Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Emergency-Room Adventures

I went to the ER (for myself) when I was four but don't remember anything about it. But other than to be there with friends and family, I've not had any personal experiences there....until last night/this morning. I really would have been fine had my trend of ER absence continued, but at least I have some answers I've been looking for all year.

My stomach has hurt pretty bad four times this year beginning with one severe instance in January. Two of the instances were in April. And then there was last night, the worst instance of all. I was unable to get a picture of my stomach in January, had an ultrasound done in April without anything showing up on it, and had a CATSCAN done last night. The pain I have felt (in my lower right abdominal quadrant) has been markedly similar on each instance I've had it and has been accompanied by naseau, vomiting, and constipation. It has occurred around my TOM each time as well, and it has all been after WLS. I naturally assumed in Jauary that it was related to the banding. Now it looks like it's probably not (thankfully!!).

Last night, the pain started in the evening and just kept going and going. I began throwing up a few hours in to add more excitement to the goings on. And oh, as some of you are all too aware, throwing up with the band is no joy ride. Holy toledos, Nelly! I was having to stand up and bend down almost to my toes to upchuck anything--and hardly anything was coming out even doing that. The trash can was the best receptacle for this type of throwing up since the toilet was too high. At any rate, this is not a position I like to be in too much even when I'm not sick, so adding a hurt tummy to the mix made things almost unbearable. I had eaten (TMI alert!) Mexican last night, so I had some killer breath and was quite rank otherwise after all of that. The only thing that was partially soothing was lying in the tub with my legs on the wall. I did this in intervals without any consistentcy in relief, the positions I would sit, or the undertaking itself.

My wonderful fiance talked me into going and took me to the hospital (and was so sweet in every imaginable way--although I didn't show him too much love when, before we left, he kept trying to take my temp and sweetly rub my arms and such--I wanted to be left ALONE and kept grunting at the poor guy). I was barely able to put on a brazierre and smelled as rank as they come before we left. I was thinking all night before his insistence in going finally won out that it might just be a virus or bad cramping post banding (before being banded, the first time I ever had my period (13 or thereabouts), I also threw up--first and only time that this had happened until this year). I also didn't want to have any fluid taken out of my band, which has just started showing me real restriction; I thought fluid removal would be inevitable.

At the hosptial, I threw up several times in a bucket the staff gave me in the lobby (in front of all the folks in the waiting room--lovely!), and went through a series of checks and interrogations from what seemed like every person that works in the multi-building campus! They wouldn't allow my fiance to answer for me--protocol, I guess? The nurse put the IV in my arm and took blood. Because I was on my period last night, I had my first catheter experience as well. All these wonderful firsts!!! The nurse told me that I just needed to relax. Like heck! Getting a catheter was so not the type of feeling I get when I'm, say, sitting on the porch sipping tea and watching the sunset! Argh! Finally, after all of the waiting and what seemed like forever, I get some drugs--oh sweet mother's milk (sounds like something Amy W. has or would say :) ). They were amazing! The naseau and pain both subsided. That was great to me because I thought I would have to wait a few more hours for a gastrointestinal doctor to be called to take out some fill (again, that was one of the big reasons I waited as long as I could stand it not to go--because I want to lose weight for the wedding, not go back and forth in weight loss limbo with fill removals and additions).

Then, on to the CAT. A gastric-bypass patient did my CAT. She looked great and has lost tons of weight since her surgery in February (I felt good enough to notice others at that point). She was so sweet and shared all her details with me. It's nice to be able to talk to someone in the flesh (not that I don't love my online buddies too) about WLS since so few know. I have to tell medical personnel because any privacy misgivings are completely trumped by my desire for optimal medical care.

When we got the CAT results, they showed that I had a kidney stone. I believe that we just didn't catch the other suckers in a picture earlier this year as they had moved out already (or were camera shy). The doctor said that people who have one typically report others later and that they tend to see the same people back for them again and again. Super! At least next time I'll leave for the hospital ASAP since they aren't taking any fill out and since I know I need drugs and will have to go through interrogation checkpoints. I just hope I can avoid the catheter if I have to do it again--just remembering it is terrible. Well, after I got my scrips, the fiance rolled me out in the wheelchair (he was getting better at that from the beginning of the night when he was moving that thing like an Olympic running champ--that doesn't feel good when you are in the chair) to insurance and then to the vehicle. He was able to get my scrips for me at the pharmacy.

I've been on drugs and have a filter to catch the stone in if I can. I had to miss work today...probably tomorrow too. I don't know about after that but do know I have tons of drugs to take. I'm almost too exhausted to keep looking at the computer screen, so I have to end this here. I hope I feel better next time I post and that all this is history then.

