About Me

My name is Sara and I am on the quest for a better me! I was banded on May 23, 2012. Come join along and help me stay accountable!

Friday, October 5, 2012

so much for wkly blogging - life's been crazy!

I know I said I was going to be blogging at least weekly.  I have to say, last night was the first night I've slept a true "sleep" in probably 2 weeks.  Life has been insane!

A couple of weeks ago, we had finals week at school so I pulled an actual all nighter, to grade finals.  UGH.  I haven't done that since college! At least in college I could usually find time throughout the day to catch a nap.  Nope... Now that I'm a working adult I had to stay busy until 5 the day after!  The all nighter was partly due to the fact that my mom's birthday was the night before.  My sister (who has been living in Colombia, South America for 2 years ) was back in town, so we went out for my Mom's birthday.  We have a place called Uptown Art in town, where normal people can go and feel like they are an artist :-)  It is nice because, while you all do the same picture, everybody's own skills make it slightly different.  They serve wine and appetizers and its a nice night.  But I didn't get home till 10:30, so I didn't start my grading till after that!

Then last week, we had this little thing called my sister's wedding.  All sorts of stuff going on.  Both sides of the family were in town, and since they no longer talk (after the divorce) me and the rest of my siblings spent most of the week going back and forth between events.  Here's a pic of the family with both brothers-in-law. 

It really was a great experience all the way around.  Though, it reiterated the fact that I am not made to wear 4 inch heels.  OUCH!

In between all this, I've been working on my own school work.  Did I mention before I started grad school again?  I'm so bad!  I can't pass up free school so I started an MBA program.  My previous degrees I was able to just go with the flow on.  This one is so different!  It is a totally new language for me.  So i find myself looking up terms in the glossary and taking twice as long to do assignments than I should.  Grr!  In fact, I should be working on my final paper right now.

So, on the band front things are going better.  I went in a couple of weeks ago, and got an itty bitty baby fill (.5 CC) and a big talking to from the doc.  He thinks I'm fighting the band.  Chewing too much and eating too slow, so that I can still eat more than I need.  :-(

I have had two weeks of losses, which is good.  I even lost 2.2 lbs the week of the wedding.  I think it is actually because we were so busy and ate out a lot.  I do better when I'm busy and actually do pretty good when we eat out.  At home I go back to grazing which adds up to bigger calorie counts. 

So, I'm moving in the right direction.  Now that wedding is over etc, hopefully life settles a bit and I can get back on track with my C25k.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Week 1 on the new goals

I'm here.  I said I was going to be checking in more often, and I really am.  I lost this week!  -1.6 to 299.4

I'm back under the ugly 300 and I'm really planning on staying under it!

I go in this week for my next visit with my doc, and I'm not looking forward to the "talkin' to" that I'll probably get.  I definitely don't feel like I'm in any sort of "green zone"  Some breads give me a rough time, but if there isn't breads, I can eat way more than I need to.  I have been trying to stop anyway, but it just doesn't keep me full.  So, I'm looking for another fill this week.

I am keeping up with the rest of my goals though.  I've been at the gym, continuing my C25K prep.  I just finished week 3 today.  Next week comes the dreaded 5 minute jog.  Yikes!

On the life side - My sister is getting married next week and so I've got a TON of stuff to get done this week in prep.  I have people staying with me while they are in town and I hate that since I'm always worried they are judging me for my decor / organization etc.

Anyway, I'm here, I'm progressing (slow, but moving forward) and while I'm not posting a ton, I still read all of yours, so please keep putting it out there.  I get my inspiration from you guys!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Checking in

Its been just under a month since my last post.  This fits my typical scenerio in that I "obsess" over things at first, and then slowly fall off the path.

Here's what's been going on with me.

Eating - amount of food has definitely gone down, but I'm eating small quantities of bad foods.  I have horrible cravings for salty crunchies... I have always been one that could pass over all sorts of chocolate for some yummy chips and dip.  Any suggestions of other foods to satisfy the craving without the calories of the chips?

Drinking - I have been increasing my water, averaging about 40 oz a day.  Still not near what I should be, but let me say, that is a HUGE improvement over what I did in the past.

Exercise - Here's the part where I really feel like I've made some progress.  For the last 3 weeks I have been at the gym a minimum of 3 times a week, sweating hard!  I had been doing water aerobics, and while it was moving, I didn't really feel like I was working hard.  So, I've given into peer pressure from my real life friends and started a couch-to-5k program.  I'm in the middle of week 2 and so far, so good.  I have always been athletic, and enjoy movement, but would like to be able to jog a block without dying!  We've been doing Yoga after the treadmill 2 out of the 3 days, which I feel like is getting maybe, slightly, a tiny bit easier...

I think I've just been up and moving more in general lately.  Here's a couple of pics of my sister and I at a mud volleyball tournament to benefit the March of Dimes.  It was a lot of fun, and I had jelly legs for 3 solid days from trying to move in the mud!  The first one isn't actually our team, but I wanted you to see what the courts actually looked like.  They literally dug out some holes and filled with water!

So, I've given you a brief update, and now, I want to set some goals for myself.  

1. Continue C25k.  3x a week minimum exercise.

2. Increase general water consumption to a minimum of 50 oz a day.  Very doable I think.

3. STOP BUYING CHIPS!!!  As my WW leader would say, they are a RED light food.  There is no stopping me if they are in the house, so I just need to stop buying them.  Easier said then done lately, but this is the first step of kicking the habit. 

4. Check in and post at least 1x a week.  I'm not sure I can do more, though I still enjoy reading all of your posts, but I definitely need to check in one time each week.  

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

woo-woo! My band works!

Yep, it is Tuesday, official weigh-in day, and I'm kind of excited.  Do you see my ticker --->    Here's the stats:

Last week 302.8
 + 2.2 CC fill

This week 295.4!

Loss of 7.4 lbs!

Happy Dance - Happy Dance!!!

Now, I know that is not normal.  I know the band is slow and steady.  That's what I want.  I also know that this week includes 2 days of liquids after my fill.  I also know that on one of those liquid days, I counted a yummy blizz@rd treat as a "liquid."  Oops.  But my band works!  When I am sticking to those 3 meals of solid foods, I'm full at 1/2 - 2/3 cup of food.  Woo-HOO!

Just had to share.

P.S. - a friend of mine is currently in labor (10 wks early) with her twin boys.  Send out some good thoughts to whoever / wherever you send good thoughts so that both mom and babies are good!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Hello band.... it is nice to finally meet you!

Tuesday I got my 2nd fill.  Added 2.2 cc's to my 1.5 for the first, total 3.7.  Then liquids for 48 hours.  Real food today.  HOLY MOLY  is what I said both at lunch and dinner.  Apparently I have a band in there!  Most of the time I bring leftovers for lunch, but I spent the day in the car traveling for work, so I brought a homemade wrap (i.e. not a huge wrap.)  I made it about 1/2 to 2/3 and got pressure in the chest.  Well, that is new and different.

Dinner time - my mom asks me to meet her out for dinner.  I warn her at the beginning that it is my first day of real food, so "we'll see" what happens.  Got a 2 for 20 type meal which comes with an appetizer.  1.5 mozerella sticks and pressure.... really? 10 minutes later I got my meal and ate 1 1/2 of my riblets (the bbq rib version of the chicken strip) and HOLY CRAP.  Any pressure I've felt before was cake compared to this.  I got dizzy, was burping all over the place, trying for like 10 minutes to wish and hope and pray it would go down, but nope.  1st day of real food and first PB :-(  Felt brilliant after the bathroom trip, but I'm done for the night.

I spoke with a friend afterwards (naturally skinny, but SOOO on my side for this whole process) and she put it like this.  "you just had to find the edge!  Now you know and will stay away from it."  Amen.  I'm staying away from the edge.

But, I'm super excited that I really have a band.  I was beginning to think it was all an elaborate prank!

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

I'm still here!!!

Hello, my name is Sara, and I'm a bad banded blogger.  It has been more than 2 weeks since my last blog (confession.)

What can I say?  I'm not really going to focus on what's been going on, only to say it is less chaotic now.  Work is finally settling down for the first time in months, and my burn is finally just about healed.  I can even wear pants again :-)

I went to the doc today for my 2nd fill.  I needed it - both the fill and the visit.  When I was researching my surgeon, I kept coming up on people who said he wasn't that "nice."  I'm not a person who needs nice for this, I need somebody to call my bullshit, which is exactly what he did.  Nothing overtly mean, just said "I'm hearing lots of little rationalizations, which is not going to help us, only add up to bigger problems."  I am just now getting to the point that I can say I am truly addicted to foods, and I need someone who is okay with telling me these kind of things straight out.

