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

Surgery Date: October 20, 2009:

Monday, April 30, 2012

When Is Your Lunch Break?

...because I want to schedule a meeting during that time.
I remember when I was in my first year of being banded, social and group meals (especially at work) kinda freaked me out a  little a lot.  These were usually catered lunches at work or meals out with vendors/customers at restaurants.

So many questions would flash through my brain before these meals:
  • Would there be a food choice available for me?
  • I am going to take FOREVER to eat.  What if everyone finishes before me?
  • I'll need to talk during these lunch/dinner meetings.  How will I chew, chew, chew while I talk?
  • What if I get stuck and PB? (I'm still waiting for my first official food-related stuck/PB...I've only had large vitamin stuck issues.) I used to always visually locate the bathroom when I would enter a restaurant for this exact reason.
I quickly realized during that year that:
  • There is ALWAYS a good choice for me at most restaurants. Everything from the local Mexican restaurant to the Olive Garden...there's always something.  Since I'm usually the one organizing the lunch meetings, I get to choose the foods/restaurant (they don't call me the "cruise director" around here for nothing).
  • I'll always look up menus online before going to eat out. I check out the nutrition facts and can then see what is my first choice and second choice.  Then for fun, I'll occasionally look up what I would have ordered in my pre-band days. What a difference!
  • People do notice that I eat less or slowly which I could really care less about. But most people seem to just really care about themselves.  Because if people do notice, they start apologizing for eating too fast or too much.  Hilarious.  I'll usually say "Oh, I'm just not that hungry" or remind them about my band.
  • Now I'm only looking for the bathroom cause I drink so much damn water.
Today, I've just organized a pizza lunch meeting for my team for next week. 

Yes, I chose PIZZA.

I specifically chose a pizza place that has a great salad bar.  Yum.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

You'll Shoot Your Eye Out

I have another "first" to add to the list.  

If you remember, last weekend's firsts were snowshoeing and karaoke.  

This weekend?

Paint-balling.  No joke.

The last and only time that I've ever shot a gun was back in October 2010.  I told you all about it HERE.

Luckily, I purposely did not look up "paintball" on YouTube before I went.  Because I would have probably talked myself out of going.
Aren't we bad ass?
Baggy clothes. Not a good look for me. 
What did I learn?

I'm a hider.

I now realize that my hide-n-seek skills that I perfected so many years ago has finally paid off.

I would get myself into a nice little hiding place and then peek out occasionally and shoot the other team.  If you get hit, you're "out" and have to leave the game. Most of the games we played, I would usually be the last one left.  I did get hit twice. Once on the head (OUCH!) and the shoulder.
Me.  Hiding.
One thing that I also noticed was what a GREAT workout it is.  I was huffing and puffing.  Lots of squats and crawling around.

Will I do it again?  Probably not.  Call me sexist, but I'll leave this one for the guys.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Weigh-in Day & the Results Are...

Goal weight: 145 lbs

Today's weight: 141.4 lbs

Happy Friday!

- Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Cookbook Review & a Discount For You!

When I first learned about Jean McMillan's unique cookbook that was just for Bandsters, I had to get my hands on it.  Of course, she's a bandster herself (banded: September 2007 and will be converting to the sleeve tomorrow!)

OK, so I eventually read all 384 pages of Bandwagon Cookery.  Whew! It took me awhile.

Someone should invent 30 hour days so I can get everything this girly needs to get done in one day.  But I guess that's a post for another day.
So? What did I think of this cookbook?


Let me start with the intro/back story that Jean shares in the beginning of the book.  She reveals how she learned to cook when she was young.  I don't want to give away all the juicy details, but here's one word: Scotland.

Here are just a few of the ah-may-zing things that I like about this cookbook:
  • What's in a bandster's kitchen.  She even provides a shopping list too.
  • Problem foods for bandsters.
  • Most recipes have an adapted version on how to make it "puree" or "mushies".
  • Nutrition facts FOR A BANDSTER PORTION.  How awesome is that!  Usually cookbook nutrition facts are always for a normal serving, never small portions like we need.
  • The recipes could easily be used by RNYs, VSG'ers, and other weight loss surgery peeps.
OK, so where's that discount that I promised?

Scroll down to the bottom of this page.

You'll see a link and drop-down option that will take you over to Jean's PayPal site so you can get the Lap Band Gal fan discount!**

                                                                                  Regular Price               Discount Price
Bandwagon Cookery                                                 $20.95                         $18.00       
Bandwagon (2nd edition)                                           $20.95                         $18.00
Set of 2 (Bandwagon Cookery & Bandwagon)         $35.00                         $32.00

All prices include shipping & handling
This discount will only be available through Thursday 5/3/12.

