How I'm Doing So Far

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lost and Gained... and Onederland

What I've lost:

That's since June 15 when i started this journey.

Since being banded September 22 I've lost 20.2lbs

Since my first 6cc Big Girl Fill last Thursday evening I've lost 7.6lbs

That put me firmly in Onederland ladies!!!!!

Unbelieveable. that means i've had a loss rate of @3.4lbs a week.

What I've gained:

  • Confidence
  • A big smile
  • Bigger eyes
  • a smaller wardrobe
  • energy
  • a whole new relationship with food
  • some incredible legs
  • the ability to cross those legs
  • collarbones
  • emerging hip bones
  • the realisation that i don't have to cram myself against the wall when passing someone in a hallway or a stairwell so that they can fit
  • had to move my steering wheel down to a more ergonomically comfortable height because i don't need lots of room for my thighs
  • extra room in theatre and airplane seats
  • i can dash up and down the stairs without feeling like 
    • a) i'll pass out
    • b) i'll fall down
    • c) i'll have to stop because my knee hurts
These are just a few of the many benefits i've seen since starting this journey.

Just wanted to share :)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

She sure showed me!

I'm talking about Betsy the Band. She showed me who's boss. Who's in charge. Who's driving this train.

Last night i went to a dinner meeting where they had vegetarian chili. it was very watered down and not a heck of a lot of beans in it. i only ate about 1/4 of a small cup of it and even though i wasn't particularly hungry, when i came home i nibbled on and finished a clif bar because i knew i needed more protein and calories.

since it went down rather smoothly, i thought maybe Betsy and my stomach had finally gotten acquainted and loosened their choke hold on me.

Not so.

this morning i ate a mini babybel light on the way to work. no problem. then i started in on my chobani greek yogurt. once again, took me about an hour to finish. sigh.

about an hour (11:45ish) later i drove to the foodstore to buy some fish and sweet potatoes from the deli for my lunch. i got back and thought hmmmm.... i really should try to eat some of this before my next slew of meetings. note.... i was not in the least bit hungry.

i managed about 3 small bites and that was it. Betsy said HELL to the NO missy!!!!!

So I closed up the container and put it aside.

I had a coffee from starbucks since I needed to go there for a job. I'm all of a sudden becoming a coffee drinker since the band. weird.

It's now 6pm and I'm home and just now feeling like tackling the fish and sweet potato again because I actually AM hungry.  Have to get some in before I go walking in about 20 minutes.

This Betsy chick has gotten awfully bossy since her fill.

I officially weigh in at the surgeon's office tomorrow morning (part of his agreeing to do the surgery is that you agree to weigh in weekly).

ladies... I can SMELL onederland. And boy does it smell GOOD

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Marathon Bahamas

don't get excited folks.... i don't plan on running this in January.

Just thought since there were so many avid runners amongst us that i'd post a link to the second annual Marathon Bahamas. It's a Susan G Komen race as well as a Boston marathon qualifier. Pass it on to friends who are also marathon runners or wannabes. there's a 6-leg relay option as well as a half marathon.

Monday, October 25, 2010


just when i thought either Betsy was loosening her grip on my innards.... or i was starting to get used to this sensation..... I had lunch.

Well.... let me re-phrase.... I tried to start lunch.

Breakfast was a mini Baby-bel light round and half a leftover clif bar. i nibbled at both and they generally went down ok.

An hour afterwards i started sipping my water in earnest. Managed to get through most of a 20fl oz bottle before deciding it was time to try lunch. Note. I wasn't in the least bit hungry, but i have to find a way to get my nutrition in.

so i grabbed my orange coloured baby spoon (i got a multi pack) and started in on my non fat chobani peach greek yogurt. managed about 3 little spoonfuls and it really feels like i'm force feeding it down.

i'm beginning to wonder if Dr D put the band around the bottom of my throat instead of the top of my stomach (ha ha) because since the fill it's felt like i have a huge lump in my throat.

So i stopped the force feeding and will try some more in a minute. i've got to get these 14 grams of protein in!

Thanks Christine who shared that when you get close to the sweet spot.... which i could be with an initial 6cc fill.... that your stomach is a bit swollen and you just have to ride with it to for a while see if you truly have restriction.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

And they shall call her.... Betsy

betsy the band, that is.

For years now i've called the gps in rental cars Betsy. No idea where the name came from, but it fits. I decided to also dub my band Betsy because she's the one who will keep me on track when I start to get lost.