With regards to the fill, I got another 2.2 cc's.  1.5 the first time so a total of 3.7.  I think the first time I was so nervous that I thought it was tighter than it was (my doc does the drink this water until you feel it way of adjusting).  I'm on liquids for 48 hours.

I am going to follow the rules.  I have been doing great with the not drinking, but have been choosing horrible foods.  I am aware.  I understand that the band is only a tool and now that life is not as crazy, I'm taking the time to really learn how to take advantage of this tool.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Checking in

Trying to check in more often, as I realize when I'm talking about my issues, I tend to make slightly better choices.

Last December I got to go to Jamaica for my cousin's wedding. It was fabulous!  Her photographers were very sneaky, and it is so funny that every 3 months or so, about 200 more pictures get put up on facebook.  Most of the time I run to untag, because let's face it, they are usually pretty darn hideous.  I was very surprised to see one this week, that wasn't horrible.  Usually I have 1 profile pic (Its on blogger as well) that I use.  Its actually from 2006, but I like it, and it is my "universal profile pic."  After the recent bout of wedding picts, I switched my profile picture! I do enjoy the attempt to cover my "chins."  I still have no eyes, mostly because my cheeks are large and in-charge, but overall, I'm happy with it.

Here's one more: 

I will admit to cropping the large belly out of the 2nd picture.. so sue me.

On to other, more painful things.  I went to the clinic Thursday morning after the big burn on Tuesday night.  I stopped by the pharmacy first and asked if there was anything over the counter that I could get, or if I needed to go to the clinic to get a prescription.  I am an obsessive researcher, and by this time, I was pretty certain it was a solid superficial 2nd degree (partial thickness burn).  She said I needed to go to the clinic.  I went, paid my $20 copay, got a prescription, paid $10.99 for that and realized it was the same damn thing I could get on the shelf!  The same units of "active ingredients" and everything!  GRRRR.

My burn looks gross.  Apparently 2nd degree burns look worse after a couple of days.  I have no problem with "icky" pictures, but be aware if you are squeamish.  I posted a pic of my burn the day after on Wednesday.  Here is what it looked like on Thursday.

Are you sure you want to look?

ICKY!  And of course, the first kiddo I see for therapy on Friday - kicks me - and busts half of my blisters.  GRR.  I'm finding it difficult to keep covered.  Official measurements 6.5 x 4.4 --- Its a fairly large area.  I bought some large surgical dressings but can't seem to find tape that will stick to my fatty stomach.  The burn is below my belly button - on the "pooch."  Right in the way of all my pants.  A zipper is a no go.  14-21 days to heal.  ICKY!  So I've been wearing maxi dresses / skirts for the last couple of days, and had to go buy another the other day just for variety.  It doesn't really hurt unless rubbed against, so if I just hang out, no problems.  I did attempt to tape it up with some athletic tape (on the borders of the dressing last night) so that I could go to the gym.  About 35 minutes in (just walking on treadmill) I had to give up.  Icky sweat made things rub and chafe and it was getting rather painful.  I'm not really sure what I should do.  I'm out of my aqua classes until it heals, and can't yet find a way to do land stuff.  I really am ready to get back on track, and I don't know that its going to happen for at least a few more days.  :-(  

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Pasta is Dangerous & weekly weigh-in

So, 1st things first.  Last week I maintained.  This week I'm up again (+1.2).   :-(  It really sucks.  I do realize however, that I am pretty much not following the rules.  I don't have to take small bites, I can eat pretty much anything I want.  No issues.  Once or twice I've noticed something had had to slow down a bit, but nothing painful.  I've been a slacker at the gym.  I find excuses.  It is no good.  I realize this.

So yesterday, I had a revelation.  I was ready to go.  I texted my work out friend (who has been crazy stressed at work and not as able to meet me at the gym) that I was going at 7:15.  Going to hit the elipitcal / treadmill for 30 minute or so, and then meet her at yoga at 8.  I was ready.  I figured I would eat some dinner before hand (it was about 5:30).  So this is where the "pasta is dangerous" title comes in.  Obviously I know pasta isn't the greatest.  But it is easy to make and easy to measure, so I decided to have some for dinner.  Somewhere in my crazy mind, I had a klutzy / stupid / crazy mishap, and in trying to drain the pasta, poured half a pan of boiling water down the front of me.  On my stomach.  HOLY SHIT!  WTF! (I know I don't usually like cussing on here, but it was definitely a "colorful" set of words I used.  I threw down the pan, stripped the shirt off and ran to the bath / shower to try and get it cooled off.  It has blistered.  **At this point, if you are squeamish DO NOT SCROLL DOWN!**

While it looks much worse in person, I will point out that it is not as pink and somewhat brown in real life --- and has large blisters.  This is a pic taken this morning (sorry for my HIDEOUS Stomach!) over 12 hours later.  I am wearing a cotton maxi skirt kind of thing, because the idea of putting a zipper over this... NOT GOOD!  So in closing.  Not only is carby pasta bad for your diet, but it is also dangerous.  STAY AWAY!  This has been your PSA for today.  

Friday, July 6, 2012

Who fell off the face of the planet?!? Me!

It has been another long week(s).  I used to have a pretty slow moving life.  It seems like things have just been stressful and icky lately.  It is no good!  Work is still crazy.  I would like, just for a bit, to only have to do my job.  Right now, I'm juggling like 3 different jobs, and it is driving me crazy!  The other big thing is that for the last week-and-a-half I've been dog sitting for a friend of mine.  Now, normally, one would think that would not add a whole lot of stress.  However my counter top currently looks like this.

None of these meds are for me.  They are all for one of the two dog's I'm watching.  I've never had to deal with the loss of a pet (we didn't have pets growing up, and my dog is in excellent health), so I can't judge others.  All of these meds are for a 7 lb chihuahua.  She was a rescue, and has always been fragile.  She's been on meds for at least the last 4 years.   It has really gotten bad the last 2 years or so.  She has a doggie version of COPD, an enlarged heart, bad knees, and is now deaf.  However, she's not really in pain, eats her food, enjoys company with the other dogs, etc. Because of her health conditions she gets meds 3x daily.  Here's the list of instructions that came with the meds.

Needless to say, it is a lot of work! She did really good for the first week and a half I had her (my friend is in Ireland for 2 weeks) but on Tuesday night, she developed a nasty cough.  So I've had to up the meds, take her heart rate regularly, and sit on hold a lot with the vet to "report in."  My whole goal is to keep her healthy and living while my friend is gone.  It has been more difficult these last few days!

With regards to me and my band, things here are chugging along.  I actually maintained this week.  Which I'm good with since it was my icky TOM and I still really don't feel like I have any restriction.

Anyway, that is this week's story.  Really hoping things start calming down so I can blog a bit more often!

P.S.  IT is EFFIN' HOT here!  Going to be 106 tomorrow - and that is without the heat index (closer to 112-114)

Thursday, June 28, 2012

TTT --- from a bad, bad, banded, blogger

It's been a while since I've posted... A lot of things have been happening, so I figured that a good TTT post was the best way to get all caught up!

1. I've been a bad blogger --- I'm sorry.  It seems as though I've dropped off the blogger bandwagon this week.  Haven't read most of the posts (until last night, when trying to catch up) and haven't blogged at all. :-(

2.  This means I didn't post my weight for this week.  I did weigh in, on Tuesday, at WW, but didn't post / change the ticker - It's not good -- new weight 297.4 (+ 2lbs) :-(  BOOO hsssssss  I'm going to change the ticker after I finish this long post.

3. I might try to make excuses for the weight gain, (salt, holding water, etc) but I'm pretty sure it was the cookie dough and mcdonald's that did it.  Yep, I ate McDonalds.  A full 10 pc nugget meal, with fries.  I was full at the end, but not really overly so.  I also went to Shogun yesterday with my officemate - I love hibatchi food, especially the rice, with all the yummy ginger dressing / sauces.  I know, rice = bad, and large portions of rice = even badder!  (I warned you in the title I've been a bad banded blogger!)

4.  I have still gone to the gym - Regularly.  At least 3 times a week. I think that is a positive.  I am starting to like the slightly sore "awareness" I have after my classes, and it is easier to swim the lap portions of my deep water class.

