29 December 2010

Just Checking In

I can't believe how long it's been since I posted. Well, yes I can. You see, I've been avoiding you guys like the plague, as they say.

Why?

Because I'm having a really hard time with this whole band/weight loss thing. I saw my doctor's PA the other day and he gave me a slight unfill. I haven't PB'd or thrown up once since then, so I guess that was the right thing to do. It mildly depressed me, though, because I was gaining weight while I was too tight (How? I dunno.), and fully expected that with less restriction, I'd probably gain even more weight. I was right -- one time I wish I hadn't been!

Even more depressing is what Brian (the PA) told me during my exam. He says that about 3-5% of people who get the lapband lose their sense of full, and he thinks I may be one of them. Lucky me, huh? I had really hoped to be one of those "every thing in moderation" kind of people, but it seems that my body has no clue what moderation is! He recommended a visit with the nutritionist on staff and suggested that I consider planning my meals and portions, then stop whether I'm full or not. That sounds more like dieting than I really wanted to do.

Don't get me wrong: I didn't really expect this to be easy. But I'm not sure I realized that it was going to be this hard, either. I've had days where I could see how this is supposed to work, but they are few and far between. Most days are a real struggle. Brian's right -- I never feel full.I have no clue when to stop eating. To be honest, this is a bit embarrassing to admit to all of you. Hell, it's downright humiliating! Am I going to be one of those people that this doesn't work for? And if I am, what does that say about my weight loss destiny?

So, today, totally freaked out by the weight I'm gaining, I started back on my pre-op diet: Two shakes and a sensible meal. It's been easier than I expected, with candy and chips in the house. I'll start exercising again soon, too. Soon? Friday morning. (Tomorrow, I'm out of town all day and so there's probably no time for the gym. Maybe, if it's not raining, I can work in a walk.)

I'm sitting here, with a heavy heart, wondering how to finish this post. Maybe I should just say "good night."

Good night!

26 November 2010

When The Time Comes

I can’t remember what blog I found this on – but I thought it was a great idea! I want to post my WTTC list, too (whoever you were, I fully admit I used some of your ideas!).
  • ·         WTTC, I will be happy at my doctor’s office when he talks about my perfect test results.
  • ·         WTTC, I will happily release my blood pressure, cholesterol, and diabetic medication.
  • ·         WTTC, I will walk into Lane Bryant – and nothing will fit!
  • ·         WTTC, I will run/walk a 5K – and not come in last!
  • ·         WTTC, I will entertain more and not be exhausted at the end of the day.
  • ·         WTTC, I will eat what I want because I choose to eat it, and not because of some compulsion to stuff crap in my mouth.
  • ·         WTTC, I will strut my stuff in front of all the people who thought I was forever-fat.
  • ·         WTTC, I will enjoy sex again with my Darling Husband!
  • ·         WTTC, I will try rock climbing and ice skating.
  • ·         WTTC, I will be more public about having a lap-band.

So, what will you do when the time comes?

It WAS Awful!

To those of you who speculated that it would be awful to have Thanksgiving dinner, and not be able to eat: You were absolutely right! After three days of cooking -- hours spent in the kitchen -- I didn't enjoy one single bite. Oh, I had a few nibbles as I was preparing dinner, and for a few minutes, I enjoyed the appetizers (a cheese ball, crackers and mixed nuts), but as soon as I sat down to dinner, I was DOOMED! On a conservative estimate, I bet I was up six or seven times during the meal. Not because I kept eating (although I admit that I did at first), but because that damned food just wasn't staying down.

I learned several valuable lessons, though. I don't generally drink with meals, but I learned that (for me anyway) it's paramount that I don't. Not even thinking, I poured myself a glass of water with the meal. Big mistake! And the cup of coffee I thought I'd enjoy with dessert (My first since being banded, actually). "Enjoy" isn't the word I'd use. I finally just poured it down the sink while I was doing dishes.Actually, I think I should stop drinking at least 15 minutes before my meal. I'll have to try that and see if that helps. I really suspect it will.

I'm going to give myself through the week-end to see how things are going (today's lunch mostly stayed down). Monday, if it's not going so well, I'm going to call for an appointment for a slight unfill. If I'm still having problems on Monday, I'm also going to ask for an evaluation for a slipped band. I've been throwing up enough for that to be a concern, especially after yesterday. Yesterday was awful ...

Hope all of you had a wonderful holiday, if you celebrate. For those of you who don't -- I hope you had a wonderful day!

25 November 2010

So Much To Be Thankful For ...

Taking a cue from Simple, Sassy Sarah, I decided to do an appreciation list. Thanks, Sarah, for the idea and motivation.

This year I am so appreciative of:

  • Health -- Mine, my husband's, my in-laws, the rest of my family and my friends.
  • Emerging into my life as an artist.
  • The generosity of my family.
  • My delightful, creative, funny, loving husband. Need I say more?
  • Our beautiful, spacious home. I feel so comfortable here.
  • Great landlords. They make renting easy-peasy.
  • My wonderful, supportive friends. You keep me going.
  • All of my family, but especially my sister. We've gotten closer since our parents each made their transitions, and I'm particularly thankful for that. She also helped make the band a reality for me (as did my in-laws).
  • Our adorable, loving, joy-bringing cats. Through the years, the cats have helped our marriage become a family, since we have no children.
  • All of you all! I really appreciate the encouragement, support and camaraderie of this community.
  • I have an absolutely amazing surgeon, and he has a great staff. I'm really thankful for them, especially when I read some of your stories!
  • Last, but not least, my band (I've decided to name her Lola). I haven't had the success I had hoped for -- and fills seriously kick my ass -- but I can truly see how this is going to revolutionize my life. With just two fills, I already have glimpses of my Sweet Spot. I am losing weight pretty effortlessly, and I love that.  
So, what are you thankful for today?

24 November 2010

Happy Thanksgiving!

I have a  break from the holiday preparations, and I thought I'd spend it with you! To all my American friends, I hope you have a wonderful holiday. To all my non-American friends, I hope you have a great day tomorrow, too. Take a few minutes, wherever you are, to be appreciative of all the blessings in your life.

I, for one, am very appreciative of all of you. It's great to have a place where I can talk about the band -- in all its grossness, sometimes -- and hear about the adventures of others. It helps keep me on course, motivated and enthusiastic. So, thank you!

I'm going to take a few minutes to read a couple of blogs, then I'm back to work!

23 November 2010

A Course in Weight Loss: Initial Reactions

To be blunt -- I'm not sure I'm going to like it! I got the book today and I've read the first 28 (out of 249) pages and have done the exercise/journaling for Chapter One. Enough to have a first impression, but not enough to make a firm judgment. 

The main thing that I don't like about it is it's religious tone. Yes, I know its subtitle is 21 Spiritual Lessons For Surrendering Your Weight Forever and I don't mind the spiritual nature of the book at all. In fact, that's part of what attracted me to it. What I don't like -- and I don't blame the book or the author for this -- is that it's written from a religious perspective that I don't share. It talks about surrendering your power (I should have clued in from the subtitle, huh?) and praying to a God that seems to be outside of us. Not to step on anyone's toes, but I just don't roll that way. I'm a law of attraction kind of girl and this book is definitely not LOA compatible! As I read, I'm having to do a lot of "translating" from Williamson's belief system to my own, and some things just don't translate well. So far, I haven't actually rolled my eyes at anything, but there's still a lot of book to go!

I'm going to continue reading and working the exercises for a few more days and then I'll re-evaluate how well it's working for me. I'm a a little disappointed because I was hoping this would provide some measure of relief for me.

22 November 2010

Catching Up

Good morning!

I've been up for a few hours because my back is just killing me already. I've had a Vicodin, but it doesn't seem to be helping very much. So, I thought I'd try some distraction therapy. I've been going through my Blogger "Dashboard" catching up a bit. It was so good to read your blogs and hear what you all have been up to. I don't spend enough time doing that most days. I don't work outside the home and I don't have kids; I don't know how some of you have a life and blog regularly, too! I can't seem to find the time these days to blog/read as much as I'd like to. I know, it's really just a matter of priorities. I'll have to work on mine ...

I'm gearing up for Thanksgiving. It's really a small deal here at our house. My in-laws come and that's it. I'd love to have a house full, but to be honest, I think my in-laws would be a little ... overwhelmed ... if we did that. They are used to small, quiet, family holidays, with just enough food. I'm grew up with big, loud holidays teeming with food. Anyone who didn't have some place else to go came to our house for Thanksgiving dinner. Mom and I would cook for days to prepare. It really was a wonderful way to share our bounty -- even when we didn't have much, we had enough to share.