One final thing, my fiance is heaven sent. I truly believe that. He is amazing! He had to miss work too today because of everything last night/this AM. He has been helping take care of me since too. I am so blessed he is in my life. :)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Two Co-Workers Noticing (Finally)

Well, the title says it all. One female co-worker noticed my weight loss on Friday, and a male co-worker noticed today. They are the first that have said anything here other than the client last week and my co-worker/friend who knows about the surgery (who I ask). I think I am either in the zone where people start to see a difference or that my recent clothing selections are making my weight loss more apparent.

As a side note, the new lowest number on the scale is 176.4. That is 27 pounds down (though I'm averaging about 178-179 on the scale).

And, as far as the pictures, I will send them soon. Sorry about that, you guys. I have been super busy.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Attention Panhandbandsters

Amy agreed to what Mary mentioned in her post about Lacey and she talking about all of us getting together. Yes, I meant to make that sound middle schoolish--no real reason other than that I'm childish. :) And I am SO in favor of us getting up one day doing a 5K, movie, lunch, whatever. (Disclaimer: I will still probably eat more than you all (not at the sweet spot yet)--especially if you want to get up at night when I eat like a horse--but it would be really nice (if we ate) not worrying whether you all are wondering why I act like a freak of nature when I eat, stopping and having the pained look on my face at certain intervals. Hahaha! :) ). Does anyone have any suggestions for what, where, and when?

Anyhow, reading Mary's post was really weird because just last night I was thinking about all of us meeting up since we are all in the same general area. I feel like all of these great people are stuck in the computer, and I need to pull them out! I wish everyone could get together. :( But everyone is invited to whatever we decide if you can make it. And I won't even wear my black box over my face, Amy! :)

BTW, all you legit bandsters (or future bandsters) out there, if you would like to see pics of me, give me your email addresses. My being an incognita senorita is more for those people that are non-bandsters in my life--judgmental/blabbery friends and family, random clients, that sort of thing. It has just been my choice to keep this very personal and private, and I'm very happy with that choice at the moment. I don't have a lot of good 'befores' and 'durings' though but can send what I have.

Oh, one more IMPORTANT thing...I don't think I've yet told anyone, "Thanks for reading my blog." I LOVE reading everyone else's blogs. It is one of the highlights of my day. I'm glad you all are sharing your adventures, bandster tricks, and advice with me. I'm so appreciative that you are also letting a piece of my life into yours. I am past the point of comparing my weight with others--I'm the SLOWEST LOSER. Heehee. That's okay (right now :) ). But losing slowly truly doesn't make me any less excited for everyone's victories and frustrated at everyone's frustrations. I really want us all to succeed at this (and in those other life events and struggles that we mention here too). At any rate, I am so glad I started following everyone's blogs and then mustered up the courage to create my own. You all are amazing, and Cara's slogan that her friends are in her computer really sums up this experience for me. THANK YOU!!!!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Eight-Month Bandiversary Yesterday and Mini-Goals

I didn't even realize that what with all the exciting weight loss that I was exactly eight months out yesterday. Maybe I'll have equally exciting news on the ninth, tenth, eleventh, and year bandiversaries too!

My mini goals are 1) to be able to EASILY fit into all my old Size 15's (I think/hope I have about 10 pounds--maybe less?--to get there); 2) to be considered 'normal' (159 pounds for me) sometime soon; 3) to EASILY fit into all my VERY old Size 13's (the last time I did this was after some weight loss in 2002/2003--don't know how much I weighed though???); and 4) to get to my surgeon's goal of 145. By the way, I added a caloric expenditure and intake link on my page. It helps you scientifically determine how much you need to eat/exercise to lose weight using your BMR (different than your BMI). You can even plug in goal weight numbers to see what you will need to be doing to maintain at that point.

Also, I weighed myself after my walk (didn't jog) last night (saw another bunny--what is up with that?) and this AM (when I'm the lowest), and the scale is now showing 177.8. I know that is only .2 pounds down from 178, but still, I love seeing the 177. :)

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Twenty-Five Pounds G-O-N-E!

As of this AM, I was down to my lowest weight yet of 178 pounds (80.9 kg). That is a 27.9 BMI. And it is a really big deal to me too because that is also 25 pounds down!

It seems like my new-found restriction may be working--and I have another fill coming up soon; there is a possibility that it will get me where I need to be. Either way, at least I'm losing lately (and my TOM doesn't even begin until next week--it is usually only after then that I lose at all; I hope I don't NOT lose then though???).

Oh, and in keeping with our new traditions, this fish (yes, another fish--sorry, Catherine) is 25 pounds (the girl is not me :) ).

