Saturday, December 18, 2010

It's the most wonderful time of the year!

And the busiest! I am sorry that I have dropped off the face of the earth for a while. I have been incredibly busy with work and fun, creative side projects.

I have to admit that I have enjoyed not being as all-consumed with my life as it relates to my lapband. I felt like it was all I could think about and it was beginning to get to me. I think that my break away from it reminded me that I am still normal and that I can function and make progress without making my lapband the focus of life.

However, now that things are beginning to settle down (sorta kinda) I do miss the support and cheers from my fellow bandsters. I also miss seeing everyone else's progress and day-to-day experiences. I am so far behind on all the blogs!

I am actually blogging from the road right now. I found an app that let's me blog, but it's hard to catch up with everyone. Hopefully over my holiday break I can sit down and catch up on all of you and talk a little bit about what has been going on in my journey.

Here's a little side note from the road...I just bought a Myoplex protein drink from a gas station! Cold and ready to drink. Very convenient. They also had muscle milk. I am glad to see more options like that because it's so much easier than dealing with the powder while on a roadtrip.

Happy holidays to you all and I can't wait to get back to the blogs again!
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Friday, November 12, 2010

Twinkie Diet Actually Proves to be Positive - I'm down with that.

Maybe not completely positive, but it is an interesting little experiment and incredibly relevant to what LapBand folks are going through.

A professor of human nutrition from Kansas State University did a 10-week-long experiment to find out if you would lose weight if you ate fewer calories even if what you ate was JUNK FOOD. He did. He lost 27lbs in 10 weeks because he consumed fewer calories. He ate snack cakes, chips, and other sugary, carb-infested goodies and STILL lost weight. He ate 1,800 calories per day of pure junk.

Here's the whole story on CNN.

He admits that the long-term effects of poor nutrition are not conclusive from his experiment, but that in a nutshell, he proved what he wanted to prove. That weight-loss is based more on calorie intake and not so much nutrition. He took a multi-vitamin everyday to keep from having issues - and his bloodwork proved that the multi-vitamin was sufficient for the 10 week experiemnt.

Is this not exactly what the LapBand life is all about? Less of anything is OK and moderation is the key.

I think the reason why his little study excited me so much is not because I'm going to go out and only eat Twinkies and Doritos, but because he has shown that Calories count and portions count - that makes me feel good about the decision I made to choose LapBand as my bariatric surgery and it makes me feel good about my everyday choices. They are over-all nutritious, but, when you splurge, it's all about the calorie in-take and balancing that out during the week.

I would like to see a woman do the same diet and see how the results might differ. However, I won't be the one volunteering for that ;)

Friday, November 5, 2010

Some Thoughts on Metabolism for Friday

A friend of mine shared this great information she got at her Weight Watchers meeting. They were talking about Metabolism and these are some of the notes that she took. I thought I would share. I especially like the M&Ms factoid. That makes you think twice each time you consider taking even the tiniest bite of a treat... It takes more to work it off than you might think!
  •  Physical activity can counteract changes in metabolism after 45 years of age, when we start to slow down and we begin to lose muscle mass.
  • Men have more muscle tissue so they burn calories faster. They just have a better engine than we do.
  • When you are building muscle, you are not "gaining weight" because lean muscle burns calories 24/7.
  • Boost metabolism by increasing heart rate - don't walk at the same pace, get your heart going, then slow down, get it going again, etc. and you'll get stronger.
  • Metabolism is inherited but it can be changed with exercise, so don't just accept that you have a slow metabolism and "can't" lose weight, change it up.
  • Food has no effect on your metabolism except if you eat too much, then it will affect your body fat, which slows your metabolism.
  • Caffeine just increased your heart rate, it doesn't change your metabolism.
  • One M&M is equal to walking the length of a football field
  • "Don't eat anything after 7 pm, 8 pm, whatever pm" is a myth.  Your metabolism doesn't know what time it is.  It's not what time you eat, it's what you do after you eat.  If your metabolism has slowed down for the evening and you don't go for a walk or hit the gym, it's just going to stay slowed down and whatever you ate will do whatever it does to stick with you.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

80s Halloween Costume Video

Hello to everyone out there! Thanks to all the new followers! I'm getting close to 50! woohoo! :)

So, before we went out on Friday night, we did a quick little video of our costumes! We are SO ridiculously goofy. I thought I would share with you all ;) Special guest appearance made by my kitty, Fiona. Oh, and we are both standing in my home office - no, I do not have a small child living with me...Stuffed animals and other collectibles abound - that's just how I roll LOL

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Ugh. Damn you, Halloween!

So, I've been ├╝ber busy lately - yes. I've been drawing zombies and getting my household back in order and tending to projects and such... but I've also been hiding from my band, from all of you, from my food journal, and from my bad habits over the weekend.

I was catching up on blogs today and I read Joey's vlog and was having one of those "OMG - THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I AM GOING THROUGH" moments and I had no one to tell about it, so I thought I would blog about. Don't you hate that? When you have a realization of some sort, but you know that no one else would get it, so you have to keep it to yourself? Well, I've got all of you out there, so I can "tell" you and you'll "get it".

Just look at my desk drawer. 



Do you see something that shouldn't be there? Um, yeah, I DO. F'in skittles. Where did they come from? Left over from trick-or-treaters, indeed. But, if those skittle packs were the only problem, then I wouldn't be blogging about this.

The problem began when my last fill of .5cc's didn't do much yet again. THEN, I had a busy schedule and ate a couple of breakfast biscuits from fast food joints over the last couple of weeks and other "fast" items with less nutritional value than I would like. I've also been in such a hurry to move on to the next thing on the "To do" list that I've been eating too fast and getting things "stuck". Which sucks! Then when Friday night's Halloween party rolled around I had two pieces of pizza (which is no biggie...it's homemade and thin crust and DELICIOUS) but I had numerous fun-size candy bars. NUMBEROUS. They go down so easy.

I was forgiving myself for it all. Truly. I had planned this worry-free food weekend in advance and knew it was coming, then it would be over as well as the super-busy schedule and I could resume good habits.

And then, the day after the party, we had a late start and didn't eat B'fast until 3 in the afternoon. Therefore, I was STARVING and ate too much and too fast. I actually felt a little nauseous the rest of the day because of that and I've NEVER eaten that much since I've gotten the band.

The reason I still feel so guilty about all of it is that my brain is still battling the food demon. My brain was having fun and it doesn't want to let go of that good time! It was all-around just a bad last couple of weeks that culminated into a Halloween blow-out that I'm having a hard time kicking. Do fun-size snickers really have that big of a hold on my brain? Is there CRACK in those things or something?

I just don't know how to make it stop. It doesn't help that as I sit here my stomach is growling wildly for some food. *Le Sigh*... 4 more weeks until my next fill. I just want to run away for Thanksgiving. Tell everyone that I am deathly ill and run away to Las Vegas or something. Screw it.

I hope I get my motivation back. I hope my brain can turn these feelings off soon. It's like a bad relationship... Food has given me a black eye so many times. I've put a restraining order on it, yet when we have one good time together again, I'm falling back in love...

Thursday, October 28, 2010

My Thursday Things

Hey everybody! Here are some Thursday things!
  • First off - THANK YOU to all the wonderful people who have commented on my posts... I can't tell you all how much it means to me to be able to share my stories, success and thoughts with all of you!
  • What an incredibly busy week! I've been drawing zombies are nightmarish things all week. Which I love, but boy oh boy, it's a lot of sitting. Like I was saying, my hobbies are not exactly healthy. Want to see some zombies? Well, here we go... This is Ma & Pa Zombie and their children "Junior" and Ellie-May.
  • I've been out of the blog loop lately because work and home have been so busy. The last week or so have been the first times in a long time where I have almost "forgotten" about my lapband. Not in a lifestyle kind of way - I'm still doing as I should, but in the fact that has been the first time in a loooong time where my lapband hasn't been the only thing on my mind. It felt really good. It was almost like a vacation from it, but the blog reading and posting keep me focused, so I have to continue to be in touch with this world!
  • My art projects and freelance are finally starting to dwindle down. This sounds crazy but I can't wait for it to be over so I can get back to doing house work regularly. I am a bit of a neat freak, so being busy is killing me.
  • The dear husband has been crazy busy too, so we are both kind of a wreck and so is the house!
  • This weekend is Halloween! YAY! I got a good party to go to on Friday night. I can't wait... it's 80's themed. I'll share pics later :)
  • Being so busy has interfered with exercise again, but that is OK. I hate to say it, but I feel better when I don't exercise. My body stays achy and swollen when I try to make walking a regular thing. But, I will pick it back up again... I know that I must.
  • I haven't been keeping my food journal like I should. I go through phases with it where I obsess about writing it all down then I get bored with it because I am eating the same old stuff...boring...I know by heart how many calories and grams of protein most things in my fridge have!

