My Banded Time

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.