Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Lynda.Is.Awesome

So, today I got to meet Lynda from This Time Next Year.  I took her to Old Town Ft. Collins for some serious retail therapy and a yummy lunch at Spoons, a soup/salad/sandwich place.  The weather was perfect and we had a fantastic time.  She is so fun and funny and totally my kind of girl.  Light on the drama, heavy on the sarcasm.  Anywho... here are a couple of pics I took today with my crappy little point-and-shoot camera...

Here we are at this FABULOUS boutique called White Balcony.  We almost bought these hats, but I put mine back and Lynda found an even more perfect one.  And, she bought herself a gorgeous purple leather purse/bag for herself.  It was seriously so HER!


And here we are at lunch at Spoons.  Lynda is wearing her awesome purple hat that she bought at White Balcony.  Aren't we adorable?!


So yes, we had a wonderful time and I'm SO glad I got to meet her.  We were banded just one day apart, so I feel like we share a special bond.  She's already promised to come back to Colorado in the future and I am totally looking forward to it!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ho-Hum... NOT!!

Tomorrow will be a pretty ho-hum day.  I'll wake up and fix the boys breakfast, probably grab a cuppa joe for myself, and possibly clean the kitchen.  Then I'll take the boys to my mom's house and head to Old Town and... oh that's right...

MEET LYNDA!  *insert happy dance here*

We're band soul mates because we were banded one day apart, on June 8th (her) and June 9th (me).  She's in Ft. Collins for New Years so we're getting together for some serious post-holiday shopping and lunch in our fantastic Old Town.  I can't wait to show her around.  Who knows?  Maybe she'll love NoCo (Northern Colorado) as much as I do and move here!  Or maybe I'll creep her out with my over-exuberance and she'll never set foot in my beloved state again.  Only time will tell.

I'll be sure to post pics of our little adventure so you can all die of jealousy.  :)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Christmas has come and gone...

... and it was fantastic!!  My band did a great job of keeping me from over-eating.  I was only able to eat a small bowl of soup on Christmas Eve and a tiny plate of traditional Christmas food on Christmas Day (turkey, sweet potatoes, cranberries, etc.).  Unfortunately, the band did NOT keep me from indulging in the holiday slider foods that I was surrounded by. 

But you know what?  I don't care.  I didn't gorge, I sampled.  I ate more than a good bandster should have, but it was friggin' CHRISTMAS!  If I ate like that every day, I'd be 300lbs again in no time.  It was very freeing to know that I could indulge and get back on track the next day.  So yes, I enjoyed myself and had what I wanted.  Artichoke dip (on crackers, not bread lol), my grandma's famous english toffee, cranberry-peach cobbler, and even a glass or three of wine.

Here are just a couple of photos of our Christmas...







**Disclaimer**  The dogs are NOT ours.  They were my MIL's Christmas gift.  The top one is Molly, the spunky and ornery Shi-tzu Yorkie (aka Shorkie).  The bottom pup is the drowsy and cuddly Tinkerbell, a Chihuahua Yorkie (aka Chorkie).  They were pretty sweet.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Numbers Don't Lie: A Tale of True Perspective

I have always considered myself a confident person.  Even at my heaviest, I never had feelings of self-loathing.  I never hated myself.  I didn't like what I saw in the mirror the past few years, but I also knew that my outsides didn't match my insides.  I loved myself on the inside and when I finally came to terms with what I had allowed to happen to my body, it was like an ah-ha moment.  I knew something had to change before I lost myself completely.  That was the beginning of my Lap-Band journey.

Fast forward to six-months post-op.  Right here, right now.  I've lost 69 lbs, and 28 1/2 inches.  I feel good and people tell me constantly that I look fantastic.  I'm seeing some changes in the mirror, but they've been slow and minor compared to what others are seeing.  I started thinking to myself recently, "Could it be that my self-image is so damaged that I can't see all the progress I've made to the extent that others can see it?  Is it possible that I have such low self-esteem that I can't yet give myself credit for the huge changes in my physical appearance?"  I've always prided myself on being confident.  Could it be that I was kidding myself into thinking that those years of obesity didn't foster a degree of self-loathing?

I have never weighed myself until I got banded, so I have no clue what I've weighed for the past decade or more.  So last week I called my OB/GYN and asked them to mail me a copy of my weight records.  I've been seeing them regularly since I was 18 years old and they have the best records of my weight for the past 11 years.

I received the records in the mail today and I'd be lying if I said my stomach didn't get butterflies as I opened that envelope.  What I saw on those six pages has totally changed everything.  I have had what I would call a defining moment in this journey.  I know I'm long-winded and I guarantee that this post will not be short, but if you'd like, I'd love for you to continue with me as I tell you what I discovered tonight...  (I promise there will be photos)

There are seven recorded weights on the records that the doctor sent me:

Starting first almost 11 years ago in November 1999 when I was 18 years old and in my freshman year of college.  The recorded weight that day was 226 lbs.

The next weight was recorded a little over a year later in February 2001 just two months after my breast reduction and four months before my wedding.  My weight on that day was 236 lbs.  I was 19 years old.

After that, there was a big gap where I got pregnant (on my honeymoon, oops lol) and saw a different doctor through that pregnancy.  If I remember correctly, I gained less than 30 lbs with that pregnancy and lost most of it quickly.  But I don't have any official records of the time.  I'll have to really do some digging to find them as the doctor from that time is no longer practicing.

The next recorded weight was in February 2004.  I was 23 years old and weighed in at 253 lbs.
My weight stayed the same through the end of 2005.


In January 2007, my weighed had jumped to 280 lbs.  One year later, 285.  A year after that, in 2009, 291 lbs.


And lastly, my pre-op weight in June 2010... a whopping 297.7 lbs.  I was 29 years old.


I know none of you give a crap about all those numbers.  But I wanted to put them out there because I discovered something amazing when I read them.  I discovered that I was totally underestimating my progress.  I was totally underestimating all my hard work.  I was TOTALLY underestimating myself.


Today, on December 22nd, 2010 and 6 1/2 months post-op, I have undone ELEVEN YEARS of weight gain.  I am exactly one pound from what I weighed when I was 18 years old.  I weigh almost 10 lbs. LESS than I did when I got married in 2001 at the young age of 20.

Those two facts took my breath away.  I was shaking I was so excited.  My heart was racing, my palms were sweating, and I had to fight back the tears.  If you had asked me, I would have laughed at the idea that I currently weigh less than I did at my wedding.  I would laugh if you had told me that I could fit into my wedding gown today with no trouble.  I would have DIED LAUGHING if you had told me that I weigh right now what I weighed when I was a teenager.

Because when I look in the mirror right now, I do not see this girl...




















I don't even see this girl...





















I still see this girl most of the time...




















And that fact, that I cannot see myself for how I truly appear, breaks my heart.  Sure, my body is different than it was the last time I weighed 227 lbs.  But I've had two c-sections; given birth to two beautiful boys.  I've aged 11 years, going from my teens to almost-30.  My body may be proportionally different than it was when I was 18 years old, but the numbers don't lie.  And hopefully with that realization, I will begin to see myself as I truly am at this point.  I'll hopefully begin to see myself as this girl...




















I have a long way to go, but I had absolutely no idea how far I'd come....



Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Oh Crap.

Back-story:  We're taking the boys up to the snowy Rocky Mountains on Thursday to spend the night in a nice hotel and swim in their amazing rooftop pool (all for free, woot!).


So I'm in the shower a few minutes ago trying to decide if I should shave my legs now or wait until the day we leave for the hotel, when it hits me....  I have no swimming suit. 

The last time I wore a bathing suit was in August and it was a size 3X.  I had already lost about 35 lbs and the suit barely stayed on me.  Wearing it now after losing 70 lbs. is totally out of the question.

When I tell hubby about the bathing suit dilemma he says, "Well, just go buy one."