5. I just got an email notification that Lap Band Gal posted on last week's post asking about my MD appt today.  It makes me happy that I do have people that remember / care etc about how the process is going for me.  So THANK YOU!

6.  I did go to the MD this morning.  :-)  I have to give them my weekly weight card but then (probably because they don't trust us!) they weigh us there anyway.  When weighing at the doc's, I have to weigh with shoes on and fully clothed and everything --- It was sad because with everything on I saw that dreaded 3 in the first digit spot again!

7. At the doc (after the icky weigh in) I got my first fill!  After reading all of your experiences, I kind of had an idea of what it might be like, but had no idea how conservative / protocol based my doc was with regards to fill.  Happy to say that he is very individualized.  After the nurse put me in the room and got things set up, she left, and I took pictures :-)

Here is the whole setup - Cotton balls already soaking with "cleaning" fluid as my doc said and syringe "pre-loaded"

Up close and personal with the pre-loaded syringe - up to 6CC's (NOT how much I got!

So the doc came in and asked me how things were going - Then I laid down on the table while he felt for the port.  He asked me to do a little crunch and to hold it while he got the needle in the center of the port.  I didn't even feel the stick.  Once the needle was solidly in the port, I swung my legs around and sat up (yes, while the needle was hanging out).  Doc gave me a big glass of water and told me to drink a sip first to make sure all is well.  Then just start drinking and tell him when I feel it up in my chest.  I drink, and then tell him when.  While I'm drinking, he's adding fluid.  Once we get to the neighborhood, as he calls it (first neighborhood, then street, then house), he took a little out and asked me to tell him when everything went through again.  Back and forth with this a couple of times to make sure we were at the right spot.  Then he took out the needle, gave me a bandaid and told me I had to finish the cup of water before I could leave.  Also warned me to make sure everything goes down smoothly as "it will not get better after you leave the office."  I've read enough to know that is true!

After he left (while I was drinking water --- did I mention how I HATE plain water) I snapped another pic of the now slightly used needle. (Hopefully the nurse came in later to put it in the sharps container!)

Afterwards - looks like 4.0 left to me :-)
So, from 6CC's to 4CC's, that means 2CC's in my band to me, but on the checkout form, he wrote 1.5CC's.... Hmmm... No worries.

8. So now I'm back on liquids for 48 hours... mmmm (or not). 

9.  I have a date with 2 friends (my closest friend at work, and her closest not-at-work-friend) for a ladies night on Saturday night.  Guess what we are seeing :-)  We are doing dinner at the Melting pot (after my 48 hour liquids) and then going to see Magic Mike.  I don't know if any of you all have a melting pot in your town, but it is fantastic!  It is a fondue place, so I think it is actually really band friendly (though expensive).  You cook everything one bite at a time.  LOTS of time in between bites.  And since you are sharing the meats / breads (okay steak and bread are not usually band friendly, but we'll just see how it goes) with the others at your table, it doesn't look like you haven't eaten anything!  

10. My first TTT thing in a LOOONNNNGGG time.  I think my attention span prohibits me from sitting and writing long posts all at once.  Plus I usually end up blogging at home, at night, where I fall asleep.  Right now it is "break week" on campus --- so no students :-)  It is like a week of planning time which is a nice break after the heck that I've put up with for the 3 weeks before - so I figure taking some time out to blog - not a horrible thing ;-)

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Weekly Weigh in and other tidbits

Last week weight - 296.6
This week weight - 295.4
Loss of 1.2 lbs!

Woo-hoo! Yes, I know it is only a little tiny 1.2 lbs, but I was starting to get really nervous. I lost a ton the week of pre-op and the week of surgery, and then its been up, up, up since then. Only 2 weeks of gains, but I really wanted to get back on track before I gained back what I'd lost! So I was back to tracking this week, and managed to get to the gym at least 3 times.
I meet up with a friend of mine. She is a petite woman, but has joint issues (has had back / shoulder surgery). I'm pretty healthy, but the opposite of petite, so we work well together. We were doing Aqua Zumba, but realized that we weren't really getting as much as we needed out of the class any more so, we've started some Yoga classes. It is at the YMCA, so not crazy, but definitely harder than the aqua class! I have dreams of looking like this ---

Instead --- the class ends up going something like this -

I think it is going to be good for me though.  I get the nice sore feeling for the 2 days afterwards, just in time to go back again, and I know how important building muscle is... so I'm in for a while at least!

I go back to the band doc next Thursday, I cannot wait!  

Saturday, June 16, 2012

I'm still here - Bullet Point Blogging

I really was planning on doing a Ten Things Thursday,  I had half of it written, but most nights this week, I've fallen asleep.  Fast.  Hard.  Usually with the TV on, sometimes with the lap top still on my lap.  So, while I realize it is no longer Thursday, I'm feeling the need for some bullet points.

  • It has been a crazy week.  My partner in crime (the other full time faculty member) is back from vacation this week, but my boss is still out.  She had a hernia repair 2 weeks ago.  Was supposed to be laproscopic, but ended up being an open surgery.  Now the site is infected.  I was told that I am pretty much the head of the dept until she comes back.  This comes with reports, meetings, and lots of following up with students.  This is fine if it is my only job, but I'm still teaching and next week is finals so I have a TON of grading to get caught up on.  Plus have a class starting clinicals in like 3 months that I have not even started to place!  Boss is supposed to be back this week... i'm keeping my fingers crossed!
  • I weighed in on Tuesday, like I'm supposed to but just changed my ticker today.  Up 1.6.  Last week was the first week of "NO restriction eating." I had 4 days before I buckled down and made some new goals.  I think it could have been worse.  
  • Re: my goals from last week.  I have worked out 3/4 days I was planning on.  I ended up having to help my mom pick up / drop off car which, plus had meetings for a non-profit I'm on the board for.  Basically, I didn't get home before 8:30 any night this week and I really had to get grading for school done.  NO extra time.  I did 2 hours of yard work - Mowed the grass and then cleaned up behind the shed.  I didn't take a before shot, and really should have, but I think it is much better now! What you can't see in the first picture is that I've already cut off the 2 inch diameter vines that were growing THROUGH my fence (you might be able to see a nub).  It took me a bit to cut through them (with a bow saw) and get them cut up small enough to go out with yard waste.  I am surrounded on all 3 sides by people who refuse to take care of their yard!  GRR
  • I am in the process of trying to finish some projects at my house.  My bedroom has no decor, and no paint on the wall other than ugly used-to-be-white-in-probably-1970.  I have a groupon that is going to expire in July for a professional group to come in and paint a room.  I say, I need my bedroom to look like a grown up's bedroom.  So, I called a friend that is MUCH better at decor than I am, and we set out to look for new bedding (and then eventually new paint.)  I found my ideal bedding (after a couple of hours of looking). It was 50% off.  It was meant to be.  Until nobody had a queen size in stock.  I mean NOBODY.  The (new) sales clerk said I could order it online.  Great.  I am usually anti-credit card, but for this purpose, I was planning on opening the card, getting the additional 20% off (which pretty much pays for the cute decorative pillows) and then paying off in cash.  Went downstairs to apply for credit card.  Approved.  Went to kiosk to order queen size online.  NO QUEEN SIZE!  So now, I have a credit card I didn't really want, and no bedding, which makes me MAD, and really sad (b/c I loved it).  If you remember my very first TTT (found here), pay attention to #8.  I'm a crier.  For lots of reasons, for no reasons at all.  I made it out of the store, but might have had a little meltdown in the parking lot.  I feel bad for my friend, who knows I'm crazy, but is still not really used to it.  I'm now debating on getting the king size comforter (sheets are sold separately) to see if the overhang is too much.

