Weigh-Ins are on MONDAYS - Updated July 3, 2017

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Friday, September 30, 2011

Weigh-in Day...and the results are...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 140.0 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Are You Addicted to Food?

I know for an absolute fact that I am addicted to food and have been for most of my life.  No surprise there, right?

I just found a recent addictions survey over on Obesity Help that was really eye-opening for me.  They surveyed pre-op and post-op weight loss surgery patients.  Go check it out.  There's a lot of talk about cross addictions in the survey too. One statistic that I've seen more than once is that approximately 30% of weight loss surgery patients will cross addict to another drug or behavior.

Speaking of cross addictions, let's talk about alcohol, mmmkkay?

I've never really been much of a drinker. 

Sure there were a few random crazy alcohol induced moments that I can barely remember from the college years, but other than that, my drug of choice was always food.  Hey, it's cheaper and tastes better.  Why buy one cocktail for $7 when you can get an entire half gallon of ice cream for $3?  Seriously. 

Thinking back to BOOBs 1.0 last year, I can remember that I had one, yes ONE alcoholic beverage the entire weekend.

Anywhoozle, I have noticed that in the last six to eight months or so that I am more likely to order a drink when I'm out to eat or enjoy a cocktail at friends' houses.  Even though I almost always only have only one drink, this is definitely a new phenomenon for me.  Probably a "non-issue", but it still has got me thinkin'.

Are you addicted to food?  Have you noticed any cross-addictions creeping into your life?

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

New Banded Blogger Alert!

There's a new banded blogger out there called, Chiquita.

She was banded back in June and is already 45 lbs down.  WOW!

Please stop by and say hello!  Thanks.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Are You a Tetris Bad Ass? I Need Your Help...

Did you happen to eat a entire pint of vanilla ice cream with six large chocolate chip cookies last night for dinner? 
No?  Ummm...me either.

Have you made THREE separate spreadsheets that include a packing list and two other crazy to-do checklists before you leave for Chicago? 
No? Oh, me either.

Are you debating on whether to bring five pairs of heels to Chicago?
No? Me either.

Do you feel that you will need to be the best Tetris player EVER to fit all the crap that you want to take to Chicago to fit into your teeny tiny carry-on suitcase?
No? Me either.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Control Freak, Mt Dew, and a Town Car...

How was your weekend? 

Since maintenance is BORING I don't have much to report, here are some random updates bullet style:
  • Did you know that I haven't written down what I eat for months and months?  Yep.  And I only keep track in my head randomly.  I don't do it every day.  Not keeping track is really scary to this control freak.  I wonder why I stopped?  Have you seen this recent post by Christine over at Phoenix Revolution? As a veteran bandster in maintenance, she's keeping it real and keeping herself accountable.  Do you write down what you eat?

  • I had a taste of Mt Dew this weekend.  I haven't had it for over two years now...and do you know what? It tasted even better than I remember.  But honestly, it did NOT taste good enough to give up my size 4/6 jeans.  It's not a trade off that I'm willing to make. Cookies on the other hand...

  • How many days until I get to see your beautiful smiling face in Chicago?  I treated myself to that town car airport pick up Groupon deal.  So no opportunities for El train adventures and getting lost for me.  Darn.  Those are fun.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weigh-in Day...and a Lesson Learned

First, here's the weigh-in info:

Goal Weight: 145 lbs
Today's Weight: 138.0 lbs

Second, I am almost two years post-op and I have FINALLY just learned that if I do not exercise at least four times a week, I get grouchy.  Who woulda thought?

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Good News!

First of all, thank you so much for your kind comments on yesterday's post as well as all the emails I received.  I love all the support that is offered here in the blogosphere!

Second, I got a call from my primary care doctor yesterday with results of my recent blood tests. ...and guess what? My doc used the words "excellent" and "superb" to describe all of the results (cholesterol, etc). YAY!

PS: Weigh-in day tomorrow.  We will see how this new medication and my many poor food choices this week will play out on the scale.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Non-Scale Victories Can Be Taken Away

This is a part 2 of a previous post called "I Has a Sad."

