Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hello 212. Nice to meet you. :)

Hey all.. not really sure what to post lately. I've been losing, so that's good! This week has been a slow losing week, though. Lots of stress which includes car breaking down, money, etc. But God is faithful and taking care of us. I am on my way to my mid-November goal of 200. Not sure if I'll make it because I'd need to lose 2 lbs a week for 6 weeks (or .3 lbs a day). I just wanna be down for this wedding I'm attending and so I can maybe buy a cute outfit!

For those of you wondering about the cosmetology thing, I am still looking into it! I'm waiting to hear back from financial aid and praying constantly about God's will for my life. If you pray, I also ask you to keep us in your prayers.

So yes... I'm loving life right now. I especially like watching the scale creep down. WOOT. lol.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Becoming Me

As I shed this weight, I find myself naturally becoming more confident but not just in ways that are the most obvious. I find I am having more confidence to STEP OUT & try new things. Like what?

Firstly, I am going to tour a couple of cosmetology schools this week. I don't want to get my hopes up in case I can't get financial aid to attend... but long story short, I'd love to be a cosmetologist and eventually have my own clients or chair in a high-end salon. Currently I am a history student seeking my BA in American Studies through online classes, but I crave a job/career where I can interact with people and that is more relational. Plus, I want more of an opportunity to be a disciple. And if I am just at home on my computer and become an online college instructor (like I planned), I can't reach the people I want to. So why not become a stylist? Us women tell our hairdressers everything. I love to hear people's stories, so I think it's something I'd really enjoy. I also love designing and creating! I used to think I'd be a graphic designer. Looking into cosmo school is DEFINITELY not something I'd have done at 280 lbs. But right now at 213.6, I am feeling pretty damn good. I'm excited about the possibility of this new path in my life. It will be hard, but I am not making any rash decisions until I have visited the schools and am sure it is the right move for myself AND my family.

Secondly, I have more confidence being naked. Sorry if this is TMI folks. Even though I may never love what I see when I'm naked, I don't hate it so much anymore. And also, sex is a lot more fun with the lights on. JUST SAYIN. I have to be honest about my journey!

Also, the size 22 capris I bought from Lane Bryant this summer are practically falling off of me. And I bought a size 18 at Lane Bryant when I was shopping for black dress pants last week. WORD! I love to see that scale move in the right direction. Unfortunately, I don't have a fill scheduled until late October, but I'll keep making the best of it.

Now we are planning our trip to Illinois for some good friends of ours' wedding in November. Can't wait!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Up a little.

Well I am up a little from my all-time low of 216.4. I think this morning I was 217.6. That's actually pretty good considering I ate like crap yesterday, had drinks at a show, and then went out for a midnight snack of cheese fries after the concert. I have also eaten like crap today. I woke up and had a Fiber One bar, but lunch was crazy. I had a leftover kid's size alfredo from Olive Garden. When I looked it up, it was 800 calories! Can you believe that? 800 calories for a kid's meal??! No wonder childhood obseity is a freaking epidemic. So that pretty much ruined my day. I refuse to starve myself, so I know I'll be going over my caloric intake at dinner. I try to stay at or near 1200 for now. Until I get better restriction, counting works okay. I don't love it, but if I don't do it, I won't lose.

I am definitely gonna call and schedule a fill ASAP. My stepmom's mom came into town the other day. I hadn't seen her in nearly five years, but it was great to catch up with her. She's the only person I know (besides a cousin) that has had lap-band. It was neat to be able to talk about band issues like foods we can tolerate vs. foods we can't, how much we're able to eat, etc. For dinner, she only had one slice of thin crust pizza from Domino's. She said she can usually heat half a normal sized sandwich for a meal and be full. Wow! She hasn't had a fill for months, but she also can't tolerate a wide variety of foods. So I'm at a crossroads: get a fill, get more restriction, and possibly narrow my food choices even further OR don't get a fill and keep counting calories. I think a fill is worth a try, though. I am freaked out at being too tight because sometimes I ocassionally push the limits on what I eat now (like pasta or crispy bread). We shall see!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Definitely time for a fill.

I got a letter from my fill doctor's office (I won't call him my surgeon since I had my surgery in MX) that said my appointment for the end of September had been cancelled because he's going to be out of the office. Kind of a good thing, though, because I need to try and move it up if I can.

I don't feel like I have any restriction until dinnertime. Is that weird or what? I am starving ALL DAY. But when it comes to dinner, I can eat a small portion and be full. But the rest of the day, I am constantly thinking about food. Like at 9:30ish this morning I had a Greek yogurt and a Fiber One bar... and I'm still hungry. Last week I had one cup of grapes for a snack in between meals. I was still hungry so I got another cup of grapes. And I was still hungry after that. Granted, grapes are mostly water, but still. And I am counting calories like it's nobody's business.

If I've said it once, I've said it a hundred times.... but seriously, I don't dig the calorie counting. Yes, it's good educationally to teach me what I'm putting into my body, but no, it's not something I want to do forever. The band is supposed to restrict my food intake so I don't always have to be counting--only making sure I get the right things in. Right? Isn't that the point of the band? So first thing Monday morning, I am making an appointment. I have a fear of being too tight and it leading to a slip. Everyone's heard horror stories. I'm especially fearful since I got my banding done out of the country and without insurance. We have insurance now (thank the Lord), but I don't want to think about the mess I'd be in physically and financially if something happened. I don't want to be too aggressive with fills, and I think my surgeon is naturally a little apprehensive about overdoing it since he didn't perform my surgery. But I'm sure I need one. I am praying for the best.

In other news, I freaking lost ten pounds this month. I'll take it! On my way to November's goal!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

NSVs for the win!!

