Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

I can't remember if anyone posted this last year or the year before, but I thought it was cute. I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Meet the Devil

Nerds, that is....

It all started with Nerds...then there were Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops. I have gorged myself on Halloween candy until my husband decided to hide it last night (it sounds mean, but I really had no complaints since I'd eaten all the Nerds in a huge pack of Nerds and a ton of Tootsie Rolls, etc....we had to buy another bag for the poor trick-or-treat kiddos from the damage I did). This is why I usually try not to keep junk food around...this is what happens...I really can't control myself at all! It's a sad situation.

There are a lot of blogs I've read lately about others needing fills. I am completely in that boat (not because of the Nerds and other candy, which I realize are sliders, but because I have been ravenous lately with everything...I have eaten burgers with the bun, sandwiches with bread, etc. without any restriction barring any type of food for a while now). I feel like I'm starving from the time I wake up until I go to sleep.

Early on in this process, my fill doctor described the band as a balloon...that like a balloon loses air, the band will lose a little fluid as time goes by. I know that I've lost some fluid previously between fills. But as long as I don't lose too much, I don't get too worried. I am wondering if that's why I'm needing a fill now...because of the natural loss of fluid. I guess I will see what the deal is when I can make my next appointment--see if I've lost any fluid since earlier this year (May or somewhere thereabouts was my last fill). Either way, I still need some fill since I am eating like a crazy person.

The problem is that my fill doctor has limited the days he gives fills, so there are less available appointments. Also, times are a little tight in the money department lately, and I'm totally self pay.

But I'm to the point where I just have to get a fill. I got the band for a reason, and I need to try to use it to it's potential (not that I don't have some mental work to do with the sliders--but part of that is just getting this candy out of the house...bring on the trick or treaters!).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Biggest Loser Contestant With a Lapband?

I didn't know until tonight that one of TBL's contestants this season had the lapband. Does anyone know her story as far as why it didn't work? I copied her biography below.




Age: 27

Height: 5'7"

Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Occupation: Professional bridal consultant


Twenty-seven-year-old Jessica has no memory of ever being the same size as her friends. She says food was the center of everything in her life, good or bad, and she didn't know how to make healthy food choices. While Jessica was in high school, a rocky relationship with her mother contributed to her weight gain, and she continued to gain weight in college while pursuing her degree in social and behavioral sciences at the University of Arizona. She tried lap-band surgery in 2006, but it didn't solve the problem, and a "culmination of several low self-esteem moments" convinced her she needed to get healthy and change her life. Professionally, Jessica has had great success, starting her own wedding planning firm at the age of 23 called Top Shelf Bridal and Special Events. She hopes losing the weight will lead to a happier personal life, and give her the confidence to get out and meet new people and create a fun new life. Now at 282 pounds, Jessica says Season 5 winner and fellow Arizonian Ali Vincent has been an inspiration to her, and she looks forward to traveling and enjoying a more active social life once she loses weight.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Love My Bandster Friends!

I have had a really rough day. But I'm going to try not to go into all of that right now. I just wanted to say that I took a minute to go over some of your comments to my latest couple of blogs...and it really lifted up my spirits. You guys are so supportive and sweet and lovely. I am so thankful for you all. Even when I have bad days, stressful weeks, or even crazy months, I am so blessed to have this community to come to. I love you all!!!! And I am so thankful for everyone who reads my blog. When things slow down some, I am going to try to add followers to my reading list. I want to support you all like you support me.

Monday, September 6, 2010

An Award (From the Lovely Cara)

1.Thank you to Cara at for this award. She is amazing, so if you haven't checked out her blog, you must. :)

2. Things I love:

My husband
My family
My friends (blog friends definitely included)
Central heating and air
Indoor plumbing
Scented candles
Bubble baths
Holidays (like today :) )
Living near the beach
Having the ability to move my body and having use of all of my senses

I am very blessed!

3. I know it seems to be a copout, but I have too many lovely friends to pick just a handful. I nominate all my followers. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Before and After Shots (Before I Take These Down)

I realize I haven't given you all a good before shot. I did one post earlier with my face blacked out, but while I'm revealing myself thoroughly, this is a picture taken the summer before I was banded (was banded in December of 2008). I no doubt gained some between then and banding...although I didn't weigh myself back then. You'll recall that I was a low-BMI bandster.

And now....

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

As Promised (though for a limited time only :) )...

I am attaching one bridal shot of me. It is not necessarily my favorite but shows my shape and the dress fairly well. The links below are to my Facebook albums full of other wedding shots, bridals, engagements, etc. According to FB, you don't have to be a member to view them. But I would be happy to add you (although I do not discuss the surgery publicly...personal choice). If you'd like to add me and are okay with that, please do!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Wedding Issues, My Non-Band Secret, and New Low (141)

I debated whether to even post this because this new low may be temporary...but I am still excited. I am down to 141.6 this AM. I have lost about six pounds in the last month, which is a lot for me. Some of it may be/probably is related to wedding, etc. drama It seems like many, many things have been going wrong lately, causing more anxiety for me. I have always had an issue with losing weight when I'm anxious about an upcoming event (and for other reasons too). But this seems to be the biggest event ever for me and is a lot more work than I bargained for...with a lot more opinions and problems than I thought possible. With other issues that have cropped up too (of a non-wedding nature), I think that the stress may have something--or even everything--to do with my loss. But can I take it as a loss even if temporary? I hope so. :)

Whatever the case, I'm fitting in the dress fine--actually, adding the petticoat underneath made it a little more snug than I would've wanted at my earlier weight (didn't factor that in previously for some reason). So everything is good on that front, and since the wedding is Saturday, I doubt I will have any super huge fluctuations in weight--although my stinkin' period is scheduled to arrive that very day. Lovely! Usually when I am stressed, my period arrives later rather than earlier--and I get acne (and big time when I'm stressed) and become bloated for a time before it starts. So this is all wonderful. But at least I don't have to worry about my overall weight (bloating is only a couple of pounds--not sixty). I know a lot of brides are stressed about that (I have been watching loads of WETV bride shows lately as I put together favors--wedding overload, I tell ya! :) ). In fact, somewhere around the time I was banded--perhaps even a little before--I read that one of the top regrets brides have about their wedding day is their weight.

And I'll let you all in on a little secret (yes, I'm secretive even on my blog which doesn't bear my name on it--or my picture yet (since the camera theft--have I mentioned that here?-I have decided that I want one of my bridals to be my first picture...I'm dramatic like that :) )...anyhow, back to the secret...I am already married. No, I'm not a bigamist in the making. It is to my wonderful guy I'm about to marry publicly (who, as you'll notice, I haven't oft called my fiance). We got married around the time I was having kidney stones. My great grandmother died of bladder cancer when she was young, and we were very worried that I might have cancer as I had gone to the doctor a couple of times initially with no answers). I didn't have insurance at the time...and he needed his Greencard, so it was perfect (just kidding about the Greencard--he's totally a citizen :) ). We were engaged a few months before I started having symptoms, and he wanted to get married fairly quickly anyway (that's how great I am...heehee :) ).