I thought that there was a special rule in the wonderful land of weight loss that once I achieved a non-scale victory (NSV), that it was mine forever and ever.  You know, no take backs.

I thought that a NSV was something to enjoy and cherish like a big blue 1st place ribbon...kinda like the sense of accomplishment I get when I get to ceremoniously put a check mark on that big to-do list of life. 

But I was wrong. 

I am officially back on high blood pressure prescription medication.  Sigh.

I can exercise five times a week.

I can choose healthy foods.

I can constantly count and keep tallies in my head of calories and protein grams eaten.

But I cannot choose my genetics.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New Blogger Alert!

My friend Robin has begun to consider the band as a possible option for her journey to a healthier life. She will be attending the surgeon's informational seminar soon.

Robin and I used to work for the same company back in the day when I was in the wine industry in California.

Please stop by Robin's blog and say hello. 

Her blog is called "A Wine Girl's Way to Thin"


Need a Winter Coat? Warmth For the Sisterhood!

I've shrunk out of my winter coats so they are up for grabs! I've recently bought myself a fun new coat (size Medium) that I can't wait to wear in Chicago.

If you would like one of these coats, please comment below in the comments with the item number and then also email me your address.  No, sorry, I don't want to bring them to Chicago.  I need all the space I can get in my carry-on suitcase.

Commercial addresses (non-residential) are preferred but not required.  Shipping costs are less for me when sending to a business/commercial address so perhaps your work address or ?

First to comment AND email me their address gets the coat.

PS: these coats are all from a home that has a cat (allergy sufferers beware).

#1. Rampage Zip up puffy black jacket, size 2X:  TAKEN ~  RUSTI ANN

#2. Black Pea Coat; Mystery Size (tag missing) -  Probably a 2X: TAKEN ~ JACKIE

#3. Black Pea Coat; Jessica London; Size: 22W Petite: TAKEN ~ LACEY

#4. Black Pea Coat; Size 2X: TAKEN ~ LISA

#5. Brown Puffy Hooded Snow Jacket, size 3X:  TAKEN ~ MARIA

Monday, September 19, 2011

Too Skinny?

I never thought that this topic would EVER come up on my blog.  Never say never I guess...

I've had five separate people (all women) tell me in the last two weeks that they are concerned about me and that I'm getting too skinny.  Yep, let's say that again...TOO SKINNY.

Words that they've used are: gaunt, not good, concerned.  Then they spin the conversation with a funny comment like "you should eat a cookie."  Ha ha...aren't we funny (note sarcasm).

These comments are coming from women that see me almost every day. I can appreciate their concern and understand that they are only looking out for me and my health.  I am glad that I have people like this in my life.

But this makes me wonder if the coin was flipped and if I was still an obese person who was getting fatter by the day.  No one in a million years would ever say to me: "Hey, we're worried about you.  You seem to be getting fatter.  You should stop stuffing your face and exercise."  Can you imagine the result of having that conversation with a fatty?  Seriously. 

I have a few select people in my life that I have instructed to speak up and tell me when/if I ever get "too skinny."  I trust their judgement and know that they will tell me like it is.  So far, they don't think that I am getting too skinny.

At 5'4", I weighed in at 136 lbs this morning, with a BMI of 23ish and body fat percent of 30ish...I am hardly wasting away.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

How Do You Know When To Stop Eating?

This is a post for the newbies.  I haven't seen any blog posts about soft stops vs hard stops lately and thought that I'd do a little PSA:

How do I know when I am satisfied and not overstuffed when eating a meal?

I listen and feel for the "soft stops."  What do I mean by a soft stop?

A soft stop is a signal that by my body and/or my band gives me to tell me that I have eaten enough and I am satisfied (not stuffed!)  I think that these soft stops can be different for each bandster.  Figuring out my soft stops when I was early in my journey was tough.  It was a trial and error thing.

