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Thursday, April 30, 2015

R.I.P. Jean Nidetch, Weight Watchers Founder

I read this morning that the founder of Weight Watchers, Jean Nidetch, passed away at the age of 91.

Weight Watchers and I have a history.  Would it surprise you to know that I am a lifetime member?

I first joined in about 1991.  I weighed about 185 and ended up losing 45 lbs. or so to get my lifetime membership.  Over the years I went back many times.  Lifetime Members need never pay a joining fee and it is free to weigh in if you are under your goal weight.

I also appeared in Weight Watchers Magazine after doing an ad for the Dairy Farmers of Oregon.  I received copies of many of the photos that they took for the photo shoot and here is one of the ones from the ad:

I had a lot of problems with food at that time in my life.  I was binging and purging, binging and starving, binging and compulsively exercising.  I lost most of the 45 lbs. that I lost at WW by binging for three days and then not eating for four days until my weigh in.

This is not the WW plan.

I haven't been back to WW since right after my youngest daughter was born in 2003.  I don't think I'll ever go back, but I do think it can be a good plan.  I'm just done with dieting.  I don't eat traditional diet foods for the most part.  When I was fat, I ate WW meals almost every day.  I ate diet margarine, sugar free drinks, fat free dairy products.  Now I eat real butter, real cheese, real sugar and real cream.  I think these foods are far more satisfying than the diet version.  And I think diets are temporary.  What I do now is permanent.  It is my lifestyle.  I eat all foods in moderation.  I track my foods using My Fitness Pal, but mostly I do so because in my mind, I have always eaten way too much.  I just don't have a good mental barometer when it comes to my food and weight and what I have or haven't eaten.  I get really uncomfortable and things feel "out of control" if I don't keep track of what I'm doing.  I feel like that beautiful 19-year-old skinny girl in the picture who hated herself and hated her body.  Who wanted to be so small that she no longer existed.  Who once dieted and took laxatives until she weighed 119 lbs.

But I'm not her anymore.


Monday, April 27, 2015

Why I don't weigh myself daily, cardiac ablation & pictures of my crotch (please read until the end)

I don't weigh myself everyday, although I know that many of us do.  Today I was reminded why.  I got on the scale this morning and didn't like the number I saw.  Just now I went to the bathroom and realized that I was ovulating.  I am always up a couple of pounds when I ovulate, but I wasn't expecting it for a couple more days.

So, I had my cardiac ablation on Friday.  They ablated my cardiac.  LOL.  That sounded really funny to me to say it like that.  I'm a dork.  I weighed 149.2 lbs. (67.7 kg.) on their scale  The procedure went fine and it wasn't a big deal, but it took a really long time.  I was in the procedure for several hours, like more than four.  When it was over, the cardiologist told me that I had the rare set of circumstances that produce the deadly results in some Wollf Parksinson White Syndrome patients.  I'm not really sure I understand what circumstances those are, but during the procedure they caused the racing heart beat several times that I have previously experienced.  I was mostly asleep, but I did wake up to feel my heart exploding in my chest a few times.  All in all, it was not a big deal.  I felt fine afterward.  I feel fine now, several days later, although  I have a huge bruise on my thigh.  I'm putting in a pic because I know how much you like to see pics of my naughty bits, ya pervs!  The red marks are where they inserted everything that ran up into my heart.  The bruise is actually more pronounced today.  Be sure to check out that THIGH GAP!

So on my way out of my office on Thursday, I noticed that I had received a message from my Lap Band surgeon's office.  I had emailed them earlier in the week about the UGI I had had.  Since things seemed to be working well and no one said anything at the appointment, I had assumed all was well with my Band.  Here is the message:

Hi Amanda,

Dr. Mattar just reviewed the results and it looks like your band has definitely slipped again.  He is recommending that we try and move forward to convert your band to a sleeve gastrectomy.

This can be difficult with your insurance, but we can at least start the process and submit an authorization.  If they deny the claim, we can always appeal, and sometimes that works. 

I will route this to our scheduler who submits the authorizations.  We will be in touch with you once we've heard back from your insurance.

Please contact us if you have more questions or concerns, or if you do not wish to proceed with conversion to a sleeve.

Thanks so much,

Vanessa, RN


I was already denied for a conversion to a sleeve.


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

When it rains, it pours...

I have always been a very healthy person.  I don't even take Tylenol on a regular basis.  So this process of having my Band repositioned followed by two months of constant sickness hasn't been easy.  I'm so happy to be getting back to normal.  More than happy, ecstatic, and very relieved.

But in the process of getting ready for that surgery, a funky EKG revealed that I have Wolff Parkinson White (WPW) syndrome.  So I will be having a cardiac ablation on Friday to correct the arrhythmia.  During this procedure, they insert a catheter through a vein in my groin up into my heart to destroy the accessory pathway.

Sounds kind of freaky, right?

I very seldom talk about things like this in my real life.  Very few people know I had surgery in February and fewer know what the surgery was for.  Only those closest to me know how sick I was.  I didn't say anything about what was going on on Facebook. I'm kind of uncomfortable telling all of you about the heart procedure, but I want to talk about it so I'm not so...scared isn't the right word...stressed out? freaked out? worried?...I don't really know how I feel about it.

It is weird to have so many things going on all at the same time, especially when I've always been so healthy.