I wanted to wait to lose weight because I had only lost about 20 pounds at that point, plus I wanted a church wedding and wanted my parents to be there (well, actually, we both wanted the latter two). We did something simple and decided to keep it under wraps because we didn't want anyone to feel left out and wanted to definitely have the formal ceremony (I know that some people care less about the formal stuff, but it was really important to us--yes, even him). We believed that if we told people, they wouldn't feel that they should come (which has proven to be the case since our secret has been leaked, and some family members have voiced that they aren't going because they believe we should've had it all at the same time--this has nothing to do with gifts or anything, by the way, as no one ever sent any last year nor did we solicit them in any way since we were going the secretive route). I guess I didn't want people judging my second wedding situation either since it is unconventional (probably why I refrained from posting it here--even though I know 99.9% of commenters have been supportive and great, I am always worried about what people think of me and my decisions...working on that).

Anyhow, we had a photographer (the one friend we let in on the secret at that time--months later, I told a couple of others including our lovely local bandit ladies--not the secret leakers, don't worry ;) ) at the ceremony. I have seen posts from others on here who, at bigger weights, really look great and carry it well. I am sorry to say that I am NOT one of those types. It was depressing to look back on pictures from a time when I even felt pretty good about myself (was even wearing a sleeveless dress, which I hadn't done in years) because I had just lost some weight. I hate how that dress looks on me now (is that bad to say since I felt good that day I wore it?). The white sleeveless situation probably exacerbated my flaws, but it was just something I felt I needed to wear for the wedding. So...saying all that...I am hoping that I feel a lot better about the pictures this year at this weight. Maybe that will take away some of the weight regret from the earlier wedding.

Anyhow, my new weight puts me at a BMI of 22.2 (I'm 5'7), pretty much smack in the middle of the 'Normal' category. I am also 60 pounds down today too (I know that's not much for a lot of you :) )! :) I really want to be in the 130's. My goal is still 127 (I still have a bit of belly, upper thigh, and booty fat that could stand to be shed--and some arm action too, so I don't think this is too crazy), but I am SUPER HAPPY where I am. I just think it's always good to have goals--maybe strive for something great and likely get somewhere pretty darn good--if that makes any sense.

I was one of those folks who was worried that the band would not work for me--especially since I was a low-BMI bandster upfront (still obese, of course, but lower on the spectrum of obesity). I was thinking I might be lucky with a 40-pound loss--and was fine with that if I was lucky enough to get there. The band was a little like rolling the dice for me in guaging how much I might be able to lose since low-BMI bansters don't have as much to lose and since some charts show lower and others shower higher figures for percentage of excess (above Normal BMI) weight lost. I continously played with the numbers upfront and would gauge anywhere from 10-40 pounds being what I could likely lose with the charts/figures/percentages I saw (although I still held to my goal as I am an optimist). All the while, for several months early on, I didn't lose a single pound. It wasn't until about April that I began to lose--and I was exercising, so I figured that exercise must be why I was losing and that the band just wasn't right for me. But since then, even in exercise lulls, my weight has remained pretty steady or has gone down (aside from this possible stress-induced hiccup I'm encountering at present). And I am now at sixty's crazy really! I love what the band has done for me. My HUSBAND :) reminded me this morning of my early-on concerns about it not working when I was sharing with him my excitement about my new low (I still don't let him see the scale :) ). As many of you have said, I would definitely do this again if I needed to. I am so blessed, and I am so glad it worked for me.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


I am not a math savvy person, but, at the same time, I am not so bad that I am unable to do simple addition. So how is it that I thought I had 3.5 cc's in my band after my January 11th fill when I only had 2.75? I went over the last two fills' volume with the office receptionist after my appointment today and determined that I was completely confused--well, I still am since I don't know where I went wrong in my personal tallying...but I really don't have time to explore how and when I got so confused about the whole thing, so confused I will remain.

But I am glad I am mixed up though because I have been eating like a horse and wondering why I am not doing the tiny portions like all my band sistas when I am getting close to being filled (my band isn't of the 10-11 cc variety).

After my fill today, I have 3.25 cc's (up .5 from my last fill on January 11th) in my band. I hope that this will allow me to shed some weight for the wedding since I have less than two months to go (and have gained about four pounds over the last two weeks--albeit, my monthly visitor has just arrived too). Wish me luck in losing and in steering clear of overfill issues!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010


Someone stole the camera with all my most recent pics from my guy's truck last night. I had lots of pics with friends I hadn't seen in a long time. :( :( :( The person also took his GPS (and some things from the neighbors too).

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


That one made 97. :)

I just noticed...

I have the same number of posts as I do followers...96. :)

I really don't have this much time on my hands, I swear!!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Size Differences Between Women and Juniors

I was thinking about sizes the other day. I wear about a size 10-12 in pants (although I've been rocking Angie's old size 14 jeans for months now...cinching in the belt and jeans as much as possible because I don't want to buy new jeans if I lose anymore weight as things are SUPER tight in the finance department right now--wedding, new house, etc.). I even tried on some size 8 pants the other day (I was at the store because I was forced to get some nicer tops for work--it was truly a necessity since I've been wearing drooping tops for weeks, and I don't want to lose my job over lack of professionalism in attire--and decided to look at a couple of pairs of pants just in case I might find something perfect to wear to work for super cheap). I didn't realize that I had picked up the size 8's because the hanger said 12 or 10. They were too tight but zipped up fine. I was a little annoyed at first after believing them to be a 12 or 10, but then I became really excited that I could fit myself into an 8 (albeit not a perfect fit).

But...what is interesting is that I have some old 13's, but they fit like the 8's. See, on the way up, I wore only juniors sizes. I had kept these in the my stack of things I hoped to one day wear again. It is strange that I am a size 15 and a 10/12 right now. I was a size 17 when the 14's of Angie fit perfectly. I guess younger gals are really built differently since an 8 is nowhere near a 13, etc. For me at least, there has been a 3-5 size difference in Juniors v. Women sizes.

Have any of you worn juniors clothes since being banded? Have you noticed this, or am I just freakish in how I wear clothes?

***And, by the way, I wanted to tell Angie 'THANK YOU' for the card she sent with the jeans a few months back. I didn't even realize she had sent it until I was going through some things the other day, and the card fell out of the envelope. You are too sweet. :)

Will My Wedding Dress Fit?

So last weekend I finally found a wedding dress that fits perfectly (no small feat) and that I love (also no small feat) and that I think my guy would love. I quickly bought it.

Don't worry; this isn't the dress. LOL! :)

The problem I'm dealing with now is will my dress still fit me come wedding day. The date is July 10th. That is about two months from now.

My lowest weight (during the period where I had health issues) was 147. I am now, for the last couple of weeks, fluctuating between 148 and 152 (usually right around 149/150). I had gotten up to a 154 about a month ago right after I began feeling better. So I guess I am down 4-5 pounds this month? But it's not really a good guage on future weight loss since I was here before--albeit when I was having issues. Before then, I want to say that I was around 157 (although I'm not as good of a tracker as most, so I might be off a little--plus I was dealing with a HEAP of other things).

I also wonder if I am I close to my set-point weight (where I won't be losing much--if any--more). I am, of course, over the year hump (banded December 18, 2008), so I'm not losing quickly either. Actually, I never really did lose quickly; the most I've lost in a month was probably 10 may have been one or two months that I lost that much...and that would've been right when I began losing. There have been some months where I've lost nothing whatsoever, in fact. There may have even been periods of two months where not one pound was shed.

