My Banded Time

Monday, November 28, 2011

WAH...beware...this post is filled with self pity and vanity

I've been away too long.  Basically because:

  • It's been crazy at work
  • My dad had a health scare (collapsed but we think it was just dehydration and a lack of Potassium...it was scary because they thought it was a stroke or heart damage
  • My kids are in dozens of activities and have great social lives.  They are only 9 and 10 so they need to be driven everywhere.
  • My husband has a demanding job and is rarely home before 10 pm so its me managing homework and activities solo (on the flip side, when he's with the kids or at home, he's a wonderful father)
But I've been missing blogging and the powerful things it brings.  And then I logged in yesterday and saw Barbara reaching out to me and asking me to blog when in reality she was popping into my mind throughout the weekend (weird in a wonderful way).  Her moral encouragement was speaking to me across the internet.

I had a hard vanity moment this weekend.  My mother in law had a 100th birthday party which is great.  I was happy that she has lived so long and that my kids have a great relationship with her.  But the part of the party which evoked my vanity is that we took family portraits in Korean hanboks...it's the traditional outfit for women.   The women in my husband's family are tiny...95 lbs to 120 lbs.  And the 120 lb women are 5'7"!  So they looked gorgeous and lithe.  If you have any sort of chest, it really doesn't look flattering...I didn't feel pretty.  My sister in laws kept offering to strap me in and bind my chest down (think of that scene in Gone with the Wind where mamie tried to squeeze in Scarlett's waist to fit into the ball gown).  We had to take professional portraits and I dread  seeing them.  I feel smaller and healthier than last year but things make me feel horrible...I know its not all about me...it is my MIL's 100th birthday and all I could think about was how I felt compared to my nieces and sister in laws...For some reason it was really disturbing that a year and a couple months after surgery I'm not at goal and I'm still fat in the eyes of my culture.  Compounding things were that I couldn't keep things down very well for the last two weeks but it wasn't resulting in any weight loss...Wah wah wah wah wah

I found it hard to sleep for two nights after but now I feel stronger and filled with more resolve to stick to the rules and not give up my journey which I think is a long, life long journey. 

Thank you friend...Thank you for Barbara for reaching out to me...

Monday, October 31, 2011

NSV Bought some GAP Really Skinny Pants

Hi I bought some GAP REALLY SKINNY PANTS...actually that is their name...  Have you heard of vanity sizing?  I think these pants have a VANITY NAME.  Of course when they fit, I had to buy the the pants called REALLY SKINNY PANTS...because they made me feel really skinny!!!


To be totally honest, I don't look like the pic...I have a little bit of muffin but I think they will be comfortable in another week or two.  I just count it a blessing that I'm looking better and am improving my health everyday.

I missed blogging...you will hear more from me as soon as I finish these documents and have them shipped to the client on Wed.

How some words can be magical...


A friend wrote me an email (who knows nothing about my surgery, who is very thin focused) saying, BTW, you are looking very slim lately!  Words like this are so motivating for me.  Made me run a couple laps in my corporate office this weekend...(yes I'm trapped in my office and I can't get out).  I've been working 50+ hours for 3 weeks and when I'm busy, I'm very unaware of taking care of myself.  But the band is my safety net.  It keeps me from binging.  I'm not perfect and when I'm under stress I don't take great care of myself but I'm a lot better. But I realize that I've internalized some good long term habits.  If I keep it up I'll be fine in the long run.

Keep it up...Thank you friends...I've missed you...I'm going to try to keep up now that we are turning in our massive documents Wed.  The final drafts are done and look pretty good.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Something Helpful...No more meals

Hi, I needed something to jump start my weight loss and it has been eating small nutritious snacks every two hours...no more "meals"...it's helped my energy and my digestion too.

How do you pace your eating during the day?

I'm working like crazy...trying to create a work balance...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Miss you guys and coming up for air

I am conducting a conference and I've been working like crazy...not gaining but not losing.  Today I went into the office at 4:30 am and just got back at 6 pm...this is some of the stuff I'm dealing with:

  • A colleague who is not doing work but taking credit for mine.  I'm unsure what his issues are but he has several advanced degrees from good colleges but has a hard time doing client "ready" work
  • My boss is aware of his short comings but has a had a "hard time" breaking him loose because he has a family etc
  • Today at the conference he thank me "Nancy" for all my hard work.  A colleague corrected him and reminded him of my real name
  • Me and another colleague are picking up his extra work.
  • My boss is inexperienced and has OCD (not joking)...not fun 
I like what I do but  in addition to issues with people the work has been technically very hard and challenging. 

The stress and unfairness of it drives me crazy. I need to recollect energy for myself and my health.

Loved Manda Panda's wake up call and loved the Boobs updates...I also love you dear friends who write sweet and encouraging and uplifting things.

So I have not been blogging because I've been tired and wiped!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Feeling Unworthy at my Band anniversary and Still FAT!

My band anniversary came and went 9/15.  I was deluged with work 10 hour work days, busy afternoon/evening/weekends filled with kid activities.  I have lost weight and I am smaller than last year and I am healthier, but: I'M STILL FAT and not at my ideal BMI.  There are no cute pics with size 6 pants on.  The Gastric Bypass and Gastric Sleeve patients in our practice that had surgery the same time I did are a lot smaller.  Many are smaller than me.  I do have thyroid issues and am officially going through menopause.  My surgery office said they are surprised I was able to lose weight.  But still...I was feeling low and defeated during my anniversary.  But I'm back and I've amped up my exercise which kind of stopped during my heavy work schedule during the summer.  I'm eating more cleanly...the 2nd year will be the year that I reach GOAL...So that explains my little break from blogging...just felt down and unworthy!  I'm glad to be back and to read about your successes and your thoughts...

_____________

PS thank you for your sweet notes!  A disclaimer...the band does work...I was just hoping to be done and finished and thin forever.  But I realize that even when I do reach my ideal BMI, maintenance will be a life long journey.  I just wanted to be done and in maintenance right now. 

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I went Boogie Boarding on the Beach

I put on a swim suit, went to the beach, played in the water and even boogie boarded.  My sons were stunned.  They both said, "we have never seen you put on a swim suit at the beach".  My body is not perfect but it is getting more healthy and I feel more comfortable with myself.  That is my NSV for the day.

Monday, August 29, 2011

TLC: The Big Sexy

This show show cases 4 heavy women who are happy with their large bodies and who know how to "work" it.  I'm being completely honest, I never felt really high self esteem at my highest weight...I never felt attractive...I felt so unhealthy...Maybe its being in in DC and in a firm and community where most people have really low body fat and are very health conscious? Maybe its being Asian and in a family and social circle where the average pant size of my female relatives and friends is size 4.   I felt proud of myself and my accomplishments and my parenting but I never felt like I could "work it".  On one level I really fear for these women because obesity is so dangerous...but on one level I really admire their self confidence.  What do you think?

I'm in Sandbridge VA...the weather has been gorgeous I'm glad we didn't cancel...there has been relatively little damage.  The beach front place we are staying is gorgeous...and more importantly we have had such wonderful family time together.

Hope you are well.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Preparing for the storm with healthy foods that are low in saturated fat

We are in Williamsburg, waiting out the storm.  The ride down south was stressful, not knowing if our vacation house would be decimated by the storm...but once we got to Wolf Lodge, it has actually been wonderful.  We are stranded in a Lodge with huge sprinklers and in door pools and slides..the kids are in heaven and we are in heaven because the kids are happy.  We having a wonderful time riding out the storm in a lodge that has generators for back up power. It has not been crowded. 

The only issue I've had is that as we drove down south, it has become a junk food haven...Because its resorty I just see Shoney's, McDonalds, Hardees, Burger King, Sonics everywhere.  I went to the local Walmart supermarket and we loaded up on water, fruit, lean cuisine.  Normally I would see vacation as a time to indulge but the thought really grossed me out this year.  I'm not a food nazi, I will have a cheese fry or two but I can't eat this as a meal.  Thank God!!!  I consider this an NSV.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Growing up with the band

The last week or two at work has been filled with drama:
  • An earthquake that caused the evacuation of our building
  • Our team lead got an bee bite that sent her to the emergency room
  • A 2nd earthquake which caused one of our team members condo to flood
  • One team members former father in law (but best friend) died and he had to fly to Oklahoma for the funeral
  • Another team member was out sick due to complications from prostate surgery....
So my work load has been really heavy at times.  I used to think that I really need to quit and become a kindergarten teacher or work at a book store.  But I realize I really like what I do and that the compensation allows me to provide my kids with security and advantages that I never had.   Part of having the band is being more adult and dealing with pressure and stress in a more balanced way (versus eating away stress and allowing my butt and body to get bigger).

