Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Here is MY Story


I would like to share my story here on my blog.  As you read my story, please keep in mind that it is exactly that, MY story.  What I am about to write is my personal experience of life with the lap-band, and may be very different from other stories you have heard, or not.

I was banded back in August of 2009.  I weighed, at that time, my highest weight ever at 294 pounds.  I had tried SO many times before then to lose weight: Weight Watchers, prescription medication, starvation, bulimia, excessive exercise, anorexia... etc.  You name it, and I am sure I have tried it.  After researching the band, and reading what I wanted to read, I decided to become banded.

After the band was in place, my life changed completely.  The weight started falling off- 17 pounds in one month.  My energy was through the roof for the first time in a very long time.  I would find myself outside for HOURS running around playing with my two young boys.  My depression lifted and for the first time in my weight loss journey, which started when I was 8, I felt a sense of HOPE.

Having hope for the first time was so empowering.  I started gardening again.  I was able to RUN again.  Life was great!  Life was great and my pants were falling off- shopping in the regular size clothing section holds a feeling that I cannot explain.  Even though my thick hair was starting to fall out in clumps, nothing could bring me down.

I started running every night and worked my way up to 3 miles a night.  It wasn't a marathon, by definition, but it was my own mini marathon.  I was darn proud of myself and it felt great to have self-confidence again.  I was on top of the WORLD!!  I ate very little and had to chew my food well, but had a pretty good level of restriction.  If I pushed my luck, I would end up in the bathroom.

The weight loss started to slow down, as expected, and I plateaued after losing 75 pounds.  Up until that point, I would see my surgeon for a small tweak here and there to help achieve optimal restriction with the band.

In November 2010, I went into my surgeon's office to have a fill because I was able to eat more than usual.  I went in and the PA put in 2 whole ccs.  As it turned out, that was way too much and I ended up vomiting non-stop for three days.  I called my surgeon's office, but they told me because it was a long weekend, I'd have to go to the hospital until someone could take fluid out on Tuesday.  Seriously!?  I couldn't even drink water and no one could meet me at the office for ten minutes to help me!!??  On Tuesday I went back in to have a slight fill removed, and received some bad news.  My doctor examined me under fluoroscopy while drinking barium and found that my esophagus was severely dilated and had become aplastic (pre-cancerous).  He sent me home to "enjoy" a two week "band holiday" (a band holiday is when all of the fluid is removed from the band), along with a prescription for steroids and Omeprazole.

Feeling disconcerted, I took away from my appointment that things would be fine and hey! I could now enjoy steak again!!  Woo-hoo!  FOOD!  FOOD!  FOOD!  I could eat any food I wanted without fear of getting stuck or getting sick.  It was a great "band holiday" that turned into six weeks.  My esophagus was still in bad shape when I went in for my 2 week and 4 week check-up after my episode, and required even more steroids.  Now, let me say this, I know that a band holiday does NOT imply you get to eat whatever you want, but my sick brain had it all under control.  Right?  Wrong.  In that six week period, with help from massive amounts of steroids, I gained around 15 pounds.  Not good.

Around this time I developed a peculiar symptom.  For no reason at all, my body would flush, swell up and itch.  Itch like I've never itched before.  I scratched at myself until I bled.  I was miserable.  The itching drove me crazy.  Like psych patient crazy.  The doctor ran tests, but never found an explanation.  The only conclusion he could come to was that I may possibly be allergic to the band.  


In February of 2011, I finally started my journey back to a healthy fill level.  I went in every 4 weeks to slowly add fluid to my band.  This continued until as sense of despair took over.  We couldn't seem to get it working again.  I was able to either eat anything I wanted, or nothing at all.  It was extremely frustrating.  I tried to keep up with my running, but with the weight creeping back on, it became too much for my poor little feet.  I ended up sustaining an injury to my right foot that grounded me.  So, without a good fill, and being unable to exercise comfortably, the weight stopped creeping on and flew on, only to stick like glue.  The 240s, the 250s, the 260s... seems like in the blink of an eye, I was back in the 270s.  I was out of control again.  The itching started getting better, but was still an issue.

Once I was firmly planted in the 270s, things went from bad to worse.  A feeling of general malaise took over, I felt sick all of the time- tired (the kind of fatigue you feel when you've been up all night for 3 months straight with your newborn), seriously depressed, everything seemed to be falling apart.

Unable to get my band to start working again, I ended up eating only slider foods (sliders are foods that seem to "slide" through the band's restriction with ease).  My diet consisted of popcorn, soda (diet and non-diet), ice cream, chocolate, candy... etc.  I had lost hope and quickly slumped into a deeper depression.  I went to my primary physician time and time again insisting something must be wrong with me.  I MUST have Lyme disease, MS, something!  The way I was feeling was not normal.  My blood results always came back "normal".

I decided that it must be my surgeon's fault and sought out a new surgeon.  Surely he could get my band working again.  Despite his best, and my fleeting efforts and my flimsy resolve, I still existed on crap food.  Before I knew it, I saw 300 on the scale.  300.  300!!  I never thought I would ever see that number.  I was crushed.  I continued to see my primary doctor from time to time positive that they would certainly find the cause of my constant ill feeling and my "un-explained" weight gain.

You see, despite my surgery and a year of absolute bliss, my brain was still "sick".  I had and still have the brain of someone with an eating disorder.  Sure, I had the band.  Sure, I started exercising.  Sure, I was losing weight and life was great.  BUT, I did nothing to "treat" the REAL issue- my sick head.  I couldn't justify my weight gain to myself because I was hardly eating!  There must be something wrong with me.  My thyroid, cancer... something!  Find it and fix me!!  I may have been hardly eating, but what I was eating consisted of empty calories void of any nutrition.  No wonder I felt so sick all of the time!  I was gaining weight while starving to death at the same time.  I was also unable to properly digest my food.  I would eat at 11:00am and at 11:30pm, I would bend over to kiss my dog goodnight, and the food I had eaten 12 hours earlier would come right back up into my mouth.  I figured it was just GERD.  Up until August of 2012, I went back and forth to the bariatric surgeon confident that this visit, this time, I was going to be "fixed" and life would be great again.  It never happened.  I started looking into having the "sleeve" procedure performed.  I was aching for a sense of hope again, and I was positive this would be the correct route for me.  I scheduled a consult with my surgeon, a dietician and a psychologist to proceed with the sleeve surgery.

In the beginning of September 2012, I started feeling extremely ill.  Beyond what I had been dealing with for the past two years.  It started off as back pain.  After a few days, the back pain radiated around to my ribs and abdomen.  It hurt to move.  The stabbing pain would drop me to my knees and I would scream out in pain, often embarrassing myself in public.  A week into the pain, I started vomiting and having diarrhea.  I concluded I had a kidney stone and needed to wait things out.  Another week went by and things started getting worse.  I saw my primary doctor, and she sent me to have a CT scan of my gallbladder.  The scan showed no kidney stones, no gallbladder stones and my appendix appeared to be just fine.  A few days later,  I was on my way to a homeschool co-op with my boys in the van.  I started passing out and dry heaving and vomiting uncontrollably.  I kept pulling off to the side of the highway every time I started blacking out, and by the grace of GOD, got my boys to their Daddy's work safely.  I drove myself to the emergency department fearing I was dying.  Yes, it was THAT bad.

The ED doctor ordered an ultrasound of my abdomen and when that came back clear, he concluded I had a stomach bug and told me I could be admitted for pain management, or he would just have to send me home.  Feeling like a washrag, I picked-up my things and went home.  The pain only got worse and I didn't think I would make it through the night.  I had an odd sense of calm come over me when I thought about not waking up the next day.  I thought for sure this was the LORD's plan, and that my time had come.  I hurt for my husband and two boys who wouldn't have a Mommy.  Obviously, I made it.

Feeling desperate, I decided to see a Gastroenterologist and returned to my original bariatric surgeon for advice.  I had an upper GI scope and a nuclear medicine (Hida scan) scan of my gallbladder.  Certain it was indeed my gallbladder, my bariatric surgeon had me scheduled that same day for a gallbladder removal.  The Hida scan showed my gallbladder was fine.  Surgery was cancelled.

My upper endoscopy showed my esophagus was extremely swollen and dilated.  This explained why my food would come back up into my mouth twelve hours later.  My esophagus was acting as a stomach and my food was sitting there, undigested.  I have dis-motility of my esophagus and it is now pre-cancerous.  I am on special medication to help with the internal damage, but there is nothing they can do beyond that.  The inflammation is too severe.

My band needed to be removed as soon as possible.  Even though my band was empty, my stomach had swollen shut.  Wednesday, September 26th, my band was removed. 

During my removal surgery, my surgeon noted that I have a good deal of internal inflammation.  My band had caused such an irritation of my stomach, it was just a snowball effect from there.  My surgeon told me that they aren't even recommending the Lap-band any longer, and in it's place are suggesting the sleeve procedure.  They are now seeing that the band is causing more harm then good over the long term.