I have most of the grocery shopping done; we just need to go Tuesday and pick up the perishables. I'll start cooking this evening. I'll make the cornbread and biscuits for the dressing and bake the cake for dessert. The cake freezes for at least 24 hours and then needs to thaw, so I think my timing is right. The turkey is in the fridge thawing. I think things are on track. Hubby will help me with the housework; he's a doll that way.

I am, of course, really missing my mom right now. I'd love to talk with her about my menu and timing everything so that the food is all ready on time. I'd love to chat with her about anything, to be honest. I miss hearing about the reality TV she used to watch and what's happening in the small town I grew up in. As I said, I just miss her. I take some comfort in knowing that she was ready to go when she made her transition, but it's still painful.

Hug your loved ones and call your mom, if she's still alive. Tell her "Happy Thanksgiving" from me!

21 November 2010

Extra Help?

I've been thinking about my life with the band, and I've come to the conclusion that I need a little bit of extra help. Some times -- many times -- I'll take that "one more bite" when I know it's going to get stuck and send me to the ladies' room. Some times, I deliberately eat foods that aren't good for me. Or, I eat when I'm not hungry. Or, I drink too close to meal time. So, obviously, the problem goes deeper than just eating too much.

There's a line in one of Geneen Roth's books that says, "You can't get enough of what you didn't want in the first place." I got goosebumps when I read that for the first time, several years ago. Food isn't really what I want, therefore I can't get enough of it. Brilliant, truly.

But what do I want, that I'm letting food take the place of? I'm not completely sure. Self-love and self-acceptance, to begin with. A connection to Source Energy that is stronger and more vibrant than what I feel now. More sensuous pleasures in my life ...

A few days ago, I ran across Marianne Williamson's new book, A Course in Weight Loss, over at Amazon. Years ago, when I was involved with A Course in Miracles, I read a few of her books and liked what she had to say. I've moved on from ACIM, so I wasn't sure that I'd still be interested in what she thinks. I took advantage of the "Look Inside" feature at Amazon and skimmed the first couple of pages. Nothing stuck out as offensive to me. In fact, I really liked bits and pieces of it. So, I ordered it Friday night. I even paid extra to have it here tomorrow. I'm eager to work through it and see if it can offer me some help.

Has anyone read it or heard anything about it? I noticed that it was featured in Oprah Magazine this month; I didn't buy it because I already have the book coming. I'll let you know what I think about it after I've read it.

12 November 2010

The Weirdest Thing!

Today has been a strange day, food wise. I've been PB'ing all day -- really slimy stuff. What's weird is that I haven't eaten much today. I finally figured out what was getting stuck: My iced tea! I had a couple of crackers for breakfast to tide me over until I got around to making a shake. They stayed down just fine. I confess; I never did get around to blending that shake. I poured a big glass of iced tea instead. Almost as soon as I starting drinking it, I got stuck. At first I thought it was my morning meds, but they never came back up. I stayed stuck almost all day. When I finally suspected it was my drink, I set it aside and about half an hour later had one of Hubby's potato chips. It stayed down. So did the few Fritos I had after that. It's about time to start cooking dinner, and I haven't had a problem in over an hour, so I'm hopeful.

Unfortunately, I have really dry mouth most of the time, so not drinking all afternoon has been an uncomfortable challenge. But then, so is getting stuck!

 I've poured another iced tea and am sipping it very slowly. So far, so good! Anyone else have something like this happen to them?

10 November 2010

It's Gonna Work!

I can finally, three months after being banded, see that this is going to work for me! YAY!

Today, I had half a protein shake for breakfast at about 11AM (a little late for breakfast, I know, but I slept in this morning), and I'm just now (4:45PM) hungry again! I'm having a Yoplait Light Yogurt and I'm feeling very satisfied. In fact, I'm not sure I can comfortably eat the whole cup! No PB'ing, no stuck feeling. Dinner is in a couple of hours -- it will be interesting to see how much I can comfortably eat.

I didn't realize that I was starting to get frustrated until just now. I wasn't sure that the band was going to work for me -- or rather, that I wasn't going to be able to work the band. Oh, I know I'm not out of the woods yet and that band life is not necessarily going to be smooth sailing from here on out, but I see a glimpse of what it might be. And I like it!

07 November 2010

Blog Hopping!

I think I'm mentioned before that I have bipolar disorder. Silly me, I let myself run out of the medication that keeps my sleep patterns regulated, so I'm up in the middle of the night -- with a big day ahead of me Sunday! I've had the most delightful time, though, catching up on many of your blogs. How nice to touch base with you. For those that I haven't gotten around to, I hope all is well. I'm looking forward to checking in with you.

06 November 2010

Assorted Ramblings ...


***NOTE: I wrote this post yesterday (Friday) while I was having internet 
issues, so I was unable to upload it. Rather than re-write it to acknowledge the correct time/day, I'm just giving you a heads-up!***

So, today I had my second fill, and all seems to be going well. Another 1.5 CCs in my band. I was thrilled -- when they weighed me at the doctor's office, I had lost eight pounds since my last visit (about six weeks ago)! Considering that I spent part of my drive to the office making up excuses in my head for why I'd gained weight, that was a bit of a miracle! I'm pleased, but I'm also a little saddened by knowing how good of a loss it could have been, if only I'd been more diligent about my diet and exercise. Oh well, it is what it is; all I can do is try harder in the future.

And try harder, I will! I'm totally psyched about the upcoming weight loss challenge. I am committed to exercising regularly and eating right during the holidays. We are hosting Thanksgiving again this year, and I really don't know what to do about it. But whatever I decide, I'll eat reasonably and continue walk/jogging on a regular basis.

Oh! Did I mention that I am now below 300 pounds? I never thought I'd be excited by 298, but indeed, I am! I've lost a total of about 35 pounds since my pre-op diet and so happy because I know that this time it will stick. Sure, I may gain a pound or two here or there, but I'll never again weigh what I did when I started this process. I'm determined to make this work.

When I say I don't know what to do about the holiday, what I mean is -- I don't know how far to go with the food. I grew up in a home with amazing food at the holidays, Thanksgiving especially. We cooked for days leading up to it. Some of the fondest memories I have of my mother are holiday cooking together. I've only done Thanksgiving for two years (this will be the third), but I've tried to replicate that abundance in my own way. There are only four of us at my celebrations -- compared to sometimes 30 people at my mother's! -- so I don't prepare nearly as much food as she did, but there still has always been plenty to eat all day long. And leftovers? Oh, my, yes! Cooking for the holiday is something I truly enjoy.

But that was then -- and this is now! This will be my first Thanksgiving without my mother (even though I haven't sat at her table in years); I can't imagine not going all out, in the finest Mom-Tradition. It's a way to stay connected to her and my heritage. I don't want food to be the center of my world any longer. But I'm not sure I'm ready to give up this tie I have to my past, either. Sure, I know it's all in my head, but I also know that I am most comforted when I'm cooking. Not eating necessarily, but cooking. I miss my mom so much -- in this moment, the pain is almost unbearable -- and I want to hold fast to whatever connection I have to her.

Actually, cooking is bittersweet. Mom was an excellent cook, and she taught me well. I'm not as good as she was, but I'm not embarrassed by my skills, either. After my father made his transition, my mother and I cooked our holiday meals together, via the phone and the internet. We planned our menus, trading suggestions and recipes back-and-forth. When I had a question -- even the simplest of questions -- I'd pick up the phone and call her to ask (Ahh, the joys of unlimited long distance!). My first Thanksgiving, I must have called her half a dozen times! She was so proud of me for turning out such a lovely and delicious spread.

Now when I cook, I have no one to ask questions of, so I head off to the internet. Not nearly as emotionally fulfilling as calling my mom! Now, there's no one to help me plan my day, encourage me in my housecleaning, double check my to-do list. Can you see why I'm not ready to give up my time in the kitchen -- and the connection to my mother. However silly it may seem to some people, it's very real and comforting to me.

What do you all do with the leftovers that come after such a meal? My husband doesn't eat leftovers very well, so it's all up to me. I guess I can eat what I truly enjoy and then just throw the rest of it out. What a novel concept! I think I just found my answer ...

Thanks for listening. I often times work out my own answers if I just write about the situation long enough.

29 October 2010

I'm In!

