Sunday, August 31, 2008

I'm breaking up with my scale

Well, cutting back on how often we see each other anyway. I'm going to have to cut down to once a week because the number game is starting to mess with my mind.

I've been enjoying my pants being baggier, my daughter, Hannah being able to get her arms further around me than ever before, feeling new muscle definition and feeling great about my physical strength more so than ever before. Then I step on the scale and today I'm back to that blasted 222 mark and I feel deflated. Why? It's just numbers. I am seeing progress in my body, so why do the dang numbers matter?

So I asked Brad to hide the scale and bring it out only on Tuesdays. That's my official weekly weigh day, so I'll just stick to that day for weighing.

I've always said that if it starts messing with my mind, I'd cut back. Well, I'm there. My scale and I may be able to resume a more serious relationship in the future, but he's going to have to start showing me that he can change before that happens. :)

I had two people independently call me "The Incredible Shrinking Woman" today at church. One hadn't seen me in months and the other one had been a few weeks, I think. The one who hadn't seen me in months said she hadn't even recognized me at first. :) That's fun.

So for now, I will continue exercising and eating well, but not obsess about the numbers on the scale. On the 5th we'll take progress pictures and measurements and that will be a good indicator of whether or not things are moving along as well.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Good to be back to regular eating

I ate my normal way again today. It was good to get back to how things are supposed to be. Also, I was still at 219 today, so maybe that weight loss will stick and even continue! Here's hoping.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Various pics

My girls and me at the county fair. I felt so much more alive this year than last year. I enjoyed a few rides and just had a great time.

Brad and I dressed up for a baptism yesterday.

I did my hair differently for a change yesterday. I included this picture so you can notice the pants bagging a bit. These are the ones that were recently still snug. :)

Explanation needed

I just realized I posted that whole thing about eating crappier and didn't explain why I'm doing it. I thought maybe I had already explained it on the blog, but looking back it looks like I didn't, at least not in the last few days.

It's a common theme that people find one way to break a plateau is to eat higher calories for a couple of days, over a weekend or something, and then back to regular eating on day three. Something about revving up your metabolism or something consistently seems to help. I figured why not give it a try after a month of plateau.

So that's what this is all about, me upping calories for a couple of days in order to break this plateau. Let's hope it's wildly successful. :)


I ate out for two meals yesterday, so toward the end of the day I figured I'd make that day one of crappier eating, hoping to break my plateau.

So, before grocery shopping, I stopped at Dairy Queen and got a small Blizzard (ice cream). It was the first time since my surgery that I've done so. I honestly didn't want anyone to see me eating it. I thought, "This is just not representative of me and how I eat, I don't want someone to judge me on this one snapshot of me." I live in a small town and lots of people are aware of my surgery, etc. So I sat in my car and ate it.

It was yummy for the first 1/3 of it. By about 1/2 way I wished I was home so I could stick it in the freezer for later or pass it off to my husband. I wasn't able to finish it and ended up throwing the last bit away. I felt like crap after eating it. I had to walk around Wal-mart feeling like that. I wondered if I always felt like that pre-band, because I ate like that often. I also started getting gassy, which I used to be all the time, pre-band, but haven't been nearly as much since being banded.

As I wandered the isles at the store, I tried to pick out some high calorie treats to eat today. I was just not that interested, especially since I had just done so and now wasn't liking the feeling. I did manage to find a few things, but overall I was so pleased that I couldn't bring myself to go all out. I honestly want to eat the healthier things, not just because I'm supposed to. That felt so good to me.

I'm 219 today. I haven't seen that weight yet before today. I'm waiting to celebrate too hard, though, to see if it's for real. If it sticks and/or continues to go down, then I'll be very excited.

I do think that my measurements are continuing to get smaller because I noticed yesterday that a pair of pants that has been snug on me were sliding down a bit. I've also noticed certain parts of me looking smaller, like my forearms and my shoulders looking a bit more narrow. I am feeling good about myself and I'm happy that I seem to be getting through this plateau thing without getting too discouraged.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The P word

The dreaded Plateau! I am ready to admit that I have hit one. A serious one. I hit 222 pounds on August 3rd and am stuck there still. I've had some fluctuations of a pound or two up and down, but I've pretty much stayed right around 222 since then. Maybe my body just likes the nice even number that 222 is. It's easy to type, don't even have to look. Just 222. Unfortunately, I'd like to never see it on my scale again!

