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

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Special Post Holiday Weigh-In...

I am back from seven fun-filled days in the land of Mickey Mouse.

I had a BLAST!

My food choices weren't the best...

There were cookies, lots of cookies...

There were DELICIOUS cheese blintzes for breakfast: YUMMY!
There were Dunkin' Donuts, croissants, and an ice cream sundae at McDonald's.

BUT, there was also Zumba, Just Dance 3, and a 3+ mile walk mixed in...and don't forget all that walking around the theme parks.

I also drank water like it was my job.  I was up to 100+ oz each day.  I now know where each and every bathroom is located on Disney Property.

Therefore, here's today's weight: 141.1 lbs.

That's up 2.3 lbs since last weigh-in.  Not too bad at all.  I was honestly expecting something much higher.

I'm off to Jazzercise this morning.  Back on track.

I'll be doing a vacation recap tomorrow for you.  There are lots of pics to share!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Can You Guess What Happened at My Lap Band Support Group Meeting?

First of all, there is no weigh-in today because I am HERE.

Now, let's talk about my recent support group meeting this past week. 

I think it's pretty funny that for the last three months of meetings, there has been a food gauntlet to get to our meeting room.  Yep, to get to our room, we have to pass by this amazing-smelling hot food buffet (macaroni and cheese, hot bread rolls, etc).   It seems that whatever group meets in the room next door to ours always enjoys a yummy buffet before their meeting.  Sounds like my kind of meeting. Here's what it looked like last week:
Anyways, to me, exercising is a lot like going to my surgeon's support group meeting. I don't always want to, but once I do go, I am so glad that I did.

I have to make going to the meetings a priority for me.  I have to put them on the calendar months in advance or I will come up with a really convincing excuses reasons why I can't go.

But going to group meetings is a non-negotiable for me.  I tell myself  "If you were a newbie, wouldn't you want to have a chance to talk with a veteran bandster who's at goal?"  Yeah, I would.  So I go.  My chance to give back and provide support.

This past week's group meeting was pretty small, just three bandsters all together, a support person (a husband), and our group leader.  I like the smaller attended meetings as we all seem to talk more.  And this time there was no disappointing! We even talked about constipation and PB'ing.  Good times.

I usually get one really good take away from each meeting.  This time was no different.  I learned that I am doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing to maintain my weight.

Now you may be thinking, "Duh! of course your are rocking maintenance."

But nobody ever told me how to maintain my weight.  I've just sort of figured it out in the past year.  I still don't know all the answers.  It's a lot of trial and error.

Our group leader said that his past experience with medically supervised weight loss patients, the most successful weight loss patients follow this process:
  1. During the weight loss phase: Very structured, organized, planning of food choices and exercise. Everything gets written down and discussed.
  2. During maintenance: Some (not all) of the structured-ness is slowly phased out and the patient learns the "give and take" of balancing exercise and food choices.
I told our leader that he should put those nuggets of wisdom in the informational binder that they give out to all their pre-ops. It would have saved me a lot of headaches on trying to figure out this beast that is called "maintenance" this past year.

But would I have learned as much if someone had just provided me with an easy to follow list of what to do in maintenance?  Probably not.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Would You Like Alpo or Kibbles N' Bits?

Before I was banded, my freezer looked somewhat like this:

During one of my last attempts at Weight Watchers, a leader one day told the group something that I have never forgotten.

She said: "Your food has to look good and appetizing, otherwise you won't really enjoy it.  That's why I stay away from those dog dishes."  Yep, she was referring to her employers' (WW) frozen food choices that come in those convenient little boxes with the black dishes inside.

She was right, they totally look like dog dishes.  Right?

She was also right that food has to look good and taste good, or it's just not worth it.

When I used to eat from those dog dishes, they were very convenient and cheap.  It was an easy decision to grab one out of the freezer on my way out the door in the morning.  Easy cheesy. 

Then lunch time would roll around and I would nuke that dish up in the office microwave, peel back the plastic film, and take a look. It wasn't always very attractive or appetizing. Now that I think about it, it never always smelled the best either.

But I would eat it anyway, and do you know what?  It was just "ok."  Not very appetizing.  However, I knew that I was being "good" and eating what I was supposed to.  I was on plan.  Gold stars for me.

But what I now realize is that I wasn't creating a lifestyle that I could stick to.  There's no way that I could eat those dog dishes forever.  Bleh.  Just not my style.  That's why after about losing the usual 30 lbs on Weight Watchers, I would start eating regular foods (not those dog dishes) and all the weight would come back, plus a few more pounds for good measure.