Today, sitting at 305 pounds, I am in agony while dealing with the destruction my band left in it's wake.  My gallbladder is inflamed, causing nausea and diarrhea with vomiting.  My esophagus is pre-cancerous and inflamed.  My stomach is swollen and I still vomit.  I have developed Costochondritis (rib and sternum inflammation- bone and cartilage) which causes an extreme amount of discomfort when I move, laugh, sneeze, drive and at night when I try to sleep.  I feel like my insides are being crushed.

On another note, I am able to eat vegetables and protein again!  I find myself eating a bowl full of asparagus or broccoli for lunch.  It's so nice to be able to finally eat healthy foods!  I never thought the band would cause such poor diet choices.  I have some really bad habits that I need to break and I am learning how to eat properly all over again.  

Because my poor body has been put through so much, on my own doing, I have decided against the sleeve procedure.  At this point, I cannot fathom putting my body through anymore suffering.  I am praying that my body can heal from all of the damage caused over the course of the last three years.  I am praying that I may one day feel normal again.

***After you read my story, and you think to yourself, "Geez, this is so strange, I've only heard wonderful things about the band?", please remember that most of the people who "fail" with the band also keep their stories to themselves.  They experience a sense of failure and embarrassment, and fall off of the radar.  This is why there are so many huge gaps in my blog, when times were rough, I stopped blogging.  I felt that I shouldn't blog unless I had something positive and encouraging to share.  Make sure you are speaking to people who have failed with the band as well as following and reading all of the success stories here in Blogland.***

Best of luck to you, and thank you for reading my story!  Please feel free to email me with any thoughts, comments or questions you have, but please try not to be mean or ugly.  Again, this is MY story. 


Saturday, September 1, 2012

I'm still alive!

 It's been over a year, but I'm still chugging right along.  I have a LONG post I need to write to catch everyone up.  I've missed you all!

I look forward to catching you guys up!

Be back soon!!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm Back

I'm back, in two ways.

1. Back on my blog.

&

2. Back to my original starting weight.

Thank you to all of you who have written to check-in with me during these past few months. I'm sorry that I haven't been around to be supportive of your journeys.

I have found myself laying in bed late at night writing my next blog post- for the past TWO months. After starting to go up, Up, UP on the scale, I think there has been a part of me that was too embarrassed to get on here and admit failure. After all, I DID have weight-loss surgery. SURGERY! Sigh.

I wake-up EVERY morning vowing to start anew, but go to bed every night BEGGING our glorious LORD to please help me.

Besides my husband deciding to start a new career path, after putting almost 11 years of school into his current career, I really have no sources of new stress. Albeit, my husband's mid-life crisis (apparently he's not going to live past the age of 70) is definitely stressful, I SHOULD be able to manage my life efficiently, incorporating healthy eating and exercising into my schedule. How was THAT for a run-on sentence!?!?

After getting down to an all-time adult-low of 220, I am back up to 285. In less than 8 months! Is that even possible? Back in November, when my band had to be set free for a while, I decided to go on vacation with her. But instead of her returning after only a week away, she stayed away for two months due to my esophagus swelling to a dangerous size. It all went down hill from there. In that time, ALL of my old behaviors came tumbling back.

Around 260 pounds, my foot started hurting pretty badly, grounding me from jogging. Now, at 285, the podiatrist has said that the pads that are between my toes and the connection point to my foot- at the first MP joints- are torn. So, I am stuck in a catch 22. Exercising is extremely painful, so I HAVE to get some of this weight off to finally induce some healing.

My feet hurt. My knees hurt. I have fat rolls where I've never had fat rolls before. I am thoroughly depressed and discouraged. I am hot all of the time. I don't run and play with my boys anymore. I don't fit into cars comfortably. I don't enjoy my husband touching me again. I don't, I don't, I don't.

I need to start living my life again! Last summer, at 220 pounds, I felt like a whole new person! My life was so different in so many ways. If I listed all of the benefits of being at that healthier weight, I would be here at the computer for two weeks.

I have decided to contact a new surgeon on Monday in hopes that he will put some saline into my band (only after being fully informed about my history of course). At this point, I am willing to enlarge my esophagus if that means that I will live past the age of 45!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Moving Along

I am just kind of here. Not doing GREAT and not doing poorly. I might see a loss on the scale by a pound or two and then a gain of a pound or two. I'm just trying not to obsess.

So, that's me.

Hope you are all doing wonderful! Thanks for reading and for your support. I really need it.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Why is it that even though I try so damn hard, I keep going UP on the scale? I am going to throw her to the curb- we've had a seriously tumultuous relationship, and I seriously hate her right now.

She is in the bathroom right now, hiding behind the toilet like the coward she is, plotting how to dash my hopes and dreams tomorrow morning. I think she's worked a deal out with Satan & the Fat Fairy.

I haven't been completely "clean" when it comes to food, but I SURE AS HELL have not been eating enough to deserve the kind of gain that I have been seeing. I almost feel like I should at least be enjoying some seriously yummy, and bad for me food, to be blowing up like a freaking balloon. *SIGH* One or two rice krispy treats, or a medium Dr. Pepper here and there, should NOT be adding this kind of weight! A dozen doughnuts a day, I could see.

AND! Even if I was eating like I did BEFORE my surgery (all day, whatever I wanted), just adding my 400+ calorie burn workouts everyday should be yielding SOME results, no!?

Tomorrow...

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day One

Day one is almost to an end, and I feel skinnier already! ;)

My day?

Breakfast: one English muffin with a poached egg and a sprinkle of cheese
Lunch: Fish filet sandwich w/o bread
Snacks: TOO many cookies. :(
Dinner: Tuna with curry and TONS of baby lettuce and an apple
Exercise: 350 calories burned walking at 3.6 mph at an incline of 10

I did not have a PERFECT day, but what I DID have was a day full of MINDFUL eating, not just blindly going about. I actually have a deficit of 120 calories for the day- so, that works!

I Gained 18 Pounds Using My Treadmill!

GAINED!?

HUH!?

Nope, I didn't write the post title wrong, unfortunately.

Since I bought my treadmill back in December, I have gained almost 20 pounds. AND, I have used my treadmill for a hefty 300-700 calorie burn almost every single day!

No, I am not going to sit here and tell you my sob story about how I am doing everything right; eating right, exercising daily, being nice to my neighbors... etc, and I just don't know WHY I am gaining!? Woo if me.

Okay, moving along. I am gaining because I am eating too much. Plain and simple. I am not eating too much of the "bad" things like ice cream, soda, cookies... but I am obviously doing something wrong. Could it be the sugar I am adding to my "healthy" strawberry smoothie in the mornings? Yup. Could it be the extra cheese I order on my "healthy" lunch at the Mexican restaurant? Yup. Could it be the extra miniature Peppermint Patty I eat at night? Yup.

I have become so good at convincing others that I am eating well, that I am now convincing myself! While sabotaging my life in the process. It's late here on the East Coast- it's well after midnight, and for a Mom who has been dealing with the stomach bug wreaking havoc on our laundry, our carpets, our public outings and OUR LIVES for over a week now, I should be sleeping.

I can't sleep right now. I can't sleep because I am suffering from heartburn and reflux. I am suffering from these things because of the loads of weight I have packed onto my poor body over the course of the last five months. I can feel my body panicking, pleading with my brain to "get control!" already. Laying in bed thinking about how my aches and pains are back- my feet hurt! my hips hurt! my knees hurt!, my reflux is back, my sleep apnea is back, I have no clothes that fit, my five year old is now asking me why I am "so tough?", his word for fat, and worst of all- I feel absolutely horrible about myself.

So, why would all of this be worth the 20 seconds it takes to enjoy one chocolate cookie? one small soda? one LARGE soda? one Christmas dinner? one special date night with my husband? just one more, just one more, just one more... I'll start again tomorrow.... I'll be good tomorrow... I deserve this... I'm tired.... I've been under a lot of stress lately... I'm happy... I'm sad.... You hurt my feelings...

Nothing, NOTHING is worth it. NOT ONE THING. Maybe except sparing the life of one of my children or even my husband, but we are talking about sparing MY life here. MY LIFE. ME.

Wow, talk about a heavy, unloading post here folks. But, it's been too long since I've posted, so long in fact that I almost forgot how to log in. I need to stay active amongst the rest of you, I need to hold myself accountable. I need your help.

Some of you noticed that I have been MIA lately, thank you so much for your thoughts. I appreciate ALL of you SO, SO much. Instead of running away and hiding when things get bad, I have to stay here, stay positive, and use this wonderful tool.

I'm going to sign off now- the leaning tower of Pisa, aka the family laundry pile, is on the guest bed next to me and making me want to go and eat. ;)

Until tomorrow my friends. Good night!!! Hope you are all doing well.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Interactive Health Partner


My awesome new treadmill comes with a USB port so I can download and sync my workouts with a program called, Interactive Health Partner. It's really neat stuff.