  • Re: my current eating.  I actually went out to eat twice in the last couple of days.  I think I'm doing pretty well.  Lunch at a sandwich place where I ordered a 1/2 of a chicken caesar wrap (sub light ranch instead of caesar dressing) and a baked potato.  Ate 2/3 of the 1/2 of the chicken wrap and maybe 6 bites of the potato.  Then went to another place with family yesterday.  Chicken sandwich (minus mayo) and a splurge on sweet potato fries.  Ate 1/2 of the sandwich and 1/2 to 2/3 of the fries.  Ate the rest of the sandwich this morning.  While I know it is probably more than the 1 cup I'm allowed, with no real restriction, this is a big deal for me.  And with both I had maybe 2 sips of water.  That seems like its going to be the hardest part, and I'm really trying to practice.
  • My doc's office called this week re: my scheduled (first fill) appt on the 26th.  I was originally supposed to come back in two weeks (which would be this upcoming week), but there was no room, so I was scheduled for the 26th.  Now my doc has to be out, and I got moved to the 28th.  Don't these people know I have goals to meet and need some help!  GRRR
So- that's my story.  Some TTT, some WTF, a whole lot of info.  Congrats if you made it through it all!  Hopefully I'll get a chance to blog more frequently this week, so that it won't be a novel next time!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Struggling with old habits

In the past, I have been an all or nothing type of dieter.  I did the south beach diet, and did fine eliminating all carbs.  As soon as I was allowed to "slowly integrate more carbs" I went crazy.  I have a very hard time with moderation when it comes to foods.  Carbs in particular.  This is rather interesting for me, because in EVERY other part of my life, I am a permanent  fence sitter - queen of moderation.  This just leads me to think that it truly is a food addiction I'm dealing with.  I had an OB-GYN that told me once I had an addictive personality, and I got so mad at her that I left the practice and told everybody I knew that I wasn't a fan.  Not my proudest moment, but sometimes the truth hurts.

Since I was released to normal foods, I've found myself in a similar situation.  I was a real stickler to all the pre-op and direct post op instructions.  But now that I have permission - I seem to have gone off the crazy end!  I have absolutely no trouble eating pretty much anything.  Ate 3 pieces of ciabatta bread with olive oil dipping (my favorite) in one sitting with no trouble at all.  Didn't even really have to take smaller bites or chew it all that much.

So I find myself almost in the exact position I was before I started this journey.  I really do not want to be one of those people that complains that the band failed.  I have seen that it works, but I have read enough blogs to know that you really have to work at it.  I'm kind of scared I'm not up to the task.  I'm back to tracking points for WW (since that is my wkly weigh in anyway) and hoping that I can at least maintain for the next 3 weeks until I go back for my first fill.

I also wanted to publicly state a few goals I'm working on.  I posted a list before of the NSV I'm looking forward too, but none of them had any specifics.  So here's the goals I have in mind.

1st long term goal  - Be down to 250 by November 10th.  I just booked myself a solo cruise to the Caribbean and I really want to be well on my way to a better me by that time.  250 will allow me to do any of the excursions I want, with lbs for clothes and a few to spare.  It will also be just under 75 lbs loss from my highest (started at 324). This means 45 lbs in 5 months.  It is a tough goal but achievable.  It is not going to be easy and this is especially why I need to maintain the loss I've had this month up to this point.  I cannot afford to go backwards anymore.

Weekly goals:

  • Work out at least 4x this week.  - I have "appts" for 3 days with a friend of mine, but the 4th, I'm going to have to do on my own. 
  • Track what I am eating.  I managed to lose 35 lbs this way last year.  Without any band.  I know it is possible if I just stay with the numbers.
  • Drink some water!  At least 60 oz daily.  I'm a horrible water drinker - always have been.  I am going to have to work my way up to anything more than 60.  
I've been pondering this post for a couple days and almost didn't post it, but I think that it would hurt me.  I mean, this is why I started this to begin with.  For accountability.  So here it is.  

Thanks for letting me vent!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

3 more weeks of will power for me :-(

I went in for my 2 week follow up.  I had heard through the grapevine (my friend who is a previous patient at the same office) that they might consider doing a small fill (she got one at her first follow up).  Nope.  No fill for me.  :-( BOOOO.  The last 3-4 days I'm realizing I'm very hungry, and unfortunately, the job this month does not allow for small meals any more frequently than 4-5 hours.  So I am just getting really good at apologizing for my loud-ass stomach.  It's growling is downright embarrassing.  I keep thinking its telling me "Feed me, Seymour!" 

I did get approval to go to regular foods as tolerated.  Still eating small portions, still chewing like crazy, but permission to pretty much start trying whatever I'd like.  I'm happy about that. 

I'll start off by saying my doc is very relaxed when it comes to the program.  I got one sheet today of instructions and he even told me " Look and see that it does not say anything about specific types of food, no mention of carbs or proteins or fats.  It is liquids vs solids -  No liquids! only solids." per the paper, a liquid is anything you can't eat with a fork.  So no more cottage cheese, no more oatmeal, no more soups or cream of wheat.  Biggest thing I'm going to miss -  Milk.  I'm a milk fan through and through.  Maybe it is because I was born in Wisconsin.  It is in my blood.  And he says absolutely no liquids with any calories.  I'm thinking 1 glass of milk a day isn't a big deal as long as it is not during or right after a meal, right? I mean, I drink fat free skim... I needs my milk!  Going down to 1 glass is already cutting back significantly!

I was told to come back in 2 weeks and we'd talk about a first fill.  Yeah!  Until I got to the front desk and they said that my doc has NO openings that week.  So I got pushed back to the following week.  Almost 3 solid weeks before going back.  3 solid weeks of this will power crap.  I know it is only 3 weeks,  I can do anything for a short period of time, but obviously if I had a ton of will power sitting around, I wouldn't be in this spot to start with! 

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Week 2 Weigh in

Went to WW tonight with sister #2 and actually gained a bit.  I knew it was coming.  I mean, I lost 11.4 lbs last week.  That can't have been actual loss.  Had to be some water issues / etc.  This week is also TOM, which, like I said yesterday has never, never been a good week for me.  I realize I'm still at the beginning of this journey (and I have a LONG journey ahead of me) so I'm taking it in stride.  I have been walking, but am starting back up at the Y tomorrow (my doc says exercise as tolerated).  Figured I'd start back with my water classes first now that everything is closed and pretty close to healed.  I'd like to add in some weights in a bit, and I really want to try some yoga.  I'm a hotdog on a stick with regards to my flexibility... as in, I have none.  In fact, when I sit on the ground with my little kids I lose circulation in my legs fairly quickly.  I'd like to "loosen things up."  Planning on starting small and working my way up.

I go tomorrow to my doc for my 2 week check up.  Will update after then.

Monday, June 4, 2012

A quick little update

I go in for my 2 week check up on Wednesday.  I'm hoping things get the okay.  I finally got crazy annoyed with the steri strips and "helped" them off at the end of last week.  I used to work with a lot of therapeutic tape, and it was pretty easy to get them off.  Most look like they are really healing well.  I have one that is still a bit swollen and bruised around it, and my port incision is a little pink for about a 2 inch circle around it.  I'm hoping its not the start of an infection.  There is absolutely no leakage, and it looks like its healing well, just pink around the outside.  we'll see.

I've heard through other patients of my doc's that if things are healing well, he will promote you more quickly through the food stages and might even do a tiny fill at your two week checkup.  Can I help it that I might be a little excited about that?  Over the last 2-3 days I feel like I am starting to really develop some hunger.  My stomach is being super loud and growly.  I'm still eating only about a 1/3 - 1/2 cup per meal, and I feel full afterwards, but I'm getting growly not long after.  I may or may not have eaten a mozzerella stick the other day.  They are my absolute favorite.  I took itty-bitty tiny bites and chewed, and chewed, and chewed.  No issues. I have noticed that I seem to be able to eat more / different foods than are on my prescribed list and really don't feel anything, any different than pre-band.  I do get full much much quicker, which I like but somehow I thought it would "feel different."  This is why I'm anxious to get moving towards getting a fill.  I don't want to slide back to bad behaviors and if nothing feels different, I'm sure I will.

My weigh in day is tomorrow, but based on unofficials, its definitely not going to be an 11lb lose like last week.  I knew it wouldn't.  It would scare me to lose that fast.  And its TOM this week, which never = loss for me, even when I was rocking WW in the beginning.

In other news, I'm ready for this week / month to be over.  For the May and June, I am doing 2 jobs at work, teaching a class and still doing clinicals.   On top of that, this week my boss and the other professor are both out of the office.  So it is me, myself and I (and one part time faculty member) running the department this week.  Hoping for no craziness to occur, but somehow doubting that will happen!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Back to school, back to school

I'm not sure if any of you are old school Adam Sandler fans, but the title is me singing the little song from Billy Madison.  Always happens when I go back to school.

In the past I've mentioned that I place clinical rotations for students at a 2 year health-science program.  That is my normal job.  However, a couple months a year, I have two jobs.  This means that this month, I am both working the clinical end of things, and teaching a regular class.  I started back to work yesterday, thinking, I teach college students,  if need be, I can just sit down and lecture.

