Wednesday, December 29, 2010


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?


*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



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


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


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!