Tuesday, December 13, 2011

8 months of working it... feelin fabulous!!

Yesterday was my 8 month bandiversary! I have to say that I have not had even one moment of regret for having made the decision to have a lap band! Not ONE!!

Today I am wearing cute jeans in a size 9 and they are fitting loosely!
Today I weigh 106 pounds less than I did at my highest weight just before my surgery.
Today I can more than keep up with my grandbabies and match their energy all day long!
Today I can share clothes with my best friend!
Today I am healthy beyond my wildest imagination!
Today I can wear bras that I bought from Victoria Secret (her secret is that if you're bigger than a 38DD you don't get to wear her stuff!!)
Today I barely remember how I used to look until I see those photos!
Today one of my grandsons 3 year old friends told me "You don't look like a grandma!"
Today I know that my goals are completely obtainable, and very well within my reach!
Today I know that I need a new driver's license photo and well.. a whole new license because mine says I weigh WAY more than I do!
Today I want to tell you that a Lap Band can help you be the you that is hiding inside beneath all those layers of weight. YOU know who you are.. now it's time to show everyone else!! Here's to better health, better self esteem, better shopping, better dating, better sex, better sleep, better choices, better LIFE!!

Today I look like this: Attached Image

Today is GOOD!! Cheering you all on from the Nebraska prairie!!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

I just had to post these like this
I hope no one is offended, but this blog IS called MY OTHER BUTT!! 

The one on the left was taken on April 11, 2011... 7 months ago.
The one on the right was taken this morning ~ November 10th, 2011. 

I'm almost embarrassed to post the original... but a picture says 1000 words eh?!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011


I love photo reflections.. I love taking photos of reflections is more like it.  I didn't take the above photo, but when I saw it, it reminded me of something that happened the other day, something that's been happening quite a bit lately, and it made me smile. 

I caught my reflection in a window two days ago, and I was so surprised.  I looked AWESOME!  Now, for whatever reason, it's so different for me catching my reflection by chance than it is looking in the mirror every day.  Don't get me wrong, when I look in the mirror now I can definitely see changes in myself.  I know I'm not physically the same person that I was 7 months ago, but I don't think I see myself honestly, because I do mostly see a bigger person than I think I am now.  But my reflections that I catch in windows, doors or unexpected mirrors still keep surprising me!!  More than once I truly didn't even realize it was me I was looking at.. well, at least it didn't register that it was me if that makes any sense at all!

I went to see my surgeon today for my 7 month check up.  I have lost 95 pounds!  The nurse whom I regularly see told me that soon I will need to sit down with the doc and set my final goal! It feels fabulous to have reached this point so much sooner than I had planned! 

My other bit of fabulous news is that I am now wearing a size 10 jeans! Can I get a HELL YEAH?!! 

No fill for me today.  The nurse warned me that I may not make it a full month though without reaching "super hunger mode" and if I do before my next appointment to call them and come right up for a little fill!  I'm still floating up here on cloud 10, and I don't plan to come back down anytime soon!  And I might just add too, that "my other butt" is making a very nice come back if I do say so myself!  It definitely needs work, but it sure is lookin good in jeans!

For those of you reading this blog who are just starting your lap band adventure, or whom are just thinking about starting it, I want you to know that if you are willing to make a few sacrifices, this tool is the best thing you can do for yourself!  If you are wondering if you can cheat your way through, the answer is yes, but why the hell would you? And last of all, attitude is EVERYTHING with this process!  You must believe you will succeed, and be ready to put forth every effort to do so! Be willing to give some things up to gain SO MUCH!!  It's worth it.. worth every last penny, worth every piece of bread you eventually won't be able to eat, worth every bottle or can of soda that you probably won't be able to drink for a good long time, and worth dealing with the head hunger for awhile.  Keep your eye on the prize!!  

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Six Months! Goooo ME!

I'm 8 days past my six month bandiversary!  I can't believe I forgot to post this.. okay, maybe I can.  I've been pretty busy enjoying life! 

So, six months out, and here's what I have going on:

I have lost 84 pounds as of this morning. 
I have dropped more than ten sizes in most of my clothing
I have shoes that are too big, rings that are too big, and clothes that I had sentimental attachments to falling off.. (yes I know.. toss 'em!)
I have a collar bone.
I brought another bone to my doctor's attention at my last fill... the nurse laughed at me and said "honey you will be finding all sorts of bones you didn't remember you had!"  This particular bone turned out to be my xiphoid process which is right in the sternum and something I don't think most people are even aware of ever.. but when it suddenly appears, it's ummm.. interesting!

I need a new driver's license photo, because my old one is almost unrecognizable as me!  Plus my weight on my license is alll wrong now!
I sleep so very well now, and I think that's because I don't snore anymore!
I'm much healthier, and I feel FABULOUS!

I actually like seeing my reflection unexpectedly when walking past a window, door or mirror and still can't believe it's me sometimes!

There's more, but you get the idea, right?  I love my emerging body.. I love not feeling like an impostor in someone else's bigger body! I love the energy that I have, and can share.  I have always loved life, but I didn't realize that it was possible to love it more, and it is. 

I have no reason to believe that by my one year bandiversary that I will be at my ideal weight or very close to it.  I hope I'm not jumping the gun on making that forecast for myself, but so far this lap band has exceeded my expectations!  I went into it expecting it to work... I was completely willing to do whatever it took to make that happen. To date, I've had very few disappointments with my band, and many huge surprises! 

If you are reading these blogs looking for encouragement and positive results, I hope I have given you that.  I wouldn't change one single thing, and if I had it to do all over again, I would in a New York minute.  It's been the best thing that's happened to my body in years, and near as I can tell, it saved my life!
The one and only tiny complaint I have that is worth mentioning is that I do believe all of my lost FAT used to keep me warmer!!  It's getting cold here on the prairie, and the new healthier me is going to need to buy a big old coat for the winter... in a much smaller size of course!  Not even a real complaint now is it?! :)

Here's to six months under my belt, and here's to the next six months of losing and winning! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Oh.. here's a couple of 6 month pics to share! I would have worn more flattering clothes if I'd have known I was going to do this blog today!!  But this is me in my fall/winter uniform hehe... love my blue jeans and sweatshirts, even if they do make me look fatter than I am.  Funny.. I used to wear them to hide all that fat!  'Scuse the messy hair too... dang I'm a hot mess!!  

Monday, September 19, 2011

5 months out!

I passed the 5 month mark and didn't have a chance to get a blog done until today.. so I'm at 5 months and 6 days!  Hmmm what's that.. around 21 weeks?  I don't know.. I kind of lost count, but what I do know is this:
I'm down 73 pounds, and I'm down more than 10 numbers in sizes! TEN NUMBERS... well, more than ten numbers actually, if you count the last pair of jeans I bought! (insert big ol grin here!)   I guess honestly, that's only 5 to 6 sizes since sizes tend to jump by 2 numbers, but I think it's absolutely amazing!!

I've been enjoying this journey so much lately, even though Ive come to the sad realization this week that eating isn't really a very pleasant experience for me anymore.   This kind of makes me sad, and extremely grateful at the very same time.  Weird, I know.  My last fill was last week, and boy is it tight right now.  But I loosen up quite a bit as I drop inches, and I know it won't last forever.  I've had to adopt some little tips and tricks to make eating easier these past few days.  My band is way tighter in the morning than in the evening.  I have to drink something hot to even be able to eat anything at all, and even liquids are a tight squeeze when I first drink them each day.  But eventually things loosen up a little, and I can eat... sort of.  I now know what it means to have to eat verrrry slowly!  I'm talking super small bites, and 5-10 minutes in between each bite right now... thus, not such a pleasant eating experience.  Everyone in my family is done WAY before I am, and it's about impossible to go out to eat anywhere and actually enjoy a meal, unless I just sit there and talk, not eat.  BUT, I still have the best luck with meat.  I can still eat steak.. not very much, but I can eat it.  Hamburger doesn't like me as much for whatever reason, and forget chicken.  I don't care how moist and tender it is, it hates me... or my band hates it, whichever way that goes.  And another surprising thing.. I absolutely can NOT eat mashed potatoes.  They get stuck every stinkin time, even if they have lots of gravy on them.  (Insert big ol sad face here!!)  I LOVE mashed potatoes.. and you would think that would be something I'd have to be leery of, since for most people mashed taters are sliders.. (they slide right on through) but not me.  Ahh well, it's a good thing probably.. if they slid right on through I'd probably eat them three times a day. 

