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Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Have a great holiday!  I'm on vacation until 1/3/11 so I may or may not pop in before that.  Have a great week.  I'll miss you guys!  Don't do anything exciting until I get back!

Stop eating Christmas cookies and go say hi to a newbie

Tap tap tap.  Is this thing on?

I'm not sure if anyone is reading today, but if you are, please go pay a visit to Lee Anne.  She'll be banded next month and she's a HOOT!  She is one of those great bloggers who is funny and writes so well (think Draz or Band Groupie - seriously, she's that good!).  I predict she'll soon have more followers than any of us so be one of the first!

A little story

The other day I picked my fella up from a local micro-brewery (Why yes, we do live in Oregon where there is pretty much a micro-brewery on every corner.).  This is his DREAM JOB and he is hoping they will hire him even though he just got another job somewhere else.  He goes in every two weeks or so when they bottle the beer to help out.  They pay him in beer - lol.

Most people who work at micro-breweries are men in their late 20's - early 40's or so.  They are typically hipster-types who spend their weekends snowboarding.  So I pulled up and parked in the parking lot.  I got out of the car and walked over to where Matthew (my fella) and the brewmaster were standing.  "Hey beautiful!", Matthew says upon seeing me.  I go over and they pour me a beer.  We drink and chat for a bit and then we leave. 

I imagine how this scenario would have been a year ago.  I weighed 280 lbs. (127 kg.) then.  I would have felt really uncomfortable walking up to a strange man, especially one so "cool".  I would have imagined that Matthew was ashamed that such a big woman was his partner.  I don't imagine him saying, "Hi beautiful!" as a greeting, but if he had, I would have thought the other man would be secretly laughing at the idea of me as beautiful. 

I asked Matthew after the fact if he felt good seeing me so much thinner walking up in moments like that.  He replied that he always thought I was sexy, even when I was big. 

I told him that was a good answer.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Size freaking 12 BABY!

I went to JC Penney's this morning because I wanted to get measured for a bra.  All my bras are too big in both the cup and around.  The woman measured me and said I was either a 36C or a 38B.  I tried a few of each and bought a cute purple 36C.  I also bought two new pairs of panties.  I showed my fella and he asked, "Are those for you or for me?"  Then he admired the red panties for a minute and said, "Wear those tomorrow.  Or tonight."  LOL.  Horn dog.

I also tried on some new pants because when I put my size 14's on today I noticed they were instantly too big.  I mean fresh out of the dryer and they were too big.  So just for fun I decided to try some 12's.  I tried on two different pairs of size 12 jeans and a medium-sized turtle neck.  Here's a pic:

I tried a size large top too and I think I liked how that fit better, but my sister said the smaller one looked better.  I'm not used to having a shirt that doesn't cover more.   Do you guys do that?  Buy big shirts so they cover your stomach and ass?  I want to get out of that habit.

Anyway I didn't buy the outfit because I will probably get gift cards and such for Christmas.  So now I know what I want.  It might even be on sale after Christmas. 

I don't remember the last time I was a size 12.

I'm working today and tomorrow.  This week is going so slow!  I had a really nasty costumer this morning.  Lest I get too happy from all the nice stuff going on.

I also went out to dinner the other night (did I mention I got a Christmas bonus? lol).  We went to Mexican and I didn't fill up on the chips and salsa.  I had about four chips before my meal came.  For dinner I got a plate with two cheese enchiladas, rice and beans.  I ate about 1/3 of the plate.  I love my lap-band!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010


That's how much weight I've lost this month - 3.2 lbs. (1.5 kg.).  I wish I could say I've been doing a lot of holiday eating and that's why I haven't lost much, but I haven't.  I'd like to see bigger losses, but overall I'm not too upset.  I weigh 178.4 lbs. (80.9 kg.) and I'm 5'8" (172.7 cm) so while I'm still "overweight" by BMI standards for another 15 lbs. (6.8 kg.), I look pretty "normal".  If I stayed at this weight forever, I think I could be okay with it.  I think.

Other than the slow losses, this has been a really nice last week or so.  I already reported that my fella found a part-time job.  He started yesterday and I think they'll like him.  Unfortunately they are only giving him one 10-12 hour day per week right now.  Even two days would make a big difference for us.  It has the potential to be more in a few months so I guess we'll just have to wait and see. 

I also got an unexpected (and hefty) Christmas bonus yesterday.  I'm trying to pay off my surgery bill by the end of January so most of it will go toward that, but I'm going to keep a bit to spend on vacation next week.  We usually go to the Santiam Pass to play in the snow and soak in the hot springs.  We are renting a cabin for one night on New Year's Day. 

I feel like things are finally turning a corner for us.  I am cautiously optimistic that things are finally getting better.  My daughter called it a Christmas miracle.  I'm not going to go quite that far, but I will call it a Christmas blessing!

My youngest sledding at the hot springs last year

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Charlie Brown Christmas

We had our Christmas Pageant at church on Sunday and the kids did A Charlie Brown Christmas.  It was so cute!  My oldest was Lucy and what a perfect Lucy she was!  She's just bossy enough to pull that role off!  My youngest was Snoopy and, again, she was ideal!  She is all energy, but isn't quite ready for a bunch of lines.  Here's some pix:


So far this season this has been my favorite thing!  We have a really nice group of church kids.  They've done plays every year since the kids were babies and each year they get better and better!  This was such a fun script with a great message. 

Getting excited!

My fella got a job!  Sort of!  LOL!

Many of those of you who've been following my blog know that my fella has been out of work since last December.  It has been really tough, as you can imagine.  I have a very good job and my pay covers all of our bills, but without the fella's contribution we haven't had money for extras like, oh you know, health insurance and money to replace the long list of things that have broken down in the last year like the second car, the vacuum cleaner, the microwave, the hot tub, my daughter's DVD player, etc.  There was no money for vacation.  I had to buy my daughter's winter coat at the Goodwill.  You get the idea.  It hasn't been fun.

