Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Another chapter

This past weekend, there the ELB and I did something crazy! We broke out of our routine and did something that we hope will be a positive for us. We moved to St. Louis!

In all fairness, we have not been happy in Baltimore for a long time, but we were stuck. It's so expensive to live there, that even though we hated where we lived and the house we lived in, financially it was what we could afford.

We had started looking for jobs out of state about two years ago, and even though we had some interviews, nothing was panning out.

And then, out of the blue, the ELB was offered a job that is giving us relocation expenses. It was a blessing and came right when we needed it most.

So now, we are in St. Louis. Although we do need to go back to Baltimore to close out our house and get the rest of our stuff, we are finally here!

So as the ELB goes back into a  9-5 office job, I'm (temporarily) unemployed and my job is to get the house together and make it a home. But don't worry! I've had two phone interviews this week (with another tentative) and I have two in person interviews next week.

This move has tested (and strengthened) my faith recently. It has tested (and strengthened) my relationship with the ELB. It has not been an easy move by any means. But now that we are here and knowing that we only have one more trip to Baltimore to finish things out, I know that life is in the process of getting better. We are ready to embrace this new life, and we hope that St. Louis will be our forever home.

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five years

Yesterday was five years.

I don't know when, or if, I'll stop counting the years. Maybe it's something I'll do the rest of my life. I don't know. I know that my mom always knew the loss of her mother, and I guess that's how it will be for me.

I'll be honest, I don't mourn everyday. I don't cry. But sometimes when I least expect it, something will hit me, and grief will roll over, kind of like a wave crashing on the beach. Sometimes it's gentle, and barely noticeable, and others it hits me like a tsunami. But it does get easier... The waves grow further and further apart.

I'll be 40 this year. My mom would have been 66.  My mom died when I was 35. Her mom died when she was 25.

I know that a lot of women lose their mothers earlier than me. And some women are blessed enough to have their mothers they're entire lives.

I'm so thankful to have had a mother that loved me. I hope that I'm someone that she would be proud of. I know that she didn't always agree with my decisions, but she never stopped loving me.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Back to basics

I have struggled. And I've gained weight. This winter had been a culmination of extended illness, antibiotics, steroids, forced time out from the gym... And eating.

I had my fill appointment last night, and the number on the scale was not good. I'm ashamed of myself right now.

When I started the process to have surgery in 2011 after my mom died, I was at my heaviest weight of 429. I was tired all the time. I hurt all the time. Every day was a struggle to just get out of bed. I had trouble tying my shoes. I was depressed. So starting the required 6-month program was almost a relief. It gave me focus and a goal, and I rocked it. Before I had my surgery, I was down almost 60lbs!

I never lost weight quickly, even after surgery. Every pound was a struggle. The lapband is not a magic bullet quick fix. I'm not good at following diets and meal plans. I allow myself cheats. To be honest, part of the reason that I picked the band was that it was less drastic. I knew that I could still enjoy food, albeit in smaller amounts.

By the end of 2014, I was down to 329... But not in a good way. I had too much restriction, and was relying on sliders to survive. I lived on milkshakes, ice cream, cake, cookies, chips... Not a balanced diet to say the least. Anything I did eat would sit in my pouch for days. I was vomiting all the time, and spent the nights co choking on whatever was in my stomach. But I lost weight! So I thought I was doing something right!

After my unfill in November 2014, I gained weight back because now I was able to eat solid food again. I think that my body went into panic mode and decided to store fat for the winter.

Then in March 2015, I was sick. Vomiting every hour for a week. Not able to keep anything down. Dehydrated. Exhausted.  I finally went in for a complete unfill, and was threatened with an IV for dehydration. Of course I regained like the pro that I am!

I started getting filled again over the summer. I was ready to get back on track and lose the weight I gained. But something was missing. Things weren't clicking. I wasn't motivated. My gym was closed for two months. So I languished. I was lazy. I ate what I wanted, when I wanted. I drank milkshakes and had pizza. I had carte blanch to eat whatever I felt like.

And here we are today. As of this morning, my weight is back to 400lbs. I am a multitude of things right now:


But from all of that is born: Determined.

Yesterday, I got a small fill... 0.5 cc. I'm back to 5.5 in my band. I go back in five weeks for another adjustment. I talked to the nutritionistv last night, and we set some goals.

I am going back to the basics that were taught during my presurgery class. Reading labels, counting calories, and eliminating unnecessary food choices.

My goal is 1600 calories a day (that is her number, not mine). To eliminate soda (again, her idea BC I love my daily dt. Dr P fix). To cut down on carbs (yeah, her again. I'm supossed to give up BREAD. I love bread so much!) To exercise more (ok, this one is mine).  To drink lots and lots of water. To try and get my 10,000 steps a day, and to be accountable to myself. I'm going to weigh and email my nutritionist every Thursday. I need structure. I need guidance.

These are all simple goals. These are all things that I've done before. I am DETERMINED to do this again. I know I can... With some help.

So today starts a new plan to get back to the healthier me. I'm pushing the Restart button.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015


Getting unfilled was awesome and horrible at the same time.