I can't do any carbonation at all.. it feels weird and unpleasant.  I haven't drank a soda in almost 6 months, and don't miss it, however I attempted to drink an AMP energy drink today and it about choked me.  It's surely a good thing that I love water and iced tea!  I've been having issues with lemonade lately too.. not sure what's up with that.. the weirdest things seem to get "stuck" for me. 

I've reached ONEDERLAND and I couldn't be more thrilled about it!  That's my "Scale Victory",
and now for some "Non Scale Victories" for the week::
The "girls" are shrinking slowly, but surely.. my tank bras are getting too big, and that's awesome!
I can easily wear a size XL top down from a 3X and sometimes 4X.   That's progress!  If my top half would catch up with my bottom half in the downward spiral I'd be in good shape, but I'm not complaining, it's happening and I can see it. I bought some size large leggings this weekend, and they fit beautifully! I wear size 13 junior jeans, and they bag pretty bad in the butt by the end of the day. 
My shoulders are so pretty! LOL  I used to HATE my shoulders.  They looked so fat and ugly to me, and now I just love them. 
I have tons more energy than I remember having in years. I jog up and down my stairs several times a day and don't end up laying on my bed or the floor as my lungs beg for mercy!  I take up so much less space these days too.. weird... in my clothes.. in my car... on my furniture... My daughter in law pulls my pants out of the dryer now and just says "wow" every time.  There really is a huge difference.  Yeah.. things are diminishing and I just love it!  I've lost close to 40 inches over my entire body. 

My other butt is emerging too~  it's taking shape a little better.  I was thinking it was going to be on the flat side after all of this, but now I'm not so sure. It's still weird shaped, but  I'm seeing differences there almost daily.  Exercise is helping I think. 
So that's my report for now.. I'm hoping that by the time Christmas gets here I need a lot of new clothes!!  I already do, actually, but I'm hoping I need a lot of new smalllllller clothes!  I'm getting greedy now aren't I?  I can't help it, I'm seeing this weight melt away, and I have so much hope now that it's not going to take forever to get to my ideal weight.  I was willing to settle for 20 or 30 pounds over the "ideal" when I first started... but not anymore! I now know I can do this!  And that's such a wonderful, empowering feeling!

Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Somewhere just over 130 days into my journey I am down a little over 60 pounds, more inches than I have counted in awhile, about 4 pants sizes, and at least 2 top sizes.  There's the overview!  My band is working exactly how it's supposed to still!  I can't help but be impressed by that! 

I don't have tons of stuff to write today, so I think I will just let a photo speak for me.
You can see my BEFORE photos on this blog under the "photos" tab.  And this, is me taken on Saturday morning... just a progress photo.  Still got a long way to go, but I love seeing changes! :)

 And that's all I've got today!

The journey so far has been so much more than worth it!  Thanks for stopping by! 

Thursday, August 11, 2011

4 months

4 months after lap band surgery, and life is GOOD.  Actually, life is better than good!  But I've been so bad!  I have every excuse in the book, (I'll just say that up front!)  But I haven't been to the gym in almost three weeks!  STILL I have managed to continue losing weight, and eating great, and I'm thinking that when "fill day" comes next week I probably won't be needing one.  But I do have a week to go, so maybe I shouldn't be so sure. 

At any rate.. I have a lot of wonderful news to share this week.. I'll try not to let this get too long.
First off the list.. my son's wedding was FABULOUS!  Lots of work, lots of company, lots of craziness, but worth every second!  I had the privilege of photographing the event, and I'm so grateful for that!  It was definitely a different perspective... I could have opted to sit it out and watch from a normal 'mother of the groom' perspective, but I had a lot of fun where I'm most comfortable: behind the lens!

Second off the list:  I completed "Lab Rat Days" in Denver yesterday with excellent reports! I got away from there with my "medication free" status in tact, but possibly not for long.  I did have a Defibrillator interrogation today and I might be looking at some kind of anti-arrhythmia medication later this month, but nothing is certain..  I will update on that later. 

I'm continuing to fill up bags with "too big" items, and that's still as fun as it was from the first pair of pants that went in! I'll admit that's not very motivating as far as getting me to the gym. I think it would be easier if I stopped losing weight while I was thinking up excuses not to go!!  I will go back tomorrow.. I'm sure of it.  (Laughing outloud!)  I really am ready to return.  Gosh it's easy to stay away though, and I just don't know if I will ever be one of those people who gets addicted to exercise.. I won't hold my breath waiting for it, that's a promise!  I did promise myself that once the wedding was done, and all of my company left I'd get back into my routine, and I can't be breaking that promise now can I?  

Last big news... "HOUSTON, WE HAVE A COLLARBONE!"  
Yep.. it's there.. just as I suspected! (Laughing out loud again!) I've  been waiting for it to show.. I missed it!
I'm weird.. I know it!  Okay, perhaps I didn't miss it.  Honestly, I didn't even realize it was missing until someone else discovered theirs after losing a lot of weight!   But once I realized it was hiding, I was pretty excited to see mine again!  And today, I can see it!  Sweet huh?! 

Thanks for stopping by!


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

15 Weeks of Lap Band Love

Happy July 26th!  It has to be a holiday somewhere doesn't it?  Maybe I should just say Happy Day 105~ that's how long it's been since I got my lap band.  15 weeks!  

I really don't have too much of anything new to report this week.  My last fill is still doing it's thing.. I'm eating two meals a day, and for the past week the meals haven't been very big.  But I'm satisfied, and staying full until it's time for the next meal.  I still have no desire to graze or eat between meals, and I am so grateful for that.  Sometimes my band feels so tight that even liquid takes its sweet time going through, but that's never been an all day thing for me.  It's usually in the mornings and evenings, and I can still drink just fine, but the first few swallows remind me that my band is still there.  I feel hungriest at lunch because I don't normally eat breakfast anymore.  Firstly, I'm not hungry for a few hours after I wake up, and secondly, if I were to eat it wouldn't be much.. my band is tightest in the mornings, at least that's how it feels.  By 11 am I am super hungry though, and have found that I can eat lunch, but not a lot.  My lunches have been my smallest meal.  By dinner time (at least 6 hours later) I'm hungry again, but a small portion of food satisfies and fills me up!  

Do I dare hope that this will last?  Could I have found a sweet spot already?  I guess only time will tell.  I'm scheduled for another fill in August, but I'm truly hoping that I won't need it.  Weight loss at this point is slower. I'm dropping 3 to 4 pounds a week on average and that makes me very happy! Just enough to see a little loss every few days.. and as long as the numbers are going down I have a big smile on my face! Still no Pepsi or any other type of soda for me, but I have occasionally drank a wine cooler or beer with no difficulty or adverse reaction to the carbonation.  I technically could drink a soda now I guess, but I DON'T MISS IT anymore! Yay me!! 

Ya know, initially I was kind of dreading the holidays this year.  I was nervous about how much food I would want to eat, and how that would all play out since typically the holidays have been gorge fests for me.  I was thinking about it the other day though, and I'm not nervous about it at all.  I can't eat that much, regardless of how much is in front of me, and in my estimation that's exactly how this band is supposed to be working.   I'm actually very excited for the holidays this year for so many reasons, not the least of which is that I will be smaller!  I love cooking around the holidays, and much of that is traditional, and I'm so looking forward to that yet.  I still love cooking even though I don't have that desire to eat as much anymore.  Tonight we're having guests for dinner and I'm doing comfort food extraordinaire! Chicken fried steak, mashed potatoes and country gravy, cheesy creamed corn and salad.  Yep! I'm eating it too, and when I'm done I will still be under my allotted calories for the day!  It's really a great feeling to know that I can still enjoy the food I love the most sometimes, and I don't have to worry about sabotaging myself.  I don't know if this will hold out forever.. but while it lasts I'm loving it! 