So I am very happy to report that he found a part-time job on a trial basis.  So if everything works out, he'll be working 20-30 hours a week after he trains for one day this week and one day next.  The job pays once a month so we won't have any money until February (except a very small check around 1/1). 

So yeah!  I am a little hesitant to get too excited.  There are lots of things that could still go wrong and since it is a trial basis they might not like him after the first couple of days, but if everything works out, things will be getting better very soon! 

Friday, December 17, 2010

I need a new ticker!

I weighed again today and all is well.  I am down a pound (.45 kg.) since last week.  I can stop freaking out now.  Thank you all for talking me off the ledge.  I knew you were right, but I was surprised by how quickly all those old fears and doubts came rushing back.

So I need to create a new ticker.  I have set a new goal to lose 16.6 (7.5 kg.) more pounds, which will bring me to a normal BMI.  But I'm not quite ready to part with being at goal.  Also I suspect it is going to take a while to get there.  I've only lost 2 lbs. (.9 kg.) so far this month.  I lost 6.4 lbs. (2.9 kg.) in November.  Nothing has changed in my routine so I believe it is just a natural slowing down.  Eventually the weight loss will stop at whatever weight my body feels is a good spot for me, I guess.  I can only hypothesise about that part of this process.  I've certainly never eaten so "normally" in my life.  I'm not dieting so when I reach goal I won't change anything.  In theory I'll maintain whatever weight I end up at. 

To completely change the subject, I can't believe Christmas is a week away.  I am sad to see that it is so soon.  What I really love is Christmastime.  I adore the music, the lights, the general festive atmosphere and spirit.  The actual day is nice, but I'm always sad because it means it is almost over.  This is one of the reasons that I always take a week off after Christmas.  It gives me something to look forward to.

I've also been thinking about the new year.  I'm not one to set resolutions or anything, but I do hope that 2011 is a better year than 2010 has been.  There have been several instances in this past year where things could have gone the good way or the bad way and they always went the bad way.  Most of them have to do with finances.  This year has been filled with disappointments, more than any other year of my life.  It has really taken its toll on my spirit, I'm afraid.

Of course the WLS and weight loss is the one shiny beacon of positivity that shines through 2010 and I am so happy about that.  I feel like my issue with weight and food has been a major struggle for practically my entire life and now I've finally found a solution.  It gives me hope to know that if this formerly major problem can be resolved, the others ones can someday as well.   

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What if I'm a fraud?

For all the progress I've made in this process, I am sometimes surprised to see how easy it is to slip back into old thought patterns.  This week I got on the scale as usual and I was up which is not usual.  I weighed 181.6 - a gain of 1.6 since last week. 

Now I don't believe it was a real gain.  It happened that weigh day and TOM came knocking on the same day.  Here's a bit of TMI.  I have an IUD which typically contribute to very short, very heavy periods.  I love my IUD anyways because it offers trouble free birth control for 10 years and of course I love having TOM around for only three days or so.  But I could do without the heavy part.  But I digress.

I don't usually gain weight when TOM comes around.  Except Heavy Day isn't usually Weigh Day.  So I am assuming that is the issue.  Tomorrow I will weigh again to test my theory.

Also I hadn't had a BM in two days when I weighed.  I told you, TMI.

But what is interesting to me about all this is that I am kind of freaking out.  I am racking my brain for the foods I ate and trying to figure out if I went overboard somewhere and didn't realize it.  I made a comment on Tuesday that it was such a relief to know I'd never have to diet again.  Now my brain is screaming at me that I'm a fraud and that 180 lbs. is the lowest I'll ever see and that I'm now going to start gaining until I'm 280 lbs. again. 

Before I was banded, I lost weight excruciatingly slowly.  Every diet attempt was practically an exercise in futility.  My last serious diet effort lasted six months and I lost 25 lbs.  After my surgery I realized that I hadn't been eating enough protein and that my daily allotment on Weight Watchers with banked and exercise points had me eating about 1,800 calories a day which was too much for steady weight loss.  But what if I'm back in that nightmare again?

Because it was a nightmare.  I couldn't even think about dieting.  It was such a painful subject for me.  I didn't understand why I couldn't seem to lose weight anymore and yet I'd gain steadily while eating what most people would consider a healthy diet.  I exercised every day.  I tried to talk about it, but I felt like all I could offer was excuses.  I didn't think anyone would believe me that I didn't eat crap all the time.  I felt like a fraud.

So here I am.  Freaking out.  Feeling like my body has turned against me again.  Even though the rational part of me knows it hasn't and that I haven't been successful for 10+ months to suddenly start gaining for no reason.  So I am sincerely hoping tomorrow will give me a better number.  And maybe someday it would be nice to not have to listen to my brain freaking out inside of my head when I don't see what I want there.  Like maybe I could still be okay with myself no matter what I weighed?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Another new blogger

Be sure to stop by Blondie's blog!  She will be traveling to Mexico in January for lap-band surgery.  Tell her Amanda sent you!

New Blogger

Check out a new blogger, Ronnie.  She's going to be banded on Monday and could use some support!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Weekend Recap

Ever put Bugles on your fingers and pretend your fingers were wearing little witch hats?

I had lunch at my mom's yesterday.  My mom is the greatest.  I am so lucky to have her!

Mom's brothers and sister came for a visit.  I haven't seen one of my uncles since August 2009.  It was fun to see everybody.  Both of my sisters were there too as well as our little families. 

I have noticed that I really watch people eat these days.  We had enchiladas.  Pretty much everyone hit the chips, bean dip and salsa for the hour before the food was done.  And they ate the cookies I brought.  And a never-ending bowl of mint M&M's.  My personal strategy for making it through holiday meals is to NOT eat until the meal is served.  In the past I'd have been like my aunts and uncles, mom and sister and I'd have eaten pretty much a full meal's worth of food BEFORE the actual meal.  These days I want to be hungry for the meal!

