Monday, September 28, 2009

No More Chicken Skin

Quick post: I can't eat chicken skin with the band. I used to (and still do) love it rotisserie style. It's my favorite part. I have had major issues the few times I've eaten skin this summer. Tonight was probably the worst of those. Strange enough, this is one of the few things I have issues eating.

Revving Up the Engine Again and Looking Forward

Although I had been walking my three miles during most of the kidney stone ordeal, I had not been doing my usual jog/walk. But I am getting myself going again and have jogged three times since then. Twice I have jogged at least a mile. Tonight I did 1.32 miles at one time, the most since the KS (and another .75 miles of jogging too). :) The other time (of the three) I attempted jogging, I didn't fare so well. I made the mistake of jogging one day around noon last week and could only get up to a measly 1/4th of a mile. I use the word 'mistake' because it is still blisteringly hot here. I did the remaining miles walking and had to sit down beside the road three times because I was feeling sick and lightheaded. Never have I had to do that previously, not even once. It was so embarrassing! There was some neighbor with a cowboy hat staring at me sitting down on the sidewalk, and it seemed like every car in town came down that road while I was sitting. I am pretty certain the nausea and faint feelings were because of the heat. I have only felt that way twice before when jogging--the 5K day and one other day I jogged around 1-2 pm. I was so glad to make it home that day last week (I was far away when the issues began). At any rate, from here on out, I'm going to try to exercise outdoors in the mornings or evenings in the summers.

Also, I have updated my side-panel with my weight loss (will try to do my ticker soon). I haven't done that in a while. I am down to 168.4 pounds. This is the lowest I've weighed on this journey and is 35 pounds down (exactly). I have a few upcoming weights that are important:

1) 165.4 (three more pounds)--HALF WAY to goal;
2) 163.4 (five more pounds)--FORTY pounds gone;
3) 162ish (six more pounds)--20% of body weight shed;
4) 159 (a little less than ten pounds)--NORMAL range;
5) 153.4 (fifteen more pounds)--FIFTY pounds gone;
6) 152ish (sixteen more pounds)--ONE FOURTH of body weight shed!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Weight Loss Shows and Me

I have been watching some weight loss shows lately. I am a total sucker for them and drive my fiance nuts because I watch them all the time :).

On a show about obesity on Discovery Health with Dr. Oz, I learned that my waist should be at least half of my height. I have looked this up on different sites today though, and I'm seeing other types of tests for this: for instance, a one size-fits-all approach of 29-30 inches for women. But let's use the Dr. Oz method: I am 5'7, so that is 67 inches. Divided in half, I figured that my waist should be 33.5 inches. I am around 35 inches right now, so I'm getting to that target. Hey, I can always work my way to those other goals after I break through to 33.5.

On another show called "I Lost It!," I heard something that really captured one of the main reasons I had WLS. The woman stated that she was "looking at [her] life from now until [she] die[s] and thinking about how horrible life would have been dealing with those issues of weight loss forever." That is something that I never articulated myself, but it holds true for me too. I have been battling my weight for too long already and don't want to be dealing with it for the rest of my life. What kind of life would that be? There are already so many things out there that we want but can't have...I am so glad that I can have my health!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Relationship Between the Lapband and Kidney Stones

So I went to the urologist yesterday to bring in my stone for examination. The urologist told me that weight loss surgeries increase the likelihood of kidney-stone formation because of lack of absorption. However, the band is the least of the evils of all the WLS's as far as kidney stones go. But still. :( If a person has a predisposition at all for kidney stones, the band makes it more likely that they will form. He said that a lot of surgeons doing WLS don't really cover the relationship between WLS and kidney stone formation with patients.

Drinking water, cranberry juice, etc. (not caffeine though--that's counterproductive)--see Amy W.'s post from a few week's ago--is one of the best things to do as far as prevention goes. Based on the examination of my specific stone, I will have other dietary habits to implement to prevent these puppies.

Oh, but two good things--1) I didn't have a catheter done yesterday, and 2) he said that my stone was nasty looking (I needed some validation--and since it is out, it can't hurt me anymore).

Monday, September 14, 2009

The Biggest Loser

Does anyone else watch it? I have for most of the seasons and am planning to tonight. I would like to lose along with the contestants (I have said that every season :) ).

The difference is that I want to keep my weight off, not just lose it for a brief time period. It's, of course, not that the contestants don't want this maintenance too, but what's sad to me is that you later hear or see that the contestants gain their hard-lost weight back after the show. :( It would be so great to lose that much and maintain goal weights like the contestants achieve. Maybe they should have the contestants banded two weeks before the show starts. :)

No Longer Stoned (Kidney Stoned That Is)

Today was Day 20 of KSH (Kidney Stone Hades). As the days passed, the pain became more intense. At first it was just uncomfortable. Then it began to feel catheterish (like getting catheter after catheter all day long). More recently it was like I had a teensy porcupine burrowing in my urethra. I was thinking about going to the doctor and asking to get this thing blasted out (people with bigger stones have some kind of ultrasonic thing done or have surgical removal) or begging for some meds that were band friendly and that wouldn't knock me out like the really strong stuff I was prescribed--I like to be coherent.

I had already been reading tons of home remedies and incorporated drinking lots of lemonade and had some other items on hand too like grape juice (it is a high-citrate drink that is good for passing KS's apparently). I read about drinking a six pack of Coke and blended asparagus which you mix with your saliva (gee-ross) and an Apple Cidar Vinegar concoction (I bought the apple cidar vinegar too). The crazy remedy I tried this AM (that really could have been the kicker for me since it passed tonight) was drinking two ounces each of extra virgin olive oil and straight lemon juice. The mixture was really disgusting and probably had a day's worth of calories in it. I about threw up at the sink because of its utter nastiness. While I think it was this lovely beverage that did the trick, I was drinking some of my grape juice (light grape juice) for the first time when it passed this evening, so that may have helped it along too.