I am never opposed to losing weight and would like to try to lose some more before the honeymoon (we are planning for a tropical honeymoon, where I'll definitely want to wear a cute bathing suit--bikini maybe?). I even scheduled a fill for May 19th since I have been eating quite a bit lately. I am also getting back into jogging (I was unable to do much for a couple of months due to the health issues, but I can still do a mile of straight jogging, which makes me feel good--and maybe I can do more if I push myself). With the wedding so close, I definitely have an imminent goal to work toward--and, hopefully, some extra motivation.

But I want to fit in my dress most certainly. Now, saying that and still holding that it fits perfectly, it is a little on the tighter side (but without any bulges or fluff coming up in the back area, under the arms, or anywhere else). With any luck, it will just begin to fit on the small-medium side instead of the tight side (although I don't want to sacrifice the good look of the snug fit--if that is even a conceivable thought to anyone). And maybe I'll lose in areas where the fit won't be affected (toes and wrists maybe? LOL!). Seriously, I would like to lose tummy weight, but we'll see I guess. Please cross your fingers for me.
At any rate, I LOVE this dress; it is everything I was looking for and makes me look thinner to boot. It is a size 10. It is a zip-up dress. I had debated on getting it altered and adding a corset for the back; however, there is a lot of detail there, and I don't want it to look too busy. I am not good at visualizing things in the abstract, so I have no clue how it would truly look if I add the corset. I have also read some bad stories about alterations--and since I shopped around everywhere to find this particular dress (it was the last one I tried on at the last store I went to), I could not imagine having to deal with shopping after an alteration-gone-wrong on my perfect dress (and don't want any other anxieties about the wedding since I feel stressed enough). It was also pretty pricey for that particular alteration. My guy's stepmom has the dress at her house in another city right now for a few reasons, so I really can't take any pics or anything like that. :( I guess I just need you to send me good vibes for it to still fit on the wedding day...and for me to lose weight too, however that works! :)

I will tell you though, ladies, it is VERY difficult to deal with the wedding dress dilemma while losing weight. Everyone has been thinking I'm a complete slacker because I didn't get my dress six months ago (and I have still only told two people about the band, so no one knows why I waited other than that I have told them I'm trying to lose weight, which some seem to roll their eyes at). With some church-booking issues too that were outside of my control, I think people think I'm just lazy. One of my worries is that I won't have many people come, so I hope that doesn't make them not come (because they think I didn't put much into planning). But, saying all of that, I'm SO glad I didn't buy my dress before now because I've gone down a few sizes since then (would've never fit in this dress, and the bigger ones looked REALLY bad on me last year--I don't carry extra weight in a cute way at all). And I am STILL worried it won't fit. AAAHHHHHH!!!! I want to steal the picture of the Home Alone kid that Catherine posted the other day. It would be fitting here (hey, at least something would definitely fit!!! LOL!) :)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Bandster Conference????

I have seen a lot of posts about this, but where do I go to get the deets? I don't know that I'll definitely be able to do it as this has been/will continue to be a 'spensive year for me. But where do I find the who/where (I know Chicago, but are we meeting at a certain place?)/when of it all?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Hiking on a Mountain

While it is rumored that there is one mountain in Florida (in a state park in my county of residence, in fact), I've never seen it, so I'm a little skeptical. But, as most of you know, Florida is quite flat. We don't have the hilly trail thing going on like Gen does in Colorado. Thus, when I exer-ma-cise, I mostly do it on flat land (or some type of machine). There are some exceptions...a couple of pseudo-hills and such, but, by and large, there aren't too many variations in elevation. I'm sometimes a little jealous of those of you who get to take advantage of interesting terrains (although jogging/walking near the water is nice too--I guess we all just want what we don't have?).

Well, my guy and I went to Birmingham this weekend and, while we were there, we decided to hike to the waterfall at Oak Mountain State Park. The hike was a little scary at some points because of the steepness. There were even ropes attached to trees going down the side of the mountain so that hikers would have something to hold on to and not slip down the mountain. SCARY! But we made it to the waterfall (the bottom and the top of it actually). It was nice because I haven't seen a waterfall in a while (not many of those around these parts either). By the way, I found a picture of the waterfall online (below), but it doesn't at all convey how steep--or how long--the climb was.

And did I get a workout!!!! I had to stop and sit a couple times coming up just to breathe. My legs hurt too, so I guess I got some sort of benefit from all my puffing and panting :) .

****I hope everyone's week is starting off well!!!!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

PB Annoyingness (at a Work Function)

Last night, all of the attorneys at my firm went out for appetizers and drinks. We did the alfresco thing at a popular downtown seafood place that sits right by the water. The weather was just perfect for eating outside. It was a beautiful view of the water, and we were right beside a marina too.

We were kind of limited on the types of appetizers though, but I thought I would be okay eating the Blue Crab Artichoke Dip...famous last thoughts, I know. Everything was going great until I got stuck on either an artichoke or the bread for the dip. Right after I determined it wasn't going to go down (I have only been wrong once or twice when I came to this conclusion), our managing partner proceeds to tell a really long story. There was no way to excuse myself. Not that I'm an advocate of PBing or anything (I HATE being stuck at all--it scares me--and I'm certainly not one to use my band for purposeful binging and purging), but when I'm stuck, I want it gone ASAP. I can't stand sitting there in misery. FINALLY I was able to head for the bathroom. Not pretty! But at least it was GONE.

Saying all that, I wonder if being stuck or PBing causes more harm to the band? I'm sure that neither are good for it, but I would still be curious to know. ???

Side note: I am watching the Blue Angels (Navy show planes stationed in Pensacola) practice over the bay outside my office window right now. My view is a work perk, I guess. I hope that isn't bragging or anything.

I hope everyone is having a great week and enjoying wonderful weather.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Work and WLS

At work, we sometimes get firmwide intraoffice emails from other attorneys to request knowledge from those more familiar with certain areas of law, to determine good investigators for specific geographic areas (our firm has several branches across the South), or to try to locate certain types of doctors for litigants. I won't go into too much detail on the specifics in order to maintain my anonymity, but, hopefully, that makes sense.

Well, it is no secret that I keep my WLS a secret from most--particularly those at work. Interestingly enough, yesterday I get one of these emails requesting a doctor who does gastric lapband procedures and who will accept a certain type of insurance (and some other requirements). Of course, I don't know if my own doctor accepts that type of insurance, meets the requirements, etc. ... AND, of course, it is of utmost import for me to keep my secret. It also wasn't clear which region the doctor was being requested for. I will not be sharing my information for those and some other reasons--I don't think you'd fault me either. Still, I thought it was interesting that I received this email within just a few months of beginning my job here.

Also, because I spend a lot of time reviewing medical records, I find it interesting how many litigants have had some type of WLS. Perhaps you could argue that it has something to do with the population of people with whom we deal, but really it is quite a broad cross-section of folks.