Huh.  Really?  Just go buy one?!  It's December in Colorado.  Its below freezing outside.  WHERE IN THE HELL AM I SUPPOSED TO BUY A BATHING SUIT?!?!  And a plus-size one, nonetheless!!!  (barely plus-size, she add hastily)

So I called up my mom who lives about 5 minutes from my house.  I'm going over there in 30 minutes to see if one of her many suits fits me.

My mom is 5 feet tall and weights 170 lbs.  I am 5'7" and weigh 230 lbs. 

Lycra is stretchy, right?

RIGHT?!

*sigh* My night may very well end in tears.  Wish me luck.

Still here...

I'm still here.  Nothing much going on band-wise.  My weight bounced again after last week's smorgasbord of crappy holiday food at work.  Needless to say, I indulged.  And I paid for it.  This morning's weigh-in showed me .2 lbs from my lowest low a couple weeks ago. 

The boys and I are on winter break from school and work.  I feel like my entire food routine has been thrown into chaos.  I'm a better bandster when I'm on a strict schedule.   When my schedule is flexible, I cheat.

Now I'm off to get myself some breakfast.  Now that I'm not going to work every day, I keep forgetting to eat until somewhere around lunchtime.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

My Own Food For Thought...

TessieRose had a wonderful post today about her relationship with food post-band.  She basically verbalized exactly whats been on my mind these past several weeks.

My relationship with food pre-band was not anything out of the ordinary.  I didn't have major emotional ties to food like many obese people do.  I didn't have deep-seeded issues surrounding the way food made me feel.  I rarely turned to food when I was sad or mad or depressed.  I never binged.

But that doesn't mean that I didn't have problems with food.  Obviously food was a HUGE factor in my weight gain.  I loved to eat.  I loved the ritual of eating.  I loved the social aspect of eating with friends and family.  I also loved the taste of food.  Plain and simple.  If it tasted good, I ate it.  And, as time went on, I stopped censoring what I put in my mouth.  I fully gave in to my love of food and didn't let something like sheer quantity or nutritional quality stop me.  Between that and my total lack of physical exercise, I ballooned up to an astounding 297 lbs. 

But now that I've had the band for over six months, I've started noticing drastic changes in not only my eating habits, but with my general relationship with food.

Before, I used to eat anything and everything as long as it tasted good.  Now, I am picky about what I eat.  I only eat the stuff I TRULY WANT and/or NEED.  I don't want to "waste my time" (or pouch space lol) on something that just doesn't satisfy a want or fulfil a nutritional need.  Before, my favorite late-night snack of choice was PBJs.  I didn't see how I could ever give them up.  But now, I could honestly care less if I ever eat another PBJ again.

Before, on days like today when the teacher's lounge is FILLED with no less than 20 different goodies, I would have tried everything.  Even if I wasn't sure if I would like it or not.  I'd still try it.  And I'd keep munching on everything ALL DAY LONG just because it was there.  Now (today, for example), I only tried maybe four or five different things that I KNEW I wanted.  And I only tried a tiny bit of each of those things.  And while I've munched a little bit (hello, my office is 10 feet from the lounge), I've not come anywhere CLOSE to eating as much as I have in past years.

In general, food has become a much lower priority to me in the six months since I've had Lap-Band.  My life no longer revolves around food and my next meal and feelings of hunger (as misguided as they were). 

I can be around gobs of food and not eat hardly any of it and I can STILL have a fantastic time being social and laughing and talking with family and friends.  I can still sit and the dinner table with my husband and sons and talk about our day while I nibble on a tilapia fillet or even drink a protein shake. 

Food means so much less to me now that it did before.  But at the same time, it means so much more.  Because I'm not a slave to it any longer.  I don't view food as an enemy that I just can't stay away from.  Now I view it as something to be enjoyed, but not obsessed over.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Kettleballs!!

*gigglesnort* 

Apparently I'm a 12-year-old boy because the word Kettleballs makes me snicker. 

*ahem*  ((composing myself))

Ok, now on to the real topic of this post:  Kettleballs *teeheehee*

Last night at the gym I tried out the kettleballs.  I've seen others using them and they look like a great workout, so tried a few exercises I've observed and I really enjoyed it!  I've spent my morning googling different kettleball workouts and I can't wait to try them out at the gym tonight.

Do any of you use kettleballs in your workouts?  If not, you should give them a try.  If you do use them, do you have any recommendations, tips, etc. for a newbie like me?

And, because I'm a juvenile, one more time for the cheap seats in the back...

KETTLEBALLS!!!  *snortchoke*

Monday, December 13, 2010

An Observation re: Portion Size

When I arrived at work this morning, there was a breakfast buffet set up in the teacher's lounge for the December birthdays.  I decided to have a small piece of the egg and sausage casserole for breakfast (all I had beforehand was a cup of coffee).  This was the dialogue that went on in my head standing in front of the casserole...

"Ok, I'll only get a small piece because it will fill me up quickly.  ((cutting small piece with knife))   Yeah, that looks about right.  Wait.  What if its not enough and I'm still hungry?  No, I won't still be hungry.  I had coffee less than an hour ago and this is a dense casserole.  This will be more than enough.  Yeah, but WHAT IF its not enough?!  Maybe I should get just a little bit more.  If I get full, I'll just stop eating and toss the extra.  ((cutting a little more and putting it on my plate))"

Well, guess what happened?  I ate it all.  Even though I was full before I ate my original smaller piece.  But because it was there on my plate I ate the rest and now I feel uncomfortable and stuffed.

I now realize that I will eat food if its in front of me.  Either because I'm bored, not paying attention, or just simply don't want to throw it away.  But if its there, I'll eat it.  Even if I'm full.

From now on, I will get LESS than my stupid brain tells me I need.  If I'm still hungry, I can get my fat ass up and get more.  At the very least, I'll burn a few extra calories walking back to the buffet table.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Six-Month Bandiversary Stats

My six-month bandiversary came and went on Thursday without me even noticing.  I'm chalking it up to a crazy time of year.  As each month has passed since my surgery, I have logged measurements of my body to see how it is changing in relation to my weight loss.

Six months ago I weighed 297.7 lbs.  I was wearing size 24 jeans and 3X shirts.  I was huge and miserable.

Today, six months and two days later, I weight 229 lbs.  I wear a size 16 or 18 size jeans and XL shirts. I am still huge, but not miserable.  I'm hopeful and excited and motivated.

And, in case you're curious...

I've lost 1 inch in my neck.
1.5 inches in my upper arms
4.5 inches in my mid thighs
3 inches in my mid-calves
6 inches around my waist
6.5 inches around my hips
6 inches in my bust (*gulp*)

...for a grant total of 28.5 inches lost in six months!!

New Low!!

Just popping in real quick before heading out for a day of shopping with my mom and sister.

The scale this morning showed that I am officially down into the 220s!  229.0 and I couldn't be happier!!

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Maybe I'm not as loose as I thought...

I PB'd last night (twice, blech) for the first time in weeks.  I haven't had a fill for a while and I thought that maybe I was getting close to needing one.  But now I'm not so sure.  I got stuck on a few bites of Chile Relleno Casserole that I ate for dinner.  It was pretty weird because one second I was fine, so signs of being full or getting stuck, and the next second I was full-on sliming and in pain. I also noticed the last few days that its been hard to get my morning yogurt w/ granola down. 

So maybe I just need to give my band some extra time before running to the doctor for a fill.  As it stands right now, I'm going to try to get through the month without a fill.  I'd really really hate to be too tight during the holidays. 

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Bounce

I knew it was too good to last.  My weekend 'o' holiday parties (four to be exact), regardless of how good I was compared to other years, has finally caught up with me.  After a new low of 231.4 last week, the scale this morning showed 234.  I'll admit a small part of me thought that maybe, just *maybe*, somehow I'd get through this weekend with no gain, and even perhaps a loss.  HA!  No such luck.

I'm not terribly upset about the bounce because I know that I did well this weekend, even though I was faced with literally hundreds of unhealthy food and drink choices.  I indulged in a small amount of holiday treats and even a cocktail or two.  So while the bounce on the scale is an annoyance, it is not devastating.  In fact, I'm more motivated than ever to quickly get back down to 231.  The 220s are just around the corner and I am looking forward to seeing them for the first time in over nine years!!