I also made sugar cookies this weekend.  We have a tradition at my house where we do a cookie hunt with clues.  We call it a gingerbread man hunt because when I was in kindergarten, my teacher did a hunt like that which took us kids through the entire school until we eventually found our cookie in our classroom.  But I use sugar cookies and the cookie cutter is actually a teddy bear and not a gingerbread man.  Once they're decorated, you can't tell.  I decorate one for each of my daughters and they know it is their cookie because the cookie has their eye color.  One of my daughters has brown eyes and the other hazel.  I had one cookie myself with lots of frosting.  I also might have tasted the frosting as I applied it to the cookies. 

Saturday I had one of those days where EVERYTHING annoyed me.  Ever had one of those days?  I must have apologized 20 times to my kids and fella.  And then I'd start another rant about this or that.  Not my best day.  It especially pisses me off when I "waste" a weekend day like that.

Work is really stressful.  I'm not expecting a Christmas bonus which totally sucks. 

Thank you for celebrating with me last week! It was so cool to see comment after comment congratulating me on losing 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.) and reaching goal. Your support means so much to me! There are so many things that I can only discuss on this blog. Believe me, I didn't show the nudie pix to anyone I actually know!

Welcome to my new followers!  If I am not following your blog, please leave your address in the comments. 


Friday, December 10, 2010

Things that weigh 100 lbs.

In honor of my losing 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.), I thought I'd post this list of things that weigh what I've lost.

 100 lb. dog
 2 month old foal
 Baby hippo
100 lb. model (yuck!)

100 lb. pumpkin

100 lbs. of coffee

 100 lb. barbell

Thursday, December 9, 2010

What does losing 100 lbs. look like?

Loose skin is a big topic here in Blogland.  As we lose weight, we often notice that it isn't looking quite like we hoped it would.  Our boobs and fingers get smaller while stubborn thighs and butts seem to stay the same.  We talk about bat wings and muffin tops and tummy tucks and stretch marks. 

Some people won't even consider weight loss surgery because the thought of loose skin scares them so much.  I didn't really give the subject much thought until I'd already had my surgery and I started reading about it here in the blogs.  I have to admit that I worry about loose skin now as I approach a normal BMI and realize that I probably won't ever look like I did when I was thin prior to being obese. 

So I know you're all thinking, "Quit whining and show us some pix!"  I am going to ease into that because this is kind of scary.  Here are a couple of "before" pix:

When I post pictures on my blog, I really have to work at not picking apart my image.  But today only I'm going to tell you what I really think of my body now that I'm down 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.). 

It's okay.  It isn't horrible, but it could be better.  I think my ta-ta's are pretty good.  They're down at least one cup size, but they aren't all saggy or weird.  And surprisingly I don't hate my stomach.  I'm not crazy about the surgery scars and it kind of looks like someone popped a balloon, but it could be worse.  I have been pregnant twice, after all.  After my first pregnancy, I lost all the extra weight and my stomach looked pretty much like it does now.  So I am okay with my stomach.  My thighs really bother me.  I went swimming on Thanksgiving and just couldn't get over how much extra skin (and fat) there is there.  I think even at my ultimate goal weight, my thighs will look fat.  I've never seen my ass until I took these pictures and the truth is, I thought it would look worse.  I've always kind of had a fat ass.  My arms have bat wings, but they aren't horrible.  So perverts, without further ado, here's what losing 100 lbs. looks like:

I am sorry for the bad pictures and the editing.  I want to "bare all", but I may want to get another job someday so I have to be a little modest too.  I also wasn't brave enough to have someone take the pictures so I took them myself at work.  I think you get the idea. kind!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010



I've wanted to write this post for so long.  I can't even tell you how excited I am.  I never imagined that in less than 10 months (44 weeks) after surgery, I'd have lost 100 lbs. (45.4 kg.).  My weekly average is 2.3 lbs. (1.04 kg.), although those weeks of big losses that I experienced early on are long gone!  It feels surreal to be sitting where I am today. 

December 2009

To begin, some stats.  I started this process at 280 lbs. with a BMI of 42.8.  I now weigh 180 and have BMI of 27.4.  I wore a size 24 pants and 3X shirts.  I am now in a size 14 pants and medium/large shirts.

Here's the picture of me in my old jeans.  Hard to believe I used to fit into them! 

Me & my youngest daughter in the size 24's

So what have I done to lose the weight?  In no particular order, here's the "skinny":

#1 - I exercise every single day, but I never go to a gym.  I walk my dog each morning for at least 30 minutes.  I go rain or shine, snow or sun.  I've completed two 5K fitness walks.  I also ride my bike to work on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I look for other opportunities to ride during the week as well.  It is certainly easier when it isn't dark by 4:30 PM and pouring down rain, but I even ride in the rain and dark.  In the summer, we did a fair bit of hiking.  A few times a week, I lift free weights while watching TV.

#2 - I eat when I'm hungry and stop when I'm full.  I do not count calories, carbs, or anything else.  Having said that, however, I must  report that real hunger is pretty unusual these days.  The lap-band definately diminshes the sensation of hunger.  So maybe a more accurate statment is that I eat at the conventional meal times with nothing in between.

#3 - I've had two fills (and one unfill).  I have 2.3 cc's in my 4 cc band.  I would recommend the smaller bands to EVERYONE if you have a chance because it takes no time at all to get to your "sweet spot".  I've been at mine since May or June.

#4 - I typically eat three meals a day.  I don't eat snacks or dessert on a regular basis.  If I am hungry between meals, I'll have a cheese stick or something, but I don't get hungry at all much so that is fairly unusual. 

#5 - I eat at least 50 grams of protein a day.  Okay, I know I said I don't count, and I don't officially count anything, but I tend to eat the same things day after day and I know the protein counts for most foods so I am pretty confident I hit this mark each day.  I know many of you eat a whole lot more protein than that, but I am a vegetarian so 50 grams can be a stretch.  Some of my favorite vegetarian high-pro (doesn't that sound like dog food?) foods are Greek yogurt, Nile Spice Black Bean soup, eggs, cheese (cottage, regular, string cheese, etc.), and vegetarian meat replacement items (sausage patties and links, chicken patties, "facon", "not" dogs, etc.).
#6 - Speaking of food, I shun sugar-free and fat-free foods.  I eat regular butter, cream in my coffee, and full-fat cheese.  When I had ripe zuccini in my garden, I went on a deep-fried zuccini kick that lasted about a month. I believe a small amount of "real" food is more satisfying than any amount of light mayonaise, fat-free butter or sugar-free pudding.  I also worry about the chemicals that are typically added to foods to make them sugar-free or low/no-fat.  Look at the label of a tub of margerine.  I'm just sayin!