It's not uncommon for people to hit plateaus when losing weight. Among banded people it seems to hit at about 6 months out. That would be just right for this plateau. I just have to figure out what to do with it. Do I just shrug and not worry about it and keep doing what I should be doing with eating and exercise? Do I re-evaluate what I am doing and check to see if it needs changing? I think my answer for now is to go read the message boards and pay close attention to talk about plateaus and how they ended up being broken. I'll let you know what I learn.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Bumps and sizes

I was looking at my upper arm and wondering what that bump was. Guess what? It's a muscle! I'm getting some definition in my arms. I think it's the tricep muscle. How cool is that? I honestly don't remember seeing a physical difference in my body from exercising before. Ever. This is very motivating and I don't feel like yelling at Teresa on my T-tapp video as much anymore. She's helping me get fit, and I'm so glad.

My wedding dress (in 1996) was rented, so I don't have that anymore. I do have the dress I wore for our wedding luncheon right after the temple ceremony. I tried it on to see how much further I have to go before I could wear it. It fit! I couldn't believe it. It's a size 14. I fit into a size 14! It was still significantly tighter than when I wore it before, but it fits and buttons up and everything.

As exciting as it was, it left me a little weirded out. What size am I? I am still wearing a size 20 pair of jeans, my tops are about a 16, while 16 jeans are too small still, I could probably wear most 18s. I just am not really sure where I fit in the clothing size world. Those numbers don't matter, really, but it is a part of my identity a little, to know what size I am. Oh well. It's a fun development, anyway.

I'm still as committed as ever to doing my exercise. I need to start by getting to bed early so I can get up early enough to do the workout before Brad leaves for work. Tomorrow that's 5:40 a.m. That's when he leaves! So I need to get some good sleep and get up early enough.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

My answers to a thought-provoking poll

Someone posted this on a forum. Here are my responses.

1. What have you learned about yourself since you have been banded? I have learned that I am capable of living a healthy life and that it's not just for anal-retentive thin people. I have discovered that I was actually eating a very unhealthy diet and learned how to change that.

2. What has surprised you most about being banded? How easy it has been. I am not throwing up all the time or getting food stuck because I've done fairly well at a medium-to-loose fill.

3. What foods do you miss that you can't/won't eat anymore? I haven't discovered anything that I can't eat, but a big ol' bowl of popcorn or ice cream, or a stack of cookies are things I won't allow myself, but sometimes wish I could.

4. Do you regret being banded? Heavens, no.

5. Would you recommend the band to anyone? I would recommend to people that need it that they research the band and see if it might be a good option for them. I wouldn't try to convince anyone because it is a serious surgery. My success has been a huge testimonial for others.

6. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything? I would go with a different surgeon. My surgery was great, post-op guidance was lacking. Nutritional support was weak.

7. Would you do it all over again? In a heartbeat.

8. Has your self esteem improved? Yes, drastically.

9. Has being banded changed your personality? Being fat changed my personality. Losing that fat is bringing out my original personality. It's like finding myself again, when I didn't know I was lost.

10. What do you dislike about being banded? Trying to figure out if I have the correct amount of fill. Stressing over whether or not I need another one when I might just be at a natural plateau.

Goals met and new ones in sight

I met my exercise goal for August today. I will surpass it by 5 or 6 days by the end of the month. I had originally only planned on exercising on weekdays, but I've been able to do Saturdays as well. I don't plan on cutting back any time soon. I'm doing the T-tapp workout as well as walking, most days. I love using my mp3 player while walking. It's like the beat of the music propels me as I go. I love it.

My weight went back down those two pesky pounds. I'm at my lowest weight-to-date again. (On this weight loss journey, I mean. Of course I've weighed less before. I didn't come into the world at this weight!)

It dawned on me the other day that I'm getting pretty close to being 100 pounds down from my all-time high of 311. I was 303 the day I started my pre-surgery diet, so I've been reckoning by that weight and will continue to do so. But, before I got pregnant with Adam I was 311, so in just a few pounds, like 9, I'll be 100 pounds lighter than my heaviest. That is amazing!

My next goals are: 211, 203 (my official 100 pounds lost weight), 199 (or Onederland as the bandsters call it), and then to be lower than my husband weighs, which is around 185. He fluctuates a lot within about 10 pounds, so that goal will have to be to get less than his lowest usual fluctuation. Then of course, my final goal which is 160 pounds which would put me within the healthy BMI range.

I'm feeling more at peace about my fill and my exercise and not losing weight as fast as I think I should. I'm still going down, just a little slower. If I was giving someone else advice, I'd tell them to be sure to take into account the fact that exercising builds muscle which weighs more than fat, etc. It's just hard when it's your own weight situation to take that same advice. Thanks for everyone who is helping to remind me of those things.

I think I'm at a better amount of restriction than I had realized. I have felt the band more often lately as I'm eating solid foods like chicken, or beef. I am not going to worry about getting another fill just yet.

I've added a little traffic counter to monitor how much traffic my blog gets. I have a link on a couple of different places, so I was curious. I had 32 visitors yesterday, with only one of them being a return visitor. I put the counter on there in the evening yesterday, so that's pretty dang good. It's more people than I had realized were reading, that's for sure. You can click on view stats to see the info. It's pretty interesting.

