My Banded Time

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Thyroid Out and Thank you for your wishes and posts and a Health NSV

I had surgery yesterday and was released from the pokey today!  It was good to get home and so nice to receive all your nice comments.  One thing I realized when I checked in yesterday  for surgery is that I can probably stop taking high blood pressure medicine very soon.  My BP was 120/70 when I checked in for surgery and 124/70 the week before for my pre op testing. I'm interested to see what the thyroid removal will do to my weight but we'll see.  I'm going to weigh myself officially tomorrow after I release some of this IV fluid.

I'm thankful for your virtual support and for the band!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Thyroid Surgery Today...And thankful for the band...and my word for 2011

One of the things I learned during my WLS pre op was that I had tumors growing on my thyroid.  So today, I'm getting a thyroidectomy (my thyroid is being removed and I will take synthroid everyday).  If I hadn't had WLS I would never have found this out.  My thyroid tests were always borderline, approaching hypothyroidism (under active).  And I lost my ability to sleep well.  It turns out I had a rather large tumor bending my trachea which probably caused me to wake up frequently at night.  The endocrinologist said it had probably been growing for several years. 

I actually feel relieved that my surgery is today and that it will be over in a couple of hours and that I will be able to address many health issues that I haven't been able to understand.  One thing that WLS has taught me is to prioritize my health, to advocate for it and to not be shy because of my weight.  Each time I went to my general practitioner, OB, ophthalmologist; I'd be lectured on my weight as the cause of all my health issues rather than asking for specific tests etc.  I think the shame of being overweight prevented me from seeking out more specific medical attention, asking more questions.  The reason I love my WLS office is that the staff really treats me with respects and listens to my health needs versus just making assumptions that a lot of my health issues are caused by my weight.  For me I think the thyroid/weight issue are like the chicken and egg issue...which came first?  What caused what?  I'm sure they are integrally inter related.  I'm just glad to make some changes.  I'm hoping surgery will accelrate my energy level and weight loss; we'll see.

Word for 2011:

PRIORITIZE (my health)

To function optimally on a physical, mental and spiritual level; I need to prioritize my health.  I need to make time for:
  • meal planning
  • exercise
  • medical appointments
  • blog!
  Happy New Year Virtual Friends...I'm thankful for you and appreciate you.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Getting Rid of Food as my Security Blanket, My Crutch, My Friend

The band is a great physical tool to help prevent overeating.  But aside from having this physical tool, I've been working on gaining the skills to overcome my dependency on food.

I think of why I've gained 60 lbs in the last 12 years and I can probably correlate weight to significant stressful times in my life.  Food has been my security blanket, my crutch and my protector:

-stressful client jobs-I'm a management consultant and for a people pleaser what a lethal profession...always trying to make clients happy.  TIME FOR A WHOLE BAKING DISH OF LASAGNA
-stressful co workers-It's not always relaxing working with engineers and people with MBAs...and I think its a reality that people bring their issues to work.   I got yelled at over the holidays once because my project lead was on vacation and the deliverable didn't meet the expectations she had in her head.  Another time my boss revealed to me, months later, that she had been yelling at me because she had been going through the demise of her marriage.  Nice of her to acknowledge this but still...?!  TIME FOR A BAG OF CHIPS
-stressful in laws-they are kind people but some of them are off.  For instance I helped my nephew get a job out of school and his parents complained that I put him a position where he never went anywhere with his career...even though he never chose to work hard, put in the hours or even show up sometimes...he forgot to file his taxes for 5+ years and it nullified his chances to get a security clearance and higher advancement in my old firm.  My sister in law told me that I should have told him about the importance of filing taxes...and that if I had, he wouldn't be living from pay check to pay check even with an ivy league degree.  The same sister in law told me she was surprised my kids were so good looking when me and my husband are just mediocre looking?!  Also I'm Asian and most Asians are so small.  I don't fit the norm and they let me know that I'm too big.  TIME FOR A PINT OF ICE CREAM
-juggling motherhood and working-my days would start at 5:30 am and end at midnight...stressful but I'd create these high standards for everything and work myself to exhaustion and overwork. TIME FOR A LOAF OF GREAT BREAD WITH LOTS OF REAL BUTTER
-inability to deal with failures and breakdowns in relationships-when friends/relatives have hurt me in the past, I would just withdraw from the friendships versus working them out.  TIME TO TREAT MYSELF TO A THREE COURSE LUNCH

Food has always been a way to comfort myself, to get myself through late nights of working, late nights of motherhood, late nights of stress in general and the pain of broken relationships.  And before that, when I was a child and adolescent, it comforted me in a house that was sometimes filled with tension and financial insecurity.  The dependency on food is a pattern that I have built up over the years. I'm starting to break the negative patterns and cycles.  Now that I don't have the ability to overeat, I've had to deal with things without my security blanket of food...which would comfort me but cover me in layers of fat as well.  Without the comfort of food protecting me from reality, I've had to face reality and its been hard but rewarding and a renewing and learning experience:

-Work-I've talked to my bosses about the type of client engagements I wanted to participate on and got switched to a much more reasonable client.  I've told people when I don't think they are fair.  For instance when my project lead yelled at me over the Thanksgiving Holiday, I told her exactly why I did the things the way I did and I turned it around.  And the outcome was always really great.
-Friends-I've learn to acknowledge times I've been wrong and tried to work things out with friends and relatives.  I've reached out to friends that I have distanced myself from in the past because I'd get hurt and then just internalize it.  I've told people how much they mean to me and why I distanced myself and guess what...the world didn't was just nice to renew the friendship.
-Over Committing to Reasonable Committing-I've said "no" to many PTA and kid commitments and just tried to focus on the activities that bring the most value to my kids.
-In Laws-I haven't told them off.  But told them gently things I've held in for years.  For instance, my nephew could be successful if he shaved, wore normal work clothes and showed up and did a great job.  Yes my weight has been out of control but I'm taking proactive measures to address it.

So this weight loss thing has been as much mental as physical.  I have a long way to go but I'm learning and growing and trying to break the cycle that has made me fat.