For me, my SOFT stops include:

  • A sigh or deep breath
  • Runny nose
  • I lean back in my chair and to sit farther away from my plate of food.
These are my quiet little signals that I need to listen to and STOP eating.

When I was in my loosing phase, I would sit down to eat my weighed/measured portion of food and about 90% of the time, I would never get to my soft stop.  But do you know what? I was still satisfied and wouldn't get hungry for over 3-4 hours.

I REALLY depend on my soft stop signals when I eat out at restaurants or at people's houses.  This is when the portions served are usually GINORMOUS.  It's hard to judge what's an appropriate portion and it's not like I carry my food scale or a measuring cup in my purse wherever I go.

Sometimes, like last night when eating out, I totally ignored my soft stop signals.  When I ignore the soft stops, I get to experience my hard stop signals.  That's when things start getting painful.

For me, my HARD stops include:
  • Left shoulder pain
  • Stomach pain (below the band) - If you catch me rubbing my belly like Santa Claus, I have eaten way too much.
So I ask you, what are your soft soft and hard stop signals?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Weigh-in Day...and the Results are...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 137.6 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

They Still Fit!

Brrrr! The weather has started getting cooler here in Oregon and this morning I decided to wear long sleeves/pants to work.

And guess what?

My clothes from last year still fit me!

For example, today I am wearing an Ann Taylor (big surprise, right?) long sleeve size SMALL sweater from last Fall/Winter and it fits pretty much the way that it did the last time I wore it.

How different this is from previous years!  I can remember having to go buy new pants/tops every time the weather/season changed because I was too fat to fit into what was available in my closet.

I have maintained my weight loss now for nine months.  Being able to fit into the same clothes from last year with no fears of them being too tight is a huge non-scale victory for me!

PS: Does anyone else's closet look like this?  Mine does.  I have a bunch of tops that are in the Medium/Large range that are too big but I still keep them hanging in the closet.  I wonder why?  Time to purge the closet again.  I don't want any excuses or reasons to get back into those sizes.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I'm the Featured BOOB of the Day!

I just saw that I'm the BOOB of the day today!

Awwww...shucks....I am so honored and flattered by your kind words and sweet comments. I can't wait to reconnect with the BOOBs from last year and meet so many newbie BOOBs as well!

See you in 16 days!

What Advice Would You Give?

We have a new soon to be banded blogger out there folks.  Please stop by and say hello to Cheri over at Lap Band Fluxion.

Yeah, I had to google the word "fluxion."  But then I saw that Cheri's first blog post had the definition for fluxion as: the action of flowing or changing.

Cheri hopes to get a band in November or December.  She emailed me a few days ago about her concerns about being a failure with the band.

Here's an excerpt from Cheri's email (she gave me permission to put it here on the blog):

I have so much to lose and I have failed over and over and over.  I am scared I will fail at this too.  I ask myself "is it worth it?" and the answer is yes but I answer rather weakly.  I really do not like to exercise and have a VERY limited budget.  My hubby is disabled and we live on a very fixed income and spending this much money, stretches us very thin.  The thought of failing again is overwhelming.  I know it is worth it to be healthy and one of the reasons I am doing this is because hubby is not healthy and one of us needs to be.  I think I just need encouragement that I AM doing the right thing...........thanks so much for listening.


Did you have similar thoughts like hers when you were considering getting a band?

Please post your comments below.  Cheri will be reading!


PS: Here's today's funny:

What advice would you give Cheri?  

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Psssttt....Can You Keep a Secret?

Promise not to tell anyone?

OK, here's the 411.

There's been a recent and unfortunate development.

It's the "Girls" or "Ta-Tas" ....and it's not so good.

These last five pounds that I've lost seem to have all been lost from up top.  Yep, I can totally relate to Amy's recent post on how her cups runneth over (or don't).

I started my journey in VERY tight 44 DD bras.  I was delusional thinking that those bras fit correctly.  A proper professional fitting probably would have revealed that I was at least a 46 band size. and who knows what cup size.

Fast forward to two weeks ago: I was very happily rocking my 34D bras.