My treadmill counts and records the number of steps I take, calories burned and all sorts of cool stats per workout period. It's the Lifespan 1200i model and so far, even though I haven't used it, I love it! ;)

I plan on hopping on the beauty tomorrow morning, regardless of my respiratory health status. I'm just going to do it!

On a side note- I just changed my weight loss ticker to reflect my lengthy "Band Holiday". There are no excuses, but MAN, I am feeling crushed. Geez Louise. It's better than being UP 50 pounds from my starting weight though.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Chomping At The Bit


My treadmill was delivered several days ago. BUT, because I am STILL recovering from the flu, I haven't had a chance to use it yet.

I feel like a horse at the starting gate- I just want to GO, GO, GO!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Shop Amazon???

This isn't spam- just a really good deal!!! :) Thought I would pass it along to my fellow bloggers.

Buy a $20 giftcard for Amazon.com for only $10!!!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

All is Calm, All is Bright


Well, there is light at the end of my tunnel folks. Phew.

My esophagus HAS healed, and my allergic symptoms (although still there) have faded as well. My surgeon highly doubts I have an allergy to the band. HUGE sigh of relief. I am going to be going to the allergist soon to have him test me for what might be causing my symptoms.

I have gone back three times now for fills since my esophagus "blew up". The first fill brought no restriction, it basically primed the tubing. The second fill was cut short when my doctor hit a nerve on the way in and I passed out cold on the floor. EMBARASSING. So, I went back today for my third fill, which FINALLY brought some restriction. I can definitely tell I have a band again. THANK YOU GOD.

Besides fighting off the flu, things are good right now. I am so relieved that things are looking up. My new treadmill is even going to be delivered tomorrow! Woo-hoo! There is one thing I hate more than running on a treadmill, not being to run at all. Since I can't run outside because of my asthma, treadmill it is. I plan on posting a few of my "before" photos on the dashboard for some inspiration to KEEP GOING even when I want to stop.

I am up 25 pounds since all hell broke loose two months ago. That's a lot to lose all over again. BUT, it's something I have done before, and something I can and will do again. By golly.

One very important lesson I have learned from all of this: Do not assume that a "Band Holiday" is going to be short lived, go out and go hog wild with food, only to have your brief stint in Buffet-ville extended until before you know it, you've packed on 25 pounds. I will not make that mistake again. Poor judgment call big time on my part.


Friday, January 7, 2011

Scared Out of My Shorts- CHECK!

About five weeks ago I had to go to my surgeon's office for an un-fill. I was having horrible reflux issues (ie. stomach contents coming back up and choking me during the night). It was just awful!!! I didn't get any sleep for about three nights. It turned out that I was swollen shut and I had to be un-filled completely. During the fluoroscope, the surgeon noticed that my esophagus was unusually enlarged. It was SO large in fact, he told me that if the esophageal cells remained that enlarged, they would become aplastic- a fancy word for cancerous. In an effort to reduce the swelling and return my esophagus back to normal, I was given a round of steroids and told to come back in two weeks.

SO- three weeks ago I went back in for my recheck. Esophagus looked a little better, still not back to normal. Only put 2ccs back in which gave me NO restriction. I was told I needed to wait another two weeks before putting any more fluids in. Oh- and by the way, my cardiac hernia is back. F-A-N-T-A-S-T-I-C. What does this mean? I may need to have another surgery to correct my hernia. Okay, okay. Whatever I need to do. Not my first choice, but lets get this band a-rock'in! I feel like out of the 17 months I've had this sucker, I've only had about 7 months of "good" restriction. Other than that, I've been too full and had to be drained due to swelling. That's my routine! I swell shut after a fill and that's all she wrote.

I am anxiously awaiting my appointment for this Tuesday. My husband plans to go with me to hear if/why I need surgery. It helps for the surgeon to explain why we'll be dropping another $5,000+ on our out-of-pocket expenses this year. Joy!

So why am I scared?

Weeeeeeeeeelllll.... in the meantime, I have been experiencing some not so nice symptoms. It's been about a month, but I have off and on spells of all over body chills and itching. I occasionally have what I describe as a "racoon face"- flushing all over my face but not around my eyes, in a mask like fashion. Sometimes the itching is so intense it actually reduces me to tears. I feel like a mental patient constantly digging at myself. Then, I will have two to three days of no itching at all.

My general practitioner prescribed an antihistamine and another round of steroids to combat my body's inflammation. He said we may never know what caused my allergic reaction, but the medicine should take care of it.

It didn't.

I continue to have flushing, dizzy spells, itching, burning up and chills. I have even started having bad night-sweats where I wake-up during the night and can't even move because I am stuck to the sheets I am so wet! So I went to the doctor again today.

He wants me to take another round of steroids and he drew some blood. All of my symptoms sound like Lymphoma, so I have been nervous. My doctor stuck his nose up to my Lymphoma theory and acted kind of aloof. He wouldn't give me any ideas as to what is going on with me. He was about to leave the room, and I blurted out, "Could I be allergic to my band!?". He looked down at the floor, shook his head and very sheepishly said, "Yes. I didn't want to go there, but that is where I am afraid this is heading".

ARE YOU SERIOUS!?!?!?

I am beside myself with the fear of the possibility of losing my band. I called my mother to tell her what the doctor's theory was and she calmly said, "Awwwwww, Honey, look on the bright side. You've had over a year to develop new habits and strategies. You'll be just fine. You don't need that crutch. Ask yourself, why do you need that crutch?".

I HATED HER AT THAT MOMENT. Crutch!?

If I have changed so much over the past year+, why have I gained 20+ pounds over the past two months!?

I am trying so hard not to worry about the possible outcome, but I am constantly reminded of my potential allergy with every single spine tingling chill that moves over my body every couple of minutes. I am pale, sweaty and feel sick.

I never thought that for a split second I would ever wish I had Lymphoma.

Adult Truths

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on # 5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection ... again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to my ten-page technical report that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

15. I think the freezer deserves a light as well.

16. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.

17. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option.

18. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and hunger.

20. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers and sisters!

21. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get dirty, and you can wear them forever.

22. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still not know what time it is.

23. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from 3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time.

24. The first testicular guard, the "Cup," was used in Hockey in 1874 and the first helmet was used in 1974. That means it only took 100 years for men to realize that their brain is also important.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Urgent News Story


I have found a cure everyone! ;)

When you feel like overeating, even if you already have the food in hand, turn on some "spa music". Seriously! It's REALLY hard to binge while listening to calming music. The need to shovel "it" in seems to dissolve.

Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in, breathe out....

Ahhhhhhhhh...................

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

I'm Drained

I had my first appointment in eight months today. After telling my surgeon's assistant my recent symptoms... :
  • craving sweets/sliders (ice cream!)
  • heartburn
  • frequent vomiting
  • and a horribly uncomfortable pinching sensation around my stomach that prevents me from sleeping/moving/eating comfortably (similar to the feeling I had right after my surgery when my stomach was swollen)
...she concluded that I was probably too tight. She ordered a fluoroscopy and we could see that when I swallowed the contrast, it all sat in the top pouch. Only a drop or two actually went through while we sat there and watched it for about 30 seconds. So, she ended up taking out my fill and prescribing an anti-inflammatory.

This probably was the result of a stomach bug I had about a week ago. All the vomiting made for one angry stomach and band. :(

I go back in in about two weeks to put some fluid back in. Maybe this will help me stop my adaptive eating and get me over this darn plateau!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Oh, How I Hate Thee

I haven't been happy with my surgeon's office for quite some time now. Actually, I've been so unhappy that I haven't been in for an appointment in about 9 months now. Oops! :/

I've been having some pinching pain lately that hasn't gone away for a few days, so I figured it's time to go in and see the people who don't care about what they're doing. Here is my conversation with the receptionist (whom I don't know at all because there is a new one every time I go/call):

Dr. E's office: (mumbled, barely intelligible) Surgical Specialists

Me: Hi, my name is Lynn Magoober (no, not really), and I need to see someone about some pain I am having. I have the Lapband.

Dr. E's office: Hold please.

(Ten minutes passes. Yes, ten minutes.)

Dr. E's office: Ma'am? You need to schedule a fill, right?

Me: NO, I've been having some pain.

Dr. E's: Well, we aren't here on Thursday or Friday this week.

Me: I realize this isn't a good week to try to get in, I'm sorry about that. It's just I've been putting off this pain or a while, and it's not going away. (I am SO sorry that I hurt, I should have put this off until AFTER the holiday! Geesh. Sorry to inconvenience you.)

Dr. E's: Mumble, mumble, mumble.... 11:40 tomorrow?

Me: Thank you, that would be great.

Dr. E's: (annoyed) 'Scuse me, you didn't give me your name.

AHHHHHH!!!!! I HATE, HATE, HATE that office! I don't know what to do.