#7 - If I had to guess, I would estimate I eat about 1,200 calories a day.  Early on in this journey, I did log all my food and I generally fell somewhere around there.  Nowadays I occassionally run a tally in my head, especially if I am eating out or eating unusual foods or quantities. 

#8 - Sugar.  I have discovered some interesting things about me and sugar.  I used to indulge in a sugary treat and 20 minutes or so later, I'd want something else.  Usually what I wanted was crackers spread with butter and peanut butter or cheese.  I thought at the time that when I gave myself permission to eat sugar, it sort of opened the flood-gates to the desire to eat more.  What I realized after I was banded was that the carbs were causing my blood sugar to spike dramatically and then plummet shortly thereafter.  The intense cravings were a desire to "regulate" my fluctuating blood sugar.  This was coupled with the fact that I usually ate these things at night so I was also tired and had the general lack of energy (and my body's natural desire to eat when energy wanes) thrown into the equation.  So I've had to be careful with sugar, especially pure sugar foods like candy.  I typically eat one or two servings on weekends and avoid them during the week.  I still feel sort of compulsive about eating them, but having a better understanding of the physiology has really helped.  I seldom want to eat again after having something.

#9 - Satisfaction is really important.  I ate for years, often binging on whatever fat laden, high calorie item I desired, and was seldom satisfied.  I finished eating and felt ashamed and fat and like a failure.  I often ate when I wasn't hungry and kept eating way beyond the point of being full.  Something changed in me when I was banded and I am so grateful.  I felt like I was "doing something" about my weight problem so I didn't feel like a failure anymore.  Since I was losing weight even though I was continuing to eat the foods I'd always loved, I came to realize that it wasn't the individual foods that was the problem.  The problem was a combination of too-large portion sizes and eating when I wasn't hungry.  When I added the bad feelings of shame and loathing toward myself, it was no surprise that I didn't let myself enjoy food.  So now I enjoy the foods I eat.  I never consider a food "bad" or "good".  I never beat myself up for eating something that isn't especially nutricious.  I try to eat well most of the time, but I do so because I want to be healthy and not to lose weight.  And if I really want something, I have it.

#10 - I don't drink when I eat.  I do drink right up until I eat (because Band Groupie said it was okay), but I wait at least 30 minutes after eating.  I am not a big rule-follower so I must confess that drinking when there is food in my stoma makes me puke.  I also don't drink much soda and, again, it isn't because of the lap-band prohibition (for the record, I was never told not to drink soda).  The carbonation just doesn't feel good in my stoma.  I now drink water, one cup of coffee a day and iced tea.

#11 - I think restriction is really subjective.  I am pretty sure many of you would not be content at my level of restriction.  I know lots of people want to be so tight that they cannot eat breads, pizza, etc.  I want to be able to eat all foods in moderation.  The only thing I've officially given up is tofu.  I also like to be able to take decent bites and I don't want to eat super-slowly.  I definately take much smaller bites and eat more slowly than I did pre-band, but I am not crazy about it.  I don't offer this information to say that my way is better than your way.  I just want to suggest that there are many different ways of getting this job done!

So that's pretty much all I can come up with for now.  What's next, you might wonder?  Well, I am still 17 lbs. (7.7 kg.) from a "normal" BMI so I am going to keep losing.  Other than that, I don't know.  The truth is I'm not really "doing" anything special to lose weight.  So I am guessing that I will keep losing until I reach a healthy weight for me, whatever that is.  I will also be posting near-nudie picks very soon so stay tuned!  I do know that this blog and all of you have been a big part of my success and I appreciate each of your support!       

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Big news a'comin!

Check back tomorrow for (I hope) some BIG, HUGE, INCREDIBLE news!

I had lunch at Taco Bell today.  Do you ever check the nutritional information AFTER you eat?  My lunch had 530 calories and 15 grams of protein, but it was oh so yummy!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Izzy's is pizza and a whole lot more!

We ate at Izzy's restaurant on Friday night.  My kids got free meal coupons from their dentist office the last time they were in for a cleaning.  For those of you who are unfamiliar with Izzy's, it is an all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurant.  They have a big salad bar as well as pizza bar.  They also have a hot-food buffet and dessert buffet.  It is a binge-eater's dream come true!  For a 10-month post-op lap-band surgery patient, not so much.

I know a few of you have gotten discounts at buffet style places by showing your lap-band card, but I guess I just didn't have the courage to do that.  So I was prepared to pay the $12 even though I knew I wouldn't eat that much.  It was actually a very good meal.  I had a small salad and a couple of bites of macaroni salad.  I also had a piece of cheese pizza and a couple of bites of mashed potatoes.  I was too full for dessert.

We went kind of late.  My oldest had an indoor soccer game so it was about 7:30 or so before we got there (Now I know that for people without children and people from some other cultures, 7:30 is not especially late for dinner.  But I digress.).  It wasn't busy, but almost every adult eating there was obese.  There were young couples, both of them big, going back for plate after plate heaped with food.  Last year I would have been one of them.

I also must have had five or six servers come by my table and ask if I wanted something to drink.  Why does it freak people out so much to see someone eating in a restaurant without a beverage?  I think next time I eat out, I will order a glass of water just so I don't get harassed.