Anyhow, those are just some observations for this Thursday AM. I hope everyone is doing well and having a productive week!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Wearing Jean Shorts

I went on a picnic at the river on Easter Sunday with my wonderful guy. I put on some jean shorts because it was really nice weather on the coast that day. I hadn't worn any jean shorts in forever (although I'd hung on to one pair for several years, which was, of course, the pair I wore). Suffice it say, my guy was quite shocked when he saw me in them as he has never seen me wearing any during the entire course of our relationship. I am not saying that I rocked them or anything (in fact, probably quite the opposite since my legs are blindingly white), but getting them on and not bulging out was quite an accomplishment. I did feel a little naked though with the shorts and the...wait for it...sleeveless shirt, which I also haven't worn in forever (without a cardigan or some other cover-up, that is).

By the way, I still have pics to upload here, but things have been SO crazy lately, and I haven't had a computer at home for the last couple of months (long story). I am still planning to post them. I promise.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Thin Fantasy Future

When I'm thin, I'll...

Did/do you ever contemplate your future in Thindom? I certainly had many of my hopes and dreams pinned on the tail of my thin future that would be. I would be funnier, smarter, and people would love me more. I would be successful. But I'm learning that I still have to take the steps and be proactive in accomplishing goals and creating my future. That is not to say that I don't feel great. I am definitely a lot more at peace with my current weight and how I look than I have been in years. I also feel less judged when I see people from my past--when they give me the up-and-down once-over looks, they aren't thinking, "Wow! She's gained a lot of weight!" There is definitely some confidence that comes with not having to worry about that. But, as many have mentioned, being thin is not a fix-all for life's issues, and it is not a yellow brick road to happiness and achievement.

What were some of the things you imagined doing or becoming when you achieved thinness? Has anything been more attainable as a result?

Thursday, March 25, 2010

The Nagging Question: Does Eating Sweets Mean Restriction is Needed?

I have noticed on a few blogs this week that people are mentioning issues with eating too many sweets; this is leading to their thoughts of needing fills. This confuses me.

I was told by my doctor's office before I was banded that if sweets were my primary food issue (as opposed to generally eating too much of the non-sugary type of food), then the band wasn't for me. This is because sweets liquify and go down with no problem, band or no band. This is why many sweets are in the 'slider' category. This applies to candy, cookies, ice cream, pies, cakes, sodas, milkshakes, or any other type of sweet (although there are certainly other non-sweet sliders like mashed potatoes, chips, pretzels, etc. too). Unlike gastric bypass and other procedures that have 'gastric dumping' as a side effect of eating sweets, there are no controls on eating sweets with the band. This made sense to me based on what I've researched and read.

So I was told that if sweets were my main problem, then I could still eat sweets all day without the band causing any real obstacle to that. The surgeon's office was straightforward with me and told me that though they would love to have me as a patient, I should definitely know that information up front so that I could make an informed decision. I honestly told the surgeon's office that I do love sweets (chocolate especially) but that I also had a big problem overeating in general. It was decided that the band would help--but still would not help with limiting my intake of sweets. That would be up to me and my self control (unfortunately).

At the same time, I've noticed that some of you have said that you've gone through periods where you don't crave sweets and have attributed this to the band. I can't say that this has been the case for me. While I have also not wanted sweets during some periods as much as I have at others, this was the case pre-banding too. For instance, I might crave them more around my period, after commercials for certain kinds of sweets, or when someone at work was doing a Subway run (it almost always made me want cookies--two or three--unfortunately). Other times, my cravings have taken a back seat (THANKFULLY!!!). I have honestly probably gone through more periods of craving sweets than of not craving them, but I guess my point is that I really don't think my band has made those cravings diminish or has really had much effect at all on those.

There are possible exceptions, I suppose. Sometimes, as I'm eating a cake or cookie or something like that, I'll feel kind of full for just a little while...but it seems like there is something to the liquification thing because I'll go right back to my status quo soon enough. And if I eat a doughnut-type of sweet item, I can potentially get stuck because of the bread-like consistency. Lucky for me, I'm not a big doughnut fan (although the custard-filled, chocolate-covered ones are mighty nice at times--by the way, I'm not advocating sweet consumption just in case anyone is taking this post as such).

Again, I'm just stating my experience here, and I understand that we could all have different experiences with this. I hope I'm not stepping on toes here. I'm just curious about the sweet issue and restriction. Are there other issues making you guys think you need fills? Are you having issues with solids such as meat as well, or is it just the sweets? Do you subscribe to the above information about the sweets liquifying? Do you still crave sweets post banding? What are your experiences? I've long wondered about this from reading certain statements in posts, but I figured it was high time this was explored since there are so many addressing this lately.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

A Non-Fill, Some Weight Issues, and My Stretch Marks

First of all, I went to the doctor this week for my bi-monthly fill appointment. In determining whether I needed a fill or not, he asked me how I felt and what I thought about my restriction. I suppose he puts a little more weight (pun intended) on the patient's opinion the further he or she is out from surgery; I like this--it is certainly a welcome change from earlier fills. I told him that I felt like it was too early for me to really tell this time but that I've been doing okay for the past few weeks. He said that I am probably close but that I could come in and weigh myself on any given day without pre-scheduling and set up a fill appointment afterwards if my weight rises. He was complimentary on my weight loss too; that was nice to hear.

And on the subject of weight, I have been down to 153-155 lbs. these last couple of weeks. However, I am having some personal health issues, and I don't know whether I will go back up to 157-159 when I'm back to normal (I'm sure those issues have at least contributed to why I have lost because I am normally the slowest loser on God's green earth)??? I am still not at goal, so I truly hope I don't bounce back up to continued frustration.

Relatedly, I was reading another post this morning from a bandster who has been banded for a few years. She has gained back 40 lbs. since being banded. Linda also recently spoke of a family member's family member (a tenuous relationship) who had gained back a lot of (or maybe all) her weight. Although neither of these stories was presented in a way that aimed to make me worry, these things can't help but make me nervous. After all, that is one of the reasons I got the band--I wanted this weight gone for good. As Linda said, we have a great support system here and have access to information and such. I hope I can keep that in mind and that these things will keep my weight gone for good.

Lastly, I have been noticing the stretch marks on my hips and upper thighs seemingly becoming more and more visible. Ugh. They almost look like spider veins in certain lighting because of the color and the refracting light. Is there a remedy for this annoyingness?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Does anyone else...

Does anyone else check their blogs for grammar and spelling mistakes after the fact? I regularly read my most recent blog or two and correct the errors in it/them (or make it/them more reader friendly). What is particularly bothersome to me is when I have commenters (the first few) who I know have seen the mistake(s--usually plural). For instance, I have edited and changed my last blog post on bread three or four times since posting it. I even did it again this AM. I assure you that I have plenty of things that need doing besides blog revisions. Can we say, "Compulsive!" :)

I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Friday, February 19, 2010

"Why do you eat it without bread?"

I'm not going to say the name, but it's the place that rhymes with Ick Yonalds. I pulled into this fast food restaurant last night and got a fish sandwich without the bun (because I was starving, going to the gym, and didn't want to leave the gym early because I was hungry--like I've done before; my food choice was, admittedly, not good though--and getting it, in fact, seemed counterintuitive to jogging at the gym). I remember liking those fish sandwiches in days of yore, but it was not good at all last night (maybe that'll prevent me from ordering one again).