Thats not me.  I got there, and got right back to my normal routine.  This was apparently too much.  I underestimated how much talking for 4 hours would affect me.  Then meetings, and paperwork, etc.

At about 4:30 pm yesterday (while I was still at work) I got this sharp pain under my ribs on the left side.  Much more sharp then anything I'd experienced so far.  I couldn't take a deep breath.  Didn't know if it was gas, a muscle spasm, or something else.  I walked the building, hoping it would move stuff along, went home for a brief time to take some Gas-X, still not really making it better.  Went to WW and walmart with my sisters, once again, hoping the walking would help any leftover gas to move its way along.  Got home last night at like 8:30, laid down with a heating pad and 15 minutes later it was gone.  YEAH!!!

So, after that, I was actually kind of hungry, and figured I would eat just a couple ounces of yogurt.  Ate the yogurt and it flared back up.  Spent the night with a heating pad and managed to sleep some.  So I'm up this morning and it feels like my muscle is super sore under my ribs.  Not the sharp pain of yesterday, but still there.  I'm heading back to work this morning, but thinking that after that, I might give the surgeon a call just to make sure it is nothing crazy, and then maybe come home early.

Anybody experience anything similiar.  Googling is dangerous, and always leads me to believe it is something way more than it really is.

Oh, by the way, I'm down 11.4 lbs this week!  I know there is no way this will keep up, but I'll take it for this week!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

More advice needed - Just a few quick questions

Two things that I'm looking for some assistance on.

#1.  I am on the board of directors for a local non-profit.  We have a planning meeting for our big fundraiser this week.  It is before our regular meeting, so it is a pot-luck.  It is Thursday, so I will be on a "blenderized diet."  Here's my doc's version of this stage.

  • Applesauce, mashed potatoes, oatmeal, cream of wheat, scrambled / fried eggs, cottage cheese, refried beans, hummus, baby food, pureed meat, vegetables & fruit
  • You may puree food, using an automatic chopper with milk, broth, cream soup, or juice
  • You will be on this stage of the diet for 1 week.
So I'm looking for something quick / easy that I can bring, that I might be able to eat just a bite or two of.  It is not usually a full meal, as we have some vegetarians, special diets due to religious reasons, etc.  Usually salad, some appetizers and desserts.  Any suggestions on "livening" up some of the basics, i.e. cottage cheese, hummus etc?  was thinking about mashed potatoes, but I don't have a means to keep warm.

#2.  I've mentioned in the past that I am the oldest of 6 kids.  Kid #3 (yes, we are all grown, but still associate with our Kid #'s) is getting married in September and Kid #2 and I have always been the heavy ones.  Sister #2 (maybe better than Kid?) was about 50 lbs less than me when we started weight watchers in January 2011.  We have been using each other as support.  I also have been financially supporting her WW, since she is currently getting screwed over by the principal at her school who won't give her a certified teaching position.  She is in no way ready for WLS - and I want to continue to support her where she is at.  So, we are still going to WW meetings.  I figured I'd just use it as my "official ticker weigh-in."  Problem is I already had to explain an 8 lb loss after my pre-op diet, and per my scale at home I could be down around another 10.  AWKWARD!  Obviously I am not currently following the "plan."  How can I explain this when I go to weigh in?  Was thinking of just telling them I had a hernia surgery (not really true, but at least its an ab based surgery).  Am I starting off on the wrong foot trying to lie?  Should I give up the weekly meetings?  Any suggestions / advice?

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Day 4 progress and questions for pros

It's day 4.  I feel pretty good overall.  Getting up and down from couch and bed is getting easier and less painful.  I moved to full liquids yesterday which was very welcome.

I've found that my doc is not nearly as specific as some of them out there.   There are no specifics re: calorie counts, protein counts, or actual amounts of food / liquids.  His core thoughts are liquids vs solids - and no real difference between types / quality of liquids vs solids.  Here's what I have

Two days after surgery:

  • Full, creamier liquids
  • Try: milk, vegetable juice, strained cream soups, pudding, yogurt
  • Restart supplement drinks twice per day (does not have to be low carb, can try Ensure, Boost, Carnation Instant Breakfast)
  • Restart fiber supplement (2x per day), chewable vitamin (1 per day), and chewable calcium supplement (2 per day)
  • You will be on a clear liquid diet then a full liquid diet for a total of one full week.

So you see, no specifics.  I thought most of my gas pain was gone, as I have no more pain in my shoulder, however it is still somewhat difficult to take a deep breath.  Is this normal?  Still gas pains? I ate 2 oz's of yogurt this am with a bit of extra protein powder (taking at least 30 minutes to do so.) Now I'm wondering if that might have been to much.  How did you tell in the beginning?  Any suggestions?  Things to watch out for? I would really appreciate any advice any of you pro's have out there!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Day of surgery details

I wanted to try and put my story down, if only for me to be able to remember it all later.  I had to be at the hospital at 8:00 am for my 10:30 surgery.  I was the last scheduled for my "band class."

My dad and sisters were at my house by 7:30 and we headed off to the hospital.  Waited in registration when I was already pre-registered (I always wonder what the point of pre-registering - when I'm still going to have to wait). After registering it was up to outpatient surgery waiting room for more waiting.  Then I finally got called back to my pre-op room.  Quick pee in a cup to make sure I wasn't pregnant, a nice fashionable gown and some meds (IV and the belly shot) and then my family was able to come in and hang... and snap photos :-)

We chilled and talked and goofed off for a while before an orderly came in to take me to surgery.  My sister told me that as soon as he came in, I got a freaked out - nervous face on.  I was nervous.  I was thinking to myself, are you sure you wanna do this?  I've never had surgery (besides getting wisdom teeth out) so I really was super nervous.

So my family trailed behind me until we got to the surgery door, and they went to go wait in the waiting room.  I sat in another room for probably 30 minutes or so.  Waiting around with 6 or so other patients waiting for various surgeons.  Answered lots of the same questions for everybody who came by.  What am I having done, any allergies, did I take all piercings, metal off, am I sure i'm naked under the gown?  Then I finally got rolled into surgery, and scooted my way from one gurney to the table.  They strapped my arms and legs down and gave me oxygen (what they told me)  I wasn't even awake for them telling me to count down.  Next think I knew I was in recovery.  I remember moaning a lot while trying to talk, and trying to move my arms.  My stomach hurt.  The nurse gave me pain meds and some ice chips.  Much better :-)  After I was really awake, I got moved to a wheelchair and pushed down to x-ray to see if everything was in place.

Getting out of the chair and standing for the x-ray, I was a little dizzy, but no nausea.  X-ray done, back in the chair and waited out in the hall for transport to take me up to the post-op bariatric rooms.  I think I fell asleep, because here's what my family told me.  They were told I was in x-ray and then would be up in just a few minutes.  Almost an hour later, no Sara still.  So they went and asked and the nurses said they were just wondering the same thing!  Apparently the transport team forgot me, so I was sitting in my wheelchair in front of the x-ray room fast asleep for about 45 minutes :-)

Finally got to the post op room and sat in the recliner before my family came in.  And started snapping more pics.

We sat around for a while - since I had to drink a cup and a half of something (small sips at a time) and pee before we could leave.  I had the peeing down, but it took me forever to drink!  Got up and walked a lot there, and even walked myself out to the car.  

Went home last night and laid on the couch and slept on and off.  Slept last night in my own bed - with lots of extra pillows.  Got up about every 2 hours to pee / walk but luckily I go to sleep quickly so I had no trouble going back to sleep.  

Hanging out today.... walking a lot.  I've never been a heavy drinker, so its a constant battle to remember to keep the fluids going.  I'm on clear liquids still today, and then get to move to full liquids tomorrow - until next Wednesday. 

So there's my story.  Not a whole lot different from most of the ones I've read, but I'm glad.  I like things that go according to plan.  I'm heading back to bed for a bit now.  Hoping tomorrow will be a little better :-)

Thank you all for every bit of your support.  I felt like I really had a realistic view of what was going to happen which made the day go a lot more smoothly.  It really is great to have so many people that have gone before you sharing their stories!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Made it!

I'm officially done and home.  Well, I've been home for quite some time, but really not able to do a lot of posting.  Going to work on an official "my story" later this weekend.  Just wanted to touch base and say I'm done :)  Pain is bearable, but there.  Trying to drink lots.