I SO wish I could find an office that actually cared about their patients/business. I feel like I am part of a meat market.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Ironing

I feel like I need to address a few wrinkles. In my last post about downing two pints of ice cream, I completely, totally, 100% take ALL responsibility for having such junk in my freezer. That was definitely my fault. Even though I have the band, I am still overcome by my old urges. It will be a continual task for me, I am sure. But I do realize that I have no business bringing that garbage into my house. I just can't have it in there. Lesson learned. I passed the ice cream section at the grocery store yesterday and I averted my eyes, and held my head high.

It seems like I have done a bit of blogging, okay a LOT of blogging, lately about my consumption of ice cream. It has become my crutch during my moments of weakness. I seem to blog during those moments making it appear as though I sit around eating ice cream all day.

I haven't been very diligent about blogging all of my good news. Why? I don't know really. I need to be blogging about all of the miles I am running. All of the healthy choice victories. About a pound lost here or there. But, I just feel like my life is SO darn boring. The thought about logging in to report that I ran two miles tonight, ate well that day, or lost a pound seems like news that I SHOULD be reported daily. BUT, alas, I am lazy.

It seems that I only blog about things that I do wrong, or when I am feeling scared along my journey, and that is not fair. It's not fair to me, because I am not giving myself positive credit and reinforcement, and it's not fair to all of the newbies or "wannabes" (used nicely!).

I will try to blog more about all the great things in my life, because there are many. For instance, the nature preserve near my house that I have NEVER brought my boys to because the fear of having to hike has steered me clear, is no longer a fear. Instead of avoiding it, I keep reminding myself that I need to take them so we can hit the trails!

Another wrinkle- I am NOT ashamed of being banded- at all. The reason that I have wanted to keep it hush-hush is not only because my husband's family is sickeningly judgmental, but because I fear all the extra pressure from others. I place so much pressure on myself, and I fear that having another set of people in my life who feel a need to constantly ask, "So, how much have you lost so far?" "How much have you lost since I last saw you?" "How much do you weigh?".

In an effort to avoid awkwardness, I have chosen to keep my banding a secret from most of the people in my life. My closest friends and immediate family all know, and of course all of you!

But, to reiterate, I do not think the band is shameful in any way, whatsoever. I am proud of all of you and I am certainly proud of myself.

Thank you- ALL OF YOU- for following me and supporting me on my journey. I appreciate all of your comments, whether they are the smack in the face that I need, or fluffy, I read them all and take all to heart. If I didn't have this outlet, I wouldn't be where I am today- happier and healthier.

Do NOT Try This at Home

How many of you have heard of strange things people do while under the effects of a sleeping aid?

Well, here is my story:

I was prescribed Ambien months ago for a bad bought of insomnia. Since then, I have only taken it a small number of times. The other night I was SO tired and the fear of laying in bed not being able to fall asleep until 4:00 in the morning convinced me to take an Ambien.

I took a WHOLE pill and headed downstairs to watch a movie until I was feeling tired. I sat down with a pint of Ben & Jerry's (I had good girl plans...) and settled into the couch. Within five minutes, the actors and actresses in the movie had four eyes. Feeling content with just the top layer of my ice cream being gone, I headed for bed.

The next morning, I laid in bed confused about what had happened the night before. My husband told me that I had called him to say that I was going to bed and that I sounded completely coherent. I don't remember calling him, at. all. Then it dawned on me... I don't remember putting the ice cream away! I concluded the rest of my precious pint was left on the coffee table, melted, and spread all over the couches and carpet by our dog.

After getting ready for church, I was running out the door and did a quick check- nope, no ice cream left out. Oh good, I must HAVE put it in the freezer.

Fast forward several hours.....

Later that afternoon I was thinking about sneaking a spoon full of my tasty nemesis, and headed for the freezer. Uh-oh, the ice cream wasn't in there. I checked the fridge just in case in my drunken stupor I was confused- nope, not in there either. What on earth!!?? Feeling defeated and confused, I headed over to the trash. Yup, the container was in there. I had eaten the WHOLE thing and didn't even know it!

That's okay, I have another one in the freezer. Or do I? Where did that one go? I can't find that one either. NO. NOOOOOOO. Tell me it isn't possible. In complete denial, I headed for the trash again. Sure enough- TWO containers of B&Js lay in the trash can. COMPLETELY cleaned out and empty.

I had managed to sit GOD knows where and down TWO WHOLE pints of ice cream without even knowing it! That just isn't fair.

Then the realization of how bad the situation could have been kicked in. I was home alone with my boys. What, if in my Ruffie like state, I thought I could drive for some reason and stuck them in the car... what if I had inflicted bodily harm in some other way... what if.... what if....? Uh, I can't even think about it.

From now on, only HALF a pill for me and my husband is going to handcuff me to the bed!

Oh! and one more thing... after sitting at 225 lbs for a FIVE month long plateau, I am finally at 222 again. But being sick for the past three days has definitely had something to do with that, so I can sheepishly take credit. I am just glad I am finally moving in the right direction!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Help, I Can't Breathe!

So, now that the weather has gotten colder, I have been reminded that I suffer from cold air asthma. Basically- exercise induced asthma caused by the cold air. When I went out running the other night, I made it about .25 miles before I couldn't get any air in, I was wheezing, gasping for air and it felt like an elephant was crushing my lungs! So, off to the doctor's I went.

My doctor prescribed me an inhaler, but an inhaler has never worked for me in the past. He said that I may not be able to run outdoors again until the warmer weather. Seriously!?

I have just gotten to the point where I am really hitting my stride and enjoying running. I HATE exercising inside, I absolutely despise it- it's boring and painful for me.

Have any of you dealt with asthma issues? Have you found something that works for you?

I am thinking about running with a scarf over my mouth to help warm and moisten the air. I have to figure something out to counteract my recent ice-cream splurges! :/

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Binge & Scary's

Why is it that it takes almost ten minutes to scrape off and eat the top layer of a Ben & Jerry's pint, but in less than a nano-second, the rest of it is gone!?

I can't for the life of me figure this one out.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

"I Know You Have the Lapband"

I was outside playing with my boys yesterday when a neighbor pulled up. I walked towards her van to greet her and she said there was something that she would like to talk to me about.

Hmmmmm....

Now, this neighbor has been trying to lose weight and has been struggling lately. But, I still wasn't sure where she was going.

THEN- she dropped the bomb. She proceeded to say, "Well, I know what you had done, and I am thinking about getting it done also, but I had some questions".

GASP :0 ! I tried to play dumb, but internally I started to panic.

I have kept my banding a "secret" for over a year, and I had intended on keeping it that way. But, when you put your story out here in cyber-space, nothing is private anymore. Even though I blog with my middle name, she was able to find me while researching the band.

Now- two things:
1. I can be a total biatch and make her feel bad.
or
2. I can support her, now that she knows.

I plan on choosing #2. But, I am feeling so disappointed today. I have to be honest. And neighbor, if you are reading this, please don't be upset. Just know, like I said before, it's so hard to share without feeling like you have some anonymity.

If you went on the evening news and told the World about my banding, I would be shocked and horrified. But, the truth is, this is my life. Just little old me. And after the World found out, they would quickly forget and go about their normal business.

I just can't help but feel that those who aren't struggling (or who have never struggled) might not understand my choice. After all, how hard is it to put the food down and move our asses!? Right!?

Just because I have the band does not mean I purchased a "get out of jail free" card for $25,000. What it means is that I reached the end of my rope and that I needed a tool to get me pointed in the right direction. A compass of sorts- that's it- my band is my compass. I can choose to use it and go in the right direction, or I can shove it in my pocket and go South.

Upon finding out, my other neighbors might be judgmental, or feel as though I cheated in some way and that the glory of weight loss isn't mine to hold high. The neighbor who found out has promised to respect my privacy 100%, and I really respect her for that. She is a good person, and I trust in her that she will do the right thing.

The cats out of the bag folks... running freely. What a small, small World we live in.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Too Much

I have SO much I want to talk (write) about, but I have been too darn busy!!! I am hoping that I will have some time to sit down and put some thoughts and feelings into words later tonight.

I'm alive. ;)

Hope you are all doing well!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Apples & Oranges & Pears Oh My!


So- I have been thinking. I know, dangerous. I've been thinking about my body and any excess skin I might have once I reach my goal weight.

I remember watching The Biggest Loser a few seasons ago and there was a young girl about my age that lost around the same I have to lose. I noticed that when she had lost her weight she didn't have any "visible" excess skin. Her arms were nice, toned and tight looking. I pinned my hopes on her arms being nice because her skin bounced back well due to her age.

I am quickly learning age has NOTHING to do with it. After examining my legs closely the other night, I noticed that I have wrinkling skin right at the nook of my knee bend. Not a good sign.

I am one of those people you would consider- um.... how do I say this... "proportional", meaning that when I gain, I gain EVERYWHERE. Not just my tummy or my rear, even my elbows store fat.

The girl from Biggest Loser was what most would consider an "apple". She stored most of her weight around her mid-section leaving her arms and legs relatively unscathed by her obesity. SO, when she lost weight, her excess skin was around her mid-section that was well hidden and her legs and arms looked fantastic!

