My Banded Time

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Fat Attack...Not a Pretty Story

I haven't told my work or even many people in my life about my WLS and I'm so glad I didn't.    My achilles heel is the weight I've struggled with since I was 8 years the last 10 years it has gotten out of control.  Thanks to the Lap Band and my recent thyroid removal, I feel like I'm addressing the issue...

Now about the Fat Attack.  Today I was talking to my sister...she is a good sister, an attorney, a mom...I was disagreeing with her on something and suddenly it came out, an attack to my jungular..."No one's perfect, like look at you...YOU NEED TO LOSE at least 85 lbs and are by no means perfect!!!!".  She knew weight is the thing that makes me feel the most vulnerable and ashamed and that her comment would shut me down.  Being a trial attorney, the execution was excellent and sucker punched me.  Ironically, she is not thin...she has gained 40 lbs since getting married but she has positive body dysmorphia; she feels much thinner than she is.  OK but the moral of the story is that this sucker punch validated my reasons for having surgery so that I could address my weight issues and get rid of this Achilles Heel once and for all.  I want to feel healthy and strong; but from a human level I don't want to be vulnerable to these attacks.  I know I'm a grown up and have a great life and these things should not get to me, but they do.

She hasn't seen me since my surgery since she lives across the country so I look forward to protecting myself from these attacks in the future from her and society in general because to be honest, there is a lot of fat discrimination, even from kind people.  People who don't know you and people who know you hold prejudices in their minds and misjudge and misunderstand you.  I want to give myself the fairest shot there is.

Boo Hoo

A Blogger Award and A Product Review (Heart Rate Monitor)

Next up, I received my very first blog award from Christina, one of my favorite blogging sisters.  To be honest I was feeling left out so I was happy to see Christina's post!

 So, to accept this award I'm supposed to list 5 guilty pleasures and then pass it on to 3 more fabulous and sweet bloggers! 

1.  Back, Neck, Full Body Massages-I went to a weekend resort once and the primary activity was meditating, soaking in your private hot tub and  signing up/receiving a series of massages.  I feel that this is what heaven for women must be like.  

2.  Pedicures-I love the whole process of soaking, getting my toenails trimmed, callouses filed, reading celebrity magazines.

3.  Kentucky Fried Chicken-Its delicious, decadent and so bad for you.  I only allow myself KFC if I'm really under the weather. And it always makes me feel better.
4.  Really Divine Gourmet Cupcakes-There is a wonderful gourmet bakery that makes divine cupcakes with soft/moist delicious cake and light whipped frostings.  They don't have juvenile flavors that our kids would has delicious mocha, dark chocolates, almond, tiramisu.. Since becoming serious about weight loss I make a point of driving paths away from the store.

5.  Beautiful Shoes and Accessories-I love beautiful shoes and accessories.  I guess since gaining weight, these were indulgences that were not contingent upon my weight.  Now that the scale is going down, I am starting to look at beautiful clothes again.  .

Alison  A British Blogger and one of my mentors when I was starting out
Susan  A new and determined new bandster who has already lost 25 lbs
Ronnie  A new blogger who is making the successful journey downward!


Product Review!~

 I purchased the NB Heart Rate Monitor.  It literally does everything and the kitchen sink.  It is good for someone like me who is starting to get active again.  A lot of times I truly thought I was burning calories because I was so busy.  But true healthy exercise requires pushing yourself to move and sustaining activity which increases your heart rate.  This has been a great accountability tool.  I purchased mine at COSTCO for about $50.