Two things.
1) Today I weighed in on the scale at 220.4. Why is this so significant for me? Because 220 is the weight I first started Weight Watchers at in my sophomore year of high school. I remember that my dad took me to the doctor because I was sick, and I weighed in at 215. My dad looked at me pointedly and said, "We need to do something about that." A few months later, my stepmom supportively joined Weight Watchers with me, and by then, I was weighing 220. I got down to 190 that time on WW within a couple of months. So when I break up my journey from starting at 280, 220 is a significant milestone. Now here's to 60 more lbs! I will surpass 190 this time and leave its ass in the wind.
2) I am finally able to get my wedding ring on comfortably! In the middle of my pregnancy (somewhere around the end of '08), I had to take off my rings due to swelling. Ever since I had my daughter, it has been such a tight fit that my finger would ache, so I took them off for a bit. After two years, I am finally able to wear my wedding ring again! I can also fit my engagement ring on, but it's a little tight. Perhaps in ten more pounds? Excited!!

Today I LOVE my lap band. Thank God for medical technology and gifted surgeons!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Recovery from the Weekend

It always seems like the weekends are one big giant test to see how well we can really stick with our new lifestyles. If you're like me, you try to convince yourself that Saturday and Sunday don't count in the grander scheme of infinity, but you know better.

Saturday was nuts. I had a movie night with the sister-in-law and brother-in-law's girlfriend. I ate a whole bag of peanut M&Ms, a hard taco from Taco Bell, and a pintos & cheese. Not all at once, mind you.. it was spaced out. But still. So imagine my surprise when I hop on the scale to see it down. Ha. Yesterday wasn't so bad. I did go to a breakfast buffet (the first buffet I think I've been to since being banded) and stuck with mostly eggs and bacon, lots of protein. I had a Fiber One bar around 3pm and some grapes and cheese for a late dinner. I was still down this morning, so I guess that's a good thing. I am now back on the wagon. ;)

It seems like a lot of us had rough weekends. My husband's days off will now be broken up throughout the week, so it's gonna be challenging not to just pig out when he's off. He always eats and doesn't gain weight. If he does, he loses it without even trying! The great thing is he is super supportive of me and my band. If I screw up, he doesn't hound me but instead says, "oh well". If I'm debating having one more cookie than I need, he'll say "Honey, you might regret that later". He never does it to the point of being annoying. I do indulge myself (just remembered last night I had a cookie). But if I start to do it to a point where I lose control, he's always there for me to point it out. I love him for it. He is my whole support system. I couldn't do this without him.

I need to exercise. I have lost all my weight thus far without exercising, but I know it's time to get my tail in gear.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Definition of Success

There's a lot of talk in Bloggerland lately about whether or not the band is the right choice or if it's the easy way or weak person's way out. Some have even gone so far as to say that a very small percentage of us will succeed. My question is then: what is your definition of success?

My definition of success is: changing my relationship with food to a healthy one, attaining a healthy weight, and being happy with myself when I look in the mirror. My definition of success is NOT: calorie counting the rest of my life and sticking to a strict meal plan. So when all is said and done: if I can maintain 160 lbs and be happy with myself OR I can follow a calorie plan and be hungry all the time and be 150 lbs, guess which one I'm gonna choose? 160 lbs. Why? Because it's more than a number. It's about being healthy AND satisfied. I'd rather be a little more plump and happy than a little smaller and a total drag.

So if only 2% of us are destined to lose all of our excess weight, who the hell cares? Even if the band stopped working now (and keep in mind I still have another 60-70 lbs to lose), I'd say all the time and expense and effort was worth it. It is worth it because it was the catalyst as Amy says. It is the thing that helped me re-evaluate what I was putting into my body and how I was treating my body. And if it took $7,000 out of pocket to have this realization, it was worth every damn penny.

Ideally I want to lose 100% of my excess weight, but I won't count myself a failure if I don't. I already see myself (and a lot of other fellow bandsters) as successes because we are learning to change our habits and ways of thinking long term. To me, THAT is what matters. If this doesn't produce the ideal results, we'll still be successes. Whichever path we take to get to a healthy weight doesn't really matter, as long as we're not struggling with eating disorders. For some of us, it took the band to push us to the point of change. For others, it was just a matter of willpower. Good for them!

So that's my definition of success. And anyone who calls me a failure can just beat it. ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Am I working the band?

I have no idea if I am working the band like it's supposed to work. Lately I've been counting calories. I promised myself I would never do this!! But I told myself, "hey, it will get you into the habit of at least knowing what is healthy and what isn't and you can re-teach yourself to eat again." But I find the idea of a food journal completely BLECH. And counting calories to reach 1200?? WTF? I don't wanna be on Weight Watchers my whole life! So this leaves me here: do I need a fill? I've never wondered if I needed a fill or not before because at the slow pace my surgeon is filling me, I always do. But after my last fill, I actually started to PB regularly on things I knew were bad for my band (steak, reheated meat, skin on vegetables). Even though I feel more restricted, I still feel like I can 1) eat too much before I get full and 2) get too hungry in between meals. My surgeon always asks how many bites I can eat before I get full. I never counted, but I'm thinking it's roughly 15-20. I don't know how many is normal. But I feel like I'm relying too much on my own calorie counting to lose this weight. Is that possible? I mean, I know I need to be accountable for what I eat, but it just feels like another Weight Watchers diet right now. Any advice? I don't have an appointment with him until the end of September, and I'm not sure he wants to see me back any sooner. Lol.

On the weight front, I am hovering between 226-227. I do pretty well eating until evening time. My husband doesn't get home from work until 8pm, so if I wait to eat dinner with him, I always see a gain on the scale the next morning. I think I'm gonna have to start eating earlier and just reheat his dinner for him when he gets home. That is hard, though, because dinner is such a "social" time for us. We love sharing mealtime together.

Maybe I will keep a food diary just to stay accountable and see if anyone else thinks I need a fill from eating too much or too often.

Also, if you are following my blog and I'm not following yours, please leave me a link! It's hard to find everyone's blogs, and I want to follow everyone's journey, so if I haven't added yours, it's not personal! Just leave a link in the comments, and I will! :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

Why did we choose the band?

I was having major doubts about my choice of getting the lap band. I have had no complications (thank God), and I feel good about my rate of loss. If I continue at this rate, I will be a very happy woman. However, I googled "lap band vs. sleeve" to see what people were saying, and it seems like every post or result just wrote off the band and promoted getting the sleeve. What's up with that?