Monday, October 25, 2010

The Monday Rundown

Hello everybody! Thanks so much for all your kind words about Saturday's post! All your support and having a group to cheer me on means the WORLD to me! :) :)

Time for a little recap of the weekend with another Monday Rundown.


  • See pic above - My Co-worker gave me a non-caloric Halloween treat today! What a great way to start a Monday!
  • It was a CRAZY busy week last week and just as busy over the weekend. Freelance and art projects ruled the weekend and are STILL not done.
  • I had BBQ this weekend and man-oh-man was it good. I ordered a small plate and I had it for dinner two nights in a row.
  • I did not exercise last week at all. I did it on purpose to see if I would feel better. I've been so achy and crappy feeling and I knew it was from the walking. It made my legs ache so bad and I was having a hard time sleeping at night since I can't take alieve. I did feel much better last week...
  • This week I'm giving myself another break from the exercise routine due to some crazy art project deadlines that I have to meet and I am also getting ready for a 80's Halloween party on Friday night.
  • Now that I'm on the cusp of the 270's I can't wait for them to get here!
  • I've been doing much better about my protein in-take the past week and I think that has attributed to my weight loss. I even had a protein shake on Saturday as an afternoon snack.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Quick Saturday Note!

As of this morning, I'm down 53lbs! HOLY MOLY! This is not since my surgery date (which was Aug. 11th), but since July 10th when I began my pre-op preparation to lose as much as I could before the surgery and begin eating like I would be after surgery. That's 53lbs in 3 months and 12 days. I am weighing in at 280.4 this morning and I'm about to say goodbye to the 280's forever. I'm so excited that I had to share this! I went straight past 50lbs and directly to 53. Cool :)

Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Thursday Things

I have had such an incredibly busy week so far, ya'll! I am farther behind on reading blogs that I have been since I started this endeavor. I really enjoy it, so I've got to catch up soon! The bad thing is that I think next week is going to be every bit as busy! I've got lots of art projects to catch up on, chores, errands, and a Halloween party to get ready for next Friday night! Eek! :)

Anyways, a few things this Thursday! I hope this doesn't sound like a big "toot my horn" post.
  • I got called a "skinny minnie" today! hahaha I am wearing clothes that actually fit today and my coworkers were all like "Wow, you can really see the difference!". Makes me wanna go buy more clothes that fit right! :)
  • I forgot to mention something my doctor said yesterday when I was getting my fill. He asked me if I avoided water after eating and I told him truthfully that Yes, I did except for occasionally when I eat out, there is water on the table and I forget and take a sip or two...Not a lot, but I do take some sips. He told me that he would rather than I drank water up until my very first bite of food than to drink anything at all afterwards. So, I know that some of you had brought up the drinking while eating thing and so I thought I would share that tidbit.
  • I was shopping the other day and ran into a really sweet lady that works upstairs in my building. She used to work across the hall from my husband and she said "Oh, you look so good! What have you been doing?" I told her that I had been moderating and walking. Which is true. :) It feels so good when people notice.
  • The lady that does custodial services on our floor (another super sweet lady) told my coworkers that she was amazed at how I was looking lately. My coworkers (the ones that know), of course, told me... :) They are such a supportive bunch.
  • I seriously think that I might have to go out and buy a pair of these pants in another color. If I'm going to be going to all this work to lose weight, then I want to LOOK like it, right? Why go around and wear baggy-arse pants all the time and feel frumpy? It's feeling like I look good that really makes me want to continue doing well and staying on track, so I guess I should look at it as part of it all and just shell out some money for pants. At least a COUPLE of things...not a whole new wardrobe.
Anywho, I've gotta run to a meeting now, so the busy week continues! I hope all is well in bloggy land! I hope to catch back up soon!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

My 2nd Fill

I had my 2nd fill appointment today! He only put in .5cc so, not a big one, but hopefully it will do something. That leaves me with a total of 4cc in a 14cc band.

I can tell you right now that my stomach is growling like MAD. Ugh. I need to go drink something.
Oh, and does anyone else have some crazy burping episodes right after a fill? Like, the kind of burps where you could practice reciting the alphabet? LOL

Today was kind of a frustrating day. It seems like all my weigh-in days are at bad times. This morning I woke up and knew that I was swollen and retaining a little water. Nature wouldn't come calling either! So, that just made the scale downright inaccurate. Plus, at the doctor's office, with all my clothes and shoes on, It adds a good 3lbs at LEAST. When I got home I weighed on my scale with shoes on and everything and I got the same reading as he did, so I know my scale is not whacked out - it was just my body today!

Anyway, I'll continue just remind myself that the doc office weigh-ins are not the be-all and end-all of the whole deal. He only sees me once per 4-6 weeks and I weigh myself everyday, so I am the only one who really knows what's going on!

By this evening I will be in my light-weight jammies, no shoes, and nature will have called upon me and the world (and the scale) will all be right again! LOL

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Monday Rundown

Hello Everyone! Welcome to my new followers Gwen, Carmen, JanetandToby, and klrphotography! I think I'll cover my weekly goals in my Monday Rundown because It's been a hectic Monday so far!
  • Thanks to everyone who took the time to read my last very long post! All your comments are much appreciated :)
  • I walked 3 times last week for a about 45 minutes each time! That meets my goal of 3-4 times of at least 30 minutes.
  • Water intake is improving very much! I still have to remember not to chug though! :(
  • I wasn't able to try any new recipes last week...it was a pretty hectic week for me. I was lucky to make it to the grocery.
  • My knees are sure giving me a lot of heck for all the walking :(
  • I love my new Marshmallow JVC earbuds! They stay in my ears and it's amazing. No more jamming those little speakers down into my ear canals. These stay in place and the memory foam drowns out all background noise well!
  • I might have to try the stationary bicycle soon. I read that for people who have those cracks and pops and "catches" in their knees that the stationary bicycle can help sort of grind down the spurs in the knees that cause those problems. I hate stationary bikes! So, booooo!
  • I will have to do a review of the Android app called Cardio Trainer very soon! I like it better than the My Tracks app I talked about before. It's a very handy tool!
  • I am down 1lb this week. I think the walking has caused some swelling and building of muscles this week!
  • I hit my Halloween goal almost 2 weeks early! YAY! :)

Friday, October 15, 2010

Growing Up Fat.

This is a long post for me, but it's been very cathartic and eye-opening for me to write. I hope even though it's lengthy, others will take the time to read my story. I've really enjoyed reading what others have had to say on the topic.

Drazil & Linda have brought up a good discussion about childhood obesity - as in what should a parent do if they see their child is becoming overweight. That is a great discussion. Should the parent step in and take charge of the situation and perhaps cause the child to have self-image issues or should the parent let the child be blissfully unaware of the fact that their overeating could be leading to a life-time of obesity and possible ridicule? Obviously neither of those is the best choice, but what is the middle ground?

I do not have children, so I can not tell you what I would do in this situation. I can tell you what I *think* I might do, but who knows if that would work out, right? I can imagine it's a whole new ballgame when you've got your own children and see them dealing with these issues. So, given that, I won't even pretend to know what is right and wrong. Ever family is different as well.

All I can tell you is my story. I was a fat kid. I was THE fattest kid in every class I was ever in. I was bigger than the boys. I was the fat kid from the fat family.

However, lucky for me, I grew up in the best little podunk town ever. I never recall having been made fun of. I went to the same school from K-12 and everyone knew me and I guess liked me. And, on top of that, everyone had manners. Because of that, I never knew ridicule and teasing. I never knew that I was supposed to be ashamed of my size. I knew I was bigger than everyone else, and I knew I did not want to be bigger than everyone else, but I never felt particularly ashamed of it. More than anything, I just wanted to be able to wear the same clothes as everyone else.

My family was fat. All of them. We still are. We all struggled with our weight. We still do. So, lucky for me, I never had a skinny sibling or a skinny mom to compare myself to. I was just one of the crowd.