That is NOT going to be me. I am going to have half the Atlantic Ocean worth of waves and ripples going down my legs and my arms are going to occupy a different altitude than my head. Weight loss is one of those times that it pays to be an apple or pear, but not proportional.

With that said... I know it is SO much better to have that extra skin all flabby and floppy than it to be stretched to maximum capacity with fat, but still. After working so hard, I may have to consider some plastic surgery, something that I would never have wanted to think about before. O'well.

A whole new perspective on body shape, huh!?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

I Couldn't Make This Up


Okay, this seriously happened. I was driving home with my boys this morning from my oldest's soccer practice. I happened to look to my right and guess who was sitting at the red light next to me!?

The ice cream nazi!!! Seriously.

She smiled and waved, rolled down her window and asked, "see you later today?".

I replied, "No, I don't like you anymore!".

It sounded harsh, but I was just kidding. Well, kind of. ;)

I told her that I can only come once a week and that I had to start limiting myself. So, knowing her, she'll hold me accountable. You can always count on the ice cream nazis!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Oh. Oh. Someone Please Shoot Me Now

Well...

If you haven't read my last post, go read that now and then come back to this one.

Ahhhhhh...... the ice cream. I decided to heed all of your excellent advice and treat myself once a week to a small portion of my favorite goody. The ice cream I love comes in three sizes: mini, regular and jumbo.

Fast forward to this evening- my husband wanted to grab dinner real quick, and after-wards he wanted ice cream. So on we went. I decided that I would start my once weekly treat tonight and therefore not allow myself to go back before next Thursday.

Guy at ice cream counter -"What can I get for you?"
Me- "One mini mint chocolate chip concrete please"
Ice cream Nazi in the background- "What!? Only a mini? Not a jumbo?"
Me- (Trying to cover my a$$ in front of my husband) "No, I don't have my boys with me tonight, it's just me eating it" (which is the truth, but still!)
Ice cream Nazi- "One mini mint chocolate chip concrete!"
Me- "Thanks!"
Ice cream Nazi- "See you tomorrow!"

No she did-ent.

Just shoot me.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Hmmmmm.....

.... do you think it's a bad sign when:

a. I went to my favorite ice cream shop today.
b. The lady spouted out my order before I could
c. She said, "We'll see you tomorrow afternoon!"

Yup, bad sign. Very, very bad sign.

I WILL NOT go tomorrow afternoon. Or tomorrow morning or tomorrow evening for that matter. I WILL NOT. I WILL NOT. I WILL NOT.

I am making a promise to you all, because I don't normally keep promises to myself.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

"SCREAM!!!!" >0

OMG.

I am a stay at home Mommy. I have two young boys. I get up with them around 7:00am and they finally fall asleep around 9:30pm. I get up anywhere between 1-4 times a night with the boys for various reasons: potty, thirsty, nightmares, sick...etc.

I do not have the luxury of coming home "from work" to relax. EVER. My job never ends.

I swear, if my husband dares to drop the "You do it, I just got home from work, I'm tired" line on me ONE MORE TIME I am going to:

a. shave off ALL his hair- ALL of it
b. draw up divorce papers
c. hit him on the head with a frying pan
or
d. blow something up

Dear GOD, help me, I think I might burst!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Hi Everybody!

I'm still here. I know I have been the world's absolute worst blogger lately, but I oscillate between being too busy to blog and having nothing to say.

My life has been pretty boring lately- same'old, same'old.

I haven't been to see my doctor in about six months, so I am thinking it might be time to schedule an appt. I just HATE going into my surgeon's office! I wait in the waiting room for an hour or more, then I wait in the exam room for another 45 minutes and then they talk with me for a grand total of 5 minutes! So, after spending almost two whole hours to tell them I am fine, I kind of leave feeling like I won't ever go back.

Amy has said that one of the most important parts of this journey, and a bandster's success, falls greatly on your relationship with your surgeon. I wholeheartedly agree with her about this. I need to call up my surgeon's office and ask who their biggest competitor is. Then, I will call that competitor and schedule an appointment to see THEM! :) Just a thought. Hmmmmm, I may really do that. Oh! And what REALLY gets me is when I get my EOB, I find out that they charged me for a 99214 which is a COMPLETE exam including history for $550!!! Really? A 99214 for 5 minutes of your time? Someone needs to alert BCBS, because they are getting ripped off!














I haven't lost any weight in a while. I am at one of the worst plateaus I have ever been at. But, I plan to hang in here. I refuse to give up and start putting weight back on. It is my TOM, and even my ankles/feet are swollen, so my hormones are super wacky right now. The lowest I saw was 222 RIGHT before and now I am seeing 226! Ouch! No more scale for me for a while, no sir. Too depressing. At least I am still running 3-4 nights a week. That is about all my poor hip can take.

I really have nothing exciting to report, so I am going to sign off for now and go to bed. I promise when there is something wonderfully exciting that happens, you will all be the first to know!

Hope you are all doing great!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

ONE YEAR BANDIVERSARY!!!


Yesterday was the 28th- my very first bandiversary. I had a wonderful post planned but was struck down yesterday morning by a debilitating migraine. After being in bed for more than 26 hours, I am finally sitting down at my computer to write this post.

It's amazing to think that it has already been a year since I was banded. Although I find it easy to feel a sense of disappointment in the fact that I have lost "only" 67 pounds, it's comforting to know that I did not GAIN 10...15...20+ pounds over the course of the year.

I am officially a size 16, again. When I was pushing a size 26, I swore I would be elated to be a size 18 again for the rest of my life. But, alas, it is hard to find happiness when one is looking for happiness in all of the wrong places. My goal for this next year is to concentrate solely on eating well and working on fitness. I am hoping that I can let go of scale numbers and pant sizes long enough to concentrate on what really matters.

Over this past year, a few things have changed. Here is a list of some things that have impacted my life for the better, in no particular order:
  • I no longer worry about being able to keep up with my children.
  • I sleep better.
  • I can run 2-3 miles instead of just 2-3 sidewalk squares.
  • Physical activities don't scare me any longer.
  • I don't exhaust myself in the morning just getting dressed.
  • I don't think people are staring at me anymore.
  • People look me in the eyes rather than staring at me.
  • I no longer think about driving through drive-thrus all day long.
  • When I do go through a drive-thru, I can only eat a VERY small portion of what I used to.
  • My intimate life has gotten better (my husband agrees).
  • I no longer worry about what I am going to wear (okay, that's a lie- but I worry a whole heck less than I used to!).
  • My small shower has gotten larger!
  • I can cross my legs comfortably.
  • I can try on clothes now and actually feel happy about what fits.
  • Along with better self-esteem I have gained a TON of self assertiveness. So don't mess with me! ;)
  • I don't worry about fitting into a chair- or breaking it!
  • Men flirt with me again. This has been hard to get used to. I often think some of my weight gain was to act as a shield from male attention.
  • My whole family eats better and exercises more now.
This list could go on and on, but I am heading back to bed before my head starts to throb again! I am sure I will continue to add to this list during the next few days. I am not really able to think straight right now.

Here's to another successful year in Bandland! Cheers!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Green Olives and Prunes

Green olives and prunes.

DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT eat these two together for breakfast.

Just don't do it.

That's all.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Food Addiction 101


Food addiction is characterized by compulsive eating and an obsession with weight and body image. Persons with a food addiction display an obsession with, and craving for, food and eating, a preoccupation with finding sources of food associated with pleasure and comfort, a compulsive cycle of eating, and the lack of an ability to stop abusing food.

I seem to be back to all of my old tricks. I lay in bed at night and think about my plans for the following day. There seems to be a trend.... get boys ready for the day, go to the mall, EAT OUT YAY!, come home for naps, EAT OUT YAY!, put kids to bed.

My excitement as a stay-at-home Mom centers around going out to eat. That is the highlight of my life right now, and it frustrates the HELL out of me! It has been almost a year since my banding, and it will be a cold day in HADES before I would opt to have my band removed one day. I am still a very SICK food addict. Now, granted I can't eat much at these outings, but the point is, that I LIVE for them. As soon as my kiddos go down for their naps, I look forward to going downstairs, sitting in front of the TV and eating a snack- usually a not so healthy one. I crave just "zoning out". Things are so stressful in my life right now that I am constantly escaping.

Have any of you kicked the food addiction behavior?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Lap-bands ARE NOT A QUICK FIX


Just in case you were wondering. I am living proof at the moment that lap-bands are not a quick, instant, easy fix. I have been at the same weight for a while now. Why? Well, simply put I am eating C. R. A. P.

I need to do a MAJOR reality check of my diet lately. I have discovered that I am skipping meals because I don't feel hungry- not on purpose, just really busy. So, what do I fill my poor little stomach with in between? Soda and cookies. Seriously. Soda and cookies!?

While I am out I grab a Dr. Pepper. When I pass the pantry I grab a chocolate chip cookie. Don't have the cookies!!! DUR-DA-DUR. I know this. I really do. But, up until lately, one cookie here or there has worked for me, I haven't had a problem. But the past few days, I have been in denial.