My two daughters accompanied me as did a family friend, age 8.  She also had a coupon from the dentist.  I've never seen this eight-year-old eat so much or be so excited about food.  My kids were ecstatic too.  I'm not really sure what to make of all the food excitement.  I don't know if it is just the normal reaction to having so many more food choices than normal or if it is just that we don't eat out much.  Or maybe they're all emerging compulsive eaters, but I don't think so.  At any rate, I was glad to see them enjoy their meal so much without shame or self-disgust at how much they consumed.  I hope they never go there.  And for the record, I don't think my daughters ate too much.

All-in-all, it was a good weekend.  My oldest had the indoor soccer game and two volleyball games and my youngest had a basketball game.  The Oregon Ducks finished their regular season 12-0 by beating the Oregon State Beavers in the civil war game.  The Ducks will be going to the National Championship game against Auburn next month for the first time ever.  GO DUCKS!!!       

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Merry Christmas!

I love Christmas so much.  My feeling is that life is generally really difficult and anything that can bring some magic to our world should be embraced.
Here's my girls being silly after they decorated the tree. 
My oldest decorating the tree.
My youngest puts on the star.

Life is such a struggle.  It never seems to get easier or better, at least not for me.  I'm glad that for at least the next month, they'll be pretty music on the radio, twinkling lights on the houses and people trying to treat one another the way we should.  I love all the magic and promise the idea of Christmas brings.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Throwing away food

What a struggle it still is to toss food in the trash or compost!  I sit down to a meal and I want so much to eat everything on my plate.  I try so hard to dish out a realistic portion, but sometimes food comes bigger than a single Bandster portion.  And sometimes my eyes are bigger than my stomach. 

Last night I made a vegetarian chicken patty on an English muffin with BBQ sauce.  It was very good and I wanted to keep eating it, but after I'd had nearly half, I knew I had to stop.  Still I hovered over the trash and thought about setting it aside for later when I could eat more.  My daughter asked if I could save it, but I knew it wouldn't taste the same as a left-over.  I knew I wouldn't be hungry later and if I saved it to eat in a few hours, I'd be defeating the whole point of the band.  So I dropped it in the trash.

I also dropped half of my Thanksgiving dinner plate in the trash with the same reluctance.  I wanted to eat more, but I knew it wouldn't go well. 

Pre-band I would've always cleaned my plate.  And I usually would have refilled it at least once.  Those kind of portions just aren't possible for me anymore and I am thankful for that.  It has allowed me to lose 98.4 lbs. in 9+ months.  But it is so hard when my brain says, "Yum! Keep eating!" and my band says, "Nope. You're done!".

Monday, November 29, 2010

Thanksgiving Re-cap

Thanksgiving went well.  I had no major issues.  My restriction is such that overeating is pretty much out of the question.  I enjoyed a few bites of everything...and a big ole piece of pie!  It was yummy!

We actually had two Thanksgiving dinners; one Thursday and one yesterday.  The only thing I would have done differently is that yesterday we had lunch around 12:30 and dinner around 4:30 and I just wasn't very hungry at dinner.  I ate anyway which isn't my M.O.  I don't feel bad about it, but food is much better when you're hungry!

I also visited my step-grandma yesterday.  I haven't seen her in more than a year.  She mentioned that her daughter, my step-aunt is thinking of having Lap-band surgery.  So I sent out an email this morning telling my aunt that I'd had the surgery.  I really like talking with people about my experience through this blog.

Oh and I forgot to mention I got almost all of my Christmas shopping done ON BUDGET which is fantastic since I'm planning to pay some things off with my Christmas bonus instead of spending it on gifts and travel like I usually do. 

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey Stuffer 5K

My sister & I at the start of the race
My sister and her daughter
My daughters & niece at the finish line
Me and my youngest at the finish line
After the 5K we got to go to the swim park for FREE!  The swim park has a wave pool, water slide, kiddie pool, hot tub and lap pool.  I swam laps for 40 minutes and played with my kids a bit.  I also sat in the hot tub for awhile.  According to the calorie burner website, I burned 691 calories!  Woo hoo!  Pumpkin pie and whip cream here I come!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The time has come...

After nine plus months of claiming I can eat all foods in moderation, I think the time has come to officially remove tofu from my diet.  The last several times I've had it, it hasn't worked out so well.  Last night I cooked it differently in the thought that it would be easier to eat, but nope.  I still ended up "re-gifting" most of it. 

It is a shame though because tofu is an excellent protein source for vegetarians like me, but I don't suppose I get much benefit if it won't stay down.

Today is weigh-day and after a less-than-spectacular .2 lbs. (.1 kg.) lost last week, I was a little apprehensive.  But I got on the scale this morning and was down 3.2 lbs. (1.5 kg.).  This brings me to 181.6 (82.4 kg.).  I'm just 1.6 lbs. (.73 kg.) from my goal of losing 100 lbs.(45.4 kg.)! 

It is funny that at various times during this weight loss process I have "felt" thin.  Or thinner.  I would look at myself, especially in photos, and think I looked good.  And then sometimes I wouldn't feel that way.  Even though I was actually smaller than I'd been when I'd previously felt thin, I felt fat.  I kind of feel fat right now.  Or maybe not fat, but not like I look good.  I don't know.  It is weird.  I'm going to have my mom take a bunch of pics of me over Thanksgiving so I can get some perspective.  But for now, I feel fat.  Or fatter.

Yesterday was my mom's birthday and I hosted a party for her last night.  I think people with birthdays that often fall close to holidays sort of miss out on being "birthday-ed" so even though we'll be having ANOTHER big family meal on Thursday, we still got together for a party. We had a Chinese food themed dinner and cheesecake for dessert.  It was yummy, but I didn't get to enjoy it much since the tofu made me sick.

The birthday girl with my two daughters and nephew

I think my biggest Thanksgiving worry right now is not overeating, but it is being unable to eat.  That would be sad.  I haven't really been having issues like that, but I guess we just never know how food is going to go down.   