As I was blog hopping a bit this evening, I saw several people mention the upcoming Holiday Challenge being hosted by Kristen. I need something to help keep me interested, motivated, and active, so I've decided to join! My next fill is scheduled for Friday, 05 November, so the timing is just perfect. I am really excited about this, as I think it will be just the thing to keep me on point for a few weeks. I tend to do my best when I have something external to keep me motivated and accountable. I like rewards, so I'll set myself up some non-food/non-eating rewards for participating each week. Something like that usually helps keep me involved.

So, I'm eager for Sunday, 07 November to get here! I think this will be fun and motivating -- not just for me, but for lots of us! Thanks so much to Kristen for organizing this, and good luck to everyone who will be participating!

Happy Friday!

I have another couple of art fairs in November, so I should be painting. But one of my cats is asleep on the desk in my studio, taking up precious creative real estate, so I needed to find something else to do. Besides, I miss you guys and blogging! I can't believe how lax I've been, but given how busy I am, it's probably to be expected. I'm not being very good about posting on my art blog, either, so know that it's nothing personal.

I have an evaluation scheduled for Friday, 05 November, to see if I get another fill. I'm kind of hoping for one, because I'm still struggling with eating and not losing very well. But, I had such a hard time after the last one that I'm not looking forward to it! Hopefully, because I have begun to change my eating habits (slow down, smaller bites, chewing more thoroughly), I won't have the same rough time after the next one. My band is funny -- sometimes I'm so tight that I can barely finish a yogurt, and other times, I feel no restriction and can eat like I used to. Even though the doctor's office is encouraging me to step away from the protein shakes and RTDs (they prefer you to eat your calories as opposed to drinking them for greater satisfaction), I think I'll have to go back to shakes for breakfast after another fill, as I'm most tight in the mornings.

On the exercise front, I had taken a several day break from walk/jogging because my left knee felt as though it was going to give out when I just walked across the room -- no way was I going to jog on it! We also had our first rains of the season, and then temps have gotten pretty chilly in the evenings. Hubby and I started walking again (earlier in the day) a few days ago and it feels so good! We've even been doing a bit of jogging. I've really missed it, but I am a bit surprised at how quickly I lost ground. My hips and lower back feel as though I hadn't been exercising at all these past few months!

Well, I'm off to read blogs for a bit. It will be nice to catch up with all of you.

25 October 2010

All is Well

I can't believe how long it's been since I blogged! I know I said that I was going to write a post three times a week, but I got busy preparing for my recent art/craft fair. I did okay. Not great, but I did sell a painting, so I was happy. I was really happy because it was much more of a craft fair than it was an art fair. There were only a couple of fine artists there, out of 70-some-odd booths! I have two more art fairs coming up in November -- and they are both art fairs. One I had to be juried into, so it's an honor just to be involved with that one. But, of course, I hope I do well enough to justify the committee's faith in me. This particular show is actually a fundraiser. Each year, the committee choses a local charity, and all participating artists donate 20% of their sales to that charity. I'm pleased to be participating.

So, after spending a week getting ready for the fair, I spent the next week recovering! It was a lot of fun, but it was also a lot of hard work. The subsequent fairs will be easier, for having done the first one.

On the lap band front, I'm cooping. I see the doctor's PA on Thursday, 04 November. I'm not really sure that I want another fill so soon. I'm not having any real trouble with my band anymore, but that first week after my fill was pretty rough. I don't think I threw up that much when I was bulimic (20 years ago). I didn't contact my surgeon's office, because I didn't feel as though it was a matter of my being too tight. It was simply a matter of my not learning my lessons well enough during recovery: I was eating to quickly, taking too big of bites and not chewing well. Yes, I know I should have been practicing those habits -- and I did! -- but it was so easy to eat by my old habits, since I had no restriction. I've always been one to learn something the hard way ...

08 October 2010

Happy Week-End!

I hope everyone is having a wonderful start to their week-end. I'm out of town until tomorrow night. I'm staying with my in-laws while I run some errands and take care of some business. I love them dearly and haven't seen them for a couple of weeks, so I'm happy to be here. Hubby is having some much deserved alone time -- and dealing with a cat in heat!

I'm pleased to say that my fill is working out better. Eating slowly and deliberately is the key. Of course, I knew this. It is, however, one thing to know something intellectually and another thing to experience it. I'm afraid that, because I could eat anything during Bandster Hell, that I didn't always practice healthy eating habits. I often ate just as quickly as I used to, taking just as big of bites. I've learned, this past week, that I need to eat differently. I really don't think that I'm too tight, with only 4ccs of fluid in my band. I think it's just poor eating habits on my part, but we shall see how this goes. If things aren't better by Tuesday I'll call the surgeon's office, but this couldn't be happening at a worse time. I am SUPER busy next week getting ready for an upcoming art/craft fair, but I'll do what I need to do to take care of myself, of course.

I have to confess something: Because I was on my feet all day, my knees are throbbing. I'm not walking this evening, nor did I do my dance exercises. I'll try to walk in the morning, and of course, Hubby and I will walk in the evening tomorrow and I'll get back on track then. I'm kind of disappointed that I won't be walk/jogging tonight. Whoever thought I'd feel that way about exercise? Not me!

Tomorrow, I'm going to a local art gallery to see a show that includes my work. The show ends tomorrow after the reception. I'm really looking forward to seeing the other five artists and connecting names to faces. I'm also going to run errands that will help me prepare for my art/craft fair next week-end. There is an unbelievable amount of work that goes into having a booth at these kinds of things. I never realized how much, until I signed up for my first one.

My knees are aching and my night-time meds are kicking in, so I'm off to bed. Sweet dreams, everyone, and have a GREAT week-end!

06 October 2010

Belly Dance Update: Who Am I Kidding?


I just completed Day Three of my belly dance program. Before I talk about my progress, I just want to make sure everyone knows that there is NO belly dancing going on here! I can make it through the warm-up (general stretches) just fine, but the shoulder isolations about kill me! My arms, shoulders and upper back (and my shins!) can definitely feel the workout! 

I am using a DVD, and it seems to be very well done. I've taken belly dance lessons in the past, so I think I'll be pretty comfortable once we get into it. My former teacher, however, concentrated on hip moves; I learned almost none of the isolations for other body parts.  I can do some of the shoulder isolations with no problem and others are a real challenge. My body just doesn't seem to want to move that way.

Next are ribcage isolations. I think I'll start them next Monday and add an isolation area every week thereafter until I've learned them all. That means it will be several weeks before I'm actually dancing, but it will keep me from getting too sore (and thusly, burnt out) at one time. Slow and steady progress, right?

I'm still learning to live with my fill. Yesterday was just brutal. Almost everything I ate came back up. I don't think I'm too tight; I think I have been taking too big of bites or eating too quickly. Today has been much better, and I've been eating much more consciously.

I tried to practice good eating habits before my fill, but it was hit and miss. I'd practice them when I remembered to, because there was nothing keeping me on the straight and narrow. I could eat whatever I wanted in whatever quantities I wanted when I had no restriction, so I didn't always remember to eat slowly, take small bites, chew well, etc. I think that's making it extra difficult on me right now. I should have paid more attention during my healing process. Oh well, hindsight is 20/20 vision. Blah blah blah.

04 October 2010

Happy Monday!

It's still morning in SoCal -- so, good morning to you! We are having a beautiful -- albeit windy -- day in the High Desert Region. Hubby is sitting at my sewing desk studying for an upcoming exam and I am looking at my studio/office desk, wondering how it got to be such a mess. My stuff is multiplying exponentially and it's taking over!

Since I had a fill on Thursday, I'm still eating mushies today. That works for me, although it plays havoc with my blood sugars! Our little market doesn't have any sugar free puddings that I can find (and they're out of yogurt, if you can believe that!), so I'm eating lots of oatmeal and grits.

Tomorrow, I start back to some kind of plan. The surgeon's office wants me to cut out my protein shakes/drinks and concentrate on solid food more. I understand, completely, what they are saying, but I'm hesitant to give up my protein shakes and RTDs, because they ensure that I get enough protein each day without having to count the grams in everything I eat. I bought some unflavored protein powder right after my surgery; I guess it's time to use it!

I'm making a commitment to myself (and to you) to blog on Monday, Wednesday and Friday each week. It's too easy for me to get busy and say "I'll blog later" and then put it off until the next day. And the next. And the next. In fact, that's exactly what happened to me when I disappeared. I kept telling myself that I'd blog tomorrow, and tomorrow never came.

I hope everyone is heading into a wonderful week! Mine promises to be busy, but busy keeps me out of trouble. Catch you on the flip side!

