My Banded Time

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 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 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  It keeps me real, it keeps me honest.
-Reading/Blogging 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) 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 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...

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'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.

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.