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:

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 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

Friday, September 17, 2010

Friday BYOC - Bring Your Own Craziness

1. Last week we asked your favorite thing about being an adult. This week the question is: what is one thing you miss about being a child?
The pure elation that I got from pouring over the Sears Christmas Catalog. I kept several of those from years past in my bedroom at all times. I would sit on my bed and look at every single page and dream about what it would be like to go on a toy shopping spree! LOL

2. When you make a serious life decision – do you use your head or your heart?
I use both. I'm a pretty practical person, so I rarely make a decision that is ALL head or ALL heart. And if it's a SERIOUS decision, then it's something my husband would have to weigh in on as well. I have known to make some purchases on a whim though!

3. In relation to blogs….are you a never commenter, a sometimes commenter, an almost always commenter or a direct emailer kinda person?
I'm a sometimes a commenter kind of person. I won't comment unless I really feel like I have something to add the conversation. I will comment if I want to thank them for sharing the information as well.

4. If life was a flavor – would it be savory, sweet or sour?

Definitely sweet! I love my life!

5. Repeat question. Summarize your week in life or in blogland.

Well, in blogland, I have started this blog and I am enjoying it very much! Hopefully others will read along and I can add something to the group of Lap Band bloggers out there!

In life, this week has gone by so quickly! I can't even remember Monday. The most amusing thing of the week is probably my crazy cat Friday...on Tuesday morning he ate a Breathright® strip out of the garbage can and later that day fell into the toilet. He's a wacky little guy! The best news of the week is probably my 3lb weight loss! Yay! :) This weekend I'm going to have to buckle down at home and work on a freelance job. Yay for extra money! Boo for an entire Saturday spent in front of the computer :(

Just call me Miss Draggy Britches

It's Friday! It's jeans day! The problem is, most of my jeans are very, VERY loose and by the time I sit in them for work for 4 hours, I've got problems. I went to the ladies room and stood in the mirror, lifted up my shirt and you could see 3 full inches of undies because my jeans are far past my waistline.

I can not put my cellphone in my pocket because the weight pulls my pants down. No lie.

I do have some pants that are smaller. I don't know why I don't get them out. It's like I don't believe that they would fit yet. It hasn't sunk in that I am shrinking and I don't have to buy the largest size available anymore.

And on another good note, I stepped on the scale this morning to find that I am down 3lbs from last Saturday. WHOOT! If things keep going this well, I am sure to make my OH challenge goal of 14lbs down by October 31st!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Everyday Lies

As a graphic designer, I work with photography a lot. I do not work for a high-powered magazine, but I do work in an area where it is important to represent ourselves in the best way possible and our audience is nation-wide. I have photoshopped plenty of people and I know first-hand the types of drastic changes that can be made to an individual without the untrained eye ever noticing.

As a general rule, I do not make drastic changes in people's appearances. I have had requests for some "plastic surgery" from some folks who know their photo is going to be featured prominently, but for the most part, I do not alter people to the point of them being unrecognizable. But, I do get rid of blemishes or zits and tone down birthmarks and wrinkles - things of that nature. Those who request extra photoshopping usually have a wonky tooth or a double chin that they would like tightened up a bit.

Even though I am not altering people as much as Cosmo and GQ do, in the end, it's still a world of pearly white teeth, glimmering intense eyes, and smooth skin.

I have come to appreciate people's flaws. There is nothing like having a photo of someone (most of the time they are about 15 years younger than me) blown up at 600% on your screen. You see every single flaw and pour and realize that no one is perfect no matter what age they are.

I wish everyone knew that what we see everyday is a lie. The billboards, the magazines, even the photographs of food in your favorite recipes magazine, has been altered. Wrinkles are removed - skin is tanned and smoothed - legs, arms, necks and waistlines are reduced while chests are enlarged - butts and lips are made more vuluptuous - lashes are lengthened and multiplied ... the list of modifications is never-ending.