See ya next week ~ and thanks for stopping by! 


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fills, losses, belts, and saying goodbye to tortillas

14 weeks today, and I finally had to break down this morning and realize that I may have eaten my last burrito ever.  BOOOO!  I gave it a good try this morning. I really did, but all three little bites that I took got stuck for a few minutes on the way down, and let me tell you... that's no way to eat a burrito!  DUH! I know, I know.. I'm a very slow learner sometimes.  Since the beginning of this journey I've had issues with tortillas, but after the first difficult swallow, I could usually get them down just fine.  My last fill took care of that in short order!  Ahh well. It's a good thing I guess. 
I'll be needing new jeans again shortly ~ YAY!  Okay.. needing them and buying them are two different things right now.  So I did the next best thing, which is something I haven't done in a very long time... I bought a belt!  I LOVE my new belt!  And the new belt will last longer than the new jeans would I suspect. My new belt makes me very happy! It looks cute, and it's not an accessory at this point.. it's a necessity! 

I'm posting a photo here instead of on the photo page of this blog.  I'm wearing normal clothes rather than the workout clothes that I wore for my "before pics" that are posted under the photos tab on this blog.  It's just a full body pic, so compare as you will, but I probably need to take some more side by side photos dressed in the same type of clothes for a true comparison one of these days. My son took this for me to commemorate 90 days down and half way there! 

I love my lapband.. I can't say it enough!  It's the absolute best thing I've ever done for ME!  I feel healthier, and look better than I have in more than 27 years.  I'm on my way!  Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

90 days and half way there!

Going from month to month I've officially been banded for 3 months now!  13 weeks if I count the weeks and just over 90 days! .  At any rate.. I'm in the game further than I'd been able to imagine from the beginning and according to my doctor today, I'm doing "phenomenally well" That's good stuff to hear!

I had my third fill today and it hurt.  After the second one feeling so much better I wasn't prepared for this one at all.  A very inexperienced PA got to do the fill today, and wow.. hopefully she gets a few more under her belt before he turns her loose on me again. (insert disgusted look here!)  But, the great news is I had lost weight, not as much as the last time I went in a month ago, but I was down 5 pounds this time.  I had a two week vacation in there with no fill before I left, so I was expecting to have gained.  I'll definitely take the 5 pound loss!   I got a 1cc fill today which puts me at 5cc total.  Maybe this will be the beginning of the sweet spot era!  I am hoping!  

I realized today that I am half way to my goal!  In three months time that is AMAZING stuff!  I feel extremely empowered and motivated right now.  I'm getting a little glimpse of my other butt!  It's definitely coming out of hiding a little more every day, and it feels fabulous!  Every single day I notice little changes that make me very happy.  I wasn't prepared for that.  I don't know why. It's definitely an added bonus to this journey.  I don't really know what I thought it would be like, but not knowing exactly what to expect, I didn't allow myself to get overly excited about how fast the weight would come off, or how the inches would melt away even faster.  I certainly haven't had a moment's disappointment since day one.  I am so grateful for that.  

As far as diet goes.. I'm only eating two meals a day most days now, and that's what my doctor wants.  I have very little desire to graze or snack between meals at all anymore which pleases me to no end.  I haven't drank a Pepsi or soda of any kind since the week before my surgery, and I barely miss that at all right now which is seriously amazing to me.  It's been 90 days.. and I had hoped that is all it would take to make me able to kick that habit completely, and I believe I have.  I know I drank at least 900 calories per day of just Pepsi before my lap band, and sometimes it was more! These days I drink a lot of water, a lot of unsweetened ice tea, and an occasional glass of lemonade. 

My meals each day are less than half the size of my pre lapband meals.  Again, I'm so amazed by that!  It makes me giggle when I think about it!  I have to admit, I pretty much eat whatever I want.  I don't disallow myself anything unless I've had "stuck" issues with it.  I haven't had any bread yet since my fill today, but I suspect it will deal me fits.  I'm okay with that, because the past month I've had to be pretty careful about bread and tortillas.  They are the most likely to get stuck for me.  I still eat cheesy things, I still have sour cream on some things, although not as much as I used to.  I just don't crave it like I did.  I never crave cake, cookies, brownies etc., but then I never really did before either.  I still eat pasta, potatoes and occasionally pizza, but my portions are child sized, and I get full on them really fast.  I eat a lot more salads these days and thankfully haven't had any "stuck" episodes due to those. My latest kick has been the Strawberry Fields salad kits from the produce section of the grocery store.  200 calories per serving, and there are only two servings in the bag.  BIG servings! One bag is at least three lunches for me.  The kit has dried sweet strawberries, slivered almonds, and this delicious strawberry vinaigrette that you pour over it.  Sometimes I kick in a little feta cheese and still my calorie count is low, and they are so yummy!!  

My "head hunger" is way less than it was in the first two months.  I'm much more able to be completely satisfied eating just when I'm actually hungry right now.  I think this is due in large part to the fact that I haven't deprived myself of eating many of the things I love to eat.  Allowing myself to have those things has let me feel more in control, and because I can only eat small portions I'm not getting the horrible damaging amounts of bad stuff that I used to get.  I don't know how this would work for everyone.. it just works really well for me. And I decided from the very first week after this surgery that I was going to find, and follow what worked the best for me, and I'm convinced that is why I've been as successful as I have so far.  When something has stopped working (like bread  and tortillas) I let it go and move on.  

I have an entire close full of clothes that need to GO!  My pile of too big clothes has been growing, and yesterday I realized that almost everything in that closet is too big.  Some of it is still wearable.. I'm okay with a few baggy things, but most of it just won't work for me.  Love that!  

I'm supposed to go back in a month to see where I am.. I have high hopes and a goal.  Wish me luck!

Thanks for stopping by!

Monday, July 4, 2011

12 weeks!

Tomorrow will be 12 weeks into my banded life and I still don't have a single regret to report! I've never been more sure of my decision, and it's been many years since I've felt healthier and better about who I am! 
I just spent 11 days on the best beach vacation ever!  A girl's trip to Gulf Shores, AL was just what the proverbial doctor ordered, and I'm home tanned, relaxed, and more than a  few inches smaller than I was when I left!! How's THAT for vacation? Perfect if you ask me.  I lost a whopping total of one pound while I was gone haha!  But towards the middle of last week I noticed that my bathing suit (which I spent a lot of time in) was fitting very strangely.  It felt too big in the stomach for starters, but then I noticed that the bra cups in it were all deformed looking.  I realized that the girls had shrunk! YEEE HAW!!  There's hope on the horizon my friends!

  I admit I was a little concerned about vacation eating, especially since I didn't get a fill before I left, but I had decided that I wasn't going to stress about it.  I ate very well..  I ate normal sized portions, and had no problems with wanting to snack between meals.  I drank at least one frozen alcoholic concoction every single day while I was on that beach.. along with lots of water and lemonade.  I felt a little restriction at times which was comforting, and let me know my band was doing its job, and had a couple of "stuck" episodes that were mild, and lasted only a few minutes.  I ate LOTS of steamed shrimp! Mmmmm!  I miss that yummy steamed shrimp.. the kind you can get on the Nebraska prairie just doesn't compare.  

One highlight of my trip that I must share ~~ I PARASAILED!!  Oh yeah! I stepped right outside of my comfort zone and flew high above the Gulf of Mexico!  I absolutely loved it and will do it again if I ever get the chance.  I felt like super woman when I was done, and I kind of still do!  

I was without a scale for the entire vacation, and that freaked me out a little..  I figured that I'd have gained a pound or two by the time I got home, even though it was pretty obvious that I'd left a few inches down in Alabama somewhere!  I was pretty happy when I stepped on that scale yesterday and realized that there was no gain, and I could still be friends with both the scale and the mirror!  