So for those of you who don't know about WPW, it is an abnormal arrhythmia, or heart rhythm.  It is not caused by lifestyle or heart disease.  It may not be a really a dangerous condition for some people (although I looked up some stuff on Google to write this and read about some examples where it was very serious so it must vary).  It isn't progressive (as far as I know).  If you have WPW, you were born that way.  The symptoms of the condition are kind of disturbing, though.  Most of the time when I have had an incident, it has felt like my heart was stuck in a super-fast rhythm.  My heart POUNDS really fast like it is going to explode.  It last 60-90 seconds or so.  A few times I have blacked out when it has happened.  Once I was driving when I blacked out.  I did not lose consciousness, however, which was a good thing.  I was driving on a quiet road without much traffic and I wasn't going very fast.  Everything started going black, like static on a TV, so I stopped the car in the middle of the road.  I couldn't see well enough to pull over.  And then the lights came back on in my head and I resumed driving to my destination.  I felt out of sorts for the rest of the day.  I'm so grateful that I wasn't doing 80 down the freeway because that would have been a much worse scenario.  So that is why I'm going to have the cardiac ablation.  After that is done, I will no longer have the condition.  The treatment will correct the abnormality.

If you happen to be a fan of the show Modern Family, this is the same condition (and treatment) that Claire had in the Season 4 episode called Heart Broken.

The first time I had a WPW episode, I was pregnant with my oldest daughter.  I had the racing heart and dizziness.  We called my OBGYN and they sent us to the hospital, where the checked me out in the maternity ward.  They did not perform an EKG.  They took vitals and had me sit with a fetal monitor for a while.  Finally they told me they thought I'd had an anxiety attack and sent me home.  I told this to my cardiologist in February and she said that people with WPW are often told they are having anxiety attacks.  Isn't that a bunch of shit?  A simple EKG shows the irregular rhythm.  Why wouldn't they have done that if I was having racing heartbeats all the way back in 2000?


Please keep me in your thoughts and prayers on Friday.  Hopefully I don't have to take much time off from my work out routine because that will piss me off.

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


I did a Google image search for the word "obsessed" and this was what I came up with.  It is funny, but doesn't really have much to do with my post.

I am wondering how you know when maybe you've gone off the deep end as far as exercise goes.  Like, how many hours a day is too much?

I actually posed this question to the Psych Evaluator that I saw back in January and he said that as long as exercise doesn't interfere with your life, you can do as much as you want.

So, there you go.

I DO exercise quite a lot.  I work out 1-2 hours per day, every day.  I seldom miss a day.  Maybe a couple of times a year I'll miss a day because I am traveling or sick.  I have always been really active, even when I was fat.  But I keep adding one more activity, one more exercise session.  And then I feel a compulsive NEED to do it all the time.

I don't necessarily exercise with a great deal of intensity every day.  The activity I do most frequently is walk. I walk 30 minutes every morning and every evening.  I also go to the gym twice a week and do 30+ minutes of cardio (elliptical or rowing machine) and lift weights for 30 minutes or so.  Twice a week I ride my bike to work and home.  It is about 7 miles round trip.  I also ride my bike on the weekends for fun. I use Map My Walk to track my activity and I usually travel the equivalent of 7+ miles per day.  I log 12,000 intentional steps per day (so not steps just walking around at work or home - I don't track those, but steps walked on an intentional walk, or miles ridden on my bike).  I should get a fitbit or some other tracking devise and REALLY track my activity just for fun...

...because I am OBSESSED!!!


So things continue to get better on the surgery recovery front from having my Lap Band repositioned back in February, but it has been really difficult.  Much harder than I anticipated.  I announced here recently that I could eat and I was eating without vomiting, but then I had several bad days.  We went to the beach and it was one of those trips were I had to have my fella pull the car over so I could spit up every so often.  Fun.

This is a photo of my oldest daughter and me.  Somehow she has grown taller than me.  I don't know how that even happens.

That's me and my fella.  We had a very nice trip and stayed in an AMAZING condo in Newport, Oregon.  It had a jetted tub, where we spent a good part of the weekend. The view from practically every window was incredible!

The dog and my youngest daughter also had fun!

I had an Upper GI last week and I think everything looked okay.  The technician wasn't alarmed, anyway.  Back in November when they discovered the Band slippage, the technician and radiologist were very alarmed by the images they saw and made a point to tell me how messed up things were, including my stomach, which had herniated through the Band.  This time around they didn't say anything was amiss so I guess everything was okay.  I'm sure my surgeon's office will call me if there is an issue.  I can mostly eat now.  I just need to remember the good Bandster rules and take small bites, chew thoroughly, eat slowly, etc.   When I do those things, I am able to eat pretty much whatever.

I am hoping I don't gain back any of the 20 lbs. that I lost, especially since I bought cute new clothes at the outlet mall in Lincoln City!
Here I am with my mom.  I'm wearing one of my new shirts (Columbia Sportswear - my favorite!).  It is a pretty blue.

So in addition to all this, we've also been busy planning our summer vacation.  We are going to Harry Potter world at Universal Studios and I am unbelievably excited!  We're also going to Key Largo for four days so I can lay on the beach and drink piƱa coladas.  All I can say is that this is a CRAZY EXPENSIVE trip!  We'll probably have to eat Top Ramen for six months after we get back!