This doesn't just apply to the women - it applies to the men in advertising as well. They are just as altered as the women! And I think men are just as negatively affected by the false portrayals in the media.

I wish that high schools around America would begin to teach this to teenagers. I wish they had a program especially for 15 to 17 year olds that taught them the realities of what they see. Something that told the girls that they don't have to be perfect to be a real woman and something that taught the boys that they don't have to be Machismo to be a real man.

Luckily, I think that most adults are catching on to these everyday lies that we see in the media. There has been quite a bit of talk about it and each time a celebrity points out that they don't really look like their magazine cover, it helps get the message across.

I think it's a shame that so many young people grow up with the pressure to be these perfect men and women we see everywhere we go. They spend so much time emulating others that they don't know how to be themselves. They don't know how to have their own personality, style, or interests anymore. They are afraid that being different will make them an outcast. I see it everyday where I live - students walking around with the same fad styles on, the same purses, the same shoes, the same hair...they are cookie cutter people. It's normal that most people follow the trend, but I see fewer and fewer kids breaking out of the molds.

I definitely think that advancements in technology and media have brought this around. Media has infiltrated every part of our lives and the newer generations don't know a world without it, so will they be forever changed? Forever insecure about themselves? I hope not.

I truly hope that one day people will get tired of the so-called "glamour" that is pushed at them from every angle and become more grounded and realistic about themselves and the others around them. Hopefully for the newer generations, age and maturity will help them see the nonsense of it all.

I'm glad I grew up in the 80's. As an obese child, I don't know how well I would have been able to deal with all the "perfect" people on TV and in magazines and all the talk about "childhood obesity" in the news. I think that latter subject alone, would have made me feel TERRIBLE. I knew I was a lot bigger than everyone else, but I was never called out on it. If I were growing up now, I would feel like people on TV were targeting me and making fun of me. I would be so much more self-conscience than I was growing up in the 80's.

I leave you with the video that sparked my commentary today. My friend posted this on FB today and it really made me think about this issue.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

My So-Called Obese Life

I was scanning blogs today and ran across one of those "answer the question" posts where the question was "If you could change anything about your life, what would it be?" things. Since my weight loss journey has been the only thing on my mind lately (yeah, work is going to start noticing soon, so I better get my arse in gear!), I was thinking about whether or not I would change the fact that I have been overweight all my life.

I can answer it very easily. No. I would not change the fact that I have been big since childhood. I honestly think that it has been a big part of making me who I am today. I learned to truly love myself despite always being bigger than anyone else I knew, including men. I have learned how to make others see who I really am and have learned how to let others know me and love me despite the social stigma of obesity. Those are invaluable lessons.

I never grew up relying on my looks to get me anywhere. I had to be smart, nice, and talented and have had to work hard to earn everything I have ever gotten. Don't get offended thin folks - this is not to say that just because you aren't fat, you do these things, but I see it all too often among men and women alike. It seems like the tall, handsome guy and the thin, cutesy girls catch all the breaks no matter if they are the most qualified or not, all they have to do is smile and show an ounce of charisma and they are in like Flynn.

It's so odd that the weight that my body has carried around so long has given me as many positives as it has negatives. It has made me a stronger person on a personal level, but it has weakened me on a physical level. Now that I have had 32 year of growing as a person, I'm ready to shed this skin and see what it's like from the other side. I will appreciate the other side even more and be able to live a healthier life with compassion for those who still struggle with their weight.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I wish I liked exercise.

I like my gym. It is where all the fat, strange, and homely people work out. I fit into at least one of those categories, so I fit in just fine :) In our town, Gold's Gym is like a meat market and my gym is where the fat people go to try their best. At least I don't feel self-conscious when I go, but I just wish I liked going more.