03 October 2010

A Terrible Realization ...


I just got home from walking, jogging, walk/jogging, wogging --whatever you want to call it. I can't go very far or terribly fast, but at least it's something. My goal is to work up to an hour of jog/running, but that's a long way off.

I've been walking since before my lapband surgery; I added jogging on Friday. I usually walk with my husband, but he was out of town Friday and Saturday nights, so it seemed a good time to attempt jogging. I loved it! It felt really good to push myself to do something I didn't think I could do. Even though I probably only jogged less than 50 feet total, it felt like progress. And, with my husband tonight, I jogged much more than I did the first night!

I could probably do even better but I realize I need a good sports bra. And a good sports panty! LOL! At slightly over 300 pounds, I have a bit of a saggy tummy that was flopping all around while I was jogging. I know my husband could probably hear it! At first I was embarrassed, then I decided "Fuck it! It's not like he doesn't know I'm fat." I decided not to let my self-consciousness keep me from improving myself.

Anyone have a suggestion for a good "sports panty"? I guess I'll look for some kind of firming underwear the next time I'm at Walmart.

Oh! I spent some time blog hoping this evening while I waited for Hubby to get home. I didn't make it to everyone's blog, but I enjoyed reading those that I did visit. I decided not to overwhelm myself by trying to catch up from where I last read; I just started with the posts that were showing up in my blog reader. I hope everyone is doing well. I want to thank you for not giving up on me during my absence.

30 September 2010

Upgraded Me!

I just got home from my first fill, and I feel great! The surgeon's PA usually does fills, but he had the afternoon off. Dr. Krahn did my fill himself, and I was so happy! He's got a great manner about him. In fact, I fell in love with him when I went to my first seminar.

By their calculations, I've lost about 25 pounds since my first visit. That sounds about right, but the actual number is slightly more than that, because I gained a little weight between my first visit and my pre-op diet. So let's make it almost 30. Whatever it is, I'm thrilled with it since I have had such a difficult time this past month. I've been up and down two or three pounds each week. It's been very frustrating, to say the least!

I told Dr. Krahn that I wasn't sure I even had a band; he told me a story of one of his colleagues who went to do a fill on a patient, but it turned out the patient didn't actually have a band at all! Abdominal scares, yes; a band, no. The patient had supposedly been banded in Mexico. EEK! He also told me of a patient of his that has supposedly had some long-named procedure and when Dr. Krahn followed up, it turned out that the procedure hadn't been done -- but, again, the patient had a scar! Scary stuff!

He did my fill with me standing up. Boy, was I surprised when the nurse told me about that! Did I know this? I don't think I did. Anyway, there was a little solution in the band from surgery and he filled it up to 4 ccs. When I asked how much he'd put in the band, he jokingly told me that he didn't remember! His way of making sure that I understood that the amount of solution isn't what counts, but it's effectiveness.

He had me drinking water while he gave me the fill. At one point, it seemed a little tight, so he pulled a tiny bit back out. I'm to come back in six weeks.

Oh, and I've been cleared for belly dancing! Won't that be fun exercise?!

First Fill Today

Just a quick note to let you know that I'm getting my first fill in a few hours. No eating or drinking for four hours before, so of course, I'm both hungry and thirsty! LOL! Oh well, I'll manage!

I haven't been posting for awhile for a couple of reasons. For one thing, I'm insanely busy creating art for three upcoming shows/fairs; needless to say, I'm spending more time in my studio and less time on the internet. The other reason -- and probably the more important reason -- is that I didn't feel as though I had anything to say. I'm tired of saying the same ol' things, even though they may be valid. All I do is complain about Bandster Hell!  I know it's something that almost everyone goes through, but talking about it incessantly doesn't serve me. Or would it? I don't know.

I'll let you know how my first fill went. I'm expecting it to be strictly routine.

Love you guys!

13 September 2010

Starting Over ...

I know it's not even noon yet, but today hasn't been too bad. I've decided to look at staying on my plan (what I eat and exercising) not as something I "have to" do or "should" do, but as a way of showing myself love. While it may not be fun in the moment, taking care of my body/health is a way of staying true to my higher goals. It's a way of making my life better.

I'm going back to my pre-op diet for now -- two shakes and a sensible meal. I'm going to try to bump up my exercise a bit, too. I now walk each evening. I'm hoping to add morning walks, too. I can't go very far at a time, so going twice a day seems to be the right thing to do. I'm also writing down what I eat again. I'm not counting calories or carbs, I'm just keeping track of what I eat. No judgments, just facts.

Thanks so much for all the kind words on my previous post. I'll be blog-hopping this evening, so I'll come visit you all then.

11 September 2010

Renewed Commitment

I won't bore you with tales of where I've been -- physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Suffice it to say that I'm back! I've had really crappy weigh-ins the past few weeks, which shouldn't surprise anyone (including me), and I'm expecting another crappy one on Tuesday.

This has been so much harder for me than I expected it to be. I'm still waiting for my first fill (30 Sept), so I can eat just about anything ... and I do. I've gotten stuck a few times and had a couple of PBs. It seems I can't eat rice, even though I can eat everything else (pizza, anyone?). I need to get back to some kind of plan, and write everything down (yawn) that I eat. I am exercising every day (walking each evening), and am about to kick it up to twice a day, since I can't go very far/long at a time. I'm generally feeling okay about myself, but could always feel better.

I was doing dishes this evening and I remembered reading on someone's blog (no idea whose. sorry.) about the correlation between blog posting and success. I want to be successful at this, so I'm going to make a commitment to blog at least three times a week -- Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I think it will help keep me honest and feeling as though I have some kind of accountability and support. The people who love me are doing their damnedest to be supportive, for which I'm grateful, but sometimes I need the support of people who have either been where I am or are here now. Besides, I've missed you all!

See y'all Monday!

17 August 2010

Teeny Tiny Loss!

Today was weight-in day. I lost .2 pounds. Yep, two tenths of a pound. It's small, but I'll take it! Especially since I've read on LBT about so many recent bandsters who have gained in the couple of weeks after surgery. Slow and steady, right?

I'm not surprised by my small weight loss. I have been hungrier the past week, so I am eating more. Even though I'm using "sugar free" and "no sugar added" products as often as possible, many of the things you can have on full liquids are not conducive to weight loss when that's all your're eating all day. Also, I stopped writing down what I was eating, thinking I could keep track of it in my head. BAD MOVE! I need that written record to keep me honest. So, today, I started writing things down again. And, I've let my exercise diminish the past few days. Today, no matter how busy I am, or how hot it gets, I'll find time for a walk. It may be a short one (as I'm slowly working my way up in time/distance), but it will be something!

I see my PCP this afternoon. He's been so supportive of this process. I'm eager to talk with him about my diabetes, and how to get back on track taking care of it. My surgeon's office is kind of conservative in their approach to it, because they don't want me having lows. I think I'd rather have a low once in a while and have good control the rest of the time, than have higher blood sugars, but no lows. Lows suck, but I can live with them. I'm going to ask my doc to return me to the regimen I was on before surgery, or to at least increase my insulin again. 

How is everyone else doing? I hope my lovely friends are all doing well -- and losing more weight than I am!

13 August 2010

50 Followers!

I just logged in to read a few of your blog entries before going to the gym, and I noticed that I have 50 followers! WOW! Thank you all so much. If you are following me, and I'm not following you, please leave me the URL to your blog, so I can return the favor! I love reading about everyone's efforts, triumphs, NSVs, and yes -- your struggles, too. All of it helps me to anticipate what I'm in for as I go down this weight-loss road with the band.

Thanks again -- and Happy Week-end!

BYOC!!!

Thanks to Draz for the questions! I really enjoy answering them and reading everyone else's responses, too!


1. Do you remember your last dream?

Not really. But I do remember my dream night before last.  I was back in third grade and I got called to the board to work a math problem. It was a quadratic equation! I think I actually learned those in 8th or 9th grade! What can I say? I’m a bit of a geek.

2.  Which is your favorite body part of the human body and why?

I totally loved what Draz had to say about hands! They may be my new favorite body part. Up until I read her answer, I would have said the mouth, because it can smile. I’m a sucker for a great smile.