This week? Ummmm....where'd they go?  Did they fall off in the middle of the night?

I really don't want to buy more bras as they're kinda expensive.

So what's a girl to do?  I think that I'm going to go eat some cookies and fatten them up again.  Wish me luck!

Monday, September 12, 2011

Back in Business - Bullet Style!

  • I was a good little bandster and stuck to the 72 hours of full liquids that my nurse practitioner requires after an overfill/unfill situation.  
  • I'm officially back in the green zone.  So finally on Saturday night I was able to enjoy (and chew!) yummy dinner out at a local Italian restaurant. I ate bread! yum!
  • The scale still showed 135 lbs this morning, so my new goal RANGE: 135-145 lbs.  I think that I feel more comfortable with this range.
Here's my plan for the week:
  • Exercise! Jazzercise and Zumba classes.  Oh and some roller skating too!
  • Back on track with portion control and choosing lean solid proteins FIRST.  
  • No more Starbucks Salted Caramel Mochas for this girl.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Product Review - Odwalla Strawberry Protein Monster

I spotted the Odwalla Strawberry Protein Monster the other day at the grocery store.  It has a cute pink look to it with a little cow on the label and the nutrition facts looked promising:

  • 20 grams of protein (from soy/dairy sources; I always try to look for whey protein isolate in my shakes)
  • 240 calories
  • Tons of vitamins.
  • Unfortunately, it has a TON of sugar in it.
But the taste...oh my...the taste.  Sigh.  

It's pretty much like the taste of chewing on a multi-vitamin that isn't supposed to be chewed with a twist of Milk of Magnesia aftertaste.  Yuck.  I actually couldn't swallow it and spit it out in the sink.

There are other flavors available like vanilla, but I don't think that I'm brave enough to give it a try.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

“Not all those who wander are lost.”

As I've mentioned before, I'm a traveller.

I was shown from a very young age the love of traveling and experiencing the diverse cultures of the world.

Now as an adult, vacations are why I pinch my pennies for most of the year.  

But do you know what?  I didn't realize it at the time, but I missed out on some pretty fun stuff while traveling when I was a fatty.

I remember having to take afternoon naps in Athens, Greece.  While everyone else went out to experience the ancient Greek Gods and magnificent ruins, I stayed back at the hotel because I was tired.

I remember not climbing as far as the rest of them inside a pyramid in Egypt because I was just too hot and out of breath to continue the rest of the way up the cramped tunnel.  I didn't get to see the  tomb that was waiting for me at the end of the tunnel.  I still wonder to this day what it must have looked like in that tomb.

I remember a few months before I decided to have lap band surgery, I sat down in an airplane seat and realized that the seat belt was so tight that I would soon need a seat belt extender.  I knew in that instant that my fat would soon be even more of a barrier to what I could see and do in my life.

Fast forward to today, I am currently planning an upcoming trip in the new year to Southeast Asia.  

I know how hot and humid it can be in that part of the world.  And guess what? I know that the heat will not bother me as much now that I am much healthier.  I know that I will be able to explore ancient Indonesian temples with ease and not have to wonder where the closest place to sit down is.  Lastly, I know that I will be comfortable and fit easily in the airplane seat for that 14 hour flight.

This is just one of the reasons why I choose to fight the good fight each and every day for improved health...why I choose to exercise....why I choose to make good food choices.

Lastly, I'll leave you with some old travel photos...enjoy!

Spanish Wells, Eleuthera Bahamas (2006):

London (2005):

South Africa (2007):

Hong Kong (2007):

Friday, September 9, 2011

Weigh-in Day...and the Results Are...

Today's Weight: 136.2 lbs (lowest ever Friday weigh-in)

Lost this week: 3.6 lbs

Total lost: 119.8 lbs


Thursday, September 8, 2011

Do You Want to Hear About the Craziest Conversation Ever?!

You know that you do.  Admit it.

But first, yesterday (Wednesday) afternoon I got an unfill of .5 ccs.

