Friday, March 28, 2014

Small Miracles...

Today, I had an office lunch. I was very lucky, and my business card was drawn out of the bowl at Noodles and Co, to win a lunch for my entire office.

I also took this opportunity to let all of my coworkers know that I would be leaving the company.

Thankfully, Donny behaved today. I ordered the pork mediterranean salad, and had a ciabatta roll with butter. I ate about 1/4 of my salad, the roll, and I was done. No PB. No slime.

Thank you, God! Usually, I have to excuse myself about 10 minutes into a meal to go to the bathroom because I'm having an episode.

I avoided salad for the longest time because I felt that it would be something that would get stuck--like a flap of lettuce would cover my little opening and clog me up. Who knew that salad was a slider?

Guess who will be ordering salad more often when put into social situations that involve food? This girl, that's who!

It's been an awesome day. It's Friday. And even though it's raining, tomorrow will be close to 70! That's a reason to celebrate right there!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

The difference a year makes....

March 25 was my one year Bandiversary! I totally forgot to post that.

March 26, I had one year post op checkups with both my surgeon and my PCP.

My surgeon is happy with my progress, he thinks that I am at a good restriction. He is happy that I'm averaging a pound a week in weight loss. He also said that my night coughing doesn't sound like an issue since it's not acidic and there's not food in it--he thinks that it's excess saliva pooling in the back of my throat--because lets admit it--I'm a sleep drooler, and when I sleep on my back, I can't drool it out. So, I choke on it. He suggested elevating my head if I sleep on my back, but doesn't feel that it's anything to be concerned about.

My PCP is awesome and I love her to death. She ran blood work, and took me off two of my three medications (the only one I have now is my birth control pills). My A1C is sitting on 6.1, and my blood pressure is terrific! She will run a full lipids panel in September when I have my annual physical, but I am over the moon right now! She gave me a hug and said that she would see me in September!

I also had a loss of 3.8lbs from last month to this month--and am sitting JUST UNDER 85lbs total loss since starting this journey. WTF! That's the size of a cheerleader!

I'm not saying that there aren't rough days with Donny. We still fight. She tells me no, I tell her that I don't care, I know what I want--she throws some punches, I take them because there really isn't anything I can do to her.  But in a year, as bitchy as she has been to me---and most likely will continue to be--I couldn't have come this far without her. Yes, I did lose alot of weight on my own before she came into the picture. And we had an adjustment period, but I know that I would be a far worse place than I am now without her help.

Before I started this process (six month classes, surgery, and now a year post-op), I was out of control. I was mired in depression, I was eating non-stop, I had ballooned to 428 lbs. I hurt everywhere all the time. I would get winded going up a flight of stairs. I had constant headaches (most likely from my blood pressure). I was always hot and sweating and had heat rash. I was angry. And I hated everyone and everything--most of all, myself.

I had tried diets, I had done exercise, but I honestly felt that I was past the point of no return. And then I met a friend for dinner, and she told me that she had decided to have gastric bypass--and that set the wheels in motion. And then I made a friend who had a lapband, who shared with me all sorts of information and helped me with my decision. So, I will be FOREVER in both of their debts for starting me on this journey. And starting this blog, and meeting all of you and learning about your struggles and your successes and your stories--that has inspired me and motivated me--and you all deserve thank yous for your part in my journey.

At one year in, even though I haven't gotten to my 50% goal (I'm only 15lbs away!), I am still winning. I am no longer on medication to control my blood sugar or my blood pressure. I choose to walk because I like the way it makes me feel. I had the confidence to get a new job. I'm happier, and don't eat to smother my feelings.

I'm still a big girl.  And honestly, I will always be a big girl.  I'm a 6ft tall blonde Amazon, and I'm okay with that. And when I get into a weight that starts with 2, that will be one of the happiest days of my life. I don't care if I ever reach my goal weight--because, I'm already winning at life...and more importantly, my health.

Happy (belated) Bandiversary to me! I hope to that you'll stick around for what year 2 will bring!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

One of those days...