I was an active child of the 80s. I was always outside and rarely played inside. I road my bike, played in the woods, ran around, biked around the neighborhood and rarely watched copious amounts of TV.  I played basketball on a team every single year from 2nd grade until 7th grade. My mom never made a big deal out of my weight, but she would let me try to lose weight. I would initiate that on my own. Maybe she figured that I was so active that eventually I would burn it all off and grow out of it? Actually, that is exactly what she would tell me. She would tell me that if I kept up doing all the things I was doing that when I got older and taller I would grow out my size and I would be taller and more slender. I think it was a very good way to put it - it never made me feel bad, it just made me feel good because I can remember thinking that one day I would grow up out of this "phase"... It made me feel good, but I guess it was also a bit of a stretch because in my little kid mind, I thought that it would just happen and I wouldn't have to do anything to make it happen.

I can remember the summer after 3rd grade when I called my former teacher to inform her that over the summer I had learned how to ride my bike and lost 10lbs. I was so proud. This really isn't something that an 8 year old should be worrying about, but I did... I can VIVIDLY remember running around our yard in a little running path that I had mapped out for myself. I would challenge myself to run around it however many times. I would be huffing and puffing and singing "What's Love Got To Do With it" by Tina Turner as I ran. My mom didn't make me do that...she didn't map out a course for me. She didn't set a goal number of times to run around the yard - I did. I did that all on my own.

Eventually the fat held me back. I wanted to play basketball so bad, but I was embarrassed because the uniform never fit me right and the shorts were always riding up and the shirt was too tight. So, I didn't allow myself to play very well because the more I ran, the more those shorts rode up and I just knew that everyone was looking at me. Finally after the 7th grade, I quit basketball and become the bookkeeper for the Varsity boys basketball team. I was a smart kid and the coaches all liked me and knew I would do a good job. BUT, it wasn't what I really wanted to do. I wanted to play.

I don't recall my mom being a constant dieter, but I knew that she had been to a doctor about her weight before and that at one time she had been on a 600 calorie a day diet that the doctors had put her on. She still had all the papers and pamphlets from all of it and would get it out sometimes. We ate fairly healthy meals most of the time. It was just the in-between stuff that was so bad. We never had lots of snacks around the house. We would go on the weekend, get the snacks, and go home and eat them all in one sitting - and a lot of it. That was what made us fat. It was like a family binge eating frenzy.

Even to this day, my mom is in denial of the binge eating...I clearly remember my mom and brother and I going to the store and picking out chips, soda, several candy bars and snack cakes (plus anything new that was on the market so we could try it) and going home and eating them all while we watched rented movies together. It was truly ridiculous amounts of food. It was horrendous.

We hid the binges too. We hid them from my dad. Not because he was a mean, ogre who would call us all fat or do or say anything mean/violent. No...he wasn't like that. He was fat too! But, he just had a different kind of bad eating behavior. So, these binges would occur on weekends while my dad was on hunting or fishing trip. We would eat copious amounts of food and dispose of the evidence before he got home. Often we would get snacks at the grocery store or while we were out running errands, eat them in the car on the way home, and then toss the wrappers out the window on some old country road. (This makes me cringe now as an adult...littering is a BIG no-no in my book).We were hiding it for no other reason than shame. I don't think it was mine or my brother's shame...it was my mom's shame.

Eventually we learned the shame. This is the behavior that I learned from my mom that has lead to how I am today. Eating junk food is kind of like a private affair because I know there is going to be so much of it that no one else would understand and they would judge me. I can look back into the recent past and see how many times I exhibited that behavior. I introduced that behavior to my husband. Who never criticized me for it - he thought it was fun too! Then, we both kicked that habit together and continue to do so.

Even though I knew I was held back physically from my fat and hid binge-eating, somehow, I managed to grown up mentally unscathed by the whole situation.

There is one thing I will tell you right now - I love me. I love me no matter what size I am and I always have. I always will too. I've never let this fat hold me back from much besides physical activities. I'm not exactly an extrovert, but I'm hardly an introvert either. I will speak up in a crowd, but I may not get up and do karaoke in front of a crowd, ya know what I mean? I think that's just who I am and that may or may not have been because of the fat.

I've always had confidence and pride in who I am. I always allowed myself to be a wacky kid and I was interested in things that others may not have been. I wasn't afraid to be smart - even if it wasn't cool. I followed the beat of my own drum and didn't let peer pressure enter the picture. I was always way more proud of being a good student than being pretty or cute. I'm still that way today... I don't care if people thing my hobbies are dorky I don't care if I don't wear super stylish expensive clothes all the time - I would rather spend my money on something else.

I'm very happy that I grew up with that attitude. I'm happy I lived in a place where people were nice and respectful. I live in a place like that now too. I'm glad that I still have the same attitude and I feel lucky because of it.

I think the reason I am this way is because my family never made an issue out of being fat. We never had lots and lots of dieting going on. Nothing negative was ever said to me. I was always encouraged to be active when I wanted to be.

That environment gave me a good outlook on life mentally.
It did not do me any favors physically.

I'm not sure what my mom could have done to "fix" the situation. The only thing I think she could have done was "fix" herself so that her habits would be showing us an example. I don't think that if she encouraged us to eat well and exercise that would have given me a bad body image. Not if she continued to remind me how much she loved me, how pretty she thought I was, and how smart I was. I think that is mom had worked on fixing herself then no only would our food habits have changed, but she would have been free from the fat for once in her life. She was an obese child as well with some pretty awful experiences in her past. The priests at her Catholic school would give the boys a dollar if they could pick my mom up...pretty terrible stuff.

Later on as an adult I found out that my mom almost had stomach stapling surgery in the early 80s. She had the date set and went to her pre-op surgeon's appointment and backed out of it at the last minute. She had doubts about it. Sometimes I wonder what life would have been like if she had gone through with it. The surgeries were not very safe back then, so in some ways I'm glad she didn't risk it. But in what if it had worked? How would that have changed the lives of my brother and I? How would that have changed her life?

My mom's struggle with weight breaks my heart. She's only 63 and she's almost immobile because of the weight's wear and tear on her body. At 59 she had to have her hip replaced. She lost my father 4 years ago when he died of a heart attack. A heart attack that was caused in part by fat. All of this is what makes me cry as I write all of this. Not me. I can fix me...I have control over me. I don't have control over her. I didn't have control over my dad either. I can't fix them and that makes me so sad because I want to. I want to fix the parent that I have left so that I can have her in my life longer.

I love my mom. I can't really blame her for my being fat. I don't think that's totally fair. She was a wonderful mother and still is. It's not like she meant to teach us bad habits. She did those things unknowingly. Because I've been fat all my life, I have to deduce that the habits I learned from her as a child is what set me on the course I am on today, but I still wouldn't change a thing. When it comes down to it, the fat made me who I am today. It taught me a lot about who I am and what I'm REALLY made of, so I have to be grateful for that experience.

But, I'm not going to keep it around forever. I've learned what I needed to from it and It's time to say our goodbyes.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Only Outfit I Still Like

Here is the only outfit I still like as per my last post. I LOVE this little jacket. It has the cutest little ruffle-ly thing going on. I am going to be sad when it no longer fits. I might even have to have it tailored. LOL  The pants are ones I just bought, but they are already getting too big. I bought another pair the next size down and they fit perfectly, but I haven't washed them yet, so I'm still wearing the larger ones. Please excuse the poor lighting. They were taken in the ladies room (classy, yes, I know!) and the lighting is so bad that it makes things blurry.

My Thursday Things

It's just another manic Thursday Whoa-oh-whoa!
Time for another list of things going on!
  • I was just made aware of an individual with the unfortunate name of "Lady Cox". Firstly, who names their daughter "Lady"? Isn't that a name reserved for dogs and drag queens? Secondly, she's married. I would have been like"Honey, I'm sorry, but I can't take your last name, you can see that my reputation is at stake".
  • The scale is not my friend when I am swollen and miserable. My legs have been swollen and yucky ever since I started my exercise walking. My hands are even swollen in the mornings. I hate it.
  • No breakfast this morning. Our morning was a bit of a disaster. My darling husband got the worst of it. He forgot to put the coffee pot under the coffee maker last night...so, when the auto-timer went off this morning, the kitchen floor was drowned in Dunkin' Donuts... Poor husband, he cleaned it up like a trooper. 
  • My stomach is a growling symphony today. It's making sounds I have never heard before.
  • I will walk again tonight...even if I'm swollen and achy.
  • I can't believe it's already Thursday...I've got a lot to do this week and I'm running out of week to do it in.
  • Went grocery shopping last night because we were out of everything. My receipt was a thing of beauty. I hit a great sale AND I had $15.55 worth of manufacturers coupons. I saved almost $60. I was so proud of my frugality. :)
  • Really excited about some clothes that I'll be getting from the "My Rack to Yours" sisterhood. Jen over at What You Lookin' At Skinny is a sweetie for being so generous.
  • Today I am wearing the only outfit that I own that I actually like. Too bad I sit behind a desk all day and no one will see it. I might take a pic in the lady's room mirror and share since no one else will see me LOL ... but I'm sure it won't look as good in the pic as I feel wearing it.
  • Work just exploded, so I have to cut this short! The pile of papers on my desk ate a project and I just regurgitated it for a quick turn-around.
Hope everyone is having a fabulous week!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Welcome to new follower, Libby! :)

So far, I've worked on once this week. Last night I walked for 43 minutes...over 2 miles.
I wish I was "feeling it" as much this week as I did last week.