**I am not affiliated with Jean, her books, or compensated in any way.  I just like her cookbook!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Say Hello to Suzy

Check out this TV ad:

What a great reminder for me that one can lose their independence due to behavior choices.  No matter what those choices are.  

Specifically related to me: my choices of healthy food and making exercise a priority each day.

Wouldn't it be AWESOME if similar TV ads were made about obesity?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Violent Volcano Alert!

Come gather 'round for today's little earth science lesson about why someone who lives in Oregon should have volcano insurance...

Did you know that Oregon rocks?


It really rocked like a  gajillion  7700 years ago when a volcano erupted and created this: Crater Lake

Yep, this is where I went this past Sunday....Volcano crater huntin'.  A.K.A Snowshoeing.  Unfortunately, no cocktails were served on this hunt.

When we first arrived there were a few "The Shining" flashbacks in my head.  The snow was 12-14 ft high!

So while I tried to stop repeating "red-rum" in my head, I put on my snowshoes and off we went into the wilds of Oregon.

But, my fears were quickly calmed because there was Ranger Mike to safely guide us on our two mile trek through the snow:
Ranger Mike showed us pictures of...birds.
Good times.  
By the way, Ranger Mike revealed to me that he was single and looking, so ladies...look no further than the wilds of Oregon.
Up lots of hills!
Even at 7000+ feet up, the altitude didn't really bother me and could easily keep up.  There's NO WAY I could have done that when I was 256 lbs.
Oh look! I found the crater!
So here's your quiz question for today's lesson:

What's wrong with this picture of my feet in those sexy snowshoes?
Yep, I took this photo AFTER we snowshoed for over TWO hours. 
My literacy skills amaze me sometimes.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

There's a First Time For Everything!

I sang.


It happened.

In a public place.

AND there was no  alcohol  liquid courage involved.

Let's be crystal clear here: I CANNOT sing.  Seriously.

But up on stage I went and then more friends joined in.  

Would I have done this when I was a fatty?  Probably not.

Happy faces to protect the innocent.

Friday, April 20, 2012

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

Today's weight (Jack Sh*t style!):
Yep, that's over SIXTEEN months of being in my maintenance range of 135-145 lbs.

Have you voted on Facebook yet on what my next blog post should be about? Now's your chance. Check it out HERE.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Why Is Gluttony Rewarded In Our Culture?

I follow my local sandwich shop on Facebook.

Recently, they posted this photo of one of their customers with the following comment: "One of our Pound the Pounder winners showing off her awesome pounder t-shirt. Great job!"

She was rewarded with a free t-shirt for eating this sandwich in less than 30 minutes. Yep, that's a two foot long sandwich with over one pound of pastrami:

I just don't get it.

Why is gluttony rewarded in our culture?

Please explain this to me.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

I Need My Fashionistas Help! Dressing Room Adventure

“A woman's dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.” 

~Sophia Loren

I need a dress for a few different professional events coming up. So off I went to TJ Maxx yesterday. Yep, that's one of my few store options in this little one-horse town that I live in.

Here's what I ended up with. 

For the bargain price of $19.99 (No sales tax in Oregon!)
Size Small
What do you think?  

It's kinda church dress-ish, don't cha think?  It falls very appropriately and conservatively to my knees. 

I'll definitely have to bring out the big guns of shapewear to make it really work. 

What about a black blazer over it? Would that work? What color heels? Help.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

How Do I Know That I'm Hungry?

It's official. 

My band is in the "green zone" or "sweet spot".

I've been rockin' the green zone since my last band adjustment in early November.

That's four and a half months.  Praise the lord, hallelujah, and happy clappys all around.  I would speak in tongues too if I knew how.  All good joojoo!

But I've also noticed since reaching the green zone, I have a difficult time realizing that I need to eat.  I can't tell when I'm hungry because my tummy doesn't growl.  I occasionally get busy at work with meetings and projects.  I don't realize it's time to eat.  Crazy!

So let's talk about hunger signals....and let me tell ya, one of my hunger signals is especially entertaining or annoying depending on how you look at it.

But wait, before I tell you about my hunger signals, let me make it perfectly clear that before the band (AKA when I was a fatty) I was very rarely ever hungry either.  I never let myself get to the point of being hungry.  There was always some fun or yummy food that I could eat.  I probably ate every hour or two.  A constant eating kinda thing.

I guess I never really knew what true hunger felt like. 

And those rare moments that I was truly tummy growling hungry, it became an "emergency" in my mind and would need to eat whatever I could get my hands on immediately.

I guess that's another lesson that I've learned in this journey, being hungry is not an emergency. 