Donny is being a little bitch. She's closed up tighter than....well, I don't know what--I was going to go the crude but funny route--then decided that maybe I shouldn't.

Anyways, bonus--I'm not hungry! But I can't eat even if I was hungry--so, I guess it evens out!

Plans to make chicken kale soup on the agenda tonight--unless I just cop out and make fat free refried beans with Rotel and greek yogurt. Or I might not eat at all--at the rate I'm going--it will be option number 3.

Snow in the forecast (reason that I'm tight). Supposed to get three inches--but the weather people are ALWAYS wrong--so we will see. Should finish just in time for my drive home!

Kind of dreading the surgeon appointment tomorrow--afraid that my love affair with Fritos and Kahlua the past month will bite me in the ass and cause me to gain. Of course, coupled with my inactivity recently (no walking nor elliptical for like two weeks) is sure to not be friendly on the scale. But my pants are getting looser--so I don't know what's up with that.

Anyways, if you are getting snow, be safe. And Happy Tuesday!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Now it's REAL...

The past few weeks I've been living in limbo. I was offered a great opportunity, and I accepted opportunity--but I had to wait to give notice to my current position--my manager was out of the country and I didn't feel right doing it before she came back.

She came back this morning--and I officially gave notice.

It's weird--I've never actually been in a position to where I could give notice before. This is only my 4th 'real' job out of college, and each time in the past, circumstances beyond my control dictated my end of employment. I was laid off, I was fired, and I technically resigned--but was kind of forced out of my last job. This is the first time in my life that I've been able to give notice, that I was able to look for a job while I had a job, that I was able to take the time to do my research, think about things, negotiate things...and Damn it! I'm either super mature because I'm not freaking the F out right now--FTFO for short--or I'm super confident that I've made the right decision.

Either way, today, this became REAL. Now the countdown begins--four weeks until I end here, and start something new. Four weeks to get my Sh!t together--to refresh on some things that I haven't done in a while (Thank you, SHRM) , brush up on my people skills (thank you, Dale Carnegie), try to find pants that fit (Thank you, LapBand!), and generally, prepare for a new challenging position. After all, I wanted change, and I wanted challenge, and now that it's almost here--I'm slightly worried that I might suck. I'm taking a huge chance--leaving my secure job for something new.

Life is about change, and I'm going to do my best to embrace it. I'll probably use this as my sounding board over the next few weeks. I hope I don't bore/anger/frustrate you with my rehashing the same things over and over as I make my preparations. I do that to the ELB....alot. It's just the way I do things. I talk and talk and talk about them until I have everything in my head straight.

So anyways....It's Monday! It's calling for SNOW (thank you, Mother Nature--and yes, I'm being sarcastic). I'm getting my 6th (and final!) crown started today. I go to my PCP and surgeon on Wednesday--hope that I have a loss, hope that I can come off two of my meds, and hope that I'm doing okay. I need to slam some water between now and then.

Let's get this party started!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Dear Kahlua

Dear Kahlua,

I think I love you just a little to much. You are so delicious poured over chocolate frozen yogurt. I've chosen you over pain pills the last few nights... And I seem to be sleeping a little bit better. But I dont want to come to rely on you so much that I can't live without you.

So I'm probably breaking up with you once aunt flow leaves town. But it's been real Kahlua... it's been real.

Hard decisions...

Hollee posted today about a decision that she made to revise her band to VSG.

This is probably something that none us of ever want to think about, but which we all have the potential to face with our Bands.

In spite of the fact that I knew in the future that I may have to have another surgery to remove/revise my band, that there would be possibility for port revision, that I may have a leak, or God forbid, my band eroded into my stomach ( I did MASSIVE research) I still chose to get the Band.

Honestly, the thought of RNY scares the bejesus out of me. And my insurance would cover either the Band or RNY--even though my surgeon really wanted me to go with VSG, as he felt that I would be more successful with it long term. I chose the Band, and I don't regret it. I wanted to know that if something truely went wrong, that it could be removed.