Ok... so a re-cap of the first 3 days post BIG GIRL FILL.

Thursday night
I had the fill @ about 6pm and when some Ensure went down (albeit very slowly) I was cleared to go. All I had that night was sips of water, but I wasn't hungry so no problem

woke up with a gurgling tummy but wasn't hungry. Decided that even though our office protocol is full foods the day after a fill, I was too skeered to chance it so heated up a 1/4 cup of squash soup. I ate/drank it very slowly and although it was slloooooooow going down, there was no sense of it coming back up.
Lunch - just kept on sipping water and didn't bother with the greek yogurt i'd brought in.
Dinner - mom gave me some delish homemade lentil soup. Figured if I had troubles I could toss it in the blender, but it went down. Once again, I ate slowly and chewed it all to nothing.

had an early morning facial so skipped breakfast other than a soft cheese triangle. For lunch I had a vanilla latte from Starbucks. Am not a coffee drinker but i thought warm beverage would loosen me up a bit. Can't remember what I had for lunch but dinner was a mini babybel light cheese round (50 calories, 3g fat and 6g protein) and a few verrrrrry well chewed small bites of a delish hamburger, sausage and jalapeno cheese dip i made for my dbf. the dip took a long time to move on through.
My dbf was fascinated with how little my nibbles of the cheese were and how long it lasted me.

this morning I made a 2 egg scramble and 3 slices of turkey bacon. Managed to chew chew chew the bacon and had about 1/3 of the eggs.
Lunch was 1/4 cup very mayo-ey chicken salad and a babyel cheese round.
Dinner... even though really wasn't hungry (which is CRAZY) I had 1/4 cup of the lentil soup and another cheese round. Make that two cheese rounds. Needed to up the protein so decided to tempt fate with another and it went down.

I know i'm not yet getting in enough, but I feel fine and have lots of energy so gonna ride this train for now.

It's weird how slowly things go down, but I'm sure it'll loosen up a bit and also I'll get used to it. Today was a much better day than yesterday and Friday so already I'm seeing improvement.

I tried to take the liquid multivitamin my nutritionist got for me and almost threw up. Man that stuff is N-A-S-T-Y! I immediately blackberry messaged my dad who's in Florida for the weekend and asked him to go to CVS and get me some chewable and some gummy vitamins. I know they're no way near as good for me as the liquid nastiness, but I figure they'll be better for me than the nothing i'd be getting if that's my only option.

went for a nice long power walk this evening. need to get back to making it a regular event. going again tomorrow as well, but tuesday and thursday evenings i can't so maybe i'll force myself to get up and get it out of the way in the morning.

other than that not much going on. spent much of the weekend packing boxes. even though i see the packed up and labelled boxes piling up, it still doesn't feel like i'm accomplishing much more than making a huge mess!! I hate this.... and to think at some point in the next few months I'll be unpacking it all in the new house. exciting, but lotsa work!

Since the fill it looks like I'm down about 3lbs which is great considering I'd not really been losing in the past 2 weeks.

Ok my lovelies.... off to shower and hop in bed with my kindle

Friday, October 22, 2010

fast food?!?

Stumbled upon this interesting article on why McDonalds burgers and fries never decompose or get moldy. Glad I gave this crap up a long time ago. I suggest anyone hungering for a big mac give this article a read and let me know if you really still want one!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

my first fill - a recap

first off. i survived.

before i get into the blow by blow, i'll share my surgeon's pre-fill protocol since i know it's always interesting to see how there are so many different sets of rules.

  • lots of water in the days leading up to it so you're well hydrated
  • soft foods the day before
  • refrain from having a large fill the night before
  • liquids only the day of (that's leading up to and for the rest of the day after)
  • no cold liquids within a half hour of fill
  • no fill if it's your time of month or TOM is coming within three days
and that's it.

my fill appt was at 6 this evening. i weighed in and have lost 3lbs in the past 2 weeks. hoping it now kicks into higher gear.

so after i was weighed in, i hopped up on the table and pulled up my shirt. Dr D was there, but an associate from Belgium (i think he said) who's working with him did the actual fill once Dr D located my port.
the only pain was from the burning of the numbing shot... but it really wasn't painful... 
not sure if i felt or heard when he hit the port initially.
the weird thing was feeling something inside me as he was injecting the saline.... not so much like my stomach was being squeezed, but almost like a balloon was being blown up inside me... just felt tight inside. weird. wasn't expecting that.
so in my 10cc band i got 6ccs today!!!! water (well some ensure) went down, but i certainly couldn't gulp anything down. i only had a few sips and can still feel them going down, but definitely no urge to pb.
Dr D said hopefully i won't have to go back in till first week of december, but i do have to go in weekly to weigh in.... part of the deal!
he also said another week or so before i am cleared to get back in the gym. hoping the rainy afternoons let up so i can get my evening power walks in until then.