And here is my 25-pound road mark. :)

***BTW, good luck on your fill, Lacey...hopefully, that one will get you where you need to be.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Getting Out There

It has been few and far between when people have noticed my weight loss. I see the same people weekly (even daily), so that might be a part of it. ??? I also wear clothes that aren't very fitted. Too, I think that maybe a 20-pound loss when a person is heavier may not be as noticeable (depending on the person) unfortunately. For instance, I told my cousin last week that I had lost a little over 20 pounds, and she couldn't believe the pounds lost. And the inverse may be true too. She told me that she hasn't lost hardly any poundage (though inches) even though she exercises on the elliptical everyday before college (she is 18). At 130 pounds, she looks really good compared to her shape before exercising (not that I didn't envy her look then too! :) ). I couldn't believe that she hadn't lost weight.

But this morning, just a couple hours before my lunch break (which is now :) ), I had a client who asked about me 'losing a lot of weight' recently. On top of not many people noticing (only about five at most), no one has said ANYTHING that would indicate that it looks like I lost more than a little weight. Neat-o!

But like I said, I really haven't gotten out there much to see people. I guess I'm waiting until I can make a really good impression with more weight loss. I do have my significant other's work party in December but may even linger longer at Wal-Mart and other places just to run into people if I can lose enough. :)

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Walking My Shoes Off

Actually, I didn't go that far or anything tonight. Though it was a little further than the usual 3 miles (4.75 total to be exact), I didn't hardly jog at all. Still, my shoes started breaking on the bottom. It started with the underside of the right one. By the end of my walk, the underside of the left one was gone too. While I usually keep shoes forever, I have just started chunking worn-out tennis shoes since I need good ones if I'm going to continue to exercise frequently. Thankfully, I have a back-up pair (though they aren't new or anything). Well, at least the pair I broke tonight got some good wear out of them. :)

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I'm Down Under, not in Australia, Cara and Miss Dee. Heehee :). I'm down under 180 lbs.--179.2 to be exact. That is about 2 lbs. under my most recent lowest weight to date. And this is 1 lb. from 25 lost! I don't care if I'm not at 25 lbs. yet (at least not right now); I loved seeing close to 2 pounds gone at one time. It is nice to finally have some restriction (I might otherwise think it was all exercise-related loss, but I have been MIA from that for a couple days this week and didn't have the motivation to really push the pavement in the last two day's jog/walks either--I got out there and did my three miles total but didn't adhere to goals or try overly hard; now I'll have more motivation to go further in the jogs. :) ).

I'm now wondering if maybe the higher weight at the end of this past weekend was the roadmark precursor to more weight loss. I know others of you have mentioned this happening, and it has happened to me too in past weight losses--where we gain before we lose.

One good thing about this loss (other than the obvious--weight loss! :) ) is that I didn't have to wait until after my TOM (as usual) to shed a couple pounds. I probably need to get more scientific about this weigh-in stuff since I'm actually losing (this honestly didn't happen until I started exercising in April-ish--and my surgery was in December!) and have a weekly weigh-in day (though I haven't decided to do that for sure yet).

I can't wait until I get to my sweet spot. My next fill appointment is early September, a little earlier than normal--fills are usually at exactly two months after the last fill (not my choice!)--because my doc is going out of town. He has the discretion NOT to fill too (the nurse told me that when I lost 10 lbs. in two months a couple of months ago; compared to some people, that doesn't seem like a lot, but he didn't fill me then :( ). But, hopefully, I will continue to see results with more of a fill then!!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Shaking Things Up (And Feeling It)

This week has been extremely busy for me, and I haven't yet been able to do my usual jog/walk in the evenings as a result. It has also been super HOT, so it's kind of good that I haven't been out dealing with all of that!!! I hate being super sweaty--even though I know that I am going to sweat anyways during workouts, I would rather minimize it with a running fan holder or something (anyone want to volunteer?). Seriously, I don't mind treadmill running for that reason when it's hot outside. Unfortunately I don't live in a place where there is a free onsite gym available like I did in law school. :( And I don't like the thought of paying for gym memberships just to avoid the sweat factor, especially since I'm trying to save money--and outside jogging/walking is truly more interesting anyway since there is more happening out there (and it's often pretty with general scenery and that). I just can't justify the cost of gym membership. But if I had a treadmill at home, I would have all sorts of fans blowing at it. As far as I see it, sweat is just water weight anyway, so it's not like the biggest sweat producer is the biggest calorie burner or anything. This doesn't mean I don't work hard and push myself when I jog (or do other workouts, for that matter). I just want to be as cool as possible.

