Tuesday, June 26, 2012

No Whining Zone

OK, here's what I have done right for today...so 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.