Therefore, I made a very conscious decision before my surgery that I would never EVER eat anything out of a dog dish again.  This decision wasn't based on the nutritional value of the dog dishes (which in reality are pretty questionable), but rather the appearance of the food and whether it satisfied me.

I haven't eaten from a dog dish in about two and half years.

Are your food choices satisfying?  Are you enjoying them? Or are they just "OK"?

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

New Banded Blogger Alert!

Please stop by and say "hi" to Lisa over at La Band Doll.

She's already started the liquid diet and will be banded on January 11th!

Monday, December 26, 2011

The Power of Words...

Now that Christmas has come and gone, have you thought about what your word for the upcoming 2012 year will be?

For 2010, I chose the word: Choice: The band does not make CHOICES - I make the CHOICE to do what I have to do to be a success.

For 2011, I chose the word: Prudence: being careful about one’s choices, not taking undue risks, and not saying or doing things that might later be regretted.

For 2012, I have chosen the word: Persevere: to persist in or remain constant to a purpose, idea, or task in the face of obstacles or discouragement.

What word will you choose for 2012 to help you stay dedicated to your journey?

Friday, December 23, 2011

Weigh-in Day...

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 138.8 lbs

Did you know that when I get back into old habits and poor food choices, I usually gain about one pound a day.  Therefore, I purposefully lost a bit more weight this past week in preparation for all the yummy and tempting foods that I will be enjoying this coming holiday week. 

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

I am Guilty of the Overshare

Who me?

Yes, me.


The idea of being "out" with one's Lap Band is a personal choice.  I get that.  Some bandsters only tell their spouse...and that's it.  To each their own.

Me on the other hand, if someone asks how I lost the weight I will always tell them about my band.  Not a big deal or a super secret for me.  Wanna pet my port?  ha ha ha.

But lately, I've been doing a new experiment with my own self control.  I have entitled this experiment, "How long can I go without telling a person about my band?"

The reason for this experiment? From what I can tell, people honestly could care less and with most casual conversations, it usually just ends up being TMI for them.

I good friend of mine recently used this analogy with me, "I got a breast reduction ten years ago, but I don't go around telling people about it."   Hmmmm....   What do you think of this analogy?

PS: Thank you NOT SO Secret Santa for the Bed & Body Works gift card! I love to shop and can't wait to get my shopping on at their after Christmas sale.  Bargains here I come! :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

New Banded Bloggers Alert!

Please stop by and say "hi" to these lovely ladies:

PS: Here's your completely random funny for the day:

Monday, December 19, 2011

Opportunity Knocks Quietly Sometimes...

I was cleaning out an old purse the other day and came across a Panda Express receipt and a fortune from a fortune cookie tucked neatly inside. 

The date on the receipt? Saturday, August 29, 2009.

The fortune?
I wonder why I would save this fortune?  I'm not someone to save things like this.
Who knew that the opportunity that would soon be presented to me was the Lap Band? 

I attended my surgeon's informational seminar three days after getting that fortune.

The rest is history.

"If a window of opportunity appears, don't pull down the shade." 
~Thomas J. Peters

Saturday, December 17, 2011

1 Year of Maintenance...Done!

12 months.

52 weeks.

365 days.

8,760 hours.

I have officially maintained my goal weight for one year.  Whew!

I've maintained my weight between 135 lbs and 145 lbs.

I originally posted my accountability goal HERE back in January.

My goal?

To sign up and join the The National Weight Control Registry (NWCR), having maintained my 111 lb loss for 1 year.  I'll be signing up this weekend.

By the way, did you see the Band Superstars Blog today?

It's my chance to tell my band story and for me shout as loud as I can, just like Mary Katherine Gallagher: "SOOPAH-STAH!"

Friday, December 16, 2011

Weigh-in Day & Some Craftiness

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 140.6 lbs

I am starting to notice that if I keep my self busy and not sit mindlessly in front of the TV that I am less likely to eat the entire contents of my refrigerator.  It's only taken me about two years to realize this. Sigh.

So I got my craftiness on last night and made a sleeve for my new iPad 2.  Are you crafty too? I wanna know.

PS: on a completely separate note, go read this post from our wonderful Amy.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

That's Spendy.

When I first moved to Oregon, I noticed that there were a few words that they use here that us Californians just don't use.

One of those words is 'spendy.'

It means expensive. 