If VSG had been an option under my insurance, would I have chosen it? Possibly--but there is still the whole 'half of your stomach is missing' thing--which isn't as scary as RNY, but is still scary. But when you look at the follow up with the Band, financially, VSG is better in the long run, especially if you don't have insurance to pay for adjustments. My friend who was banded a few weeks ahead of me changed her insurance, and now has to pay 50% of each adjustment, plus a co-pay for her visit. That's about $200 total each time she needs a fill. It can get very expensive.

Like Hollee, I am going to be changing insurance soon--and I'm in limbo about whether the new insurance will cover adjustments--so I'm rolling the dice and hoping that my restriction right now will be good for a while--and I'm going to take a chance and hope I don't need any adjustments soon. I can't exactly ask my new employer, as I'm going to work for a very small company, and essentially, I am going to BE the HR/Benefits person--so once I'm there, I'm going to follow up with the insurance company directly and see how to proceed. I want to keep this a secret from them, just like I've kept it a secret from my current coworkers (a whole YEAR no less!).

Hollee has turned out to be a great friend, and I only wish her the best with her revision, and her continued success. She has been an inspiration to me, and even though she's not going to be a Bander any more, I know that she will always be a friend!

Happy Friday, everyone! Here's to blue skies and warm breezes (at least until the predicted snow arrives on Tuesday!).

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Up all night....

Lately, I've been waking up coughing. Alot. Almost every single night. I jerk awake feeling like I'm drowning, and then I commence to coughing. And coughing. And coughing.

I have rules that I follow that are supossed to help alleviate this. I don't eat after 8pm. I don't drink anything after 10:30pm. I do my sinus flush as soon as I get home from work, and I do my sinus spray by 9:30. That way, everything has time to drain and settle.

I am coughing up fluid, but it doesn't have food in it. It's not really acidic. It seems like a combination of water and mucous.

I have good restriction (although during my aunt flow week I do get a wee bit tighter than usual). I've been successful at the fill where I am since November.

I'm afraid to start messing with my restriction, because I don't know if my new insurance will allow adjustments. I'm debating about whether a tiny unfill will help--but then I worry that an unfill--even a tiny one--will undo all of the progess I've made so far and cause me to gain.

But I'm starting to think that my coughing is why I'm so tired. I'm not getting good solid sleep.

I don't know if the cough has anything to do with the band and the restriction. It might just be allergies that I may need to take to other doctors for answers.

I go on Wednesday for my one year check in. I will have until the end of April to get any adjustments done under my current insurance.

Any input? Should I be concerned about this?Or should I talk to my surgeon and see what he suggests? I know, I know--talk to my surgeon and let him decide the correct course. :) I just wanted some feedback.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The difference a day makes...

Last night, my band felt like it was WIDE OPEN. Which is weird, given that my Aunt Flow started showing up yesterday. Usually, she locks me down like the Russians did to that town in the movie Red Dawn. (WOLVERINES!).

I ate EVERYTHING last night. Junk, crap, whatever you want to call it. I had 8 of those mini pretzel dogs. A cup of turkey chili. A baked potato (no skin). Two Nature Valley granola thins. A cup of frozen chocolate yogurt with a shot of Kahlua. And I think that's it. Oh, and a Smirnoff peach bellini. And I had NO issues eating any of it.

This morning, Aunt Flow was like, WTF, not on my watch--and now I'm slammed closed. I had to fast for bloodwork, and afterwards on the way to work I stopped for a small milkshake from Chickfila, and it's taken me over an hour to drink it.  I also got an order of chicken nuggets--of which two was too many to even consider. I'm not stuck or pb'ing--but I am a little full.

And I've also been a slacker on the exercising lately. I really need to get back into walking. When the new job comes, I'll have to figure out new walking routes--no safety of the sidewalk that loops my building--but my office will be next to the hospital--so it can't be entirely unsafe, right?

I have my one year surgeon visit next Wednesday, as well as my primary care visit. Same day, same building, one hour apart.  Fingers crossed that they both go well!

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Forgive and forget?

Does anyone else run/hide from their past?

I do. My high school reunion is this year (20 years), and I'm not going. I want nothing to do with the people who tormented me, made my life hell, made me cry, made me eat, made me angry and bitter and untrusting of people, spit on me, hit me, and made me lie to my parents every single day when I was asked how school went.