However it happened, I passed at least part of my fun friend this evening. I am not 100% that there are no fragments left inside because I feel a little sore down there still though I can lie on both sides and don't have the intense pain like before. It could just be that I am swollen from it hanging around my insides for a while (hopefully).

But I think at least most of the danged thing is G-O-N-E! And I am SOOOO happy. I feel like I could revert back to my cheerleader days. I thought it would be there forever; I was so jealous of the people whose came out in one or two weeks (tomorrow/Tuesday night would have been three!). And I don't have to drink any more lemonade. I've never been tired of it before like I am now. Plus, all this lemonade has surely been a weight-loss impediment even though most of it was light. And on the weight front, I've gained a few pounds during this ordeal. I haven't been jogging at all and even stopped walking entirely the last few days because it's been too painful to move.

The bad thing is that preventing kidney stones directly involves one's diet and will take away from band-friendly foods and foods I love. They will examine my stone and tell me what not to eat. But a lot of times the general things to avoid are many types of dairy, meat, beans, chocolate, and even strawberries. There are lots of others though most veggies and fruits seem to be okay. But now I have to try to get even more creative (or limited--argh) with my food options. This is already somewhat difficult with the band alone. Any suggestions?

Oh, just FYI, Mr. Kidney Stone was mean looking when he emerged (he is a mister because guys are meaner than girls as we can all attest :) ). He had spikes on one part and was pointy and jagged and long. Shudder, shudder, and thank goodness I'm free!!!!!

(BTW, I have been on vacation from blogging for a while because of all the KS drama (and some other life events--will catch you up on those later). It has been increasingly hard to concentrate on anything with all this pain! But I hope I'm back now.)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Outside My Comfort Zone: Being Full and Being Filled

I have a fill scheduled for today. I have been stressing about it a little for the past couple of weeks. I haven't lost any weight in about two weeks exactly, so that is probably why. I'm sitting at 176.0 pounds as my absolute lowest weight (although I've hit it a few times, I can't break into any digits starting with 175).

I feel like I can eat okay amounts of food where I'm at right now but am hungry fairly soon after I eat and can still eat whatever I want (pasta, bread, etc.--although not super quickly or anything). Just as a reference for what I eat: I have been going back and forth--eating and not--at breakfast time (please see Catherine's interesting blog about not eating breakfast). I have a microwavable meal for lunch Monday through Thursdays (usually eat out the other three afternoons--or at the VERY least will eat out one of them). I will have a meal or two (I know!) at night consisting of different things. Last night, I had part of a sausage link (a big one) and shells and cheese then I had a big bowl of cereal later. Other nights, I'll eat leftovers or whatever is left in a doggy bag and then make something else on top of that. I have been PBing a little (about once or twice a week if that), but it is mainly because I let myself get too hungry and shovel the food down like it's going to disappear if I don't get it all down the pipes asap. (Obviously having snacks around is something I need to work on (especially at work where I am starving in the afternoons and take out my frustrations in a supper consisting of bad-for-me foods, too much food, or both--I'm not nearly as tight at night!)). So this brings me back to the fill situation...I worry about getting a fill that is so tight that I won't be able to get down protein and, instead, will replace it with milkshakes or something terrible like that. I don't want too tight of a fill, and I began thinking that maybe I shouldn't get one at all.

With that in mind, I was reading Shagg's blog today. She expressed some of the same concerns I did about the band. It seems that we both want to continue being able to eat foods that are good for us without serious issue but, at the same time, not get hungry soon after we eat. Well, on her blog, someone commented that we got this band for a reason. If it is too comfortable, then maybe it isn't serving the purpose for which it was intended. The poster wrote: "#1.. about your band.. If you are comfortable and happy with the way your band is functioning, perhaps that is the problem.. You are finding it only too easy to eat bigger portions and the wrong food.. We all got this band for one thing, and that is to help us lose the weight. So, with your band just sitting in there not really doing anything to help you, is pointless.. See about getting it tightened just a tiny bit.. Tell the new band doctor about how long you have been hovering at this weight, and you want it dealth with." That poster's suggestion was to get a tiny fill and see. With that in mind, I think I will be petitioning for a fill this afternoon. I need to get outside the comfort zone.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Thank You's All Around

Thank you to everyone for all your comments and well wishes. For an update, the stinkin' stone hasn't passed yet. They gave me a lovely strainer to use to catch it. I am terrified every time I go Number 1. Have you guys seen pictures of kidney stones? From the pictures I saw online, they look horrible and super scary--jagged edges, thistlely, pointy, yeeoouucchhh! :( I really shouldn't have looked. Still, I do want it gone because it is very uncomfortable--not as painful since it's in a different part of my system but still very uncomfortable.

Pictures Sent and Good Luck, Coloradomom

I sent all four of you who emailed me (I think I got everyone) some before and during pictures. I think I put 'after' on the pictures, but they are truly during. The most recent ones were ten pounds (well, eleven, but who's counting? :) ) ago. If I missed you or you din't receive them, please let me know.

Coloradomom, good luck and congrats! Also, I am with Amy W.--I can't see the blog and really want to read it. I was banded (same day, same place) with another mother from Colorado. :) Keep us posted on how everything goes!!!! We are thinking about you.