So, today I will start eating RIGHT again. For lunch I will have some veggies and protein. And for all of you who are thinking about being banded, make sure you realize that the band is NOT the end-all, be-all. You will have to WORK it!!! But it will be worth the hard work.

Here's to some major a$$ whooping.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Pandora

Well ladies (and gentlemen), I have officially been sucked in! After MANY months of denying Pandora from entering my heart, I am now obsessed.

About three weeks ago I discussed the possibility, with my husband, of purchasing a bracelet as a "reward system" for me. What I mean by that is, for every 10 pounds I lose, I get to buy a new charm/bead. AND, since I have already lost 65 pounds, I get to start off with 6 beads!

"Isn't being healthy enough!?"

Yes, of course! But, I loved the idea of visually seeing where I came from and where I NEVER want to go back!

He okay-ed my purchase once he bought his new BMW M3!!! So, since we are financially destitute, might as well buy a bracelet! ;)

5 more pounds and I get to add one more.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here is my current masterpiece! :)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy 4th of July!



My youngest and me waiting for the fireworks near Cleveland Ohio where we are visiting family.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

F I N A L L Y !!!

It seems like one moment I have been waiting for, this whole journey, is to see the 220s on the scale again. I remember graduating from high school weighing around 218 and then I graduated from college in the 230s. I don't remember ever seeing the 220s! I just kind of flew right through them while I was away at school.

This morning I saw 229.0. PRAISE THE LORD!

My running is finally paying off.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Holy Mackerel

Holy Mackerel everyone- I set off for a mile run and decided to push myself to see how much further I could go. I ended up going 2.5 miles! 2.5 miles WITHOUT stopping!!! 2.5 miles up and down hills. 2.5 miles!!!

Did I happen to mention I ran 2.5 miles?

:Happy Dance:

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Mile in My Shoes

I am officially 60 down with 60 more to lose. HALF WAY THERE BABY!!!

I have been running every evening, and it feels dang awesome I must say! After running in the evening for the past few weeks, I decided to finally "clock" the distance using my car. I was hoping to build up to running a mile- it's been a while!

To my amazement, I found out that I have been running 1 to 2 miles and didn't even realize it! I am so stoked about that. It feels so good to turn on the old mp3 player and go running with my new puppy. The best part is the fact that my belly and badunkadunk don't hold me back anymore. I don't seem to suffer from the bounce back effect anymore which is nice.

My family and I just got back from a trip to PA to visit with a sick relative. While I was there, all of my husband's family kept expressing their shock over my change. The last time they saw me I was close to 300 pounds. My sister-in-law later apologized for saying something. Apparently I turned red when she said something and assumed she upset me. HOWEVER, in Kate's words, the truth of the matter is that I need to learn to take a compliment and I still feel like I have so much further to go. SOOOOO, it's hard for me to just smile and take the credit.

Maybe I can make that my next NSV- hearing I look good without turning bright red.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

THIS IS WAR !!!

Dear Scale,

Due to your abundantly clear decision to continue to punish me on a daily basis, I have decided that I have no other choice but to wage a full out war on you.

I have exercised every day for the past two and a half weeks, without fail, for 30-45 minutes a day. What more do you want from me!?

I will no longer wrestle with, attempt peace treaties with, strategize against or hope to tame you.

You have gone too far in your attempts to derail me.

I am a warrior.

This is war.

Sincerely,
Lynn

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Carousel


We went to the mall today, and like always, my boys wanted to ride the carousel. I bought our tickets and placed my purse in the stationary seat - where I ALWAYS sit - and helped my boys get on their horses.

I haven't ridden a carousel in YEARS. My oldest turned four back in January and I have never ridden with him. Besides the stares I was always avoiding, I was afraid the darn horse wouldn't be able to go up and down, resulting in a major mechanical blowout with tons of black smoke which would cause everyone to head for the exits screaming with mass panic thinking that a terrorist was present. That and my big'ole behind wouldn't fit in the molded saddle.

But today was different. After strapping my boys in place, I looked at the horse suspended between them and without hesitating, hopped right on! Yippee! My boys were so excited and let me tell you, I had an absolute blast!

I am looking forward to going again soon. Oh, and my behind fit just fine. A small child could have fit behind me!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Poo-Poo Guy

My husband has a friend who weighs about 320 lbs. or so. We've always gotten a chuckle out of the fact that my son has often times referred to him as a "tough guy". And of course by "tough" he means large.

I guess he thinks that overweight people are "strong" and "tough". He has NEVER used the words big or fat- because I haven't taught those to him- so he has defaulted to the only way he knows how to describe what he sees.

Today at the mall a very overweight woman walked by and my son hollered, "Look at that lady Mommy! She's super tough!". I hope that she didn't hear him, oh how I hope.

Now, my son has also referred to me in the past as being "tough". After he pointed out the passerby, I asked him, "Is Mommy a tough lady?" and he said "No". Hallelujah! My four year old no longer things I'm large compared to the "normal" world.

I have always been worried about being an embarrassment to my boys when they were old enough to understand. Thank GOD I am traveling down a different path.

What's up with the title of this post you ask? Well, last night while my two year old enjoyed swinging at the playground, he screamed out "Hi poo-poo guy!". Who had he screamed at? No other than an African-American boy playing on the other side of the playground. I WAS MORTIFIED. It was the perfect time to make sure he is aware of the fact that there are differences between all people. *SIGH*

Kids say the darnedest things.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Skinny B*tch


First of all, it has finally happened. And actually, it happened twice! I have had TWO people tell me in the past week that I look S K I N N Y!!! One of those people was my mother-in-law.

Now, I am by no means skinny, but the fact that my neighbor called me a "skinny b*tch" kind of made my day, you know!? Moving along...

My best friend Kate was here for a visit a few weeks ago and we thoroughly enjoyed our time together. What was so wonderful about this particular visit was the fact that it was the first time - that I can remember - that we didn't eat from the second we were together until the second we parted. She has been my binging buddy for over 20 years now, and instead of eating junk we actually exercised!!! We both LOST weight while she was visiting. There is a first for everything. Praise the LORD.

And speaking of firsts, my parents just left after a four day visit and I got to experience something entirely new to me. My mother has always been the, "Do you really need that?" "Put that back Honey, you've had enough" type, but I was amazed to hear her constantly telling me, "You need to eat something Honey" "Here, please eat this...". Wow, what a 180.

AND- I have TONS of NSVs lately- my husband took a picture of my two sisters and me and I DON'T look MORBIDLY OBESE! I am so excited about that picture. I no longer stick out like a sore thumb.

I have been exercising like crazy, having a new puppy helps keep me motivated. I have to walk her, sometimes twice a day, in order for all of us to keep our sanity! I have also been busting my butt on the elliptical machine.

Now for my favorite NSV EVER (so far!)- my husband told me last night, while we celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary, that making "boom, boom" has been wonderful lately. He said that I was looking great.

Have I mentioned that I love my band?

I will post some pictures later today.

Monday, May 31, 2010

I'm Here, I'm Here!

Sorry to be missing in action lately. Things have been pretty busy around here! Everything is going well, and I plan on writing a post later this evening to fill you all in.

Hope everyone is happy and healthy!!!! :)

Monday, May 10, 2010

North. West. East. South. NW, NE, SE, SW or Any Combination

I never thought the day would come when I have to make sure my nipples are pointing in the SAME directions (respectively of course).

They have shrunken quite a bit and I have been left with some loosey-gooseys unfortunately.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Cinco de Mayo Birthday Celebration

Today is my birthday. My birthday AND my husband's birthday! But, he will ALWAYS be two years older than me! ;)

We went out for dinner and enjoyed a hibatchi meal- the kind cooked right in front of you. I ate about two scallops, two spoonfuls of rice, one piece of zucchini, 2 small shrimp and called it quits! I couldn't help but reminisce about that last time that my husband and I had eaten at this Japanese restaurant... I watched as the chef served everyone at the table making sure that I didn't get any less than everyone else there... it had to be fair. However, tonight I watched as he served me hoping that he wouldn't give me anymore! Big difference.

It's nice to go to bed on my birthday knowing that I didn't pack away a 5,000 calorie meal just because I could.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Puppy Love

I want a dog.

Badly.

My husband does not.

We had a dog before our boys were even born, but through a series of circumstances, we ended up re-homing him. We re-homed him, not because he wasn't wanted, but because he wasn't getting what he needed any longer since I had an infant attached to my boobies 24/7! I would take him back in a heartbeat- I miss him like crazy.

I have started thinking about adopting another dog since my boys are now at an age where I feel I actually have the capacity to love another living thing. My boys both want a dog, I want a dog, but my husband is totally against the idea. All he thinks about is hair, stink, vet. bills, and just another expense. When I think of a dog, I think of love, loyalty, fun...etc. We are on totally different sides of the coin here, and I just don't know what to do! I don't know how to convince my husband of how badly I want another dog.

This is Nani- she needs a new forever home and I want her!