Last week I felt as light as a feather as I tromped around the trail.
This week I feel like I have on concrete walking shoes.

Last week I lost weight and could FEEL the difference.
This week I feel swollen and sore.

I moved my next doc appt. up by a week and a day. I was supposed to go Oct. 28th, but I'm going out of town for some Halloween fun on the 29th and don't want to deal with being fresh off of a fill. So, I have an appt. for the 20th instead. I really, REALLY need a fill again already. My first fill was Sept. 23rd and it's effects are totally gone... I can eat and never get that satisfied feeling like I did before and I can chug water like nobody's business.

I have a lot of chores, errands and freelance to do this week, so I am going to try to get some more exercise done during the week nights, but if not, my other two days might have to be on the weekend. I need to go grocery shopping. We are out of EVERYTHING and that is hard for me. If I don't have something healthy on-hand that I enjoy eating, I am less-likely to make good decisions...

Happy Hump Day everyone!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beautiful Apocalypse...

I always have Apocalypse dreams. I've had several of them in my life-time and they are always scary and vivid. Usually it's fire or disease that has taken the entire world down, however, last night I had a different Apocalypse dream...

I was in a field with the most lovely sunset light. I was with a crew of people with movie cameras. Apparently I was the assistant director of photography for a film that was about post-apocalyptic America. It wasn't a negative dream though... The movie we were making was positive. It was about the re-birth of the land and the re-growth of the earth's flora & fauna. It was about man's emergence into this fresh, new earth. It was so vivid and instead of being one of those whacked out dreams where nothing is feasible, this one was perfectly realistic. We were sitting around discussing what time we filmed the scene the day before so that when we filmed additional footage that day, it would match the lighting of the previous day. All I really wanted to do is watch the beautiful sunset.

All day I have been thinking that I wish I could watch the movie that I had formulated during my dream. I think it would make a great movie...

With almost all of my dreams, I can see where they come from. The scene in my head was inspired by a photographer friend of mine who posted a photo the other day of this beautiful afternoon light glazing over a tall grass meadow (this photo is hers, I gave her credit, but didn't ask if I could post it because no one I work with knows about my blog...I don't think she'll sue me :)). The  "assistant director of photography" must come from my real job, but I don't work in video...I do art direct and work with photographers, but not video.

Then, I gotta wonder if the rest is about my journey... A new beginning, ya know? A whole new world for me to explore...

That's a nice thought.

Monday, October 11, 2010

The Monday Rundown

This is a great kind of post for a Monday morning. I also posted my weekly goals and my goal update from last week!  Hello and thanks to my new followers lena and read! Welcome!
I added some more photos to the about me page!
  • Still losing! I am down another 2lbs this morning, so I'm at 286 today! YAY! I can't believe my eyes sometimes.
  • I am only 1lb away from my OH goal of 285 by Halloween.
  • I am 6lbs away from a total loss of 100lbs since my highest weight in '06/'07. TRULY AMAZING.
  • Saturday I had a GREAT time with my husband. We went to two of those giant antique store/ flea mall places where they mostly have antiques and collectables. I have an awesome husband. How many guys would go to these places with their wives and have fun? My husband has a degree in history and loves historical collectibles, so while I'm scoping out vintage kitchen, vintage kitsch ceramics and vintage children's books he's looking at old magazines and historical artifacts too. It's really fun - it's like going to a museum, really!
  • I hit the JACKPOT and found tons and tons of vintage children's books. I got a big stack and only paid $25 for the lot. Some are not in great shape, but as long as I can read the story and see the illustrations, that is all that matters. Didn't pay over $2 for any of them. I got one from 1940 for only $0.49!
  • Saturday morning Patrick hit he gym and I walked around the outside track...THEN we walked around these enourmous antique malls. We were on our feet all day.
  • Normally being on my feet that long would have KILLED me. I would have been unable to do anything after the workout and certainly wouldn't have been able to walk around TWO of those giant places. My legs were tired by the end of the day, but I was not miserable. Pre-lapband, there is NO WAY I would have been able to do all that in one day. It was such a great feeling.
  • I am so amazed at how great I feel these days. The difference that losing this weight has made is amazing. My eight-month-old boy cat weighs 9lbs and when I pick him up I think OMG, he's so heavy...then I think about how much weight I have lost...How did I do it? How did I walk? If I feel so awesome now, what will it be like 100lbs from NOW? Crazy...
I hope you all have a great week out on Blogland! I'm ready to start this week out on the right foot! :)

Weekly Goals

Here is my weekly goal update from last week and my new goals for this week!

Last Weeks goals:
- 4 Wii Fit workouts of at least 30 minutes each (or walking if that's what I wanna do)
- At least 64oz of water each dayProgress:
I worked out 4 days last week! 2 wii workouts of a little over 30 minutes. 2 walking workouts of approximately 45 minutes each! Yay me! I didn't do as well on my water goals. I neglect my water intake sometimes. I was in a GREAT groove before surgery, but I find it harder to drink as much lately. I was close to 64 oz. most days, but I truly need to step that up a notch!

This Weeks goals:
- 3 or 4 workouts of at least 30 minutes each
- At least 64oz of water each day
- One protein drink each day
- try a new dinner recipe

I am trying to up my protein again. I think I've slacked off on the protein drinks and could so easily add them back into my day, but haven't. I got tired of the taste for a while. I'm going to keep working on the water intake. I also want to make it important to try a new dinner recipe each week. I get bored with food and want to eat things I should not (even though I don't eat them it's still annoying to have to use the willpower to fight the cravings), so if I try new, tasty things, that should help.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Weight Loss Questionnaire

I found this questionnaire via All The Weigh. She found it via Never The Skinny Girl. It's a GREAT questionnaire that is very much focused on our journey. I hope others will copy and paste this onto their sites. I would love to read ya'll answers!

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight?
My highest weight was somewhere around 379lbs - that was in 2006-2007. I might have weighed more and not known it, but I can remember seeing "379" come up on the scale at the gym and I was astounded and I knew that I couldn't keep going on like that. Right now I weigh 288 and my goal weight has always been 200, but honestly, I'd rather see 190. That way I'm in onederland, but I just can't imagine being 190lbs...I guess it just seems so out of reach for me...

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight?
It's something that runs in my family and I have seen obesity be responsible (in part) for my father's death at age 62 and my mother's practical immobility. It hurts me so much to see my mom this way. I love her and I want her to be better. I see my future through my parents and I can not do it to myself any longer. As soon as I got on my own and had my own insurance I began doing everything I could to conquer this, and it ultimately led me to LapBand. I want the use of my knees back and I don't want to be a burden on my husband or family one day.

3. Have you always been overweight?
Yes. It has been a life-long struggle. I was pretty normal until around age 4 or 5, I'd say, then you can tell the difference. Every year it just got worse.

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going?
I'm still in the "honeymoon" stage of this LapBand thing, so I haven't felt like giving up much yet. As long as I'm seeing progress, it keeps me motivated. The changes I have already seen in my well-being keep me inspired and EVERYONE in blog-land keeps me inspired beyond belief. Amy over at Cheese and Sunkist was the very first band blog I ever found and I was so inspired by her. When I found her blog, I realized that she weighed the same starting out as I did at the time. Seeing how far she had come and how amazing she looked gave me hope. A hope I have never had before. I have always been overweight, so I don't know what it would be like to not be overweight and seeing her and others that have done it are the MOST inspiring thing for me, Hands down.

5. What is the #1 thing you look forward to when you hit your goal weight?
Being healthy. I have to admit that I am SO curious as to what I will look like thin (and in my book 190 is VERY thin). I have never seen myself that way, so it's like I'll have to introduce me to myself.

6. Do you have support on your weight loss journey?
I do. My husband is a HUGE supporter and has been there for me all the way. I am able to do this because of his support. He loves me no matter what and I know that with all my heart and all my soul. He married me when I weighed 379lbs. He doesn't care about the weight, he just wants me to be with him for the rest of our lives and he wants me to be healthy enough for that to be a LONG time. So do I.

