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!