How I'm Doing So Far

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Plus size clothing

Stumbled upon this interesting New York Times Magazine story on plus size clothing and thought i'd share

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

I got a blogger award :)

Rules, the rules for the award are as follows:
1. Thank the person giving the award
2. Share 7 things about yourself.
3. Nominate 15 newly discovered blogs.
4. Let your nominees know about the award.

Ok, here goes.

1. Thanks Grace for bestowing this award on me. I've been so inspired following your blog

2. Hmmmm...... Let's see....
1. I have lived in Shaftesbury England (where I was born), Freeport Bahamas, Nassau Bahamas, Boca Raton Florida, Huntingdon Pennsylvania, Puebla Mexico, London England. Oh, and Atlanta Georgia for a month!

2. Like the pussycat, I went to London to meet the Queen. Seriously. When I was there doing my master's quite a few years ago, I lived at this wonderful place called the London Goodenough Trust - provided reasonably priced housing for graduate students from Commonwealth countries. Queen Elizabeth is the Trust's patron and she came for a big celebration and I was in one of the groups who got to meet her and chat for a bit.

3. I am deathly afraid of frogs. Like stoooopid scared of them. And my mother thinks it's amusing to buy me frog stuff - one year she gave me a Christmas gift with a tag that said 'sweet dreams' - it was a nightshirt covered with frogs! Think after I get this weight thing in check I might go back to the psychotherapist who did my evaluation to try and deal with frog phobia.

4. I hate running - the whole fat chick ass moving in a different direction at a different tempo thing throws me off. that and the fact that at 260lbs it hurts the ankles, knees, shins, hips and lungs way too much. But i am determined to run a 5k.

5. I've lived in The Bahamas since I was 5, but learned to SCUBA dive while in college in central PA. Our open water dive part of our certification test was done in Lake Raystown on the first weekend in November. I saw snow flurries as I went down. When we had to clear our masks, I got so cold I forgot to breathe. Never went SCUBA diving again!

6. I am a journalist by trade but I hate writing. So many of my colleagues write poetry and plays and short stories just for fun. I don't get it. If I'm not being paid, my fingers don't move. Except when it comes to this blog, that is :)

7. i'm stuck here so i'm going to break the rules and just go with six.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Some photos for your entertainment

Not in the writing mood today so thought I'd post some horrendous pics that are on Facebook.... these pics are part of the motivation. the one in the black sundress was at my highest weight. EVER. Ugh....  But I realise writing all these things in this blog and putting pics like this up here will be particularly important later on down the line... like when I'm 180-something and getting discouraged or having a fat day :)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

I'm an excellent candidate

I had my one and only appointment with the lapband programme psychotherapist this evening. He was really nice and we went through the weird written tests to determine depression, anxiety and stress levels and then talked through lots of other questions about relationship with food, weight history, expectations, compliance levels etc.

at the end of it all he told me he'll be submitting his report to the surgeon next week some time but said he believes i'm an excellent candidate for lapband surgery and doesn't feel like he needs to see me again to work through any potential minefields.

Yipppeeeeee.... another step closer

on another note -- this is what we're dealing with here in the bahamas tonight and tomorrow.....

the winds aren't really gusting yet and it seems the bulk of the rain is behind it..... don't expect it to be a major problem, but i am the online editor for a local newspaper and am the afternoon news person on our radio stations so at times like these, it's balls to the wall baby.... trying now to keep my eyes open so i can get the midnight update from the Met Office and write a new story to throw up on the website....

and what really sucks is i have a friend here for a conference which ended today. her flight is supposed to be leaving here at 7:15am tomorrow to Fort Lauderdale. Somehow I doubt she's going anywhere, but there's NO WAY TO CHECK at this time so we have to trudge (weather permitting) out to the airport tomorrow at 5am just in case.

On a really positive note... I hopped on my scale TONIGHT and it said 138.2!! Closing in on 25lbs down since starting the 12 week programme. the goal is to lose 10% body weight before you go into surgery. That's 26lbs for me and it's only halfway through the programme.

But I liked carbs.....

Since we now have a rough idea of when surgery will be (mid to late September), Dr Patti did some serious tweaking to my eating plan.