Thank you, Captain Obvious.  You're welcome.

I say 'spendy' all the time now.  It's funny how certain words creep into my vocabulary.  Those Californians always seem to give me a funny look when I say 'spendy' now.

So, what is the most spendy thing that I've purchased in my 32 year life span?  My band.

As I've mentioned before, I was a self-pay patient.  It's kinda funny...I would NEVER spend that much money on a car, yet I paid A BUCKET-LOAD of $$ for something that I have never seen in real life.

I burned a ginormous hole in my Capital One credit card the day that I forked over that piece of plastic to the nice cashier lady at the hospital.  I had NEVER signed a credit card receipt for that much money before.  FIVE FIGURES.  Ouch.  That was about two weeks prior to my surgery.

It was scary.

There was no turning back.

But do you know what?  It was worth it.

If you're a penny-pinching, spreadsheet-making, and cost-conscious gal like me who is thinking of banding, you may be wondering:

What’ll Lap Band surgery cost me?

Perhaps a better question is “What’ll it cost you if you don’t?”

With today’s crazy economy and rising health care costs, it’s only natural to wonder if now is the time to consider banding.

Extra weight on a person often goes hand in hand with extra financial burden.

Obesity can have significant medical costs over time. Weight loss surgery can help reduce the cumulative cost of living with obesity: like weight loss programs, prescription medicine and hospital visits.

Knowing this, you may want to consider these questions:
  • What are your current out-of-pocket health care expenses? Are they due to go up?
  • What are your current prescription and over-the-counter medication costs? Are they due to go up?
  • How many times a year do you see a doctor or specialist? Has that gone up over time?
  • How many days have you missed work over the past few years? Has that gone up?
  • How much have you spent on non-surgical weight loss programs? (WeightWatchers®, Jenny Craig®, etc.) Did that work?
  • How much have your costs for groceries and dining out gone up?
  • How much have you spent on additional clothes due to your weight gain?
For those of you who are already sitting on the losers bench (whether banded, sleeved, RNY'd, or other weight loss methods), how are you saving money now that you've lost some weight?  I want to know.

Monday, December 12, 2011

A New Way To Piss Me Off...

Uh oh...

Rant alert!
I rarely yell and raise my voice.

I'd say that I'm usually a pretty easy going gal.

It takes a lot to get me angry.

But if you really want to torque my Twinkies, then all you have to say is "I can't believe that you ever used to be heavy...I just can't picture it.  There's no way."

And if you want to really to push me to the ledge, say the above sentences every two or three weeks.  Like I don't remember you said it already...last week.

I get a comment like this about once a week from various people.  Of course, these are people that never knew the fatty that I was.

When this comment first started happening about a year ago, it was great.  I would feel great. I would smile, thank them, and be proud of my weight loss.  I would feel pride in my amazing accomplishment in losing 115+ lbs.

What happens now when you or someone says those sentences?  Oh my.  Heaven help you, because I have a phone filled with my fatty photos.  I will make you look at EVERY SINGLE one of them until you wish you hadn't said anything to begin with.  I realize that you are just stating your opinion or trying to be complimentary, but I am going to prove you wrong.  I was a fatty.

The "I can't believe it" comment is similar to another statement that happens occasionally, especially from family members or close friends: "I can't even remember what you looked like when you were heavy."  If you say that one, I will just roll my eyes at you.  I can remember what I looked like, more specifically, what it felt like.  If I close my eyes, I am instantly the fatty again.

Don't get me wrong, I am very, very happy with my weight loss success.

I just can't help wondering why these comments bug me so much now?

Welcome to Crazy Town.  Population: 1.  (Me)

Sunday, December 11, 2011

I Weigh The Same As...

When I turned on the TV this morning, HBO was still on from the previous night.

I saw that a boxing show or some kind of manly type event was just starting.  I went to grab the remote to change the channel to a much more interesting channel like HGTV or Food Network.  But just then, the announcer introduced the boxers and said how much each of them weigh = 140 lbs.

Yep, I weigh the same as these two guys:
Amir on the left is 5'10"

Lamont on the right is 5'9"

Therefore, I weigh the same as a Super Lightweight Champion boxer.

At least the word "light" is in there.  Right?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Friday, December 9, 2011

Weigh-in Day...

Did you know that this is the 122nd weekly weigh-in since I began my journey with the band? 

Goal weight: 145 lbs

Today's weight: 139.7 lbs.

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

The Pits.


Come over here....a little closer....OK....good.