I'm happy to be home.. and while I didn't use a gym even once while I was gone, I did have the sand to walk in so I got a little added exercise I guess!  It's back to the gym for me this week!  I'm also looking forward to adding a daily fruit smoothie to my diet!  Hey~ it's my healthy version of a daily frozen concoction that will remind me of the beach as I delve back into reality! Thanks Aunt Jan for introducing me to the wonderful smoothie!   My other butt is getting closer.. I can feel it!  
I hope you all have had a safe and happy Independence Day if you're in the USA~ and mostly, that you spent it with the people you love! 
That's all for this week ~ thanks for stopping by!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Ten Weeks and a day!

I'm a day late to my blog this week with no excuse other than I'm getting ready to roll on out to sugar sands and celebrate life week starting tomorrow!

I had a doctor's appointment last week for what was to be my third fill.  Weighed in, lost 8 pounds since two weeks earlier for my previous fill, saw the doc for five minutes and he said he was super happy with where I was. Sweet!  No fill for me!  He asked several questions about what I'd been eating and what was happening with restriction etc., and said that I was losing "tremendously", and that I was a "model patient for the lap band!" YAY me!  I have been feeling the exact same things, but it's wonderful when your doctor concurs!

I'm down somewhere between 40 and 45 pounds! I. Am. Thrilled!!
I'm guessing I won't have much scale access over the next eleven days while I'm on vacation, so it should be interesting to see how well I do while I'm gone.  I still have really good restriction right now, so my band will be working it's magic for me and hopefully I won't have to think about it much.  I'll also be taking a vacation from the gym ~ but I'm hoping that walking the sandy beaches will partially make up for that.

On a mostly unrelated note:  Many of you know that I have a disease called Sarcoidosis.  I am under several doctor's care because of that disease, and am being watched like a hawk because of the medications that I'm taking to keep the disease at bay.  I was recently taken off of those medications until my check up in August, and have been doing extremely well, which I feel is due in some part to my weight loss.  I feel amazing, and for the first time ever I am actually looking forward to my doctor's appointments in Denver this coming August.  The weight loss won't cure the disease, I know that.  But it's certainly helping with many of the symptoms of the disease, and to me that makes the entire ordeal beyond worth going through.

But I digress.. This disease has killed four people that I have had the pleasure of getting to know over the past three years, and just yesterday I learned of the death of another Sarkie brother.  I just wanted to ask you to please send up a prayer, if you pray, for the family of my friend.  Sarcoidosis doesn't get the press that cancer gets, so it's a misunderstood and mysterious disease and sometimes the only way to spread awareness is to talk about it.  So I'm talking.  Sarcoidosis is ugly, and scary, and I hate that it has taken another friend from me.

Okay.. I will try to check in from the beach!! If I don't, I'll catch you all when I get back! Thanks for the support, the prayers, and as always thanks for stopping by!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Life Rocks!

It's been 9 weeks since my surgery!  So many positive changes have taken place in my life in those short nine weeks and life is gooood!

In two days I will have my third fill.  I feel like I'm in a fairly good place right now with eating.. but I'm not opposed to having a little more restriction and letting this band do it's thing!  After this next fill I should be pretty tight when I am at the beach the following week!  I think that will be a very good thing! 

I weighed in at the gym this morning.  I had set a goal three weeks ago to lose ten pounds this month, and at weigh-in I was down 8!  I still have a week to drop those 2 pounds, and I'm pretty sure I will do it.  Because I haven't really known exactly what to expect as far as weight loss, that goal was the first and only concrete one I've set for myself so far. It feels awesome to be on track to meet it~ and now I'm thinking that this is the best way for me to navigate my way through this journey.. very small goals and one at a time.

I had a chance to shop a little bit at TJ Maxx on Saturday.  I found a pair of Levis that were sooo cute!  I looked them over.. stuck them in my cart.. pulled them out.. looked them over again, and said "what the heck, I'll try them on"  They were a junior size 15.  I swore I wasn't going to buy anything new for quite awhile... knowing that I'd keep losing weight and inches, and they would be too big in time.  But gosh they were cute.. and they were cheap.  So... I tried them on, and they fit!  Oh. My. GOD!  I had to have them.  So I bought them along with a couple of scarf/cover-up thingies that I can wear over my swimsuit at the beach.   I wore the jeans to work today because... well, duh.. they're new, and I've gotta say it.. they look awesome!   I hadn't even thought about how much fun it was going to be to slowly melt away.  So let me say it now.. if you're thinking about having surgery, or are in the very first few weeks and you haven't thought about that either.. just know ~  it's SO MUCH FUN!!  And I know it's going to just keep getting better!

I'm enjoying having enough energy to play with my grand kids!  We had so much fun in the mountains at a Go Kart park over the weekend.  Losing weight has given me energy and along with it more desire to play!  I'm starting to remember how much fun being active can be.  My health played a huge part (especially in the past 2 years) in me not being able to do as much as I used to.  I've always loved to dance, but when you feel like crap it's hard to remember how much fun that is. Losing weight has already had a pretty big effect on my health, and I feel so good these days that I'm almost afraid to say it out loud!

Leaving for my beach trip in 9 days and yep, I'll say it again ~ Life is GOOD! 
Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

2 months already!

Time flies when you're having fun they say! It's true! I have to say that this lap band journey has been a whole lot of fun so far.  It's exciting to wake up in the morning and know that I probably weigh a little less than I did the day before.  It's even more exciting to get dressed every day and spend a few  minutes looking at the way my choice of clothes fit me differently than the last time I put them on!  It wasn't all that long ago when I had the exact opposite problem.  It was very depressing to get dressed each day and try not to think about the fact that my choice of clothing that day looked like crap because it was too tight, or didn't fit at all.  I am so very grateful to watch the pendulum swinging the other way now.  I look forward to every change, every pound lost, every piece of clothing tossed in the "too big" pile, and every comment about the way I look.  I feel SO good! 

I realized yesterday that I actually have a lap!  Ridiculous you say?  Well let me tell you, for a very long time I didn't even realize that there was a nice long space between my knees and my gut when I sat in a chair!  It's true!  But it's there, and I can see it and I like it! My stomach is definitely shrinking.  All of my shirts show it, and now that I can see it going away I am more motivated than ever to keep working on it at the gym.  Not so very long ago my stomach and my "girls" seemed to be reaching for some invisible finish line that was out in front of me somewhere. For the past few years they were tied it seems.. I bet I could have stuck a yard stick in front of me and they would have both touched it evenly!! But today I can happily say the gut has given up the race and retreated! Yeee Haww! 

Still feeling good restriction from my last fill.. maybe a little less than last week, and I'm sure with the next fill I will be searching for food that keeps me very honest in my diet.  For now I can still eat what I want albeit very slowly.  I'm eating less than ever, but still.. carbs just aren't a great thing to put in my body and I know it. Another fill at this point would keep me from eating bread in any form I believe.  I love and hate that all at the same time! 

I'm going shopping this weekend for a swimsuit coverup that I can take to the beach with me.   I should probably try on my swimming suit before I go now that I think about it.. I can't say I won't grin from ear to ear if it doesn't fit and I have to buy a new one!  Two weeks from tomorrow and I'm Gulf Shores bound!  I'm not worried in the least about overeating on vacation.. I was a month ago, but today I feel like I have a pretty solid handle on living with this band.  It's the perfect tool for me and I'm having so much fun losing weight that I don't want to screw it up!

I'm not hungry between meals at all and this is a miracle!  This doesn't mean that I don't want to snack if there is something right in front of me... but I don't walk around feeling hungry AT ALL.  I love that!  And as far as that snacking goes.. It's pretty easy to distract myself most of the time.  If I crave something sweet I have a dum-dum sucker.  Less than 20 calories, and it does the trick when I can't just walk away.  But for the most part it truly isn't even an issue.  I can't stand artificial sweeteners, so eating something sugar free isn't even an option for me.  I'd rather starve.. seriously. 

Huge thanks to my friend Lisa for handing down some jeans that fit!  What a treat!  You saved me girlie!

8 weeks.. happy... less fat... more sass... loving life!
Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Seven Weeks Into My Lap Band Life!