Thank you for listening and talking through things.  It has helped so much.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Nobody does it better...Getting the Act of Self Love

This last month, we were ironing out our last will and testaments and probate.   Its an essential but morbid activity...No one wants to think about their demise or the demise of their spouse or significant other.  No one wants to think about what will happen to their kids... God forbid we ever both die prematurely.  But all this thinking about wills and dying made me realize that this band journey is an exercise in fighting premature death and that it is so important and so wonderful.  Without the band...I would still have my unhealthy eating habits, I would still have issues with portion control, I would still eat when stressed out, I would still be adding incremental weight to my body every couple of months.  Getting the band is a great act of self love.  Because no one can replace you and the role you play on are important and you were placed her on earth for a reason.  It is great that we are all fighting obesity and regaining our health...I'm glad to be sharing this journey with you and learning from you all...

Nobody does it better
Makes me feel sad for the rest
Nobody does it half as good as you
Baby, you're the best

So much for my deep and philisophical talk...I went to the National Zoo today with my 2nd grader and their class and had a wonderful time in the freezing weather.  I was running, chasing after them, running with them and it felt good.   It's days like this that I'm truly thankful for.

Now as per Linda's request...some Chrismasy Pictures.
The Zoo had a Gingerbread Habitat Contest...these are the habitats my son loved the most...We had to shepard 120 2nd graders through the exhibit...truly it was like herding cute bulls through a china shop...I was relieved when we got them all through without breaking anyone's precious piece of art.

Our tree accented by Yoda and his hut...My kids are Star Wars fanatics.

  Hope you are enjoying the holiday season.

Monday, December 13, 2010

SCARED-I don't want to be a slow loser!

I'm going to be honest...just 18 lbs ago, I was scared to do the treadmill alone at home or while the kids were here.  I didn't want to risk having a coronary incident while alone or with the kids.  I was feeling that unhealthy and short of breath.  Now I'm ready to join our company gym today.  I don't feel breathless, I've stopped huffing. 

I feel compelled to ramp up the exercise for one very scary reason...I'm so scared of being a non loser or a band failure!!!!  I've been a good girl but I'm a slow loser.  18 lbs for 3 months is kinda slow.  I realize I've gotta move more!  Because I've very scared to be one of those people who only loses 18 lbs through this whole experience.  The week before I was banded I met two ladies in the waiting room at my surgeons office.  One lost 12 lbs the whole year and another lost 70 lbs in 9 months.  It illustrated that the band is a tool but you also have to work the tool.  But my secret nightmare is not achieving a healthier life status and losing weight after all this pain and effort.  Statistically most successful banders lose a majority of their weight during the first 6 months.  I'm at 3 months so I want to take it up a notch.  I have an added complication in that my thyroid is not working well so I'm having it removed 12/29.  I hope that this will also help me maximize my weight loss.  But at the same time I don't want to use my thyroid as an excuse.  We'll see after its removed.  My endocrinologist thinks it will definitely help.
Thanks for posting your experiences and sharing your support.

Felt happy to see Gen and Camille as new followers...Mentors I've been following!  It always excites me to get new followers...

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

NSV Mistaken Identity

At work, I have 2 female colleagues who have similar heights and hair styles/coloring to me.  But they are normal sized women...C and S are both about size 10 or 12.  For the last week I keep getting mistaken for them in the halls and I'm so flattered because they are size 10/12.  I have a ways to go before reaching their actual size but I realize that my 18 lb weight loss has allowed this mistaken identity because I walk and carry myself more normally/healthfully.  18 lbs ago:

1)  My legs would chaffe together causing me to waddle a bit.

2)  I'd be wearing the same clothes but they would be extremely tight with promiment muffin tops.  Often my shirts would ride up a bit, revealing my stomach.

3)  I'd be taking deep strained breaths.

4)  Prior to surgery, my face was very puffy.  I had water retention that centralized in my face (not a pretty site).   In the last 5 years I developed facial eczema on my eyelids...also not a pretty site.  As I've lost weight and started sleeping more, the eczema has almost gone away.  I correlate the eczema to stabilized hormones due to weight loss...I think the eczema was one of the many "red" flags telling me to address my weight issues.

I'm almost at the 20 lb mark...things like this give me the incentive to try harder.  And oh by the way, the 2nd fill was terrific...I have ideal restriction and the restriction really shuts the bad foods out (at least my bad foods -breads, baked goods).

Thank you friends for reading/writing.  I appreciate you.

Monday, December 6, 2010

The band and me...a working's almost like a marriage!

I was thinking about the band and how it's so similar to being married or like any other significant relationship:

1)  The first year is often the hardest.  I have struggled and I have triumphed.  I've been jubilant and I've been disappointed.

2)  I still have to put work into this relationship for the band to work.  It does provide restriction but I have to control my diet and exercise.

3)  It has its ups and downs...there are times when I thought it was working tremendously and other times when I wasn't sure it was working.

4)  We are learning to get a long.   Each time I get a fill or post op, I have to guage what the band can take and not take.  We are getting to know each other and build up a momentum, a rapport of sorts.

5)  Its dynamic and always changing.  The band is filled, my body chemistry, composition changes, my life style changes.  With all these changes I have to adjust.

6)  It helps to have support from others to give you context and guidance on how to improve/enhance your relationship.  This is you blogger friends.  i think I have learned more from the blogging world than I have from my surgeon's office.

The relevance of these thoughts?  It reminds me that no matter how great a tool is, I need to work at it constantly. 

Thank you virtual friends.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

What do you say to the Naysayers? The Anti Banders?

Did you see the article in the NY Times today about the Allergan's Lap Band?

Article 2, December 3:
If you go to the article through this link you will find an article in the NY Times which talks about how A federal advisory panel Friday endorsed an expansion of the use of Allergan’s Lap-Band stomach-restricting device to patients who are less than severely obese.

NY Times Article - Panel Votes to Expand Surgery for Less Obese


The vote could pave the way to double the number of Americans who qualify for weight-loss surgery. And it could eventually lead to making other types of weight-loss surgery available to those who are not quite as heavy.   I think this endorsement is a victory and a testament to the band

Article 1, December1:
OK but get this,  the same writer, Andrew Pollack wrote this article December 1.  where he basically blasted the band.  And talked about its dangers and how ineffectual it is.  What do you say to the Anti Band sentiments!? WTF?  He even interviews a woman whose daughter died two months after getting the band.  And how people don't lose weight on the band.  ( Just for the record our practice has never lost a patient to the band.  Two gastric bypass patients died in the last decated but they had a lot of severe co morbidities...and it isn't bad considering the fact that they have done tens of thousands of surgeries in the last decade).