Monday, December 6, 2010

The Neverending Smorgasbord

It didn't sneak up on me.  I knew it was coming.  And yet I'm shocked by it's arrival...

The holidays.  *cue ominous music*

The time of year when, for two whole months, every dilectable food imaginable is paraded in front of us, begging for "just one taste".

Friday night was my work Christmas party.  There were fried jalepeno poppers, chocolate-covered pretzles, toffee ChexMix, meatballs, berry cobbler, cheesy artichoke dip, and an entire liquor-stores-worth of wine, beer, and liquor.  Luckily my band did a good job of letting me know that I was about to consume one too many bites.  But since I'm in need of a fill, the feeling didn't last long and I was grazing again within two hours.  Overall, the party wasn't a total disaster, band-wise.  But it could have been better.

Last night was game night with friends at our house.  Everyone brought a pizza to share and there was cider, cocoa, brownies, and cookies.  I had two small pieces of a thin-crust white pizza, one cookie, and a cup of cider.  Lots o' sugar, but not too shabby.  But by the time 9pm rolled around, I was diving right back into the cookies (I think I had two more).  So I had one more piece of pizza and called it a night.  Thankfully, it appears as though my hubby polished off the last of the cookies before I woke up this a.m. otherwise I probably would have had one (or three) for breakfast.

Tonight is my church's ladies' ornament exchange.  Its always a blast and the food is, hands down, the most DELICIOUS of the entire holiday season.  I'm going to eat a little dinner before I go, hopefully curbing any major binge eating that might otherwise thwart my goals for the night. But mark my words... I WILL be having at least two homemade Oreo truffles.  They simply cannot be resisted. 

*sigh* This time of year is tough.  But I have to say, I'm SO GLAD I have the band to help me get through it.  This year, for the first time in a long time, I have hope and resolve that I can make it through this holiday season without those extra pounds that have appeared in years past.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Inspired

I was so inspired by Tracy's blog posts yesterday and my resolve has totally been renewed.

Tracy quoted the old adage, "Failure to plan is planning for failure" and it really struck a chord with me.  When I plan my meals and snacks, I am much more likely to stick to it.  But when I just fly by the seat of my pants, as I have been doing for a couple of weeks now, I tend to make poor meal choices and graze on junk food all day long.  Self-control goes right out the window when I don't have a clear idea of how I want my day to go food-wise.

So, this morning at the grocery store I stocked up on CarbMaster yogurts, steel-cut oats, low-fat string cheese, fresh fruit and veggies, tuna, and other "good bandit" foods.  My "why bother" coffee (small, decaf, skinny, sugar-free) at 7:30 held me over until 10:15 when I had a yogurt with 3T. of lowfat granola.  That carried me over until lunch when I had a piece of string cheese and a granny smith apple (my fave combo!).  It's a little after 1pm now and I'm hoping my lunch will carry me through until 4-5pm when I'll have a small snack like some sunflower seeds or another piece of cheese.  Dinner will be a tiny portion of whatever I cook the family.  And hopefully I won't need a snack before bed, but if I do I have healthy choices.

I haven't had hardly any water today, so as soon as I'm done with this post I'm going to go fill my water bottle up.  But I have to be careful.... there is a platter of soft-baked cookies in the teacher's lounge and I'm afraid one of them will try to seduce me while I'm getting my water.

Willpower, don't fail me now!

Monday, November 29, 2010

No News is Good News...

Not much to report on the band front. 

Thanksgiving didn't present any problems.  I got to eat a little bit of everything I would normally have during the holidays, just a lot less than in past years.  It was actually kind of refreshing to not have that "ohmygodiamsofullifeellikeiamgonnadie" feeling.

My weight is holding steady at 233ish.  I'm hoping to break into the 220s sometime this week.  I plan on going to the gym at least three times, so that should help.  Now if I could only keep my hands off the goodies in the teacher's lounge at work, and I'd be set!

So yeah, everything is same-old-same-old.  No news is good news, right?

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Scar Photos

I don't know what else to blog about, so I figured I'd do some updated incision scar photos for your viewing pleasure.

If you remember, this is what my incision scars looked like on June 23rd, just 14 days post-op...


And here are my incision scars look like at a little over 5 1/2 months post-op...

I love seeing the difference in my belly.  Don't get me wrong, it's still grotesquely lumps and bumpy and pale, but I can totally see a big difference!

Random question for all you bandsters who are a year or more out... does the belly button ever go back to looking normal without a tummy tuck?  My belly button makes me sad.  :(

Sunday, November 21, 2010

SIXTY!!!


I am proud to announce to the world that I have officially lost 60 lbs!!  Five and a half months post-o, sixty pounds GONE, and I feel fan-freaking-tastic!!

At church this morning about 12 different people stopped to comment on how great I'm looking.  Its so weird to hear things like, "You're getting so skinny!" and "You look like a totally different person!" and "I didn't even recognize you!". 

So, sixty pounds down, 57 lbs. to go!  Over half-way there, baby!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I Eat...

Lap Band Gal and Nicole at Better Banded both did great posts about what they eat.  I love reading about this type of stuff from other bandsters, so I figured I'd jump on the band-wagon (no pun intended) and do my post this morning before heading off to work...

Breakfast: Lite or CarbMasters Yogurt w/ 2 T. Grape Nuts or 1 T. lowfat granola
                   Egg substitue and turkey bacon breakfast burrito w/ Life Balance Whole-Wheat Tortilla (although since my last fill, I often just eat the guts and forego the tortilla)
                   Steel-cut oatmeal w/ 1% milk, 2 packets stevia, and 1/4 c. raisins (reg. or golden)


Lunch: Spinach salad w/ roasted chicken, craisins, pecans/walnuts and lite balsamic vinegarette
             Healthy Choice Steamers (its hard to find these that don't have pasta in them)
             Tuna Salad on a whole-wheat sandwhich thin or over baby spinach w/ balsamic vinegarette
             Turkey, cream cheese (fat-free), and tomato wrap on whole wheat tortilla


Dinner: Tilapia fillet bakes w/ dill
              Egg substitue and turkey bacon breakfast burrito w/ Life Balance Whole-Wheat Tortilla
(although since my last fill, I often just eat the guts and forego the tortilla)
              Roasted chicken w/ asparagus
              Small version of whatever I cook the family for dinner (chicken florentine, mexican chicken bake, fiesta casserole, turkey chili, reg. chili, etc.)


Snacks: Broiled avocado w/ lime juice and 1 T. parmesan cheese
               Handful of caramel rice cake bites
               Baby carrots w/ hummus (carrots are getting harder to eat though)
               Banana w/ 1 T. peanut butter

That's all I can think of right now.  I know I need to get way more veggies in my diet.  I'm so bad about that.

So yeah, my diet is pretty boring.  But as long as its working for me, I'm going to stick with it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

No Fill for Me

I had a fill scheduled for yesterday afternoon.  At the last minute I cancelled it.  I hope I don't regret doing it.

Here's my thought process that led to the cancellation...

I am a little over five months post-op.  I've lost 57-ish lbs. which my doctor tells me is fantastic.  I got a fill last month and currently have 6ccs in a 10cc band.  I have great restriction when I work the band.  I am terrified of an over-fill.

Those last two are why I cancelled.  I know what being over-filled can do physically and psychologically to us bandsters.  I do NOT want to be over-filled.  And I feel like I was getting another fill just because I made the appointment last month and didn't want to "waste" a perfectly good appointment, kwim?  I've been doing a LOT of grazing.  ((hanging head in shame))  Especially at work.  I'm not hungry, but I find myself in the teacher's lounge nibbling on cookies or chips and dip.  I can't count how many times I wandered into the store room this week to grab a piece of halloween candy from our chocolate stash.  I'M NOT EVEN HUNGRY!  I'M BORED!  Boredom eating is my M.O.  Its my go-to activity when things at work are slow or when I've got nothing to do at home.  And junk food is so easy to get my chubby little hands on here at work.