7. What is your favorite exercise?
I honestly don't like exercise very much. Ugh. I wish I did. I like my simple little stepping plan on the Wii Fit. I like walking when the weather is awesome like it is now. I like anything that has to do with being in the water. I think my favorite exercise are things that aren't in the form of exercise like the excursions you go on while you are on cruises or something. You are walking around in the jungle sweating your ass off, posing for pictures, seeing the awesome sites and having fun not realizing you are burning 1,000's of calories in the process. Too bad I can't go on cruises every day after work, right? :)

8. What is the most important thing you have learned on your weight loss journey?
I'm not sure yet. This is still very new to me. I know there are things I need to learn...
I wish I could figure out how to keep myself from doubting that I'll ever been 190lbs.

9. What is one thing you have given up that you miss the most?
I haven't given up anything completely. I do stay away from bread and sweets but I have had those things since I have been banded too. Only when appropriate. Only in small amounts. I don't want to be on a "diet" for the rest of my life. That is one of the reasons I chose the band. I want to learn to live in moderation and I know that my body/mind needs a tool to help me do that.

10. What is your strategy for losing weight?
So far, I watch calories and eat small portions with my emphasis on protein (of course). I don't watch carbs or fat very much. I find that those tend to work themselves out when you watch the calories. I don't have high cholesterol or high blood sugar, so I am lucky in those regards. But, I stick with the simple plan that you need to burn more than you consume. It worked for me before the band (I lost 40lbs during the year-long process of getting approved for the band) and it's still working for me with the band as well.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

My Thursday Things

I thought today would be good for another list-type blog post, so here we go!


  • I enjoyed my afternoon yesterday walking around the pond at my gym and I used this really cool Android app called "My Tracks" by google. It maps your route via GPS and shows you how far you walk, your speed, and the elevation. It saves all the info and allows you to send that info to google maps. Pretty good for free! I wish it had calorie burn and pedometers built in, but for free, I'm happy with this gadget. Click on the image to see a better idea of what info it keeps up with and how it looks when you send your information to Google Maps!
  • I think today I am going to download separate phone apps that do pedometer and calorie burn stuff and see how I like them. So many great options for fitness apps that are totally free. 
  • I must have the smallest ear canals known to man because I can't get earbuds to stay in my ears to save my life. It is VERY annoying! How do people fit those monsterous things in their ears???
  • I walked for 42 minutes yesterday at an average pace of 3.13 MPH for a total of 2.3 miles. That is really good for me. I normally can't walk that fast, but I could tell that I was doing well yesterday!
  • Actually, I walked about 2.55 miles because I was tracking for the first .25 mile or so...
  • I really love my pandora radio app for my phone because I can listen to music I love while I walk.
  • I have exercised 3 DAYS in a row!
  • I actually want to exercise again tonight. This time I think I'll walk around the neighborhood so I can use my little My Tracks phone app. LOL I'm such a tech geek!
  • While I walked yesterday I kept having to hike up my exercise pants. The last time I wore them was about 55lbs ago!
  • I have a new-ish outfit on today that fits better and I sure do feel better about myself. I think some new clothes are a must for my morale. It's really important to keep yourself feeling mentally good while on a weight-loss journey.
  • I broke out of the 290's this morning and weighed in at 288!!!!!! AWESOME.
  • I weigh first thing in the A.M. because it's my truest weight. I can't wait until I'm down to 285 or so because then I know that I'll never see the 290's pop up on the scale again...
  • I am only 3lbs away from my Halloween goal and it's only October 7th.
 Ok, that is all I can think of today! I hope everyone in blog land is having a great Thursday! :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

My 86-Day Almanac

My 2nd Post of the day... I just keep thinking of stuff to write about...I guess I should save up some ideas for when I run out of things to say, but this one is an "in the moment" post, so I should go ahead and get it out here now!  Thanks to Drazil and NotJustAWallflower for the inspriation for this post!
Welcome to my new followers: Liz, Linda, Andy & Janelle

86 days. That's approximately 12 weeks from now. I can hardly believe that 2010 will be coming to an end so soon! So, I think what I am going to talk about is what the rest of my 2010 will be like and a little about what is coming in 2011 as well as what my goals for the next 86 days will be. I wanna make the most of it! So, I thought I would make an almanac of my remaining 86 days. I want to try and "predict" my journey over the next 86 days. Maybe writing a guide for myself will help me think through the challenges ahead.

October 2010
Halloween is coming up! I love love LOVE Halloween. I've got a party to go to on the 29th with an 80s theme, so that'll be fun. The host and hostess are known for some AMAZING pizza. The guy makes it all by hand. It's all thin crust and it's probably not THAT bad for you compared to regular pizza because it hardly has any toppings. I'm sure there will be plenty of sweets there and all over my office as well! I'm pretty good at resisting candy though. But, I'll probably save up my calories for that splurge. Thank you LapBand for setting limits for me!
Forecast for Ocotober: Breezy with a 99% chance of success.
Predicted Weight loss by end of month: 12lbs
Lucky Days: 10 & 29
I think I can make a lot of progress the rest of this month and get myself set for the upcoming holidays. The more days you can stay on plan, the easier it is to deal with temptation.


November 2010
Thanksgiving. I think I can get through this one without a problem. We'll go to my in-laws where they don't cook as much or as well as my mom :) That makes it easier. PLUS, if we have it there, leftovers stay with them and don't have to sit around my house to taunt me. Thanksgiving isn't too bad at the office. People usually bring out the baked goods at Christmas time, so I am clear for another month. I'll get some extra time off for the holiday which I hope won't through me off too much - I do better with a routine and being at work actually helps me keep my routine.
Forecast for November: Light winds with a 90% chance of success.
Predicted Weight loss by end of month: 10lbs
Lucky Days: 15 & 30
 I think that Thanksgiving will be a test of will power for Christmas. I know that the food won't be as tempting and hopefully I can get another fill in before the holiday so that I have more control. Hopefully I can continue to lose during Thanksgiving break.

December 2010
December is going to be a toughie. I'll be traveling to Austin, TX for a while to visit some family, so there will be food on the go to deal with. Then, of course there is Christmas. I've got family coming in. Family that loooooves to eat and looooooves to cook. We'll have all the food over at mom's so that will make it a little easier, but I will be spending a lot of time over there. I know that no matter if I've got this major life-changing journey going on that others will proceed with the eating all around me. Holidays are the hardest because there is food around that isn't around any other time of the year, ya know? There are certain things you only make at Christmas time - like my mom's peanut brittle. Work is going to be killer - I have a feeling that there will be lots of holiday treats, freebies, lunches, etc. That will be hard. When food is just hanging around the office, that is the worst! The last glorious holiday of December is my anniversary. I'll be married for 4 years on Dec. 28th. We have already been together for 9 years! Wow! I'm not sure if we'll have anything planned or not...with family that might still be in town, it's hard to tell, but I'm sure that the two of us on our own can find plenty to do that will be fun and doesn't involve food. The other thing about Christmas that is good and bad is the looong break I get from work...2 weeks paid vacation. It's awesome! However, it's bad for routine. SO very bad. I do so much better when I have my work schedule to keep me straight. Weekends are just enough time, then I need to get back to that routine that keeps me able to control my eating habits.
Forecast for December: Cloudy with a 75% chance of success.
Predicted Weight loss by end of month: 8lbs
Lucky Days: 19 & 28
I think I can manage to make it through all of this without ruining anything. It's going to be hard, but I think I have the willpower to do it. I think that I will have a couple of weeks where losing might be out of the question, but maintaining might have to do. I'm not going to turn down Christmas dinner, but I won't be able to eat much. I'll be able to turn down most of the Christmas desserts, but I know that it's impossible to think I won't have a nibble of something. That's just unrealistic.

Goals for my 86-Day Almanac
In 12 weeks, I should be able to lose at least 24lbs at 2lbs per week. But can I do more? I think I can. I really think I can do way more than that. I need to be aggressive. This first few months is when it's the easiest to lose and I want to take full advantage of that. I've just started on exercise goals for this week, but I think I'm going to take it a step farther and expand them for my 86-Day Almanac. Here is my comprehensive list of goals:
  • 36 additional lbs gone by December 31, 2010 (that would leave me at 255)
  • Exercise routine 3-4 times a week on average for at least 30 minutes (a total of 36-48 times)
  • Take my vitamins every single day
  • More protein - which means one protein shake a day to help supplement
  • Maintain my Healthy Living Diary and write down my food/calories/protein/exercise every day


What happens in 2011?
We already have some plans in 2011! It just so happens that on my one-year bandiversary (August 11th), we will be setting sail on a cruise to the Bahamas with a group of friends. It wasn't planned that way, but it'll be a great way to celebrate. I hope to be celebrating a loss of 100lbs (post op). My goal for August 11th, 2010 is 220lbs. I would like to see my goal weight of 200lbs by December of 2011. I will probably revise my goal after that. Right now the idea of being in onederland is too intimidating, so I'm sticking with something realistic for me right now.