Though I'm planning to go for the usual jog/walk tonight, I have had a lot of variations in the workout regimen this week. When I was out of town this weekend, I did the Wii short run (2 times), long run (2 times), and Island long run (once). Then I did the beginning and advanced step game (2 times each). I got the top scores for all of them and, though I entered my height and stepped on the game scale for my weight and such, I had to have Michael Jackson as my icon picture and name because he was all that was available (and I don't know how to create my own)! :) So Michael Jackson was the winner, I guess. (Side note: I really want a Wii myself for the Wii Fit (I loved using it!), but it is out of the budget at the moment. :( ) Sunday night when I got home (since I had gained and hadn't done anything besides the Wii over the weekend), I did a dance Crunch video. Ever heard of the Crunch series? I have several videos/DVD's (had them for a while). They have dance, Pilates, yoga, bootcamp, abs, cardio, and all sorts of other workouts. I find them fairly challenging. At any rate, while I felt fine Sunday night, the next morning until yesterday (all day), I was holding onto walls, railings, whatever to get down stairs, etc. In the bathroom, I NEEDED railings. I was seriously sore. It didn't even feel like I was doing that much when I was working out, but I guess I was working different muscles than normal. Oh, and I neglected to mention that I did all of that (all the Wii workouts and the video) on Sunday, so maybe the vigor of that day was catching up with me. Whatever the case, YOWSERS, I hurt!!!
The Undercover Killer :)
(on the picture there is what you use for the step workout and what you use to weigh yourself)

Monday night, I did another Crunch video--Burn and Firm Pilates. I couldn't do all the lower squatting things they did or jumping because my legs were killing me, but I did get through the video. It probably even helped me because I was able to stretch my legs and my body some--though I was feeling the burn part of 'Burn and Firm Pilates' for sure!!! I have been a little sore in upper back and upper legs for about a week anyway (don't know why???), but adding the new variations on Sunday, I felt like someone had beat the heck out of me all the way up my legs and back.

I was visiting some family in town on Tuesday and Wednesday nights but was able to swim with them last night (in addition to almost winning Mario Brothers--the first game--got to Level 8 and had one hammer brother and the big dragon thing until I saved the princess; ARGH! I'm not a video gamester girl or anything, but I've never won that game although it was my generations' big gift to video games). So back to swimming, I don't remember swimming ever being that difficult. Holy Cow! I was panting and breathing hard but hardly did any laps or anything. What gives? I feel like I am completely out of shape but have been walking/jogging 3 miles several times a week for a few months now. What the devil?! The swimming wasn't even supposed to be a 'workout'!

Aside from the unintended water exercise, I did keep track of my steps with the pedometer and logged over 6 miles on Sunday but only a little over 1 and 1/2 miles on Monday (with a 50-minute video; I think that the lunging and such, while burning, take away from the overall steps). At any rate, even though I was inside (with fans and A/C on super cool), I was sweating like a racehorse. Maybe I just sweat a lot?

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The Skinny Sister

I mentioned my younger sister in a post yesterday. Just as a preface and perhaps a segueway from that post to this one, I forgot to mention that I was as small as her only when I was in middle school (to avoid the confusion that perhaps I gained the weight since high school and was a beanstalk like her ten years ago--since there is a decent-size age difference between us). In other words, in high school, both my older sister and myself weren't the tiny girls like my younger, skinny sister (SS) definitely was (and still is post-high school). We were probably a little overweight then, not obese and just under obese like now, but definitely not beneath normal weights like the SS is.

She is very, very thin. She doesn’t have an eating disorder or any other problem; she’s just thin, my height (5'7) and thin. In today’s world, people love and envy that. Heck, I got a band to head in a thinner direction. I will NEVER get to where she is (113 pounds at 5'7–underweight at 17.7 BMI; I just did a BMI calculation) even with my band friend, but it is difficult to have this continuous, unattainable reminder of not having to worry about weight (or looks at all–she is quite beautiful too). What I would give!

If you can believe it, this is a closely accurate
(albeit cartoon) depiction.
(I've heard that Barbies, etc. can't look like humans
based on body proportions, but,
generally, this is what she looks like--yes, hair color and length too!!!).
I love my younger sister a lot, but sometimes the extra attention for her being so 'skinny' and 'thin' grates my nerves. She already has the advantage of the great genes there. But people are forever commenting on that. They are probably wondering why her older sisters have let themselves go or overeat like they must assume we do–not completely inaccurate there, but the SS eats things in quantities and varieties that aren’t exactly healthful either–as most skinny people do, aggravating as it is. Now, to be fair, she doesn’t hoard food or pack extra in to fill her reserves for later (like animals with a second stomach–me and the older sister seem to do that). It is still maddening though.

People are also always thrusting food at her and commenting on how she needs to eat more too. She does eat; I see it! And often! On a recent trip with my SS and mom (and some other non-family members), people were doing that in abundance. I was the one who was, in fact, eating less and skipping meals/snacks/food in general (partly because of the band). I felt like no one was really paying attention to anything except the fact that the SS is little. For instance, no one seemed to notice or even mention my eating patterns, and I was eating about half to two-thirds of what she was. Maybe they were just thinking that I would survive because I draw on the fat stores already available (if they even paid attention at all). Who knows?!