It's OK to be hungry. Who knew.  Not me, that's for sure.

The earth will not fall off of it's access if I am hungry for a short time while I think of and plan my healthy meal.

Anywhoozle, onwards to my new hunger signals:
  • I get cold.  Not like I need to put a coat on or turn on the heater type of cold, but like an internal chill that I just can't get rid of. I recently asked a coworker of mine who is tiny and pretty fit about whether she gets cold when she's hungry. She said "oh yeah, always." So I guess it's another lesson I've learned.
  • I get dizzy.  Duh.  I know. But seriously, a relatively new phenomenon to this prior fatty.
  • Here's the funny one: I become a "Chatty Cathy" with no verbal filter. Yikes! Usually I'm more of a listener in conversations, but if I need to eat and don't realize it, I'll chat your ear off and get pretty snarky pretty fast.  My friends are starting to realize this too and ask me if I need to eat.  I guess that they'd rather feed me than listen to me.

PS: Today is my 16 month goaliversary.

PSS: I'm headed to support group tonight.  I promise not to scare the newbies...too much.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Fluoroscopy Recap & My Weekend!

Here's a photo from my annual barium swallow/fluoroscopy that I had done on Friday afternoon.
No symptoms, but just a check-in to see how the band is doing. 

Per my Nurse Practitioner (Hi Reeger!), my band and restriction level both look great and there is NO esophageal dilation (stretching out of the stoma above the band...one of my biggest band fears).  

Everything looks just like it did last year and the year before.  The band is exactly where they left it when originally installed it in October 2009. Whew!

OK my video techy peeps: I have video of of the procedure which shows the barium going down and past the band.  How cool right?!  But it also has my full name on the video.  Not cool for the interwebs 'cuz I like to be kinda secret and be on the 'DL".  So, if you know how to blur a portion of a video in iMovie, then let me know.  Then I can share the video with you ALL.

Onwards to the weekend! 

We had a fabulous time wine tasting at a few different wineries in my area on Saturday.  Let's just say this girly can no longer hold her alcohol like she used to.  Maybe because I don't have that extra 115 lbs?  Hmmm...

We had a great dinner out on Saturday night and I even heard one of my favorite phrase from our waitress when she came to clear our plates at the end of the meal.  She took one look at the small amount of food that I ate and asked, "Did you not like it?"  When I hear a comment from a server like that, I always know that I've eaten a good bandster portion.

We also went hiking on Sunday!  

It was a 4 mile hike but the view at the top was worth it.  The awesome farmer burn that I'm now rocking on my arms: not worth it.  At least I remembered to put sunblock on my face and neck.
Made it to the top!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Weigh-in Day & My Annual Fluoroscopy

Goal weight: 145 lbs
Last week's weight: 141.6 lbs
Today's weight: 141.2 lbs

Miraculous! Even after eating an ENTIRE container of cookie butter over a 4 day period.  It must be all that extra working out that I did this week that cancelled out MY poor food choices.
 I'll be visiting my surgeon's office this afternoon for my annual barium swallow and  fluoroscopy

My surgeon doesn't require it, but I figure if I'm gonna pay $16K for my Lap Band, I wanna take a look at it each year. A.K.A. "take a look under the hood" to see if all is well. They even serve a delicious snack...barium. YUM! not.

I will post a photo of today's barium swallow / fluoroscopy on Facebook. Stay tuned!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Top Ten List of Food Idea & Recipe Sources

Sometimes when I am lurking the interwebs (and not attempting to eat the entire contents of my refrigerator), I find lovely treasures of bandster friendly recipes and food ideas.  So I thought that I'd share a few of my faves.
My very unofficial top ten list of web sources for food ideas and recipes!*

1. Gina's Skinny Recipes http://www.skinnytaste.com/

2. Skinny Bits http://www.skinny-bits.com/

3. Bandwagon Cookery http://jeanslapbandjourney.blogspot.com/

4. Spark People: Bariatric & Lap Band Recipes: http://recipes.sparkpeople.com/cookbooks.asp?cookbook=47556

5. Band Friendly Recipes Blog: http://www.bandfriendlyrecipes.com/

6. Gloria over at Banded Living: http://www.gloriasbandedliving.com/lap-band-friendly-food-adapting-recipes-2/

7. Hungry Girl (I love her TV show too!) http://www.hungry-girl.com/

8. Rockin' the full liquids? How about 200+ protein shake recipe ideas! I use this list to get ideas ALL the time after a fill.  http://www.lapbandtalk.com/topic/48306-200-protein-shake-recipes/

9. Thinner Times Recipe Forum: http://www.thinnertimesforum.com/forum/131-recipes/

10. B2G Recipe Collection: http://band2gether.net/showthread.php?415-The-B2G-Cookbook

Bonus!  We've been talking a lot about food choices and lunch ideas over on Facebook too.