I'm also looking forward to my 15 year high school reunion. I'm not sure when it will be, but I'm pretty sure that unless I stop losing weight right now, by then I'll be thinner than I was in high school! Which will be pretty sweet! I can't wait to show up lookin' good with my cutie husband on my arm. :)

I Wish Wednesday

I wish I had more money for clothes. I just looked at myself in the ladies' room mirror and I look ridiculous. I wish I could go home and change clothes. I look like I have on pajamas. Everything is baggy and stupid looking. I might actually change clothes during lunch today I am so embarrassed. I look fatter than I actually am too...my body is hiding under all the shapeless clothing I have on.

I think I might have to break down and buy a few things. I just didn't want to spend too much on clothes that might not fit by the end of fall... I already checked all my discount stores and I couldn't find any cheap stuff (at least not cheap enough for the likes of me, Ms. Frugal Pants). Everything on clearance right now is capri pants and what-not and I need long pants for fall/winter...

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

My Goals for the Week

Firstly, a big "Hello", "Welcome" and "Thanks!"  to my new followers alyce, Falon, Epiphany, and Sparkler!

Tuesday is not exactly the best day to go making goal lists, that's usually a Monday kind of thing, but It's better late than never, right? :)

Yesterday I did 33 minutes of Wii Fit stepping. So, since I started out Monday on the right foot, I thought I would try to give myself a goal for this week. All morning I was like "You'll work out every single day this week for just 30 minutes". Now that I am at work, I'm being more sensible and I thought I would give myself an attainable goal...It's not super aggressive, but my body will thank me for doing SOMEthing and my knees will thank me for not killing them.

My Goals for this week:
  1. 4 Wii Fit workouts of at least 30 minutes each (or walking if that's what I wanna do)
  2. At least 64oz of water each day
The 30 minutes go by really fast when you set the Wii Fit to the free step mode...you can make it to where the Wii remote keeps the beat for you and you can watch TV. I watch the episodes of Too Fat for Fifteen that I DVR. I love that show... much better than The Biggest Loser... and even though it's about kids, there is a lot to learn.

I've been doing much better about the water, but over the weekend, I slacked off, so I need to get back on track. I think I normally drink more than 64oz. a day, but I need to keep track better.

Hopefully by Sunday I will have an attained goal to report! yay :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

Tutorial: Following Blogs with Blogger rather than Google

Sue, over at An Aussie Bandster just posted an awesome tutorial on how to get your follower profile to show your blog's link if you are signed in to follower a blog with your Blogger profile.

Recently, I had the same problem, but I did what Sue was talking about in her tutorial and I still wasn't able to see my blog's link. I found out that I was following blogs with my Google profile and there is no way for that profile to show your blog's link. So, my tutorial shows you how to change your following profile to blogger's profile so that your blog's link shows up!

I hope this helps some of you guys out! I know I was confused for the longest time. 









If you need a tutorial on how to change Blogger's permission information, see Sue's great tutorial at An Aussie Bandster. If you know anyone else who is having these problems, please pass the information along :)

The Monday Rundown

So, I thought that today's blog post would be best served as a bulleted rundown of my weekend and thoughts, so here we go!

  • How come when you lose weight and go clothes shopping, you see a GAZILLION items that would have fit you before, but nothing that would fit you now? I saw 4x & 5x bargains GALORE, but nothing that would fit me now. Dang it :(
  • I need boots for the fall/winter and while my feet are also shrinking, I still have clown feet and I need an 11W at the very least. So, I ordered some from Jessica London online and I'm hoping that they will fit OK and be comfy. It's so hard to tell. *Le Sigh*
  • I did get a pair of work pants for $6.99 and they were size 22/24...and they were roomy because that particular style was extremely roomy. But, it still made me feel good :)
  • Food has been all around me for the last 5 or so days...I've been eating it, but only in small portions. It's been hard because some of it has been slider foods, so I could eat a lot more of it than I should. But all-in-all, my willpower is there and I think I've been handling it well all things considered. Thursday night was a banquet with a Tuscan theme, Friday I invited mom over for dinner, Sunday was my FIL's Bday, and today is a free lunch buffet with my co-workers at the Italian restaurant in the conference center here. I'm doing fine with it...still losing, but I can't wait for all the temptations to be over! 
  • I'm starting to understand that whole "I'm still a fat girl on the inside" mentality. Well, partly because I'm faaaaaar from goal weight. I mean I just started! But, everyone tells me how good I'm looking, whereas I feel better and can tell the difference, I still have a hard time seeing it sometimes...especially when picking out clothes...I have a hard time deciding what I can fit in because I haven't been this size in....maybe High School! I dunno...I didn't have a scale back then and I didn't keep up. It seems like I've been "the biggest size they carry" since I was in grade school.
  • I need to get into the exercise routine. I've been doing a lot of shopping and walking around, but I'd feel more like I was doing something productive if I at least did the wii fit a few times a week. I'm really bad about incorporating exercise. I'm hoping that the more I lose, the more I'll want to because moving will be easier on my knees.
  • I still have some incredibly annoying muscle pulls & aches/pain in my left side near the port area and back toward my back. It's like I did an oblique work-out from hell or something...
  • I updated my "about me" section with a photo of me and my wonderful husband. He is a huge part of my success and a great support. Don't judge our corny cruise portraiture...it's like prom pics for adults, but I love them anyways! hahaha :)
  • I added a "my journey" page at the top that tells the story of my process to get banded. It might be of interest to anyone who is still in the process of getting approved.
  • Thanks to all my new followers and for everyone's comments! I get so excited when I see someone else has followed me and comments on what I'm saying. It means a lot to me :)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Friday BYOC - Bring Your Own Craziness

Thanks, Drazil for another lovely edition of BYOC!

1. Are you late, early or on time?
It's funny...the only thing I'm almost always late for is work. We have a kind of flexible arrival schedule, so I am kind of spoiled like that. Our editor calls it "The artist's schedule" and when he leaves early for the day, he says he's on "artist time" that day! LOL I'm almost always on time or early for appointments, meetings, events...

2. Name 3 things you dislike and 3 things you like:
Like:
1. Animals, all of 'em. I have a soft spot for all critters.
2. Art/Drawing/Painting/Photography/General Creative Craftiness
3. Traveling. I wish I could do more of it!
 Dislike:
1. People that have no sense of humor
2. My painful knees (but that's getting better)
3. Chapped Lips

3. Are you a morning or night person?
In college I was like most and was a night owl. Up late nights working on projects and stuff. When I got out and got a job I wished and hoped to become a morning, but it never happened. I'm a midday person. LOL That is when I have the most energy and when I wish I could bust outta my office and do something fun or productive. I love sunshine - it makes me wanna get going. Anytime it's sunny, I wish and dream of Pensacola Beach's white, beautiful sand! Even though it's getting too cool for it now...

4. What is your favorite clothes store?
I must second Drazil's Walmart. I get a lot of clothes from there. Especially basic solid colored Tshirts and things like that. I agree that they sometimes have a great selection of accessories too. Because I love the thrill of a great bargain, one of my FAVORITE places to shop is Burke's Outlet. Some other parts of the country it's called Beale's Outlet, I think. You never know what you are going to find, but I get awesome bargains there all the time. I just bought a new pair of size 24 Avenue jeans (I was wearing 32!) and I wish I had gone there first because I found some AWESOME jeans for $9.99 and I paid $25 for these. And Burke's Outlet always has a ton of jewelry and purses too for really really cheap. Sometimes shoes, but I have clown feet so that is a hard one for me!

5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in life and in blogland.
Life:
I've been trying to get my act together at work and get focused. I painted a lot this week for a work event (see yesterday's post) and that was really fun. I've still got a "to do" list for work and home that is a MILE long. I gotta get on it! My mom is coming over tonight for dinner and to see the grandkittens hahaha. I've got freelance to work on this weekend and I'm going to try to enjoy some beautiful fall weather with the husband. I've got to do some work on a collaborative art project this weekend too...
Blogland: 
I feel like I have abandoned my professional blog for this blog. I have been blogging for years, but this is the first time that I have had success and keeping and growing an audience. I think it's because this is a very like-minded community and folks and we are all on the same journey. It's also a community that is based on keeping up with one another via blogs whereas my professional career area uses way too many social media tools and I can't keep up with them all so my audience loses focus on blogging sometimes.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

My Hobbies Make Me Fat

Recently, I've been doing a little painting at work (this is a pic of 3 of my 4 mini paintings). Our group of designers has been painting these small canvases for table centerpieces for a Tuscan-themed awards event. For some reason, it got me thinking about how my hobbies effect my life. Especially since I've got lots of other artistic endeavors in my life right now that take up a good bit of time. 