Anyhow, the interesting part of this story has nothing to do with the taste. I ordered my sandwich, pulled up to pay, and the gal at the window asked me, "Why do you eat it without bread?" I assumed that people did that regularly in the no-carb age. I was a little dumbstruck and just said, "It's complicated." Of course, now I sound very high maintenance and that, but I didn't want to get in a band conversation in the drive-thru (and, as you know, only two people in my 'real life', aside from my Pensacola bandit blog buddies, know about the senorita within). I am still a little surprised at her question. Has anyone ever asked any of you guys that point blank? What was your response?

Side Note: I was talking to my fiance a few weeks ago about ordering sandwiches without bread. We both agreed that if we were the one making the sandwich for a non-bread-eating customer, we'd probably throw in a little extra since the customer wouldn't get the bread--like more lettuce or meat or cheese. I know that this is a silly question, but what would you do as a 'sandwich artist' (hopefully, that lingo isn't copyrighted by the fastfood restaurant that rhymes with Rubday :) )?

Side Note #2: It has been fairly easy for me to give up bread as a bandit. Bread was never a go-to food for me. I miss it most on sandwiches because it holds them together. Saying that, I do eat it (wheat only) with sandwiches from time to time now (I have no real restriction issues with bread, it seems). But I don't eat it even as infrequently as I did pre-banding. Pasta is different. Before I was banded, I didn't think I would ever be able to sacrifice pasta, but I rarely eat it now. I was not consciously aware of that until I remembered the other day how much I love pasta. I've hardly had any cravings for it in the longest time. And rice and couscous have been uberannoying for me lately; they don't go down the hatch as well. So that knocks out three (or four--depending on how you view couscous) complex carbs right there. :)

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Work Pictures This AM

This morning, I had my professional head-shot pictures made for work and got to see a preview of them from the cameraman. They turned out pretty good (if I can say so myself). I am debating whether or not to post them here when I get them back? I'm so glad I have the weight off; there's enough worry that goes into getting pictures made (hair, make-up, wrinkles, dry skin, clothes, etc.) without worrying about extra chins and plumpness. The only issue I had that was band-/weight-related were those new-growth baby hairs popping up everywhere. Maybe they won't be too visible when I get to see the final shots (I didn't look for that too much in the previews).

I hope you all have been having a great week!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spin Class and Workin' on My Fitness

I did the spin class at the gym yesterday. I finished it this time. You see, I tried it a week ago (on my b-day) but felt sickish--may have been part of the side effects of turning 30. I had to leave early, or I would've thrown up on the gym floor. The bad thing was that the class was packed on the day I had to leave. There was not even one spare bike. Yesterday there were only about six of us in the class. So, needless to say, I probably would've rather jetted in the small class, but it is what it is. And I'm glad I went back to actually finish the class.

It was an hour long. Then I did 3.25 miles (mostly incline) walking on the treadmill. Later in the day, I did 30 minutes of free step on the Wii. I had more time for workouts because we were off work for a snow day yesterday (although I have done at LEAST an hour at the gym each night since Tuesday, so my fitness routine hasn't been shabby or anything like that lately).

Saying all that, my food intake has not been stellar. There was leftover icecream b-day cake this week. I have been eating subs from Subway--with the bread (how is that possible?). And yesterday, somehow, I ate around 2400 calories (with very few sliders--and the sliders were the good-for-me things like yogurt). UGH!!! Sometimes I just have hungry days! It's hard to believe that I have so much of a fill but can eat so much still.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

I Turn 30 Today...


I have been crying all day today and yesterday. Is this normal, or am I just a complete baby?

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Update, Being NORMAL, and New Low

I haven't done a post with too much substance in a while, so I figured it was about that time. Well, a couple of weeks ago, I went to a party with some of my old co-workers. I got some nice compliments, but in more interesting news, I had my first drink since being banded (over a year ago). It was my first drink in several years actually. I became really flushed (and, because I was hot in my sweater, I had to change into one of my friend's t-shirts--which never would have fit before surgery) and acted quite stupid with just half a margarita-glass of whatever the concoction was that the hostess made. I obviously cannot tolerate liquor. It could either be my new size, my bandit status, or my long period of abstinence. Who knows?! But I probably won't try it again soon since the type of drinks I like are calorie laden (and my go-to must have is chocolate moreso than drinks--admittedly, probably worse for me than drinks, but I may as well minimize the damage in doing both if I don't feel that necessary compulsion to drink).

Last week, I went to Birmingham for a continuing education class (and will be going back on February 25-26th, so hit me up if you can get together, Alabamians and Atlanta folks). I woke up early to use the gym at hotel. That was the first time I'd ever done the early morning workout thing and one of the first times I'd used a hotel gym. I ran two miles and walked another mile. It felt great to have my workout done and over so early in the day (although I'm not a morning person, I would love to somehow manage regular exercising in the early AM's).

On the heels of that workout, I started at a new gym this past weekend. I received a Christmas gift from a co-worker for a month's free membership there. I like jogging outside and work in a nice area to jog outdoors after work. I also have a new Wii (another Christmas present). However, because it's freezing lately (and for other reasons), I think the gym membership's timing is working out well. I probably won't pay for membership after the month expires (even if it's still a little cold since I'll have the Wii), but I plan to take advantage of some of the classes and machines during the time when I am a member. So far I've only done the treadmill (or, as Gen calls it, the dreadmill :) ). I have jogged two miles on two visits (and walked another 2 1/2 each time at incline) and have walked at incline the other visit. Hopefully, I'll get off the treadmill some and start shaking things up soon.

In other news, I still receive Lane Bryant brochures and mini-catalogs. I can't keep myself from looking through them for good clothes and finds. None of these will fit me, but I still look. Does anyone else have that problem?

Finally, I have been bouncing around Normal (according to some BMI scales, including my Wii's and an online calculator I regularly use) for the last couple of weeks. I would be above Normal and then below it. I didn't want to officially report this news until I had remained there for a bit (as I have fluctuated up--by a few pounds even--in instances where I have lost before now). Well, as of this AM, I am at 158.4 (71.8490 kg). That is my new lowest low. Yea!!!

I hope everyone has a good day!!!!!

UPDATE: After I went to the bathroom this AM (yes, TMI; sorry), I was at 157.2. That's a 24.6 BMI (according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute online) and is my new lowest low. The lowest I was before this AM was 159 even. How exciting!!!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Attention Birmingham, Atlanta, or Birmingham-Vicinity Bandsters

I will be in Birmingham (Alabama) on February 26th for continuing education. I would love to meet any area bandsters. I get out of class a little before 4 (and will come into town the night before).

Let me know if you can meet me while I'm there (or if you know any bandsters from there that might be able to meet).

I hope you're all having a great week.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Another Dream Starring Catherine

I posted about my dreams involving you all yesterday. Then I had another one last night, again with Catherine in the leading role. Catherine had posted on her blog a huge tribute to a Valentine's Day 5K that she was running. The post was so huge that it came off of the computer screen and onto my desk, unfolding in a 3-D fashion. There were all sorts of videos and virtual runners bopping around everywhere. It was amazing! Props to my dream Catherine for being so creative and, mostly, for figuring out how to do that! :) :) :) LOL!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

How To Figure Caloric Intake and Expenditure: The Cara Example

Hey, Cara. I could not post this as a comment because it was far too long. But I wanted to let you know this info tonight before I went to bed (or today for you :) ). If you don't mind me posting it (tell me if you do), it may also be helpful for others to see how it's done. And don't be intimidated by the information below. It's really not complicated, but I just wanted to make sure I covered everything I could think might pose an issue for you or anyone else.