Breakfast every other day is a drink made of this highly condensed fruit and veggie powder. You just mix a scoop in with water. It tastes sort of like an earthy just slightly sweet herbal tea.... not awful, but takes a bit of getting used to. I also get a piece of fruit and one of these super high protein bars.... had the chocolate macadamia nut one this morning, but not a huge fan of dark chocolate so not much enjoyment in it.... On alternate days I do 4oz protein, fruit and a drink made of this fibre powder..... not looking forward to that one!

Lunch is 4oz protein (no red meat or cheese), veggies and 1/2 cup of my limited selection of carbs -- cooked beans, lentils, carrots, sweet peas, pumpkin, cassava or yams..... Good LORD

Before I exercice in the afternoon I need to eat a piece of fruit and during or after exercise I have to mix a packet of To Go energy powder into my water to help with recovery.

Dinner is 4 oz protein (again, no red meat or cheese) and veggies... no carbs.

Crazy part is, after 2 weeks of this, she eliminates all carbs.. and i think 2-4 weeks after that we move on to a primarily liquids diet for a month..... at the end of all this i'm hoping the band won't have all that much to do!

Good news is bowels seem to have settled into they new (more acceptable) routine!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

I'm a nutter!

This journey is turning out to be quite an emotional one.

Had a nutritionist follow up this morning and in the week since she last weighed me, I've lost 4lbs. Fantastic, you say. So why in the heck did I sit there crying about how I'm so frustrated that it's so much harder to lose it than it is to gain it.

I hate to hear well-intended trainers and docs and others say 'you didn't put it on overnight so don't expect to lost it overnight'. Um... I beg to differ. You wanna see someone pack on 10lbs in a weekend, you're looking at her. And I really don't have to venture that far off track to accomplish said goal.

We talked through it and I really am thrilled about the 22.5lbs I've now lost in 6 weeks of my pre-pre surgery programme. Really. it's fantastic and i got the pity party (complete with tears) out of my system this morning.

My initial (and god knows hopefully my only) consultation with the psychologist is tomorrow afternoon.... this should be interesting!!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Smooth Move......

..... at least I hope so. Everyone send positive vibes that my bowels stop being such slow learners and that this Smooth Move tea does the trick.

For three days now I've had an overabundance of fibre per nutritionist's instructions. problem is, i can feel things building up, but the bowels haven't really kicked into gear. Holy bloated and stuffed batman!

So I spoke to Dr Patti when I was at my afternoon torture training session about it and she went into her nutrition shop and came out with a box of Traditional Medicinals Smooth Move herbal stimulant laxative.

Am just finishing up the first mug of it and it's not bad. quite sweet actually so no need to add in sugar.

I'm supposed to have another mug tomorrow night before bed and give her a call on Monday to let her know my progress. Ugh!

I also told her and Tamaz (my trainer) that we need to kick into abs overdrive. I'm determined to do everything I can to prevent the need for a tummy tuck when i've lost all my weight. Dr D thinks after examining me yesterday that i may need one. Fingers crossed I can tone enough to avoid it.

Was telling mom all about the process as he outlined it and she said 'well, you'll have to move in here for a bit after surery.' was HOPING she'd say that My mom is THE BEST when you're sick nurse ever. She's already planning on going to the nutritionist to work on some issues and plans to do it before my surgery so she can get a better understanding of what i'll need.... trust me... she'll start whipping up homemade broths and soups in advance prep. love her!

ok..... positive vibes to my bowels lovely people.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

I have a date.... well kinda....

Met with the surgeon for the first time this afternoon. He's really impressed with my work so far on the nutrition and fitness programme - down 19.5lbs in about 4 weeks according to his office scales. i'll take that!

I have an appointment with him again at the end of August and that's when he'll have all the information he needs to send to the insurance company and that's when we start to 'badger the hell out of them' - his works, not mine.

We haven't set an exact surgery date yet, but he said we're looking at mid September.

I went armed with a list of questions and he answered all of them to satisfaction. Yes he will relocate the port if it becomes too noticeable at goal. 2.5 weeks recovery time. hospital overnight is kinda optional. he uses the 10cc band. first fill 4-6 weeks after surgery depending on weight loss. most patients so far go about 3 month between fills!. 8 patients so far, only one he considers a failure - the only man.... he isn't doing his part.

he took a look at my tummy and said there's a chance a tummy tuck will be necessary and he does those. he leaves the bat wings to the plastic surgeon.

found out today that i'm the first lapband patient they've sent to Dr Patti and I was telling him how wonderful she and her team are.