Seven weeks and one day... and I have ZERO regrets about making the decision to get my lap band! 
I have been faithful about going to the gym and I'm already starting to see the payoff.  Not in pounds on the scale mind you, but in the way I feel, and the way I look.  I've lost a few pounds too, but I've decided that isn't nearly as much fun as losing these inches!  My lap band and Curves work quite well together, and I'm so excited about that! :)

I had fill number 2 yesterday.  I was quite pleasantly surprised that it was relatively painless compared to my first one.  I was prepared to be far more brave this week.. I wasn't about to be called a pansy now!  But it turns out that it wasn't necessary at all.  About the only thing I felt was the quick stick of the needle. I asked Nurse Dot why it was so much better this time and she said "Because you're losing weight, and next time, it will be even better!"  Apparently as the fat disappears from around the port it can do a better job of embedding.  I just LOVE disappearing fat!

  I have a good bit of restriction right now from the fill.  (Restriction, for those of you unfamiliar with lapband speak  is basically the ability to feel when you are eating too fast, or too much at a time.  There is definite tightness and sometimes pain associated with restriction.  The opening between the pouch that fills as you eat, and the rest of your stomach is smaller with each fill, and it's definitely possible to get too much restriction.. to the point that you truly can't eat much of anything without literally getting sick.  The trick is to find the "sweet spot", and that's what we're looking for.) I will go back in two weeks for fill number three... exactly one week before I leave for the beach.  I was pretty happy about that.  I look forward to cooking and eating at the beach with my girls, but knowing I have my band as a "guardian" to keep me from over-doing it is sweet peace of mind!

Yesterday three people made comments to me about my weight loss.  Exciting stuff to me.. it's fun to know that other people see it and it's not just me motivating myself with some wishful thinking!  Hearing it from other people is super motivating to me and I love it!  I need to remember that wearing clothes that allow people to actually see a change is helpful..(duh)... I've been hiding my body in huge sweatshirts  for so long that I actually got used to wearing them even in the summer sometimes.  I still find myself wanting to hide my stomach and arms.. even though both are shrinking.. and I have to say that this is one of the things I look forward to the most ~ not hiding anymore.  I'm still a sweatshirt loving girl.. probably always will be, but wearing them to hide behind and wearing them because I'm chilly shall be two very different things!

I have to admit here.. I am a little worried that "my other butt" is going to be a lot flatter than it used to be!  I don't know why I think that.. just a feeling.  It may well just be an unfounded fear. But still, I'm working out each day with that in mind.  If My Other Butt is FLAT I might scream.  Just so you know.  It didn't used to be flat.  It used to be *rockin!* If i do say so myself.. but the "girls" used to be perky and a lot smaller too...

I promise not to be obsessed about it though.. so what if I have to wear a butt pusher upper...

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Six weeks! Life is SO good!

Week one at Curves = Fantastic!  I feel so much better about what I'm doing now to help myself get to my goal!  YAY me!   It seems that the girls at my Curves have learned a lot about how to make the machines work their best magic on me!  I remember the last time I joined Curves I would leave there feeling like I hadn't even worked out.  I remember thinking.. "weird... I'm not even sore" every time!  There was good reason for that.. I wasn't doing any of it right!  But I'm here to tell you.. I'm sore! (Not heinously so though) and when I'm done every day, I feel like I've done something for ME!!  Something fabulous!

I went on a short trip last weekend to see my Grandmas!  I was a little nervous about how it all would play out for me.. seems like in the past my "little trips" always turned into diet sabotage!  I don't know what it is about traveling that makes one want to eat, but it happens for me every time! So, knowing that about myself, coupled with the fact that I would have zero access to a scale for four days (gasp!) I spent a few moments in a state of curiosity about what might happen!  I shouldn't have worried for a moment!  Turns out when you have a lap band you don't really get any hungrier just because you're in a car driving across the sandhills!  And having no scale access was a bonus!  When I got home I had lost 3 pounds (and a few ounces) and that felt pretty amazing.  It seems like I had more than my share of "stuck" episodes while I was gone though, and I'm not really sure why.  Possibly because of the different foods I was eating.. fish, chicken and hamburger (unless they all have lots of sauce or marinade of some sort) all get stuck now since last week.... which brings me to my "fill" story.

So yes, last week the day before I left for my weekend journey I got my first fill.  Okay.. I don't know exactly what I was expecting, but I didn't think there would be any pain.  I"m here to tell you.. (please excuse my brief moment of oncoming sailor speak) THAT SHIT HURT!!  I'm a pretty tough girl with a very high pain tolerance. Self proclaimed of course, but just ask my mom, she'll tell you!  Maybe it was because I wasn't expecting any more pain than a blood draw type stick, I don't know, but it hurt a LOT!  Before she injected into the port she pushed and prodded (I assume to be sure she was going to inject in the right spot, and to be sure the port was where it was supposed to be) and that may have been the worst part.. I had no idea I was still so sore internally from surgery... but how could I have known that since I don't go around pushing on the port site that way?   At any rate, once she found it I felt some relief but the stick hurt too, and then she had to "tapdance" on top of the port for a bit before the needle would go where it was supposed to.  The digging around, the pushing around and the stick itself made for some pretty unpleasant moments for me, but the good news it was all over within ten minutes and I now am the happy owner of 3cc of fluid in my lap band!  Dot told me to come back for one more in two weeks.  That was another surprise.. I didn't expect to go back for a month or so (based on other's stories) but I scheduled my next fill for June 1, and out the door I went, none the worse except for a little emotional scarring from the surprise of the pain you know?!  Hahah!  What a whiner I can be!  I was assured that the next one wouldn't hurt as bad and I chose to believe that...

I've definitely got a little restriction with this fill.  My new and improved slow eating habits need to be newer and a little more improved.  I can only imagine what it will be like after another fill in 2 week... Dot told me that they have found  for "most" of their lap band patients, the *sweet spot* is between 5 1/2 cc to 7 cc.  How awesome would it be to find that sweet spot in 2 fills?  Hey, a girl can hope! 

So, six weeks out I am 30 pounds lighter, and I will be able to give you some inch calculations by the middle of next month when I get re-measured at Curves!  My beach goal was to lose 10 more pounds by June 23rd, and enough inches that I'll be needing a new swim suit! My first 'goal jeans' are still fitting just fine at a size 16, and will hold me over for a few more inches, even if the butt does sag quite a bit by the end of the day.   My son is getting married on August 5th and I'm kind of hoping for a dress that will look adorable and be a few sizes smaller.. again, a girl can hope!   Time will tell...

30 days til beach time!!
Thanks for stopping by! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

Five weeks post op and still in the honeymoon phase!

Tomorrow will be 5 weeks and going strong for me and my lap band!  I honestly don't have one single complaint about my band yet, and can't imagine having gone another day without it!

I have my first fill this coming Wednesday.  I've gotten much advice to ponder about that little milestone, and I'm looking forward to seeing what changes it brings about.  Hopefully nothing too drastic, because the next day I'll be leaving for a few days and won't be close enough to my doctor to run back in for help if it's too tight or something goes wrong.  But I'm not anticipating anything negative, and I'm pretty excited to get "tightened up" as my brother so eloquently puts it!  Seriously!  He asked me when I go in to get tightened up the other day! It made me giggle!

I've made some strides this week in my lifestyle and I'm pretty happy about that.  I re-joined Curves this week.  I needed to have a more pleasurable work out experience, and I have known for a few weeks that this would be my next step.  I love the 30 minute work out there, and the extra personal trainer support that I get.  I haven't decided whether or not to keep my YMCA membership for the pool or not.  I haven't been using it very faithfully, and it's going to be money down the tubes if I don't.  Not sure what I'm waiting for there.. but I need to make a decision soon.

I am down 27 pounds and lots of inches in five weeks time.  I have set a goal for 10 more pounds in the next five weeks which will put me right down to my beach trip.  I'm hoping for more lost inches honestly, and I think that will be achieved regardless of what my stupid scale says.  That scale makes me want to scream sometimes, but when it gives up a pound or two it redeems itself completely.  Poor scale.  I have to wonder sometimes if the verbal assault it gets doesn't make it actually mess with my head!!