BTW, I got the "gold star" for the smallest liver of my band class!  Woo-hoo!

Heading off to the hospital

I'm up early, showered and dressed - ready for my rides to get here... Yes my rides, plural.  My family sometimes loud and obnoxious, but I'm SOOO glad I have 3 people who are coming with me today.  I would have had more, but really wanted to keep the party to a dull roar, and told some they need to work!  I think there are shifts of people coming to hang with me after.  This is one of the best things about having a big family ;-)

I have not had time to get nervous before.  I was at work for 15 hours + yesterday,  didn't leave last night until 10:15 and then went to the store to get more of the shakes I like best.  No sleep until after midnight.
Staying busy was needed, but also a defense thing.  I work best when busy.  Now that I am sitting here, dressed and just waiting I AM NERVOUS.  I thought I was gonna puke earlier!  Sheesh!  Its like my body saved up the weeks worth of nerves and threw it on me in one day!  My hands are even a little shaky!  So I'm deep breathing and listening to some good Sing-out-loud music, hoping to chill.

If you have a moment today - send some positive vibes my way.  Surgery is at 10:30am eastern time

See you on the other side!

Tuesday, May 22, 2012


It's 8:20 pm- I have to be at the hospital at 8:00am and I am still at work!!!!!!!

Monday, May 21, 2012

my brain is melting.......

So, day 6 of the Pre-op diet, and it is the first day I really feel worn down.  Been averaging 400 - 600 calories a day for the last 6 days.  Did not want to get out of bed today, and my brain just isn't functioning as well as it should.  Which is tough, since I'm teaching college, and its finals week!

Also, boo-hoo, my officemate just brought in chick-fil-a,  and I can still smell the yummy bread!  I'm so sick of the shakes! 

43 hours and counting till I have to report to the hospital.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

At least somewhat productive

Since I'm locked in the house this weekend... I've actually managed to have some "bursts" of energy for getting some stuff done!

Lawn - Mowed
Kitchen - Cleaned
Living Room - Cleaned
Bedroom - Cleaned
Bathroom - Scrubbed and cleaned
Laundry - in progress
Guest room - Cleaned and organized -  This is my spot for all my "extra" clothes - Size 14/16 - 26/28  mostly 18/20's and 22/24's  and 90% from Lane Bryant... I'll be so glad when I have other options!

One set of papers graded for school, one more to go, plus therapy notes from my EI kids, and I have to finish writing the final exam and the last two days of lecture for this week since a friend of mine is covering for me!

In other words, I'm making progress, but have a LONG way to go!  Good news is, I think I'm over the detox phase :-)  I still would not trust myself out at a restaurant or with major food around, but no stomach growlies and I'm hanging in there.  Wednesday morning is the big day.  Surgery at 10:30am, have to be there at 8....  t - 67 hours!  Holy CRAP!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Locked in my house

I knew this was coming. I knew that part of the reason I'm heavy is that all social events revolve around food.  2 nights in a row now my family wants to go "grab some dinner."  I'm on my mostly liquid pre-op diet.  Restaurants are not gonna happen.   I teetered, thinking, maybe I could go and hang out and just drink water, but I knew it would be super hard.  Especially because the first night was O'Charley's, home of the yummiest bread ever! and the second night was mexican food (which I could pass on the food part normally) but no chips / dip... Chips and dip are my WEAKNESS!  I would give up all the chocolate in all the land to have some salty, crunchy chips, with a cool sour cream (or cheese) based dip.  MMMM....

So, I went to watch my soon-to-be brother-in-law play softball at one of the local churches, and then went home afterwards when everybody else went out for mexican - and drank broth.  NO FUN!  During the week, this was easier during the day because I was super busy at work.  Weekends - Not so busy.  Especially when you are avoiding restaurants!

So I have taken a stand and locked myself in my bedroom (metaphorically, of course).  The kitchen is most of the way cleared out, but there are still some real food options I would TOTALLY take advantage of right now.

I'm trying not to be obsessive with the scale, but hey, I'm sitting around.  I weighed this morning, and I might have lost about 5 lbs since Tuesday night.  We'll see.

Friday, May 18, 2012


BYOC!!! Bring Your Own Crazy!!

It’s FRIDAY!!! That means it’s time for BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy! We answer five little questions to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break. Copy to your own blog and enjoy!!

1. What religion were you raised as a child, if any, and are you still a member of that faith today? Why or why not?

I was raised catholic.  Every weekend at church, went to a catholic grade school, had a job during mass for a lot of years (Eucharistic minister, lector, an usher, and even an alter girl when I was little)  I will probably go back if / when I have kids, because I do think it has its positives.  Right now, I'm indifferent.  I go on Christmas / Easter because its a "family tradition."  I go more on the golden rule philosophy and think the world would be a lot better place if everybody just treated everybody else with respect.

2. Do you have an all time favorite candy or do you change favorites often?

I have a top three -  My usual go to is a 3 musketeers... I had a 3 musketeers and a diet coke almost everyday during my neuroanatomy class in college.  They are fantabulous!  I'm a big fan of peanut butter, so reeses are my 2nd favorite.  In a close third is pretty much anything with white chocolate.  I know some of you don't feel like it is real chocolate.. but it is SOOOO much better than that bitter dark stuff :-)

4. Let’s just say you were a tattoo junkie and you were planning your next tat and it had to be words only. What words would you choose? A quote? Phrase? One word? Would you do it in English or a different language?

3 of my siblings have tattoos...I like them on some people.  Others not so much, but to each their own.  I would totally get one if I was dedicated to any one thing enough to have a permanent reminder of anything.  I don't.  I guess I've tossed around the way too common horoscope sign - only because I am so permanently stuck in the middle I can't dedicate myself to anything, and I'm a libra.  Symbol, the scales. :-)

*Quick edit- because apparently I am wasting away and can't read the question :-)  Words only would be super hard.  I spent days trying to decide what to get engraved on my ipad... on my body... sheesh!  something about moderation / can't we all just get along / etc.   but obviously I'd find some deep, philosophical quote that summarizes that!

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week.

Well, I'm on day 3 of pre-op, so I might say one word "hungry!"  I was thinking about it earlier, and I'm really trying to get a handle on what hungry is.  I've been reading a fabulous book called Bandwagon and really trying to focus on learning what my body is telling me.  Thats the point of this whole band thing.  The author talks about finding the difference between physical hunger, head hunger, mouth hunger, and eating out of habit.  I'm definitely more in mouth / head / habit hunger (probably a good combination of all of them) than physical hunger.  I mean I'm sitting here, blogging, watching TV and I'm thinking I totally need to eat.  But apparently I don't "need" it enough to go eat the 2 cups of raw veggies I'm allowed each day.  I mentioned in my last post that I'm pretty much a toddler when it comes to my food variety.  Without a yummy dip, they just taste icky!  So, I keep drinking water and keep trying to stay busy.  Here's hoping I'm not hard-headed and this eventually becomes routine.  

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Pre-Op Day 1

I'm thinking I might go to bed.  I think that might be the best thing, because every commercial makes me hungry!  I am totally fine during the day, because this month at work is C-R-A-Z-Y and I am super busy, but as always, the evening is my down fall.  I'm sitting on the couch, grading papers, and the 1/2 cup of cottage cheese and a protein shake is not what I was hungry for.

I realize I'm complaining.  I realize I'm detoxing, I realize that this is important and I will not cheat.  I also know that I have it easy compared to some of you.

Some of you asked, so here's the rundown of my pre-op diet

Any amount of -

  • Sugar free beverages such as crystal light
  • Coffee, tea, water
  • Broth or strained broth-based soups (low sodium)
  • Sugar free popcicles, sugar free jello
In moderation - 
  • Juice - 1 cup per day
  • Milk - 2 cups per day
  • No sugar added fudgesicles 2 per day
  • High protein, low carb shake 2 per day
Solid Foods - 
  • Fruit - 2 servings per day
  • Dairy products - 8 oz light yogurt, 1/2 cup cottage cheese or SF pudding - 3 per day
  • Raw Veggies - 2 cups per day - No dips / salad dressings etc
So, I realize it is not nearly as restrictive as some of you have had.  Here's the thing. I am a picky eater.  I love my carbs.  I love my meat.  I do not love fruits and veggies.  In fact, I gag on most of them.  I can eat grapes, raw carrots and very basic salads (if I have a creamy dressing).  I also cannot handle popsicles with a stick in the middle - don't ask why, but it gives my goosebumps and makes me icky.  So, this journey is not only about nixing the things that I should not be eating but learning to like things I currently do not.  You might laugh, but I am an early intervention therapist (in my spare time) and I actually work with picky eaters... it is something I've had lots of training on.  Time for me to walk the walk and learn to like some new, healthier foods.  