Wish me luck...of course our beach vacation starts Saturday and the place where we rent our beach house (Sandbridge VA) is having a mandatory evacuation.  We will be in Williamsburg for a day or two at Wolf Lodge (A hotel with in door pools and sprinklers) so we might just extend it and see what happens since we bought vacation insurance.  The weather is supposed to be great Monday on...and I really need a vacation.

Hope you are well sweet friends.  I'm hoping to blog and read a lot and catch up with all of you.

Monday, August 8, 2011

When in doubt blog blog blog...it is a lifeline!

I've been busy with work...I finished 8 weeks of an incredibly difficult project with a difficult project lead...It went well...the client loved it, the difficult lead praised me...And then the project lead chewed out one of the subcontractors and she got in trouble by the client LOL!!!!  KARMA  I don't wish her ill, I'm just glad I'm not working with her anymore.  She's the type of female manager that would fixate on formatting and hold 3 hour meetings when we are trying to actually do work.  STRESSFUL.

So I've been disengaged but I realize that blogging is a critical part of my weight loss journey.  By reading, commenting; I truly learn so much and internalize such good habits/healthy thoughts.   I'm not ready to live without blogging...it is a lifeline...Thank you friends...I missed you.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

I need a shirt that says, "I'm not bulimic, the heat is just making my band unbearably tight!"

There is a definite correlation between heat and band tightness.  I'm scared to eat anything but soup or yoghurt tonight...OMG  I'm soooooooooooooooo tight but I don't want an unfill because I think I found my balanced green spot.  I was at PF Chang's for a lunch with a friend, quietly chewing on a piece of protein and then had a huge episode of projectile vomiting.  I was being good!  Those poor women in the PF Chang's restroom.  Then it happened a couple more times on a very safe band friendly foods.  A couple times it happened at work.  I really dread a colleague bringing me eating disorder pamphlets out of concern.  Girls I think I'm on liquids till this heat waves leaves the Metropolitan DC area.

This is definitely an entry for "Girlfriends Guide to the Band"...when it gets over 100 degrees, go to liquids!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Ode to the band...

Is that really me who doesn't eat fries at McDonalds anymore?
Is that really me who eats the separates the hamburger and puts the bread aside and eats the meat?
Is it really me who doesn't have to clean the plate at restaurants?
Is it really me who just took a little taste of the hot oven rolls that came with my serving a soup at a restaurant?
Is it really me in the pool with the kids with a swim suit?
Is it really me who just takes a taste of pizza on pizza nights?
Is it really me who can wear clothes that don't have an X?
Is it really me who is being pressured to buy clothes again when I walk in my favorite old stores?

Thank you band...it's been a slow but steady relationship.  I appreciate you.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Playing with my kids actively in the summer in a swim suit...NSV

Each summer we rent a beach house for a week...beach front, but I never play in the water in a swim suit.  I just wear shorts and walk around a bit after the sun goes down or early in the am.  I'm always at the house cooking or shopping or watching TV or reading novels.  In this way, fat has deprived my kids.  My boys are 8 and 10, they like to play all day!!!

But this summer I purchased  a swim suit...actually a cute tankini and bottoms (without an X) from Lands End...they fit and I feel comfortable in them...the top is actually a little big...but I felt joy in that this summer vacation, I'm going to actively participate in my kids summer.  Yes I'm going to feel the sun, the water, the sand and play for hours.  I might even buy another one in a more outlandish brighter color.

Thank you blogging friends for encouraging me, everyday...without the guidance and support from the web...I think I would have given up or gone astray.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Fitting in...Literally

Last year when I would go to my favorite shops, the sales people would never approach me.  Maybe it was my deferential and ashamed body language but it was probably that they picked up that I was too large to buy anything in their store.  At most I would pick up a gift certificate or a gift for a thinner relative or friend.  Now the sales people have started talking to me again and suggesting things I could buy...it is a great feeling.  I have a while to reach my ultimate goals but I feel like I'm getting there.

It's also nice to buy clothes without an X in it.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Dear GAP I've missed you but I'm back




Dear GAP Store,

I've missed you these past several years.  I've stopped going to your stores because I didn't fit in your cute, adorable, sporty and trendy clothes.  It made me so sad.  I love your style.  You didn't have a place for me so I've stayed out and shopped for bigger clothes that middle aged mothers or retirees in Florida wear.  The closest I've gotten to you is to buy my kids adorable clothes at Kids GAP.  I was back tonight with my GAP card, buying cute things that made me feel 27 or at least 30 again.

I've missed you so and I'm glad to be back...especially in time for your 40% sales. 

Love you GAP and I'm glad we are back together again!!!!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

By God I think the Band is Working?!

I registered a 5 lb weight loss this week.  Even with TOM and lots of stress and working around the clock.  As I said before, its stressful times like this which would usually leave me a souvenir of 5-7 lbs. Protecting my health during times of stress is an NSV for me. 

And finally for the first time in 9 months, I feel like the band is helping to curb my physical hunger.  Usually my stomach starts growling 3-4 hours after eating.  The last couple of days I noticed after skipping lunch (not intentional at all-really stressful schedule with back to back deadlines) that I didn't register hunger for close to 8-10 hours.  The band helps me not to overeat, but I never felt any increased increased satiety...even if I ate protein rich food. 

Question...how hungry are you during the day?  Has the band curbed your appetite or does it just suppress your over eating or does it do both?     

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sleeping = Weight Loss

I've slept horribly for weeks because I've been under lots of stress and I literally can't shut my mind off.  Also traveling always sets my sleeping patterns off.  But I started taking Melatonin (herbal supplement) and its done wonders.  It brings back my logic about food and life.
  • When I don't sleep ice cream sounds like a good source of calcium to me
  • When I don't sleep Doritos seem like a good source of grain
  • When I don't sleep eating carbs to stay awake seems justifiable
But when I do sleep:

  • I make better food decisions
  • Things don't bother me as easily
  • I feel less emotional
  • I deal with stress better
  • I'm kinder
  • I'm more fun
  • I LOSE WEIGHT
Thanks for your support friends.  I write that all the time but its so true...this support group is so marvelous.  There is a lot of intelligence, kindness, wisdom and beauty out there.

Sleep tonight you are worth it!!!

Dealt with Stress and Actually Lost 4 Lbs

This morning, I reviewed a new version of a document with my lead and she liked it.  Of course she did say she wished I wrote all this stuff in the first draft and was a bit patronizing and a bit catty and a bit bitchy.  But I didn't care.  I've lost 4lbs amid a stressful set of weeks, working 10-12 hours and being stressed out of my mind. If I wrote this 1 year ago it would be stessed out of my mind and 11 lbs heavier.  I would feel horrible but use food to relieve my stress.  My job is stressful so it was easy to find 80 lbs.  My career has cost me 80 lbs what a horrific price.  I'm no longer hostage to it though and I refuse to sacrifice my health to stress.  Thank you Band and Bandster friends.

In agreement with Amanda Panda...working with women managers is hard.  I've had my share of good female mentors but on the whole, issues get emotional. 

Thank you for your support...I feel like th econstant support I receive from you has prevented me from giving up.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Controlling my reactions to bad things

Part of my weight loss challenge is to control my reactions to negative things or uncontrollable things...versus suppressing or masking them with over eating.  This morning my project lead,( or actually all month), has thrown me off the pedestal I was on.   She did not like some of the work I did because she did not agree with it.  OK...I'm 47 but having authority figures question or dislike my work really effects me.  She wrote all over my documente "what", "why", "what is this".  Also she's very high school about it...she lavishes praise on my colleague who she actually fought with for the last couple months.  She doesn't give much direction...it just feels uncontrollable.  Logically I know I'm in a good place...I have a great boss/management that support me and that one project or one person's opinion doesn't matter but emotionally it effects me.

I'm tyring to drink water when I'm upset.  It's like an exercise.  It's hard this week...I've been working all weekend in the office and find it hard to sleep when things are stressful at work.  I have highs, but there are lows too...its a balancing act.