  • On-Demand heart rate reading
  • No chest strap needed
  • Buttonless HR touch bezel
  • ECG accurate heart rate monitor
  • % of maximum heart rate
  • Auto or custom set HR target zone
  • Audio alarm if HR reading is out of your target zone
  • 100 hour chronograph
  • 100 hour countdown timer
  • Calories burned
  • Time/day/date
  • 12 or 24 hour format
  • 2 time zones
  • 1 daily alarm
  • EL backlight
  • 50m water resistant
  • 2 year warranty

Monday, January 17, 2011

4 Things You Don't Know About Me

In honor of  Lisa, I am responding her invitation to share "Seven Things".  My list is just a 4 out of 7 list however.  Wanted to keep it short and sweet:

1)  Weird Connection to Gwyneth Paltrow:  When I was going to college, I was a nanny.  The 9 year old boy I used to nanny went to the same private school as Gwyneth and had a huge crush on her and I used to drive them around in car pool.  (BTW she was a beautiful 9 year old and even the school moms would comment that she was striking and luminscent even then).  He would obsess about her then his mom brutally told him that Gwyneth was way out of his league and that he needed to move on.  It made him cry buckets but he's happily married now.

2)  Whirlwind Courtship:  When I turned 33, I resolved to live my life fully and to forget about getting married.  As the cliche goes, once I stopped trying, I met my husband.  I told my friends that I was going to live my life and have a ball and that I would be the fun, single aunt who traveled around the world.  Once I announced this at my MBA graduation, I met my husband the next week.  We were engaged two weeks later and married 5 months later.   I'm not impetuous or spontaneous at all so this was out of character.  We just knew!  He met all the things on my "list" of qualities for a great man.  From the moment we met, we just clicked and could talk about anything for hours and hours and hours...We had a lot in common.  And my mom always prayed that I would find someone who loved me just the way I was and always saw my inner beauty.  After 13 years and two children; I can say he always has loved me unconditionally regardless of size, shape.  For all the single ladies out there...don't settle.  Hang out for the best.  Never relinquish your standards.

3)  Typed Medical Charts of the Stars:  When I was working on my masters, I had a part time job typing medical consults at Cedars Sinai Medical Center for the gastroenterology department.  I'm sworn to confidentiality, but let me tell you that stars have the same unglamorous GI issues as the rest of the world...regardless if they are sex symbols or blockbuster stars. 

4) I Learned that Being a Model in Beverly Hills is Not Easy:  This is something I learned when I lived in West LA.  My 125 lb friend asked me to attend a Overeaters Anonymous meeting with her to support her.  The focus of this OA group was overeaters who had anorexia/bulimia.  I thought that all overeaters were obese but I guess they have different sub groups.  The mean weight for this meeting was 110 lbs and at least 5'6".  They were mostly models or waitresses striving to hit in big in show business.  Modeling does weird things to your mind, regarding body distortion.  Nothing gives you more perspective than being in a room with thin and beautiful women who hate themselves and felt fat, even though they can shop at sample sales and fit into size 0 and 2.  It's all relative.  But this perspective helps me stay away from feeling of self hatred about my weight.

Have a great week.

As always, thank you for your support.

Friday, January 14, 2011

It's All Good: Loose granny panties, benign tumors, normal hormone levels, and weight loss

Granny Panties:  Noticed an uncomfortable feeling of sliding granny panties while at work.  Prior to WLS, my matronly granny panties were embarrassingly tight.  But recently, as the panties kept falling down at work, I realized that the granny panties are no longer tight/snug.  They were falling down because there wasn't enough tummy fat to keep them in place.

Benign Tumors:  Got the pathology reports from my thyroid surgery...the tumors were benign.  Thyroid cancer is very treatable but I feel lucky to be able to skip treatment and just deal with benign tumors.

Normal Hormone Levels:  Two weeks post op, my blood work reflects that I have normal thyroid hormone levels.  I'm feeling better everyday.

Weight Loss:  I'm losing weight.  Will change my tracker once it stabilizes a bit and stops fluctuating.

Irregularity GONE!:  I really think the flax seed has helped...its made me consistently smooth and regular.  I just put a TB in my morning cup of cereal.  

Hope you are well.  Thanks for all your support.  Checking my blog is like going to support group everyday.  I've said it before, but I think after people go through the internal struggle of obesity, they usually emerge as really kind, sensitive and insightful people.  I have found so much support online, I appreciate you!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A Product Review: For those of you who would like to be more regular and reduce your BP.