The Anti Band Article a couple days before...

Ugh!  What do you say or think of people like this who are so Anti Band?  What do you say to the naysayers?  What are your thoughts?

My belief in the band comes from my own short journey and the stories from bandland friends and SOB's in particular.  I know it can work.  I did lots of research.  I have faith in my decision.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

NSV...Someone finally noticed! And the beauty of blending.

I was at the book fair at my kids school today.  The head of the PTA looked me up and down and said, "Something is different.   Have you lost weight? Your face is much smaller!!"  Finally someone other than my scale has noticed a difference in my weight!!!  Things like that really give me the incentive and feeling that WLS is working.

Fitting In
My biggest desire is to be a healthy BMI and weight but on a vain level, I want to fit in and look normal.  I live in the Metropolitan DC area and a lot of my environment/worlds are "thin". 

My Kids Schools:  
The moms and female teachers at my children's school are "fit", health conscious and take great care of themselves.  At their preschool I think I was one of two overweight moms.  One of my son's friends actually told me to my face, "You are obese"!  And when he was younger, my son told me he was embarrassed when I volunteered at his school and it made me die.  And it made me so mad at myself that I couldn't change it. 

Asian Church:
I'm Asian and I used to go to an Asian Church where the mean weight for women was probably 120 lbs.  And the men are small too, especially the older generation.  My dad and lots of his friends weight 130-140 lbs.  Also in my family a lot of the women like my sisters have never weighed over 110 lbs.  

And in the world of management consulting so many of my female colleagues dress powerfully and beautifully.  A lot of consultants are marathoners or compulsive exercisers. 

Its relative, I always felt fat against my environments.  I know its almost self absorbed and narcissistic but I could just hear the negative voices in my head and they are/were so handicapping:

"Oh no, there goes the fattest woman in our church!"
"XXXX has a fat mom"
"Wow how can she dress that way?"
"Look at the size of that butt"
"How can she give a presentation in that fat suit?"

The inability to lose weight in the last 10 years made me feel especially trapped.  But lately just losing 17-20 lbs in the last couple months has given me the feeling of blending in into my environments.  The focus is not on being self conscious/self absorbed but on living life normally and confidently.  I'm volunteering at school more confidently.  I don't worry about how I look when I'm giving presentations.  I serve and worship at church and focus on God rather than myself.

I appreciate this WLS because it is liberating me.

Thank you blogger friends for your kind words and thoughts and wisdom too.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Another pound lost and a shout out of public thanks to LB Gal!

I lost another 1.5 lbs and I'm on TOM!  I account my recent losses on the education I received from Lap Band Gal's challenge to post our actual eating habits.

Ever since Lap Band Gap encouraged us to post our typical diet results, I've modified my diet.  I realized that although I was eating less than my previous overeating self,  it was not enough to realize actual weight loss.   And  I realize that I was not drinking enough or intaking enough protein.  Also I learned the value of patience and consistency.  I'll go through a week or two of no loss and then a week of 4-5 lbs.  I think its my body chemistry adjusting.  But I went through a period of never being able to lose any weight so I'm very happy about this.

For all those people who hate the shakes, try chugging a shake while you drink your am coffee. I realized that several of you do this.  It makes the shake a lot more palatable.  I imagine that I'm drinking a high calorie 4 bucks drink from Starbucks.

Have a healthy eating day.

Monday, November 29, 2010

It wasn't that bad! I feel encouraged!!!

I actually got on the scale and it reflected a two lb loss from last week!  WOW.  I had eaten out of control Thursday/Friday but Saturday/Sunday were much better.  I realize I just need to be more consistent, especially when I'm under stress.   I go to the MD Friday for my 2nd fill.  I want to show more results to show them and especially myself my level of commitment.   After the surgery & all.  I don't want this to be another failed diet attempt.

Considering that today/tomorrow is TOM and last week was Thanskgiving...this loss ain't shabby!
 It is definitely an encouragement and more motivation to stick with it.

Eating Today - Mapping it Out
-Breakfast protein shake and a cup of coffee with non fat milk (120kcals)
-Lunch - salad  (300 kcals)
-Dinner - Lean Cuisine (260 kcals)


Sunday, November 28, 2010

Trying to get rid of bad habits.

I ate horribly on Thursday/Friday.

And today the band was very self correcting; everything I ate, stuck.  I PBd in a big way for lunch.  This is humbling, I started with the best intentions but life got in the way.  And I'm starting to feel that unless I change a lot of things, the band will not work for me.  Thursday/Friday I just had so much pent up work and family stress:

 WORK STRESS- Except for Thursday, I was working mad hours.  Work stress got in the way of good nutrition.  My whole team went on vacation and we have a big project due Tuesday.  My lead comes back Friday into town and says the document we put together was not what she expected before she left on vacation.  She was super displeased.  I have a hard time with people being upset with me even at the age of 46.  The rest of the team was on vacation...two people didn't even turn in their stuff.

FAMILY STUFF-My in laws are nice but my nephew's family drives me bonkers at times.  They are fundamental Christian.  They have 5 kids.  Sometimes its just overwhelming to be around them.

Probate and Will.  I asked my niece and her husband if they would be legal guardians for our kids if anything happened to us. I'm really close to my niece and her family has the same value system as me and my husband.  I'm writing my will because I'm just getting around to it and I want things addressed before my thyroidectomy.  Not a life threatening procedure but surgery none the less.  And it was a good excuse to get it done.  They said no because they are the guardians for their siblings.  That seemed reasonable but I just felt as though they don't really care about our kids.  I know there excuse is very legitmate but I felt weird. 
Thyroid Surgery-I think I'm getting nervous about it.

I could not stop eating Thursday/Friday; it was scary.  I need to channel my anxieties into more constructive ways.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Forgive Me Bandster Gods I've Sinned!