3.  Tell me about your first kiss...

My first kiss is kind of complicated … I started talking to a DJ at the local radio station over the phone, and we got to be quite friendly.  I lied to him and told him I was 16 (he was 20; I was really only 13!), so we arranged to meet one night. I told my parents I was going for a walk late at night (yeah, right!), and he met me at a dead-end off the road I lived on.  I was a little freaked out! Not only was that my first kiss, but it was my first lots of things (no, not that!). Needless to say, we got caught by my dad.  But I’ll give the guy some credit – he wasn’t easily run off. We were together off and on throughout my teenage years, and even into my 20s. We last saw each other when I was 21. We’re still in touch occasionally.

4.  How big is your bed?

We have a queen sized bed. Our bedroom is big enough for whatever we’d want to put in there, but we bought the bed when we got our first apartment 10 years ago, and that was all we had room for. We’re getting a new bed soon, but we love sleeping so close together, so will probably continue with the queen size.

5.  Repeat question....whose blog or comment stuck with you the most this week and why?

There was a tiny snarkfest on my blog – really, hardly worth noticing. I think it prompted Grace to post about the guy who started it all. I really appreciated that post. Not that I needed anyone to stick for me – and she didn’t, really – but it helped cement my own feelings about that person and his comments (Not just to me, but to others, too). I especially appreciated the sense (again!) that I really belong to this community, because of her post.  Thanks, Grace!

09 August 2010

I've Been A Bad, BAD Girl!

I have been so hungry the past day that I have eaten whatever has been in my path! That means that I've actually eaten a few times and strayed from my "full liquid" diet.

I have to confess: I've eaten Betty Crocker mashed potatoes, refried beans, and macaroni and cheese. I have a tub of KFC's mashed potatoes awaiting me and my next hunger pangs. I have my post-op appointment tomorrow at 11:30. I am definitely going to ask about moving to mushies early!

And, I keep forgetting not to drink with my meal. That's the way I've done it for years and years, so that's my habit. I think that will take a little more work on my part.

Other than that, I am doing well. Last night, Hubby got home to his parents' house, so we drove the hour and a half to our house. We had to come back today (long story. don't ask!), so we drove the hour and a half back. I'm okay with all that riding. We have two cars at his parents' house right now; I don't know when we'll take the second card home. Riding was okay, but I know I'm not up to driving that far!

One thing I forgot to mention -- WEIGHT LOSS! I'm down  29.4 pounds since I started my pre-op diet on 13 July! I can wear jeans that I haven't been able to wear for months. They aren't really comfortable, so I may wait a few more pounds before I start wearing them, but they fit! Good thing, because my current jeans don't fit so well anymore.

Hope you all are doing okay. I have a busy week, but will try to be better about visiting your blogs and commenting. Thanks so much for all the love! You all keep me going!

08 August 2010

Begin As You Mean To End ...

I don't remember when I first heard that old adage, but it's become my byword for lap band surgery. I'm trying to develop good habits now, when they may not mean as much, so that things will (hopefully) be easier somewhere down the road.

For example, I'm not hungry, but I sometimes want to eat. I am eating three meals a day, even though I'm not particularly hungry, so that I get in some nourishment. But I find myself wanting to eat at other times, too. Mind you, I'm not hungry. I have yet to be hungry, in fact, five days out from band surgery. I'm trying not to eat just to be eating (and when I say "eat" I mean "consume full liquids"; I'm not jonesing for anything off my plan), even though I could rationalize it by saying I'm eating so little, my body probably needs another yogurt.

But you know, this is harder than I thought it would be. Eating when I wasn't hungry has always been an issue for me. Especially when I'm alone. Especially after dark. So, I'm trying to fight the urge now, at the beginning, in hopes of it being a little easier to fight when I'm on my regular diet.

That's my biggest hurdle right now. Other than that, I'm doing pretty damn good. The strips on my incisions are beginning to itch, and I have a deep heaviness in my chest that sometimes borders on pain. Hiccups are the worse! I'm not having any pain at my incisions, though. In fact, I have no idea where they are, unless I look in a mirror or raise my shirt! I can sleep on either of my sides. I haven't tried sleeping on my tummy yet, but I wasn't much of a tummy-sleeper anyway. I still get very tired, very easily; I've been up about an hour and a half, and I'm wanting to go back to bed already! I'm not having any trouble getting my fluids in, though I'm not sure I'm getting my protein in each day. I had a BM on Friday, so that's getting back to normal.

My blood sugar is out of control! I'm not happy about that. I had really good control before the surgery. The surgeon decreased the diabetes medication so much that I'm having really high blood sugars. I'm going to talk to someone about that when I have my post-op appointment on Tuesday.

Thanks again to everyone for their well-wishes. I'm trying to get back into my blog-reading/commenting habit, so I should see you on your blogs soon!

06 August 2010

BYOC Friday!!!!! ♥♪ Bring Your Own Craziness ♥♪

Here are my answers to Drazil's BYOC for this week. I love answering these questions and reading everyone else's replies. It's great getting to know everyone better.



1. This is something a bit different and comes from my lovey dove Barbara (My NEW LIFE rules). It’s called “Which one would you rather?”….

  • Tom Cruise or Tom Brady? This is actually a toughie for me! I like Cruise’s looks and screen presence, but I think he’s a bit of a nut! I’m slowly becoming a football fan (Hubby is a big football fan), so Tom Brady is becoming more attractive to me.
  • Mr. Big or Tony Little? This is easy-peasy: Mr. Big! I had a thing for Chris Noth when he was on Lawn & Order. He’s just hot!
  • Whoopi Goldberg or making whoopi? Isn’t there another option? HAHA. At my current size, sex is logistically difficult – not so spontaneous and fun anymore. But I do remember the good ole days – and I look forward to being sexually active with my husband again. 
2. I know some of us have discussed this before but I’ve been thinking and hearing it more in blog land as many of you are getting closer to goal. How do you feel about plastic surgery? What lengths would you go to in order to achieve it?

I really don’t know how I feel about this. I’m not one of those people getting close to goal, so I’m not really having to think about it. I don’t reject the idea out of hand, though. I suspect I’ll come down on the side of plastic surgery if needed.

3. What’s your favorite website?

I spend an inordinate amount of time at Amazon, so that may be my favorite website!  Actually, I have to clarify that. My favorite website is a ning site where I take art classes. Unfortunately, you can’t see much of the site without a membership.

4. What’s your best tip for having a great vacation? (Yes, this is me being selfish….getting slightly nervous about my first vacay ever in 13 DAYS!)

I don’t really have any tips either. It’s been so long since I’ve been on a vacation that I hardly remember what they are like. I’d say make your plans, but stay open to stopping at an attraction you didn’t know about – especially if you are driving!

5. Repeat question….which blog or comment stuck with you the most this week and why?

The post that stuck with me the most was AtoZ’s post about her surgery. It stuck with me because I had surgery about a week after she did. She had a pretty rough time, and it made me very aware of the potential dangers and side-effects of this surgery.

05 August 2010

Surgery Update

I woke up early this AM because of back pain, so I thought I'd write my what surgery was like post while I wait for the LorTab to kick in.

First, I woke up way too early! I got up at 4:45 because I wanted to have plenty of time to get ready, double check my hospital bag, etc. In the shower, I had to scrub with a special anti-bacterial soap provided by the hospital. I had to use that soap the night before, too. I scrubbed and shaved my legs, and generally enjoyed the feel of the warm shower, since I didn't know what the next one would be like!

I was ready, bag double checked, by 5:30, and we weren't leaving until 6:00. I could have slept an extra half an hour! But then, I would have felt rushed, so I'm glad I got up too early and could get around at my leisure. We (My in-laws took me to surgery, as Hubby is out of town) loaded into the car a few minutes early, since we were all ready.

I signed into the desk at about 6:20, and got called back to admissions by about 6:30. Just a few minutes there as I had pre-admitted, and they sent me upstairs to pre-op. I had to say a temporary good-bye to my in-laws and I went to get ready. They did all the things you'd expect -- temperature, blood sugar, weigh me (I really liked their scales!), a MRSA test. Then they gave me a gown and had me change clothes. I was on what should have been the last day of my period, so they gave me some funny disposable panties and a pad. The panties were very boxy and probably didn't fit anyone correctly -- but you know they didn't fit me well! They reviewed my medical history with me. Someone came to draw blood, and someone else started me on an IV. Everyone was so professional and good at their jobs. And, everyone made me feel comfortable and supported about what was about to happen. I was very impressed with the staff. Dr. Krahn came by to check on me and to flip through my chart. I just love that man!