Oh. I have the appt with the psychologist next friday. the week after that i'll have all the tests done to make sure i can handle surgery.

i suppose next week when i meet with Dr Patti she'll start cutting back a bit on portion size and implementing a day a week of liquids to prep me for surgery.

Dr D (surgeon) says I should be aiming for 160-165 (which is where i'd guessed my goal would be) and so that's about 80lbs from today. hoping i can knock off at least 10 more before surgery. i think if i keep following dr patti's plan and getting my exercise in that in 2-2 1/2 months i should be able to do it.

now it's starting to feel real!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The fibre motherlode

So..... just got back from another followup with my nutritionist. not thrilled that their scales showed me at 144 which is just over a 2lb loss in 2 weeks.... not thrilled because this morning i was showing 140lbs on my home scale which isn't that off theirs.

but then i consoled myself with the fact that last time i weighed in there it was in the morning. today was at 6pm after lots of water and 2 meals. i easily fluctuate up to 4lbs in a day.

which leads me to my subject in my title. Fibre. That's this week's task - to increase my fibre intake. So that I can poop daily. Before I started the nutrition programme, I'd say I'd go every 4-5 days.... was shocked when the nutritionist told me I should be going daily!?!?! I've never done that!!! Anyway, the last two weeks I had to track my bowel movements (noted with a BM in my food journal) and it's been roughly every other day, but one stretch of 4 days. hence the need for fibre!

i was under the impression that the veggies i was eating were high in fibre. not so much. so now she wants me to start incorporating high fibre cereal into my diet about 3-4 times a week. and i need to start eating more beans.

once i was done with that appointment i headed straight to the grocery store and the cereals aisle. I read the sides of so many boxes.... and then i hit the motherlode - Kashi Vive Probiotic Digestive Wellness Cereal.
170 calories; 12 grams fibre; 4 grams protein in A CUP AND A HALF!

Best of all. I just had a handful and it really tastes great. toasted graham and vanilla flavour. Yummo.

Also found a few other high fibre goodies. tonight it will be a cup of Heinz vegetarian baked beans with 2 slices of turkey bacon – 10g fibre and 16g protein. Oh and a salad to finish it up. I've been told I MUST increase my veggie intake. so much to keep track of!!!

As I said in an earlier post I meet with the surgeon tomorrow so the nutritionist wants to see me again in a week so we can start tweaking my programme to get ready for surgery. this will entail cutting back on my already small portions and working in some liquids only days. aye aye aye!

Oh.. and I forgot to post this -- the Happy Birthday Bahamas Cupcakes - Forgot to take a pic of the inside, but the cake itself was a swirl of these colours too.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Appointment with the Surgeon

I called the patient advocate for the lapband programme today because she had told me that after my 4th week working with the nutritionist and personal training team she'd make the appointment with the psychologist and then the doc who does all the tests to make sure i'm healthy enough to go through with surgery... and THEN I'd finally meet the surgeon.

Well when I called she said she'd slot me in for an appt at 5 on Thursday. I asked who that was with and she said with Doc Diggiss. Cool! I'm eager to talk with him, ask him lots of questions and get an idea of when he might schedule me for surgery.

Had another torture training session this evening. it was really good, though i feel somehow i need to let her know she can push me a bit harder. though maybe i don't need to feel like a cripple when i get done with an hour long session!

tomorrow after work i have a follow up appt with the nutritionist so essentially this week has been given over to the lapband programme :)

I'm building a house (will post pics at some point) and have my condo on the market. the really sluggish market where no one's buying.. yeah, that one. haven't had anyone view it in a few months and starting to get a bit worried. but today my realtor called to ask if they could show it tomorrow afternoon. Absolutely! so please keep fingers crossed that i'll soon be homeless (house not going to be complete until end of year at earliest!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Happy Birthday Bahamas

Here in The Bahamas we're celebrating 37 years of independence (from Britain) today. Monday is a public holiday since it fell on a Saturday. Yay!