I'm writing this to explain why my writing style may have changed a bit and instead of just writing this blog to friends and family, it's becoming more public. I'm okay with that as long as people are interested in reading it. I've gotten a lot of feedback about people feeling inspired by reading, so as long as it's doing some good, I'm willing to share. So welcome to you, whoever you are.

Also, I'm not entirely sure what blog etiquette would dictate, but I'm not often responding to comments because I'm not sure that that person expects it or would come back to see if I had responded. Please tell me if I'm wrong and being rude. If I'm asked a question, I'll respond, usually. Just know that I appreciate the positive comments and encouragement that are posted.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


I'm still trying to feel out how good my band restriction is. I had to eat very slowly on all three meals today, or else the food would have gotten stuck. I am liking that because it shows that I do have some good restriction.

My weight has crept back up a couple of pounds. In fact, other than losing a little bit after my fill, my weight has really stayed about the same ever since I started exercising. I know I've lost some inches from taking measurements, but the numbers on the scale are not going down as steadily.

It's hard to know if I'm doing something wrong or if I'm simply at a plateau which does happen when you're losing weight. I think I need to be more patient. I've been a little spoiled by my weight coming off so consistently that I want it to keep doing that! I'm making good food choices for most of my food. I do allow a treat here and there, but I don't think it's more than I should be doing.

The thing is, that even though it's a little frustrating, it's not a big deal. I'm in this for the long haul and so day by day, I make the best choices I can with my fitness and my food. I'll keep on trucking.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

First day of school

Today was my girls' first day of school--grades 5 and 3! They ride the bus, so I walked them to the bus stop and then continued on to a full walk on my usual route. Adam even behaved himself in the stroller. Last time he screamed half the way, which was a really long time. He's 18 months old as of today. :)

I was reflecting on this time of year last year. One of the neighborhood moms walked her kids to the bus stop every day and I was so not interested in getting out and doing that. This year it was a no brainer. What a difference a year has made. Actually, it's been the difference the last six months have made.

I am now wondering if I need another fill to get to a tighter spot. I would like to get full quicker than I am. Things can loosen up a few days after a fill. I'm not even a week out, so I'll have to see what my weight does over the next couple of weeks. I don't want to restrict myself from eating, but unless my weight continues going down, I'm probably eating too much.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

I'm loving this fill!

So far this is going really well. I was full on half the food I've been eating lately and stayed full for several hours. That's what I'm talking about! All my fretting was in vain, because it seems like we got to just the right spot. Now we'll have to see how things go once I start eating chicken and fish and the like, but tonight I had ground beef in my Lasagna in a Bowl (I'll put that on my food blog) and it went down fine. That's on the approved list of soft foods for days 3 and 4 after a fill.

Happy day!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Dr. Metz

Just wanted to report in about my appointment on Friday. I loved Dr. Metz! He did such a great job and took a lot of care to make sure I didn't get too full. He was very professional, and treated me with respect and kindness.

He got me on one stick of the needle, after having numbed me up a bit. (Awesome!) He was also very kind and personable with the radiology staff, which I appreciated. Brad came with me to everything and he seemed really interested and excited to see what went down. He hadn't been able to come to a fill appointment with me yet.

I really loved talking to the nutritionist afterwards. When you have a fill with him, you automatically get an appointment with a nutritionist. I love that. This was hands down my favorite nutritionist appointment I've ever had. She was realistic and very down to earth.

Dr. Metz's nutritional guidelines are very different from Dr. Mel's. They encompass so many healthy things that I've been omitting. His meal options include whole grains, fruits and vegetables and even healthy fats. These are things I would have liked to include in my diet (Though I have been eating fruits and vegetables), but have been hesitant to because of my guidelines.

They don't advocate a certain number of carbs or fats, just focusing on proteins, 60 g a day as well as eating a fruit and/or vegetable and a whole grain at every meal, and having just three meals and one snack.

This is much more in line with how I feel about food. I am really excited about incorporating these things once I'm on solid food again. It takes a couple of days of mushy food, then a couple of days of soft foods before you should eat regularly again after a fill.

There's a woman who posts at lapbandtalk that is at her goal weight and has been for years. She advocates eating whole grains and says she feels so much fuller on them than she does on just protein. So I'm going to give this whole thing a try. As long as I'm able to have good weight loss with it, I'll go for it. If it doesn't work, then I'll have to rethink things again.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

August Progress Pictures (February/August Comparison)

Fill Scheduled

I have a fill scheduled this Friday in Denver with a new surgeon, Dr. Metz. My own surgeon is moving to Pennsylvania and that day would be his last day in the office. I want someone to fill me that will be around for follow-up if needed.