Sleeve-sters said things like "well, this is permanent and I needed to know that in my head." Well, as far as I'm concerned, I am living my life like my lap band is permanent, too. I don't see what that has to do with anything. I just kind of wanted to go for a simpler option before I cut out part of my stomach, ya know? And then they say when they gain weight, they have no options but to lose it the old-fashioned way. My response to that is, "what the hell--the old fashioned way didn't work for us before, how will it work for us then?" I'm not criticizing anyone's decision to have bypass or the sleeve, but for me personally, it wasn't the right choice. I am young and have a lot of years ahead of me. I wanted to know that in the small chance that I had complications or that I didn't lose the weight I needed to that there were indeed other options down the road. I also wanted to know I wasn't taking drastic measures, and for me, the sleeve or bypass would have been drastic. I wanted lower rates of complication. I didn't want to worry about malnutrition. I plan to get pregnant a few more times and don't want to worry about my baby getting enough nutrition. Lastly, I am okay with the slower rate of loss with the band versus the faster rate of loss with bypass or the sleeve. It's a known fact that the slower you lose it, the longer you keep it off anyway. At least that's one of those things everyone tells you. And honestly, I didn't want to lose it all in six months. I fear that if I did, the people around me would freak out a little and suspect a lot. And I'm not okay with telling everyone I had surgery. I also don't understand the "I don't want a foreign object in my body" argument. What about people with pacemakers? How is it any different? Or the nuva-ring birth control that you keep in your va-jay-jay? Or the braces on your teeth when you were a teenager? A foreign object isn't always bad. Sometimes it even saves lives.

So the fills, while not ideal, are okay. The ocassional sliming/PB is fine. Whatever. As long as my band doesn't slip/erode or stop functioning then this band thing is for me. I hope I never have to take more drastic measures in the future, but I leave this option open. For now, the band is working and I am working it! It is my friend. I like having the option of eating a piece of cake for my birthday party without worrying about hurling. I like having options. To me, the lap band is more about behavioral modification than restriction. I don't want to have a list of things I can and cannot eat; I just want to change the amount.

So what about you? Why did you choose the WLS that you did?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Fat Bubble

Do you ever find that you're living your life in a fat bubble? What I mean by that is: do you ever find yourself declining invitations or putting off certain life changes and justifying them to yourself by saying, "Oh, I'll get to it when I'm skinny"? Because I do. And I can't be the only one.

For example, my husband has some friends from high school he really wants me to meet. We've been able to put it off since we live two hours away.. that and we're both really anitsocial. BUT I'd really love to meet them. However, I haven't pushed him on it because I think, "Oh, I don't want them to see me like this and think of me as fat because I won't be like this much longer." Is that silly?

Does anyone else feel like this? Are we justified in thinking this way?

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

THAT Time of the month

What is it about my time of the month and binge eating that go hand in hand? Well, I haven't been too bad lately except...I recently discovered Nutella. Now how in the hell I have lived 23 years without ever trying this stuff is beyond me, but it is AMAZING. I only have half the 13oz jar left. Holy crap, right? Right.

My weight has been fluctuating due to water weight I suppose.. I was at 229 this morning, but we'll see about tomorrow. I definitely expect to see the effects of all the Nutella on the scale soon. Lol. I think this is true for most, but every time I hit a new low, I bounce around for a week or so and struggle to hit it again.

My family is going to Illinois for a wedding in November. I'd like to be at 200 by then. Do you think that's feasible? That's 8-9 lbs a month for three months. We'll see! If I am at 200 by then, I'll look better than when they last saw me! Lol. I probably left there at about the weight I am now, 230-ish.

Well, lots of things going on in my personal life. Feel free to follow me on Twitter if you want to get to know me better and see what I'm up to. :)

Friday, July 30, 2010


Why hello 220's, it sure is nice to meet you! Especially after baking cupcakes with homemade buttercream icing yesterday!

WOOT. So I just realized I have lost an (overall) amount of 51 freaking pounds since January. I'll take it! I can see the light!! Haha. My ultimate low goal is 140, but I will settle for 150 or 160? I don't know. I guess I'll just know when I get there. But I remember when I met my husband, I was in my 170's, so I can't wait to get back there and be one rockin' hot mama. ;)

Here's to hoping those cupcakes don't show up on tomorrow's scale..

Monday, July 19, 2010

Food addiction=one of the sins in my life.

I realize this post is going to come across as really extreme to some people, even Christians, but I feel like I'd be holding out on you if I didn't talk about it.

As I've said many times before, I am a Christian. This means I love Jesus. This means that every day, I try to die to myself. Every day, I try wake up and try to make this world less about me and more about him. I don't always succeed. In fact, most days I don't. But this life isn't about me... it's about gloryifying him. Which brings me to my next point..

During the days of dieting, did your skinny friends ever turn and look at you to say, "Your body is a temple. Treat it as such"? I have always wanted to punch those people in the face. What in the hell did they know about my struggle anyway? Yes, this IS going somewhere.

For lunch, I decided to have Double Stuf Oreos. They were in the house from something I had to make for my husband's work last week. I ate about 3 more than I should have. Then I shared some macaroni & cheese with my daughter for her lunch. While I was eating the mac & cheese, it dawned on me that I wasn't eating because I was hungry; I was eating because 1) I wanted to occupy myself 2) It fills up a hole--I can't quite explain this but those of you who struggle with food addiction will understand 3) and out of habit. As a Christian, this is wrong for me to do. Why? Paul, the apostle, wrote:

You must know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is within—the Spirit you have received from God. You are not your own. You have been purchased, and at a price. So glorify God in your body.
— 1 Corinthians 6:19–20

A lot of Christians and people tend to use this passage in support of why we should stray from sexual immorality, but I take it one step further. I think if Christ bought me at the price of his life, the least I can do is live my own life IN ALL WAYS to glorify him. Since loving Jesus involves picking up my cross, dying daily, and following him, this doesn't mean I should just do it in the areas of my life that are convenient. I truly believe that food has become an addiction for me in the past. Everyone knows that ANYTHING outside of moderation can become an addiction--alcohol, tobacco, pills, and food. But the church chooses not to touch on the sin of addiction to food because I think it hits too close to home. Too many of us are addicted. And too many of us are trying to fill the God-shaped hole with anything that numbs our pain, and for me, it is food. I'm not talking only about obese people here, but I am talking about all people who use food to numb their pain. It happens a lot, and the church doesn't recognize it because it might piss people off. But the truth is, when we turn to food, we are turning to a cheap substitute. We aren't turning to the real thing: Jesus.