So thats all for now --- well, I will mention that I had my sister take before pictures last night.  Tank and undies pics.  You will not see them here (they might blind you.)  Not yet at least.  Maybe when I'm rocking my band, I'll use them for motivation for others.  Right now they are motivation for me.  

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

It's the final countdown....

da da daaaa da da da da da... da da daaaaa.... (okay thats the final countdown music as my head sings it)

So tomorrow morning T - 10 hours, I start my one week pre-op diet.  I thought I was doing pretty good staying on at least my regular eating schedule, but I've been really bad the last few days... a blizzard (or two), onion rings, steak, all things I'm stepping away from starting tomorrow.  I'm ready.  I've been planning and buying, and contemplating, and I'm really just ready to get this party started.  I have warned family I might be a bit of a witch while I "detox."  I am ready.

And just in time -   As part of my employee insurance plan, we have to participate in a wellness program. If you earn enough points throughout the year, you get the "cheap" insurance prices.  I've always had to do extra work to make up for the fact that my BMI was over.  All of my other numbers have ALWAYS come back normal.  I got blood drawn last week and this time I was just over the line for pre-diabetes.  I knew it was coming, but always thought it would be much further away.  My grandfather died at 60 with advanced diabetes and had had multiple heart attacks.  My mom is severely diabetic and has been for probably 15 years (she went untreated for years).  This makes me feel all the more comfortable, right and ready to get banded.  

Friday, May 11, 2012


Bring Your Own Crazy!

It’s Friday fun day! That means it’s time for BYOC – Bring Your Own Crazy! We answer a few questions to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break. Copy to your own blog if you so desire and have fun!

1. Are you a “wake up on the first beep of the alarm clock” or a “hit the snooze button 50 times before you get up” kind of person? Is your alarm clock set to the right time?

Um, I am definitely a hit the snooze button girl.  I have 3 alarms set for 5:45, 6:00 and 6:15, and they all snooze and repeat at odd times.  Recently however, I have gotten up at 5:35 almost every day to pee, and yet I still go back to bed, fall completely asleep (its a gift - I can fall asleep in under 2 minutes, literally) and then continue my snooze routine.

2. Do you decorate for any holidays other than Christmas?

I'm a slacker.  Through and through.  I used to go all out and decorate a lot.  I was the one that made stockings for each and every one of my 6 different college roommates.  Now I've gotten a bit lazy.  Really, I don't spend any of the actual holidays at my house. I'm at somebody else's house.  I'm sure if / when I have kids I will totally go all out and decorate, but for right now, I'm perfectly happy helping decorate other peoples' houses.  :-)

3. Would you consider yourself a spontaneous fly by the seat of your pants kind of person or a massive OCD controlling planner kind of person or someone in between?

I can go either way.  In fact I am usually one way or the other.  Either super over-planned, or completely against making a decision.

4. Tell me some of your MUST have hair products that you use consistently….you know - share your “hair routine."

I am really trying to find a new hair routine.  Over the last few years, my hair has gotten much thinner, (and I'm not even banded yet - REALLY worried about hair loss after).  I have fine, curly hair.  I fought it for years, straightening it everyday.  I got a shorter haircut a year or so ago, and now wear it curly.  So. Products I use - starts with Paul Mitchell Round trip which is a gel, followed by Aveda's phomollient (a softer mousse), then a few spritzes of a spray gel (right now its garnier curl shaping gel) and then I use the diffuser.  I have already started taking biotin, and just bought the bumble and bumble thickening line in prep for the aftermath of the band.  We'll see!

5. Repeat question: How was your week and what are your upcoming weekend plans?

My week was insane!  Work is crazy busy and I'm trying to get everything prepared for me to be gone. I actually went today to do all of my pre-op testing.  Chest x-ray, barium swallow, blood work, EKG and I'm ready!  I got to meet my band-class, and so far so good.  I was sad to see I was probably tied for the heaviest person in the group, but also SUPER surprised how much other people DON'T know! I'm a super researcher, which is what got me involved in all of your wonderful blogs.  I just want to say thanks to everyone for sharing your knowledge, I am so glad I have a completely realistic view of what is about to happen, and what I will need to do to ROCK my band!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Meeting my bandster class tomorrow!

So, my doctor does all his surgery's on Wednesday's.  He has "classes" of band recipients.  1 week and a half before your surgery, it is Pre-Op day.  Tomorrow is that day for me.  So I'm heading to bed now, and fasting in the am before heading to the hospital.  Check in at 7:45 and then I will do my EKG, blood work and barium swallow.  Apparently there are 8 of us getting banded on the 23rd.  We all will be traveling around the hospital in a pack tomorrow getting all the tests done.  I think this is partly convenience and partly for a built in support group :-)  I'm kind of excited about meeting the rest of them, but let me tell you - I'm actually super nervous about the barium swallow.  I'm a super gagger when it comes to certain textures and really can't hold down any liquid meds... YUCK!  I'm hoping I don't puke.... Send out some positive vibes for me tomorrow!

Since I am actually only 10 days out, I've officially started stockpiling the "stuff" - you know, the stuff that is listed on every forum.  Here's what I came home to today.

Yep, I'm addicted to internet shopping... It is just so easy!  That is three amazon boxes, a box of samples from unjury and some shampoo / conditioner I ordered. It's like Christmas at my house!

Monday, May 7, 2012

Putting my goals on paper

Well, as much as the internet is like paper :-)  I've been busily trying to ready my house for my upcoming banding.  16 days!!!  Yikes!  I wanted to make sure to put down somewhere the reasons I'm doing this.  Luckily I have not had many health concerns related to my obesity, but I know I can't go forever being this lucky, so here is my list of victories I want to see soon!

1. I will buy clothes in a normal store (and at the same time, cut up my Lane Bryant card)

2. I will be able to find boots that fit my GIANT calves.  They are probably my least "fatty" part of my body, but are just huge and even special order expensive boots don't fit :-(

3. I will be able to sit comfortably in any chair without having to hold my elbows and squeeze my thighs to prevent "spillage" to other chairs.

4. I will be able to do any adventurous "excursion" I want, without having to worry about safety checks for weight limits.  I want to scuba, to white water raft,  to zip line, and possibly even sky dive - none of which are available to me right now.

There is a new underground zip line in my town - Unfortunately it carries the following stipulation Participant weight guidelines are 55 to 275 pounds. Participants WILL be weighed in a private setting before zipping. If you do not meet the weight requirement, you will be given a 6 month rain check to return at a later visit. So... guess what I'm doing when I see the 260's  - I'm giving myself some room for clothes :-)

5.  I will be able to go to the bathroom in a public restroom without having to "do-si-do" around the door and the toilet - I feel gross having to touch all parts of the way-to-small stalls!

6. I will be able to sit in my car and put my hand on the bottom of the steering wheel without it also resting on my stomach - My legs are too short, and my stomach is too large!

7. I will be able to shave certain areas of body hair without having to lift, separate and pretty much become a contortionist. 

8. I will be able to paint my own toenails.  Right now, I could get maybe one or two, but the stomach and thighs meet and make it nearly impossible!

9. I will not be the "fat-friend."

10.  I will feel comfortable enough with me, and love me enough to maybe be comfortable enough to get out and meet new people that will love me!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Happy Derby Day!!

It is officially the biggest holiday in Kentucky - Derby Day! This week has been absolutely crazy for me! I'm trying to get everything caught up and ready for my big day in a couple of weeks, and still manage to enjoy Derby week. A close friend of mine's birthday was yesterday and she really wanted to go down to the Downs (Churchill Downs for all you out of state folks) for the Oaks race yesterday. I rearranged my schedule so that I could go with her. So, I saw my first client yesterday at 7:00am! This way I was done and dressed and down at the track by about 11:30. Normally okay, but my sisters' had talked me into going to see some friends of theirs in a band the night before. Going to the track on 4 hours of sleep is not a good idea. It was freakin' HOT! I'm always hot anyway, probably in part because I have lots of extra "insulation" and probably because my blood is Wisconsin blood, therefore making me avoid the heat. So, while I always love the idea of going to the track for oaks / derby.... The execution of it never exactly lives up to the expectation. Got rained on again, had a nice heat headache even after drinking 4 bottles of water and no alcohol, and some nice blisters from shoes that I wear a lot and have never gotten blisters from before....  After coming home to shower and take some advil, I went back over to my friend's house for a laid back birthday party.  After the party (at about midnight) I went grocery shopping because of course I have to bring a dish for the party today.