I can't wear most of my jeans now.. except for the two pre-prednisone pairs that I saved.  They're going to wear out quick if I don't get some new ones to tide me over!  But I am going to stubbornly refuse to do so for three or four more weeks... a little bit closer to beach time!  I've noticed that as far as inches go my arms are the most stubborn for giving them up.  I see the biggest changes in my stomach and hips.  Also my "girls" are not budging.  Yes, I know some of you would be happy to take them off of my chest... literally!!  And trust me, I'd be completely thrilled to give at least half of them to you!  I wasn't always huge chested.  They came along with the kids, and stuck around all these years.  You'd think I'd be good friends with them by now, but not so much!  If they don't reduce, I will be one funny looking chick when I do find my other butt!!  But that's just my humble opinion I guess.  Time will tell..   Everyone always says the "girls" are the first to go, but it's not true in my case.

I'm still craving steak, and meat in general, and not having many issues with any particular food.  I still fill up quite quickly, and can only eat a fraction of what I used to eat.  I have no problems yet with wanting to graze or eat between meals which I love!  I've learned to make a meal last about 30 minutes which was previously unheard of for me!!  I'm thinking the upcoming fill won't have to be much in order to improve the way the band is currently working, which seems to be beautifully thus far!

My apologies if my straight talk about the girls offends any of you guys who might be reading.. just one of those things I must discuss on this journey!  Let me know if you'd appreciate a warning next time! :)

Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Four Weeks Post Op!

One month out from surgery today and I feel great!  Seems like enough changes have taken place in the month for it to have been three months lol, but time has certainly flown by.

I weigh 24 pounds less, and in my mind, that's just not a lot considering that the first 17 came off in a matter of days.  I moped about that for a few days, until I realized that my body has been busy shedding inches!  I don't know about you, but I'll take inches over pounds any day.   The photo at the top of this blog represents the volume difference in muscle and fat that are the exact same weight.  It helped me to put it all into perspective! :)

As I said in a previous blog, I've been able to fit into saved pants that were way too small a month ago... and yesterday I got out the last pair of those "too small" jeans that I'd saved as my initial goal clothes and wore them to work! They were the very first pair of expensive jeans I'd bought for myself in my adult life, and I quickly outgrew them as the evil Prednisone piled on the pounds.  The last time I tried them on I couldn't get them all the way UP, so needless to say, I'm a pretty happy camper today!   When I look in the mirror I see much less belly than I did even a few days ago... not so much less butt, but I'm pretty excited to see less of anything.  Size wise, the jeans I wore at surgery time were a 22.  The pair I wore to work yesterday are 18!  BIG HUGE SMILE! :)

I've experienced several "stuck" episodes with both tortillas and meat.  I realized very quickly that this was due to eating that first bite too fast, and too big.  I'm getting much better at eating slowly, and taken twice the time to eat than anyone I've eaten with in the past week.  I crave protein.  More specifically, I crave steak.  This isn't a bad thing to crave I guess.. could get a little expensive though.  I haven't drank a carbonated beverage since 2 days before my surgery.  I can't say that I don't crave that Pepsi anymore, because at times I'd still love to feel that burn, but the feeling passes quickly, and I really don't struggle with being tempted to give in to it.  It's more a fleeting thought, and it feels great not to have to fight off now that I think about it.  I drink a lot of unsweetened ice tea and water. 

I'm officially an exercise hater.  If I ever get to the point where I can't WAIT to go to the gym I may just die of shock.   I know, that if I can get a handle on my eating, I can certainly get a handle on exercise, and I have faith that it will happen.... one of these days.  I am the queen of coming up with excuses.  Perhaps I need an eliptical trainer or treadmill next to my bed...   I do feel a little more motivated lately at the recent loss of inches, but I haven't noticed myself rushing off to the gym yet today! 

All in all it's been a really awesome month for me.  I'm shrinking!!  My other butt is getting closer, oh yeah, I can feel it!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Fabulous Friday!

I'm only writing today about a 'Non Scale Victory" that needs shared!  It was such a fabulous way to begin my Friday, and I've been excited about it all dang day!

I got up, showered and was scrounging around for something to wear... sounds like a normal day for me for sure.  It was supposed to be really nice weather today, and I definitely wanted to wear capri jeans.  I have a few pairs that fit fine.  I also have a drawer that has a few pairs that haven't fit for three years.    I decided to torture myself just a little by pulling out my favorite pair of too small capris just so I could see how close I'm getting to wearing them.  I needed some motivation.  I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, pulled them on... wait.... they went on.... all the way on... WOOT!  I opened one eye and looked at myself in the mirror.. HOT DAMN!  Okay.. they went on without any kind of struggle, but I was pretty sure they wouldn't button and zip.  Much to my great joy, they buttoned, zipped, and when I finally let my breath out (I didn't realize I was still holding it until I let it go hehehe) they fit! THEY FIT!! 

I bought those adorable Hydraulic capris three years ago right after I first got sick.  Two weeks later I started taking prednisone and gained 60 pounds in 2 months time and they haven't fit since.  I was very sad.. I love them, which is why I've kept them around all this time I guess.  They sure are cute! And they looked great today if I do say so myself!  I took those pants out the night before my surgery and decided that they were going to be my first goal.  I wanted to be able to wear them when I went to the beach in June.  I am absolutely overjoyed that they fit already!  I can tell you with utmost certainty (even though I haven't weighed myself in several days) that I haven't lost those 60 prednisone pounds.. not even close.  I haven't even lost 30 pounds yet, I know it.  But I've lost a lot of inches somehow... and I almost needed to breathe into a paperbag this morning due to hyperventilation/over-excitement!! 

Anyhoo, I had to share.  I'm motivated~~ oh so motivated!  Thank you for jumping for joy for me, because I know you are (mentally, right?) hehe! 

Just writing about it tonight I'm all giddy again!  GO ME!

Thanks for stopping by! 

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Getting the hang of this!

I'm three weeks post-op today, and I think I'm getting the hang of it.. slowly, but surely! 
I can say with utmost certainty today that I love my lap band. 

At three weeks out I am down just a smidge over 22 pounds as of two days ago.   The biggest bulk of that came off in the first week, so the rest has very slowly melted away.  But today, when I look in the mirror, I can see changes!  I thought it would take longer for that.  I've also been hearing lots of comments from people who have noticed little things as well.  Oh yes, I still have a long way to go to get to my other butt.. however, seeing small changes, and noticing a difference in my clothes is very motivational for me! 

I've had some issues with food that have been purely psychological.  For instance, when ordering food at a restaurant I still want to order a lot.  My eyes are definitely still way bigger than my stomach.  So this past week I've been working on that, and it feels good to get a grip on it.  Today my mom and I shared a sandwich, and I could only eat half of my half.  I'm learning that a huge part of my battle previously was mental.    I have issues with needing to drink when I eat.. something I've been warned against.. but I just can't shake the desire to do it.  It's what I'll probably be working on for quite awhile.  I think before, I felt that if I washed the food down I could eat more.  And truthfully that's probably what still drives my desire to drink at my meals, although the other thing I used to do is drink soda with my meals and that honestly DID produce the belches that always made a little more room for more food!  I don't drink soda anymore, so it's a little different.  I'm fully understanding how necessary it is to be psychologically sound before attempting to change your lifestyle the way mine has changed.  So much of obesity is psychological, and I was never willing to look at it that way before. 

I did get a lot of walking exercise this week, but not as much as I should have.  I sucked at exercise this week actually.  The gas pains are gone for the most part now.. and I really don't have a good excuse other than I'm tired.  The weather promises to provide some excellent walking conditions through the rest of the week and into the weekend though, so I have big plans to do it!  I NEED to swim.  Tomorrow morning my plan is to swim for 45 minutes before work. 

My doctor told me that my port site would hurt when I was losing weight.  He said its because the port is in the muscle, and as that changes due to weight loss (or something probably a little more scientific but that's close) it would hurt.  So now, whenever the port hurts (because it isn't every day) I get a big grin on my face and think to myself that I am losing.. and the scale seems to concur!  That's just a little tidbit for those of you reading this who may have the same issue from time to time.  Instead of saying "Crap that hurts!" I say "Hot damn I'm losing weight!"  hehe. 