even though i'm cleared to start full foods tomorrow, i think i'm going to ease into it with pureeds or softs. this is gonna be interesting.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Check out a new bandster blogger

I've known Margorie since her daughter and i first met as friends. i'm so excited that she's going ahead with the band hopefully sometime next month. she was one of the first people in real life i shared my blog with and she's now started her own. Would you all do me a favour and check it out and follow her so she can get a lot of help along the way too

First Fill tomorrow

and i'm good n ready. A bit nervous... skeered it will hurt more than i'm anticipating, but i know my surgeon numbs the area.

my weight held steady over the weekend away and although i really thought that by now i'd be getting closer to onederland, i'm still not fretting. You know why?
Thursday night a friend and I did sushi (i had 5 pieces)
Friday night other friends and i did chinese takeout (i ordered the delicious whole hog snapper in ginger and scallions.... no rice... no eggroll.
Saturday was the international festival and as i mentioned in my last post, i did well
Sunday through Tuesday night I was travelling to, in or coming home from Austin. I made really good choices and kept my portions small.
Usually i'd never have such a long run of not being entirely in control of my food (by that i mean cooking and prepping every meal) without packing on 8-10lbs. easy. so no, i haven't lost, but i didn't gain and that makes me smile.

it's going to be interesting post fill to see if the band will kick into action. i've been keeping my portion sizes really at about 1/2 cup of food and am not starving by any means, but i'm very much aware that i could cram much more food into my mouth if i allowed myself to.

have been really really really making a concerted effort to chew, chew, chew.... eat slowly.... and stop drinking when i start eating..... but i'm still shoveling it in and swallowing big bits from time to time. i can see already that i'm going to end up having the mother of a pb story to share with you guys once my band is tightened.

am sure there's more to post, but this has gone on long enough.

Btw cuvycat - i LOVED what i did get to see of austin. we were stuck out at the barton creek resort for the conference which is miles away from anything, but a group of us ventured downtown monday night and had a blast!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

nibbled my way around the world

My absolute favourite event here in Nassau is the International Cultural Weekend. The third weekend in October all of the different cultural groups who live here participate in this amazing 2-day weekend. There is authentic food, drinks and live entertainment from all over the world.
This year there were booths from the Bahamas, the US, Canada, Mexico, Jamaica, Guyana, Turks and Caicos, Myanmar, Greece, South Africa, Peru, India, China, Philippines, Spain, England, Scotland, and I'm sure many others I can't recall right now.
I used to call it the 'eat and drink your way around the world' weekend. Because that's what I used to do.
Not this year. This year i 'nibbled my way around the world'....... and barely that. I made a beeline for Peru for some ceviche because i Love it and this is usually the only time and place I get it. I may have eaten 1/4 of the bowl and ended up making all my friends try it because it was truly too good to throw away. I drank lots of water. For dinner I went to a Caribbean booth for some yummy jerk chicken. I ate most of a not very meaty thigh and some of the dumpling things.
I came away feeling quite satisfied and not stuffed to the gills. I haven't been drinking alcohol in quite a while so didn't miss that either.
It's a nice feeling this eating to satisfaction when satisfaction comes so quickly.
Ok.... time to get all my stuff in order because I will probably need to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning to be at the airport for 5:30 for my 7:10am flight... I have three flights to get from Nassau to Austin. Ugh!
Was going to take a carry on suitcase since it's only 3 days and I don't need to take much, but I really don't want to have to schlep it around four airports and I'm still not sure I should be lifting heavy things so would have trouble getting it into and out of the overhead bins. So bigger suitcase checked in.
Oh... and I ran into my trainer at the festival today.... turns out he's no longer there!?!?! So sad because he really was a big part of my getting to where I am right now. i know i'll still be in good hands with the other trainer, but still. At least he managed to get a job doing what he's really trained to do - physiotherapy - so i can't fault him for moving on.
ok. now i'm really going.