I've done pretty good hiding from the world. I'm not on LinkedIn. I'm not on Facebook (under my real name, anyways). I've worked very hard to have a very low profile under my real name, because I knew that this day would be coming.

But now, apparently, everyone wants to be besties. They want to let bygones be bygones. They want to get together with their families and have a huge picnic to show off their kids and their accomplishments, and to show that we are all friends.

Guess what? We AREN'T friends. We never WERE friends. And I cannot let the treatment that you gave me be left in the past, when it has shaped my entire life, and every choice I've made in my life since.

So, stop trying to find me. Stop asking my family for my contact information--they won't give it to you--I've already asked them not to. Stop going on FaceBook and trying to figure out why I don't want to come. You know why I don't want to come. I shouldn't have to spell it out for you.

You are all bullies. Not a single person ever stood up for me, not even the teachers. If a kid was treated in school today the way I was treated 20 years ago, there would be charges pressed and kids suspended...because bullying is bad.  But guess where kids today learn how to bully other kids..they learned it from their parents. And back then, it was called "kids being kids", and when it was reported, it was brushed aside. Being bullied was a life lesson, a learning experience. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger, right?

I hope that when I have a child that they never ever have to endure what I endured. I hope that they luck up in life and turn out beautiful and smart and athletic instead of fat and ugly and prone to acne. I hope that I can give my child the life I never had. I would hate to think that I would have a child that would have to endure what I endured. That they would have to live with the emotional and mental scars of the past like I do.

They say that forgiveness is not for the guilty person, but for the victim. It allows them to have closure with the past, and to move on. It's been 20 years, but I'm not able to forgive the past yet. Maybe one day. But not yet.

But I can say one thing--what didn't kill me DID make me stronger. So thank you for showing me exactly what to expect from the real world. To show me that I have to be stronger and smarter than everyone else. That I have to work hard. That you can never show fear, or show tears. And that when you try hard enough, even if you can't leave the past behind--you sure as hell can hide from it.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Snow day....

Probably the last one of the year of the never ending winter.

Woke up with a splitting migraine and a two hour work delay. Decided to take the day off.

Happy Monday.

Sunday, March 16, 2014


There are two kinds of snowflakes in my world... The awesome khalua cookies and cream shake... And real snow. One is really really good.... And the other isn't so awesome.

Today I've had one awesome Snowflake. And in the forecast? 4-6 inches of the bad snowflakes. Too bad that it won't taste like Oreos and Khalua.

Happy Sunday night!

Friday, March 14, 2014

I survived the week! (almost)

I want to declare this week officially DONE! Okay, I KNOW it's only 10am, but my brain is toast. I'm exhausted (who knew that losing one little measly hour would make me feel like I was 80?!?). I'm so ready for the work day to end and the weekend to start.

I'm debating the merits of purchasing a bottle of Kahlua for the weekend to make Snowflake shakes (Thank you, BTS). It's a cookies n cream shake with Kahlua. Delicious!

No other plans on the weekend except for try to make up for lost sleep! It's supossed to be mild and nice here today and tomorrow--and snow is back in the forecast for Sunday night.

Sigh. Can I please have spring?

Thursday, March 13, 2014


I think that we all need reassurance sometimes.  Whether it's to be told that we are smart, or beautiful, or that we made the right decision....sometimes, we just need that little extra something to make us know that everything will be okay.

I had one of those yesterday. And it felt WONDERFUL. If this runs long, I apologize. I have to give all the details for this to make sense.

In 2011, my mom sent me a birthday card with two gift cards in it--$25 for both Panera and Bed Bath Beyond. I promptly lost the card and gift cards. I drove myself CRAZY looking for that stupid card and gift cards for months.  Then, I only looked for it every few months, then I just gave up hope, figured it got tossed in the recycling by accident, and tried to move on. It bothered me some, but as time passed, it bothered me less. But it still bothered me--it was the last birthday card that I ever got from my mom, and I really wanted to keep it. I didn't care about the giftcards, I wanted the words she had written me.