I can eat and drink without any issues. No PB episodes. No reflux. I have a cold and I'm not so tight that nothing goes down and water comes back up.

The bad part is that I can eat and drink without any issues. It's like I'm wide open there, even though I'm still half filled. This has led to me pack on weight like I'm going to hibernate for the winter.

Since April, I have regained 47lbs. That is alot of hard work that has been thrown away on my part. I'm disappointed in myself. Embarrassed, even, that I've let this get out of control.

I am still working out 2- 3x a week. I still make good food choices...most of the time. Am I perfect? No, but then again I never was. But I'm not living on milkshakes and sliders. I eat real food, and that sometimes involves gravy or rolls... But not every meal.

So Monday, I made a decision to buckle down. To be more aware of what I eat, and when I eat (I've gotten bad about eating at night after 9pm). 

I'm tracking in MFP. I'm doing my best to get to the gym when I can. I'm drinking more water and eating less chocolate. I've switched back to diet soda from regular soda.

And I started a challenge with three coworkers to get through the holidays, and hopefully be lower than when I started. Let's see how this goes! 

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Unfilled and feeling pretty good!

I got a small unfill last week--0.5 cc out of my "confirmed" 10cc band. Now I'm sitting right at 5cc--or half full.  What a huge difference!

I can drink water like nobody's business! It's amazing--I was relying on soda just to help me eat--and now I can drink water again I feel so much better! I can eat without issues--no PB or stuck issues. And I've cut my soda back to like one time a day for caffeine purposes.

I've noticed that I feel less hungry, if that's even possible. I'm not eating all day. Meals seem to keep me satisfied for hours, so that sometimes I need to remind myself to eat. I'm able to make healthier choices like salad without fear of issues. I haven't been to the gym since the unfill (aunt flow was visiting), but I have double Zumba and kick boxing tonight.

I will admit a small binge on Halloween candy this week, but that's over BC I ate it all and now it's gone.

Right now I'm focusing on the basics. I'm tracking calories (under 2000 per day), working on my water, and will go back to the gym at least three days per week. I need to try to add more exercise, but I'll work on that moving forward (maybe try to add back my daily lunch walk when I have time to take lunch).

I have an appt to get a refill in February, but I'm really hoping that this works and I can see progress.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Planning an unfill

I'm still battling the snot-monster. It's never ending, it seems like. I do everything that I'm supposed to be doing per my ENT, but it doesn't seem to be enough. Twice daily saline flushes, Claritin, plus weekly allergy shots. But I usually wake up choking on snot, and relying on Coke to dissolve the snot so that I can eat and drink.

So Wednesday, I'm going to ask for a small unfill to see if it alleviates some of the issues I'm still having. Plus, this is the  season when the ELB and I gear up our travel (Detroit, Myrtle Beach, and Alabama on the schedule for the next three months), and I would prefer to not have any emergency issues on the road.

Fingers crossed that it helps.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Donny is a real...piece of work

So, Donny has been really persnickety lately. It doesn't help that Ive had alot of sinus issues with drainage. That's beside the point.

For the past six weeks or so, Donny has been to the point that I need to drink soda in order to break up the snot so that I can actually eat anything and get it through my band. I know, I know, don't lecture me about soda.

I've also been having night coughs again because the sinus drainage at night backs up and won't go down. It's not acidic, it's just hot watery snot.

Three days ago, I told the ELB that i might get a small unfill at the end of the month. Like .25 or even .5. Right now, I supposedly have 5.5 in a 14 cc band, but I really think that it's 5.5 in a 10cc band BC I think my surgeon got mixed up. Either way, I'm not too tight, and before the sinus issues and infection, I was doing awesome at this restriction.

Since my unfill comment, Donny has been AMAZING. She's got restriction, but not so much that I'm having PB. I can drink water again. I'm feeling satisfied, and the night coughs are lessening.

What's up with that? I didn't think that my band was capable of independent thought, but apparently she is.

I'll see how things go through the end if the month and see where things stand before I make any fill/unfill decisions.

I don't know why I have so much trouble with my band. I see so many other people who have had successful weightloss with their bands, and I haven't. I get frustrated that I'm only a few sizes down from where I started, and I'm still wearing a 26/28. I really thought that I would be a success story, but I guess that's not meant for me to be.

Anyways, I'm still here. I'm still plodding along. I'm exercising, and trying to eat healthy, and still wanting to have a baby but I wanted to be less heavy before that, but now my biological clock keeps reminding me that I'm 39, and time is running out. And I'm nowhere ready physically or financially for a baby.... Even though I want one. Sigh.

Sometimes I really feel like I missed out on the life I was supposed to have because of my weight. But then again, my weight had given me the life that I have. So I guess it's not all bad. I have a man that loves me and wants to be with me and has been with me for almost 10 years. I'm pretty accomplished in my chosen field, which I've worked hard to get to because I've had to fight the weight stigna, so I worked harder in school and in certifying so that I would be more marketable. I have some terrific friends that I never would have met if not for this lapband. I just wish that I had been able to do more with it, and to be a weight that I'm not so ashamed of.