Oh yeah, I have eaten WAY too much today and feel like a total failure. It's amazing what stress can do.

UPDATE: NANI WAS AN ABSOLUTE NIGHTMARE ONCE WE MET HER! THE PEOPLE I SPOKE WITH ON THE PHONE MADE HER SOUND PERFECT FOR OUR FAMILY, BUT SHE WAS HORRIBLE!!! She mauled my boys- it was bad.

Monday, April 26, 2010

What on Earth!?


Yesterday I went into Belks to try to find a new pair of pants because I have ONE pair of size 18 jeans that I wear.... every.... single.... day. I wash them in between wearings of course, but still, the situation was just sad.

I hopped on the escalator and started my venture to the "Women's" section hidden in the back right corner. I couldn't find any size 18 jeans or capris and was totally bummed out. THEN it hit me. Size 18? Hmmmmm, I bet they have size 18s downstairs. Happy as a clam I marched my hiney down to the "Normal Ladies" department to purchase a pair of pants NOT in the plus section for the very first time since I was in high school. My current size 18s are getting loose so I grabbed a pair of 16s JUST IN CASE.

Bad idea. Not only did the 16s not fit- not even close- but the 18s were T I G H T. But...but....they are an 18?!?!? What on earth is going on!?!? Ahhhhh, yes. Then I remembered that size 18s are not all created equal. A size 18 from the Ladies' department was not the same as a size 18 from the Women's department. I refused to be defeated and squeezed my size 18W butt into the regular size 18 and bought those suckers. AND, just for good measure, I threw in an XL polo shirt from Izod. I am looking forward to being firmly planted in the Ladies department.

Now for your viewing pleasure, just to support the fact that I will never learn, all my take-out boxes from the past week. I keep ordering as if I can actually eat! (There are four boxes there just in case you can't tell.)

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Taco Bell Run

Well, around 9:00 tonight, my husband made a request for Taco Bell. Mmmmmm....junk. I hadn't eaten dinner yet and fell prey right along with him. I ordered 3 soft tacos and a large diet pepsi. Diet because it makes such a big difference after eating 3 tacos right!?

I couldn't even eat half of one taco. THANK YOU BAND. (Bless her heart, she still doesn't have a name.)

I LOVE MY BAND.

When will I learn!!!!????

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Current Picture vs. Before Surgery

Picture taken today- April 10, 2010 (236)

One month before surgery- July 2009 (290)

Friday, April 9, 2010

14 Pounds in 20 Days


The title of this post sounds like a cheesy infomercial that you might hear at 2:00am in the morning, something you might see highlighted and large on the front cover of STAR magazine, something you might expect printed/promised on a bottle of the latest diet pill.

But...

I have actually lost 14 pounds in the past 20 days. I guess when my doctor told me that I would lose quickly after I got some restriction back, he was telling me the truth! I must say though, I am only able to consume 400-800 calories a day, so this is definitely going to catch up to me and bite me in my big'ole behind eventually. The reason I am consuming so few calories is because I am literally NOT hungry. Quite the contrary. I usually feel full all day long so I make an effort to drink plenty of water and squeeze a few protein shakes in. Now, I don't think I am too tight, because I can eat and it normally stays down just fine. I've just been extremely busy, and food is far from my thoughts for once in my life!

In addition to the scale moving, I have noticed a few new NSVs that I am going to mention for documentation purposes. I have noticed that in addition to collar and hip bones, I now have ribs. When I lay flat on my back, my belly sinks in and my ribs pop out. AWESOME. My husband laughed at me the other night when I shouted out, "I have ribs!". Another big one is my two year old can now wrap his legs around me when I hold him without me feeling like I am inducing a forced split! Poor guy, he is probably one of the most flexible little boys around. Another one is the fact that I can not only sit at ANY booth comfortably, but I can now cross my legs under the table! :) Oh, and I can't forget the fact that I am continually surprised by my own reflection when I catch a glimpse of my body in a glass door.

When I started this journey seven months ago, it was so hard for me to imagine wearing an XL top and a size 18 jeans again, but here I am. I am LOVING my band.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Vita- yum, yum, yum


Unlike my past candy bar post, this post is about a seemingly healthy, super-yummo snack/meal. Have you heard about VitaTops and VitaMuffins yet? They are SO good. One of my close friends buys the vitamix and makes her own muffins, it's much cheaper that way. BUT, my grocery store didn't carry the mix, only the VitaTops, which can be found in the frozen section.

Each muffin top contains 100 calories, 1.5g fat, 6g fiber & 3g protein. Not too shabby, huh?

You have to store them in the freezer, as they are preservative free. This is a good thing, because you can thaw only one at a time, thus reducing the urge to overindulge. I actually had one for lunch- two hours ago- and I still feel super content.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Well Hot Dog- 50 lbs. Down


FINALLY 50 pounds down. I have been waiting for this milestone for quite a while. The lap-band journey has been an interesting, motivating, inspiring but sometimes difficult journey. I am looking forward to what my future has in store, which is refreshing.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Geesh, Who Doesn' Know!?

Well, a few things on my front. You may or may not remember the fact that I was worried about not telling one of my best friends about me sporting a lap-band. I didn't want to tell her at first because I didn't want to apply any extra pressure to myself. I felt the more people who knew, the more I would freak myself out.

So...

My friend and I went out for dinner the other night, and she was acting really weird. She kept telling me she was worried about me because I wasn't eating anything. Skip to about four hours later, and after she told me she was afraid that my bulimia had started up again- I felt it was time to tell her. So I did. Spilling the beans to her was super anti-climatic. She was very understanding and was happy that I had made a decision to better my health. Really? That's it? That's it. Why didn't I tell her a long time ago? I felt a little stupid.

THEN-

While going out to the movies with my neighbor (who had promised to keep my secret exactly that- I shared with her because she too had WLS) and her sister the other night, I realized that people knowing isn't entirely in my control. I found out she told her sister when she nonchalantly started talking about my band. WHAT? Then, when the SAME neighbor introduced me to her daughter who was visiting, she introduced me as, "This is Lynn, she has the lap-band". Seriously. She did that. I don't think it gets much more rude. To top it all off, when I kindly asked her to stop sharing my information, this was her response, "Oh, I would never tell anyone, that's your business, not mine." Did this lady fall and hit her head on a rock? Or do I just no longer understand the English language?

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Writer's Block

I've been experiencing a case of writer's block lately. I have so much going on, yet nothing really inspiring or blog worthy. Does that make sense?

Sometimes I blog about the most boring and ridiculous stuff, but when my life is full of craziness- I don't feel like blogging. It's just weird.

So, because this blog is supposed to be a documentation of my journey, I am going to list a few things going on with me right now. Okay? Okay. So, here it goes:

  • My husband and I had to fire one of his employees yesterday. It sucked. Bad.
  • I had a fill of 4 ccs two Fridays ago to prime my band once again and to end my insane eating.
  • I gained 5 pounds in two weeks before my fills returned.
  • I had a fill of 2 ccs last Friday and have lost 7 pounds since Saturday. Hopefully there will be no plateau for me anytime soon.
  • We bought a wooden playset for my boys- I am so excited! Now, if we could just decide on who gets to put it together for us.
  • My boys have had the privilege to attend a wonderful private preschool over the past two weeks. But, their last day is Friday and I feel just awful that we can't afford to allow them to keep attending.
  • I am going to cry on the boys' last day of school. They love it there, and I LOVE their teachers! But more so, I LOVE what going to school has done for my boys. It's been a wonderful experience all around.
  • My husband is addicted to a "retarded" game on the computer called World of Warcraft. Embarrassing, but that's something going on.
  • My husband neglects the boys and me a bit to fulfill his WOW fix. It's irritating.
  • I run away from life by eating- he runs away by playing his game.
  • I AM WEARING A SIZE 18 AGAIN!!!! This is a good one, let me tell 'ya.
  • I bought myself some new undies yesterday.
  • Oh, oh! Yeah, I almost forgot- I got some new Spring/Summer tops and they were a size XL! Not 3x, or 2x or 1x, but just plain 'ole XL.
So, there you have it. My last few weeks in a nutshell. I hope I didn't bore you!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Followers

Is it just me or do you take it personally when someone de-follows you? I hate it when that happens!!!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

There are no words...


I just found out that a fellow blogger, and friend, has passed away. She passed away last night after suffering a heart attack. Bethany was a 33 year old wife and mother. Please pray for her family during this horrific time.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

She's Baaaaaa-aaaaack


My band has returned. I met with the FNP today at my surgeon's office and she helped mediate a compromise for the two of us. My band decided to return to her post with a whopping 4 ccs- 2.5 for the prime and 1.5 for restriction. I am so relieved!