Thanksgiving came and I actually could miraculously eat: sausage stuffing, macaroni and cheese,  chicken wings and ... It is like the parting of the red fill opened up!  Before then I thought my first fill had kicked in.  I think its OK to indulge but I had 3 meals of this bad food and then I had Chinese Food and then I read Christine's Blog entry on gaining all her 100 + lbs back.  It scared me silly that I could still have the potential to revert back to bad habits so easily.  It started when I had to work late the days before and after Thanksgiving.  Whenever things are stressful or don't go well, I go to food.  I had been so good....

I'm glad I"m going for a 2nd fill this coming Friday.  And I have a week to eat cleanly so I don't embarrass myself at my surgeon's office.  I get so scared when things like this happen!!!

I hope you fared better.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

How will you survive Thanksgiving with Minimal Damage?

I'm going to survive this day of feasting/overeating by:

1)  Treadmilling/walking/meditating in the am before the "dinner"

2) Having a Lean Cuisine an hour before going to the "dinner"

3)  Drinking lots of H20 (32 oz)before the "dinner"

4)  Spend time/enjoy time with my kids (boys 8,9) and nieces/nephews (10 under the age of 10) versus grazing with the adults.

5)  Giving myself permission to have a "delicious sampling taste" of the desserts.

6)  Giving myself permission to sample the "delicious food"

7)  Not grazing

8)  Letting my band do the talking and listening to the talking band.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

What is your daily caloric intake?

I loved Lap Band Gal 's open question to people about their daily food intake and I loved reading through people's responses.  It was super educational for me and I was really amazed by the caloric intake of the Stars of the Band.  It seemed like the people who have managed to lose significant amounts of weight usually keep their kcals at 1200 or less than 1000.  What is your average caloric intake?  I made an appt with my dietitian to analyze my diet.  My dietitian told me not to obsess about calories but to focus on getting my protein and 3 meals a day that are 1 cup or less in volume.  I think I need more accountability.

I have a compounding issue with my thyroid which is going to be removed 12/29.  The endocrinologist says she thinks removing my thyroid (which has 3 tumors on it) will improve my sleep and that I will be able to lose weight faster.  But I think that I'm kind of using that as an excuse for being aggressive about weight loss.  The problem with my diet attempts in the past is that I'd fail after making excuses and rationalizations to myself.  I don't want to do that this time.  This week I stayed stable but I think I should be losing more than 17 lbs by the 2nd month.


Thursday, November 18, 2010

What I ate today...And some humble realizations!

Lap Band Gal has asked us what we eat and I've had fun reading people's blog logs of their dietary habits.  One thing I realized is that the successful losers who have lost significant amounts of weight eat much less than I do.  And they also do not graze like I do and they "plan" a lot of their food choices and they "move" a lot more than I do.  They truly deserve their losses.  So when I moan about my lack of losses, I humbly confess that that  I need to move, plan and stop grazing.  These blogs are so educational!!!! 

My surgeon's office staff is so nice but ,except for some of the support staff , I don't think any of them have ever had a weight problem.  So I get some much needed "real life" insight from your blogs...Thank you!:

64 + ounces of Water

1 cup of coffee with 2 TBs non fat milk
2 turkey sausages
1 scrambled egg/peppers/onion cooked together in olive oil

1 Celeste Individual Pizza
1 MacIntosh Apple
10 almonds
1 serving dark chocolate pudding

9 pieces of spicy shrimp sushi with avocado
1 ounce of roast chicken

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Attitude of Gratitude and Thanks

I just have to say...that I'm thankful for:

1)  Blogger friends-Anonymous strangers who have bonded and supported me on my recent WLS journey.  I have experienced so much kindness and great/uplifting and edifying advice.  I'm truly a private person, I never thought I'd blog but I'm glad I did.

2)  A Husband who loves me regardless of size.   He and my kids give me unconditional support and a beautiful family structure.  I'm really thankful to God for  bringing me someone so healthy and grounded into my life.

3)  My 9 year old  Son - who started reading diet books and gave me the motivation to go do something about my weight so that I can usher him through his life transitions.

4)  My Work Health Insurance - I had to switch jobs in March and my new employer provides great health insurance which covered WLS.

5)  My New Firm and Job - I had to change firms in March because my old firm wasn't doing to well and we lost a contract.  I ended up at this firm which has opened up so many opportunities and has given me so many mentors.  I'm glad the firm doesn't have the crazy dysfunction that I experienced in other firms.

6) The Band - which prohibits me from overeating and which is re programming me to view food differently and in a healthy way.

7) My Perennially Size 4 BFF - who encouraged me to go for it in terms of weight loss surgery.   Even though obesity is not an issue she grapples with she has so much empathy for me.

8) Blogger Friends...can I say this again and again and again?  I've met such a great virtual support group.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Obvious Yet

I've lost 17 lbs and it is not obvious the outside world.  No on has commented on it.  I often wonder if I'm imagining it.  I even bought a higher quality scale.  I'm still wearing my old clothes...they are just more comfortable and they are not binding or cutting into my skin.

I'm too greedy.  I want the glory too early.  I have to stick with it and be consistent.

Vitamins Supplements? Advice Please

I take chewable multi vitamins now because my dietian and surgery practice recommended it.  Before surgery I used to take Vitamin D and Fatty Amino Acid supplements.  I really loved them.  My OB recommended them to counteract the effects of peri menopause.  They are gel capsules but my dietian recommended against these vitamins after surgery.  Do you know why?  Aren't gel's fast dissolving?  Are any of you taking supplements? 
I appreciate your advice!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

In your mind, what is the best way to weigh yourself????

I have tried once a week, tried avoiding the scale and only getting weighed at my surgeon's office and I've tried daily.  I've decided on the daily route except for TOM days where I'm a chemical experiment with huge weight swings.  I need daily accountability to keep me conscious of the consequences of my choices. 

I'm interested in hearing your views on weighing yourself...please weigh in!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What are your Best Practices???

When I read on your blogs, I find that a lot of you get similar and very different advice from the advice I've received from my practice.  I'm just curious about....:

1)  How much water do you drink?  

I always get in at least 64 ounces a day. 

2)  When do you drink water?

It was recommended waiting 1 hour after eating to drink water.  
I was told to stop drinking 30 minutes before eating something.

3)  How much protein do you eat?

Our group diet consult recommended 60 oz a day for everyone.  But from the blogs, it looks like a lot of you eat quite a bit more protein. 

4)  Do you still do protein shakes?