I haven't weighed in two days.. I'm getting much better at waiting, and finding that it's much less disappointing when I don't step on that damn scale every single morning.  Again.. a psychological thing.  I will try to make it til Friday.. not promising anything!  Until then.. I'm off in search of my other butt, and I know I'm getting closer!!  Thanks for stopping by!

Friday, April 29, 2011

My favorite F word is FRIDAY! :)

TGIF! Today was hard.  Actually, today was easy, too easy, and that made it hard.  Are you confused yet?  Good! Me too!  Today I realized that it's getting easier to eat, and it's time to start being super careful about what goes in my mouth.   I knew it would happen at some point before my first fill.  Dr. Holloway even warned me.  I hoped it would be a little bit closer to my first fill date, but it's now.  Bleh!  What this means to me, is that right now it would be very easy to cheat my band.  I've always known it was definitely possible to do, but for the first two weeks my band felt so tight that I had no interest in making myself uncomfortable by eating very much at all.  It's time to be very vigilant and I'm up for the challenge.  After all, I have a beach goal to work on!  I simply HAVE to buy a new swimming suit before the last week in June.  Period. 

I also had my first "omg it's stuck" incident this morning.  One would think that an incident like that would scare me away from eating anything else for the rest of the day.. and it did make me slow down... a LOT.  It did not, however, make me overly concerned about what I needed to be eating.  That didn't happen until later this afternoon when I realized that there truly haven't been any foods that I simply can't eat right now, although obviously tortillas are going to give me a little hell since that's what got stuck this morning.  So, while I'm still not eating even close to what I used to be able to eat, it occurred to me that the quality of the food I can eat needs to be much, much better, or I'm going to find myself screwed!  Tomorrow I will start keeping a food journal, and my plan is to attempt a version of the WW points system that works out to the number of calories that I need to adhere to.  I'm also going out of town tomorrow for a quick trip to a much larger town, with much more fabulous restaurants in it where I will be tempted beyond belief to eat delicious food that can't be found at home.  Thank goodness it's only an overnight trip or I could be in trouble! 

For those of you who don't understand the whole banding concept I will tell you that it's not as easy as just getting a band put in and losing weight without trying.  It's entirely possible to "eat around the band"!  It's pretty easy to cheat if you so choose.  To make the band work for you you have to work hard.  You still have to diet, you still have to exercise, and you still need to remain extremely conscious of the quality of food that you put in your body.  In case anyone wondered, it's definitely not the easy way out.  The band is simply a tool to remind me when I've had enough, and until I get my "sweet spot" fill (which could take a few months) I will have to be pretty careful.  It's not that the band isn't already working.  It is. But I'm not feeling optimal restriction yet and I guess I'm just feeling overly cautious. 

So, that's all I've got besides the fact that my scale hasn't budged in two days and I haven't abused it yet!  That's something.. right?!  Thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Two Weeks Post Op

Two weeks!  Again, it's mostly flown by.  This week was interesting for a few reasons.  Per my doctor's instructions I advanced my diet.  This means that basically I got to try eating anything I wanted to.  I was very surprised at his recommendation to do this, because before my surgery I was told this wouldn't happen until week three, and in the hundreds of lap band stories I've read it seems that more than half of the bandsters didn't get to eat whatever they wanted to until six weeks post op.  But my doctor is a smart man!  I did quite well with his recommendation, and I've learned a LOT this week about eating.

I haven't tried steak yet.  I probably won't for a week or so, just because I've had issues with other meat.  No big issues really, but I definitely have to take my time with it and chew, chew, chew.  I have had a few things "stick" as they were on their way down... nothing to the point of getting stuck for hours though, and while it was uncomfortable, there wasn't much pain involved.  I called it a gentle reminder to slow my happy butt down, and it worked!   I've found that there are a few things that don't go down like you would think they would.  Yogurt is the prime example here.  For whatever reason, I can only eat a teaspoon or two of it, and that's it.. I don't know if it's because I only eat it in the morning, and that's when my band feels the tightest, or if it's simply going to be a "trouble food" like my good friend Tricia warned me! 

I have to say that I feel pretty great about eating after this week.  I'm able to at least try whatever I want.. and that's very happy news for me.  I've been able to partake in some of my most favorite foods this week, and I'm getting the taste that I was worried about never enjoying again, and am only able to eat a very small portion of it, which is of course very different for me, but it feels great! 

I had issues with my scale this week.  It wouldn't budge for five days straight!  My scale shows pounds, and ounces.  Even the ounces stayed the same for those five days.  I was bummed out!!  I verbally attacked the scale for at least three out of those five days, but it wouldn't budge.  Finally, yesterday morning it gave up 2.3 pounds putting me at 19.7 pounds in two weeks.  Very nice, I'll take it!

I finally made it to the gym yesterday for the first time!  I navigated my way around the circuit room and did the treadmill.  My doctor told me as soon as the steri strips came off of my incisions I'd be okay to swim, and they're off now, and looking very good.  So, I swam for only about 15 minutes.. which was hardly worth the time it took to change into my suit, but it did feel good to get in the water for a bit.  I'm going to walk this afternoon, and go back to the gym tomorrow.  I'm starting to think about doing a class at the gym as well.. I'm wondering how I'd hold up in Zumba!  It looks and sounds so fun, but I KNOW those girls get a hell of a work out!  I can see myself stumbling around in there, sweat pouring off of my body and looking like something the cat drug in by the time it's over... maybe I should re-think that...

I think I'll be okay now if my scale doesn't budge much.. losing those first 17 pounds so quickly really spoiled me.  It's really awesome to step on there and not see a GAIN if nothing else!  I haven't weighed myself today, and maybe I won't.  (who am I kidding?!)  

I do have one little NSV (non scale victory) to share..  I haven't noticed much difference in the way my clothes fit yet, even with almost 20 pounds down the tubes.  But yesterday I did accidentally put one of my smaller t-shirts in my gym bag.  When I unfolded it to put it on I thought "Oh damn it, I grabbed the wrong one"  but I was pleasantly surprised when it fit very nicely, and didn't hug those fat rolls on my belly!  Sweet!  I'm hoping for a few more of those little victories in the next few weeks! 

Countdown til the beach is... 60 days!!  Woooo Hoooo!  And actually a few days before that before my plane leaves!  Sixty days til I'm lounging on the white sugar sands of Gulf Shores.. a full week of girl time with some of the best women I know!  Right now, in this chilly, rainy spring weather in Nebraska nothing sounds more inviting than that beach for so many reasons!! 

Okay, signing off to see what week three brings~  I'll be back in-between now and then if anything exciting happens!  Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

One Week Post Op!

One week today!  Wow.. it's flown by, but I have to admit that a couple of the past few days I've felt like I've been on this journey forever! I blame the gas! :)  I had my first post op doctor's appointment this afternoon which was fabulous for many reasons.  I am 17.4 pounds down from my starting weight.  That's AWESOME news.  17 pounds in one week makes me very happy!  I can't decide if it's better to weigh myself every day, or if waiting and weighting in once per week is a better plan.  I can't seem to quit checking though.. it's exciting to wake up in the morning wondering what the scale is going to say.  I had a couple of days when my weight actually went up a pound or a little over though, and I've got to say I could definitely have gone without knowing that!  I want to try to do once a week, but I just can't see myself sticking to it :)  It's too nerve wracking not to know.

I got the staples removed today, and the incisions look great.  They are beginning to heal quite well, and along with that comes some itching.  UGH!  I hate that part.  I'm sure I look like an ape when I can't stand it anymore and give in to scratching the itch.  I don't "think" I've scratched my belly in public yet.. God I hope I haven't, but you know how it is when you just kind of automatically do things..   Ahh well.  That's a little thing right? Hee-hee!  Doc said the incisions look so good that I need only give it one more week and I can get back in the pool! Hip Hip Hooray!  I'm very excited to swim again.  Even if at first it's only in the therapy pool.. I love my water exercise.

Doc also said that I can now "advance" my diet!  Wow! That was awesome news.  I figured I'd be on pureed food for a month or more after reading some of the stories out there.  My doctor is not one of those guys who believes it's necessary though.  He said "Take it slow, eat what you want, go ahead and eat some meat just cut it up and chew, chew, chew!"  What? No more pureed lasagna and chicken broth for dinner?   Yee Haw!  I'm down with that!  He is very adamant that I get my protein from meat as much as possible.  He's not a fan of protein shakes, and I'm very happy about that.