So I realized yesterday that I was going to get a fill even though I had good restriction *when I ate right*.  That just didn't make sense.  It was trying to make the band do all the work and I knew I was about to set myself up for a fall.  I refuse to get into the mindset that I can eat what I want, how I want, when I want, and still somehow magically lose weight and get healthier.  I refuse to be a bandster who expects the band to do all the work for me.

I need to do this work myself.  I need to get control of my grazing.  I need to up my water intake (I eat less when I drink more), and I need to figure out how to get more protein into my diet.  And lastly, I need to cut out all sweets.  No more halloween candy in the teacher's lounge.  I obviously can't eat "just one piece", so no more for me.  I will treat myself to one piece of chocolate but only on days that I work out.  If I don't work out, I don't get chocolate. 

So, no fill for me.  Someone please tell me I'm doing the right thing.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Adventures in Shopping.

I've been putting aside all of my too-big clothes in a giant bin to take to this amazing consignment store where I have had great luck selling back my clothes and then buying adorable clothes in my current size.  It's been great because I have ZERO money to buy new clothes with, so this has kept me in decent sizes during the past several months. 

So I had a big bag full of a couple pairs of dress slacks, a gorgeous black pea-coat from Lane Bryant, and tons of cute jeans from LB as well.  Even a designer purse that my mom wanted me to take to them.  Really cute stuff in amazing condition.

While I was waiting for them to go through my clothes, I set out to find myself a new pair of jeans.  I only really need one (maybe two) pairs of jeans right now since I mostly wear work clothes.  So I grabbed a bunch of jeans and headed to the dressing room.  Nothing fit.  The 18s were like wrestling two 10-lb. hams into a 5 lb. sack.  No bueno.  The 20's were huge.  I couldn't even KINDA pretend they fit.  WTH?!  What size is between an 18 and a 20?!  I tried on, no joke, 17 pairs of jeans ranging in size from 16 to 22.  Nothing fit.  I don't know what the hell is going on, but I was furious!  I gave up on jeans and went looking for dress slacks.  There was nothing but ugly brown (baby poop brown, as I call it) slacks in my size.  There was an adorable pair of black trousers in a 20, but they were huge on me.  Of course.

By this point I was getting good and pissed.  The girl in the dressing room next to me was about my size before my surgery and she was trying on all these adorable skirts.  I don't wear skirts.  I don't even own one.  But I thought, "Hey!  If she can look cute in them, then so can I!".  I found a few skirts, but most of them looked goofy on me with my big lower-belly.  I'm really starting to loathe my new body.  At least, that part of it that ISN'T SHRINKING AS RAPIDLY AS THE REST OF ME DAMNIT!!!!!  I found one skirt that looked adorable but I don't have a shirt nor shoes to go with it, so I just left it behind and headed to the counter to collect my money.  I assumed they would take most of my clothes (as they have in the past), so I was going to head over to Old Navy after wards and hopefully find myself some jeans.

WRONG.  Those bastards took one pair of jeans and left the rest.  One freakin' pair of jeans!!  No other jeans.  No slacks.  No gorgeous pea-coat.  They gave me $10 for the jeans and that was that.  Sent me on my way, virtually empty-handed.  Well, except for my GIANT BAG OF GIANT CLOTHES!!!  GAH!!

So lemme recap:  Spent an hour trying on dozens of things, none of which fit.  Didn't make any money off of old clothes, therefore unable to go purchase any new (read: used) clothes.  Drove home in baggy jeans and hoodie, pissed off and jonesing for a DQ Blizzard (which I did NOT go get, btw).

Yup, that about sums up my experience tonight.  Its been four hours and I'm still pissed off about it all.  *glare*

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Family NSV

Just a little NSV to share...

Last night my sister Kelly and I went to a late movie together.  We're super-close, but don't get to spend as much time together as we'd like.  The movie was awful (Morning Glory, don't bother), but we had so much fun being silly and giggling and acting like teenagers.

Before the movie started we were looking at Facebook photos on her iPhone and we came to this one that was taken in May, one month before my surgery.

(my sister, my mom, and me @ 297 lbs.)

Kelly gasped when she saw the photo.  She said, "Ohmyword, you don't even look like the same person, Jenny!".  I was a little surprised.  I mean, she sees me almost every day (she teaches at my son's school).  I know I'm changing and she's TOLD me there is a difference, but she was totally SHOCKED looking at this photo.  She just kept saying, "You don't even look like that person anymore!".

It was nice to hear.  Especially coming from my size 6 sister.  ♥

Monday, November 8, 2010

I CAN'T HEEEAAAARRRR YOU!!

Are you picturing a stubborn little girl with fingers shoved in her ears, squeezing her eyes shut tight?

Yeah?  Well, that's me.  I'm that stubborn child screeching, "I can't heeeaaaaarrrr you!".

I realized tonight at dinner that I have been metaphorically saying this very phrase to my band for a couple of weeks now.  I would take a few bites, start to get that "feeling", and then shove my chubby little fingers right in my ears and keep right on eating.

I was punished severely for it.  I have PB'd more times in the last two weeks that I have in the last five months.  And I somehow convinced myself that my band was just being finnicky. 

*face palm*

I started getting into that bad habit of listening to my BRAIN instead of my STOMACH while I'm eating.  I look at what I've eating and my brain says, "Pssst.  Hey!  Yeah, you!  You couldn't possibly be full on that tiny bit of food!  Just wait for the discomfort to pass and take one more bite."  I failed to listen to my stomach that way saying, "Umm... excuse me?  Yes, you up there with the big mouth.  You're kinda stressing me out down here.  I know that chicken tastes good.  But I just can't handle more than a few bites, mkay?"

And we all know which voice was louder.  Damn fat-chick brain. 

I have GOT to get control over my head-hunger before I do some permanent damage to my band.  I am so SICK of feeling uncomfortable during/after a meal.  But guess what?!  I'm the one that causes it!!  If I ate slower, smaller bites, and STOPPED WHEN I FELT FULL, then I'd be a-ok.

Honestly, does the fat-chick in our brains ever go away, or do we just learn to ignore her?  Cuz this chick has over-stayed her welcome.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Before/During Photos!

I'm all about motivation this week.  I've been meaning to get some side-by-side before/during shots and I just now got around to it.  So, without further ado...  (click photos to enlarge)



 I still don't see a huge difference, but people say the change has been drastic so I'm inclined to believe them.  I can tell my face (mostly my chin) is thinner.  My glasses are starting to look big for my face.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

I've been thinking a lot lately about the changes in my life the past five months.  Most of them were changes that I predicted, some were changes I didn't see coming, and still other things that I thought would change haven't.

Obviously my body has changed, like I knew it would.  I did not, however, expect my boobs to shrink as fast as they have.  Not that they're small, by any stretch of the imagination, but they're smaller that I thought they'd be at this point.  My belly (lower abdomen) isn't shrinking fast enough.  Its going to be my "problem area" thanks to two c-sections and a decade of obesity.  The rest of me is shrinking which only makes my belly more pronounced.  It is, by far, the part of me that I am most self-conscious about.  If I'm not careful, I'll start obsessing about it.  The only part of losing weight that scares me is what that part of my body will look like when its all said and done.  *shudder*

My eating habits have also changed.  Eating protein isn't as hard as I thought it would be.  I don't miss carbs nearly as much as I thought I would.  I didn't realize what a carb addicit I was until I stopped eating it all.  Bagels, breads, pasta, cereal, donuts, sweet breads, I loved it all.  But once you PB on a bagel with cream cheese or a glazed donut, you suddenly don't crave them anymore.

One that hasn't changed that I hoped would is my hatred of cooked vegetables.  I really do still hate most veggies.  I love asparagus.  And corn on the cob.  And sometimes cauliflower.  But I can hardly choke down steamed broccoli or carrots.  I'd rather chew off my own foot than eat brussel sprouts.  I guess I was kind of hoping Lap-Band would make me a vegetarian or something.  No such luck.