When my mom passed, I was bequeathed with almost all of her jewelry (my dad kept a few pieces). Don't go thinking that it was a collection of diamonds and rubies--I grew up on a farm, and jewelry was not something that alot of money was spent on--so it does not include vast riches, although there are quite a few beautiful vintage pieces.

In the collection are two Egyptian scarab bracelets (they were popular in the 50's and 60's). Since my moms jewelry collection was a mish-mosh of my grandmothers (both maternal/paternal), and great aunts, I don't know who they belonged to initially. Either way, neither one has EVER fit around my wrist--but not for lack of trying. Every few months, I go and try to put one on. Whenever I can wear something that belonged to one of the strong, beautiful women from which I am descended, I feel both loved and empowered.

Yesterday, one of the bracelts FIT around my wrist and was loose enough to actually latch comfortably. I was over the moon excited! Then, while looking for my I-9 documents (passport/birth certificate/SSN), I FOUND THE BIRTHDAY CARD! And that was just the little boost of reassurance that I needed to know that any doubts that I have had about moving forward were not necessary.

Two signs from my mom in one day! How can I NOT be confident about the future at this point?

Looking forward to all of the changes that Spring will bring! Blue skies, warm breezes, new experiences, and happiness.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

And it starts....

I made my phone call. I have my date.  Although I made the decision in March--the actual date is April 21.

If nothing else, this will motivate me to get back on track with food and exercise so that I can *hopefully* find some new pants that will fit me. And by fit me, I mean, in a smaller size but which won't hug and outline every unflattering lump and bump on my thighs.

I have six weeks to work on this.

Last night, I ellipticaled. This morning, I walked 4 laps before work--the first time in AGES it seems. I will get another walk in this afternoon on way home--and if I'm super motivated, I'll get on the elliptical tonight.

I'm retaking control of my life, one step at a time.

Monday, March 10, 2014


Change is scary. It means that you have to step outside of your comfort level. To do things that you aren't used to doing.

Some people embrace change. They live for it. Others become complacent. They like security. No one way of thinking is better than another--it's all in our makeup which way we fall.

I think that I could very easily be a person who does not like change. There's something to be said for being secure, for not rocking the boat...for not taking a chance that could cause us to fall flat on our faces.

But then, deep down inside, I get this little flutter--thinking of things that could be wakes up the little butterfly of change that I have. That little butterfly that has been hibernating for a while now. She's been buried under mounds of insecurity. Blankets of grief. Layers of complacency.

Two years ago next week, my mom died. I know that I probably talk about it alot, and I'm sorry for that.  But that will always be a defining moment in my life.  Not the only one, but one of many that have and will shape me forever. Another defining moment will be the day that I had Donny installed--1 year and eight days after the first anniversary of my mom's death. That is also defining moment in my life.

Now, it's that time again. Change is happening.  Maybe March is the month of change for me. It seems like alot of significant things happen to me in March. I met the ELB for the first time in person on March 31. That's a huge defining moment in my life, too.

And now, professionally, I'm about to make another change--in March, no less. Go figure.

And man, is it SCARY! I've spent 4.5 years with the same place, the same people...and it's been great.  But now, I'm ready. I've been through the scary stuff. I've been through the medical stuff. I'm changing myself on the outside, slowly but surely, and now it's time to change some things that have been put on hold.

After I make a phone call this afternoon, I will start the wheels in motion towards the future.

I'm scared, but excited. I've prayed about it. I've solicited advice. I've asked all the questions, and now it's time for me to take a chance on me. To not doubt myself or my abilities. To believe that I am as awesome as I think I am, that you guys think I am, that the ELB tells me every day that I am.

I'm ready, world...bring it on!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


Compulsive over eating.  I do it. Not all the time... Not any more, at least. But I did tonight. I ate way to much. I regret it. But I can't exactly throw it up... Im stuck with it until it passes through Donny.

In over full and uncomfortable and regretting everything i shoved into my pie hole tonight.

Now the fear sets in... Did I hurt my band? Cause a slip? Stretch my pouch?