I'm 2 months post op and my PA asked me if I was still drinking two shakes a day in between meals?  Waaaah...I hate shakes!

5)  What is your favorite band friendly mushy?

I love non fat refried beans with melted cheese and taco bell salsa.  170 kcals and full of protein.

6) How many kcals do you take a day or do you not count kcals?  

I try for 1200-1400kcals a day.  My dietian told me to just try to eat 1 cup of food per meal of healthy food.  I think I need a little more accountability. 

7) What foods make you stuck?

Dense breads like pizza dough, bagels, rolls.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fat Bias Amongst MDs

I know excess weight is harmful to one's health.  I know that carrying extra weight causes a myriad of health issues; but at the same time, I feel that when I went to most physician's appts as an overweight person; there was a lot of bias and discrimination and lectures.  I know my excess weight is bad but at the same time I don't think it should be used to explain away all my health issues.  This is not paranoia, this is fact:

1)  Thyroid- I told my GP and the Sleep Specialist that I was having a hard time sleeping.  Both said it was probably due to my excess weight and that fat was probably obstructing my breathing.  They told me to cut down on food and start moving.  During WLS pre op the tests revealed I had 3  large nodules on my thyroid that had probably been growing slowly for years and that could explain my apnea because they were bending my trachea out of alignment.  I asked to have my thyroid checked several times.  I had it checked twice and they said it was sluggish but not abnormal.  After the pre op testing, I had more sensitive blood tests done and it turns out my thyroid is not functioning properly.  The endocrinologist said while it doesn't explain all my weight gain, my thyroid issues probably contributed to them.  I've been to 3 physicians and they didn't notice the nodules, one of which is 4 cm and protrudes from my neck.  The endocrinologists says I've probably had these growths for several years.

2) Constant Coughing for 7 months-I was told that I had chronic bronchitis probably due to my excess weight which didn't allow me to heal properly.  Turns out I was allergic to the blood pressure medication I was on.  Once it was switched the coughing stopped that week.

3)  Lecture in the ER-I went to the ER one night with constant vomiting and chest pain.   The ER physician walked in and  told me immediately, "Mam, you are morbidly obese...You need to lose weight now!"  I was throwing up because of food poisoning but she thought it was a good time for a tough love lecture. 

I really felt that walking to a physician's office as an overweight person really hampered my ability to get more objective/quality health treatment.   I live in Washington DC too, not the sticks...There are a lot of really well trained/educated health professionals.  I know I deserve tough love lectures on weight...excessive weight is bad; but at the same time, I deserve the right to a fair and objective health assessment too.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Down 17 lbs and I think I can do this!

I had posted that I lost 10 lbs post surgery and that by my first fill I hadn't lost anything more.  This last week, I went down 7 lbs.  I think exercise, minimizing salt and 5 weeks of careful eating(not perfect eating but highly improved eating) just kicked I'm now 17 lbs down.  This is the most I've lost in over 10 years.

Thanks for all your encouragement.  It really helped me to read through the blogs of bandster veterans to see what is normal and what is not.  The blogging community has been such a blessing.  17 is a significant number to me because this morning when I saw my weight I felt like I could succeed at weight loss.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Anger Management-I was so mad I could have eaten a pizza but didn't

I'm a management consultant, I work on teams and usually the people are pretty professional.  Today, we had a 5 hour team meeting.  My team lead just got back from vacation and when we started to meet one of my colleagues (John) starts taking credit for all the work we did together.  And to be honest, I did a majority of the work.  He even managed to put me down in the process!!!!  I was so angry and I was of the things I struggle with addressing my emotions versus calming myself with food.  In the old days pre band 9/15; I would have eaten some junk food right away.  But this time I sought other alternatives.  After the meeting I called up my best friend and talked to a colleague during lunch.-just to calm down  When I returned to our team meeting after lunch I spoke directly to my team lead in a calm way and said, "I put a lot of effort into this work last week.."  With that opening her response was, "I know you probably did 80% if not more".  This seems like a little thing but being direct and straight forward is hard for me.  I would probably have suppressed the feelings or gotten too emotional or upset.  What I'm trying to learn how to do is get things off my chest...and not put things in my mouth!!!  I'm such an emotional eater and I know that part of my success with the band is to stop emotional triggered eating.  Part of controlling my weight, involves controlling my emotional responses without food.

On a happier note, I lost 4 lbs over the weekend after my first fill.  I had been standing still have my 10 lb post op weight loss but then over the weekend, I think some water weight disappeared.  It was nice.

Halloween was a blast with my little boys 9 and 8.  They collected 14 lbs of candy!!!  I did indulge without guilt and just got it out of my system.

Hope you are well dear friends in blogger land.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

NSV-Size 18 Business Clothes from Talbots, No Muffin Top!

Awhile ago, I stopped caring about fashion because I didn't respect my fat body.  I didn't think my body deserved the designer duds or accessories my size 10 body used to wear.   I work as a management consultant so I needed professional clothes but what I did was wear the same black, stretchy clothes over and over and over.  Prior to my surgery I was filled with years of self loathing about my fat/body.

Surgery has helped me realize that I need to honor my body and take care of it and myself.  And that regardless of my weight, I need to present myself with confidence and pride.  I've been accessorizing, wearing more makeup.  Taking more time to do my hair.  Today I went to Talbots and picked out several size 18 clothes, XL clothes.  Before surgery I was tightly in 20 bottoms.   

Things fit better...Although I only have lost 10 lbs since 9/15.  I know I'm more toned, less swollen etc. No muffin top.  Also I was thinking that I will share these with my new friends in band land once I out grow them so they were a good investment for me and my friends out there.  In two months time, these clothes will need a new home.  I will take good care of them in light of my future friend who will need them for work...

The on the left is a thick cotton with pleats on the side and a grosgrain belt.  The skirt on the right is brown silk.  Both skirts are lined and size 18W.   The tops are both XL knits with ties.

Stuck in more ways than one...ALREADY!

I went to my first fill appt.  I have not lost or gained any weight since my first pre op appt.   I've been good for 5 weeks so I feel sad about that.  I'm unsure if its my TOM which is coming next week which is causing this early stall or if its my thyroid that I'm having removed in December.  But I'm discouraged.  I thought that if I was a good girl I'd at least lose 1-2 lbs these each of the last 5 weeks.  