Thank you for listening and offering you non judgemental support.  Its love like this that helps me keep my butt small.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Things are working out at work

I'm at the finishing stages of my client reports...140 pages of stuff.  The client and colleagues have asked me to stay on for another phase for a year and 1/2.  That is a big relief...Being a consultant in my field is like being an actress...a lot is luck and a lot is skill.  And we are all looking for great and fun projects to show case our abilities.  If you don't do so well on projects in my field you kind of get black listed and people don't ask you to be in their shows.  The constant evaluation of my work is like being in school all the time.  When it works out though its gratifying.

Thanks for letting me talk out my stress.  This project did not lead to a bigger butt..thanks to you my virtual friends.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Under lots and lots and lots and lots and lots of pressure

Hi there...I've been working on a document from hell...I was assigned this task two months ago because of my "talent with the client adn ability" and its just not been turning out...There is an IT project and the prime contractor who we work with has not been following the rules and standards.  But we can't write that without alienating our relationship.  I want to be ethical but not alienate the business relationships we have.  I've been caught between a rock and a hard place for 6 weeks.   I've been up at the wee hours and up a couple hours later and its getting better and its getting done but its been painful and difficult and stressful.  My project lead micromanages to when she is stressed out...she has been analyzing every line and word of a 80 plus page document.  It is PAINFUL. 

But one thing I've learned in the last year is that there will always be variables that I can't control but I need to control my response.  All I can do is try my best and to deal with each thing as it comes and not to numb the stress with FOOD.  It is a string of painful projects like this that have made me obese and I will not let them get to me anymore.

How do you deal with work stress?  life stress?

Not a real post, just a vent about life.  I can't wait for this to be done. 

Sunday, June 26, 2011

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” – Confucius

That is my new mantra...

I had a fabulous and wonderful time in San Francisco visiting my parents and sister.  We had a blast going all over the city.  At 8 and 10 they are so much easier to travel with and now help me carry luggage, pack etc.  I even took a picture which is an NSV because I have less than 12 pictures of me with my children from the last 10 years.  It is crazy but I realize that I need to get used to my body image and feel at peace with it. 

Another thing I really enjoyed was pushing myself physically in SF.  We literally ran all around town since it is a "walking town".  We did use public transportation but we walked miles and miles...I like the concept of natural exercise during the day versus gym time.  I need gym time too but walking and playing with my kids is wonderful exercise too.

Thank you  for all your virtual support.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Long Way To Go Ho Hum

I was just talking to my mom (part of my thin and glamorous family) and she commended me on my losses but she told me that I need to stick with it because I have a long way to go.  I don't want people to lie to me, but I am so sensitive about my weight.  I don't think she will be content till I'm a size 6 and going to sample sales.

Hello...Digging myself out and an NSV about Stress

I've been under a TON of stress...I've been writing an 80 page document from hell for a client.  And it has been intense in that I feel a lot of responsibility and pressure.  For me, STRESS is the primary cause of my weight gain.  College finals, grad school finals, big projects, client problems....Stressful academic or work times for me always resulted in an inevitable 3-5 lb gain...Years of this made me 80 lbs overweight.

With the band, because I can't sedate my stress with food; I find myself dealing with the stress more directly versus obsessing about it.  I find myself talking more to my friends/husband/colleagues about the things that make me stressed out.

This time, and this project, even with my TOM, I lost weight.  I still have one more day to go (I'm on vacation but it's not done yet...ARRRGH).

I'm in San Fran visiting my skinny and glamorous family and they said I look healthier and thinner.  My sister told me I need to buy tighter and smaller jeans.

I love you blogger friends.  You are my therapy!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

An NSV with wonderful timing

I went to pick my son up from a pool party.  One set of parents, I had not seen for a whole year.  Our kids had  golf lessons  for 6 weeks last summer and we used to sit together and watch them.  When the kids had lessons summer, I was at my peak weight.  They did not recognize me until we talked for 10 minutes and they recognized my voice. 

Just when I think this band has not had the impact that I wanted or that losses are too slow, I get encouragement like this that makes it worth while and makes me want to jump back on a treadmill and run a mile out of joy.

Hope you are having a great weekend.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011



A special thank you to MandaPanda and Lisa-The Rest of My Life.  I was doubly nominated and am doubly honored...especially because I like both of these bloggers/weight loss sisters so much.


Rules of the Award
*Thank the person who gave you this award, and link back to them in your post.
*Tell us 10 things about yourself.
*Nominate your bloggers.
Leann
Traveling Bandita
Susan 

*Contact these bloggers, and let them know they received this award.


Here I go with things about myself:
  1. I feel that I got kids that were better than I dreamed of. I really feel like god put me and my kids together in this life. This doesn't mean that our relationship is perfect though. We have our moments. 
  2. For the first time in a long time. I love my job and I'm thankful for being able to make money doing things I love.
  3. I have a hard time with confrontation and don't do it well.
  4. I am in love with my husband. Yesterday he cleaned the house!  He is the best life partner, funny, kind, silly and very considerate.
  5. My love for my husband is not earth shaking...it's calm, peaceful and beautiful.
  6. I always feel guilty after getting mad at my kids. Evidence of this are the many toys in our basement (guilt gifts).  If you ever visit us...it looks like Toys R Us for boys downstairs.
  7. I'm satisfied and love the way the kids have turned out so far and look forward to the rest of our relationship.
  8.  I love sushi.
  9.  I'm not shy.
  10. I actually enjoy talking to small and large groups.
  11. I find the beach and bodies of water healing.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Weird Patterns of Weight Loss

My weight loss has been weird and not text book by any means.  I lost 10 lbs immediately after surgery and then I'd lose ounces/nothing and then suddenly drop 5-7 lbs.  Those several sets of weeks with ounce losses drive me crazy...I always feel that I deserve more!  But then the 5-7 lb loss would encourage me to go on. 

People have complimented my positive attitude and I have to say I need to be my own cheer leader to keep going sometimes. I feel that my journey has not been standard in anyway because I also have some issues with my thyroid (had part of it removed 12/2010) and I feel that my body chemistry is trying to stablize, and I'm in premenopause and I have a very sedentary corporate lifestyle that I'm trying to make more active.  These are not excuses; just things I have to face and address everyday...Regardless, I'm still losing weight, just in a weird way.  Before I never could lose any weight...nada...so I'm thankfulf for the band...even with the weird losses...a loss is a loss is a loss...

Thanks for listening...you are my cheerleaders too...online support has been invaluable.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Things Taste Better with the Band

I'm enjoying food for what it is...a means of sustaining body energy/health and for enjoyment.  I'm not using it as a means of soothing myself.  Ironically, the band has helped me enjoy food.

Before surgery I was scared about how much I'd deprive myself, but to be honest I never really ate to enjoy food and didn't realize this till I got the band.  I really ate food to function and to deal with stress.  And to be honest on a daily basis, I'd abuse food. Now I eat less but I'm more selective about what I eat and I savor it.  I don't eat to numb stress.  I'm dealing with stress.  Breaking the pattern of stress eating is key for me to losing and sustaining weight loss. 

Thank you band!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

NSV: Not Gaining Weight During Stress but Losing

Hi...I've been reading but not blogging much.  I have a ton to do in the next two weeks for work-two huge projects.  The client pretty much wants us to create wine from water..I'm under tons of stress but I noticed a silver lining, I'm not overeating my stress away. One thing I've been working on is breaking the cycle of overeating to soothe my stress.  It's been a horrible life pattern: finals time in school, tight work schedules or personal stress have inevitably symbolized an inevitable 5-10 lb gain of weight.  Years of several of these episodes accumulated on my body as "obesity".  You know how  somepeople wear their heart on their sleeve, I used to wear stress on my butt in the form of fat!!!  I think I can just compartmentalize the stress better now.

The band is in my stomach but it's healing my brain.  Weird but wonderful.

Have a great week.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

What is my goal? Not to diet, simply to be a habitual thin person...

I was reading a great article in real simple regarding the habits of The Habits of Thin People.  Here is a reader's digest version but you could almost sub Bandster for thin people in these habits:

  • Thin people eat bulky healthy foods
  • Thin people watch portion sizes
  • Thin people can put themselves first
  • Thin people have thin parents-its not so much the genetics vs the good eating habits that they are exposed to.
  • Thin people limit their options
  • Thin people live in colorado-hmmmmm I've been there for business and I agree...there are a lot of those thin people in CO.
  • Thin people don't sit still
  • Thin people weigh themselves
  • Thin people enjoy their food
  • Thin people practice early intervention-they stop weight gain before it gets out of control
  • Thin people do what works-they personalize good habits to their lifestyle.


