get in touch with ME every day. This is going to do a couple things...I am going to be better focused on what I eat, how I feel emotionally and where I am physically.

I joined the YMCA today and I am so excited to re-energize my exercise routine--which has totally disappeared from my life. I know the exercise will be good for me physically and I know it will help me mentally too. Life had handed me so many changes this past year...job change, moving to a new community, having port revision surgery, having a boyfriend, getting engaged! and everything else that happened in 2011. It's been good and bad and has just taken my focus away from the weight loss I had been working so hard on. So I need to find a new balance that encompasses all those things.

So I am starting today with a 217 on the scale (TOM is to blame for a little of that! Grrr!!!) Some of my goals are just to feel good about myself again, for my pants to fit better and to find my way back to onederland. I've got work to do but I know I am capable of doing it again!

I'm back baby!