Another thing that has changed is my style.  I've always had pretty good style (in my opinion) but as I got heavier, clothes became less about looking stylish and more about covering up and blending in.  Now that I'm losing weight, I can hardly wait to go try on new clothes and see what my body looks like in that cute pair of jeans or that adorable new blouse.  I had forgotten how fun shopping for clothes can be!  If I feel like this now, only halfway to my goal, I'm gonna be a full-blown shopaholic by the time I reach 180lbs.! 

I've also become much more sympathetic to other heavy people struggling with their weight.  I see someone on the streets who is morbidly obese and my heart goes out to them.  Because I know how they must be feeling.  Uncomfortable.  Trapped.  Pathetic.  Exhausted.  Frustrated.  I still feel all those things, but now I see a light at the end of my tunnel.  I wish for others what I have been given... hope.

So yes, lots of changes.  Some good, some unpredicted, and some still elusive.  But changes nonetheless.  And isn't that what this journey is all about?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My Epiphany...

In five months, I've lost 53 lbs.  I'm proud of myself, but it seems like I still have so far to go.  I am just now, this week, starting to see the physical changes in my body.  I know others have been seeing my body change for months now, but my self-image is only now starting to shift.  And only in small ways.  Sometimes I'll catch a split-second glimpse of myself in the mirror and realize my hips are smaller or my face is thinner.  But its very subtle.  I don't see the drastic changes that others see.  I usually don't believe people when they say things like, "I hardly recognized you!" or "You are just getting so SMALL!".  I think they're just trying to make me feel better.  *shrug*  I guess I'm a little more insecure than I thought.

So back to my ephiphany...

I've lost 53 lbs and I'm down from 297 lbs. to 244 lbs.  My "I'll-be-happy-with-anything-from-here-on-down" goal is 180 lbs.  "How much more," I wondered, "do I have to lose to hit my goal?".  So I did the math.
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64 lbs.  Sixty-four pounds.  SIXTY-FOUR FREAKING POUNDS!!  I've lost 53 and I only have 64 to go!!  How is it possible that I'm almost half-way there?!  I've been running the numbers through my head over and over again for the last 18 hours and I keep coming up with the same answer!! 

Its been like a lightbulb switched on in my head.  I'm making progress.  And not just a little progress, but MAJOR progress.  I've made a major change in my lifestyle that is changing my entire life fro
m top to bottom.  I look different (even if only to others right now), I feel different, and I AM different.

Its been a pretty intense 18 hours, my friends.  Here's to half-way there!!!!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Margaritas, 'Tater Skins, and Candy, OH MY!!

It was an eventful weekend, to say the least.  Friday night the hubster and I dressed up as a tacky tourist couple (photos to follow) and went to a co-worker's 40th b-day costume party at a local bar.  We haven't dressed up for Halloween in over 10 years and it was a lot of fun.  I drank way too many margaritas, munched on too many 'Tater Skin chips (I haven't had those suckers in YEARS!!) and danced the night away to songs from the 80's.  It was a good time.

Saturday afternoon was my youngest son's 5th birthday party.  I had nine little 4-5 year old boys running around my house coked out of their minds on cupcakes and fruit punch.  It was wild, but it was fun. 

Sunday night we took the boys to my in-laws house for cake-and-icecream celebration of Little C's b-day.  Then we took the boys trick-or-treating around my in-laws neighborhood.  Usually its snowing on Halloween, but this year was perfect!  The kids didn't even have to wear their coats over their costumes.

We got home and sorted through all the candy.  The boys paid me their "fees" of a small bag of candy corns and one mini Snickers bar, and that was that.
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Until they went to bed and I got a hankerin' for more chocolate.  I only had a few things, but it was enough to make me feel guilty and fat and pathetic.  I managed to stay out of the candy this morning, but was assaulted at work by leftover birthday cake, pumpkin-chocoate-chip cookies, and a big bowl of HALLOWEN CANDY!!  AAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!

I had 1/4 of a pumpkin cookie and have been avoiding the teacher's lounge like the plague.  But it doesn't help that its 10 steps away from my office.  I'm about to go have lunch now and I hope I'll get full enough to avoid the sweets for the rest of the afternoon.

Say a few (million) prayers for me, my friends.  I can already hear the KitKat bars calling my name...

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Re-Committing

At the very beginning of my journey I was so good about tracking everything that went into my mouth.  Everytime I ate or drank I would enter it into my MyFitnessPal food tracker.  It was such a good tool to see exactly how many calories, how much water, and (most importantly) how much protein I was taking in.

As the months have progressed, I admit I've stopped tracking my food and fluid intake.  At first it wasn't a big deal, but slowly I've gotten lazy about what I'm eating and drinking.  I know for a fact that I'm not getting enough protein.  And I only get my daily 80 ounces of water a few times a week. 

I'm kidding myself if I think that this isn't going to affect my weight loss and overall health.  Its obviously from the amount of hair I'm losing that my protein needs to become my number one priority with water intake coming in at a close second (I get migraines triggered by dehydration so I should know better).

So starting this morning I'm tracking everything that goes into my mouth.  I'm committing to getting at LEAST 65 grams of protein a day, with my main goal being 75 grams.  I will be better about drinking at least 80 oz. of water a day.  And I want to stick with it every.single.day through the end of the year. 

I know if I can do this I can be even more successful than I have been thusfar.  Its so easy to fall into those old "fat Jenny" habits.  A little handful of caramel corn here, half a can of root beer there...

But no more.  I'm re-committing to this whole experience.  The good, the bad, and the ugly.  To take a line from AA... "It works if you work it!!".

Monday, October 18, 2010

About Damn Time!!

After two weeks of fighting the scale and gaining and losing the same few pounds, the scale finally went my way.  I am officially down 50 lbs!!  245.6 to be precise and it feels so good!  When I hit 237.7, I will have lost a total of 20% of my starting body weight.  Crazy, huh?  For now, I'm going to revel in my first major milestone... 50 lbs. baby!!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

New 'Do...

I got a sassy new 'do to go with my sassy new attitude.

Haha, no seriously.  I've been growing out my hair and it needed a trim.  I decided to get a nice dark fall dye job while I was there and I'm thrilled with the results!

Yay for new hair!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fill Details and a *huge* NSV

I got my fill this morning.  Easy-squeezy.  She put in .5cc which bring me up to a full 6ccs in my 10cc band.  It was my third fill.  I can already tell I have more restriction, so hopefully this one will get me back on track restriction-wise.

After my fill I took some clothes to a local consignment shop to see what they'd give me for them.  I've outgrown ALL my clothes but I have very little money to buy new ones.  So when they gave me $26 for some work clothes, I happily set out to find myself some new duds.

When I started out this journey back in June, I was wearing a size 24 in pants and a 22/24 in tops.  I've been wearing those same clothes up until today.  I knew they were big (the pants were falling off me) but I figured I only needed one size smaller.  

Today, in the dressing room at the Clothes Mentor, I was shocked to find that I am not wearing a size 24 or even a 22.  I'm not even wearing a 20!  I'M WEARING A FREAKING 18!!!!  I haven't worn a size 18 jeans since my oldest son was born almost nine years ago!!  I was so shocked, I had to keep checking the tag to make sure it was, in fact, and 18.  I got a pair of adorable casual jeans, a pair of denim dress trousers, and a gorgeous pair of charcoal dress slacks.
Then it was time for tops.  I was so excited about my size 18 jeans, that I got brave and grabbed an armful of XL tops from the rack.  I thought, "Well, I'll try them and if they don't fit, I'll just go up a size".  I didn't plan on them fitting BUT THEY DID!!  Holy crap I'm wearing an XL in tops!  How is that possible!??!  I got four casual fall/winter tops, a layer tank, and a gorgeous red dress blouse to go with my charcoal pants.  I almost cried when I left the store.  I've never had so much FUN shopping before!  I was giddy every time I put something on that fit and looked GOOD!