“More than 90 percent of those who have mastered weight maintenance feel like they’re not dieting,” she says. “It becomes a way of life.”

The band journey is different...my goal is different from my other diet escapades.  I no longer want to diet, to deny, to deprive myself and then swing bad to old habits and start all over again.  I want to change my behavior and the way I act so I don't have to diet...I look at my 98 lb sister and I realize that she doesn't think or obsess about good eating...she has institutionalized it.  I am in training to be that person too.


I want to convert to this way of life and the band is my guide and so are you.


I'm back on the wagon, eating good food, flooding my body with water and losing weight.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Out of the Mouth of Babes

Yesterday my 8 year old son said, "MOM, I can see your waist!!  Good job!"  And he's right...before surgery I basically had a fat tube similar to the Goodyear Blimp Character.  Regularly my XL shirt would ride up and you could see my skin and I really blamed in on the cut of the shirts...Now my smaller shirts stay down and there is more definition in my waist and I don't show skin...sometimes I just see the remaining fat on my body versus realizing that I've come a long way.

I'm lucky because I have the band and I have a lot of family support...husband, 10 year old son, 8 year old son...Everyday they make this fight against obesity totally worth it.   I want to be healthy and highly functioning for them.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Prioritizing Water...and MYSELF

After eating harder proteins and prioritizing water...the scale budged a dramatic 5 lbs after 1 month of no loss.  I was humbled by the mighty power of this clear liquid:

1)  I feel more energetic
2)  I don't feel bloated although I've been drinking an ocean
3)  The scale has been moving in the right direction

When I get busy and stressed; I simply get disoriented about dieting...it doesn't come naturally...I forget the basics...To make it easier I've been drinking 1-3 glasses when I wake up and when 3-5 after I get back from work.  And I try to get a bottle in here and there.  Usually when I'm in the office I can be sipping all day.  Lately I've been going to the client in downtown DC and its not easy because I don't have an office space there.  I'm just going from meeting to meeting to meeting to meeting...I'm going to keep water in my car for sipping during commuting time.

Drinking water, as simple as it is, is a great way to honor my body and myself.

Be good to yourselves this week.

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lessons about Fullness, Throwing Up

Even though I'm 7 months into this journey there are times where I feel very naive and stupid and unskilled at working the band!

I didn't lose anything this month, but I kept throwing up...I thought for sure I'd register a 15-20 lb loss this month. When I went in for my fill, I didn't lose/gain anything.  I was the same.  I talked to my nurse practitioner who was very kind and systematic about helping me resolve my issues:

1)  VOMITING-I know I vomited because my eating has not been regular...I've been busy busy busy and very preoccupied at work and stressed out with all of my kids activities after work.  So I've eaten quickly several times and I think the stress also constricts me.  So I've thrown up a lot.  She encouraged me to keep small protein snacks with me at all times.  I think just an awareness of my behavior helps...

 2)  HUNGER-Because I've had a hard time keeping things down, I've been eating a lot of yogurt.  She said that yogurt travels right through the band and does not incite restriction...as a result I've been hungry.  She recommended going back to hard proteins chicken, turkey, ham;

3)  Weighing Myself-I'm going back to weighing myself everyday...I need accountability

4)  Buyers Remorse?  NO-I told my nurse that I've occasionally had buyers remorse with the band when I see the gastric bypass patients slim down so fast.  She told me that while the gastric bypass is fast...it allows poor eating habits and that the band actually helps you develop better eating habits and initiate long term life changes.  (YEAH SOME PRO BAND SUPPORT) Also I know a lot of gastric patients regain or have complications.  I really like the reversersability and non invasive nature of the band.  I know this will work, I just need to keep the faith.

5) Blogging-She told me to blog faithfully and keep up with the networking because she said support is uber critical for bandsters...I totally agree and am very thankful and appreciative of the network I've found.

Here's to a health weight loss next month for my June 9 appt.

Thank you dear friends for listening.


Rachel

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Dying and Fighting to Live

Yesterday, I went to our neighbor's funeral.  He struggled with lung cancer for 5 years...after he found out he had the disease, he took every possible measure to prolong his life...he has a wife and daughter who is a now a jr. in college.  When he first got the disease, he was determined to see her out of high school and saw her till her jr. year of college and actually waited to die until after her finals, even though he was in great pain.  Living that long with the disease is amazing.

At the funeral last night, I really was humbled by the fact that even though he had a horrible disease, he really fought to live and took every measure to prolong his life.  I want to look obesity in the eye and treat it the same way.   It was a great and humbling lesson.  Life is precious...fight for it...Don't let obesity get in the way of living and thriving.  Health is such a gift!!!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Happy Mother's Day!!!

Hi Friends, I've been away because I've been mothering...multiple science fair, helping the kids prep for exams, driving to them activities...it's all good...its what I always wanted.  But I have to admit, when I get busy my weight and my needs always shift to the bottom rung.  I haven't lost or gained weight.  I'm one of those who really needs to "focus" for there to be any loss.  Today I'm shifting the focus back on my health so that I can be there to keep on mothering in the long run.

Happy Day friends.

Rachel

Saturday, April 23, 2011

It's My Birthday Tomorrow and I Feel Sad...

I'm going to be 47 years old tomorrow.  I'm unsure why but I feel sad, but these might be some of the factors:

1)  Not Near Goal At ALL-I went clothes shopping and I realize I'm not thin yet and have a ways to go....I had a dream going into surgery 9/2010 that I'd be thin and normal by my birthday.  I didn't reach that benchmark...I still have a long way to go.
2)  Ugly Business Trip Flashbacks-During the business trip there were mirrors all over my suite...it was depressing to see every imperfection, in really clear detail 360 degrees!  Again reaffirming that I have a long way to go.
3)  Ungrateful Kids-I took my two kids to Washington DC to see the sites today...they wanted to stay home and watch video games and cartoons...it was the last place they wanted to be.  I love my kids, I love being with them and there were great moments today but there were a lot of moments of..."get me back to my Nintendo and air conditioned house".
4)  Lethargic Husband-All my husband did was lay on the couch all day.
5)  The Neighbors-I want to sell my house but my next door neighbors had their house burn down a year ago and they have been haggling with insurance for the last 18 months.  They aren't the most ethical people and I think they are trying to commit insurance fraud...our house is really nice but it is hard to sell a house that sits next to a burnt mini mansion.  I want to move and sell our house while the buyer's market is still great.
6)  My Husband Again-I'm pretty sure my husband didn't prepare anything for my birthday...I'm almost 47 but still a baby about this...I grew up in a family of girls where birthdays were a huge deal.
7)  Helicopter Moms-My sons are in a special advanced program at their elementary school...a lot of the moms are very involved in the school activities, policies.  One of the moms is trying to get my son's 4th grade teacher reprimanded and fired because she feels that the teacher doesn't like her son.  A lot of well educated moms, with former high profile careers.  A lot of people only have one or two children and had them late in life.  Now they are channelling all their energies into their kids.  I'm proud of my kids for being in this program and working hard; but some of the moms in this program are nuts.  I'll be glad when summer rolls around.

Please excuse the "down" post...I'm TOM and I'm still tired from my Philadelphia business trip.

I know Easter is tomorrow and it is a holiday of spiritual renewal and blessings...I'm hoping that when I wake up tomorrow...I feel it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Sweet Spot...6.5 cc I think-What is yours?

This last fill has been hard but great...Great in that I think I've reached my sweet spot, hard in that I've been throwing up a lot.  Now I understand why they give you such conservative fills each time because it gives you time to adjust to modify your eating habits.  To be honest for my last fills I've felt very little except when I'd try to eat bread or overeat a lot.  Now I feel restriction at about 3/4 to 1 cup of food.  And I feel a jolt if I eat too fast or drink to fast.  I noticed a couple things about managing the band:

1) Stretching-Stretching your pouch with sneaky overeating is easy...
2)  Sliders-When I'm struggling with a fill, I get hungry and try to fill myself up with sliders...
3)  Getting Back into Shape-after If I felt as though I've stretched my pouch a couple meals of liquids helps me get my restriction back.
4)  Learning Curve-learning how to eat properly has been a learning curve for me...it's been hard for me to break bad habits.

