Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Thirty love

So, apparently on Graduation night, lots of people that I haven't seen in weeks show up and get their certificate of completion.  #wtf

Everything went well. The quiz was a breeze.  My BBF won the prize for losing the most weight during the six months (a prize of the multivitamins and chewable calciums).  I talked to my friends, and then we were done.

My final step on the scale revealed another 0.5 pound loss--which means that from September 11 to February 26, I lost exactly 30lbs! I don't know how I did in comparison to everyone in my class, but I obviously didn't lose the most--but I think I lost more than others.

I know it could have been more if I had worked harder the first two months of class, but I am very happy with my progress.  I am anxious to start the pre-op diet to see how much more I can lose before surgery! One girl in my class who is doing the Unjury pre-op told me that she has already lost 9 lbs in 5 days on that plan.  I have high expectations to hopefully lose at least 10lbs in two weeks before my surgery.

I am READY (except for the GI thing which is being looked into--and actually buying my protient powders/supplements). 

Watch out world, 'cause HERE I COME!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

This is it!

Tonight is the end of the required six month classes.  The final class.  Do you think there will be pizza?

Just kidding.  It was a JOKE people.

I am excited for the final class to happen--but am a litle cheesed off right now.

My surgeon wants me to go for a fluoroscopy because I had a little issue with some heartburn back before I started this process, and he wanted to look-see if I have anything hiding in there--like a hernia. It's not like I had chronic every day on Nexium heartburn. It was more of the chewing a Tums maybe twice a week type of heartburn-and it's been pretty much non-existent since about October of last year.

I called today to schedule my appointment with the (name) Radiology, and went through the whole scheduling process, and then was told that because of my current weight, I was "too heavy" to have my procedure done at any (name) Radiology because the tables are only designed to hold 350lbs. 

Excuse me?  I thought this was a STANDING test--drink the glowing liquid and stand behind the magic screen.  Noone said anything about laying down.  And I even specified that this was a fluoroscopy, not an upper GI with the tube and stuff. 

So now, I have to be referred to the actual hospital for my simple test. I contacted my program coordinator (who can be a bulldog) and I'm waiting to see what she can do about getting this resolved. 

I also have a weigh in at class tonight. I hope I didn't really screw up the scale with the chocolate chocolate chip muffin I ate last night. 

Wish me luck on my 'test' tonight! Apparently, they really do keep these tests with your files and if you do badly--you might not be allowed to get your surgery!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Celebrate! Good times, Come on!

I met with my surgeon this morning.

He is happy with my weight loss (40 pounds since my first visit in August--and 31.2 pounds since beginning the required classes in September).

He told me that since I had such a good weight loss, that I could just do one week on the presurgical diet instead of the normal two--but I've decided to do the full two weeks instead just to ensure that there is no problem whatsoever with my liver not having shrunk enough. Would hate for him to get in there and not be able to do give me my Lap Band because of my liver.  He is also sending me for an upper GI (not the one that they shove down your throat--the one you drink stuff and stand in front of an xray) to make sure that there are no suprises hiding there like hernias or whatnot.

Looking forward to my last class, but have to say that I'm going to miss it.  For six months (beginning September 11), I have been at a class on Tuesday night.  I've made friends. I've learned quite a bit.  Both the friends and the knowledge I plan to carry with me as my new life approaches. 

I know that the Lap Band will not be easy.  Even this morning, my surgeon was still hinting that I would see greater (faster) success with the Roux-en-Y, or sleeve.  I want to go slow and steady. I want time for my skin to try to get some elasticity so maybe I don't get so saggy. I don't want people at work to be like, "whats wrong with you? Are you sick?", or to figure out that I had surgery to fix something that has plagued me since I was eight years old. I'm choosing to be like the tortoise--slow and steady wins the race.  I will use my Lap Band as it was meant to be used--as a tool to help me lose weight.  I will be successful because this is something that I really want for me to be successful at. I will achive my goals.

When I started this process, I had a goal of losing almost 200 pounds.  In August of 2012, I was at my heaviest I think that I have ever been at.  At that time, it was so unrealisticly high, even with surgery, that I figured that it would be a fools errand to think that could lose that kind of weight--and if I got within 50 pounds of my goal weight, I would accept it. My goal weight that I set for myself in August 2012?  250 pounds.

Here's the numbers as of today:
August 2012 (first surgeon visit)--428 pounds
September 2012 (start of mandatory classes)--419 pounds
February 2012 (second surgeon visit)--387.8 pounds
New goal weight:  225 pounds

As I've gotten further into this process, I have decided to shift my goal weight down to 225.  Why? Because I think I can do it.  Why settle when I can maybe get down even more and be that much healthier!