The photos are crap, but here are two outfits I got.  I wore the jeans and green striped top out of the store because the clothes I wore in were so ridiculously big.  *insert happy dance here*


Need a fill AND a new low!

I'm going for a fill today.  I've lost virtually ALL of my restriction since my post a week or so ago about how tight I was.  I *think* it must have been my TOM (I don't get periods due to my IUD, so I'm never 100% sure).

Regardless, I've lost all restriction and am in need of a fill.  I'm hoping I get something a bit on the liberal side (at least .5 cc) but I guess its all up to my fill nurse, Becky.

On the plus side, I weighed this morning and have finally FINALLY gotten below 250 lbs!!!  I'll probably bounce up a little bit in the next few days, but for today I'm reveling in the glory that is 249.8!!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

iRan!!

Holy smokes, girls!  The unthinkable has happened!  Yesterday, while doing my interval workout on the treadmill, I... wait for it....  RAN! 

There I was, doing my one-minute work set when I realized that I was needing to pump up the speed in order to get to my PER (perceived exertion rating).  It was too fast to walk, so I started to jog!  It was only for a minute and my heart rate skyrocketed to 160 (just above cario HR), but I did it!!  After my minute was up, I did my 3-minute rest set, and then went back to jogging for TWO minutes!!  I thought I was gonna die, but I did it again!  It was kinda surreal.  I'm sure I looking completely goofy jogging on the treadmill, but I don't care!  There is NO WAY I could have done that for even 10 seconds four months ago! 

My next workout is Thursday afternoon and I am going to try to jog all my work sets.  WOOT!!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Weirdos I Encounter at the Gym

I only went to the gym one day last week.  I'm going today after work and I realized someting kinda funny.  I'm actually looking forward to seeing some of the people that I workout "with" at my gym!  Now, don't go thinking that I'm bff with these people.  I've never spoken to any of them and made eye contact with fewer than three of them.  But they've sorta grown on me over the last couple of months and I've come to think of them much like a group of extended family.  You know the ones.  The weirdos that you don't want to admit you're related to?  Yeah, those people.

The Glamour Girl
She seems sweet enough.  She smiled at me once when we both got to the paper-towel-spray-cleaner station at the same time.  At least, I *think* it was a smile.  It was kinda hard to tell beneath the layers of foundation, mascara, shimmery eye shadow, and lipstick.  For all I know, she said hello to me.  But I'd never be able to hear it over the clang of her wrist bangles and chandelier earrings.  It was all I could do to not reach out and touch her hair to see if it was as shelacked as it appeared to be.  I think she spray tans pre-workout.  I'm just sayin'...

The Old Man
This dude cracks.me.up.  He's no less than 85 years old and just as precious as they come.  He comes in every day wearing a "#1 Grandpa" t-shirt, a Semper Fi hat, and sports socks pulled up to just below his knees.  He hops on the same treadmill everyday, sets the speed to "tortise" and proceeds to walk at the speed of smell while watching Glen Beck on the nearest television.  When he's done, he turns off the treadmill, gets a drink from the fountain, and walks out to his car.  No nonsense.  HOO-RAH!

The Show-Off
There are a few of these guys that I see during my time at the gym.  But my favorite is this gruff-looking motorcycle dude with HUGE muscles.  I swear this man's arms are the side of my head.  He's covered from neck-to-ankles in tattoos including a mostly-naked pinup girl on his forearm who appears to be riding a falic-shaped missle.  The guy spends his time at the gym lifiting as many weights as possible.  And he makes all kinds of creepy grunting sounds while he's doing it that makes everyone either turn red with embarassment or giggle to themselves like 10-year-old boys.  I was pretty intimidated by him the first few times I saw him, but he's actually quite nice and even showed me how to properly use a weight machine one time.  I saw him out this weekend with his two young daughters and the sight of him walking hand-in-hand with two girly girls in dresses and hairbows took all the "scare" right outta him.  Now I just picture him having tea with his girls wearing pearls and a church-lady hat. 

The Clueless One
Bless this lady's heart.  She's so clueless.  The first time I saw her at the gym, she wore a pair of denim shorts (can you say CHAIFING!?) and canvas Keds.  No water bottle, no sports bra, and no clue.  She gets on the treadmill, sets the incline to the highest point (aka Mt.FreakingEverest) and walks at a brisk pace holding onto the heart rate monitor bar for dear life to keep from falling off the treadmill.  She walks leaning so far back, I have the incredible urge to yell "TIMBER" everytime she gets going.  I cannot imagine what kind of a work out she gets doing this, but she seems happy enough when her 20 minutes are up.  She tried the eliptical once but ended up falling off of it (yes, falling off of it) and scaring the crap out of The Old Man.  She pretty much sticks with Mt. Everest now.



So there they are.  My very own Fitness Club Family.  They're weird and eccentric, but they're mine.  Just call us the 3 o'clock Misfits.  The Glamour Girl, The Old Man, The Show-Off, The Clueless One, and The Hungry Girl.  Yep, just one big weirdo family.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

meh.

It's been a blah week.  I only got to go to the gym once... on Monday.  Things were insane at work at home, I had several meetings and appointments to dash about to, and then my oldest son got sick and was home for two days.

I didn't exercise, I ate like crap (can you say mini-brownies in the teacher's lounge?) and just plain old-fashioned fell off the bandster wagon.  My scale, as predicted, is up 2.2 pounds after my week of laziness and gluttony. 

But tomorrow is the start of a brand new week and I am going to get to the gym at LEAST three times this week (preferably four), I will eat my protein and drink my water, and I will NOT indulge in that crap that I *think* I want but actually feel nasty after eating it.

*nodding*

Monday, September 27, 2010

To Fill or Not to Fill...

... that is the question.

I have an appt. with my surgeon on Thursday afternoon.  Its my monthly (for the first year post-op) check up and I was expecting to need another small fill.  But for the last week I've been thinking that maybe the fill isn't such a good idea.  First of all, I had my first PB incident (and it was a doozy) at this level.  I get stuck quite easily and often if I don't take small bites and chew really well.  Soft breads are totally out where before I could maybe work one down if I took it slow enough.  My portions are getting smaller.  Where I could eat two *very* small breakfast burritos before, I can only eat most of one and thats even hard to do.  I'm rarely hungry unless its been over 4-5 hours since my last meal or snack.  And in the last three or four days, I have become really really tight first thing in the mornings.  Where I could eat a breakfast burrito or a small bowl of cereal, I can now barely choke down a yogurt with grape nuts.

So, I guess my answer is pretty clear.   I'm not going to get a fill.  My doctor is very conservative with his fills, so I'm sure he wouldn't have let me have on anyways.  But it feels good knowing that I'm listening to my body and doing what I feel is best for it.  Besides... there is always next month, right?  Worst-case scenario... I'll lost all my restriction the moment I cancel my appointment and I'll have to tough it out until I can get in for a fill.  Best-case scenario (and I'm going to whisper it so as not to frighten it away) ((( is it possible that I'm at my sweet spot already?)))

So I have one last question...  money is tight and spending $40 to see my doc when I'm not even getting a fill and things are going so well just seems like a huge waste of money.  Did any of you skip any of your monthly appts. that first year?  Is it really a big deal?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Sad Truths...

You know when you hear those stories about people who have lost a ton of weight and then their friend/family member/insert-important-person-here turns on them out of nowhere because of jealousy/fear/insert-negative-emotion-here and you naively think to yourself, "that won't happen to me because [insert-important-person-here] would never do that because he/she is [supportive/wonderful/insert-positive-trait-here] and would never ever turn on me no matter how much weight I've lost." but then, the next thing you know, it happens to you?


Yeah, that really sucks when that happens.


*sigh*

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Spoke too soon

You remember when I mentioned yesterday that, while I have gotten stuck a few times, I have never PB'd?

Um... yah.  Notsomuch anymore.