WHEN DID YOU GET YOUR SWEET SPOT?

To my wonderful support group...have a wonderful Easter.  It's weird I haven't met any of you but I feel a general sense of appreciation and affection for you!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Watching the Thin

I was on a business trip in Philadelphia with my boss...about 5' 1" and 100 lbs.  And we met with our primary client 5'2" and about 100 lbs also.  I ate with them regularly and realize that they really deserve their figures and that they eat like bandsters or more accurately the band helps us eat like thin people:

1)  They ate slowly
2)  They ate protein
3)  They ate small portions
4)  They tasted delicious foods but they never over ate
5)  They drink lots of water but sip
6)  They do not drink water during meals

Mirror Mirror on the Wall

I went on a business trip to Philadelphia and the suite had mirrors all around...Literally the bathroom was all mirrors except for the ceiling.  I feel like I've come so far but the brutal reality of seeing every aspect of my body made me feel sad and "still fat"...and a bit frustrated.  (I was also pre TOM).  I was depressed thinking about me 15 years ago versus me today...Then....I realized....

1)  I've been getting smaller every month since my surgery 9/2011
2)  I have changed my eating habits
3)  I exercise
4)  And if I keep this up for the long run....



I HAVE HOPE!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Found my Green Spot...my Pukey Green Spot

Since my last fill I've been feeling restricted which is great but food has been coming up.  I really think I need to focus on chewing, chewing, chewing.  I'm trying hard to find that balance and leave the pukey green zone.

My kids are on spring break...we have been having a great time.  They are 10 and 8 and hilarious and fun.  However, I have a business trip to Philly and my husband will cover for me Wednesday.  Things are crazy at work so I've been working a bit from home too.  My boss promises that my next vacation will not interrupted...It's OK, I was going to have a staycation with the kids anyways since we are going to be traveling a lot in the summer and fall so I'll be able to save my leave for that.

Hope you are doing well...and fighting for your health!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My Ultimate Goal? Not to be Defined by my fat-A Head Game

Being obese is exhausting and time consuming:

1)  You spend time taking care of the health morbidities caused by obesity
2)  You feel bad about the way you look to society/others
3)  It's hard to find clothes that fit.  And finding clothes that fit and make you feel OK takes a lot of time. 
4)  You tend to obsess about food/diet all the time.

I'm threw with that!!!  With this band, I'm really trying to change my behavior:

1) Eat balanced, nutritious foods on a regular basis...in a pattern and rthym that I can sustain. 
2)  Being able to ingest 1000-1200 kcals of good food by naturally choosing good foods
3)  Chewing carefully out of habit, not gulping food.
4)  Drinking water throughout the day habitually versus force feeding/drinking
5)  Being active naturally versus forcing myself to move.

When I look at the band as a behavior modification tool it becomes so much easier for me.  Some days are better than others but if I can sustain this for the long term I know I'll be OK.  By no means is it easy breaking these horrible habits that I've built into my life for years...but the band has helped so much.

Thanks for listening.

Friday, April 8, 2011

It's a Numbers Game: Who Counts Calories? I do...

After my band surgery,  I had an immediate weight loss and then it stabilized and tapered...and I asked why...I was eating a lot more healthfully and much less than before the band.  I kept with the 3 cups of high quality food, less sugar.  But as I started tracking on myfitnesspal.com and started analyzing my habits, I realize that my body needs less kcals that the prescribed 1200kcals recommended.  To lose weight I need to sustain a net kcal intake of about 1000kcal to lose 1-2 lbs per week...more if I'm exercising.  I'm not trying to be eating disorderish or controversial...The band has just caused me to take a more personalized look at my body, my diet and my bodies requirements.  One body is not the same as the next.  Each body and lifestyle is so unique.  For instance:

1)  Job-my job and lifestyle is not strenuous, most of the time I'm on the phone, reading documents, writing documents or I'm sitting in meetings.  This is different from a stay at home mom who is constantly on the go, running outside errands...or a postman who walks a route of 15 miles during the day.

2)  Thyroid-I had a majority of it removed in December.  I'm stabilizing my levels through medication.  I feel as though my body is adjusting.

3)  Age-I'm almost 47...as you get older, you need less calories for a variety of reasons.
 
4)  Muscle Mass- I think I've lost a lot of since having babies...I'm trying to gain more muscle via strength training.

When I talk about 1000kcal, I'm talking about protein rich and healthy foods.

Thanks for listening!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Where is Your Port?

I went in for a fill two weeks ago and the new NP could not find my port...it turns out that it was right by my belly button.  I'm a relatively new bandster...but my surgeon came in and explained to her that it's easier to find and easier to manipulate as weight comes off and is less lightly to bulge out.  So my scarring pattern is different from others that I've seen shared on the web...I have a small incision below my breast and two on the sides of my tummy...these 3 small incisions were really small and are almost invisible now 7 months later.  I do have a 1 inch incision near my belly button though.  The NP had never seen that before...usually the port is much higher.

Just curious.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Losing My Fat Inhibitions

There is something about being fat that is really inhibiting.  But there is something about weight loss that is very liberating...No I'm not dancing on top of bars in a bikini top and daisy dukes (LOL)...but I just feel more free socially and professionally and I felt that two girls dancing on top of a bar reflects my new found freedom:

-Accepting Social Invitations-I've got great friends and family who always ask me and my family to do things...there are several times where I declined because I didn't feel good about how I looked or felt that I didn't have anything appropriate to wear or felt horrible about how I was looking.  It was me...my friends and family love me and just want to see me.  I know this in my heart and I'm so grateful.

-Feeling Good About Getting Dressed-When at my heaviest I was really limited in my wardrobe and at phases I just gave up about my appearance and being a woman.  If anything I just dressed to be clean and presentable.  I lost all vanity and it really stuck out compared to my very fashion forward friends/family.

-Professionally-It was really hard for me to verbalize my ideas and pitch my ideas the same way I do now.  Being direct was being difficult too.  I'm in engineering and management, I think some of my feelings of inhibition are self generated but there is weight discrimination too, especially the sales and management component.  But I think a combination of the two really kept me back or that I had to flip over backwards to compensate for the bad initial impression I might be giving of the fat consultant.

Now I know this sounds so vain and self absorbed but but the beauty of weight loss is that it has made me feel less self conscious and less pre occupied about myself...I'm not wondering if my Armani, Designer clad counterparts are judging my stretch pants and elasticized skirts and old woman outifts.  I'm not wondering if my family is worried or talking about my excessive weight gain behind my back.  I'm not wondering if the client is looking at the signs of my unhealthiness versus just interacting with me and listening to my ideas.  LOSING WEIGHT HAS MADE ME very present in the present moment and is allowing me to enjoy those moments.  I can enjoy being with friends, family, and professional engagements.  I don't worry before hand about what I'm going to wear and which outfit makes me look the less fat.  I just go and I'm there and I'm in the moment...there is great beauty in that.  I still have a ways to go but I feel that the more I lose the easier my life becomes...is so many ways.

Thanks for listening.

____________________

Update:  By no means am I thin or at my perfect BMI...I'm just making progress with my weight and my mind.  I felt trapped and unable to lose any type of weight for a long time...so I'm really glad that things are working out with the band.  I really feel like it was a great decision.

Friday, April 1, 2011

The Band and My Career

Missed blogging and reading-that is why I'm blogging 3 times today-I'm trying to reconnect to my blog family community.


After the craziness of the last couple of months/weeks, I'm getting recognition for my work and was offered a transfer/promotion of sorts to be a Principal in another consulting group within our firm...flattering...I'm not sure that I want the added pressure right now since my kids are young but still it was nice to be recognized and asked by someone I respected.  


Regardless, its still a great NSV because one of the reasons I got the band was for my career.  I perceived the weight as a handicap in my field where personal presentation is so critical.  I make a lot of presentations/pitch ideas.  I felt really stifled by my weight and my inability to control my escalating weight.   I don't feel that way anymore and that is a great NSV.  I never felt unsuccessful but I felt really inhibited about my weight and  that the way I felt about myself was really undermining my confidence and showing.  I am so thankful that the band because I feel that my true skills and talents can emerge more directly without being masked by my appearance.


Thanks for listening.

A Great and Motivating and Illuminating Blog Post

Sarah at Weighing In has a unique view...she is a WLS patient and she works in a WLS office.  She sees both sides of the coin and it is very illuminating and refreshing.