Eventually, my in-laws could come back and be with me. My MIL is a former nurse, so she was very curious about all the technical aspects of what was going on. It was kind of cute to see her shift into medical-mode. Because I hadn't slept well the night before, I probably could have slept a bit before surgery if they hadn't been there, but we all wanted to be together while we could be. I am so blessed, that not only did I get a great husband, but I got great in-laws too! We all genuinely love and like each other. They are truly family to me, and not just legal family. We are all very close, especially since I've lost both my parents.

At 9:20, I said a last "good-bye" to the in-laws and someone wheeled me back to the holding area. I had to pee in a cup for a pregnancy test, which wasn't so easy since I'd been NPO since midnight! After that, I just laid around for a bit. My surgeon came through and said a breezy "hello" as he went to do the procedure before mine. I met the anesthesiologist and talked with him for a few minutes. There was a momentary scare for me, when the surgery assistant asked if I had a cardiac clearance, as I've already had a heart attack (about 10 years ago). I hadn't and I was a little bit panicky. How pissed off -- not to mention just plain old disappointed! -- would I be if surgery was cancelled because I didn't have something no one told me I needed!? But, Dude continued flipping through my chart and said all was well and he'd see me in a few minutes to take me to the OR.

Sometime after 10AM, they took me into the OR to prep me for surgery. The table was tiny! I felt like I was going to fall off of it. Surgery Assistant Dude had me spread  my arms out as though I were on a cross and he secured my arms. After a few minutes of listening to the staff chatter while they got things ready, the anesthesiologist came in and sent me to la-la land! After he gave me an injection through my IV, he told me that I'd have a funny taste/feeling in my mouth and I'd be asleep five to ten seconds later. I was asleep before I had a chance to have the funny taste/feeling! I was out almost as soon as he said that!

I started waking up around noon in recovery. No pain, no discomfort. As soon as someone noticed I was awake, she gave me a pain shot. I guess it was preemptive, because I wasn't having any feeling at all -- much less pain! Because I had no unusual feelings, I was afraid that they hadn't done the procedure for some reason, but a few minutes later a nurse came by and said "Congratulations! Everything went very well."

By 1:20, I was settled in my room. My in-laws joined me and we chattered a bit. I wasn't really ready to sleep more, so we talked about their plans for the next few days and their experience of my surgery. I eventually sent them home so that I could sleep -- and so that they could probably nap! After all, we'd all be on the go since before 6:30, and they hadn't had the sleep I'd had! I got up and went to the restroom and walked a few times before I fell asleep.

They came back at about 5PM and stayed for an hour. Then, a good friend of mine came for a bit. She brought me a beautiful purple hydrangea and a cute little box to keep treasures in. She stayed until visiting hours were over, then I started settling in for bed.

Bedtime was the worst part! Even though I was walking a lot, I wasn't passing any gas, other than burping more than usual. So, when I went to bed, I had a horrible pain just under my left breast. As long as I was sitting up or standing up, I couldn't even feel it, but as soon as I tried to lay down, the pain was excruciating. I tilted the bed as far up as it would go, and it didn't go high enough! OH NO!!! But my night nurse found a recliner somewhere and brought it into my tiny room. I slept in the recliner from about 10PM to 2:30 Wednesday morning. I woke up having to pee so badly that I was in pain! I filled the hat thing that they put in the toilet to measure output!

Then, I tried to get in the bed (instead of the chair) and that worked. I slept like a baby until the nurse came and woke me up for vitals. At about 10:30, someone took me downstairs for a barium swallow test. That went well. The barium was kind of chalky, but not too gross. Then, back to my room for more walking and vital signs. The surgeon's nurse came to visit and talked with me a bit. She looked at my wounds and showed me where my port was, because I couldn't feel it. It's just above my belly button, to the right a little bit. She went and gave her report to the surgeon, and then my regular nurse came in to tell me that as soon as they got the written report from radiology, I was good to go.

She got the report a little bit before 1:00. I called my in-laws to come get me, then we did my discharge paperwork. I was back at the in-laws house by 2:20 PM.The surgeon has taken me off of my diabetes medication (unless my blood sugar reads over 150, then I'm to take half a dose of one of the medications), and he reduced my insulin by half. WOW! That means I'm down to nine units of insulin and maybe half an Actos. This time in July, I was taking 45 mg of Actos, four 5-500 mg of Glucovance spread through the day, and 24 units of insulin at bedtime! I'm already seeing great health results, so am fully expecting that my diabetes will go into remission when I begin to lose weight. I'm hoping my blood pressure stabilizes, too.

Some miscellaneous things I didn't mention:

  • At some point, I bit my lip something awful! It's swollen and hurts! 
  • My throat hurts where I was intubated. It even hurts from the outside, as though my glands were swollen, but they're not.
  • As you might expect, my meals were pitiful. Six ounces of watered down broth (either beef or chicken), a can of lite lemonade or a bottle of Diet Snapple, and a cup of hot tea. I always drank a good bit of the hot tea, and all my lemonade/Diet Snapple (well, actually, I saved it and drank it throughout the day). I only ate a bit of my broth. For one thing, it wasn't yummy, but for another thing, I just wasn't hungry.
  • I can drink normally. 
  • I'm not having any pain at the incisions. I barely know they are there, in fact. A little pain in my left shoulder, but that's all. 
  • My blood pressure got pretty high (174/79) but when I took my pain medicine regularly, it went down a bit, even though I wasn't conscious of being in pain. I thought that was very interesting! They were giving me a different blood pressure medication than I usually take, so maybe it just wasn't as effective.
  • Less than 48 hours after surgery, and the only pain medication I'm taking is what I would have taken before the surgery -- back, hips and knee pain. I'm taking a bit more than usual because all the time I'm spending in bed is hurting my lower back.
  • For the first several hours, I was really aware of a heaviness below the lower part of my breastbone. I'm assuming that's where the surgery took place and where the band is. Now, if I really concentrate, I can kind of feel that, but mostly I'm back to normal.
  • I was on clear liquids while I was in the hospital; full liquids start today! I'm glad Fudgsicles are considered a liquid, because the No Sugar Added ones are pretty damned YUMMY!
That's all I can think of right now. I am to call my surgeon's nurse on Friday for a check-in before the week-end. Then I have my post-op appointment on Tuesday, 10 August. I don't know when my first fill will be. Probably five to six weeks after that.

Thanks again to everyone for your support, encouragement, and healing thoughts. I thought of you guys while I was in the hospital and missed you! I'm back to bed for a bit more sleep now. I'll try to check in with your blogs later.

04 August 2010

I'm Home!

I'll post the obligatory this is what surgery was like post later, but I did want to let everyone know that I've made it home and all is well! Thanks so much for the kindness and good thoughts. I'm convinced they made a difference!

02 August 2010

Taking Care Of Business ...

Just some random things before I disappear for a few days!

First of all, thanks so much to everyone for their warm thoughts and wishes. I appreciate every single one of them. I’ll try to answer comments individually in a few days, but in the meantime, I wanted you to know that you are loved! I am really moved by how inclusive, encouraging and caring everyone is.

To those of you who have already been banded, thanks so much for sharing your stories. I feel so much more prepared for this than I would have been were it not for  your openness and honesty. YOU GUYS ROCK!

I’ve got laundry going on, hoping to kill time. I have to shower tonight with special soap, and then again in the morning. I’ll be up around 4:45 to make sure I get everything done in a timely fashion and get to the hospital in time. Hubby is out of town, as most of you know. I’m okay with him not being there for the surgery – but I sure do wish he was here with me right now! He has a great sense of humor and tells a good story, so I’m sure he could help distract me.

I have had a naval ring that had to be removed today. The surgeon’s PA told me that it could be replaced as soon as I felt up to it after I got home, but Dude at the tattoo place didn’t recommend that. I’ve had a couple of minor infections recently, so the piercing needs time to heal. I asked him about having the other side of my naval pierced but Dude recommended that I get to goal first. That’s right at two years away.

I’ll be honest with you – I cried a little bit on my way back from the tattoo place. I’ve had my naval ring for almost 16 years. I got it done in Arkansas for my 30th birthday. I needed to shake things up a bit, do something that someone like me wouldn’t do. Sixteen years ago, in northwest Arkansas, a naval piercing was rare enough that I had to look for someone to do it; not all tattoo shops did piercings back then.

So, it was hard to say good-bye to my naval ring. However, I’m not terribly sentimental about stuff, so I didn’t ask to keep it since I didn’t need it. Right now, I’m kind of wishing I had it. Oh well …

Thanks again to everyone. Hope you have a great couple of days. I’ll see you on the other side!

It's Gonna Happen!!!