Yep, took out more than last week's fill (.3 ccs).  That is why I pink puffy sparkly heart my nurse practitioner.  She trusts her patients to choose their fill and unfill amounts.  She also reads my blog before my fill appointments to get up to speed on what's up with me and my band.  Yep, she is an unofficial rockstar in my book.

That brings the fill level down to 7.3 ccs.

I am now on 72 hours (!) of full liquids to calm the stoma down. I'm looking forward to chewing something tasty on Saturday night.  Can't wait.

Onwards to the crazy conversation:

Since I am losing weight rather fast on full liquids I have been told to cut back on exercise for the next few days.  Wait, let me say that again: a medical professional told me to not exercise as much.  And get this....I was told to eat MORE calories.  Yep.  Welcome to my new normal.  I don't think that I have EVER had a conversation with a medical professional that recommended that I eat more and exercise less. And to stop losing weight. I'm still trying to wrap my head around that one.

PS: Weigh-in day tomorrow!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I Want To Go to the Dark Side...They Have Cookies

Warning: This is a rant chock full of negativity.  You'll probably want to skip reading this post.

I've always said that the band does about 20% of the job of helping with my healthy lifestyle. The other 80% is up to me and my choices.

Well, at this level of restriction the band is doing about 60% of the work. Yep, this band does do something after all.  And do you know what? I really want to take back that control of doing the work.

As I am typing this, I'm sitting here choking down my morning calcium chews.  They've always been my morning treat along with my coffee, followed by my B12 sublingual.  My little morning routine.  You know how much I puffy heart some routine and structure in my life. It's my happy place.  Unfortunately, with this fill, these calcium chews are not going down as smoothly as usual.  Not stuck, but just kinda sitting there.  Bleh.

The scale reported an all time low this morning of 135 lbs.  WTF.  I've been rocking the full liquids since Sunday to calm the situation down.  Damn it I want to chew something.  I want to eat real food. 

This fill level would be AWESOME if I was in my losing phase.  But unfortunately, with Aunt Flo just around the corner (over share alert!), this restriction will only get worse.  I've been drinking high calorie drinks.  I've become even more of a Starbucks groupie these past few days.  Gatorade and protein shakes are my new normal. 

I want to go sit on the couch in my PJs and eat an entire batch of freshly baked sugar cookies while watching crappy reality TV.  Oh, and a bucket of Mt. Dew would be nice too.

OK, I'm done now.

The end.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Careful What You Ask For

I believe that I may have arrived in the Red Zone folks and I don't like it.
Thank you for commenting on my stuck/PB post here on the blog and on Facebook.  Your tips on carrying a Ziploc baggie and/or napkins are appreciated. I'm officially in the PB club now I guess.

It is so weird that a fill for me can often take up to a week to kick-in.  Anyone else have this experience?

After my fill on Thursday afternoon, my restriction felt the same as before the fill.  Therefore, I partied like a rock star (a fat girl rock star to be specific) and ate my way through Friday and Saturday with visits to Taco Bell and Dairy Queen (Tsk! Tsk!).  Then the show-stopper was the vitamin stuck/PB on Saturday night.

Water, protein shakes and ice cream were slow going down on Sunday and Monday.

Therefore, as a result, I saw an all time low on the scale this morning: 136.4 lbs.  That's too low (a crazy thought!) as I would rather be in between 140lbs and 145lbs.

The purpose of the band for me is to eat less of any type of food that is offered or available.  I have never wanted to be limited with my food choices.  Unfortunately, that is where I have taken my band.  I chose to get a fill. 

I am going to see how things go this week with this fill level.  I am going to focus on de-stressing at work and taking my allergy pill which both help loosen things up.  If that doesn't work, I will go get that unfill.

Wish me luck!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

It Finally Happened! The Dreaded Stuck & PB Event

I have read so many of your first PB (Productive Burp) and stuck stories over the past two years.  I've always wondered what you guys were talking about.  Now I know.

My first PB/stuck episode happened last night.