I realize this sounds extreme. Yes, I am saying that addiction to food is a sin. But thankfully we are not alone. Christ overcame our sin for us so that we could believe and be saved through him. Now we just have to walk the talk.

If you're not a Christian, I didn't write this post to offend you. This is just a personal revelation I have come to that is helping me better understand this journey, why I embarked on it, and the deeper issues that surround my weight problem.... I don't think any of us are really "fat" just because we like food a lot. I think there is probably a deeper issue for most or all of us. And I realize that when I don't surrender and when I choose to numb my pain with food instead, I am not turning to the one who so fearfully and wonderfully made me.

EDITED TO ADD: I am saying that food addiction is a sin in my life. I am not saying it is a sin in your's. I would have no right to make that confession about anyone but myself. I just felt that if anyone would understand this addiction, it'd be my amazing blogger friends, so I wanted to share. I hope there are some bandsters (Christian or not) out there that can relate and learn something from my weaknesses.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I have been having an interesting band issue issue I've never had before... TIGHTNESS. Wait, oh my God, is that.... restriction?

I had my third fill the Thursday before last (nearly two weeks ago). I can tell a mega difference in a lot of ways:

1. I used to be able to eat reheated meat. Now if I have leftovers with meat in it, I get stuck.
2. I used to be able to do thin crust pizza. Now even Domino's thin crust isn't thin enough, so I stay away from it.
3. Food used to be the first thing I thought about when I woke up. Now I'm lucky if it crosses my mind to eat in the morning!

I've been finding that breakfast isn't necessary for me, but I try to eat it anyway. If I don't feel too tight, I'll have some yogurt, granola, and strawberries or a string cheese with my coffee. If I don't eat breakfast, I feel like I binge eat at dinner and post-dinner rationalizing it away because I missed breakfast.

Since this fill, I have had several stuck episodes, though. That is the nature of the beast: re-learning your limitations with every fill. I suppose I could just be a good little girl and stay away from all real food, but no, I see limits and I have to push them. This afternoon for lunch I tried to eat last night's homemade cheese ravioli with meat sauce. I forgot about the meat and ate it anyway. I was over the toilet in ten minutes.

I always feel stuck at least once at lunch and once at dinner. Sometimes they are very mild and sometimes they feel like there's a knife in my chest and someone is squeezing my head. I don't know what this means. I don't feel like I need an unfill. I DO know I need to get better at eating more slowly. It's funny to admit this, but I have to practically scarf my food down if I want to eat it because if I don't, my 17-month old daughter wants to eat it all (even after I've fed her). She always wants what's on mommy's plate. Lol. I also find that stress seems to make my band tighter. Anyone else have this phenomenon? I dealt with a really stressful situation this morning (you can read about it on my Twitter if you'd like) and found it very difficult to even get down my soup at lunch. What the eff?

Anyhow, just checking in. I can't wait to see the 220's!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Last Summer vs. This Summer

August 2009.
280 lbs.
Still in maternity pants from giving birth in February.

July 2010.
236 lbs.
Size 22 capris.

Yes, that is the same shirt in both photos-- one of my favorites. Hopefully there is a noticeable difference. In the top picture, my shirt fit so tightly. Now it is super loose!

I am hovering at 236 lbs right now. I had a fill on Thursday. I can definitely tell I am less hungry, but I'm afraid I'm not getting enough "good" calories in. And I'm certainly not exercising. Time for me to amp it up, baby!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Letting fear go and gaining much.

As the scale creeps down, I slowly start to feel myself letting down my defenses. What does that mean? It means I am finally starting to accept success. I decided to get this surgery last October. Since then, I have been in a constant state of fear--fear of failure. As I see the scale moving down and as I experience these little victories, I get more motivated and less fearful.

I've seen some of you say before that getting lap-band is about more than losing weight and that you have to deal with emotional and spiritual issues along the way. I kind of shrugged that off before, but now I think I see what you all mean. Losing weight is about so much more than health and good looks and all that jazz. For me, it is about learning to accept success and crush defeat. It's about refusing to take shit anymore. It's about refusing to take less than what is best for me!

So I just want to say: If you are on the fence about whether to get weight loss surgery or not only because you are scared of failing--MAKE THE JUMP. What have we got to lose anyway? Fear? Insecurity? Shopping in the plus size section for life? Diabetes? Heart Failure?

I realize I am sounding a little like a motivational speaker this morning, but maybe someone out there needs to hear it. ;)

Monday, June 28, 2010

Do you have a "no no" list?

I so deserve an asskicking. I am hacking up cold pizza right now! Lately, I have been a LOT tighter in the morning than ever before. However, I keep forgetting until I eat something. Yesterday I tried to eat the hard, crusty edges of a biscuit. I had to wait for it to pass. Today I tried to grab a small thin crust slice of cold pizza--heck no--I am now sitting in the bathroom floor. Damn. Protein shakes in the morning from now on. Feeling this way is NOT worth it.

In other good news, I finally reached the 230's. Later than I planned, but hey, I got there so that's good. Unfortunately, the night I weighed in at 239.2, I then went out to a rock 'n roll concert and overindulged in some alcohol and dinner. Blah. So I'm back up again. But I plan to be back down by my third appointment for a fill which is this Thursday. I'm pretty excited about getting a fill. Hopefully this will be the last one I need for a while.

Well I better go finish hacking up this pizza. Lesson learned. I need to start a "no-no" foods list. Currently the ones right now that I cannot do are:

Cold pizza
Soft bread
Soft tortillas
Deli meat
Soft crusted pizza
Leftover pasta

Friday, June 11, 2010

Ready for the 230's..where are they??

Woohoo! Down .4 lbs this morning. It's not much, but I'm taking it anywhere I can! I am determined to see a new decade (the 230's) by Monday. Not too much to ask, I hope.