OMG girls, I thought I was going to DIE last night!  After the gym, I came home and ate a really yummy broiled tilapia fillet w/ dill.  It filled me up and I was good to go.  But about 15 minutes after I finished my tilapia, I remembered that there were left-over sugar cookies in the pantry from a BBQ on Sunday. 

Cue Fat Jenny, stage left. 

Fat Jenny doesn't make too many appearances any more, but she did last night standing in front of the pantry looking at those cookies.  And I know it was Fat Jenny because I don't even LIKE sugar cookies!  They are not something I would ever choose to eat if presented with other options.  But Fat Jenny stuck her fat ass into the pantry and grabbed two small cookies.  Just as I was about to pop the last bite into my mouth, I felt it.  That pressure in the middle of my chest telling me that I had gone just a *little* too far.  So I argued with Fat Jenny for a split second before Formerly Fat Jenny won and I threw the last bite into the trash.

But the damage had already been done.  Anytime I've been stuck before, its been for a maximum of 10 minutes.  This time I was stuck for TWO FREAKING HOURS!

Yes, you read it right.  Two hours.  It was terrible.  I've never slimed more in my life.  I had to stand at the sink, spitting every few seconds.  The pain and pressure was excruciating.  Worse that any other time I've been stuck.  After about 45 minutes, I knew it was going to come back up.  And honestly?  At this point I was just hoping for some relief.  So, up it came.  Pretty much just as it had gone down.  I instantly felt better and thought the worst was over.

I was wrong.

I spent the next hour and fifteen minutes over the sink praying for death.  I PB'd two more times.  I was exhausted.  My stomach was so sore.  And I never.wanted.to.see.a.sugar.cookie.again.

Ever.  ((I threw the whole package away about an hour into my ordeal))

After I was done PB'ing and sliming and wishing I was dead, I fell into bed and just layed there, totally and completely exhausted.  I had no idea PBing was such a traumatic experience!

Its something I never want to do again.  Even if it means staying far, FAR away from sugar cookies.  For the rest of my life.

Monday, September 13, 2010

The big 4-0

No, I didn't turn 40 years old.  I haven't even hit 30 yet, so don't get ahead of yourself.  :)

This morning when I got on the scale I had lost a little over a pound overnight.  My official weight is 257 lbs. which means I've officially lost 40 lbs.!

I was starting to get worried that my body was holding onto all its extra calories once I started working out this past week.  But it seems as though all is right in the world and I will continue to lose weight as I increase my physical activity.  I'm really enjoying my gym time and seeing results from my hard work is such a motivation to keep working harder and to push myself more!

I'm still feeling pretty good restriction from my tiny fill a couple weeks ago.  I'm finally being "punnished" for taking too big of bites and not chewing well enough.  No PBing, but quite a few good stuck/sliming episodes.  Before, it would happen with only the typical "bad band" food like soft breads.  But now its with pretty much anything that I don't chew properly.  Its a good reminder to me to slow.the.hell.down when I eat.  I think maybe one more small fill at the end of the month might put me right about where I want to be.  But we'll see how these next couple of weeks go. 

So far so good.



Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New Low and Gym Membership

I hit a new lowest low this morning!!  I'm officially down in the 250's.  259 to be exact.  And it feels great!!  With ever pound I lose, I gain confidence and motivation and excitement at my new life!!

Yesterday I got a gym membership to a local gym near my house.  Its just the basic gym with exercise equipment (eliptical, treadmill, bikes, etc.), free weights, and weight machines.  Its only $19.95/mo. which fits perfectly into our tight budget.  I was a member a few years ago but... well... we all know where that went.  But I went tonight and it was so great!  I surprised myself at my endurance!  I did 30 minutes of cardio on the recumbent bike.  It was exhausting, but it felt GREAT!  Then I did 15 min. on the eliptical.  I did great which surprised me because the last (and only) time I got on one of those devil-machines, it was pure carnage.  I couldn't make my body move the right way.  It was like watching a clown run backwards in scuba flippers.  But today... today I did it!  Only for 15 mins, but I did it!  I ended with a 10 minute cool-down on the treadmill on a level 12 incline. 

Tomorrow my sister (you know, the super-skinny one) is meeting me at the gym to work out together.  I'm actually excited!

In other random news... my bff and I reconciled.  I saw on her facebook that she was sick today and I couldn't help myself.  I called her to see how she was and left a message saying that I thought this nonsense between us was stupid.  When she returned my call we had a great talk.  We both apologized and hashed out the major miscommunication  we had the other day.  Things are probably going to be tense for a while, but I think we're going to be ok.  So, thanks for the support ladies. 

xoxox

Monday, September 6, 2010

Having a Blue Day.

*sigh* 

I don't know quite what to do with myself.  I'm having a very blue day.  I know this isn't band-related, but I just need to get all of this off my chest and I figured the blog world is the perfect place to send it all, ya know?

So I had a falling out with my best friend last night.  It was ugly.  I'm heartbroken that she no longer wants to be friends, but I know I have nothing to be sorry for.  You see, she disagrees with how I handle my marriage.  Her and I have polar-opposite marriages and its never been an issue. 

Until yesterday. 

She is angry at how I handled something with my husband and is taking it upon herself to "put me in my place".  She feels like she was somehow wronged in this situation that was between ME and my HUSBAND (which is 100% resolved, btw).  She wanted me to handle it like she would have with her husband.  What she doesn't understand is that I don't want a marriage like hers.  I would rather have a marriage like mine where we are both equal partners, we both value one another's feelings, and we both put our family unit first.

Needless to say, she disagrees.  She wanted to talk about how she felt about how I handled the situation.  I wanted to talk about how, as my best friend, she doesn't get to have a voice in my marriage. 

It ended with her yelling "consider this friendship over" and hanging up on me.

I've felt physically sick ever since.  My chest feels heavy, I could barely sleep, and its literally all I can think about.  I don't want our friendship to be over.

But I also know that I'm not wrong.  I'm not going to apologize for being upset that she feels like she gets to have a say in how I handle my marriage.  I'm not going to tell her its ok for her to judge me and crucify me for something that is 100% none of her business.  I'm not going to say sorry for expecting my best friend to be just that... my friend.  Not my judge and jury. 

Not having her for a friend is going to be one of the hardest things I'll probably ever have to face.   We've been best friends for over four years and its been unlike any friendship I've ever had before.  We were almost closer than sisters.  It was truly something special.

But I'm not going to kid myself... if that's the kind of friend she wants to be to me, then I don't need that kind of friend in my life.

Still, the pain is palpable.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

And So It Begins...

It has begun.  I have started to lose my hair.










I knew it would happen, but it's still freaking me out.  I lost a bunch of hair when I had my c-sections four and eight years ago.  But this time will probably be more.  I'm frantically trying to get in all my protein in hopes that I won't go completely bald. 

How long did you lose your hair?  How much did you lose?  Was it noticeable to others?  Any tips to reduce the loss?

*sob*

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Before/After Photos!!

I decided to do some before/after face comparison photos because people are always telling me they are noticing my weight loss most in my face.  I don't see a difference in the mirror, but these photos BLEW.ME.AWAY.

Disclaimer: 
Before I show you the photos, please excuse my really bad hair in the "after" photo.  I just got home from work where my office stays at a sweltering 85 degrees all day long.  Plus, I'm letting my hair grow out and its in that weird "in-between" stage.  Also, I'm not wearing any make-up.  I got up 30 minutes late this morning and FLEW out the door.  But I digress...

BEFORE (taken May 10th, one month pre-op)






 
 
AFTER (today, nine days shy of three months post-op)


I almost fell off my chair when I saw the "after" photo!  Is is possible that my face really looks that skinny!  Do I see a hint of a collarbone?!  IS THE WORLD COMING TO AN END?!?!?!

No really though... I am beyond thrilled.  Next week I'll take my three-month post-op piccies and if they look half as good as these do, I'll post them here!  Wheeeee!!

Monday, August 30, 2010

Long Time No Blog...