Best research shows that if I do what I am supossed to do, I can lose between 50-60% of my excess weight within the first year after the Lap Band.  What I consider my excess weight is currently 163 pounds.  Half of that is 81.5 pounds.  In a year.  That is not a number set in stone--but it's an estimate. I could possibly be right around the 300 pound mark by this time next year! That will be a huge reason to celebrate!  

I know alot of people talk about "onderland", but what's a good name to use for getting into the 200's?  We really need to make one up for those of us that have our goals set just a little bit higher. Anyone have any suggestions?

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

It's the final countdown!

Last night was our second to last class (six months has FLOWN by!). Only one more week of class where it culminates in our 'graduation', as well as our 'quiz' to show that we have learned what we need to take the next steps towards our new lives.  

As much as I dreaded the weigh in, I sucked it up and went with my head held high....stepped on the scale--and had a loss of 2.5 pounds! (insert Jersey Shore style fist pump here). Seriously. I fist-pumped while on the scale.  THEN, thinking I had misread it, I stepped back on the scale to confirm.

I am officially 29.5 pounds down since September 11 when I had my first official weigh in at my very first class.  Will I meet my recommended 10% loss by next Tuesday--probably not, since that would require dropping another 11 pounds in seven days--but with a surgery date a month away and a two week pre-op diet on the horizon--I think that I can lose at least 15 more pounds by March 25.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Just another manic monday

Today is going to suck.

I forgot my cell phone at home.  My aunt flow is on the horizon. I already have a headache (and it's only 7:45am).

And my coworker who just lost her son in a tragic accident two weeks ago is back to work today--and the grief surrounds her and touches all of us...and with the impending one year anniversary of my mom's passing along with my elevated hormones--I'm already emotional and on edge.

I'm also anticipating a gain tomorrow night.  I haven't had the opportunity to exercise like I should because the weather has been crappy and work has been crazy. My food choices have been horrible.  I have fallen off the yogurt wagon entirely. I have been eating cookies and brownies (in moderation--but still eating them).  My soup regimen that was helping me (I think) to stay on track has been non-existent for weeks now.

And with an impending surgery date of 3/25 and a scheduled appointment with my surgeon this Friday, I'm afraid that he will think I haven't made enough progress and will postpone my surgery date until I lose X number of pounds.

So today, as hard as it is to climb up on that wagon, I am going to try to get back on track (and stay on track) until I start my two week pre-op diet on March 9 (doing 16 days instead of 14 so that I can use the weekend to adjust before taking it to work). I know that I will lose weight while doing the pre-op, but just nervous it won't be enough.

So send some prayers (or if that's not your thing, some happy thoughts will do just as well). 

Wednesday, February 13, 2013


WHAT is wrong with me?

Yesterday was pretty busy--WLS support group at 4pm, then the first of my final three classes at 6pm. 

WLS support group covered the topic of post weight loss plastic surgery. VERY informative! And it was PACKED with people!

Class also went well--the topic? Operating Room procedures.  Oh Joy! I learned things I didn't think about until now--and which are freaking me out more than the actual surgery. 

For instance, did you know that you have to have a catheter? I didn't! Only two people are allowed in that general area of my anatomy--the ELB and my Gynocologist. That's it. Now, some complete stranger will be shoving a tube in me to keep me from peeing. I have never had a catheter before--so this is my OMG moment. I know I'll be asleep before they do it, but still-it freaks me out!

I'm also not too keen on being naked from the boobs down.  Really? All my other business is going to be out there for anyone to see, why give me modesty with my boobs?!?

Okay, that's really all that's freaking me out. I got my surgery date today--March 25! #excited. Working on getting everything organized so that I can be ready to take the time off.  Also need to work on the house so that I'm not stressed about cleaning and crap while I'm at home recuperating.

Anyways, today has been rough.  I ate THREE FOUR donuts.  Not one, not two, but THREE FOUR donuts.  sigh.  that's almost 1,000 1400 unnecessary calories.  When I was weighed in class last night, I was still up .5lbs from the previous week--and then I eat donuts! All I can say is that tomorrow is another day--and this too shall pass. (addendum--I ate everything thing all day long--and i wasn't even hungry! I probably had 3,000+ calories. sigh)

I still haven't had time to try my Unjury samples (mainly because I have to go buy some soy milk)--but plan to maybe do that this weekend.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Unjury sample pack arrived

Checked the PO box yesterday, and my box from Unjury came.  I guess that $6.99 shipping means expedited.  Contained exactly what it said it would--small shaker jar, food thermometer, and 10 sample packs of the Unjury protien powders. I haven't started trying them yet--I hope to get on that in the next week or so I will know before my surgeon appointment which pre-op diet I am committing to.