I hate myself sometimes.

coworker lunch

I just got back from lunch with a coworker at Red Lobster.

I was able to eat three stupid cheddar bay biscuits (the ONLY reason to eat at Red Lobster) and two french fries and I was done. The rest I'm taking home (ie: grilled chicken sandwich and fries) to the ELB.

I'm so lucky that I didn't have a PB episode. And I didn't get any protien in. I might have to break down and fix a cup of chicken Unjury this afternoon.

Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Luka's Super Food Chicken Soup!

The goal of this soup was to make it as healthy and chock full of essential things as possible. Since I can't eat a ton with Donny, I have to get the most bang for my buck when it comes to meals. This totally hit the spot.  The best part? Kale, beans, and sweet potatos are all considered 'super foods', which means that they are super awesomely healthy for you! And I put all three into this! And chicken soup has been scientifically proven to help cure colds!

Enjoy! Much better than my first chicken kale soup recipe!

Luka’s  Super Awesome Super Food Chicken Soup

1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ large onion, diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
Large handful of baby carrots, chopped
2 large handfuls of kale-this was about 4 full leaves before cutting (washed, stemmed, and sliced into ribbons)
1 can Northern beans, drained and rinsed
Feel free to add any other vegetables that you want--it's totally up to you!
1 whole bone-in chicken, skin and visible fat removed--you can use a chicken that has been precut into pieces for ease of cooking/removal.
5 bouillon cubes (chicken flavor)
48 oz Water
Dash of Garlic powder (optional)

In large stock pot, put in chicken, cover with water and add about 2 TBSP of salt. Bring to a rolling boil and then reduce to a slow boil for approximately one hour. While chicken is cooking, prep vegetables.

When chicken is done, remove from pan and allow to cool. Strain the broth through a sieve (I used a fine screen strainer)to remove any ooky bits and impurities. I also wiped out the stock pan to get any things clinging to the sides of the pan. Return broth to pan and add all veggies and bouillon cubes and garlic powder—cover and bring to a simmer. While this is cooking, carefully remove the chicken from the bones—careful—it might be hot! Chop/shred the chicken and return to the pot.(I did not put all the chicken back in--I kept some out for the ELB to have for dinner). Allow to cook until kale begins to get tender and sweet potato is softened.

This soup should be rather thick and hearty with the vegetables as long as you don’t use a ton of water. I used 48oz of water when I cooked my chicken and did not add any extra during this process.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

I made awesome soup

I made chicken kale soup tonight. It turned out so good. Secret  ingredient? Sweet potato! Who would have thought?!?

I'll post the recipe I used tomorrow. 


I'm moving out some green snot--which I take is an indication that this *may* be breaking up----stupid sinus infections! I had to stop at the grocery store on the way in this morning to pick up some cough drops just in case I needed them. Better safe than sorry! While there, I picked up a jug of V-8 for vitamin C. I can't stomach orange juice (never have), but I love tomato juice.

Todays goal while at work?

Drink my protien coffee
Drink 8oz of V-8 (vitamin C)
Drink a crap load of water (going to shoot for 64oz)
Eat protien (in the form of turkey chili)

My goals for home tonight?
Try to get myself on the elliptical for 20 minutes
Eat a healthy dinner (honestly, it will probably be more turkey chili)
Drink more water (at least 32 more oz before bed)

Other than survive the work day (getting caught up after as now day is never fun), that's pretty much my whole day.

Happy pseudo-Monday (and by that, I mean Tuesday!).

Monday, March 3, 2014

Snow day!

I'm at home today because of snow. I'm also sick. Even if we hadn't been closed for snow I would have taken a sick day.

I'm back on the snot diet. I got down my protein coffee and some cold pills. But nothing is tempting me food wise.

I did make turkey chili yesterday for lunches this week. I know it's good but now I wish I had made chicken kale soup...I just don't have any bone in chicken make chicken stock with.. And you should always use bone in chicken for homemade soup BC it gives it more nutrition and cold fighting properties. Boneless skinless breasts are good... Just not for soup!

Hope if anyone else is in this crazy snow pattern that you are staying warm and safe!