I'm hardwired for creativity. That's my thing, it's what I do, it's what I crave to do with my life and my time. However, my favorite hobbies are not ones that are super active. I wish I loved exercise. I wish I loved hiking (which I do like hiking, but my body does not, and I live in a sweltering hot climate as well). I like to draw and paint and design things on my computer. Guess what that gets me? Lots of time SITTING. Lots and lots. I do freelance design from home, I run my own group of art folks in another online dimension where we exchange hand-drawn art 4 times a year and I am part of another group that does a graphic design 'zine that is awesome. I get high off of creativity. I wish I got high off of exercise.

Is it my fault that the things I enjoy happen to be sedentary? I know that the key to life is "everything in moderation" but, I barely have time to squeeze in the things I love, let alone the things I don't (aka: exercise). I guess there are hazards to every hobby - including people who do active hobbies. One day the guy who mountain climbs for fun, could break a limb that causes him to have a limp forever... who knows. But, my hobbies have an immediate effect.

This is just an observation from my corner of the world and I'm about to generalize and sterotype a little bit. Since I have made you aware of the fact that I know I'm doing it, hopefully ya'll won't get too pissed off :) Just know that I love all people - any shape, size, background, and personality type... I get a long with folks and I do embrace the differences. What a boring world we would have without them! Anyway, back to the generalizing and sterotyping...

How many creative jocks do you know? How many people have you ever met who are way into fitness AND draw, paint, etc.? I've noticed that it's not a combination I've ever ran into. There are a lot of health guru's in the creative world. They are the ones who aren't after six-pack abs, but are about the organic side of health. I also get the feeling that they aren't always about the exercise either. A lot of times they don't exercise a lot, they just do enough to maintain their bodies and a lot of times they are kind of sensual tree-hugger types. I've just never met a gym rat who has a creative bone in their body. It's almost like it's a personality combination that just doesn't happen...somehow brains can't be hard-wired to enjoy both of those activities.

I think that creatives tend to be more into food that other people. Something about that sensual side of our brains that admires visual forms and conceptualizing taps into the part of the brain that loves the rush that you get from something that tastes good. Food in and of itself is creative. It's a mastery of blended tastes and the art of making that work. Cooking is definitely a major form of creativity. It happens to be one area that I don't enjoy (how ironic...I don't like to cook it, just eat it).

I'm not really sure if my random observation makes any sense to anyone else but me! Sometimes I just get all introspective about myself and try to figure out what makes me tick. I am who I am. Artsy and full of head-hunger....I just want to be a healthier me. It may not have been a part of my initial design, but I'm in the process of performing an upgrade. I wish it were as easy as that. Insert a disk...install program...and viola! A new, healthier me. Me 2.0. ha :) But I would only be available for the Mac. Gotta love nerdy design humor!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sparkle & Fade :(

Last week was my first fill. 6 days ago. 144 short hours ago...

I felt it when I got it. But it's like the magic is gone already.
I can eat what I was eating before. I didn't have physical hunger before my fill because I was eating just enough to prevent that so I wouldn't snack (not anything like a pre-band portion mind you, but a little more than the recommended amount). Now, I'm still eating about the same. I see no real difference. I was so excited to have that feeling like I was finally getting this tool in working order. And now that excitement is fading so quickly.

And, If I'm listening to my body right like I think I am...I almost-kinda-sorta feel more hungry in between meals now than I did before the fill? Well, that's no good! Did my fill lose it's mojo that fast?

What gives? I've got 4 more weeks before my next fill.

It's also my TOM. Which sucks beyond belief. I'm hoping that this TOM doesn't last as long as the last one I had right after surgery...which was 21 days. That was pure misery I tell you - torture of the highest degree in lady-dom.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Thanks! :)

I just wanted to say "Thank You" to all 16 of my followers :) This is such a great, supportive community of banded bloggers. I have to admit, it's sooooo awesome to see that someone cares about what I have to say and when I get comments it makes my day.

I try to follow everyone who comments or follows if I can find a link to their blog (not that everyone has a blog). This bandster newbie really does appreciate it! :) I'm building my list of links to other blogs when I have a chance and hope to include everyone I follow and then some!

I also hope to do some vlogging in the near future. So far this has been fun and I really dig communicating with a group of people that understand not only what I am going through right now, but what I have been through in my life as an overweight person.

I hope everyone is having a great Tuesday!

:)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Just sittin' Around Burning Calories...

My husband loves those books that have lots of little factoids and tidbits. I was flipping through one he had left on the bed and found some interesting calorie burning facts.

Until the last few years, it didn't really register with me that calories represents units of energy. Those units of energy represent fuel and fuel is food. So, the more fuel you put into your body, the more you better use and burn off. It also never occurred to me that just living, breathing, even sleeping requires some kind of energy, so you are in a constant state of burning calories no matter what you do. It's just going to be less significant the less you do.

That realization made me feel so much better. I always felt like I had to burn off all the food I ate in a day during a workout or else, there was no way I would lose weight. This is not true. Our bodies are constantly burning fuel just to stay alive! So, when your daily workout only burns off the calories equivalent to breakfast or lunch, don't worry! Congratulate yourself and remember that you just boosted your calorie burn for the day and helped invigorate your metabolism.

Here are some day to day things we all do and how many calories they burn
Calculations are based on an "average" person who weighs 150lbs.
The more you weigh, the more calories you will burn.
I would say that is good news for me and you :)

  • Pushing a cart at the grocery store for an hour will burn 243 calories.
  • 30 minutes of dusting can burn 80 calories.
  • 30 minutes of ironing can burn 76.5 calories.
  • Three hours of house painting can burn 1, 026 calories.
  • Washing the car for 30 minutes burns 102 calories.
  • Folding clothes for 30 minutes can burn 72 calories.
  • Mopping the floor for 30 minutes can burn 153 calories.
  • Pushing a lawn mower around for one hour can burn 324 calories.
  • You'll burn 74 calories during the 30 minutes you spend preparing dinner.
  • Every hour of moving furniture burns 504 calories.
  • Thirty minutes of shoveling snow burns 202.5 calories.
  • Vacuuming for only 20 minutes burns 56 calories.
  • Eight hours of good shut-eye will burn 360 calories.
  • Two hours of gardening will burn 648 calories.
  • Watching TV for one hour burns 72 calories.
Taken from Armchair Reader: The Extraordinary Book of Lists.
Image provided by: www.toothpastefordinner.com

Thursday, September 23, 2010

My First Fill

My first fill went really well! For any newbies or pre-op folks out there who might want to know, I'll give a few details about how my Surgeon's office did my fill.

It was a pretty easy process. While I was laying down, he found my port, marked it, and then gave me a numbing shot. The needle that connects to the port to make the fill, is a little menacing looking, but I didn't feel a thing! I didn't even feel any odd sensations. I couldn't tell that I was having liquid added.

Still laying down, he make the connection with the port - he found it the first time, no problem and didn't have to have x-ray assistance. He pulled a little of the blue dyed saline out of the port showing me that he had hit the right spot and then injected the solution. I think he tried 4 or 5cc's initially, but I'm not really sure.

He had me sit up, fill needle still in place, and drink water. I was too tight at first. The swallows were hard and I got some gurgling before it would go down. He took some out and I tried it again. That went down smooth. He then added some more and I tried again - that went down smoothly too, so that is where I stayed. 3.5cc was my first fill size.

Like he told me, everyone is different, so you shouldn't compare fill sizes with others! What may be hard for me may be easy for another. It's not the size that matters, it's the way it works for you! ha!

I can tell the difference. It's very similar to the sensation I experienced when I first got home from the hospital. It feels a little bit like I have a lump in my throat. But liquids go down without any problem. My abdomen is a little sore and the port area too. Partly because of all the mashing he does to find it and check the positioning of everything!

I'm on liquids for the rest of today, pureed tomorrow and solids again by Saturday. It almost feels like I'm going to have to re-evaluate everything I eat again to see how it goes down with this level of restriction. I've been good about chewing, but now is when it will start to matter even more.