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Plans

Maybe I should be more freaked out.  Thanksgiving is just a couple of days away.  This is the BIG DAY for American eaters, right?  The day when we role out the pie, the carb-laden sides, the plates and plates of snacks and treats.  In the past, this has been a difficult day for me.  I've binged my way through pretty-much every Thanksgiving since childhood.  I've started eating the minute I walked through the door and I've not stopped for hours.  I've munched and snacked so much before the actual meal that by the time the dinner was ready, I wasn't remotely hungry.  But I still ate two plates full.  And pumpkin pie covered with whipped cream.  So am I deluding myself that this year will be okay?

I don't think I am.

I think this year WILL be different.  Because this year, I am different and this year, I have my lap-band.

I've attended several holiday and birthday meals since having surgery back in February.  I've managed to survive them all without issue so perhaps that is why I'm not too worried about Thursday.  I have great restriction.  I don't obsess about food anymore.  Now I enjoy food, but the band makes me stop eating when I've had enough.  The only big change I've made for these family dinners is that I no longer snack before the meal is served.  I want to be hungry when the meal is ready.  If I filled up on chips and crackers, I wouldn't be able to eat the holiday foods I love.  Sometimes if I'm hungry, I'll dish a small plate of veggies and dip and nibble on them for awhile, but I don't always.

The other difference this year is that I signed up for a 5K Thanksgiving morning.  It is followed by free swimming at the local swim park so my girls and I will be getting some exercise in the morning.  I feel really good about doing this.  I think I will start my day off on the right foot.

I talk about eating all foods in moderation in my blog, but I want to say it again because I think it is important.  I will be enjoying pumpkin pie with whipped cream on Thursday.  I'll also have real butter on my bread.  For me these foods are far more satisfying than low-fat/sugar-free foods.  I am content to enjoy a small amount and be done if I allow the "real thing".  I will enjoy EVERY bite of my Thanksgiving dinner.  I will take a tablespoon or so of each offering and I will eat slowly, chewing thoroughly and savoring the taste.  When I am full, I will stop eating because that is what my band requires of me.  I won't feel guilty about the calories or the quantities because I will know that I ate according to the requirements of my band.

I wish each of my American followers a happy, satisfying Thanksgiving.      

Friday, November 19, 2010

Happy Friday!

Greetings Bandland!  I hope you're having a wonderful Friday. 

I am so stinking tired!  Let me back up.  When I deviate from my normal habits, things just get weird!  Yesterday I ate breakfast an hour late, at 11:00 instead of 10:00.  So then I wasn't hungry for lunch at the usual time, which wasn't a problem because I was planning to go grocery shopping last night so I knew I'd be eating dinner late.  After we were done shopping and everything was put away, I fixed myself a quesadilla and a little green salad.  And I proceeded to eat it by taking HUGE bites and not chewing thoroughly.  WTF?   Seriously, why?  I've been banded for more than nine months.  So of course I got stuck.  I PB'd a few times, but I never felt better before I went to bed. 

And then I woke up TWICE with the taste of vomit in the back of my throat.  The second time I couldn't get back to sleep for a long time.  I have no idea what would cause it.  I wondered if some vomit came up into my stoma when I PB'd and sat there as I slept and then came up in a burp while I was asleep.  (Sorry for the TMI!)

So the moral of the story is that I do better when I stick to my routine.  And, DUH, I need to take small bites and chew thoroughly.

I also PB'd a few nights ago.  I have TOM to thank for the extra tightness.

Got paid yesterday and have spent all but about $60 on bills, gas and groceries.  Should be an interesting two weeks!    

Thursday, November 18, 2010

No big loss this week

I'm down just .2 lbs. (.1 kg.).  Hardly worth mentioning except I know I'm not alone with the slow loss so I wanted to put it out there.  There wasn't anything different with my eating this week.  Just one of those things, I guess.

I had another .2 loss back on 8/25 and it seems like I had a .8 lbs. (.4 kg.) loss once early on, but I can't find record of it.  It is a little frustrating to see such a small loss, especially when I know I didn't do anything different, but I know it happens.  It does mean I won't hit goal until 12/8 or 12/15 though which is kind of a bummer.

My fella picked up tickets to the new Harry Potter movie for us and the girls.  We are huge fans and I can't wait for the newest movie.  This weekend is going to be crazy-busy.  Starting this evening, I guess.  This is the schedule:

5:30 - 6:30 Bryn - basketball practice
5:30 - 7:00 Caelyn - volleyball practice
7:15 - 8:30 grocery shopping

4:00 Caelyn indoor soccer game
6:30 Movie night @ church

2:00 - 4:00 Bryn - birthday party for Tristen P.
2:00 Caelyn volleyball game
4:00 - 6:00 Bryn - birthday party for Marcos
6:00 Bryn basketball game 

2:00 Caelyn volleyball game
2:15 Bryn basketball game

These are just the special things going on this weekend.  We have all the usual stuff too like church and cleaning the house and doing the laundry.  Should be fun! 

And can I just say that I am sooooooooooooooo glad next week is a short week AND I get a four day weekend!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


Next week is Thanksgiving here in the States and I just wanted to take a moment to reflect on the many things for which I am grateful.  In no particular order, they are:
  • My daughter, Caelyn.  
  • My daughter, Bryn.
  • My mom.
  • My sister, Sarah.
  • My sister, Rose.
  • My dad.
  • My dog, Brody.
  • The rest of my family.
  • Christmas music.
  • Snow.
  • My job.
  • My car.
  • My house.
  • My blogging friends.
  • All of my friends.
  • My church.
  • Good health.
  • My lap-band.
  • My chickens.
  • The little park by my house where I walk every morning.
I wish you all a long list of your own!

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'm sorry for telling you what to do

Lately I've been kind of preachy in my commenting and I'm sorry.  I guess my thinking is that I love when people comment on my blog, but I really appreciate the comments with substance.  You know the ones - not just a generic compliment, but something from the commenter's personal experience or a thoughtful reflection on something I've written.

I want to encourage the discouraged and support the unsupported, but if I come across as bossy I don't think I'm doing my job. 

The fact is that I want to fix things for you.  I want to help.  I want to share my experience, strength and hope.  I also want to shield myself from your struggles.  I don't want to fail.  I don't want to stumble and fall.  And I know that if YOU can struggle, there is nothing keeping ME from having the same problems.