Hopefully my personal satisfaction from exercise will improve as I lose weight and it becomes less painful to work out. My husband loves to work out - he gets a rush from it. I wish I did, but I do not. I just feel kind of crappy afterwards...not muscle soreness, but I get achey all over. I could not sleep last because my legs hurt so bad and tylenol didn't even touch the pain.

It had been so long since I had been to the gym that I couldn't even log in anymore. I had to go get them to reactive my account! However, part of that was because I wasn't working out on the floor the last time I was there - I had been doing water aerobics, so I had no need to log in for quite a while now.

I walked for 35 minutes. I'm in the baby-steps phase of exercise. It hardly seems worth the hassle to change clothes and drive over there just to stay 35 minutes, get sweaty and leave. But, if I stay longer, I'll end up pushing myself too hard and won't be able to (or want to) go back for a while. If it wasn't so freakin' hot in the south, I would just walk outside in the neighborhood, but the AC is worth the gym membership when your only other option in the summer is 100 degree weather!

Here's to hoping this get's easier!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Food Dreams

I am being haunted by food.

I've had SEVERAL dreams where foods have been taunting me. I guess the good news is that even in my dreams, I have really amazing will power. I'll share a couple of my outlandish food nightmares with you:

Dream One
A couple of co-workers and I were on a business trip and the only place we could get breakfast was this crazy $1 food store. It was like a Dollar Tree, but all groceries with a cafe. Well, everything in there was really bad for you! Lots of danish and breakfast sweets & breads. Not one piece of fruit to be seen! Someone picked up this giant sweet roll and that is what they were going to get...I was like "That looks tasty, but I can't eat that! What am I going to do?"... I began looking for protein. I found these crispy bacon strips with a maple glaze and toasted coconut sprinkles...Not good. [Side note: If I had had this dream before the band,I would have totally tried this...somehow it sounds very interesting in a gourmet sort of way!] In the end, I left the shop and went hungry rather than putting something into my body that would be so bad for me.
Obviously food choices have become a major issue after surgery. I think this dream came from my thoughts about how 90% of consumer's food options are very bad for us, have huge portions, and are marketed to us as a good "value" because they are huge and cheap!

Dream Two
I was at this huge gathering of people. I think we were traveling on a boat. A big family had taken it upon themselves to do a lot of cooking and share it with everyone. I was in charge of cleaning up and they had a lot of leftovers. The one thing they had the most of was desserts. There was this huge pile of baked goods (brownies, fudge, cookies) that had to be moved to the kitchen. I had to remove each item one by one and put it all in a air-tight container...I can remember that I wanted to eat one so badly, but I wouldn't even lick the chocolate off my fingers. Then, to make matters worse, someone decided that they didn't want the desserts in the container that I had put them in, so I had to transfer them AGAIN. It was like torture, but I was strong and did not eat any of them!
I think this is a testament to my commitment to this new lifestyle. It's like my brain, even when asleep, is trying to constantly test me and reassure me that I have will power. I am always afraid that I will lose that will power after the "honeymoon" phase of this is over. But, as long as I am loosing, that is when it's fun. When I see progress, I feel empowered to continue on.

I had another food dream last night and I can't remember what it was! Do any of you dream about food? I NEVER used to dream about food before. I think it's just because so much apart of my life now. I am sure as time progresses, I will be able to stop focusing so much on it and just live my life. The choices will come easier and I won't be analyzing every nutrition detail later on. I think this is all a part of the process!


Wii Fit Workout : Gold's Gym Dance Workout

I went out to my local GameStop yesterday and picked up a copy of this Wii game for $29.99. I played with it yesterday a little and I think I am really going to like it! Granted, it's not an EASY game, but if you just move to it as best you can, you will sweat! It's highly customizable and I can really see the potential of the game to teach you some great moves.

I like the fact that the tutorials can be set to loop a certain part of it over and over - giving slow and choreographically challenged people like myself a chance to figure out what is going on! I have rhythm, but I'm just not very good at copying someone else's specific dance moves!