I guess there really is a Lap Band in there after all and I guess that fill on Thursday did the trick.

It only took 22+ months post-op.  Here's how it went down:

I was taking my usual nightly vitamins which includes one large gel cap Omega 3 vitamin.  Yep, one of these bad boys.

As soon as I swallowed it, I knew it.  Instantly.  It was stuck.

It wasn't going down and it just sat there lodged in my chest.  The knife in the chest kind of feeling.  Then my mouth started to fill with saliva...yep...the sliming had begun.  Where does all that spit come from?  Seriously.

Then I started pacing around the room and lifted my arms above my head thinking that this would help.  Nope, it didn't help.

Then my eyes began to water and I knew that I better run over to the kitchen sink quickly as the bad boy was coming back up.  So I leaned over the sink and up it came along with a bunch of water.  But not just out of my mouth but up and out of the nose.  That stings and hurt.

I continued to slime a little more leaning over the sink.  Good times.

Then it was over.  The whole event lasted about 4-5 minutes.

I can't imagine going through this in public, like at a restaurant or at work.  This makes me wonder, what do you guys do to prepare for this? Carry a Ziploc baggie in your purse? Become good at running to the bathroom?

My stoma still feels a little irritated this morning so I'm taking it easy with full liquids today.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

New Banded Blogger Alert!

I received a lovely email from Mari who's a new blogger that is looking into getting a Lap Band.

She revealed in her email that she recently read my blog from beginning to end.  Whenever people tell me that I don't know if I should apologize or congratulate them on the accomplishment.  Over 500+ posts...  That's a lot reading and a lot of cat pics.

Anywhoozle, her blog is called The Tale of a Band Called Beyonce.  What a cute blog name!

I never named my band, have you named your band?

Please stop by Mari's blog and say hello.  Thanks!

Friday, September 2, 2011

Weigh-in Day...and the Results Are...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 139.8 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Exactly Two Years Ago Today...

I attended my surgeon's informational seminar on weight loss surgery.  Of course, their fancy name for this seminar is "Bariatric Symposium."  It's a really just a chance to hear about the different weight loss surgery options that a surgeon offers. 
I remember that night like it was yesterday.  It kinda went down something like this:

I arrived about 15 minutes early and checked in at the door.  I walked into the room full of people sitting and waiting for the seminar to begin.  I spotted my surgeon (Dr. Castillo) at the front of the room getting ready to do his talk.  I was so happy to see that he was the surgeon that was speaking that night because the practice has 4 (?) other surgeons.  I quickly walked up to him and introduced myself. 

I probably said something like this: "Hi! I'm ____ and I'm going to have gastric bypass surgery and you're the one I want to do it."  No need to beat around the bush, right?  I guess I can be a little too direct at times.  Is there a 12-step program or iPhone App for that?  Let me know.

I had already done my research and Dr. Castillo was the man for the job.  He's Jen and Chris' surgeon too.  We puffy heart him.  And while we're on the topic...he's kinda a hottie, right? In that nerdy/smart kinda way?  Just sayin'.

Anyways, I sat through the seminar while they used big scary words like rates of mortality, comorbidities, and diet.  Gasp!

Then, they passed around a few lap bands for everyone to hold and feel.  I didn't even look at the band and just passed it along to the fellow fatty sitting next to me....'cuz I was getting the gastric bypass.  Who knew that I would end up with one of those pieces of silicon inside my body.  Never say never people.

If you are looking into weight loss surgery and an in-person seminar is not how you roll, you have other options.

Perhaps you're worried that you'll run into a friend/coworker/acquaintance while you're at a seminar or maybe you're just a busy person.  Your solution? Most surgeons are now offering an online seminar that you can view at any time from the comfort of your own home.  My surgeon even offers this now.  Pretty cool, right?

PS: I'm doing the happy dance because I'm getting a fill today.  I'm not looking forward to the 24 hour full liquids after the fill...but that's all part of the game I guess. Oh! I almost forgot, I might also run into Sprinkles at the surgeon's office as her first post-op appointment is today.