So instead of accepting that, I come up with a list of suggestions of things I would do if I were in your shoes.  But I know that sometimes the last thing a person needs when they're struggling is another list of things to do.  And I'm not in your shoes.  I don't have all the answers. 

So I hope you haven't written me off because I really have good intentions and I need your support.

Friday, November 12, 2010

"Normal" Eating

A while ago Blogland was abuzz with conversation about children and weight and the role our families have played in our struggles.  Someone (I think it was Tina from Losing It!) talked about how she has noticed that with her children, some of them just eat "normally" and some do not as if it were a part of their personality.  I have noticed this with my own kids too.  My oldest daughter is a little chubby and she has loved food since she was a toddler.  She nearly always cleans her plate and at times has been known to hide and even steal sweets.  My youngest, on the other hand, always eats a few bites of food, but has no issue stopping when she's full.  She'll throw away half a cookie or piece of cake if she can't finish it.  I don't think I've raised them differently from each other.  I think it is just a part of who they are.

One of the reasons I love blogging is that I often come across posts that challenge me or make me think or echo a thought I've been wrestling with.  The post from Tina is one example as is a post I read yesterday from Sherry at Two Sticks or a Lighter.  If you didn't catch it, go read it!  It is fabulous.  To summarize, Sherry talks about a good friend of hers who has always been very thin despite enjoying treats and regular soda, among other foods.  The realization Sherry came to is that for her friend, the idea of eating when she wasn't hungry was bizarre and something she wouldn't even consider doing.

I have been thinking about this point myself for awhile.  Naturally thin people DON'T eat when they aren't hungry!  What a concept!  That is the difference between us and them!  It isn't that naturally thin people always eat sugar-free and low-fat food (some do, most don't).  It isn't that they exercise all the time (again, some thin people do, many do not).  They don't eat nine servings of fruit and vegetables a day.  In fact, they probably eat the exact same foods as we do!  They just eat less food because they eat when they're hungry and stop when they're full. 

For the naturally thin person, stress, boredom, anger, frustration, and happiness ARE NOT reasons to eat.  And it seems that the deciding factor as to whether we fall into the naturally thin category is completely arbitrary.  It seems to be a personality trait or a behavior learned as a very young child.

So the big question is can we go from being a person who eats when we aren't hungry to a "normal" eater?  Can we, like our beloved Amy W., change teams mid-season or are we stuck with the eating behaviors we've always followed?

I think we might be able to become normal eaters or at least more normal eaters.  Just like a drug addict can stop using or a smoker can become a non-smoker, I believe it may be possible for us to adopt the behaviors of a naturally thin person.  I used to smoke cigarettes, but now that behavior isn't a part of who I am anymore.  Although it was difficult when I first quit the behavior, over time it has lost its appeal.  Occasionally over the years, the urge to smoke has reappeared from time-to-time, but most of the time the idea of cigarettes totally grosses me out.  To some extent, the same has happened with food.

When I had lap-band surgery, I was someone who obsessed about food.  When I was eating, I always wanted more.  Even before I had a weight-problem, I believed that if I didn't control myself with food, I weigh 500 lbs.  (226.8 kg.).  I was never satisfied with food.  I punished myself as I ate with messages of self-loathing in a twisted attempt to make myself STOP overeating.  But the shame and the hate only drove me to eat MORE.  Those messages fed my obsession.

But something happened after I had surgery.  I made a conscious effort to eat only when I was hungry.  It wasn't too hard in the beginning because I could only eat really small quantities which meant I was hungry about every two hours.  So pretty much I was able to eat whenever I wanted.  And since I had "done something" about my weight problem, I stopped berating myself about it.  I lost weight and the desire to overeat diminished.  As I got better restriction from the band, my quantities got smaller and I had a concrete "full" signal from my body that I really cannot ignore. 

Now I won't suggest that I never eat when I'm not hungry.  Sometimes I start shoving food in my face, just like before, in a frenzied effort to get as much in my body as I can before I finally make myself stop.  But those days are few and far between.  Just like my life as a former-smoker, it is harder and harder to imagine living that way again. 

Most of the time I am perfectly content to wait until I get hungry before I eat.  Even with the band creating a diminished sensation of hunger, I can still recognize my hunger at mealtimes.  But I do things like not eating snacks in the afternoon because I know it will make me not hungry for dinner.  Isn't that the kind of thing a "normal" eater would do?

I don't know if I'll ever solve all my problems with food.  My sense is that it will always be a struggle to some extent, but I believe the lap-band has given me the ability to at least imagine what it is like to live that life.  And THAT is pretty amazing! 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

You guys are a bunch of pervs!

I say that with tons of affection.  But you have to wonder about a post promising naked (censored) pix of me eliciting so many comments.  It is okay though.  I love it when you guys "bare" yourselves too!

I do feel compelled to dispel the myth that I am a model Bandster, which a couple of you included in your comments.  To be completely honest, I don't know why I've lost so well and so consistently.  I have some suspicions, but I suspect a lot of it was luck.  I feel really, really blessed to be so comfortable in my own skin and to feel so little compulsion to overeat.  My disordered relationship with food has been an issue in my life for more than 30 years.  I have agonized over it, prayed about it, struggled with it and given up on myself  more times than I can count.

I do believe that my decision NOT to diet is a big part of my success.  I eat what I want and stop eating when my band tells me to.  I am satisfied by the foods I eat.  I know that I chased this sense of satisfaction for most of the last 30 years as I ate more and more or less and less.  Now I eat and enjoy and I don't feel the compulsion to keep eating most of the time.  I believe a bit if real butter on my potato is far more satisfying than a whole bunch of light margarine slathered all over the place.  Same with full-fat cheese, mayonnaise, cream and real sugar.