Not only does it have latin dancing, but it also has cardio boxing. So, you can make your own workout using those two elements along with mini-games. I'm not so sure about the mini-games yet, but maybe there is some cool-down or warm-up potential in there somewhere.

The game does not require the Wii Fit Balance Board, but it can be used to calculate your weight and keep track of it. I can't believe how few games actually need the Balance Board! Oh well, I still like my Wii Fit stepping!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

1 Month & 1 Goal - What a big day!

Today is exactly one month since my surgery! I was banded August 11th and today on September 11th, I stepped on the scale and found that I had hit my first mini goal - I came in at 299.4 lbs....

Goodbye 300's and hello 200's! I will never again see 300+lbs on the scale again.

Well, by the end of the day I know I will... I weigh in the mornings because my legs are not swollen so I know it's a truer weight. I'm sure I'll be seeing 300's on the scale until I'm down to about 295 or so.

But, I was SO ELATED to see 299. It's been way too long.

What an amazing feeling to know that no matter what, I'll never see 300lbs again!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Wii Fit Workouts & Soreness!

Wednesday I stepped on my Wii fit for the first time since I weighed under the Wii Fit's weight limit of 330lbs. Believe me, it's a pain in the butt to try to use the Wii Fit if you weight too much. It flat out won't let you! I had to bend over and lean on the board with my hands so that it was only registering partial body weight. Then, the weight is different everytime, so it slows it all down.

Wednesday: 30 minutes of advanced step & then I did the Hula Hooping activity for fun along with some of the strength exercises just to see if I could do them. I had a hard time with those!

Thursday: 20 minutes of advanced step & then 20 minutes of free step (The Wii Remote acts like a counter and you step to the rhythm, but you can watch TV instead of having to have the Wii screen up!). A total of 40 minutes of stepping ... over 2,000 steps and 330 calories burned.

Not bad! I may should have skipped the Hula Hooping activity on Wednesday because I had (and still have) some abdominal soreness that is kind of annoying me and concerning me a little. It makes you twist around too much, so I should have just skipped that until a few weeks down the road.

Hopefully the soreness is just from the activity in general...yesterday after the 40 minute workout, I did have a little nausea, so today I'm going to skip it since I'm going to have a long weekend of walking around ahead of me.

My legs are SO SORE. I miss Aleve! It's the only thing that really nips it in the bud and I can't take it. I had a hard time sleeping last night because I was so achy everywhere. My legs are still in major pain today too....and I have the same abdominal soreness and tenderness :(

The soreness is understandable, but the tenderness worries me a little...

Thursday, September 2, 2010

3 Weeks Post-Op

It has been 3 weeks since I changed my life forever! Since I have been a grown adult with a job with insurance, I have been doing my darndest to change my health and maintain a healthy weight. It never worked out for me. No pills, no gyms, no support group was ever enough, so I decided to get a tool that would suppliment my will-power and hard work. I have lost weight on my own by changing habits, but this time, there is no going back!

My heaviest weight (around 2006/2007): 379
My weight this time last year: 350
My weight pre-op diet: 333
My weight pre-op Surgeon's Visit: 324
My weight on surgery date: 320
My current weight 3 weeks out: 305

I have to say, I was surprised at how much harder this surgery was than my gallbladder removal in March. I thought it would be pretty comparable, but Lap-Band was quite a bit more draining. When thinking through it all, it makes sense that this is more difficult. You have more incisions, you have more areas that need healing and you have the introduction of a foreign object into your body along with a major change and reduction in calorie in-take.

I have to allow myself to recover and have some patience! Yesterday was exactly 3 weeks and I am just NOW getting a little of my energy back!

I just realized that it has been at least 4 weeks since I have had any "bad foods". That is one entire month of no candy bars or "treats" and no fast food or large portions. I've been on diets before, yes, and I've gone even longer than that without sugar before, but I've never been able to cut out sugar and maintain very small portions before.

Yay me!