My stomach is growling something fierce! Time to get home and get some jello :)

*note* 9-24-10
That "lump in my throat" feeling is gone as of the next morning. Just thought I would throw that in for a little FYI this morning!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Nervous & Excited - My first fill tomorrow.

I got my reminder call from my Surgeon's office. No solid food 2 hours before my appointment so he definitely plans to give me a fill. He was kind of vague about it before. Probably because he doesn't want people thinking they will get a fill and then it turns out that they aren't healed enough, or he doesn't think they need one yet. I guess there is a possibility that I won't get one, but I'm guessing it's time! I wonder how much he'll put into my 14cc band? I've got a big one! I'm ready to rock the band!

I have to admit that I am a little freaked out and I haven't been able to mush my belly too much to feel of my port because it still freaks me out to FEEL something under my skin. So, the idea of a needle probing me also freaks me out. LOL It's not the pain, it's the odd sensation that I'm not looking forward to. But, I'll make it through - all of you do, so I will too!

B.O.O.B.s Questionairre

Via the B.O.O.B.s Blog, I found this "getting to know you" questionnaire to fill out!

1. You’re trapped on a desert island and you can bring only 3 of your favourite foods along. What do you bring?

Ok, so I'm trapped on an island...like on LOST...I really think that a few high-fat and high-calorie foods would be a good thing, right? I mean, I'd probably sweat myself down to a toothpick if I didn't have something? It's hard to say, but I'm going with : Pizza, Little Debbies (any variety will do, I never met a Little Debbie I didn't like), and Cashew Chicken w/rice. I'd be building a hut all day and exploring the island for ways to escape and running from smoke monsters and "the others" so, I'm sure I'd work all those calories off...

2. If you could meet any 3 people, living or dead, who would they be and why?
Dalai Lama, Mother Teresa , and Jorge Garcia because I think he'd be fun to hang out with (I wonder if Jorge knows he ranks up there with the Dalai Lama and Mother Teresa?)

3. What is your stripper name? (take the name of your first pet and the name of the street you grew up on)
Li'l Bit Chapel - not sexy. lol

4.What is your LEAST favourite part of your bod since losing weight? Your MOST favourite since losing weight?
I haven't lost as much since being banded, but since my all-time high, I have. My least favorite are my arms. My most is probably my face/chin(s) because that is where you see the difference the most for me.

5. Do you believe in ghosts or evil spirits? Would you be willing to spend a night alone in a house that is supposedly haunted?
I'm open to the idea of ghosts, but I don't know...I wouldn't be able to spend the night alone in a supposedly haunted house though...if I had someone else with me, then I'd be ok.

6. What is your natural hair colour? If you dye it something completely different from what your momma gave ya, how come?
I have dark brown hair. I have subtle highlights that range from medium brown to almost blond...

7. Boxers or briefs? Alternatively…bikinis or granny panties?
Right now, granny! But, I'm hoping to upgrade to something cuter in the near future.

8. If you could only watch one movie for the rest of your life, what would it be and why? (Trilogies do not count as one movie, cheaterpantses!)
1962 To Kill A Mockingbird - I'm sure I could come up with others, but this is the first that came to mind this morning. I just love this movie! I need to watch it very soon.

9. What is your guilty pleasure (feel free to go straight to the gutter with this one if the spirit moves you!)
Buying crafting items and adding to my collection of kitschy figurines and cute toys. I'm a total 8 year old when it comes to toys!

10. How many pounds gone forever are you celebrating?? Since my pre-op diet: 38, since the band: 26, since my all-time highest weight: 85 .... WOOHOO!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Distracted? Me? No!.... wait, yes!

Back in April of 2009 when I decided to pursue getting approval for LapBand surgery, I began jumping through my insurance companies hoops and cutting all their red tape. I had to be on a doctor-monitored weight loss schedule for 6 months that included monthly visits, weigh-ins, and "evidence" that I had tried to make progress on my own.

I was so glad that I had to do this. Yes, it slowed me down, but I got to know my doctor's office and build a relationship with them (I ended up going 13 months in a row!) and learned a lot about the state of my health. I learned that I do have arthritis in my knees, that I had high blood pressure, and that my cholesterol was great! I learned that B-vitamins are so important, and I finally figured out why my memory had been SO terrible.

I originally thought that my memory was related to poor nutrition or something. I couldn't focus on anything and I couldn't remember a task for more than 1 minute. Someone at work would ask me for a file and then 2 seconds later, I'd forget to send it to them. I was easily distracted and VERY forgetful. It was beginning to really cause a problem at work (I think it was more a personal problem of me being stressed because I couldn't remember things than it was the bosses getting tired of me forgetting). When I talked to my doctor's office about it, the first thing they said was "Have you ever been tested for ADHD?". No. I never thought about it.

She gave me the test (similar to this one online) and WOW. I was checking "yes" more often than not and I was thinking "This is my life!" They gave me a low dose of the adult ADHD drug Vyvanse to try out. Initially I was on 40mg because they want a dose that is low enough and still works - especially if you have high blood pressure. I think they only allowed me to take this because my blood pressure wasn't sky high, just moderately high...

At the time, I wasn't so sure if I believed in adult ADHD - it seemed like a cop-out or something for being a lazy spazoid, but once I tried it, it made a HUGE difference. I can focus, I remember things easier, and I get things done which alleviates a lot of stress. I get stressed out when I have these big "to do" lists and when the list gets too long, sometimes I just shut down all-together. That is not good. The longer things remain unattended to, the more stressed I get. Stress is not good.

Why am I reminded of this now, you ask? And what does this have to do with WLS?

Well, in preparation for LapBand, I took a little Vyvanase vacation. In my mind, I wanted to make sure my blood pressure was as even as possible and thought that not taking it for a week, would do that. That though process was my own - no medical person ever told me that. I don't go stark raving mad when I don't take it, but I do lose focus over time. During my recovery, I was also off of Vyvanse and have since have not been on it regularly.

I have been so distracted and scattered for the last few weeks (just read yesterday's post) that I decided that I have to pick it up again. I don't function nearly as well without it! I'm on 50mg now and that is plenty for me to function, but not have the sleeplessness that can be a side-effect. I think I have more sleeplessness the longer I go withOUT taking it!

One of the side-effects is described as "decreased appetite", but I would describe it more as a "blocker of obsessive food thoughts". It's not why I began taking the medication, but I can tell you, that it really helps me control all obsessive thoughts that lead to over-eating or unhealthy eating. Even with this commitment to a healthy life-style, I will obsess over healthy foods as well. I haven't given in, but I will spend all day searching for a recipe. This drug makes me not care so much about what I eat as long as it's good for me and fuels my body. It makes me care less about the experience of eating and more about the necessity of it. It doesn't take the pleasure out of food, but it takes the greediness out of my brain. Alleviating the stress of being mentally unorganized also helps by lessening the chances of my eating out of frustration. Which I realize I am prone to do.

I've been thinking about talking to a psychologist about it and getting my prescription handled by them rather than my general practitioner's office. For one, they may give me a script that includes refills rather than having to pay $10 for a refill request. For another, I can reassure myself that this is the best medicine and the best dose for me. AND, lastly, I get to "talk it out" with someone who understands. Even if it's just that once, I think it might have a positive effect on my successful loss with this LapBand, ya know?

It's time to get back on track mentally. Now that my body is on track, the brain needs to follow suit!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Obsessed with my New Life

Maybe it's just the newness of my situation, but I feel obsessed with my Lap Band lifestyle. Pre-op I was obsessed with getting started - constantly reading blogs, gathering books and info, reading about people's experiences on the ObesityHelp forums, finding recipes, and researching/buying gadgets that might help me post-op. I thought that once I had the surgery and could actually BEGIN, I would stop the obsessiveness, but it hasn't stopped yet.

I can't wait to go back to normal. I can't concentrate on work or on home. I just think about my weight, my progress, and my slimmer future 24/7. At work I'm looking at blogs, looking at recipes, and reading forums instead of work. I also just itch to exercise because during the working hours is when I have energy. But no, I have to be here strapped to my desk!

I hope that this is just a phase and that eventually my brain calms down and goes back to normal. My lack of interest in other aspects of my life is alarming. My usual hobbies are falling to the wayside in favor of more "research" about my new life as a WLS patient. It's not a completely negative thing - I think it shows how serious I am about making this work for me, but it does stress me out a bit because I have other things I should be doing and I don't want to do them.

It's like I need a week-long sabatical from work so that I can spend the whole week obsessing over all this guilt-free and maybe that would get it out of my system? LOL