Didn't do great this weekend--I ate pizza for the first time since Christmas--but I really was conscious of what I was eating, and I controlled my poritions.  I could have *easily* eaten the entire Buffalo chicken pizza from Papa Johns by myself--but I didn't.  In fact, we ordered it Friday night, and there are still two pieces left out of an 8 slice pie! And I did change up the chicken from breaded to grilled to help with calories. Afraid to do the calorie calcs for that, but I will eventually. 

Sunday, while the ELB was at work, I headed out and picked up a few more items for post surgery life.  I found some awesome small plates at the Goodwill for $1 each (I love fun and funky things), and a tiny backpack purse that will be ideal to carry my new tiny snacks/lunches in when out for the day, and two books. I LOVE the Goodwill--and all the money goes to good causes. 

I also picked up a  3-n-1 Jamie Oliver peeler at TJMaxx for $3.99 that includes the julienning blade (which I have read is great for making vegetable "spaghetti" noodles.

One of my BBF's says that she's already on the surgery calendar for the week after our class ends--but I'm all confused how that can be because I was told that you have to have the 2nd surgeon visit before being able to schedule your surgery date--and her 2nd appintment isn't until next week (just like mine!).

Tomorrow night, class resumes, and I get to step on the scale to see exactly how much damage the pizza has done.  I'm also attending the support group that meets before class to learn about plastic surgery options.  I know it's early, but i know how much weight I plan to lose, and how stretchy and saggy my skin is already--so some sort of skin removal will deffinitely be in my future.

I read that drinking warm lemon water first thing in the morning helps to make you healthier by de-alkalining your body, and flushing toxins out--and it helps your skin, too. I don't know--but I bought a bag of lemons at Sams club Friday, and today I actually started my day with warm lemon water.  I'll let you know how it goes!

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Only one more step to go

I had my second nutritionist appointment on Friday, where we went over the pre and post op diets, protein shakes, soft foods, supplements, and everything else that is important to know. The last requirement before I can get my surgery date is my last meeting with my surgeon on February 22--and then I can officially get on the surgery calendar! 

As the end of the pre-surgery journey draws to a close, I am excited for the next step.  

Right now, I'm waiting for my sample pack from Unjury to come so that I can sample the protein shake options available from them.  I've read that they have the better tasting shakes, but the pre-op diet for Unjury is different than the one for Bariatric Advantage. The starter kit was kind of expensive ($21 for the pack and $6.99 shipping), but it comes with 2 each of chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, chicken, and unflavored protein powders, and a shaker jar and a food thermometer.

With Unjury, you have to have four servings of the protein powder a day (two have to be shakes), but in addition, you can have things like cream of wheat and cottage cheese--and at the end of two weeks, you do a bowel cleanse the night before surgery. 

With the Bariatric Advantage pre-op diet, you can ONLY have five shakes a day for two weeks--but no bowel cleanse. I thought that my nutritionist was going to offer samples of BA shakes, but she only gave me a sample pack of the supplements.

I think that the Unjury route would be better for me, even with the unpleasantness of the cleanse, since you still get to eat something.  I am not a shake person--if I could do shakes all the time, I wouldn't be where I am-I would have actually succeeded on SlimFast the previous 47 times I attempted it (47 is an exaggeration--it was more like 5 or 6). 

I have until my surgeon appointment to decide which pre-op I will choose, since I will be purchasing my products at that time. 

The only issue that I have about everything is the chewable supplements. I hate chewable supplements.  I thought that the liquid supplements would be like in a bottle with an dropper that you could stir into foods and get that way--not a crystal drink additive. I hate drinking flavored water. Does anyone know if there's another liquid vitamin choice available that will satisfy the post-surgery requirements? If you do, please feel free to leave me a comment! 

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Falling and getting back on

After my (disasterous) weight gain on Tuesday, I resolved to pick myself up, dust myself off, chalk it up to bad decisions, and get right back on the bike and continue going forward.  Until I hit a wall.  And I fell down again--well, really, I didn't even get back on the bike entirely--I was in the process of slinging my leg over the bar and putting my foot on the pedal--when I tipped right back over in the exact same spot. Needless to say that Wednesday started with the best of intentions, but really, I just kind of laid there and cried. And ate oreos and Tostitos--and it made me feel like CRAP.