Okay, calculating caloric intake and expenditure is a two-step process really (but a simple one if you go to the sites and use the easy calculator). I don't know if I explained the process well initially. That may have been what mucked poor Cara up. So I'll try to do a better, more thorough job here.

First you go to the BMR calculator page at I don't have a link to this one (though my link has a link :) ). This is different than your BMI, so don't even think about your BMI while you're doing this.

I cannot recall how tall Cara is, but I entered (guessed) 5'5 since I figure she is somewhere thereabouts (and that is about average--at least for Americans). (If your height is wrong (sorry :( ), you can go to that site and enter your height and other info). So what you do when you get there is enter your height, weight, and age (and you can even use the metric system--you can click a simple link to do this right above where you enter the info). I used the Imperial (US-used scale to make it easier for me--after I converted her kilos to pounds). After you enter this info and hit 'Calculate BMR', your BMR should be in red right above the calculator. (By the way, this is the area where you can change your weight to your goal weight and such to see what you will need to do to maintain when you get to that point).

Next, you go to the Harris-Benedict Formula page, which is where the real action happens (that is my Caloric Intake Formula Link on the right--it's a whole different page than the BMR page). Remember to use the BMR number you just calculated and not your BMI or any other number. So what I did with you was take Cara's BMR number and multiply it by the sedentary activity number of 1.2. I used the sedentary activity level in calculating this (I do this with mine almost every time to see what I could technically eat with the least possible activity--but you can change this to more accurately reflect your lifestyle if you do it again).

So, again, multiply your BMR--the number in red from the BMR calculator website above--by one of the activity numbers on the Harris-Benedict page. It is really as simple as this last sentence. For Cara (at 5'5" tall, which may or may not be her height), I got 1874.838 when I multiplied her figures by the sedentary 1.2 number (on my trusty pink calculator). Of course, you can do that part by hand too--and there is a formula for the whole deal that I can give you if this still doesn't work or make sense. Good luck everyone!

Weighty Websites

I lifted these from a blog I love to follow, and I think these sites are neat (But I'm still am a big fan of the Harris-Benedict Equation. Please click on my link on the right side of my blog that says Caloric Intake Formula, and you can determine how many calories you should be taking in each day. I posted a blog about how to do this the other day).

Compare the calories at your favorite fast food joints.

How Many Calories is in a Thanksgiving Dinner?

Eat, Drink, and Be Wary
What will it take to burn off some of those favorites?

The Top 100 Foods to Improve Productivity

Buy Better Groceries

Two Foods
Compare the nutritional value of any two foods.

Bandster Dreams

In Cara's last post, she mentioned that she is 'seeing' other bandsters when she is out and about. I have been dreaming about you all lately instead. I've recently had dreams about Brooke (whose house I was visiting), Catherine (who I was pretty much stalking in NYC--disturbing even to me), Angie, Liz (who was driving around with me and her kids) and Amy W. (before I met her--she didn't really like me in my dream). I can't get enough of you guys--even when I'm asleep (and when I'm having bad encounters with you all in dreamland at that :) )!

By the way, I am planning to go back and respond to comments on my blog and add new followers. I am also going to put up some pictures (but maybe black out the face). I hope to take care of those things soon.

Have a good day!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Science of Weight Loss

I have been wanting to post something like this for months and am finally getting around to it. As you all know, I watch a lot of documentaries and other programs concerning weight loss. I also read a lot about WLS and weight loss in general. This post is about some of the more scientific areas of understanding weight loss that enable me to wrap my brain around the subject.

First, there is the Harris-Benedict Equation. There is a site devoted to calculating this that is one of my links on the right side of my blog (called Caloric Intake Formula--although it is for expenditures too). It has been very helpful to me. I found out about this equation through my emails from Jillian Michaels--not personally, mind you, it was a listing-type deal :). If you aren't already familiar with it, the site states that the Harris Benedict Equation is a formula that uses your BMR [which you can also calculate on the site as well by simply inputting your height and age] and then applies an activity factor to determine your total daily energy expenditure (calories). So essentially, you plug in some numbers (you can plug in your goal weight, your current weight, or any number in between) to see how many calories EXACTLY you should be taking in and expending to maintain (or in some of our cases, to achieve) a certain weight. For the more math-minded folks, there is an actual formula too (you can find it on the site if you'd like), but it is a lot easier for me just to plug in the numbers. I like this formula because it tells me directly how many calories I should be eating and burning each day based on my height and age...and how many I will need to be taking in at goal when I get there. Once you use it a couple of times, it is really not that complicated to understand and is most useful and convenient.

Another interesting bit from science that I want to share is with regard to Leptin. Leptin has been referred to as the 'appetite gene' by scientists dealing with obesity studies today. It is attributed with controlling the impulse to overeat. Without this gene, people will desire to eat too much. In studies with mice (poor little guys--evidently they like to use them in weight-loss studies; I know I've blogged about their use before), mice without Leptin were always hungry and ate continuously. Fat mice and thin mice were distinguished from one another because thin mice had the gene and fat mice did not. The mice had the same environment, exercise, water, and food. They could be cousins or brothers and sisters with thin mice, but Leptin was the only difference. Leptin tells mice and humans that we've had enough. Without it, there's no signal from the brain to stop eating. Many other genes help determine appetite in humans too. And from all of the studies of these, science is showing that it is not greed or lack of willpower but genetic makeup that makes us want to overeat. Years ago, Leptin and other genes developed to help fight famine, but with today's fat diet and couch-potato lifestyle, these helpful genes have become things that could kill us. Obese people are obviously aware of what they are doing to themselves when they gain weight, but science has shown that even though they know that they will feel wretched if they eat more) they do it anyway because the drive is so strong. Where one person eats and is perfectly content not to eat again for five or more hours, people without the Leptin gene are looking for another meal to eat in two hours. It is more than willpower to eat less. Therefore, as one doctor stated, "People can either accept Leptin as the appetite gene or think that obese people are weak willed, fat, lazy, and disgusting" and that the obese "are not as good as they [the thin people] are because they're thin." This area of study makes a lot of sense to me and is part of the theory that many weight loss surgeons and staff use.

And to briefly review one other area of scientific tackling of weight loss, I have also heard about advances in the Battle Against Head Hunger. In fact, cutting-edge technologies (and even surgeries) have been developed and are addressing it (although they are not perfected at this point).

Saying all that, nothing I mentioned above discussed metabolism. We hear a lot about this. So how does that factor in to the HB Equation (I REALLY want to know this since the formula that is constantly touted is 'calories in, calories out'--not that this isn't right, just that I am curious about this)? And what about how it fits in with the Leptin gene? If metabolism truly has nothing to do with it, then are we obese people truly eating more calories each day than our skinny counterparts? Sometimes that's hard to accept, but I, for one, haven't done a quantitative study on that particular subject--so it's not for me to know or say.