But when I was first banded, I DID diet.  Then I learned from several other bloggers that it was possible to eat a different way.  It was scary for me to stop writing down my food.  In the past that has always been an indication that I was about to give up on a diet.  But I trusted that it was possible to eat all foods in moderation, so long as the quantities were reasonable.  I had always wanted to eat that way and several years before being banded I'd actually started eating that way.  I quit binging for the most part.  I didn't care how many calories something had.  I ate things I actually wanted to eat.  I didn't have the lap-band to make me stop eating so I didn't lose weight, but I feel like some of my sanity was restored by that time.

But I make plenty of mistakes and sometimes I don't disclose them here.  Mistakes like last Saturday when I had some popcorn for a snack in the afternoon and then wasn't hungry for dinner.  My "rule" is that I eat when I'm hungry.  At 8:00 PM I said, "Screw it!" and had dinner because I wanted to eat.  I still wasn't hungry.  Oh, yeah and I had dessert too even though I definitely wasn't hungry for that either!  My calories were still reasonable (1,200) for the day (I know because on days when I do stupid things like that, I add up my calories to decide if it was a problem or not).

I also have a fair amount of band related "issues".  I've struggled with acid reflux off and on since September.  I have gurggling that sometimes prevents me from sleeping on my left side and interferes with my sleep.  This week my band has just plain hurt.  I don't know why.  So even though I have a tendency to gloss over the negative elements of banded life, I do recognize that it isn't perfect.

I guess my reality is that I see how much better things are now.  I love being "thin".  I love wearing smaller sizes.  I love not beating myself up about my size.  It isn't perfect, but for me it is enough!


Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Down 3!

I'm down 3 lbs. (1.4 kg.) this week for a grand total thus far of 95 lbs. (43.1 kg.) since February.  I am just 5 lbs. (2.3 kg.) from goal!  I am hoping to be there by the end of the year, but I could see it before the end of the month!

I am also wearing a size 14 jeans today.  My sister had some things that no longer fit her so I now have one pair of size 14's.  I knew my size 16's were getting too big, but I didn't have anything smaller to try.  When I began this process, I was wearing size 24 pants and 3X shirts.  Most of the shirts I wear now are size large, but, again, I don't have any mediums to try.  I can't wait to post my goal pic of me in my size 24's now (or 5 lbs. from now).  I know I'll be able to fit into one leg of them.

I also kind of want to do a naked pic with the ta ta's and hootchie-coo blacked out just so you can see all the scars and extra skin and such.  The scars are not fantastic, but there isn't too much saggy skin, all things considered.  Stay posted!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I'm so cold!

Apparently fat keeps you warm.  Who knew?

Gibberish & 200 followers!!!!

I texted a quick post last night and it came out gibberish.  Not really sure why, but I got some funny comment from you guys.  Bunch of Smart Alecks ~ lol!

What I was trying to say was that I tried the downward dog yoga pose when I was stuck last night and it worked like a charm!  I can't remember who suggested that to begin with, but try it next time you get that feeling!

I thought it was kind of funny that I was stuck after a normal dinner when I'd been able to eat like a pig on Sunday.  Quirky little lap-band sometimes.

I logged in this morning to see that I have 200 followers!!  Woo hoo!  I've had 199 for several days and I was hoping I'd get another one to hit that magic number.

I started this blog in February and I can't believe I have so many people who are somewhat interested in what I have to say.  Amazing!  Please know that I appreciate each and every one of you.  You have given me so much support and I am grateful!

Monday, November 8, 2010

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North Eugene Wildcats WIN!!! And I eat A LOT!!!

    I have to take a minute to brag here.  My daughter's soccer team swept the end-of-the-season tournament to win the gold medal championship game yesterday.  The tournament was three games and they held all of the opposing teams scoreless.

I don't usually brag too much, but this has been a really difficult season for their team.  They are now in the U11 division which is mainly 4th and 5th grade teams.  They started the season with a jamboree and they won two games and tied the third.  This got them bumped up in the standings so that all but two of their games were against 5th grade teams.  You might not appreciate the difference between a team of 9-year-olds vs. a team of 10-year-olds, but let me tell you - it is significant.  10 year old girls tend to be just that much taller and stronger.  They kick a bit harder and their longer legs carry them just a bit faster.  Plus they have played a year under the U11 rules so they don't tend to make mistakes with off-sides and lifting their back foot during throw-ins.  Despite the tougher competition, our girls played really well.  Although they lost most of their games, all but two of the games could have gone either way.  They lost by one or two goals and if they'd had the edge the older girls did, they would have dominated.  So in regular season play, they lost all but two games.  It was a difficult season, but the girls didn't lose heart.  They were excited at each game and did their best.  There was no grumbling or sour grapes.  I couldn't be prouder of them!

So they ended up in the third of four tournament standings for the U11 division.  Finally they were playing against 4th graders and they got their chance to shine!  The weather was cold and rainy, at times it poured, but they didn't give up and they won the gold medals! 

After the game, we had a big Mexican food potluck at one of the parent's house.  I ATE so much!!!  It was awesome!  I hadn't had anything all day except a cup of coffee and a protein drink.  I had a taco with rice and cheese and guacamole and some chips and bean dip.  After I was done, I had another mini-burrito and some more chips and bean dip.  I also had two drinks AND a piece of cake!  I figured my calories for the day at 1,750 with 1,450 in that meal alone!  Holy cow!  I can almost never eat quantities like that, but I guess the lap-band gods smiled on me.

And here's the thing - I don't feel bad about it at all.  I'm not ashamed or full of self-loathing.  I know I usually don't (and can't) eat like that.  I know the calories, while high for the day, can fit into a healthy diet.  I will still lose weight for the week.  I enjoyed the meal.  I wasn't eating compulsively.  I had intentionally NOT eaten much because I wanted to be hungry for the potluck. 

I am not really sure how I was able to eat so much.  Do you think alcohol relaxes the band somehow?  I almost never drink so that is the only unusual thing about the day.  I know my restriction ebbs and flows from day-to-day.  I don't usually put it to the test though.

Which brings me back to what I wanted to say.  My relationship with food has really changed.  I am different.  I feel so free!  This is such an amazing tool!