Been doing quite well with eating right and exercising. Have now had 2 sessions with personal trainers - all part of my pre-band programme. They really are fun to work with. they push me hard, but i know it's all good and at the end I feel so alive.

One of the few friends i've told about my band plan is turning out to be a tremendous support. she wants to lose a few pounds herself so is more than ready and willing to come walking with me or do some sort of healthy food option.

Last night we went out to my construction site - i'm building a house - and walked around the gated community. i commented as we were walking that when i move out there (possibly end of this year, if not, early next year) i'll have no excuse for not exercising. it's quiet since not a lot of homes have been built and safe because it's closed to public traffic.

after that we called in for sushi take out and ordered two 'clean' rolls. nothing fried, no sauces. just fish, rice and seaweed. YUM! I'm really hoping my band will let me tackle sushi from time to time because i so love it.

this morning my mother and i did the grocery adventure. i took her out to a wholesale type place i'd been to a few times. got lots of healthy foods.

i had a great food related nsv too. i bought a pack of fruit pastilles -

sweet gummy candies for those not familiar with them. haven't seen them in ages and so decided i could treat myself. when i got home, i had my lunch and then opened the pack. i had three of them. and then put the pack down. i was good with three. may not seem like much, but as i did this i realised that in the past i'd have bought 2 packs at least and scarfed them all down until i felt sick. maybe i am changing the way i handle food. one fruit pastille at a time.

am baking bahamian flag coloured cupcakes to take to a friend's tonight. will post a pic when they're done.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Working Out and Birthday Cake

Cindylew - you're such a great cheerleader! thanks for the continuing support
 Jenny  - you're so right about not beating myself up over food. I think it was just frustration that i clearly am not in control. but then, that's why i'm getting the band.

So yesterday I had my first personal training session. Me. the trainer. the gym. The guy I worked with yesterday, Terrell (sp?) is also a trained physiotherapist too, which is great. I really and truly feel like i'm in great hands with this nutrition and fitness team.

The workout was good. I felt alive afterwards. Haven't worked out like that in YEARS. Today I'm a bit sore, but i followed his instructions to drink LOTS of water last night and again today and to stretch, stretch, stretch.

From my training session i had to dash home, shower and get dressed to get to my mom's for a surprise bday get together i'd organised. it was great fun and the cake was a smashing success. An old school mate of mine and her hubby have opened a bakery and they make amazing cake creations. i ordered their orchid cake for mom. the orchid is a live plant that she got to keep.

my niece Isabel declared 'i never saw a flower cake before' and then was on deck to help blow out the candles.
Apparently it tasted as good as it looked. i wouldn't know. i was in such a mad dash to get there that i grabbed my grilled fish and half baked potato to heat up there. and while everyone else was devouring cake and ice cream and all the nibbly things i took along, i ate my dinner. there was no resentment that i 'couldn't' have the cake and ice cream because i truly didn't want it. i know i could have had a little bit if i wanted it. that felt good.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Confessional and High Fives

Well I've been doing really well following my eating plan. until yesterday. 4th of July beach party (we're not American but any excuse for a party will do). The friend who planned it is the only know in that crew who knows about my band plan and so suggested a 'bring your own meat' bbq. I took my 4oz piece of grouper (two actually, so I'd have one grilled to just heat up for dinner tonight. I completely avoided all the chips and dips and other nibbly things. When my fish was cooked I also had a 1/4 cup of the corn and kidney bean salad and about a half cup of the beets (people brought sides to share. i took my 4th of july cupcakes.) And a 1/4 cup of this conch stuffing someone had made. OMG it was good. I ate my food and headed to the ocean to get away from the smorgasbord.
Why when I got back upstairs a few hours later did i eat another half cup or so of the stuffing and an italian sausage??!?! I really wasn't hungry, but I wanted it.
I admitted my failings to Dr Patti when I went for my fitness evaluation today. She was so awesome. Told me that that's what any normal person would do - 'hmmm... that tasted really good.... i think i'll have some more.' And commended me on not diving into the chips and dips and cupcakes and other junk that was on offer. in fact she said the fact that i'm so much more aware of what i'm eating vs what i would have eaten before i started this is proof that i'm changing my mindset! Here i'd been beating myself up about it.