What about things that have been scientifically shown to miss the mark? Some things that haven't been found as effective at permanent weight loss are body wraps, colon cleansing, and steam rooms (to shed water weight, which will inevitably come back on since we have to drink to live). Also, as my surgeon told me, the things that many weight-loss drugs will do to a person (side effects and such) are more harmful by far than surgery. Of course, we definitely want to avoid anorexia and bulimia nervosa. My understanding is that some bandits see WLS as an opportunity to engage in those types of behaviors more easily. Not to sound preachy or anything, but we all should try to keep in mind that we did this for our health (in addition to other things, yes), and starving and vomiting will hurt, not help, in bringing about more healthy lifestyles.

So I guess we have to stick to what we do know at this point--simplify our understanding that it is, at least to some extent, all about intake and expenditure of calories (guided by BMI, BMR, and the Harris-Benedict Formula). Also, drinking water, getting fiber, taking vitamins, trying to get as close to a normal BMI as possible (and if inside normal, my Wii told me the other day that a BMI of 22 is supposed to be the BMI number for optimal health--although on whose BMI scale? :) ), and exercising with cardio and weights (excercise has been labeled by several to be the best medicine for the body) are the tried and true approaches. And thank goodness for the band, of course, to help with backsliding and to remind us that we need to stop chowing down sometimes (it's our surgically devised Leptin substitute, I guess :) )!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Judgmental People: Exhibit A (or Z even) of Why I Don't Put my Bandit Status on Blast

So many of you know that I keep my band quite hush hush. While I've only told two people total about my surgery, I recently had a nail in the coffin to not to tell people in my professional circle. The scenario was this: The other day, my co-workers and I (including my boss) were talking about another local professional. One of the people in the group said something to the effect that, "Well, he should have lost weight: he had gastric bypass." The rest of the group agreed and acted as if that is the 'lazy person' approach to weight loss. There was a little more that I gathered from that coversation, but it's too filled with unspoken opinions and biases, I guess you'd say, to really articulate well in this forum.

With the unfortunate stereotypes surrounding WLS, it is too risky for me as a new employee (and fairly new attorney) to carry the torch of the banded among my peers at work (and even heightens my fears in telling others outside of work), particularly in this current job market. Will people think that I don't have a good work ethic because I took the so-called 'easy road' or that I'll cut corners? This inability to speak about the band is annoying. I certainly don't want any of my bandster friends to feel like I have isolated myself from my proud band-wearing community. I AM proud of all of our achievements, but I guess I just have to keep those thoughts closely held outside of you all and select others. In my blog a few days ago, many of you mentioned that we have a great support network and that people 'get it' here. That is so true and makes me not feel alone when I hear comments like I did at work.

So now that I've prefaced this, here's my opportunity to address my co-workers' comments (without the risk of being 'discovered'); please excuse my aggressive-assertive bitterness, by the way. Okay, so WLS has better long-term success rates than non-surgical weight-loss approaches. If you have been skinny all your life, you likely wouldn't pay any attention to this fact. You are probably also lumping us into that societally imposed lazy group of big people that just don't care--maybe even believing that we willingly choose to be big. But that just isn't true. Most of us know a lot about fitness and nutrition (hello, we've been working at getting there forever). Also, it seems like a lot of us here are working a lot harder than many skinny folks I see. We are watching with CAREFUL scrutiny what and how much we eat. We are also jogging; gyming it; doing Pilates; participating in Boot Camp classes; training for races with the C25K and other programs; spinning; doing yoga; getting fit with the Wii; swimming; doing aerobics with and without exercise videos; dancing; using the ellipticals, treadmills and gazelles; lifting; hiking; snowshoeing and skiing; seeing Grim Reapers and such while doing Zumba classes (see Amy W's blog); and moving in general. Heck, I hear far more about exercise and food choices here than I have ever heard in my life--and that's coming from someone who was registered for daily fitness/nutrition emails from Jillian Michaels for three years!!! That said, these stereotypers need to take a hike, but they'd best watch out for us beating them up the hills! Hrrmpphhh!!! So there!!!! Take that!!!

Okay, now I have to go back to my life as an undercover spy. :) I hope you are all having a good week.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Zumba With Cheese and Sunkist

Tonight I went to a local Zumba class with Amy. As I told her when I was sweating and begging for an extra air hole, there is no way in Hades that I could have finished that class (or the first song) without having been jogging for months (well, that plus prayer plus Amy). I just have to say again how great Amy is. When I was about to pass out, she VOLUNTEERED to go in front of the class and dance! She was the ONLY one to do this!! I was so proud that I was there with her. What a star!!! Well, we already know that.

Also, as I mentioned to Amy, I think that this class is great for children: get their energy completely burned and gone so that they'll act like little angels. Zumba is going to be a weapon in my arsenal when I become a parent. :) :) :)

As for me, I must have burned at least a million calories, right?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Oral Fixation, Perhaps?

I used to suck my thumb when I was a kid--until well into middle school. Yes, crazy I know. My parents tried everything to make me quit. They offered incentives like a TV and a go-cart. They punished me with spankings and sentences. They used Tabasco Sauce on my thumb along with the nasty habit-breaking clear fingernail polish (my sister and I called it 'Skunk Medicine' for some reason; we called Pepto Bismol 'Bunny Rabbit Medicine', so I guess we were just really into giving animal names to what we considered 'medicine', a loose family of things, it now seems). The parents also taped mittens and socks on my left hand (the culprit thumb was on that hand, and I didn't care much for the right thumb--can't say why that was though). Most embarrassingly now, I had habit appliances (fang-like permanent devices from the orthodontist--I broke SEVEN of them because I was so determined to do what I wanted).

Well, finally I quit; this was a decision I made on my own without any outside incentives offered or devices imposed at that time. But after the thumb sucking stopped, I constantly chewed gum for about two years. About the time I quit doing that was when I started gaining weight. I wonder if there is any correlation? I just put all this together to come to the conclusion that I have always liked to have something in my mouth (let's stay clean here, folks :) ). In fact, I still bite my fingernails (I know that this is disgusting to some of you). I'm not sure really if there is any tie in all this to gaining weight for certain, but I have started chewing gum again lately (we've all heard the five-calorie chant from The Biggest Loser, I suspect); however, I'm evidently inept at that these days as I bit my cheek and lip to the point that I had terrible ulcers in my mouth (again, that's probably TMI). Any ideas to keep my mouth occupied without the calorie gain or ulcers?

Atkins Endulge Chocolate Coconut Bars

I have not done a product review or anything like that before...but I have recently had something that I LOVE. Okay, to preface, Mounds and Almond Joys are some of my go-to candy bars. I know that some people have an aversion to coconut, so just skip this post if that is you. If you are like me though, you might want to try these. They taste VERY similar to Mounds and are more filling (and have less calories, more fiber, and more protein). They are a little on the pricey side, but if you just want a chocolate snack every now and then, it is good to have them lying around instead of the stuff that has no redeeming value.

Now, how do I get this as a freebie like some of you guys???? :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

'One of Us'

Last night, I was out with my guy. I was talking about a fellow bandster blogger, and he was asking me (again), "Who is that?" I said, "She is one of us." We both started laughing. He said it sounded like we were not human or not from this planet or something like that.