Last night my husband weighed himself. He is 212. I will be soo excited when I weigh less than him! So that is my short term goal: 212. Once I get there, I am gonna do something crazy to celebrate like maybe get my next tattoo I've been dreaming of..

Well, my daughter is crying and my dog is whining so I better go. Just wanted to check in and say hello. :)

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Checking in

Hey! I'm just checking in with everyone. It's been a busy couple of weeks for us. A lot of cool things are happening.

1) My husband got a new job. That is awesome because that means he won't be in retail anymore. YAY! His hours are going to change, though, from 8-5 to 10-7. That will be a little of an adjustment for us.

2) I've been writing a book. Kind of weird to admit, but yes, I have been working on a novel for which I've had an idea for months. I started working on character and plot development about a month and a half ago, and now I am putting it all down and actually starting the story. My dream is to sell it to a publisher, but I am damn committed to finishing something I started.

3) I've been blogging about prayer.
I'm not sure how to explain it other than to say you'll have to check it out for yourself. I finally admitted to my pastor husband that I don't believe in the power of prayer, and that blog is my journey into believing again. Make any sense? No, I didn't think so. You'll just have to read it for yourself here, haha:

4) I've started school again. Yes, this session I am taking human biology and state & government. Woohoo! Only 2 1/2-3 more years until I get my BA. It seems like forever away right now, but I know it will pay off later.

With all that's been going on, I don't have much free time lately. And top all of that off, God has really been convicting me about the way I spend my time. I feel as if he saying, "You were bought at a price. Your life is not your own." This is refreshing because for the past year, I have been wandering through my life desperately trying to feel like serving others again. Now it's back with a vengeance! I am ready to do something crazy for Jesus just like I was when we moved to Illinois.

In the weight loss area, I have been feeling pretty discouraged. I have only lost 7 lbs in the last 8-9 weeks. That is utterly depressing to me. I know, I know, at least I'm losing. I just feel like it's going way too slowly. I have a couple of concerns. Firstly, I feel like I can eat way too much. My problem is I can be totally satisfied at one bowl of cereal, but before I realize I am satisfied, I go back for a second bowl. Yuck. I hate that. Secondly, I don't know if I have enough of a fill or if the doctor I'm using is giving them often enough. My second fill was on May 6 and he didn't want to see me again until July 3. Is that normal? If not, I wonder if he is just worried because I was banded in MX? Lastly, I just don't feel like I stay full long enough. I eat breakfast, then less than two hours later, I am hungry again. I usually try to drink a large glass of something when I get this feeling. If it doesn't go away (and it usually never does), I eat a snack. I just feel like I stay hungrier than I used to before I was banded. Does anyone else feel like this? Or is it all in my head? lol.

Monday, May 24, 2010

On a need-to-know basis

I've been contemplating lately. I feel there are things you can't understand about me and my weight loss journey until you know more about me. I know I've told my journey with weight in a previous post, but I'd like to share more with you. I truly find inspiration in all of you and your blogs and feel as if you are on a need-to-know basis. Haha. So here is a list of things about me I feel you should know to get me:

1) I love Jesus, but I'm not that good at it. I am a Christian. I will not shove it down your throat, but Jesus is my lifeblood. I see myself as a dirty and wretched sinner only cleansed by him. I believe this world is utterly and completely saved by the hands that made it. My husband is a former pastor and currently taking a break to finish school until we go back into ministry. So yes, I'm a pastor's wife.

2) I am from everywhere. I grew up my whole life just outside Louisville, Kentucky. Moved to Birmingham, Alabama when I was eighteen. Left when I was nineteen to marry and move to Crystal Lake (just outside Chicago), Illinois. Left after a year to move back to Talladega, Alabama. I love every place I've lived and carry a part of them with me. I miss the people I've left behind, and I can't wait to see where we go in the future.

3) I am poor and probably always will be.
I don't say this for sympathy. I say this because it sometimes explains my poor food choices. I am not always able to get the health food. I usually end up with more processed food in my grocery cart than I am happy about. But it's cheaper, and I feel like to get me you need to know that I am not making excuses for myself--it's just my situation. It is also a well-known fact that pastors do not get paid well so I don't expect to ever be rich. :) Right now, my husband is in a secular retail-based job. I stay at home with our 15-month old, and we basically live off of student loans as we are both full-time college students as well. We have never believed that we had to give up marriage to finish school or give up school to stay married. We believe that we can do both and succeed in both. Which brings me to the next point..

4) I am determined. Because I haven't lived my life in the order that the world laid out for me, it hasn't always been easy, but I think because of this I have become more determined. I am more determined to finish college now than I was when I was eighteen. I am more determined to be a good wife and mom than ever before. I am more determined to succeed with the lap band because I had to pay out of pocket. If I ever think of giving everything up, I just look at the price tag of my surgery! Lol.

So there's just a few things about me. I hope it can put some of my struggles a little more in context for you. I don't want sympathy, just understanding. :)

In other news, I've been hovering at 244.8 for a week now. And (TMI ALERT) I haven't had a good poop in a week. I am sooo constipated, so I am having my husband pick up a laxative on the way home for me. Coffee isn't even helping, and it used to be a sure-fire fix. Maybe it will help me break 244.8, too!

Well, that's it for now. Love reading your all's blogs. You all fascinate, inspire, and encourage me.

Monday, May 17, 2010

In hiding

So I've been in hiding recently. The reason is completely stupid. I am not losing weight as fast as I want to, and I just felt like blogging about it would be depressing, bring other people down, and whiny. Therefore I just refrained from blogging.

Now I see how *stupid* that is for a couple of different reasons. First, it's stupid because I can learn a lot from all of you. Secondly, it's stupid because I need your all's support. Lastly, it's stupid because I need to stay accountable, and I've found blogging and sharing my world with everyone else helps immensely. So if you don't hear from me for a few weeks, slap me! I probably need it.