I came home post fill ravenously ravenously I'm thinking this is not working; but then so many of you were kind enough to tell me it takes a while for fills to "take".  I'll be patient. 

For my first post op appt I had lost 10 lbs...I was hoping that this would be a common thread to my journey but when it didn't happen today; I started thinking..."OMG is this another failed diet attempt?"  But I read through a lot of success stories on your blogs: Linda, Catherine 55, DB, Phoneix Revolution...and I felt better. So many days your blogs would lead me to exercise and seek a better way.

My next appt is Dec 5 so I'm shooting to make this work and to show my surgeon/nurse practioner what I can do!

Thanks for listening....

Friday, October 29, 2010

Nothing Nada...feel nothing except hunger after my first fill!

I had my first fill this am.  3 ccs were added to my port.  It was simple...she gave me some numbing cream and I felt a slight pinch and then a little pain.  She said there was about 1 ml of water in the port already. 

I came home and had some tomato soup and I feel ravenous!!! Oh NO!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Did anyone start out with water in their band?

I get my first fill Friday since my 9/15/2010 surgery.  I feel like I started out with a slight fill.  I'm going to ask them Friday when I come in for my first fill.   I have already PBd and slimed a bit.  Its helped me not overeat.  I've stayed steady with my post surgery weight loss of 10 lbs.  I hoping a little more fill will help me really manage my intake.  But as you suggested I won't place to much pressure or hopes on the initial fill.

Did others PB and slime prior to their first fills?  Just wondering.

Hope you will have a great Thursday.

Accountability in between MD visits?

For the band to work, I know I need to change my mental attitude towards food and stress.  To do this I know I need accountability.  I'm a person who does well with grades, job performance evaluations; I need to be accountable to someone.  With the band, I feel accountable to my dietian and MD but I will only see them every 5 weeks.  So for this reason I'm thinking of joining Weight Watchers and of course I will keep up the blogging too.  I think the weekly weigh ins will be good and will keep me in check during the inbetween.  Also I try to weigh everyday like Caroline from Chronicles of Band Land.  I want to keep myself honest this time.

I'm currently seeing a therapist and she follows a lot of WLS patients but I think I will stop for a variety of reasons:

My Therapist

-Its hard for me to schedule regular appts during the week because my client schedule is so erratic.
-She lacks in the intimacy dept.  She only allows me to call her Dr. ______.  I called her by her first name once and she glared at me.  The other therapists I've worked with before have been warm, kind and professional at the same time. 
-Her eyes wander during my sessions and it is very obvious because of her large glasses which magnify her eyes.  It is also hard for me to take time out of the office to go to therapy

I definitely think therapy works but not with this therapist or this time in my life.

I do find the band blogging world therapeutic though.  I was just you keep accountable? 


Monday, October 25, 2010

Post Traumatic Support Group Trauma

The week before I had surgery, I had to go in for pre op testing and I had to sit in on a nutrition support group.  It was about 1/3 bandsters and 2/3 gastric bypass/sleeve.  The GB(gastric bypass folks) told us that their surgeon (we are all part of the same surgery practice) told them to forget about the lap band because it doesn't work for most.  One of the women was there for her 2nd GB.  She lost 150 and gained 100 and now she was doing it again.  She was saying that GB is the way to go.  And while the weight loss community/lap band community is so warm and nurturing, a lot of these women were very loud, exhibitionist and boasting about the hot bods they would have by Christmas.  The other women were really quiet.  Maybe they were intimidated by the loud ones.  It was really strange.

Can I tell you...I felt horrible!!!  I felt scared about going under the knife and stupid for making this commitment and having fears of failure.  

I think blogging has cured me.  To quote many of you, this journey is more mental than physical.  The lap band is only a tool to facilitate the journey.  It won't do it for you.  I'm seeing a therapist now, blogging and avoiding the support group.

Do any of you attend regular support groups?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

The gift of fat...

Being overweight is hard...its difficult on your body...difficult on your ego...difficult for your social life...difficult for your career...difficult on your relationships.  But one thing I noticed/learned from this blogging community is that many who have struggled with their weight and the demons that cause obesity have emerged with a  deep and wonderful compassion.  I've seen this compassion in my followers' encouraging posts and messages to others.  I've also experienced the kindness of blogger sisters who have lifted me up day to day as I start this journey.

What I'm trying to say is that many of you are beautiful inside and I appreciate you so much!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

What do you do when you cannot eat?

I definitely am a stress eater...I'm a perfectionist and when things are not perfect I eat.  And because life is not perfect, I ended up eating a lot and developing the weight problem that led me to the band WLS.

Now with the band, I'm trying to find substitutes for eating away my stress:

1)  Moving my body.  I treadmill when I can.  I'm 1 month post op, pre fill.  I'm feeling fine and healthy and ready to move.  I really admire the running, zumba and spinning folks out inspire me to keep on moving. 

2)  Blogging Blogging Blogging.  The community is great and warm...thank you for listening.  I read a lot and comment.

3)  Praying...I really do believe in God and I'm trying to lift up my worries and burdens.

4) Drink water.

5)  Assess my small victories and pat myself on the back...I don't drink caffeine or carbonated beverages.  I haven't for 6 weeks.  That was a lifestyle change for me...and I feel good about it because I think the change has helped my health.

What do you do now that you cannot overeat?

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


Hi...After surgery I lost 10 lbs immediately...that was a month ago.  I haven't lost any more.  I feel challenged and pressured to lose more to:

-Show my nurse, dietitian and surgeon that I'm committed when I go in for my first fill 10/29.
-To show my husband that his encouragement and worries were not in vain and that I really do want to live a healthier life and be a healthier wife and mom.
-To show myself that this time, I will not fail and that I did not go through surgery and extensive testing for no reason.

Bandsters...thank you for all your encouragement!!!!  This is such a friendly community.  I appreciate you.

Sunday, October 17, 2010


I'm open and not a particularly paranoid person; but I'm very careful about who I tell about my band.  I think the band, WLS and weight touch on my most vulnerable and sensitive feelings.  Weight is one area in my life where I have NOT succeeded in the past.  It makes me feel lame and so ashamed.