Can we talk about my armpits for a minute?

When I was a fatty, the pits were nice and flat and easily shaved.  No problem what so ever.


The pits are actually PITS.  They go in now and are very cavernous.  Try shaving shaving those bad boys.  It's practically impossible.  I lift that skin, I bend it, I stretch it, and I can't seem to get all that hair.

So, any tips? Any secrets to share on how to clear cut these bad boys so that I don't scare the cute little old ladies at Jazzercise with my hairy pits?

I guess I could always braid 'em and bead 'em....ooooh or make one tiny ponytail under each arm?  Fashion trends of the future!

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

What Results Are You Expecting From Your Band?

With a gastric band, the expected and average weight loss according to the band manufacturers is a loss of approximately 50% of excess body weight by the end of the third year post-op.

Want to see a very spiffy spreadsheet? (Source):

If I was to accept what is 'average' and 'expected' of me, then with a 50% excess body weight loss, I should weigh about 201 lbs right now.

But did I accept average for myself?  NOPE. 

Was I ready to do just was expected of me?  No freaking way.  I was ready to do MORE.

Before I was banded, I knew that I could work this band to the "results not typical" extreme.

And I did.

Did you know that I was still on my high-blood pressure medications when I weighed 201 lbs?

Here's what I looked like at 201 lbs:

Here's what I look like now (140 lbs):
What results are you expecting from YOU?

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

600th Post!

I just realized that I've rambled on endlessly to you about 600 random Lap Band and non-Lap Band related things. 

I've told you what it's like to live life with a Lap Band...every...single...day.

I've learned that blogging, for me, brings my life into focus.

I remember when I first started talking with friends about the idea of starting a blog, they warned me about how I will have to make a Commitment to keeping my blog updated and how much work that would be. As much as that "C" word usually makes me run for the hills, I knew that it was the only way that I would be successful. The online accountability that you all offer is what makes it "click" for me.

Now that I'm in maintenance for almost a year, I wonder what else there is tell you?

Therefore, are there any burning questions or anything that YOU would like to know?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Mr. Dependable...

Meet Mr. Dependable: my scale

He's been with me through two house moves, many attempts of Weight Watchers, Atkins, and every other diet ever invented and of course he was there for my official pre-op weigh-in of 256 lbs.  

That's over five years of weigh-ins.  I've never used my surgeon's scale for my official Friday weigh-ins, only Mr. Dependable.

He's always been consistent and accurate in the past.

But lately, I think Mr. Dependable is getting tired.  Or cranky.

Even though I've replaced his batteries, the weigh-ins can vary by 5+ lbs within seconds (I know that I'm not the only one who weighs in and then steps off and then steps right back on just to make sure the first weight was "accurate"....right?)  

And don't forget that crazy low weigh-in the day after Thanksgiving was a bit too good to be true: 137.9 lbs.  That was nice though.

So it's time to get a new scale.  

What scale do you have? 

Brand? Type? What do you recommend? Please let me know. I have a special preference for scales that tell me that I'm clever and pretty.  Wait...scales that do that? I think I've just come up with my next idea to be patented.

PS: I have a Bed, Bath & Beyond coupon burning a hole in my pocket.

Friday, December 2, 2011

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

Goal Weight: 145 lbs

Today's Weight: 140.1 lbs

Happy Friday!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Are You Having Your Lap Band Surgery Soon?

It seems that there's been a recent flurry of posts and activity on the blogosphere with upcoming band surgeries.  Is this because of year-end insurance deductibles or something?

I am reading your pre-op posts about FEAR.

I am reading your posts about ANXIETY of what will happen at the hospital.

I am reading between the lines that you absolutely understand that surgery is a HUGE deal.  I agree, it is a big freaking deal.  Seriously.  I get it.

In my opinion, the surgery itself and the recovery time are the most painful, yet the EASIEST parts of this entire journey.

Would you like to know what the most DIFFICULT part of the journey is for me?  Having to make good food choices each and every moment/hour/day and to make exercise a priority.  There is no "done" on this journey.  There is no finish line.  It's never-ending.

Just a few examples:
  • When at business/work lunches: I order the chicken salad while everyone else orders fettuccine Alfredo or lasagna with garlic bread....oh, and don't forget the cocktails and wine everyone's enjoying.
  • When I have to decline friend invites to hang out after work because I have to go workout.
When I had surgery, I had NO IDEA the amount of work and effort would be involved to be successful with the Lap Band. 

But do you know what else?  It's WORTH IT.