I had my second fill on May 6th. After my first fill, I didn't feel much of a difference. I still felt like I was in bandster hell. After this second fill, I can tell a difference for sure. I have gotten stuck before, but it has always passed quickly. Usually it was because I didn't chew well enough or I did something stupid like try to eat a flour tortilla. However, a few days ago I got stuck on some deli turkey. I ended up in pain and over the toilet for 30-45 minutes. Lesson learned!! I have been much more careful since then and will continue to be. The good thing about this fill is that I feel like I can eat less and get full faster than at first. I do have one concern though. My doctor wants to see me in eight weeks for my next fill. I thought generally the waiting period was 2-4 weeks? I wonder if this is because I got my band in Mexico. Hm..

I am currently hovering between 244-245. This is the weight I was as a junior/senior in high school when I started losing weight and eventually got down to 175-180. This time, I hope to see 140 (or something close to it). That being said, I still have 100 pounds to go.

And now I need to confess: I don't feel like I'm losing weight fast enough. I was banded on Feb 3rd at 271 lbs. It has been 9-ish weeks and I am 245. I know that's 26 lbs, but I guess I imagined that the weight would literally be melting off. Lol. I know the band is only a tool. I guess I am comparing myself to my cousin (in law). She was banded at 320 lbs and is down 220 lbs a year later. Maybe there is a difference in how fast you lose based on the weight you are when you get banded. I don't know. But I feel like all of my in-laws are comparing me to her, and if I don't keep up with her or lose weight as quickly as she does then they will deem me a failure. And I cannot stand the thought of failing.

It has been a season of self doubt lately. I've gotta get past that. I am back in blogger world for good. I need to read your all's blogs. I know that will inspire me. I've also started exercising. Nothing big yet. Just lifting some hand weights while watching TV or doing my "Walk Away The Pounds" video. Just trying to get back into the exercise routine slowly. I don't want to jump in too quickly and then get discouraged. For example, someone on Twitter recommended the PX90 exercise program, but I don't think I could keep up with that right now. I don't want to over-extend myself and then quit. Know what I mean?

Damn, I've got a long way to go. I look at this journey and see how far I've already come and then see how far I've got ahead of me. I get mad at myself for letting myself get this heavy. After all, I was 175 lbs a mere four years ago. How in the hell I gained 100 lbs in four years is beyond me! But I will not allow myself to dwell on that. Once I get where I'm going, I am determined to stay there. As rewarding as this experience will be, I never want to have to go through it again.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eight weeks out..

First of all, I just want to say sorry for not updating in weeks! My extended family has been going through some extremely personal and difficult issues, and my husband, daughter, and I have been entrenched right in the middle of it. But I am extremely thankful because we are now in our own place! YAY! We haven't lived on our own for a year and a half, so this is great! I am loving it. I am sorry I haven't updated you all. I have truly missed reading your blogs and all of your support. But I am back, and I am excited to start reading everyone's blogs again!

Good news: even with all of this family drama, I have managed to lose 22 lbs since my surgery. That is 22 lbs in eight weeks. SCORE! That is 32 lbs total since pre-op. I had my first fill last Thursday. It was interesting. Of course, my doc wanted to know why I had gone to Mexico. He asked me in a very condescending way, but I have thick skin, so I just told him upfront: I had no insurance. He asked me how much I paid. I thought that was kind of personal but told him anyway. It seems I saved approximately $4500 total going to Mexico than using him for my surgery. Even though this isn't an issue of who was cheaper, money was a factor. And I felt very confident with my choice of a surgeon. She was fantastic, and so was the whole team.

The fill itself was not what I expected. He had me lay down, felt for my port, numbed me (thank GOD), and just stuck it in. I couldn't look! Then he had me sit up and drink half a cup of water to see if any of it came up. It didn't. Then I laid back down and he asked if the water came up a little. It did, so he took some out. He said he put 1cc into my 10cc band. He also said he hates 10cc bands because there is less room for error when it comes to how much fluid can be in it. He said they also tend to be tighter, so that's why doctors are trying to get away from them. He also said he can't guarantee me any results since he didn't place my band. That's understandable. And he said he'd like to see me in a month or two, but if I am losing weight at a good rate, then I don't have to come back until I feel like I need to. So I made an appointment for May, but I don't know that I'll be using it. He also said I should do a clear liquid diet for three days post fill.. haha, let's just say I failed miserably at it.

When it comes to restriction, I am unsure if I have it at this point. Before the fill, I didn't feel hungry for breakfast. Post fill, I have felt hungry for breakfast. Kinda weird, eh? Mainly I've been eating mini-meals throughout the day. This morning I had a piece of whole grain toast, a slice of melted cheddar, and a couple slices of turkey on it. It's held me over for two hours, and now I'm thinking about lunch.

My jeans are starting to get too loose. I love it! Only thing is I am too broke to buy new ones. But I absolutely REFUSE to complain!

I love and miss you guys and promise to post and comment much more often now that things with the extended family are settling down.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

One week out

So it's been one week since my surgery. At Day 5 of my liquids, I had had ENOUGH. At that point, I was pretty freaking hungry with my stomach constantly growling for five days straight. It puts one in a very bad mood. So I emailed the nutritionist from the clinic and she gave me the go ahead to advance to the next phase of the diets-- yogurts and creamy soups.

But let me just be honest with you. My surgeon's version of a post-op diet is extremely shitty.

Case in point: I don't get to start pureed foods until week five. Hahahahaha. Um, wtf. I ate 2 lbs of yogurt yesterday. Somehow I don't think I am going to survive on yogurt and creamy soups for three more weeks. The only addition I have to that diet is in weeks three and four I can start back on my protein shakes. I want to know, why do post-op diets vary so much from surgeon to surgeon? That is so frustrating! I know I need to follow the post-op diet to the T, but I'll just go ahead and say it now: I am going to cheat. I just do not like yogurt and creamy soups that much. I will probably "advance" myself to soft and pureed foods in week 4, a week early. Don't get me wrong-- I'm gonna try hard and follow this as closely as I can, but if I feel like a wreck because I've bought Wal-Mart out of Yoplait, then I'm just gonna move on to the next phase very slowly. (Side note: I'm really not kidding about 'feeling like a wreck'. This food depravation thing can do crazy stuff to your emotions!)