  • DAD- I didn't tell my dad and I'm glad because he told me that if I had watched my diet and exercised I wouldn't have to have my thyroid removed.  When he lectured me I, I'm glad I didn't tell him.
  • MOM-My mom has a hard time with issues that are negative or hard.  I started to tell her once and she cut me off saying that natural weight loss is the best.
  • My Younger Sister - I brought up WLS once and she was dismissive.  She has a weight problem but it is just chubbiness caused by being a really great cook.  She is also extremely wealthy so she has the luxury of trainers, food service, pilates, childcare while she works out.  She is nice but doesn't understand.  I told her I'm spending time focusing on my health and she understands and endorses that.
  • My Youngest Sister - She is understanding but she has so many of her own issues, she can't give me the time or attention when I need to talk to her.
  • People at WORK - NO way...I don't want to feel vulnerable at work except to one friend who is a friend from life too.
  • IN LAWS - They are actually very functional and nice people but I don't feel safe going there with them because weight gain/loss is not something they can relate too.  All are very thin and weight conscious.


  • Husband - YES...after months of obsessing, I told him and he was so kind and understanding about it.  He said, while he never felt the need to pressure me to lose weight or that anything was wrong with me, he respects my decision.  He said the perfect things.  I married the right person and it is one of my best life decisions.
  • Best Friend - YES...She is a size 2, but has struggled with anorexia and bulimia...Different issues, but often the same motivators.  She has recovered and eats healthfully.  She endorses and supports WLS.  She said that WLS is helping by body get to a healthy state.  She has been a savior to me.
  • Stacy...friend at work YES - her sister had lap band surgery and lost 100 + lbs and has a new life.  She has been a cheerleader.
  • Gloria...friend...YES- she shares her weight issues with me and I trust her 100%
  • Carol...friend...YES-she's never been overweight, but she's overcome alot personally and as  a result she has great empathy.
I marvel at people in blogland who have shared so freely with their close circle of friends and family...I'm just not in that place yet.  I don't know that I'll ever be. 

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Feeling Like I'm Really in the Club

I had a real life band experience.  Yesterday I had my first PB right before a client meeting.  I have been good, taking small bites...staying away from soda, caffeine, contraband foods; then I saw a cream cheese danish at Au Bon Pain.  I was so allured by this food of my past...thought I'd take a little bite; but I ate like I used to-with big bites.  But I felt like I was in labor but that a baby was going to come out of my throat...its that kind of pain that you hope passes.  I walked a around and actually ended up sitting down and barfing into a napkin.  It was a relief because I couldn't imagine being in a client meeting in that state!!!  I felt silly but at the same time I felt initiated into bandland!

I haven't had a fill yet but when I eat bread or pasta or doughy foods; I feel the restriction.  I can't wait for my first fill 10/29.  I'm in that stage called bandster hell where sometimes I can eat whatever I want.   I don't want to fall off the wagon too much before I see the MD on 10/29.  I don't want to undo the good that I have done.

One thing that I do fear though is failure and the bandster hell period makes these fears come alive.  When I went in for my first pre surgery appt I remember being horrified when I sat with two had lost 90 lbs and another had only lost 12 lbs one year after getting banded.   After all this work to get to surgery and through surgery I don't want to fail.  And the reality is that I've been failing and dieting for the last 10 years.  How can I make this year different?  Whenever I feel this way, I read your blogs.  The blogging community for bandsters is so great.  I feel that people have gone through a lot of self reflection and discovery to come to the decision to pursue banding.  There are really cool people out there who share their hearts so generously and who encourage and support one another.

Thank you everybody!

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Healing of My Mind and Body

One month ago today 9/15/2010, I was banded.  The banding is like an allegory of my life.  Last month a couple weeks before surgery I got really really depressed.  As I changed my eating habits to prepare for the band, I stopped medicating with food.  Because I wasn't stuffing down my feelings, I was feeling badly about my body, about my relationship with my sister, my fears about needing to get my thyroid removed and basically every professional failure I had in the last 5 years.  I am a perfectionist and when things don't go right, I medicate or used to numb myself with food.  After surgery, I started to process these thoughts, sort them out, face them:

1)  I changed projects at work and was vocal about the projects I'd like to do.  I ended up with a wonderful project that fit my skill sets.

2)  I set boundaries with my sister whose messy life I was trying to fix.  I came to terms that I can love her but I can't fix her.  Only God can.

3)  I made peace with the things I haven't done perfectly in the past.

4)  I talked to a lot of people, found a wonderful surgeon who explained my biopsy results (I have 3 tumors on my thyroid) and actually explained the process.  Believe it or not after 3 visits to 3 specialists, he is the only one who took the time out to explain my biopsy results and the surgery.  I also scheduled my surgery.

As I healed from the band, I was also healing mentally as I was addressing the issues in my life versus shoving them down with food.  I cried a lot, I felt a was hard.  I also went back to therapy and talked and talked and scheduled my surgery.

Yesterday the day before my one month banding anniversary I realized that my scars were all closed up and healing nicely and that I didn't feel so badly!!!!

Thank God for this band...its healing my body and mind.  And I'm also thankful for my follows and blog friends...I am not the blogging type; but in the last couple of days since I started blogging I feel so supported and encouraged.


Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is it Me or Is it Them? Weight Discrimination or Low Self Esteem?

One of the reasons I wanted to lose weight was because I felt that people judged me because of my weight and underestimated my abilities.  I felt this at work.  As a management consultant, I felt that my fat and my fat clothes were a handicap in the beautiful world of management consulting.  Christine at Phonenix Revolution pointed out that while there is weight discrimination, I should watch how I conduct myself and interact with others.  Do I interact confidently?  Do I state things affirmatively with conviction? Do I hide behind my weight?  Do people pick up on my second guessing?  That made me think

I think its a combination of both.  Yes, fat discrimination exists but I was using my fat as an excuse, as a shield.  Although I'm in the beginning of my journey and have only lost 10 lbs; I decided to take Christine's words to heart and to put myself out there in a more confident manner.  Even though its only been 10 lbs, its the jump start I needed.  I started speaking more confidently, asking for jobs/projects.  I'm now doing a project I really enjoy with a client I actually like.  I realize its all relative.  I know people who weigh 130 lbs who feel fat and wait and long for the day when they are think and can live out their dreams.  I want to live now versus later, when I reach my dream weight.  Me at the weight of 212 is starting to live my dreams...and make them come alive one day at a time.