I just got off the phone with my surgeon's office. Check-in time is at 6:30! AM! That is exactly what I was hoping for -- that I wouldn't have to wait all day for an afternoon surgery time. That would just make me more nervous and the time would go by very slowly, I'm sure.

I have trouble sleeping before big events, trips, etc., so I'm not sure how much sleep I'll be able to get tonight. I've got a ton of papers to review and my laptop to keep me company until the appointed time, however -- and plenty of blogs to read!

I'm getting ... not really nervous ... aware, I think is the best word. Some of you who have recently been banded have had a more difficult time than I've generally heard of others having, so I'm even more aware that this is major surgery, even if it is less invasive than gastric bypass. I've never been put under before and I'm aware of the dangers. I'm not really a worrier, so I'm not dwelling on them, but they do pop into my mind every so often.

I'm also aware of something else ... I think I've mentioned before that I generally don't have the greatest follow-through. I start projects that I never finish; I make plans that never come to fruition. I'm kind of in awe of myself that I'm actually doing this! That I didn't take a few steps toward it and then lose interest. Even my mother dying hasn't stopped me, and in the past, something like that would have totally thrown me off my path. I've made a commitment to myself to see this through, all the way to the end. I may struggle and lose interest for a few days, but I'm hoping that my band will help to keep me honest and on track. I fully intend to stick with this, in a way that I haven't in a long time. I feel good, for actually doing this.

I think this is the step I've been needing to take for a long time. I know that it isn't going to be easy. And I know that I'm going to have to work and be committed to my health and my band. I know that being thinner will make my life easier in some ways, but I'll still be me; my demons aren't going to go away just because I have a band. But I'm hoping that the band and I can work together to affect more positive change in my life.

01 August 2010

Blog Award -- and Nominations!


Thank you, Grace (of Grace’s Fat Chance) for your nomination for this Versatile Blogger Award! I’m so sorry that it has taken me so long to claim it and pass it along! I’ve been busy getting ready for my surgery Tuesday! With Hubby gone out of town, everything has fallen to me.

Here are the rules for this award:

  1. Thank the person giving the award.
  2. Share seven things about yourself.
  3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.
  4. Let your nominees know about the award.


  1. Done! See above!
  2. Seven things about myself? I’m generally a pretty open book, so it’s hard to think of things that might be interesting to you.
    • I was invited to -- and a attended -- one of the Inaugural Balls hosted by the Clinton's at President Clinton's first inauguration. My older sister was my date!
    • I am the Mother/staff to The Kitties Three -- three very different, but always delightful, cats.
    • I prefer studio recordings to live recordings, so I don't generally enjoy concerts and live shows.
    • I've had my naval pierced for nearly 16 years! Sadly, it must come out for the band surgery.
    • I met my Hubby on the internet in a BBW chat room on IRC -- almost 15 years ago!
    • I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, Type I, about 16 years ago. I'm stable with medication, but I've had my moments through the years!
    • I am an artist (wow, that was hard to type!).
  3. 15 newly discovered blogs? So many of the blogs I read have already received this award, so I may not make it to 15!


Now, just to let everyone know!

30 July 2010

BYOC!!!

I've been so busy, scrambling around to get everything done before surgery and my stay at my in-laws that I forgot today was Friday and time for Draz's BYOC!


1.  What is your favorite genre of movies?  (comedy/romance/horror/action)

I love romantic comedies, but I watch a lot of action movies with Hubby.

2.  What do you order when you eat Chinese food?

My favorite Chinese is currently War Won Ton Soup and Shrimp Friend Rice -- with extra shrimp! I like all kinds of Chinese food, though. I could eat Chinese everyday!

3.  Okay no one kill me for this one - and don't answer if you don't want to BUT I just saw some preview for Dr. Phil on swingers and I wondered - what's your take on swingers.....for it, against it, do it, would never do it, etc.?

I don't really get the idea of being in a committed relationship and having sex with other people. It's not for me, but I don't judge people who can make it work. We have a friend-couple who are both swingers and it seems to work for them -- but they are both bi-sexual, so maybe that's how they make it work. I've never asked for details!

4.  Let's go back to a repeat question.  Pick one thing you'll do one next week that is for your physical/mental health.

Next week, I'll have band surgery! WOOT!

5.  Repeat question.  Which blog or comment stuck with you the most this week and why?

I have to confess: I haven't spent much time in Blogland this week, since my surgery next week was a surprise, and I've been running around getting ready for it! Hubby is out of town, so I've had to do everything myself. Even so, Leah's post about her "different personalities" really stuck with me, mostly because I could relate to parts of it!

26 July 2010

NEW Surgeon Date!!!

Hey there! This morning, I had a phone call from my surgeon's office. They want to move my surgery up ... to Tuesday, 03 August! That's right --a  week from tomorrow! Holy Crap! My husband is out of town until 08 August, but I told them YES! Now, I have to clean my house, find someone to feed the cats for almost a week, and pay some bills. I also have to work in my pre-op lab work, and my doctor is out of the office until Wednesday. So much to do, so little time!

Why, you may wonder, do I have to find someone to feed the cats for almost a week for an overnight hospital stay? I live in kind of an isolated area, so when I'm dismissed from the hospital, I'll go to my in-laws, which is about 60 miles away. We had already planned all this, for later in the month! The original plan was to stay with them until Friday and then come home, but with my hubby gone, that's all changed. I'll need to stay with them until my husband gets back in town. Even though I may be able to go home before that, technically, no one is going to let me!

Question for all of you: I'm not telling very many people about my surgery. So far, I've told eight, plus appropriate medical personal. I think I know who to ask to help out with the cats, but how do I explain my absence? We've had so much trauma in our family lately (that the neighbor is aware of) that I'm sure she'll immediately ask what's wrong. I could just tell her that I need to be out of town for the that time, but I'm betting she'll ask for details. I feel kind of funny about trusting someone enough to give them a key to my house, but not trusting them enough to tell them about the band. But I just don't want to tell her! I'm already kind of regretting telling some of the people I've told, so I'm not really comfortable telling anyone else at this point ... SIGH!

Any advice is welcome!

23 July 2010

MIA For A Few Days!

I just wanted to let everyone know that all is well. I've been MIA for a few days -- and will be for a few more -- because I've been busy trying to meet a deadline. I'm an artist, and fall is show season. This is the first year I'm participating in the shows, so I'm having to work my buns off to build inventory. Why am I working so hard in July if the shows are this fall? I have to have pictures of my work for the applications for the shows -- one of which is due on Sunday! That means between now and Sunday (and I'm busy tomorrow!), I have to have a piece that I feel is representative of a new area I'm working in. I have several pieces almost finished, but none ready to take pictures of!

I'm heading back to my studio to get more work done. Wish me luck! I'm feeling the pressure a little bit.

BYOC Friday!!!

I'm really enjoying Drazil's BYOC -- I like getting to know my fellow bloggers through her questions.


1. Let’s brag a little….what’s the best perk you’ve ever had in your job (current or past)? Any employment counts - even if you’re a stay at home mom – you have perks.

When I worked at a hotel that had a bar, I had a built-in "stomping ground". I was young and promiscuous, so that was quite a perk!

2. Do you ever lie in your blog?

No. I just don't always tell everything.

3. What do you wear to bed?

Shorts and a t-shirt, or sometimes just a t-shirt

4. Where do you go for advice?

Depends on what I need advice for. Hubby for practical matters; my BFF (Jane) for weight related issues or relationship issues.

5. Repeat question. Make someone a superstar without using a blog award. What comment or blog stuck with you the most this week and why?

I’m really liking the new blog by AtoZ, Words of Weight. I really appreciated it when she said, “I’m not looking for it to be easy. I just want it to be possible.” That kind of sums up how I'm feeling about the band.

20 July 2010

WOW!!!



Today was weigh-in day. I cannot believe what the scale said, but I'll take it. According to the same scale I wighted on last week, wearing the same type of clothes, I lost 15.6 pounds! I'm willing to consider that some/most of that might have been "water weight" -- but it's still weight! I weigh at my doctor's office this afternoon, in jeans, so that will give me a better idea of what's what.

Even though I started out great yesterday, I had some challenges. I do very well until it gets dark; then I turn into an eating machine! I'm not eating anything that's not on my diet, but I am eating more of it than is probably recommended. Even so, I'm still getting far fewer calories than when I snacked on junk food, so I guess I'm doing okay.

