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


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


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


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.

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.
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...