Last night, in yet another example in the ongoing Saga of the Skinny Sister, I was with a big group of people who again started the oooing and aaaahhing over her small size. They were even saying that my other sister and I looked more like one parent and that the SS looked more like the other. All my life I have been told (and know) that I look like that one parent while my older and younger sisters have distinctly similar facial characteristics that match the other parent’s. It makes me feel like people don’t really look at overweight people–the just kind of lump us together as the same. They lump together the lumps. Frustrating! I didn’t say anything about my aggravation with that openly, don't worry.

For attention, the SS does seem to eat it up and egg it on. In the case of accepting--or not accepting--food, she does whichever one derives the most noticeable glances or continued observation for her at the time. She thrives on attention in a lot of ways, so that’s not really out of the ordinary. Just as a related aside and for example purposes, I tell her that she is the Master One-Upper because if someone mentions an accomplishment or hardship, she always does it better, more often, or with more of a burden. She has almost embraced this title now because she is aware that she does it and continues to one-up (or one-down as the case may be). Of course, she makes sure to tell us all her superior accomplishment or hardship--therein showing her attention-seeking personality. But, on the positive side of the attention factor, she is also an entertainer type by nature. She is talented in all forms of art and makes us all laugh at impersonations and dance moves, etc. She often makes family get togethers and that sort of thing more enjoyable because we have a built-in entertainer.

Anyways, when I'm not around her as much, the 'skinny' comments and food thrusting don't affect me at all really unless someone is talking about her being skinny, etc. to me. Most of my friends are not this tiny (although there are some skinny ones in the mix), so it's not in my face every day. And sometimes when I am with her, it doesn't bother me either. But I can't (and don't want to) not see my sister as much because of these aggravations.

So am I being jealous and mean to be annoyed about these things in the first place? I can’t shake the feeling that I am. I definitely don’t want to just be vicious and pick these things apart because I love my sisters–the family tattletale and the skinny one :). I wouldn’t trade their fluffy and boney butts (respectively) for any others. :).

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

I'm Molting

It has become readily apparent over the course of the last couple weeks that my hair is definitely losing it stickwithitness. :( Though I dispose of it fairly quickly, an abundance of hair (which is coming out in greater quantities at any given time and more frequently during the day--it used to just come out in the AM or when I brushed/combed it) finds itself all over my bed, tub, and vehicle...among almost every other surface or space you can imagine. I have very fine hair, and I'm worried that it will become noticable to others if something isn't done. It is not at that point yet, but I may as well be somewhat proactive in prevention.

I have read about supplements and other things (like eating more protein) that helps. Does anyone have any experience with hair loss?

My Squirrel Mentality

Many people ponder the how's and why's of their weight gains. I have pretty much traced mine to my childhood. When I was a kid, I was VERY skinny. We were kind of poor for a fairly long stretch. During that time, food wasn't available in abundance. Although I can't remember a time when the cupboards were completely bare, I wasn't able to cook and couldn't get into the sparse supply of food that was available then either. Saying that, I guess that we did have food for most meals. I did not hale from Ethiopia or anything like that, but I do remember going without at times. Although a small part of this was me having the usual dislikes or possibly getting tired of eating the same food many nights of the week (my mom would try to combine meats with pasta/rice for cheaper cooking and would do only a couple deviations on that--I don't remember NOT eating the duplicate foods ever but may have done that so wanted to make sure I included that too for the sake of a fair accounting), there were times when there just wasn't really anything to eat. I remember coveting Ramen noodle soup packets (which are like 10-25 cents a pack now) and any kind of sandwich. I loved any snack available too. I would raid relatives' and friends' houses when visiting. I would hoard food and eat it later if I could bear to wait to eat it.

From what I remember, my family was always possessive when it came to food during that time too. I remember my dad putting a colorful note on an item he was reserving for himself in the frig. Evidently one of my grandparents had even put a chain and lock on their refrigerator when my dad was young (although the grandparents were all always generous to us). I hope that I am not like that with my children, but it does scare me a little.

At any rate, I guess that is the background from whence my eating addiction emerged. I have a sister who is just a couple years older than me who went through this as well. She also has weight issues now. I would like to tell her about the band--would really like to tell her--but she has already said negative things about WLS and cannot keep a secret to save her life (with a family that has also pegged WLS as 'bad').

In addition to my older sister, I have a sister who is ten years younger than me who is thin as a rail (literal Size 0) who never went through these times at all (in fact, though we all have the same parents, my dad has pretty much been out of the picture her whole life, and my stepdad has helped my mom raise her). To me, that just kind of goes to show that there is something to the root of mine and my older sister's eating issues and with our squirrel or hoarding mentalities (disclaimer: I am no psychologist; this has just been me thinking these things through over the course of the last few years :) ).