19 July 2010

Back On Track


I'm on Day Seven of my pre-op diet. Surgery is Tuesday, 24 August, 2010. After two planned transgressions -- and one spontaneous one! -- Hubby and I are back on track! Today has been a really good day for both of us, diet-wise (That's a phrase that just two weeks ago, I wouldn't have been able to imagine typing, "a really good day ... diet-wise"!). Tomorrow is weigh-in day and I am totally psyched (Another thing I never thought I'd type!)! I also go see my PCP tomorrow, so I'll have his weight to compare to, too.

Hubby has a business trip that will last a couple of weeks in just a few days. I'm kind of dreading him being gone. For one thing, I genuinely like my husband and enjoy his company, so I'll miss him. But, because he's been doing my pre-op diet with me, he's kind of kept me honest. No cheating in front of him means no cheating! His very presence is moral support for me. Without him at home, I'll sleep and be up at odd hours (just because I can be) and the temptation to eat in the middle of the night may hit me. So look for lots of random blog posts the next couple of weeks! I'll be needing your support and encouragement even more than normal!

16 July 2010

BYOC!

Bring Your Own Craziness!

I've decided to join in Drazil's BYOC posts. I'm really enjoying getting to know everyone a little better, and am eager to share myself with this community.

1. Because I’m going hardcore on Monday to lose my last 15 before vacation I’m curious….what’s the oddest diet you have tried? Or which ones have you tried and were any successful?

Like everyone else, I think I've tried everything (except diet pills)! The most successful were Weight Watchers and following the Geneen Roth books. I lost 40 pounds with WW and 60 with Geneen. And, after 14 or 15 years, I've just now gained back the last of what I lost with Geneen. The problem was, I lost 60 pounds, but needed to loose almost 200! In all fairness, I must disclose: Toward the end of the Geneen experiment, I was diagnosed with diabetes, so some of that loss is, no doubt, attributable to the diabetes.

2. Do you prefer baths or showers?

I prefer baths, but only barely. As someone else pointed out, at a certain size, baths just become impractical. We have a huge tube (with jets!) so that's not the problem. The problem is that I have to climb into the tub and climb back out. Very hard for someone my size with back/knee issues! So, I take showers. But can I confess something? I don't even like that. If I could get away with never taking another bath or shower, I'd probably be just fine! Unfortunatley, I like to be clean ...

3. What is your favorite breakfast food?

GRITS! Followed closely by bacon. Both are not just favorite breakfast foods, but just all-around favorites!

4. What’s your least favorite word?

Probably the c-word. But, I'm not really liking "awesome" much either these days!

5. Repeat question…make someone a Superstar for a day! Whose blog or comment spoke to you or stuck with you the most this week and why?

Don't make me choose just one! I've only been a part of the community for a short time, and I have already experienced such great enthusiasm, encouragement, and acceptance. I'm totally amazed by the quality of people I'm encountering. You guys just rock my socks off!

I Have Issues ...

This may be a long, complicated post; I tend to think best when I'm writing, and I need to think now. On the other hand, there may not be much to think about once I get into it, so it may end up being pretty short.

I'm hungry. That's issue #1. I started my pre-op diet on Tuesday, and I've done pretty well. In fact, I've been satisfied. Even my "pre-planned transgression" wasn't horrible. I went to Panera on Thursday and had a big salad and a diet drink. I'm sure with the dressing, it wasn't such a diet food, but I didn't have any bread or pastry (Will miracles never cease!). When I got home that evening, I got right back on task. I'm pretty proud of myself! I'm getting all my water in -- and then some! -- so dehydration isn't the issue.

Today, however, I've wanted to eat everything in sight! I'm travelling, and I brought exactly enough protein powder, so having an extra shake isn't really an option. So far, I haven't given in to temptation; I've eaten extra string cheese, which is an approved snack.

As I drove through Jack-in-the-Box for a diet soda (not giving those up until the last minute!), I started salivating for things I don't typically even eat from there! It wasn't really the sweets that were calling me. The egg rolls (a staple in my diet) did know my name, but so did the grilled breakfast sandwich, which I've never even been tempted to order.

Tomorrow is my second planned transgression. I'm going to San Diego to see friends who don't know about the upcoming WLS. I planned this trip before I started the pre-op diet. I decided to just let the day unfold as it will, trying to make as many healthy choices as I can. When I get home tomorrow night, I'll get right back on the program and have approved food for dinner. I was thinking I'd try to have salad again, but now I want a sweet, deep-fried fat blob for lunch tomorrow!

So, what's the deal? I'm both head-hungry and physically hungry. It doesn't help that my MIL keeps (helpfully) asking if I'm getting enough to eat! And, during my nutrition class today, I found out that my surgeon is "notorious" for opening people up, seeing their liver is too fatty, and sewing them shut! That scares the hell out of me. Put the fear of God in me! And makes me hungry! Food is how I've always dealt with my emotions -- covered them up, don't cha know? Now, I'm faced with something pretty scary for me, and no tools to really cope. I have a therapist, but I saw him yesterday, and won't see him for another two weeks. I have to deal with this on my own. I guess I'll just white-knuckle it for a few days and hope for the best.

Issue #2? I'm caught between my desire to tell everyone I see/meet about the surgery (I'm a bit excited about having a date!) and my desire to keep this private. In fact, I have only told seven people, plus appropriate health care professionals. I told one friend Thursday at lunch. She is also fairly heavy. She's being supportive. That was a big risk! Just because someone is over their ideal weight, doesn't mean they'll support surgical intervention. So far, everyone has been supportive. Even my never-weighed-an-ounce-over-her-ideal-weight older sister. Even my naturally thin FIL who watches what he eats and walks everyday.

With all that support, why not tell more people? Because I don't want to be scrutinized while I'm adjusting to the band. I don't want people to ask me how much weight I've lost (I think that's an incredibly rude question), what my goal weight is, how much weight I hope to lose. I just don't want to talk about it, especially not while I'm trying to gain my footing. Not right after surgery -- while the focus is on healing, not weight loss.

I know that someday, I'll have that attention and be faced with those questions. But, at my size, I have to lose about 40 pounds before people really start noticing and commenting. That should give me time to adjust a bit, gain some confidence, before I have to deal with my public! I'm hoping so, anyway!

#3? My oh-so-supportive sister was blog hopping the other day and ran across a blog of someone who had had the lap-band and reached goal weight. Sister couldn't remember the name of the blog, but she thought it was written by someone named Jen (Jenn?). She was struck by a post in which Jen(n) talked about how she had always imagined that her life would be different (better?) if she just lost weight. Now, she's lost weight and she's stuck with the same ol' life, with the same ol' problems. She's discovering that her weight isn't the problem -- she is (I'm really paraphrasing, here).

So, that's got me to thinking! Will that happen to me? I suspect to some extent it will, as I'll still be the main inhabitant of my own life. But I'm also hoping to see some change, some growth with this experience. I'm hoping that I'll gain some confidence, that I'll lose some self-consciousness. I'm hoping that the experience of finally DOING SOMETHING about a problem I have bitched about for years will be ... is transformative too much to ask for? I'm hoping to see that I completed this one thing (I don't have great follow through), so I can complete other things, too.

I guess I'm borrowing trouble, as my FIL would say. I'm worrying about things before they become an issue, which in and of itself is kind of weird for me, because I'm not much of a worrier in general.

So, I'm off to drink my dinner! It really felt good to just focus on these issues (there are probably others to write about another day) for a few minutes. I didn't really solve anything, but I expressed myself. That's a good first step for me.

Thanks for listening!

Surgery Date!!!

I just got home from my nutrition class and running some errands. As expected, they called us into the office one at a time to get our surgery dates ... My date is Tuesday, 24 August, 2010! I am so freaking excited! Pre-op at the doctor's office is Thursday, 19 August, at 8:30 AM. UGH! The pre-op appointment at the hospital has not been schedule yet.

After I got my surgery date, I went to the bank and got a cashier's check for the amount of my down payment, and ran it back to the office, so that's taken care of. I wanted to pay it while we had it, in case something came up and we felt like we needed the money for something else. Now, that's not even an option!

Good, good news! They weighed me at the doctor's office. My official pre-op weight is 323.5. Why is that good news? Well, when I weighed Tuesday on my scale, I was 333.8. I realize that different scales will weigh differently, so I'm not counting all of that as a loss. But some of it has to be, right? Especially since when I weighed at home, I weighed in knit shorts and t-shirt and today I had on my heaviest jeans! Now, I am so eager for Tuesday to get here, so I can weigh again on my own scales! I'm already noticing that my pants are a bit more comfortable! YAY FOR ME!

Did I mention I was excited???!!!