Today's party is definitely my kind of derby party. My roommate from college's family always throws a big party at their house. There is betting online, regular $ pots and always lots and lots of food and good people. This year, I'm just going to try and be aware of what is going in my mouth, since grazing at these kind of parties is a real issue for me. Next year of course, I hope I will be an experienced bandster who has already developed all sorts of new, healthy, habits.

Anyway, long post done, Happy Derby to all!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Surprise Surprise!

So, the last time I posted I was on my way out of town for my job's annual national conference.  The day I left, I got a letter in the mail.  A very important letter telling me I was APPROVED!  I called the doctor's office while I was driving to the conference, but had to leave a message.  For the next three days, we played phone tag, as I was in classes for most of the day, and couldn't get on my phone.

So, I called this morning, now that I am back home.  When I went in for my initial nutrition consult they were booked about 4-5 weeks out.  When I called today, they said I could come in for pre-op testing tomorrow!  Holy cow!!!  I was originally thinking late June / early July, so I had not arranged anything at work... or home.  There is no way I could pull off tomorrow so I pushed it back just a bit, but am officially scheduled!  I go for pre-op testing on the 11th, have my last consult with my doc on the 16th ( at which time I start my 1 week pre-op diet) and officially get banded on the 23rd of May!

Everything fell into place at work re: my coverage, and two of my sisters already volunteered to hang at the hospital with me for the day.  Only problem is I am not ready at home!  So, I need advice from you all.  I've trolled enough forums to have a general idea, but what things would you wish you had around the house.  Especially if it is something I need to track down or order off the internet.  I only have 3 weeks folks!  Help a sister out!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Livin' la Vida Loca

It has been an absolutely crazy week, and it does not look like it is going to get any less crazy in the next few months.

Here are some of the crazy things I have going on.

#1 - Work is nutty!  I'm in charge of placing clinical students for a 2 year health degree program.  It is way more of a sales job than I ever thought it would be and I had 8 cancellations last week alone!!

#2 - I live in Kentucky, more specifically, Louisville.  For those of you not lucky enough to live in or around Louisville, this is the best time to come visit.  It is DERBY TIME!  The official kick-off for the Derby Festival, Thunder over Louisville, was this past weekend.  It was a good (albeit, a little cold) day hanging with a couple of my sisters (I'm the one in the middle). I promise everybody was happy, some were just trying to be funny!

#3 - I leave tomorrow morning (later this morning since it is now after midnight) to go out of town for a conference.  First time at the national conference, and I'm excited, but always get stressed leaving.

#4 - I GOT MY APPROVAL LETTER TODAY! :-)  I'm super excited, but holy cow, it is real!  I'm hoping to call my doc tomorrow morning to possibly get scheduled.  They were scheduling about 5 weeks out a month ago, so I'm anxious to see what the possibilities are.

Anyway,  just a quick little blurb.  Will most likely be posting again as soon as I get scheduled!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Officially playing the waiting game!

So, a week and a half ago, I did the "psych consult" and nutritional consult as required by my insurance.  The psych consult was kind of a joke.  $35 copay for literally a 4 minute q & a session.  Basically, since I don't hear voices in my head, have never been hospitalized with mental health issues and have never attempted suicide, I'm good.  I was so worked up about it, it was actually kind of a let down.

Anyway, the psych doc said he'd turn in my paperwork last week.  I called today just to follow up with my doctor's office to make sure they'd gotten everything.  They got it last week and have already turned it in!  I'm officially in the waiting zone!  I'm so bad at waiting.  I more than meet the BMI requirements, but am a little hesitant because my doc is trying to pull off sending in my ww records for my supervised diet.  He seems to think it will work - I have my fingers crossed!

So that's all for right now, I spent most of the weekend reading other people's blogs (I'm slightly OCD in that I have to go back to the beginning and read them ALL) and neglected some of my reports / notes for work.  OOPS.  So tonight is a catch up night, I have LOTS of paperwork to do (the definite down side of health care).

Saturday, April 14, 2012


Yes, I know it's Saturday, but I'm still new at blogging.   Since I'm new I figured I'd go ahead and do this, so that you fine folks could get to know me a little better

BYOC - Bring Your Own Crazy! That means it’s time for BYOC. Bring Your Own Crazy! We answer 5 questions in an effort to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break! Copy to your own blog and enjoy!

 1. Whether you’re a parent or not….what do you think the appropriate age is to talk to a child about “the birds and the bees”?

I am not a parent, but have worked with kids my entire adult life. My view is age appropriate honesty. If they have questions at 4 you should answer them honestly, but age-appropriately. I remember Oprah had a guidebook/timeline for this on one of her later shows. I think I saved it somewhere.

 2. What’s the color scheme in your bedroom?

Let me preface by saying that I've come to realize I need external motivation to get projects done at my house. My bedroom is one of 2 rooms that still has not been painted. So, right now it's still gross 70's- used to be white but now probably more off white- once I finish the two in process projects, the bedroom will be painted!

3. What kind of shampoo and conditioner do you use on your hair?

Usually Pantene. I actually got sucked into the wen infomercial the other day, still trying to decide how much is true. I have short curly hair so I need moisture without weighing it down.

4. And since it’s nearly summer time…do you paint your own toes, go some place for pedicures or not paint your toes at all? What’s your fave toe color?

This is actually a nsv I have on my list (I'm planning a post on them in the near future.) as I am not banded, and just over 300 and have extremely tight hamstrings, I cannot paint my own toes. In the summer I get a pedi about every 2-3 weeks.

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week!

Real life- I finally told a few people in my family that I was in the process of getting approved to be banded. So far the reactions have been cautious but very positive.

Blog life- I have followers, and made 3 posts in a week! I'd say that's pretty awesome

Thursday, April 12, 2012

10 Things Thursday - My first!

So, after the shout out yesterday (thanks MDlapband) I have followers!  Holy Cow!  Just in case you notice the amazing amount of "Holy Cows" it is because I am trying to keep it PG.  Feel free to insert your own explicative if it makes you feel better :-)

Since I started following my followers, I've read a ton of these 10 things Thursday things.  I'm going to start out easy and move up to more complicated as I continue the journey.

1.  I am the oldest of 6 kids - 5 girls and a boy.  Yes the boy is the last, yes we all have the same parents, and no, they did not "keep trying till the got the boy"  They just liked even numbers :-)

2.  I live with a 5 lb Chihuahua / Papillon Mix - She is the most adorable dog in the world as evidenced by the following pic- She is also the complete opposite of me.  I could lay out a bag of food for her and she'd nibble and then walk away when she was full.  I have no understanding of how that works!

3. I was a girl scout all the way through 12th grade.  Was this close to finishing my gold award, which is the highest award (similar to eagle scout in boy scouts) and didn't finish my project - BIGGEST LIFE REGRET TO DATE!

4. I am a life long student.  I have a bachelors in occupational therapy, a masters in special ed (assistive technology emphasis), and will be starting an MBA program this fall.  ALWAYS learning!

5. I have a hard time turning down free school - see above post.  Was lucky enough to have an academic scholarship for my undergrad degree, a Dept of Education grant for my first masters, and hope to get the 2nd masters through a tuition assistance program at work.

6. I have spent most of my adult life working with children with special needs.  It is always challenging and sometimes very trying, but I love being able to change people's lives.

7. I am preparing to be a bridesmaid for the 8th time.  Yep 8th time!  That means 8 different brides have had to try and find a dress to fit big ol me... not an easy task.  One wedding had girls ranging from  a size 2 (not me) to a size 22 (yep that was me... and skinnier than I am now!)

8.   I'm a crier.  When I'm sad, mad, happy, just because.  Have been known to randomly break down at work, school, home, wherever.  Best thing to do.  Leave me alone for a few minutes, and let me catch my breath.  Promise, I'll be fine.   The more you comfort, the harder it is for me to stop!

9.  HOLY COW this is hard.... and this is only my first time--- how do you veterans do this every week!

10.  I was originally very nervous about starting this journey... Now I cannot wait!  Reading your blogs has made me super excited to start the next chapter!