She had a great blog on Bariatric Mind Games  Bariatric Mind Games    This article really shook me up...and made me think of how proactive and committed I was as a WLS patient...Truly I was waiting for things to fix themselves, feared failure etc...But I saw myself in a mirror when I read her post.  Here is an excerpt:


A lot of the patients we saw today were failing. I was mad at some of them.  I mean, the excuses, the ignorance! I'm not perfect, but I know when I'm not eating healthy or working out as hard as I can...some patients just have an excuse for everything or they're either just really ignorant...and they're just in shock over how they could have possibly gained weight (when they are holding a full sugar Gatorade in their hand and talking about eating cheese dip every night).  Part of me thinks, how can you go through something as serious as bariatric surgery and still seem to have no idea what good food choices are (or are not)?!!  I want to grab them and shake them...at the same time I know how it feels to get stuck in bad choices and feel like a failure....so I also want to hug them. It's hard! and I can't spend as much time as I'd really like to spend with each one, encouraging them and trying to give them tips and help....not to toot my own horn, but I'm actually pretty smart about nutrition, even though I don't always follow my own advice!!


I've been this patient and it just shook me to the core and really helped me to critically and honestly look at my choices everyday.  Sometimes I would just be easy on myself because I ate a lot better after WLS than I did before.  And I'm sure I was one of these patients where the staff would wonder what the heck I was really doing at home...


But to achieve the kind of losses I want, I needed to make a re commitment of sorts.  After reading this, my mind clicked into gear the journey became a bit easier and more successful.  This is not a soap box blog, just a personal reflection about coming clean with myself 



Excellent Blog on Recent Bad Band Press! Read it Don't Get Discouraged!!!

Check out Sarah's blog at Weighing In.  She works at a WLS Office and she is a successful bandster herself.  The recent bad band press is skewed...her blog puts some perspective on it.  Strangely enough, I wasn't too swayed by the recent bad press because the band has really started to work well for me.  I was an initial slow loser but I also had a thyroid removal two months after my band and was adjusting to thyroid meds, while adjusting to my band.  I finally feel like I'm getting the hang of the band and the new lifestyle.

 I've lost 6 lbs in the last week...but more importantly I'm feeling much healthier.  I'm so thankful.  And at the same time I'm trying to be good about following the "rules" and not abusing my band.

I'm so thankful for the BAND...it is the discipline I needed. 

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Fighting Stress...Fighting Fat-The Band is Healing my Mind

One thing I realize is that succeeding at weight loss means addressing the things that made me gain weight...for me frankly it was  S-T-R-E-S-S!!!!  Thanks to the band, I can't eat away my stress...thanks to the painful consequences (girls you know what I'm talking about: wild projectile vomitting, abdominal pain etc).  I ask myself how I could have gained 60 lbs in the last 13 years and it is easy...I really ate my stress away.  Lately I'm just facing things more...now that is a beautiful thing.  It is messy and more difficult but its been a great thing and a healthy thing.

Facing Conflict-I shared that I had a colleague who told me in an open forum that he wished we could rewrite our client deliverables in "Good English".  I just told him directly that the clients loved the work we gave them and there was no need.  I took the time to explain myself and the things I did.  The old me would eat away the stress and then just explode one day when the stress and anger got too bad.  Really I was like an overweight tea pot.

Facing Hysteria-My project lead has been having contentious fights with a co worker.  They have gone for each others throats...The horrible thing is they come to me for advice and stopped talking directly to each other and through me.  I just told both that they need to talk directly to each other.   I don't know why but I would never have said that pre band.  If emotions get too uncomfortable I just avoid them.

Obsessing About the Kids-Everything related to the kids made me worry.  I married late, had kids late, didn't get pregnant right away.  The kids are obviously very precious to me and everything related to them: their friends, their diets, their school, their activities...I was very pre occupied with it.  I think it is a control issue and I think as they get older that is not necessarily healthy.  They are actually doing very well in school and are well liked etc.  But I spent a lot of sleepless nights worrying about them.  And I think that added to my stress.  I'm really not sure where this comes from but since getting the band, I worry less.
I think this one goes to my perfectionism...kids are people and can't be perfect and you can't create a perfect life for them.

I'm very curious how you handle the things which made you eat.

The band helps and BLOGGING to you folks helps a lot too.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Ouch...that hurt.

I just got off a conference call with work colleagues.  We just finished a project that got major kudos...I was subbing for a guy who was having prostate surgery. Jim is a loud, opinionated man in his 50s.   And he returned this week and my boss decided to keep me on the project since the client really liked my work.
So now I'm on the team with Jim, the guy I was brought into sub for.
We started talking about our work and Jim said, he was looking at our deliverables (which the client loved) and said that he wished we could rewrite some of the stuff in plain, good English.  I'm Asian, the rest of the team is not.  I wrote most the deliverables.  Every time I'd chime in he'd over power me with loud, aggressive language.  After two hours, I'm exhausted.  This week he also chimed in about looking down upon his 30 year old daughter who ballooned after having kids and looks like a cow.  This makes me paranoid because now I feel that he's looking down on my for my weight and my inability to write "good english".  He's everything you really don't want to see in a man: bigoted, loud, opinionated, not a good listener. BTW, I have two advanced degrees from pretty reputable schools where I learned how to write "good english".   On the whole most people are nice and very intelligent and reasonable.  Its just the occassional crazy colleague/client that drives me over the edge.

My first impulse when things like this happen is to go out for a great lunch.  But I've been negotiating myself off the over eating ledge.  I'm trying to think things out and talk them out and blog them out.  Really its incidents like this which used to trigger my over eating because I'd soothe my stress with food.

How do you talk yourself out of old over eating triggers?

Have a good weekend.  For the record, I didn't over eat and don't plan too.  I've come too far.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Thinking Thin and Fighting Fat Thoughts: Fighting the Urge to Binge and Sabotage

After getting weighed at the MD and realizing that I'm losing steadily...I was thrilled and then I was thinking of the fantastic lunch I should eat of if I should just splurge on really good ice cream.  Isn't that crazy?  Isn't it weird?  Or is it just human nature.  I truly have a good girl bad girl thing going here in terms of my weight management.

Although my body is getting fitter and smaller.  I need to make my mind think like a thin fit person.

Don't have much to blog but I wanted to say hi~!  Stick with it!!!  Fight obesity for your health!!!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Diary of a Slow Loser: If I can do it, you can do it!!!!!!

I went to my surgeon's office today and registered a loss of about 10 lbs at this month's appt.  My office is so sweet, they know I've struggled with my thyroid, slow losses and when they saw the loss this month, I got a lot of sweet cheering, love and support (just like the love blog land provides!!!)

If you are discouraged, just keep with it, don't give up and jump back on the saddle when ever you fall off.  These are things that help me:

-Registering my exercise and food intake on myfitnesspal.com  It keeps me real, it keeps me honest.
-Reading/Blogging regularly...support is critical.  Also people really offer context on practical subjects like:  what the "green spot" really means, what is an overfill...
-Weights!!!  I have forgotten all about the value of weights (I use weight machines and do repetitions)...it creates lean muscle and calories seem to burn off quicker...
-Listening to your band as you eat S.....L....O....W.....L....Y
-Not wearing stretch pants, loose clothes.  I like to wear slightly restrictive clothing...its like a reminder to stay in control with my eating.
-Scheduling exercise...for instance when my boys take swimming lessons, I lift weights.  When they do Tae Kwon Do, I walk around the block.

DON'T EVER GIVE UP...Take your health back!!!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Growing Health Self Esteem

Lately, I've been very careful about cooking, eating and exercising.  I'm treating my body with the love and care I always should have.  I'm taking vitamins, going to the doctor, going to the dentist regularly, just prioritizing my health.

I do feel sad about the poor health self esteem I had for the last 10 years where my health was the last priority, which had a low rank after work, my little kids, and my commitment to others.   I've cancelled so many MD and dentists appts because things came up. 

I had the hardest time sleeping for the last 8 years and it turned out I had a tumor on my thyroid; but I never really pushed to find out what was causing my sleep issues versus listening to my OBGYN or General Practioners who said it was probably obesity or pre menopause symptoms.  I'd also be embarrassed to go for check ups to my GP and OB GYN because I'd hear the "fat" lecture.  That was so naive and dumb!