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Poor Guy And His Poor Truck

Another thing that happened this weekend concerned my guy's truck. On our way to the party, my significant other (SO) stopped at Chic-Fil-A for breakfast. Against my better judgment and past (recent even) experience, I decided to get some chicken nuggets. They serve just the nuggets in the AM too. Bad move. And no plastic bag this time. Soon after the digestive process began, we were driving on a long bridge where we could not pull over, and I HAD to PB. The only bag I had was the bag for the food. I couldn't get it opened and everything out of it in time. My horrified (but very sweet) SO had stuff on his seatbelt, seat, and on me too. We had just enough napkins to clean it off of everything. But will I ever learn???

The Scales of Justice (Unfortunately)

As I mentioned, I was going out of town this weekend for a party. And I indulged!

There was all kinds of food, and worse still, there were all sorts of dips. There were two different kinds of cheese dips, a Mexican bean dip (also with cheese), a spinach dip, a chicken dip, and other dips that I can't remember but loved. I am getting hungry again just typing that! I am a sucker for many kinds of dips. And, as we well know, they aren't great food for losing weight (or at least the typical dips we see at parties usually aren't). I could eat a ton of them because they slid right on through Srta Bandita at her current restriction level. I couldn't control myself because when it comes to food and self control, I myself am a dip (hence the band). Well, there was plenty of each type of dip left after the party (and the leftover dips came with the group who was hosting me), so I ate (LOTS of) them for several snacks and for breakfast and lunch the next day. YIKES!!!

In the evenings, we went to an Italian restaurant (Saturday night) and had food off the grill (last night). Because those were the last meals of the day when my band loosens somewhat, those things came right on through my lapband friend too.

And then there was cake and dessert! We know that the band doesn't help with that. (Too, I had a lot of ice cream last week because some family members are in town visiting, and that is their dessert of choice--they leave midweek, so that temptation will be gone then). Why can't I make myself refuse these things?

Well, after all of my falling off the BAND-wagon, I got on the scale when I got back last night and gained 1.8 lbs. (so weighed in at 184.8 lbs.). This AM I weighed in at 183 even (but it is the morning, so it might be less than what my average is). Argh! I guess it's only fair though since I was a eating with a vengeance all weekend.The scary thing is that I can't even imagine what would happen if I still ate like that all the time and with all sorts of food (bread, meat, pasta, etc.) like I did pre-band! I would start earlier and end later then too. So at least that isn't the case. And maybe these couple of naughty pounds will help me learn something and move on to weight loss.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Band Would Help That Girl!

At the risk of sounding judgmental, I was wondering if any of you ever have those times when you catch yourself looking at some stranger and thinking how much he or she would benefit from the band or other WLS? Or is that just me who does that?

I did it a LOT right before and after surgery...that was about the only thing I had to do at the airports since I flew out alone to MX. I hope that doesn't make me a bad person (???), but I am just thinking that a lot of people are depressed...or at least the larger weights. I want everyone to be healthy and happy. I'm a little cheesy, yes.

But then sometimes I also wonder if those random strangers have already looked into it or are even newly banded themselves???

Any experiences with these thoughts?

Oh, and don't forget to look at the chart below and let me know how it fits you!

Weight/Height/Clothing Size Correspondence Chart

This chart was something neat I found online because I've been wondering how soon (in pounds) it will be until I get to the next size down. It fits me so far (but I don't wear tight clothes just FYI; I try to disguise as much as possible (and want to be comfortable))! :)

Actually, I posted this (following) on Cara's blog today about my current size: "I am fitting in a couple 16's and the whole range of 17's that I have. I was barely able to button the loosest 17's they have just a few months ago. The cool thing is that I have lots more clothing options because I've hoarded everything."

I am a size XL in shirts but can wear some L's okay (the looser ones). I also put on a shirt this AM that I LOVE (it's a SMALL--probably neuter-gendered though) and can't wait to really fit into when I lose a little more. It isn't anything fancy--just a black Hard Rock Cafe tee that I got out of the country and rocked (pun intended) in 2003. I was surprised I could get it on at all without it looking absolutely hideous (it still doesn't fit super great to me, but as I mentioned, I wear my clothes more loosely).

What I found interesting is that, based on the chart, some groups are not in certain sizes for very long--like 5'9's in larges and 5'5's in mediums only run for a fairly short spread of weight.

How does it fit everyone else? I am very interested to know so that I can determine whether it is at least somewhat accurate in its predictive reliability and validity.

There are a couple of bad things about the chart--it only goes up to 280 lbs for one. And it doesn't show the size conversion at every number (only at increments). :( But if it is a rough estimate that can predict, I think that's neat. What I also like about it is that it measures in kg (for Cara and Miss Dee :) ) and lbs (for the rest of us).

Please let me know if you see any others that are similar. And let me know if it fits for you.

Oh, btw, my lowest weight as of last night is 180.2. Just .3 more pounds until I'm in the 170's (well, at least my lowest weight will be in the 170's--I've still been measuring on both sides of 183). I'll be away from the scale for a couple days this weekend (going on a short trip, so that will be interesting--I'm COMPULSIVE about the scale!!!).