In talking to others, some of us get a hard time from their significant others about their blog friends....not mean...just a little playful snickers sometimes since we've never met in 'real life'. But they just don't understand; they are not 'one of us'! :)

Monday, January 11, 2010

How to Take a Compliment 101

Two posts in one day!

Gen mentioned a compliment episode on her blog, and it made me think that I need to sign up for the class on taking compliments too! I haven't had many people notice my weight change because a) I haven't lost as much as most bandsters (40 pounds); b) I've changed jobs recently (so no one there knows the 'before' me); and c) most of the people who are close to me see me fairly frequently (or haven't seen me in a while--some even before I gained since I was away for school and in hiding when I was home)--if you see someone daily or weekly, it is is more difficult to notice changes, it seems.

Anyhow, the other night, my significant other and I were watching the Rose Bowl (he's a HUGE Bama fan) with another couple who we've gone to games with (over a year ago when money wasn't so tight). Well, it has been about that long since we've seen them, and the wife mentioned that I looked like I had lost a lot of weight and looked great. I can't remember what I said, but I bumbled through the whole thing and sounded quite ridiculous, I'm sure. I even felt the need to apologize to her because I felt like I didn't take the compliment well (not that I said anything snotty or annoying, but I surely could've handed it better). Interestingly enough, my understanding is that she had a bypass several years ago. I'm not certain of this--and though I don't want my band news broadcast to his friend group, I would probably be tempted to tell her under different circumstances if I knew for sure she'd had surgery (no judgment there--one of my biggest obstacles in telling people!).

Anyhow, sign me up for the class, Gen, and tell me when it starts!!!

Meeting Mary, My Fill, and An NSV

This post is definitely long overdue! I had intended to put something up right after my meeting with Amy and Mary! First I want to say that Mary is very sweet and so pretty (love those eyes!). Amy (as mentioned before) is still just as witty and amazing in person as she is online. They both have had such great results with the band and are so beautiful (Mary, you are right about Amy's tan!). I am so lucky that we live close to one another. I can't wait to meet Lacey and Melly too so we can round out our little circle of Panhandle Bandsters. Let us know when you can get together, ladies!

Anyhow, we had some great convos including wedding talk and, of course, general band discussion. Mary and Amy both thought I needed more of a fill since while they were eating their respective soups, I was still chowing down on fried chicken tacos (sans the tortilla wraps) and could've kept going on the nachos had I been in a nacho mood. I also told them that I had a Whataburger chicken biscuit for breakfast and something else really big that day (that I can't recall now--that's why I need to blog as things occur) while they were having and being satisfied with small meals that day. The server even told me that I scraped as much as I could out of the tortillas--a little embarrassing especially considering that I was with bandster friends. But, sadly enough, it has gotten worse since! For instance, yesterday I had three hand-tossed pieces of pizza (with crust) in a row after a soup and then another piece about an hour later. That was definitely not all I ate yesterday. I came in at well over 2,000 calories. Argh!!! I know that these meal types I'm sharing aren't model bandster behavior, but I eat pretty well most of the time. I often have the ricotta/spaghetti sauce combo, soups, grits and eggs, grilled chicken breasts/fish/pork chops and Lean Cuisine Meals, but sometimes I just feel like I'm starving and get really ravenous.

Anyhow, that segue ways nicely into the next point. I got a fill today! I guess it is still Christmas in Nyeland (Nye is my doctor :) ). While he was either not giving me fills at all or giving me very small fills throughout the Fall, he has been super generous the last two visits. He gave me .5 today (and told me I looked good), which brings me up to 3.5. I've got to be getting close (I hope) since my band is somewhere between 4 and 5 cc's total. I guess I'll have a better idea of what's going to happen with this fill in a few weeks as that's when my fills usually settle in more. I am okay with more of a fill for (at least) three reasons: 1) I haven't seen my lowest weight since around Christmas (I'm a couple of pounds above so nothing terrible, but still); 2) I read on a blog that the band is supposed to make you a little uncomfortable--if it's not a little, then it's not doing it's job (this doesn't mean one can't drink water, of course, but just make us eat slower and remember the rules and such as a result); and 3) I think maybe my band has gotten looser since I've lost more and more weight--lost the 'fat pad' or whatever it's called that came with my excess weight--so now if I want to lose weight, I have to up the restriction. Maybe I'm getting to philosophical here, but this makes sense to me. :) As others have discussed, I would really like to get full and stay fuller longer. But with my year plus with my band, it doesn't seem like it always works this way. I have what I call 'Hungry Days' or will eat, feel full, but be hungry a little while later. This was something I did not anticipate when I was first banded, but I'd certainly rather be where I am today than where I was before.

As far as the NSV (per the title), I have a brown leather belt that I hadn't worn in forever that I tried on a couple of weeks ago. It did not fit at all immediately preceding banding, but evidently when I was wearing it back in the day, I was wearing it using one of the holes near the end (don't know if that makes sense, but essentially I was wearing it pretty loose). Now, it is too big at the tightest hole (though it is the best fit I have for a brown belt right now)! In other words, I am wearing it at its tightest, but it is too loose! Yea!!

Oh, and just so you all know I'm still reading everyone's blogs regularly even if I take some time between posts. :)

Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year + My Word

I hope everyone was able to ring in the New Year with lots of excitement (or perhaps sleep instead since that's what some some people need to start the year off right :) ). Last night, my guy and I watched several back-to-back episodes of Ghost Lab. I guess we too were feeling the scary New Year's celebrating that Jenny was mentioning with 'Paranormal Activity'. Right now I'm watching the 2010 Rose Parade. There are some very pretty floats. But if you miss it and didn't catch any fireworks last night, I would recommend you head over to Cara's page to see the fireworks display from Australia, which she kindly videoed and put up for us to enoy. It will make you feel celebratory for sure.

And while on the New Year's note, I have been thinking about my word lately and reading those from others'. 'Adventure', 'Love', 'Believe', 'Actualize'...those and others are great words and ones with which I can certainly relate. But this year I am probably most in need of some extra motivation. I've hardly planned the wedding, and I HAVE to get moving. I also HAVE to (start and) finish a big school project before a committee member retires. Next, I have some career-related reading that I would like to do. There are lots of organizational tasks I have started but not finished. As far as health, I may not get to my weight-loss goal, but with the wedding fast approaching, Iwant to be as far down that path as possible. This isn't all, but these are some of the big endeavors that are before me and that I really should (and in some cases, must) achieve. And they are all in addition to work and the move (the guy and I are in a contract for a house right now, so if all goes well, that will be happening soon). So I thought about it, and 'ACCOMPLISH' seems like an inspiring and motivational word that will keep me moving towards completion of some of these things. (And that said, I would love for you all to keep me accountable and question me about my status on any of the above tasks so that it will keep me focused).

Finally, I loved what Sarah mentioned on her blog about running a 1K in race miles for every year of her life. I would like to copy her idea and try it too. If I don't achieve that this year though, I won't beat myself up too much since it's going to be such a busy year. But it is something great to aim for in this fitness journey.

Okay, I'll let you all get on with your New Year's fun. Don't forget to see Cara's fireworks.

Happy New Year, bandsters!!!!