But after the band, my health self esteem grew.  I got my mojo back.

Please friends, prioritize your health, got to check ups, demand answers to your health issues from the right specialists.   You are totally worth it!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Is it really me? No, its the new healthier me! Life style changes for the better

On Friday, I took the boys to the gym and weight lifted while I waited for them to finish their swim classes (the old me would have read my nook or sat on the bleachers)


I drank a bottle of water after lifting (the old me would drink a diet soda or two)

I was waiting with my back turned and my son said, "Mom, your work is paying off.  You look nice! I didn't recognize from the back" (in first grade, my 6 year old son said he was a little embarrassed that I was a fat mom-I live in a neighborhood filled with fit/beautiful/gorgeous women)

It's the little things that are bringing me better health...and the band was a wonderful catalyst.

I've been busy but it feels good to get back to the blogger world...I see a lot of fine accomplisments and progress and they are inspiring to me.  Thanks for blogging and commenting.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Magical Lap Band and Magical Lap Band Community!

I had two intense days after my 3 day conference putting together the mega complex deliverables for the client...as I mentioned I had to step in because the junior consultant wasn't able to complete the job.  I was able to walk in, take over the document, stay up all night, get the job done and present the next day and it was well received by my boss and client.  The difference before the band is that I wouldn't have put myself together in a crisis without taking it out on my eating and my health...and I would have retained the anger and frustration for days.  Its a series of situations like this throughout my career, that just made me pack on the pounds.  To deal with intense stress, I would eat and eat.  And usually it would start a cycle of a week or two of really bad eating/binging.  I would say I'm a pretty healthy eater and was before; but it was these stress eating binges that made me gain/retain/gain weight.  Breaking these types of cycles has been so important for me and truly "magical".

This time and when preparing for the 3 day conference last week...I was able to "feel" the stress...process the situation and just move on without food.  I realize that I'm actually processing and dealing with stress.  That is very magical for me.  And I'm grateful to the whole WLS experience...I'm especially grateful for my virtual friends.  I've read your blogs, learned new coping and dietary tips.  I've really grown from reading about your journeys...Your support and kind words have also been very healing too...they have given me a lot of perspective.  And I consider the support very magical and instrumental in my progress...Thank you...


PS
As I sit here I'm wearing size 16 pants I haven't worn in 5 years.  There is hope for me...

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Times Like This....I want to eat and eat and eat and eat!!!

I've been up all night trying to write a client document!!!  I had a 26 year old guy assigned to write the document and capture information, as I was giving the presentation; but he was too busy flirting with another 24 year old female consultant in the room.   He sent me his notes and it was obvious that his mind wandered, a lot.  I'd love to ream him out and put him in a dungeon to finish this document but he has no clue and it has to get done.  Even if I did an aggressive mentorship or coaching session, there is no way I could turn around this document by Thursdsay unless I did the core myself.

Even after working 20 years in my field, there are times when things get unmanageable and out of control and boundaries are side swiped...its times like this when I want to eat.  I hate this out of control feeling!!!  I've been drinking coffee all night...

After I turn it in at 8 am...it's time to detox...

In a pefect world where there are servants, no stress and no pressure; I think dieting would be so much easier.  I think the challenge of weight loss is maintaining healthy habits a majority of the time; even when times are rough.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Sharing the Wealth of Health

You know...Since we have been together/married (1997); I've always nagged encouraged my husband to have healthier health habits: stop smoking, getting checkups, taking vitamins and eating a healthier diet etc.  But my suggestions have fallen on deaf ears.  For one thing, he is a slender man who has had the gift of fast metabolism all his life.  I think when you are skinny you take your health for granted because you don't have apparent mobilities and you look pretty healthy.  But on another level, I really wasn't qualified to dispense advise because I was getting unhealthier each year with my incremental weight gain.  But since I had surgery, I've found us having conversations about triglycerides, sugar levels, blood pressure.  The other week he went to the MD for a check up for the first time in years.  And then we had a talk about foods that reduce bad cholesterol levels.  I think since losing weight and demonstrating that I've changed my life style, I have more legitimacy.   I'm really thankful for that.  My husband and children are more precious to me than anything...if I can change our family system to make it more healthy; this is the greatest gift of my weight loss.

This last weekend was the first weekend that people "noticed" my weight loss.  WLS has been a gift to me, but every lb has been hard won.  Aside from the first week, I never lost 3-5 lbs per week.  WLS really helps me not overeat but each day, I have to walk away from my old habits, exercise, restrain myself.  None of my weight loss has been effortless but even though its been hard, I'm glad I'm progressing and winning my fight over obesity.  

Have a  great week.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

WLS Etiquette 101: What to do if you think your overweight friend has lost weight...

Tonight I went out with a friend I haven't seen in 6 months...the last time she saw me was a week before surgery.  We sat down to dinner and started talking and as we finished the entree...she asked me sheepishly..."Rachel...have you been losing weight lately?"  I laughed...and told her I was actually wondering if she noticed since she is a nurse...she said she could tell as I walked toward her in the parking lot that I had lost a lot of weight but she didn't want to embarrass me, as if to imply that I had a weight problem or issue...I laughed and laughed.  My weight has been a HUGE pink elephant in the room in the last year...where I was so obviously overweight and unhealthy.. Similarly,  I had lunch with a friend yesterday and she also shyly asked if I had been losing weight...And it was the same logic...she didn't want to embarrass me by implying that I had a problem I needed to address.  I told both friends that I didn't mind them noticing and actually appreciate people noticing.I told her the proper etiquette if you suspect weight loss it to be as blatant as possible and that the recipient would 99.9% of the time appreciate it.

I walked to the mailbox today and my blunt but loving neighbor said, "RACHEL, LOSING WEIGHT????  LOOOOOOKING GREAT~!"  That is the kind of etiquette I can live with.

So according to me and probably Emily Post...if your overweight friend looks thinner...TELL THEM!!!!  you will make their day and justify the value of their struggles...

Explaining my Anonymity and Thanking You for Your Support



I never post pics of myself and my NSVs or talk specifics because my core clients are large government clients and a lot of my clients actually have insurance plans that pay for WLS.   And a lot of the competing management consulting firms are also pay for WLS.  As a result there are probably a lot of WLS patients amongst my client and competitor bases and I don't want to lose my anonymity with them.  I have a position where I do a lot of public briefings with many people.  I'm a pretty open person but I don't want to be in a situation where I'm selling work or briefing officials a room of officials who have seen my picture and read about my vulnerable inadequacies or who have seen public announcements about my weight.  

But even with my lack of cool NSV pictures, belly scar shots; you guys still read and support me, your anonymous friend...I'm so thankful...Maybe I'll feel differently as I go through this journey...But I really do appreciate you guys.

A Realization That Losing Weight is Healing my Mind and Body

Hello Friends... I've been out of commission because my kids had an intense flu and at the same time I was preparing and then gave a 3 day presentation to our client.  I'm glad the week is over and I'm glad that the kids are well and that the presentation was successful.

Losing weight has been helping me perceive and view things in a healthier way and I'm so glad.


Work: 
During the presentation, I realized WLS has really helped me out of a career slump.  My performance evaluations have always been good...I'm a perfectionist and I value the fact that I work hard.  I've even received financial bonuses and professional kudos for my work but in my mind the weight always brought me down.  I have been so unhappy during junctures of my career and I know it was the albatross of my weight.  Until recently, I used to really feel the need to overcompensate for my weight.  I'd have to be the funny management consultant, the one who went extremely above and beyond for my client and my bosses, and I'd work killer hours; but these things did not make me happy at all and I think they were in fact handicapping and ironically unnecessary to achieve any type of success.  After WLS, I feel comfortable in my skin and can actually feel normal/professional in front of my peers and clients.  I actually can dress up and feel good again versus weird and awkward because I can't find nice things to wear.  I don't feel any pressure to be super funny and kind and accommodating to over compensate for the shame I felt about being obese.  I feel more confident about speaking out and not agreeing with everyone.  The excess weight was sapping my confidence.  But I can say that this last presentation was one of the most successful and I'm doing work I really love. 



Life: No More Hiding
I've been blessed with really great friends/family in my life; but I've been making so many excuses in recent years to avoid special occasions and get togethers when I know people will be there that might notice my weight gain or who knew me well during skinnier days.  It sounds so paranoid and illogical.  I truly think my friends and family don't care or perceive things the way that I do.  But a lot of my friends/family are really thin, very health and fashion conscious.   But losing some weight has relieved that self consciousness and its brought back the joy of being with people. 