I have talked with Dr. Metz and told him of my fear of being overfilled. He's going to use an x-ray machine to do my fill. He has ordered an upper GI and then he'll do the fill in conjunction with that. That way he can get a good look at my band and make sure he doesn't get it too full. I'm hoping it works. I've gone back and forth so much about this fill, but looking at my weekly weight loss chart, my weight loss has slowed down a lot over the last month on a weekly basis. I think a fill is what I need to get that consistent weight loss again.

I've been doing great on my exercise. Other than Sundays, which I take off, I haven't missed a day of exercising since July 28th. It feels good to finally be getting it into my life. I've been wanting to, but just not doing it up till now.

I got out my box of size 16 clothes that were too small a few weeks back. The shirts now fit me. The pants are still a little too tight to wear, but they're not too far off. So fun to make progress in clothing sizes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

I went jogging!

Last night and this morning, during my daily walk I actually jogged a fair portion of the time. Not even half or anything, but more than just a little bit. I am so proud of myself. I wouldn't have thought I'd be jogging at least not at this point in my life. It's awesome to step things up and feel strong enough to do so. I need some new shoes.

I'm trying to work out whether or not I need another fill. I am hungry more than I used to be and my thoughts go to food a lot more lately. (At good restriction, that's not usually a problem.) My weight loss seems to be slowing down and not be as consistent as I'm used to. I am, however, afraid of being over filled. I see so many people have their bands so much fuller than I would be comfortable with. So do I keep trying to hang in there where I'm at, or take the risk of getting another fill? We'll see.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Monthly Loss Totals

In three days, I will hit my six-month mark. I count all my weekly and monthly totals from today, though, because that's the day I started my pre-op diet and that's when I started losing weight. It's all part of the surgery process in my mind, so I include it. I wasn't losing weight prior to that date.

I thought I would list off the monthly totals so far on my weight loss:
Month 1 lost 30
Month 2 lost 13
Month 3 lost 10
Month 4 lost 10
Month 5 lost 9
Month 6 lost 9

These are measured according to my scale at home, on the 5th of each month. If I keep this pace up I'll be at goal in right around a year from my surgery, or a month later. I've been told that it gets increasingly hard and that the weight loss will slow down, so I may have to work harder to get that to happen.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

And Mercifully back down again!

Well, I'm back at the 80-pounds-lost mark, and happy about that. And tomorrow's fast Sunday and my track record for that is usually a two pound loss, so here's hoping. (And no, that's not why I'm fasting. :))

I'm putting forth more effort now than I have since being banded. Yesterday was great eating-wise. I didn't eat more than I should have and I made good choices about what I ate for the most part. I also exercised, of which I'm doing more. The scale was kind this morning, showing a 3-pound loss. Yay!

I'm getting my T-tapp workouts going again. I did a 15 minute basic workout this morning and I was surprised how good it felt. I loved the stretches and I just felt really good when I was finished. Stronger and taller somehow. I'm going to try to incorporate them in as well as continue walking. I usually walk 1.5 miles. My goal right now is to walk every weekday and do T-tapp every day but Sunday.

Friday, August 1, 2008

And back up we go

This is crazy-making! Two pounds up today. I finally adjusted my ticker back up. I don't like doing that because I know that my weight will come right back down, but this week has been all over the place. So it's reading the right amount today.

To help this process along, I am really concentrating on making sure to stop eating when I get full--the early side of full. I think I have been eating more than I need to the last little while. I think it's important for Lapband patients to be able to eat enough food to sustain ourselves. Some of the banded people I know, either in real life or online have their bands restricting their intake so much that they can only eat a couple of bites before being full. While that's a fun phenomenon for a minute and certainly weight will come off, I don't think that is healthy. I believe that the proper fill (fill is the term for the band being filled with saline) amount allows you to eat a variety of healthy, nourishing foods. So far this is holding true for me. I've been able to eat small to regular sized meals and still lose weight. As the weight is doing weird things, I'm making sure that my size of meal isn't getting bigger than I need.

What I found today is that I'm able to stop and still feel full much sooner than I have been. I just need to pay closer attention to my body. I've been eating pretty much however much food I serve myself, cleaning my plate most times. Part of it is that I don't feel like being done eating just yet, so I continue eating as long as my band isn't complaining.

If I'm not careful, my surgeon said, I can stretch out the pouch a bite at a time. Just a little too much food this time, and then next time a little more, etc. Then you end up with your pouch stretched and able to hold more food than is appropriate for weight loss. So that's what originally made me think I needed to pay better attention to my food intake. Then the 2 pound gain this morning really solidified that lesson to me. So basically I'm taking my eating more seriously and paying closer attention to my hunger and full signals.