Now it's Thursday, and I AM back on my bike, and I am pedaling furiously to make up for the time lost--not riding erratically or making stupid decisions, mind you--just being like the tortoise--slow and steady wins the race!

And today has been good.  I'm sticking with my food plan. I ate a good protien packed breakfast of greek yogurt and multi-grain toast with natural peanut butter.  Mid-morning, before heading to the grocery store, I had a string cheese. And I just had a bowl of soup for lunch.

On my grocery store trip at lunch, I bought a ton of soup (it was on sale AND I had coupons), I bought deli turkey and beef for roll-ups and breakfast sandwiches, I got kale ( the bunny and I share a similar diet sometimes), and caffiene free diet coke. Tomorrow, after my second nutritionist appointment, I will venture to Sams Club to get turkey burger and sandwich thins and bottled water. I will make my turkey chili this weekend, and I will relose the weight that I gained. Maybe not by weigh in Tuesday night--but I will bring it back off.  My goal was to be down 40 lbs by my surgery date.  I am still 26 lbs to that goal, and I'm shooting for a surgery date of 3/25.

I've got this.  I just need to hold on a little tighter, maybe slow down the pace so that I don't get discouraged, and keep on trucking.

I like to read a bunch of different blogs, and one of them is Holly at . She is truly an inspiration, and when I read her posting titled 'Deceptions Dance' about being faced with the demons of pizza--I totally related.  She has strength that I have yet to find, but even the strongest have an achilles that can totally disable us.

The biggest issue I face is having grown up in a house where nothing went to waste--so it's very hard for me to throw anything usable away--be it food, clothing, ANYTHING (you can ask the ELB about my growing obsession about reusing plastic containers from things like Smart Balance and cottage cheese). This is something that I need to learn, and I am slowly working on it--but it's a process that doesnt' happen over night. Maybe losing weight will help me to let go of other things that might be holding me back. But that's a post for another day.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A little pissed off

So, I went to sneak in a weigh in yesterday, and was up 1.5 lbs. WTF!

I am very angry at myself, as this is the first gain that I've recorded since I started losing steadily in November. I know it's only 1.5 lbs--and probably has alot to do with the queso dip, the Tostitos, and the half pack of heads/tails Oreos that I've eaten the past few days--but I'm still angry--AT ME for allowing myself to eat and gain like that!

I know that I didn't make my super awesome turkey chili over the weekend--and that probably contributed, also.  So, back to the turkey chili weekends we go! I know it's stupid, but it seems like when I make turkey chili, I tend to lose weight. Weird, right?

I'm back on plan today. I have my soup and sandwhich lunch, I have yogurt and string cheese and almonds for snacks--and I will be drinking water till my eyeballs float, and I  will try to find time to squeeze in my walks--another thing that has been missing from my routine.

I have my second nutritionist appointment on Friday where I get my pre-op diet instructions. 

This week has sucked so far--but I'm hoping it gets better.

Monday, February 4, 2013

The Super Bowl!

Yesterday was Super Bowl Sunday--and for the first time in years, the ELB and I HAD to watch.  Since we live in the lovely city of Baltimore, we are, of course, HUGE RAVENS FANS!

Luckily, we aren't very social, so it wasn't necessary to fend off an outpouring of Super Bowl party invites--and we very happy to plan to watch the game at home in HD--with our own food and bathroom facilities.

As a special treat, I picked up a bag of Tostitos scoops and some Velveeta to make nachos for the big day. This is a rarity for me, as we rarely eat things of this sort--but it was a special occasion.  I couldn't find the baked Tostitos scoops, but forged ahead with our special treats using the regular ones. 

The ELB got a special homemade super secret (I can't even reveal it to you under penalty of having the ELB never talk to me again) plate of awesomeness.  I made chicken fajita nachos for myself using grilled chicken strips, sauteed tri-color peppers and onoins, and the queso dip made with Velveeta and salsa. I counted out about 1.5 portions of chips (13 per serv is 140 cal--so 20 chips), topped it with the grilled chicken, onions, and peppers, and the queso dip (made with an 10oz jar of salsa and 4 oz of Velveeta-around 360 cal for the whole portion of which I only used half).  So, for right around 400 calories, I was able to enjoy some Super Bowl happiness!

In addition to our early afternoon walk that we took to check out the city pre-game, at 11pm, when the game was over, we got dressed and walked downtown AGAIN to see the parties and everyone coming out to celebrate.  It was great because I got in two 45 minute walks!

Happy Monday!

(I'm going to sneak in a weigh in tomorrow night even though I don't have a scheduled class this week, just to keep on track.  Keeping fingers crossed that I was able to continue on the downward trend!)