The other downside to this whole thing is that our kitchen is being remodeled right now. There have been guys working on putting in the new tile floor all week so I can't go in there and make soup or anything. So I've been living off popsicles and yogurt mainly. It sucks. I'm also allowed to start milk again during this phase and will make another confession: I had a small milkshake last night for dinner. But it *was* small as opposed to a large and I sipped it slowly. It kept me full for the rest of the night, and I was not even really hungry for breakfast this morning. I am not generally an ice cream person, and I don't foresee myself developing a "slider foods" addiction. I honestly don't even find myself craving sweets. I keep dreaming of chicken salad, crackers, garlic mashed potatoes, and hamburger steak as opposed to the pre-band me which only wanted brownies, french fries, and chocolate chip cookies. I don't think eating healthy will be AS hard as this liquid diet phase once I can actually eat. I'm so excited for that.

Sorry for the rambling. I'm just hungry and can't get into the kitchen for the guys working.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Post Surgery Check-In

Hi all. Just checking in post surgery. I am back at the hotel now, drinking liquids and broths. I have my amazing husband to care for me. :) I would not have been able to do this without him. They discharged me at about 1:00pm today. My body still has not adjusted to a time zone yet, and I just woke up from a 3 hour nap.

They took me into surgery at about 2:00pm yesterday afternoon. I was back in my room by 5:00pm pm after spending about an hour or so in recovery. The actual procedure only takes 30 minutes they said with the placing of the band a mere 5 minutes. I have 5 small incisions on my tummy now. I washed them today and applied antibiotic cream. I will have to do this every day for a week. I was not allowed liquids again until this morning, so it was nearly 30-32 hours without water. It would have been a lot rougher if I had not known to expect that. Luckily I did, so I just tried not to think about it. The water this morning was manna from heaven.


I have some gas pain. I constantly feel the need to pass gas through both ends, yet I can not seem to make myself burp. I also really feel the need to poop but just am too scared to try. I've heard horror stories of those who wish they had taken a stool softener and I heard people say it wasn't necessary. I did have some solid food the afternoon before my surgery (salad) with the approval of my surgeon, so I am worried about that.

Also, I am afraid to get out of bed by myself though I can get in. Right now, I am having my husband help pull me up when I wish to walk around or sit up instead of lie down. He has been a great help. Without him, this would have all been so scary.

Now I can not wait to get home and see my baby girl. I have missed her so much. We will be celebrating her first birthday this month! I am not looking forward to the flight, though. We were like sardines on the Chicago connection to San Diego. I'm not sure how I'll manage with my slight pain, so I'm going to see if Southwest will allow me to preboard and perhaps get a seat with more stretching room.

BTW, for those of you who read a post I wrote a while back about my plane seat and were wondering, I fit in my seat just fine. It was a little tight and I got the seatbelt to buckle with no room to spare, but luckily I was beside my husband the whole time so I did not have to squish up to a stranger. I ended up buying a seat belt extension for use on Southwest plans just in case, and now I no longer need it. So here's to hoping Southwest in San Diego is feeling sympathetic tomorrow and allows us to preboard...

Thank you for all your well wishes. I wish I could respond to them all individually, but I really can not bear to sit still for long on here right now. :) Hope you all are well!!

Surgery Day

I'm alive. I'm naseous. and I'm in some pain. But I am ok. Will type more later. Thanks for those of you who thought of me today.

Friday, January 29, 2010

5 days to go..

I've been busy trying to follow my pre-op diet. Haha. I've been reading your blogs but not commenting or updating, so I apologize for that!

As for the diet, it goes well. I have cheated a few times, but no biggie. I avoided sweets altogether until last night when I had my "last meal" at Cheesecake Factory. And don't you know, I just had to get the peanut butter cup cheesecake. But I figure since I only go once or twice a year, it is okay to indulge post-band and take a piece home with me.

My 5 day liquid diet started day, and I plan to follow it fully. I get to have protein shakes, soups, creams, broths, and all the sugar free ice cream/Popsicles/jello that I want... which I can guarantee you will not be much. The protein shakes are filling me up for a few hours at a time, so that's a surprising positive. The only thing is, I have had such trouble finding a brand that doesn't make me want to barf. I bought four samples from GNC and only really liked two. The first one ended up being a meal replacement (bah!) and I can't remember the name of the second one. So looks like I'll be going back and perusing the aisles some more.. the guy who works there is like huge. He's kind of scary.

In other developments, I have an amusing (at least to me) story to tell. So I haven't told THAT many people about getting the band. I only told my close friends (of which I have 3-4) and my immediate family (parents, brothers, in-laws). I also told my husband's cousin who is very close to us and had lap-band surgery in April of 09. Beyond that, I haven't told anybody else. I never told people they couldn't tell (except for the cousin--but that was before I made my decision), but I never told people they could tell others either. Well, I don't know what I was thinking because my mother-in-law is apparently telling everyone in the family. Not that I care, but I would have liked her to ask me how I felt about it first. And then, to top it off, my father-in-law is an MD and everyone who works at his office knows. Ha. But the amusing thing to me is, though I told them about this in November, my father-in-law has decided to ask a colleague who is a lap band surgeon if he would be willing to budge on the price for me so I don't have to fly out of state for it. (They don't know I'm going to Mexico, and I don't want them to. They think I am only going to San Diego. It's best if they don't know because I don't care to hear any one's judgments.) So he has spent the past week checking on the price and trying to get some leverage for me to get this surgery here in my town. So far, the surgeon quoted a very reasonable price, but it didn't include the hospital or anesthesiologist. So ya know... if he can't work out an arrangement here, then I am still going in five days to get it done in Mexico. I appreciate his offer to help and see what he can do, but I wish he had thought about asking his friend sooner. Oh well.. I am just so ready to get this show on the road. I'd be willing to wait to do it if I COULD do it here for a reasonable price, but I don't see my luck being that great. Plus, I'm just ready to do this already. Three months of planning and waiting has made me a very impatient girl.

I'm starting to get hungry.. luckily my mom-in-law has some homemade vegetable soup. Yum.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Funny text message

I thought you may get a kick out of this text conversation with my husband.


Me: I want cookies

Me: And taco bell!!!!!