Since getting banded 9/15/ crystalized in my mind that I have to stop hiding behind my fat and start living my life.   I realize that a large part of this journey is mental, not just physical and weight related.

Thanks for listening.

Simple Question

How did you guys post your weight loss trackers onto your blogs?  Any hints?  Thank you!!! 

Changing my Reactions to Criticism

I will make my long story short...when I went in for my pre op testing, they found a large tumor on my thyroid and then two smaller ones.  After some testing my endocrinologist and ent said the best course of action was removing my whole thyroid.  It wasn't news I wanted to hear but eventually after research and talking to doctors, I realized that removing my thyroid would help my sleeping (it is currently bending my trachea off to the side and probably explains my sleep apnea ) and indirectly the MDs said it might improve my weight loss efforts since I'll be better rested and since my hormone levels would be stable.  My dad calls and tells me that if I hadn't over eaten sugar and diet drinks; I probably wouldn't have this problem.  He also said if I had actually exercised hard I probably wouldn't have my current weight problem or thyroid condition.  Considering the fact that I'm scared my impending thyroidectomy and taking medication the rest of my was not a lecture I wanted to hear.

Even at the age of 46, talking to my dad sends off triggers and I feel like a teenager.  Agggh...he always tells me he loves me etc but he is overly critical too.  It always upsets me to talk to him.  He is one person I would never tell about the band. 

Although he always upsets me, he makes me so appreciative of:

1)  My husband and his unconditional love and thoughtfulness.
2) The fact that I've been able to create a family life with my husband and kids that is much healthier than my family of origin.
3) The lap band surgery that is bringing me closer to a better health state every day. 
4)  The fact that pre op testing discovered my thryoid condition and that surgery will improve my sleep and overall functioning.
5)  The health insurance my firm provided which provided me with the coverage to get the band.

 Thanks for listening...I'm trying to see the blog as a little bit of therapy everyday. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Therapists and Support?

I'm wondering how many of you out there go to therapy to help you manage life with the band.  I have been going since I received my psych evaluation.  My therapist is highly regarded in terms of dealing with weight/weight loss surgery related issues.  I'm trying to determine if I like her.  During my first meeting she told me not to call her by her first name...instead to call her Dr. _______.  I guess I can respect that but it didn't seem necessarily warm and during the session her eyes darted all across the room and at her planner.  But she asks great questions and knows her field so I'm going to be patient.  A Patient Patient!  I realize that when things upset me, I have medicated a lot with food in the past.  Most my crisis milestones in my life  (job transitions, difficulties in college, difficulties in graduate school, difficulties with money, difficulties with men, difficulties with friends) have been accompanied by significant variances in weight.    I'm trying to grow by talking out feelings and being more direct with myself about why I'm upset versus overeating to numb my anxiety.  I also want to overcome my anxieties about failing at this weight loss endeavor.  I would hate to have gone through all the tests, surgery and time to fail at this golden opportunity.

This has been a scary but wonderful journey so far.  For now I'm just taking one day at a time.

Thank you for listening.

Weight Questionnaire-Me in a nutshell.

1. What was your highest weight, what do you weigh right now and what is your goal weight?
I think my highest was about 230.  I'm at 212. 

2. What is your #1 motivation for losing weight?
My kids...I want to be emotionally, physically and spiritually healthy for them.  My wake up call was when my thin 9 year old son started reading diet books so he could help me.

3. Have you always been overweight?
I started gaining weight when I was 8 and was chubby.  My obesity didn't start till college.  There was a period where I went from 140 to 200+ lbs.  Then I lost and gained 30-40 llbs through the next 20 years.

4. When you want to give up what inspires you to keep going?
The blogging community is incredible.  When I read people's posts, I gain perspective on what is normal, what things to watch for, how to handle situations (PB, sliming).  People are incredibly candid and open and supportive.

5. What is the #1 thing you look forward to when you hit your goal weight?
Walking around without shame or self consciousness.

6. Do you have support on your weight loss journey?
My husband is great, my friends are great and I'm seeing a therapist.

7. What is your favorite exercise?
Treadmilling and walking.

8. What is the most important thing you have learned on your weight loss journey?

To use the band to change my habits.  It is a support tool to help me accomplish what I need to.  But I need to change my psyche and way of life to make this journy successful.

9. What is one thing you have given up that you miss the most? 
Breads/carbs.  But I find that I can have tiny dosages.  I was banded 9/15 but will get my first fill 10/29.

10. What is your strategy for losing weight?
To eat small amounts of good quality food throughout the move my body and to grow through therapy and prayer.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Reasons I Got Banded

1.  My weight was out of control and I had tried Weight Watchers numerous times.  I knew I needed a stronger weight loss method or intervention.

2.  I want to be there for my being there; I want to be there for them mentally, spiritually and physically.

3.  My older son started reading weight loss books because he wanted to help me.  This one killed me into submission.

4.  I am in a client facing career and I really do think people discriminate against the obese.  I wanted people to assess my skills and intelligence; not my outward appearance.  I know that the people who know me value me...but when I meet people for the first time I'm always thinking I'm less than because of my obesity and the way it makes me look.

5.  I have pre diabetic symptoms

6.  I have hypertension

7.  I no longer wanted to medicate with food...I wanted to address the issues that set me into patterns of overeating...(a difficult childhood and some strange family dynamics with my family of origin).

Starting Out

I'm 46, a mom, a wife (two boys 8,10) and a management consultant.  For the first time in a long time, I've elected to prioritize my health and "attack" my weight problems.  Last year losing weight no longer meant looking good in clothes, to me it was addressing my hypertension and pre diabetes.  I want to be emotionally and physically available for my kids.  Also I switched firms in the spring and my new insurance covers lap band surgery.  I went through the steps and got banded 9/15/2010.  I've lost 11 lbs in the last 3 weeks and feel optimistic.  To be honest I love blogs but I never would have thought to blog because the nature of my work and a desire to preserve my privacy.  But I realize that blogging world has a wonderful community that I want to be a part of.  I've learned so much by reading people's blogs. 

Looking forward to making friends...and learning.