I have been totally MIA lately and I'm sorry about that.  School started back up for the kids two weeks ago which means I am also back to work.  The back-to-school schedule is hectic, to say the least, but we're all starting to get back into the groove of things.

In weight-loss news... I'm down 36 lbs!!  I got stuck at -27lbs. there for a while, but finally broke through and these last nine pounds have come off quite easily!  I'm currently weighing in at 260.8 lbs.  I wanted to hit 250 by Sept. 1st, but it was a lofty goal and I'm happy with where I am.  I've lost a total of 5.5" in my waist, 3.5" in my upper thighs, 3" in my hips/butt, and 3" in my bust.  That's 15" total!  And I'm not even counting my upper arms, calves, or neck!!

In exercise news... I've been working out twice a week with my bff Liz.  We bike or hike on Saturday mornings and do Zumba on Tuesday evenings.  We really loved Zumba the first time we did it, but the next week we went back, the "regular" instructor was there and she was NOT good.  She fumbled around, missed steps, and was just an all-around weirdo.  We're trying to find another Zumba class STAT!  This week we're going to walk around a local outdoor mall (3 miles once around) and then cool off in the barnes and noble coffee shop.

In Lap-Band news... I went in last Thursday for a fill.  I only got .5cc which is ok with me.  I prefer to be conservative with my fills (I got 2cc last time) rather than aggressive.  I don't want to do anywhere near "overfilled" land, kwim?  I can tell a difference in restriction with the .5cc, but I don't expect it to last for very long.  But for now I'm enjoying the restriction.  The R.N. did my fill this time and it was a total breeze!  When my surgeon did my first fill last month, it took him forever to hit the port!  I think I'll keep using the R.N. from now on. 

In food news... I've been have a wonderful time with food!  I feel like I've really found my groove with what I know I can/cannot eat.  Right now my favorite foods are spinach salads with tuna, apples, walnuts, craisins, and raspberry vinagarette, egg-substitute and turkey bacon breakfast burritos on a whole-grain tortilla (Mission Life Balance are my fave!), broiled tilapia, avocado broiled w/ mozzarella cheese, and steel-cut oatmeal with stevia and raisins.  YUM!!

Ok, well I think that's it!  I'm going to try to get some before/after face photos up soon because everyone is telling me that I'm losing so much weight in my face!  I don't see it, but that's because I look at my face every day, kwim?

So stay tuned for some piccies...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

I'm back, baby!!

So I went through a bit of an emo stage, band-wise.  The scale wasn't moving, I was making some poor food choices, and I was just in a funk. 

But I snapped myself out of it and told myself that gaining all this weight took a long time, and losing it is going to take a long time too.  And giving up will only keep me miserable and fat and I do NOT want that!

This morning when I got on the scale, I almost fell over when I saw the number!  266.2!!   2-freaking-66.2!!  Not only did the scale move, but it pushed me over the 30 lb. mark that has been taunting me for the last couple of weeks!!  I'm officially lost 30 lbs!!


Then, while I was on my bike ride this morning I had another amazing realization!  Losing 30 lbs. means that I've lost 10% of my body weight!!  29.7 lbs was my magic 10% mark and I made it!!  WOOT!!!


I'm feeling renewed and energized and motivated to keep going!  Thirty pounds in a little over two months feels so amazing and I can't wait to hit that 40 lb. mark!!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm Pissed

Nothing much to report.  I'm stuck at 268 lbs. which is 28 lbs lost.  I can't break the 30lb. barrier despite the Zumba and the hiking.  As a result of the plateau and all the bad emotions that come flooding back with this perceived "failure", I have been making some poor food choices the last few days. 

I'm pissed. 

At myself.  At my scale.  At my band.

But mostly at myself.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Learning Curve...

I've heard it said many times before, but I am saying it again.... there truly is a learning curve with this surgery. 

I'm still suffering from the occasional "my-eyes-are-bigger-than-my-stomach" problem.  Like tonight for example, I grilled hamburgers for the family while I prepared baked tilaipia with dill for myself.  I was starving by the time I started to cook dinner (forgot to take my pre-dinner snack to work with me) and one little 4 oz. tiliapia fillet looked so tiny.  So I made two.  And ate them both.

*cue intense hiccups and "that feeling" of impeding PB*

I didn't throw up (yay!) but I felt grossly full for at least an hour after dinner.  I am still learning to STOP when I feel full rather than forge ahead.  My brain tells me "Surely you can't be satisfied with that little food.  Eat just a few bites more.".

I need to stop listening to my head and start listening to my stomach.  Because either way, my stomach is going to let its presence be known.  And I really don't want to get on it's bad side.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

I've been ZUMBA-fied!!

Well, ladies, I did it.  I went to a Zumba class.

Last night my bestie, Liz, and I decided to get together.  Rather than doing what we normally do, which is sit around a coffee shop drinking our weight in latte calories, we decided to go hiking.  Except it started to rain.  So we changed our plans and went to a Zumba class at the local rec center instead!

Ohmyword, it was so FREAKING FUN!!!  There were approximately 30 other people in the class with us, ranging in ages from early 20's to early 70's.  No joke, there were people there of ALL different ages, weights, and fitness levels.  There were even a few women there with those belly-dancing hip scarves with bells on them, a la our pal Gilly!!  The instructor (who we later found out was a sub and WAY harder than the normal instructor chick) was super perky and lots of fun and SO positive!  She really made the class fun.

So the Zumba-ing (or whatever you call it)... was pretty intense.  I am NOT coordinated in any way, shape, or form and I was terribly clumsy during the class.  BUT... I did better than I expected.  I even surprised myself with how well I kept up most of the time!  Liz and I decided that only 25% of the people in the class were doing all the moves the "right" way like the instructor.  The rest of us were just trying to keep up, doing the best we could to not fall on our asses.

It was so much fun!  We giggled and sweated and Zumba'd ourselves into a frenzy for 60 minutes.  When the time was up, I couldn't believe how quickly it had passed!  I knew within the first few minutes of Zumba that I was addicted.  But I wasn't sure if that feeling would stick at the end of the hour.  But it did!  I totally want to go back as soon as possible and do it again!

So, yes my bandster friends, I have been officially Zumba-fied!  Halleluia Glory Be!!  (((insert southern church choir singing here)))

Monday, August 2, 2010

OUCH!!

I think I did something to my port and I need feedback from my fellow bandsters.

Here's the low-down...

A few days ago my port area was feeling a little... sore.  And by little I do mean a little.  I only felt it if I moved "just right" and it wasn't painful, just a little sore.  I did nothing in my recollection that could have injured or irritated my port, so I didn't think anything of it.

But then yesterday I was at my mom's house and we were on her bed flipping through catalogs (one of our favorite activities).  I was laying on my stomach and I pushed myself up to sit up and felt a very distinct pulling/burning sensation at my port site.  It was painful enough to make me gasp. 

And ever since then I've been feeling a constant pain at that site.  It ranges from a dull soreness to a painful (but not excruciating) burning/pulling feeling.  Anytime I have to flex my abdominal muscles, the pain intensifies.  Its nothing I can't handle and its certainly nothing that I feel is an emergency call-the-doctor-this-instant situation, but I was just wondering...

Has this ever happened to anyone else?  Did I just go away after a few days of healing?  Is there a chance I tore a stitch or two from my port?  Do I need to call the doctor and get checked out right away or just wait a few days?

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Talk to me about Zumba...

I hear SO MANY of you talking about your obsession with Zumba.  And I'm curious... What is it about Zumba that you love so much?  I *want* to love Zumba (I have yet to try it, btw) but I have to admit that the class description just doesn't sound like my cuppa tea.  I hate dancing.  I have no rhythm and I'm obviously a fat-ass, so I just look ridiculous.

So sell me on Zumba.  Tell me what you thought of it before you tried it versus after you tried it.  Tell me what you DO in Zumba and whether you liked it right away or if it took a while.

I wanna be ZUMBA-fied!!