Him: Lol

Me: I want a five layer burrito

Me: I'll be your bff

Me: I'm dying

Me: My head hurts :(

Him: Sorry baby

Him: Popsicle

Me: Ew. I need some meat to sustain me

Me: Help me cheat?

Him: lol you'd hate me later

Me: But I'd love you now

Basically I am having the worst case of hunger known to man. Or me, at least. Probably because I was lazy and didn't want to cook so I only had a snack for lunch so I could eat more at dinner. Definitely won't make THAT mistake again!

I keep wondering, how important is this first week of dieting for a successful surgery? It seems like only the last nine days would be *really* necessary. First four days are 1,000 cals plus protein shakes and the last five days are strictly liquids. This week of 1,200 cals seems unnecesary. I do see the good side of it, though. It gets me used to eating like I should. I just don't want to starve through it. I hate eating this way because I can only eat certain foods at certain times. If I did this diet my way, I'd only eat when I wanted to and make the best choices that I could. This just seems like jail. Alas, it is *my way* that got me this big, so I'll shut up.

Ignore me. It's the hunger talking. :)

Pre-op day 1

So it wasn't as bad as I imagined it to be..If I found myself hungry throughout the day, I would just drink more tea.

Breakfast: 2 egg whites, 1/2 cup mushrooms and 1/2 banana

Lunch: 1 cup of cooked spaghetti with 2 tbsps of Parmesan cheese, 1 cup salad with 1tbsp Italian dressing and 6 croutons

Snack: 1/2 cup pinto beans

Dinner: 1 cup cooked white rice w/ 1 tbsp butter and 1/2 cup steamed veggies.

Snack: Sugar free Popsicle.

This all added up to about 1000-1200 calories today. Not bad! I even cut out 2 snacks because I wasn't that hungry: a granola bar and a piece of fruit.

Here's to hoping I'm as successful tomorrow as I was today. :)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A gift to all my friends and followers!

I have something I'd like to share with you. While my husband was a pastor and we were living in Illinois, we lived with a family for a few months who became very close to our hearts. When we moved in with them, they had just finished losing all the weight they needed to and were working on maintenance. Every morning they would weigh themselves and mark it on a chart taped to their bathroom mirror. Then once every few weeks, the husband would enter their numbers in an Excel spreadsheet and it would show a physical graph of how much weight they lost/gained. He did this so they would have a daily physical reminder of their achievements.

He sent me the spreadsheet, and I want to share it with you. If you are the type of person who weighs every day and needs a reminder of how you are doing, this is just the thing to tape on your bathroom mirror and keep track!

I have uploaded the spreadsheet to for you to download. If for some reason the link doesn't work, please leave me a comment with your email address and I will email it to you. This link will only be valid for 7 days. There are instructions inside the spreadsheet, but let me know if you still have questions. I am not an Excel whiz, but I'm sure I can always email our friend to get your answers.

Here is the link: Weight Loss Spreadsheet.

Have a great weekend everybody!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Protein Shakes

I tried to find a thread for this on LBT but got tired of searching. As I am about to begin pre-op, I am curious; which brands and flavors of the protein shakes are your favorite? I have always hated SlimFast and stuff like that so I'm hoping the shakes won't resemble it. I am about to stock up so suggestions are appreciated.


Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A pre-band challenge and a post-band victory

As I gear up for my pre-op diet that begins on Monday, I am putting things in order before I leave for surgery. The thing dearest and most important to me is my 11-month old daughter's care while my husband and I are in Mexico for three days. See, she is our first. And I stay at home with her. So I am VERY attached. She usually spends part of the night in our bed, and I enjoy snuggling with her. The thought of leaving her for three nights is almost too much to bear. I didn't even think of this before I booked the surgery. I'm kind of glad I didn't because it probably would have caused me to delay it. However, I am gonna miss her like crazy. She is my princess. My dad and stepmom have offered to keep her and so have my in-laws (whom we live with). I am torn on who to leave her with. Both places have their upsides. If I leave her here, she will be home but I am afraid she will be neglected some as this family isn't very organized. I know I would come back to her things being a complete wreck. I am leaning towards leaving her with my dad. She LOVES her papa and he adores her. My only worry is she'll be too much of a burden on them because she still wakes up once at night to eat. My dad has assured me it would be no problem and I have no worries leaving her with them. They are the most attentive caregivers and are prompt to change her and feed her. To be completely honest, my in-laws are kind of lazy about all of that and try to pass it off on each other. I think for my utmost peace of mind that we will leave her with my dad.

Okay, so basically I wrote the first paragraph to settle all that in my mind. Thanks for sticking with me through that part, haha.

The second part of this post is definitely for females only and may be a little TMI, but I am already thinking of positives of getting the lap band. My favorite part is that I just had my period, so I won't be going through pre-op with an insane urge to eat a Hershey's chocolate bar! I will be newly banded when I get my next period and unable to eat much but liquids. I know you girls can appreciate that! Lol.

So yes, I am ready to do this. I am on my way to being a healthier and happier me :)

Friday, January 8, 2010

24 days...

In a little over three weeks, I will be banded. My fears are strangely starting to alleviate. I'm not sure if it's a result of prayer or not, but I am thankful! My pre-op diet starts in about a week and a half. One week of high protein, 5 days of mostly liquids, and then 4 days of clear liquids. I know this will be great preparation for post-op, but going one month without real food is kind of scary! The one thing I have determined, though, is not to let food rule me. In one of Dinnerland's recent posts, she mentioned that she hoped that food would not rule her life after surgery. After all, it is JUST food. JUST sustenance. No reason to revolve our lives around it. I hope to be the same. I have been on both ends-- the health nut counting every calorie and point and also as the fat girl reviewing every calorie with a gaping mouth. I don't want to be counting all my life. That's why my weight loss on Weight Watchers was never long-lasting. I want to become knowledgeable about what is good for me and will make my body work to the best of its potential, but I do not want to count forever and assess every bite I put in my mouth. Though I'm sure that's a lot of what I'll be doing at first because I will be learning a whole new way of life.

I am getting excited and even giddy. Let's get this show on the road!! :)

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