I felt a difference immediately and hope to be back on track by next week's fill. I learned a few things this past week and a half:
  • I appear incapable of restraining myself (without the band) when it comes to food.
  • My stomach actually shrunk- a lot. I could barely eat "normal" portions. I was so excited to once again eat pizza and placed two whole slices on my plate settling in for a major chow down. Surprise! I could only eat half a slice.
  • I gained BACK 8 pounds in 1.5 weeks! 8 pounds. My body must have been starving for those extra calories.
  • My insomnia returned along with my fierce temper, hot flashes and irritability. It's amazing what eating yucky foods (ie. foods that are NOT band friendly) can do to your overall health and state of well-being.
  • It is so important to take better care of myself- see bullet above.
  • I don't ever want to be without the band again and plan on treating her with extreme caution and with a great degree of care.
  • It only takes 1.5 weeks to go from a size 18 back up to a 20. (Don't try this at home.)
  • All the foods that I have been "missing" over the past six months were SO not worth eating again. NOTHING came close to tasting as good as losing weight feels. As a matter of fact, I am totally grossed out by how disgusting all of my past favorite foods now taste. I need to make sure I remember this one.
  • The past six months has actually changed my mentality quite a bit. Instead of constantly dreaming about my next meal, I found myself forgetting to eat and not worrying about food. It was great.
Reading over all of your blogs has reminded me of how successful I can be if I truly put my heart into making this journey work. THANK YOU ALL for being here for me. I would be so lost without all of you.

FYI- "Remember Me" with Rob Pattinson is an excellent movie. It's a definite must see.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Guest post by Matthew Constantin, PhD (biochemist)

The Importance of Multivitamin Supplementation Following Bariatric Surgery


In a peer-reviewed article entitled “Nutritional Deficiencies following Bariatric Surgery: What have we learned?”, Richard Bloomberg, MD of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and his team study the importance of nutritional supplements following bariatric surgery. Research shows that following bariatric surgical procedures, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies are common. A close examination of these deficiencies after weight loss surgery shows that supplements should be a standard post-operative element so that potential nutritional complications will be minimized [1].


Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGBP), biliopancreatic diversion with duodenal switch (BPD-DS), and biliopancreatic diversion without duodenal switch (BPD) are three commonly performed bariatric surgeries. These surgical interventions work by reducing the size of the stomach (restriction) and preventing the absorption of food in the gastrointestinal tract (malabsorption).


While bariatric surgery results in significant weight loss, the malabsroptive nature of the operation can severely compromise the ability of the body to absorb vital nutrients, such as protein and iron, causing nutritional deficiencies. Restrictive techniques, such as gastric banding or sleeve gastrectomy, are less likely to cause nutritional deficiencies comparing to malabsorptive techniques. This is because restrictive procedures do not directly affect food absorption in the small intestine. If a deficiency occurs after a restrictive procedure, this is usually the result of food intolerance or the tendency of the patient to avoid certain nutrient-rich foods postoperatively. This article focuses on the effect of malabsorptive procedures (RYGBP, BPD-DS and BPD) on the absortion of protein, iron, vitamin B12, folate, calcium, vitamin D, thiamine and fat-soluble vitamins.


Nutrients Deficiencies


Protein

Protein deficiency after bariatric surgery has been well documented. This is most likely the result of bypassing of the small intestine where protein is absorbed in the body. Protein deficiency occurs usually in BPD and BPD-DS surgeries. A study done by Marceau et al [2] found that there was a high incidence of protein deficiency after BPD and BPD-DS surgeries with 11% of patients having serum albumin levels lower than 3.5 g/dL. The normal serum albumin levels for adults are 3.5-5.0g/dL. In another study, 3.7% of patients who underwent BPD needed to be re-hospitalized because of the severe protein deficiency they presented. Dietetic counseling and increased protein intake aided in preventing further recurrences of the deficiency.


Iron

Iron deficiency can occur in both restrictive and malabsorptive operations. In the case of malabsorptive procedures, iron deficiency results from the fact that the duodenum and proximal jejunum (the part of the small intestine right after the stomach) is bypassed. Iron deficiency has been shown to increase in RYGBP patients during the first 5 years postoperatively [3]. Other studies however, such as the one by Rabkin, who studied BPD-DS patients, have found that iron levels were normal over a period of 3 years [4].


Vitamin B12 and Folate Deficiency

Bariatric surgery usually affects the absorption of vitamin B12 and folate. B12 is absorbed in the terminal ileum, the portion of the small intestine the stomach is connected to in the BPD procedure. Almost one third of all patients studied by Halverson and colleagues were deficient in B12 and two thirds were deficient in folate, one year after gastric bypass [5]. It is noteworthy that patients can present deficiency in these two nutrients even if their vitamin levels are normal preoperatively. Studies have shown that regular supplementation with B12 and folate after the surgery can prevent deficiency of these two vitamins.


Vitamin D And Calcium Deficiency

Vitamin D is absorbed in the jejunum and ileum, while calcium is absorbed in the duodenum and proximal jejunum. Since bariatric operations result in bypassing of these segments of the small intestine, vitamin D and calcium deficiencies are a common phenomenon in weight loss surgery patients. Calcium deficiency can lead to potential bone loss and increase the long-term risk of osteoporosis. In fact, some retrospective studies have shown evidence of postoperative metabolic bone disease. Calcium and vitamin D deficiency rates can be as high as 50% [6], and while many morbidly obese patients already suffer a lack of these nutrients pre-operatively, the deficiency is exacerbated after the surgery. Often, supplementation may not be enough to correct low calcium and abnormal vitamin D levels. A study of BPD patients by Slater et al showed significant deficiencies in calcium and vitamin D, despite supplementation [7].


Thiamine (Vitamin B1) Deficiency

The deficiency of this vitamin is relatively rare. Studies have shown that thiamine deficiency occurs in only 1 every 5800 bariatric patients [8]. Treatment with thiamine (intravenously or intravascularly) resolves the deficiency as quickly as one day and no more than four months after the surgery.


Other Fat-Soluble Vitamin Deficiencies


Vitamin A

Levels of Vitamin A were found to be low in 61% of patients undergoing BPD with or without duodenal switch, despite the fact that 4 out of 5 patients were compliant with vitamin supplementation.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E deficiency is uncommon and occurs after malabsorptive operations, usually BPD. Patients who receive multivitamin supplementation can effectively sustain normal levels of vitamin E after the surgery. A study by Slater showed that 96% of BPD patients who were taking vitamin supplements had normal levels of vitamin E even 4 years postoperatively.


Vitamin K – Magnesium – Zinc

There has been no substantial evidence to suggest deficiency of vitamin K after surgery.


Magnesium levels do not seem to be significantly affected by bariatric surgery. One study found that magnesium concentration remained normal 4 and 10 years after BPD surgery, while another one found that only 5% of patients had low magnesium levels 2 years after surgery.


Zinc deficiencies have been found in as many as 50% of BPD-DS patients and in only 10.8% of BPD patients. Interestingly, 80% of these patients where taking multivitamins.


Conclusions


Clearly, there is a great deal of clinical research that indicates that vitamin and nutrient deficiencies do occur after bariatric procedures. It is because of this that the use of supplements may be more commonly recommended after the surgeries. Additionally, it seems that more research should be done to investigate the impact of such supplements on the deficiencies and the resolution rates.




References


1. Bloomberg, RD, Fleishman, A, Nalle, JE, Herron, DM, Kini, S. Nutritional Deficiencies following Bariatric Surgery: What Have We Learned? 2005. Mount Sinai School of Medicine. Obesity Surgery 15: 145-154.


2. Marceau S, Biron S, Lagace M et al. Biliopancreatic diversion, with distal gastrectomy, 250 cm and 50 cm limbs: long-term results. Obes Surg 1995; 5: 302-7.


3. Skroubis G, Sakellaropoulos G, Pouggouras K et al. Comparison of nutritional deficiencies after Roux-en-Y gastric bypass and after biliopancreatic diversion with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. Obes Surg 2002; 12: 551-8.


4. Rabkin RA, Rabkin JM, Metcalf B et al. Nutritional markers following duodenal switch for morbid obesity. Obes Surg 2004; 14: 84-90.


5. Halverson JD. Micronutrient deficiencies after gastric bypass for morbid obesity. Am Surg 1986; 52: 594-8.


6. Brolin RE, LaMarca LB, Kenler HA et al. Malabsorptive gastric bypass in patients with superobesity. J Gastrointest Surg 2002; 6: 195-203; discussion 4-5.


7. Slater GH, Ren CJ, Siegel N et al. Serum fat-soluble vitamin deficiency and abnormal calcium metabolism after malabsorptive bariatric surgery. J Gastrointest Surg 2004; 8: 48-55; discussion 4-5.


8. Chang CG, Adams-Huet B, Provost DA. Acute postgastric reduction surgery (APGARS) neuropathy. Obes Surg 2004; 14: 182-9.


About the Author


Matt Papa, PhD, has dedicated a great deal of his research time to better understand the elements of bariatric surgery as well as the benefits and complications. He is excited he was given the opportunity to share some scientific facts with the BlubberyBlogger community. In his website he presents research findings  and posts practical information on the topic of weight loss surgery, and offers a coupon for Medifast and a coupon code for Nutrisystem.