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Coming up for Air & Hey I tried on a 16 and it fit!


Literally, I'm coming up for air.  I have two sick little boys with the flu and I'm mentally preparing myself for a 3 day conference next week (March 1-3) where I'll be talking all day for 8 hours.  I'm going to see my WLS doctor on March 9 and mentally it is important for me to be firmly in onederland to show him and myself my level of commitment.  Does this make sense?  I often feel like I'm going to take a final or getting graded when I see my surgeon.  I'm on a modified pre op diet.  Modified because I ate like 10 Doritos in a moment of madness and stress.  In the famous words of Susan, FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION and I think I may need to tattoo this onto my body with a Sharpee.

I occasionally try on smaller clothes.  I tried on a pair an old pair of size 16 shorts(dreaming of summer/spring) this am and they fit!!!

Hope you have a great week.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Sometimes I Feel Like I have a Million Miles to Go...



Yesterday one of the admins(who is obese) at work was talking to me and said, "People like us really need to stay away from cake".  "DEFLATING BALLOON SOUND HERE"...I wanted to tell her, "Don't you notice the weight I've lost?  I don't deserve to be in the obese club anymore. Don't lump/categorize me with you!"  Then my born again thin colleague (He used to be 250 lbs but lost 70 lbs 15 years ago and is a health nut now)....kept going on and on and on about how I should do strength training and moms who don't take care of themselves aren't doing anyone favors...."DEFLATING BALLOON SOUND HERE"

 Truth is I've lost weight but I have a long way to go.  After feeling disappointed today, I decided that I'm going to kick it up a notch with the pouch test and exercise more.  My born again thin colleague is right...its just his delivery is really annoying. 

Thanks for listening

Monday, February 21, 2011

What made you get the band?

When I've had weak moments lately, I've had to remind myself what led me to get the band and why its important for me to make this succeed and as Susan says,  "FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION":

1)  My 9 year old son started reading diet books to "help" me.  Even he realized it was getting bad and he was worried.  Of all things, stressing him out was a real wake up call for me.

2)  Regularly outgrowing my work clothes and having progressively limited selections.  I used to wear designer only!  How did I stoop to such a level where I cared so little about myself and how I looked?

3)  A co worker running into me at a meeting and having a shocked look on her face and saying, "What happened, I can barely recognize you?!"  The last time she had seen me was 40 lbs before.  She's a nice person but straight forward and she was geniuinely shocked.

4)  A friend taking me aside because of "true concern" for my health

5)  Having a panic attack and feeling like I was having a heart attack one night.

The band has helped me turn things around:

1)  I'm down almost 30 lbs

2)  Yesterday my son told me that he thinks I look much healthier. 

3)  I'm fitting into smaller clothes each week

4)  I went out to dinner with girl friends who I haven't seen in 3 months and one of the first remarks was, "You look so much healthier!"...As I walked out, two friends hugged me and said they were so happy and glad that I looked and felt better.  I could tell that their feelings were of heart felt relief for me.

5) Not huffing and puffing and not feeling bloated

Because the band has turned things around, I need to continue honoring it for the rest of this life long journey.  I have no regrets...I'm so glad I had WLS.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Flashbacks of the Crazy Way I Used to Eat and the Realization that I'm not an NFL Football Player


It's pizza night at our house every Friday.  It's a cooking break for me and a food that my little boys think of as divine.  I was thinking that I already ate my moderately sized dinner and I'm not going to have pizza and that I rarely eat pizza now. I've come a long way.  Even 6 months ago, Pizza Fridays often meant 5-6 slices washed down with two Diet Cokes.   Weekend often involved Thai, Italian, Chinese or Gourmet Meals with my husband (Mr. High Metabolism) sharing 2 entrees, appetizers and dessert.   I once remember going out to lunch with colleagues and ordering shrimp linguine, having a salad, sharing a calamari appetizer and then sharing a plate of fried Italian donuts with a ganache type sauce.  My eating was out of control..almost an unconscious impulse.  Now the thought of those eating habits really grosses me out.  Thank you Lap Band.

Do you have any crazy eating flashbacks?

PS I do eat all the aforementioned foods but I don't allow myself the NFL Football player portions of the past.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Work Stress Made Me FAT: Breaking Cycles

When I think about the things that made me overweight, I have a simple answer.  WORK STRESS  MADE ME FAT.  Since my first job 20+ years ago, I always put a lot of pressure on myself.  With the desire to be perfect comes a tremendous amount of self generated pressure.   When clients are angry or there are difficult co workers or mountains of work on tight deadlines; I've always resorted to medicating myself at work and home with FOOD.  And as I've gone up the learning curve and gotten better at my job, the responsibilities and work load have increased...and with that so did my weight!  If you did a bar chart on my work stress levels, you could probably correlate increases in clothes size and body mass and bigger butt to horrible client jobs, crazy co worker conflicts. 

With the band, I can't do that anymore; I have to face these issues or PB all day!  Facing things has been challenging but I have!  The band has actually helped my mind.  Since I can't eat, I have to deal:  I have to talk things out more, negotiate more or just blow off stress and manage it better in my mind.  It's been really liberating.  I have to say I've been a lot more vocal at work...Not in a crazy Postal Worker Way; but I've put my foot down more about things I will and will not do: I'm much better at boundaries.  I don't think anyone ever inhibited me from this but myself.  But work stress and eating is something I am working on everyday.

What are the things that trigger you to eat and how do you deal with them post band?

I have to spend the day with a co worker who likes to take credit for my work and is extremely patronizing...I can't eat so hopefully I won't get physically violent.   Just joking...LOL

I haven't been blogging much because I've been super busy at work but I actually lost weight versus gained...For me its as good as not gaining weight at Christmas!

Hope you are well.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Just a Little More to GO and Some Commentary on Fat Police!

I'm getting closer to Wonderland(One - Der Land).  I'll change my ticker officially after the MD weighs me 3/9.  I just want to say that up front so that I can be accountable to my great peer group out in blog land.



My weight loss journey has been a private, sometimes slow but steady one.  I don't advertise my journey outside of this blog, except with my best friend and my husband who is like my best friend.  But as I've started to lose weight, people feel compelled to police me a bit.  A fellow consultant and work who I work closely with lost 70 lbs 10 years ago and has kept it off.  We often work all day on presentations.  Today we went to lunch and he asked me how much salad dressing I put on my dressing and how much.  And then he showed me his salad and how he chose the non fat alternative....And then he was asking me about my weight loss and how my exercise is going.  He's been in maintenance mode for 10 years and he is very obsessed with not gaining weight.  After he lost weight,  he felt that the world opened for him.  You know how some people are born again Christians?  He's a born again thin person.  Then my sister noticed my weight loss and said, "Do you know the value of sustained exercise, increasing your heart rate and truly burning calories?"  And then she proceeded to talk about the values of exercise on weight loss for the next hour.  PLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESE  I've been dieting all my life.  I've found something that works...please leave me alone, unless you want to compliment my shrinking body LOL!  I know it all comes from good intentions...but boy can it get irritating.

I've been wearing Large LL Bean Shorts, not XL.  And I can sit and exercise in them!!!

Posting is such therapy...I was a way a couple of days working etc.  Posting and reading really keeps the momentum up for me.

Thank you my lovely friends.  I appreciate you.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I've Fallen but Getting Up Again...

I've been busy at work...I'm on a new client engagement, new team, trying to read documents to understand the project and trying to act intelligent and figure out all the fun politics.  I had a couple late nights...stress like this make me fall off my beautiful pristine myfitnesspal.com and exercise everyday wagon.  One of my struggles has always been managing my eating during stressful times; but its getting a lot better...the sins are smaller (Utz Chips, Sugar Wafers vs. Full Course Chinese Dinner, Full Course Thai Dinner) and the climbing up back on the wagon is quicker and easier.  In the past, I would be good on diets, fall off and then just never bother to get up until something slapped me into consciousness.

My husband asked me what I wanted to do for Valentine's Day...in the past all celebrations automatically included, without analysis, something fantastic to eat...This year I told him I just want some time with him and the kids and some TLC.  It just struck me that every wonderful occassion doesn't have to include fabulous or decadent food-that is a milestone for me.

Hope everyone has a nice weekend.