I can't wait to hear from everyone!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Banderflies In My Stomach

I have been in several romantic relationships over the last 15 years. Some have been short term, and some have been long term. The consistent thread was that I would always get anxious (resulting in a lack of appetite and some nausea if I ate too much) in the first few weeks (or even months) of those relationships. It was during that period of wondering whether my feelings were reciprocated by the opposite sex that I would be in the greatest state of emotional uproar, which led to the physical side effects.

I would always lose a little weight. In fact, around 2002-2003, I lost a pretty good bit of weight because I was changing men at the rate I changed my oil (probably a lot more actually since I wasn't into vehicle maintenance at all). But since this weight would always pile back on three fold and since I am now with my future hubby (he probably wouldn't approve of my going after random men), I really can't rely on that sort of inconsistent weight loss.

HOWEVER, one thing I've noticed in the past couple of weeks is that this level of restriction (at least for the time being) is making me physically feel like I did when I was freshly dating in that I'm not thinking of food nearly as much. In fact, I have wondered a few times over what is causing me to feel like that because there is no new guy in the picture; I promise, Honey! :) (Actually, he doesn't read my blog because I post my weight in it. I'm not comfortable with that yet). There was the 5K I could be a little anxious over temporarily (I signed up for it just a few days before the event), but I felt the same way after it ended. I have some job stress, but it's been going on for a while--and I didn't feel anxious with physical effects until after this fill. It's not a sleep-depriving anxiety or anything bad, but it is a somewhat fluttery feeling that keeps me from going nuts when I'm eating and keeps me from thinking about food all the time (with some exceptions--like the OG indulgence this AM).

So do butterflies in my stomach translate into restriction? Do I have banderflies? :) If so, I am happy about the lack of appetite this time around because I am hopeful that this weight will come off and stay off! And I have a great guy to boot! Well, not to boot but to keep. :)

Don't Forget The Bag

First of all, I have traditionally eaten ANYTHING I want to eat in the AM's. That includes fish, pizza, pasta, pork, beef, steak, etc., etc. Last year before I was banded, it wasn't uncommon at all for me to eat two Lean Cuisine meals of different types before lunch (and then a big lunch from a local restaurant or fast food place). My co-workers thought my AM eating habits strange.

This AM, I REALLY wanted some leftovers from Olive Garden from the night before last. I know OG is not authentic Italian and it's not my favorite Italian restaurant, but I LOVE Italian. It's one of my fav types of food. The OG dish I had was a special, and it was good too. (Just fyi: I have actually been NOT eating breakfast most mornings as Catherine's doctor suggested (she has an interesting post about that on her site that I would recommend everyone read!), but this AM, OG was calling my name! Evil, evil leftovers.

Well, with my new restriction, I cannot eat whatever I wish in the morning evidently. I am SO glad I had a plastic bag in my car because out the OG special came (and I hardly had any) as I was facing cars in a busy intersection (my luck!). :( I guess I'll have to stick with grits or cereal from here on out if I decide to eat in the AM.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Geographical Differences in Getting Filled & SLEEEOOOWWW Fills

I posted this on Brooke's site just a minute ago and wanted to re-post here because it tells a little about my fill experience and what I believe is a different approach to fills that has a relationship to geography (from those doctors I've spoken with when I was trying to get scheduled for my first fill--several--and the other posts I've read, doctors in my part of the country are slower with the fills). Also, I was curious if anyone knew much about stretching the pouch. I haven't really talked about that much with my surgeon. I don't want to do it if I can help it.

Here's the post: As far as fills go, it seems like the doctors all vary. My surgeon who installed this puppy would have filled me up all the way in about six weeks (after surgery). He and his staff told me so and said that there was no reason to 'inch me up' to an appropriate level of fill. I have read from others' posts that many other doctors in many other parts of the country have this approach or are at least willing to give quick fills up front to get to the sweet spot ASAP.

However, my fill doctor (I don't live near my surgeon though my fill doctor is, of course, a bariatric surgeon) only rations out small portions at a time because he says that it is better to prevent slippage and problems with the band later. I don't want problems and don't want to have to go through another surgery (yikes!), so for me it's best to be more cautious just in case my fill doctor is on to something. And what choice do I have really?

The bad part is that it is taking sooooo long to lose (and yes, I've been able to and have eaten a lot more than I thought I would/could after being banded until JUST recently) and that it is probably costing me more--$150 a fill for more fills. Is there a hidden agenda for some surgeons to make easy money off of fills? I've wondered that, but, again, I have to trust that he has sound medical reasons to treat me the way he is. I also don't want to be overfilled. I've read about how painful that is. And I can't imagine not being able to drink!!!! That would be terrifying!