I think I'm mostly through the gas issues I had.  I still have some pain in my shoulder in the evenings, but it's nothing compared to what it was, and I'm grateful that it's not.  I'd say that was the worst part of the surgery for me.  I'm definitely glad it's about gone.

I can't say that I notice any changes with the 17 pounds gone.  I didn't really expect to though.  Doc said that by the time I go in for my first fill (May 18th) in one month, I will notice some changes in the way I feel.. he said I would probably notice that I'm hungrier between meals, able to eat more at a time, and my weight loss will have slowed down a bunch.  He said I could expect the fill to decrease my appetite and the weight would begin to drop off again.  And that is how it will go until we find the "sweet spot" fill that keeps me feeling fuller and less hungry all the time.  Right now I do get hungry, but not really often, and I can't eat more than 1/2 cup of food before I feel absolutely stuffed.  Right now my biggest challenge is eating S-L-O-W-L-Y.  I'm horrible at it.  I have to constantly think about it while I eat.  Taking 30 minutes to eat a meal isn't easy for me.  It doesn't seem difficult I suppose, but I'm not good at it.  I'm learning though.. I can do this!

All in all I'm a happy camper, and feeling pretty good.  I do have some pain where the port was set.  He said that was completely normal, and that as I lost weight I would probably continue to feel pain there as muscle mass decreased bit by bit.  He assured me that it wouldn't last forever.  He also wrote me a lovely prescription for some liquid pain relief that I will hoard! haha!  It's better than the first stuff he gave me, and I like it! It tastes like crap though.. and I definitely won't be able to take it during the day if I want to actually accomplish something!

That's about all the update I have for now.  Thank you for all of the encouragement and inquiries about how I'm doing via email and facebook.  Your support means EVERYTHING to me!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

2 days Post Op!

I made it through surgery with no issues whatsoever! Whoop! I do believe it was a textbook banding! Left the hospital Wednesday morning around 10:30 feeling pretty tired, but otherwise okay.

Today I'm still dealing with post surgical gas! My shoulder is killing me!  I knew it was a possibility, nearly everyone I've talked to and every story I've read talks about that gas, but it still surprises me how much it actually hurts that shoulder.  And it's not the kind of gas you can pass either.. it just sort of sits there.. in my shoulder.. and taunts me!

I can't say that I've been very hungry since my surgery.  Just a little tummy grumbling last night, and again this afternoon.. so my body was telling me to feed it, but I didn't really feel that hungry.  I have entertained my kids and friends with tales of my tiny little 1oz cup servings for sure! I've survived on a little bit of broth and a little bit of orange jello.. and lots of water. Tomorrow I start my "Pour off the spoon" diet of any type of food that will - you guessed it- pour off a spoon.  Baby Addlee and I will have a grand buffet of baby fruit to choose from for breakfast in the morning!  She's pretty sure I'll be just fine for the week on Gerber deliciousness!  I've also got some soup in the line up and hopefully I'll actually have an appetite so I can attempt to enjoy it.

I've gotten plenty of sleep in the last 24 hours, and hopefully by Sunday I'll be feeling mostly normal and ready to hit the gym.  I won't be over-doing it for awhile, and unfortunately I won't be swimming for three weeks until my boo boos heal.  My grandsons like to check out the boo boos every few hours.  I'm pretty sure they're convinced I'm a superhero with my cuts and staples! I won't be telling them any different!

I stepped on the scale this morning and I'm down 7.4 pounds since surgery.  I wasn't required to do a pre-op diet other than the day of clear liquids and "special fluids!" so my losses are calculated from surgery on out.

A bit of good news and something to be looking forward to:  I booked my flight today for my beach trip at the end of June!  It's going to be a sugar sand, laugh fest of girls for a week in Gulf Shores, AL.  72 days and I'm beach bound!  Time to come up with a weight loss goal for then I'm thinkin!

That's my reality for today... thanks for stopping by!

Monday, April 11, 2011


A fairly innocuous looking bottle yes?  UGH! Not so much!
And the countdown of hours (versus days) begins!
Today is my day of clear liquids only.  I was given a list of instructions for this day which included what I could eat consume, and important things to do in preparation for my big day tomorrow.  These instructions were initially given to me over the phone by Dot.  Dot is the wonderful nurse who works for my surgeon and I am so lucky to have her on my team.  Towards the end of the instruction conversation Dot told me I would need to pick up a "special drink" from the pharmacy to drink @ 3pm the day before surgery.
Uh oh.  I knew what that meant. Magnesium Citrate.   I had a super flush coming.  She also told me that when I consumed this "special" drink, I might want to remain at home for the rest of the day and night.  Sounded special alright!

So in an effort to avoid thinking too much about how special this drink was going to be, I didn't bother buying it until this morning.  When I got it home I put it in the fridge on the advice of Tiffany (another wonderful nurse on my team) and left it to get nice and cold.  I opened the fridge several times to get juice and water out and I swear, every time I opened the door that bottle of specialness got bigger!

I tried to keep busy so while I waited out the time I wouldn't think too much about that huge bottle waiting for me... but 3 o'clock got here super fast anyway.  I poured the bottle in a glass, held it up and said "Cheers",  plugged my nose and chugged it!  I couldn't get it all down in one chug unfortunately, but 2 did the trick and I was done.  Oh. My. God.  That was one of the most disgusting things I've ever had the displeasure of drinking in all of my 46 years. 

Surprisingly enough, I was able to keep it down and now I'm just sitting here waiting on the special results!

The worst of the surgery preparation is now over for me!!  Tomorrow is the beginning of the unleashing of my other butt and I can't wait!   I know I'll feel like crap for a few days, I know I will struggle with all of the new rules and lifestyle changes, but I also know I can do this!  I'm still not scared, nervous, or suffering from any type of cold feet.  I'm ready! 

Tonight Nikki will take some "before" photos for me to get up on this blog.  Tomorrow I don't check into the hospital until noon, so if I have time I may update... probably not until after I get home from the hospital though.  Keep me in your thoughts and prayers!  I'll be baaaaack!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Here I Go!

I've been known to say "I wore my big butt today" and "I seem to have misplaced my other butt" a time or two in the past few years, so it seemed normal to me that this journal of my lap band adventure might have something to do with 'my other butt' somehow.  I don't consider myself talented in the area of thinking up great names for things, so I tend to struggle, and then end up with some simplistic version of the ideas floating around in my head. 

For anyone who doesn't know me yet, my name is Sharon, and I'm about to change my life in a big way. In five days I'm having lap band surgery.  April 12, 2011 will be my new most favorite day ever! (I never get super attached to my favorite days... they change all the time for me) This one, however, has the potential to have permanence in at least my top five!

A few things I'm most looking forward to as a result of my surgery:
*Improved health!
*Improved playtime with my grand babies!
*Fewer raised eyebrows from my doctors! (I have several doctors because I have a disease called Sarcoidosis)
*A normal sized head. (If you're fat, you know that many fatties have ridiculously small heads compared to their bodies! hehe)
*Results at the gym! (Yeah, working out sucks when you're getting nowhere for real!)
*Being exhausted at the end of the day because I played hard and worked hard rather than because I had to carry the weight of all three of my grand babies combined around on my small frame!
There's much more, but I'm starting to bore myself.  Truly, I've been thinking about all of this for so long I could probably type it in my sleep!
I'll be posting some photos very soon for anyone who's not afraid to look!  I'm TERRIFIED to do this!!  I hate looking at myself in pictures. Pictures remind me that I'm fat.  Not that my mirror isn't enough, it is, but photos are harsh!!  I don't like having the truth slap me around like that!  My ego can't take it LOL!   But my reasons for hating photos are going to be the same reasons that help me to see progress as I unleash my other butt!  The truth is in the pictures (and hopefully the new jeans I'll be forced to buy along the way!)

Thank you for joining me on my adventure! Your support will be a huge part of what helps me find My Other Butt!