I don't pitch products, but I'd like to pass along a product to the sisterhood that I think is particularly good.   Often times the protein rich diet suggested for the band induces a little irregularity.  While there are good laxatives out there, I prefer going as natural as possible.  Recently, I started introducing flax seed meal to my diet and it has helped!!!  I mix a 1TB into some cold water in the am. Another easy way to eat is it stir it in yoghurt or non fat pudding.  (Literally it tastes like mild ground up almonds) Other people I know sprinkle it in a variety of foods and actually cook with it.   This is the product I use.  You can buy it on or at Trader Joes:

My parents live in San Francisco and are total health fanatics.  Eat organic, exercise aggressively everyday, have really low body fat...I know...sometimes I wondered if I was adopted or how I gained weight in this environment...But my parents have both been using Flaxseed for the past decade and they are in great shape. I started taking to counteract some of the irregularity I was experiencing. 

Here are its documented benefits:

Essential Nutrients: Minerals and nutrients are found in abundance in flaxseed. A good source of magnesium, flaxseed in meal curbs the risks associated with low magnesium, which plays a major role in ailments like migraine, heart attack and asthma. In addition to this, magnesium helps bring high blood pressure levels, which results in minimizing the chances of heart attacks. Furthermore, vitamin b6 is obtained from a meal having flaxseed. Vitamin b6 helps in proper functioning of amino acids and boosts metabolism.

Fiber: One of the major flaxseed meal benefits is the fact that it has a good fiber content. Any form of flaxseed, either added into a meal or grounded into flour, is good for the purpose. Gastrointestinal problems are very well dealt with this fiber content, thus helping an individual maintain his or her gastrointestinal health. The risks of coronary heart disease are also cut down as fiber content in flaxseed contributes in reducing cholesterol. Blood sugar is also stabilized as a result of the flaxseed fiber content. So a flaxseed meal is just perfect for those with diabetes or a tendency of high blood sugar level.

Antioxidant Properties and Phytochemicals: Health benefits of flaxseed meal are crucial and significant, especially in the case of women in the form of phytochemicals, specifically antioxidants. Flaxseed has a substance called lignans, which are transformed in the gut to a substance akin to hormones. This also facilitates normal ovulation in women of childbearing age. Restoration of hormonal balance in peri-menopausal women is brought about by flaxseed, leading to prevention of irregular menopausal cycles, anxiety, breast cysts and so on. To top it all, a meal high in flaxseed can help protect against breast cancer as it has a significant impact on estrogen. For more on flax seed oil benefits for women have a look at flaxseed oil benefits for women.

Loads of Omega-3 Fatty Acids: If there was one thing people and nutrition experts are ranting vociferously about in flaxseed, it is its content of omega-3 essential fatty acids. This is what makes flaxseed meal a fabulous choice for your health. Omega-3 fatty acids are believed to be linked to the reduction of inflammation. This helps in dealing better with ailments like osteoporosis, asthma and migraines. Those who have tendencies of heart attack, also benefit from these fatty acids as they reduce the formation of blood clots. Flaxseed meal also promotes flexible cell membranes, which is good for diabetic people. Another great part about flaxseed is that flaxseed oil can be substituted for fish oil.

Have a great week!!!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Is there a Doctor in the House? A good one? & A NSV!

Let me say that there are some great doctors out there, this is not a rant about them.  Its a rant about the bad ones:

1)  9/2010-I see an endocrinologist because they found a mass on my thyroid.  She comes in and tells me that she has bad news that it might be cancerous but it might not and leaves me to go to another patient without much of an explanation.  To hear the word cancer is never easy, and without explanation or medical context its even scarier.  I talked to my WLS group and the administrator called them to get more information.  It was actually my WLS administrator that explained to me what I had and what the courses of treatment were and the endocrinologist called me back and followed up with me after her call.

2) Last 3 Years-I've been talking to my General Practioner about my inability to lose weight.  She is a stick.  She said it was menopause, my inactivity.  She lectured me that weight loss is straight forward eat less, burn more.   She is right, but she saw me for 3 years and never noticed the growths on my neck?  The RN and MD's said it was very prominent and that these tumors having been growing for several years.  She said to a trained eye it is kind of obvious that I have something growing on my neck.  I changed primary care physicians.