But whatever course you take, I think a lot of it depends on what your surgeon WILL do--probably moreso than what you want. Although I could be wrong, if they will fill you immediately or not is probably their call. You could shop for a doctor though. You may find another surgeon like Amson who is willing to take the same path he does.

As far as eating solids right after being banded, I would probably worry about throwing up too soon like Amy mentioned. I've also heard people talking about stretching pouches. Someone else might know more about that.

Either way, it sounds like this Amson guy has had good results. He probably knows what he's doing. I'm no medical doctor; that's for sure. I just thought I'd share my experiences so you'd have some more 'food for thought'--good one, Amy! :)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

My Lowest Weight Yet

Yesterday, admist all the early AM flurry of activity, I weighed myself. I was down to 181.0, my lowest weight so far in this journey (although it's not quite down a pound yet from last time I wrote, it is still signifcant to me :) ).

I was just reading Cara's blog about how you feel lighter pre-scale stepping on the mornings when you weigh less and are pretty much right on most of the time. That was the case for me yesterday morning: I just knew I lost. And I did!

So far in my banded journey, I have had weight loss right after my TOM only (but the extra weight does stay gone). So it may become stagnate for another long while unfortunately. I wish I could squeak out a couple more pounds before stablilizing again...or, better yet, let's shake things up this month and use that little bit of restriction I now have (I can FEEL something now; it is GREAT to not be hungry all the time) to lose some every week!!! That would be wonderful!!!

Pound Pondering

Last week, a co-worker of mine told our courier that she looked like she had lost some weight. The courier said that she had actually lost 25 pounds but that no one had noticed until she shed the last five pounds. Then the courier said that everyone was coming out of the woodwork with compliments galore.

Bear with me because this is related: last week, one of my cousins said that my aunt looked like she had gained 50 pounds since early July. I don't relish in talking about weight gain; it always makes me frustrated for the person because I'm intimately acquainted with the goings on there. But, to get the thoughts in my mind across, I was thinking that this type of weight gain is VERY HARD TO ACCOMPLISH in less than a month's time.

Because chances of that type of weight gain were slim to none and because the courier was getting all sorts of recent notice for her weight loss, it made me think that it is interesting what just a few pounds (either way) will do for us. Those five pounds may take away most of that double chin or may add that extra roll. I'm sure that those five measley pounds that make such a difference fall at a different place on the spectrum for different people. Mine may be at the 175-pound mark, and I may look the same outwardly from 175 until I get down to, say, 160 before another big change comes about. The courier may look noticeably different at the 210, 195, 182, and 154 weights. Whatever the weights (or weight ranges) are, it is interesting when weight loss manifests itself into something that is outwardly noticeable. It would be nice to know specific numbers for mini-goals! Am I being too abstract here? Or is this something you all have already muddled over?

Self Punishment Perhaps?

Yesterday after the race (and the requisite post-race nap--and an eye doctor appointment, unrelated, of course), I did a walk/jog of 7+ miles. I said I wasn't going to play catch-up when I missed my daily exercise. I still plan to keep that promise to myself, but I was upset at not being able to jog the whole stretch at the 5K. Am I punishing myself, I wonder? On a mental and emotional level, I don't want to think I have to do everything perfect. Brooke was writing about that subject on her blog. I can totally relate. Either way, I wound up doing a little over 10 miles of jogging and walking for the day. My legs are killing me now. I guess it wasn't a totally bad thing since walking/jogging is healthy. But I want this lifestyle change to be good for me physically, mentally, emotionally, spiritually, etc. I don't want to feel like I'm 'bad' or believe that I need to be punished when I attempt something and don't succeed to the point I think I should. I'm doomed for failure otherwise because I know I'm no Olympian or anything--and my goals will probably just increase if I keep up with the jogging.

One Evil Hill and a 5K Later

For those of you waiting with bated breath for my race results (everyone, I'm sure ;) ), I finished the 5K...but not jogging the whole distance as planned. :( :( I did not know until we got there that between the 1.5-mile and 2.0-mile marks, there would be a TERRIBLE hill (on the bridge to the beach) we would have to traverse. My significant other pointed it out, and I freaked (more than I was already freaking). Before that, I thought the whole jog was on the beach. The sweltering heat, humidity, and the nightmarish hill/bridge proved too much for this newbie jogger. :( I am sort of proud of the fact that I jogged all the way to the TOP of the hill (and everything up until that point). Yes, I know that stopping at the top seems dumb, but I was super nauseous. I was glad I didn't throw up right there at the top with cars passing. TMI, I know. Anyhow, I jogged a little more after the nausea waves passed. I beat about 1/3rd of the other female 'runners' and came in a little under 43:00 minutes. I guess that's okay for a first-time 5Ker. But I really want to prove that I can jog the whole distance.

I guess there's only one thing left to do: I am going to enter another one of these things and train harder.