Fitness evaluation was this morning and i surprised myself with some aspects of it and was disgraced with others. my cardio test was really good. managed 13 minutes of the 15 minute test - the same thing they do for the EKG. In truth i probably could have soldiered on for the final 2 minutes.
I have great lower body strength, but can't yet stretch my quads unaided.
I have terrific flexibility when it comes to touching my toes. (told Dr Patti I could reach a heck of a lot further if i didn't have a belly in the way!)
I have terrible core strength - managed some curl ups, but nothing to write home about
I have no upper body strength - 3 measly pushups.

I think one of the reasons i so enjoy working with Dr Patti is her high fives. Not only does she say 'great job' but she gives high fives freely and they are awesome. never realised how awesome they are!

she took my measurements today..... i didn't write them down so can't share, but they were pretty horrific. can't wait till those number start shifting downwards!

oh... and on the scale front. i lost .75lbs this week. had a terrible week with TOM and started exercising this past week so I know both of those things can impact weight loss. she told me not to even think about the number on the scale and just continue to focus on doing what i need to do. so that's what i'm gonna do!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

I'll Never Win that Hot Dog Eating Contest...

Was watching a segment this morning on the Today show about the annual 4th of July Nathan's hotdog eating contest and thought.... well, can cross that off my list of things i might want to do in life. this should be my last 4th of july without a band helping to control the amount of food i stuff into my mouth. sooooo..... i'll be lucky to be able to eat a single dog in an hour (minus the bun, of course).... certainly not prize winning, but i'll be winning in my own way!

Btw - happy 4th of July to all the Americans out there. Just finished making a batch of cupcakes for a beach picnic - will post a pic later

Saturday, July 3, 2010

What have you lost?

Just started reading Lap Band Gal's blog and LOVED this list. Gives an item for each weight level you've lost -- ie i'm officially down 13lbs and so have lost a bald eagle!

New Toys

1st things first. not only did a friend and i spend our friday evening going for a nice 8pm 45 min power walk last night, but i once again got up and went to the pool to do laps.

Looking back over my food journal for the past almost 3 weeks, i realised i've been doing a lot of sauteeing/frying. not a lot of oil - I use a bit of olive oil or spray stuff but i have always wanted and for some reason never got, a ridged grill pan.

today i picked up this one. I was torn between this and a large square cast iron one, but in the end went with the Ra_cha_el_R_ay one.

then i really went for broke (literally) and invested in another kitchen gadget that i've had my eye on for quite some time. A countertop baker/broiler/convection/rotisserie oven. My mom has one and I love using it. I hate having to turn on my big oven just to cook a baked potato or bake an egg or broil a piece of fish. not to mention the amount of heat that generates in my condo - this is the bahamas in summertime after all.

i think both these purchases will help in my ongoing efforts to cook healthier. haven't decided, but thinking i might just go whole hog and rotisserie a cornish game hen tonight. that with an ear of corn and some salad sounds perfect.

i can cook and eat while taking a break from the kitchen sort out and cleanup that's going on all afternoon. ugh!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Splish Splash

I did it! I got my lazy butt out of bed at 5:45 this morning and went to the yacht club where I proceeded to swim for about 25 minutes. not earth shattering, but felt good. Arms were sore. good lord i'm out of shape. but i did it. my bf gets up at 5 to go running every morning (ugh) so i had him call me when he got in at 5:40 to make sure i was up and urge me out of bed.

gonna go again tomorrow morning me thinks.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

my dad is the bomb!

not only has my amazing father told me that i need not worry about whether or not insurance is going to cover this surgery..... today he called to let me know that i now have a temporary membership for the yacht club.
i'd asked him last week if he thought i could use his pass to go swimming laps in their long pool early in the morning, but he didn't want to break the rules like that so he's arranged for me to have my own temp membership!
both my nutritionist and foot doc say swimming would be excellent.
so tomorrow morning, guess who's getting out of bed early to do laps..... i can't have him do his part and me not do mine.
already walked 3x for @40 minutes this week. can't go tonight because am going to the big independence shindig at the U.S. Ambassador's residence.

An ode to TOM

TOM is of the devil.

the end.