PS: Coming soon: my candid review of the new cookbook from Jean McMillan called "Bandwagon Cookery."
*I have no affiliation with these sites, I just like how they roll.

Do you have a favorite website or resource for food ideas and recipes? I wanna know!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Can't You Just Diet? Why Do You Need a Lap Band?

If you can just get a good start on a diet, wouldn't you be just as successful without the band?

What a thought provoking and common question that we sometimes receive from our friends/family/etc, especially when we are researching the idea of getting banded.

So I thought about I'd ask this question to YOU.

Can you please answer in the comments section below? Pretty please? With Splenda on top?

Here's how I would answer this question:
  • The most important thing about the band for me is the hunger control. It takes the hunger away and most of the thoughts of food that used to flow freely in my mind...all...the..damn...time.  Now those thoughts are there only there when I get hungry or someone puts a plate of cookies in front of me.  Mmmm....cookies.
  • In the past, I always lost and gained the same 30 lbs over and over and over again.  With the help of the band, I was able to push past that 30 lbs mark and lose much, much more...AND STAY THERE.  I'm starting to learn that the band is a pretty awesome tool for weight maintenance too.
OK, your turn to answer the question.  Comment away!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Multicolored & Glittered Protein Sources

How was your Easter and/or Passover weekend?  I had a great time visiting with family and friends. 

It took three of us to get exactly 12 eggs dyed to perfection.  Here's the brain trust hard at work:
Pemberley, my Sister, and I
PS: I discovered the deliciousness and joy that is Trader Joe's Cookie Butter.  How could anyone go wrong with a food that has the words "cookie" and "butter" in it?  It's like spreadable gingerbread cookies.
This is me high on cookie butter.
You've been warned.
Don't do it.  Ever.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Weigh-in Day & Some Really Tight Pants

Goal Weight: 145 lbs
Today's Weight: 141.6 lbs.  EXACTLY the same as last week's weigh-in.

Since it's the first Friday of the month, here's a Flashback Friday photo for ya: 
2005 (~240 lbs)
Mardi Gras at Universal Studios Florida

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Madder Than An Old Wet Hen

Hello My Lovelies.

It's me...Pemberley.

I've hijacked the human lady's blog.


I've been fixin' to do this for years.

Please come sit down here next to me.

Do you have some nice scratches for behind my ears and maybe a few chin rubs for me?  I need some consoling after what I've been through.  Do you have any treats that you can share with me?  Pretty please?  I'm hungry.

I'm going to tell you a tale all 'bout what's been goin' on around here for the last month.

Just in case you forgot, 'She Who Thinks She Knows EVERYTHING' put me on a diet.

Diet...   Schmi-et.

What does that mean?  

I've had NO treats.  Seriously.  NO treats.  At all.

I've been limited to 1/4 cup food portions.

She's been chasing me up and down this house with every toy, string, and mouse.  It's 'exercise', she says.

I call it torture. 

I just want to lounge about like this...all....day.  Is that too much to ask?

Let's get down to brass tacks here my dahlings: what are the results of this so called 'diet'?

Here I am weighing in this morning:
Starting Weight: 12.8 lbs
Today's weight: 13.2 lbs
Now don't that just frost my berries!  Sigh.

Those extra pounds are doin' nothin' for my figure.  I may be fluffy, but I'm not that fluffy.

I wonder if my secret admirer has noticed my fuller figure?  Double sigh.

I'm going to go lay in the sun and have a good think about this.  As you know, us cats are solar-powered.
What should I do to lose these extra pounds?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

It Takes A Village...

...to keep this girly skinny.

There are a gazillion (ok, maybe more like a few) friends, family, and coworkers that keep me focused in the land of weight maintenance. 

I've even told you about a few of these supportive peeps in my life over the last two years:
  • Julie. She kicks my butt in Jazzercise.  Feel the burn chicas.
  • Annie. Who makes Zumba FUN, not just ho-hum.
  • Bob.  He told me back in July that "110% commitment is required to change yourself."
That's why I have always been open (with anyone who asks) about having a Lap Band. The positive feedback always outweighs the negativity...which there really has been very little of.

Anywhoozle, Bob stopped by my office this morning.  He had words of advice to share and for discussion.

Here's what he wrote down for me:

"It's easier to stay in shape than to get back in shape." ~Derek Jeter

Amen.  Ain't that the truth.  Thanks Bob.
By the way...who is Derek Jeter?