3) 12/29/2010-had my thryoid removed, was sent home with the wrong post op directions. 

4) 1/4/2011-went to my surgeon and he was sick and out of the office and they never called me to tell me he would not be in.  Asked me if I really needed to talk to him...Uhhh yes, I just had surgery last week, doesn't he need to check out the scar, give post op direction and clear me for additional activity?  His Physician Assistant came in with a trainee and told me I can start putting vitamin E on it or scar minimizer and to put lots of sun screen on the scar when I go out to minimize scarring.  What?  The scar is crusted with blood and my neck is swollen...The stitches are still really swollen.  I asked her about post op directions...They told me to stop taking my blood pressure medicine and to start taking synthroid...The PA said that this part of treatment is not really their area of expertise.   She said she'd call me with the biopsy results (most likely its not cancer) but she hasn't followed up since Monday.  It would be nice to get a call.

5)  Called my endo office about taking snythroid.  They said, sure, I could come in if I want???  What?  It's optional?  I no longer have a thyroid.  I need to regluate my system with medication.  The thyroid is not an optional organ like an appendix.  I have an MBA, not an MD degree.  I have no idea of how to do that.  What are the next steps?  I'm going to see my endo on Monday.

To be fair my WLS Surgeon and Office are great.  They were the one's that discovered the tumors on my thyroid.  They actually helped me navigate through the endocrinology/pathology information even though its not their job.  I think that is professionalism.

You know what I'm learning?  You have to really advocate for your health and you need to educate yourself.

I just talked to the company nurse and got my BP checked.  She told me that now that my thyroid was out and I'm on medicine, it will be much easier to lose weight.  I told her I already lost 20 lbs in the last 3 months and her mouth dropped open.  She said it should have been impossible with my broken thyroid.  That information just made me feel so empowered like I can do this weight loss thing.
Thanks for listening.

Monday, January 3, 2011

What are the Proper Rules?????

I've finally made it to the 20 lb mark but I want to be more successful.  Our WLS Office has a dietary staff and the basic rules communicated to us were:

1)  No drinking 30 minutes before eating solids
2)  No drinking 30 minutes after eating solids
3) Drink 8 glasses of water a day
4) Protein first
5) 60 grams of protein a day
6) Try to eat no more than 3/4-1 cup of food per sitting...three meals a day.  Don't worry about calories.
7) Minimize pasta, bread

My weight loss has been slow which is probably due to my thyroid issues (thyroid removed 12/29); but I know I could be more proactive on my side and I must take responsibility.   I know many of you have been extremely successful and I would like to illicit feedback from the virtual sisterhood by asking:

1)  How much water do you drink?
2)  How much do you exercise?
3)  How much protein do you intake?  Is it proportionate to your weight?  How do they calculate how much protein you should ingest?
4)  How many calories do you ingest a day?
5)  What rules have made you successful???


Sunday, January 2, 2011

Lost 20 and Some Change~!

I'm down 20 solid lbs.  Its been 3 months but I'm solidly there and I'm so glad.  I feel like I have just enough restriction and I feel that I have the hang of this.

At times I've felt frustrated and as though I was losing too slowly and things haven't changed; but they have:

     -I know longer binge eat...I can't.  I haven't eaten more than 1 slice of pizza at a the past I used to eat 4-5 pieces.

     -I eat much smaller portions and can't comprehend eating the man sized meals I used to normally eat in the past.

     -I eat much healthier food

     -My heart doesn't pound like I'm going to have a cardiac episode.  I had two panic attacks last year where I thought something was happening to me because I was that out of shape.  I never want to go there again.

     -My BP has gone down to 118-120/70.

     -My face isn't swollen

     -My WLS pre op brought to light some thyroid issues and the removal of my thyroid.

     -I've gone down a clothing size 20 to 18

Things have definitely changed for the better and I'm so glad.

Thanks friends for supporting me...I've gleaned so much from your advice and support.

Happy Happy New Year.