Not sweating the scale

I saw 205 this morning, but not sure it was a real weight. Kind of surprised that given how little i'm eating, my weight continues to bounce around the same point on the scale. But I'm truly not concerned...... which fascinates me... i've been such a scale whore my entire life that i'd normally be fretting.
This time is different for a few reasons.
1. all of a sudden people are noticing that i'm getting smaller and smaller.
2. all of a sudden, jeans that fit well a week ago are baggy and on their way to the give away pile.
3. i have a band and i'm getting a fill.

a friend of mine has rightly pointed out over the years that i would do well on diets until i went away. it's as if getting on a plane gave me license to go stupid with food. that usually began my total backslide. every. single. time.

i travel for a work conference sunday morning and i'm not worried about repeating history. why?
see #3 above. I just can't eat much even though i've not had a fill and i'm not that hungry... so i believe i'll be ok.

my first fill is scheduled for next week thursday. i understand from chats at our support group meeting that Dr D usually tries 5cc's in our 10cc band to start with.... gonna be interesting.

it's been a long, emotionally exhausting day. the board at my old company has been calling in people one at a time to let them know they're terminated. lots of people i really liked just got the shaft. seems so unfair.

*update.... i typed this post FRIDAY... must have gotten dragged away from the computer and just saw that i never published it!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

groupies and sisterhoods

Yesterday I went to our first lap band support group meeting. I must admit I was hesitant at first.... never been much into the whole 'group thing'. but i'd promised i'd go and so go i did. and i'm so glad i went. There ended up being 6 of us including Sam, one of Dr Diggiss' first patients and his patient advocate. There was a lady who was banded in Mexico 4 years ago.... Her before pic was circulated and she shed many pounds and at least 10 years! She was such a wealth of information for a newbie. Sam was banded about 2 years ago, then there was another lady who'd had surgery in Mexico in August, a woman who had it done here with Dr D the week before me and finally a lovely lady who is headed to Mexico in early November because her insurance company (same stinkin one I have) denied her too.
Sam is headed to mexico with her which I'm sure will be a tremendous help. I've felt since my ordeal that ALMOST had me heading overseas for surgery, that Dr D may need to align himself with one of those docs/facilities. I would much prefer to see the people who have no choice but to go that route come into it through our intense programme so that they're as prepared for the big changes as I am.
It was a lot of fun and I suppose much as was the case for those of you who attended BOOBS in Chicago, it was a blessing to be in the company of a group of lovely women WHO GET IT! We have such different lives, but have shared the same struggle.
The night before BOOBS my friend and her mother who's already started the journey towards bandhood came over to chat about how it's going. I also wanted to give her first dibs at the huge pile of clothes I had to give away. It was great to see her try things on and have clothes to get her through the next stage of weight loss.
I took what was left to the meeting and there were a few women who were able to make good use of my cast offs.
I must say that giving them away so soon was a HUGE step for me. It means I AM NOT GOING BACK. But scary nonetheless to make that sort of committment.

Friday, October 8, 2010


Well, I put on my big girl panties this morning and was somehow brave enough to have the extraction without sedation. The oral surgeon was really nice and once he found out that I'm not afraid of the needles, assured me that he could get me comfortable enough to be able to do the procedure and talk me through it. He warned me that the noise of breaking teeth could be disturbing so i asked if i could wear my ipod. i just cranked up the tunes and tapped my toes. i look like a half chipmunk... a bit of swelling on that side of my face. have taken my pain meds and am heeding his advice to 'stay ahead of the pain' by taking them.
what a 2 1/2 weeks this has been!

am going to rest up for a while longer and then get back to packing. i really want to get as much done before i head back to work on tuesday as possible.

bandwise all's going well. my incisions have scabbed up nicely and i'm fighting the urge to pick at them! Went to a first book club meeting with a group of friends last night and only one had seen me since surgery. they were all amazed at how much weight i've lost and were full of compliments and interesting questions about how it all works. the friend who hosted is married to a heart surgeon and for whatever reason i'd not gotten around to telling him about the surgery. he was really happy that i'd gone this route and said he firmly believes that the only way to manage morbid obesity is via surgery. that was good to hear from him. we all had a roaring discussion (bitch fest) about insurance companies too!

Tomorrow is the first lapband support group meeting and i've really got to go and support it even though it kind of isn't my thing. i have my first official weigh in tomorrow too. still down about 9-10lbs from surgery. not sure why i'm holding onto the weight... thinking i really need to have some smooth move tea as my bowels seem to have learned all that they'd been trained over the past 3 months. ugh.

ok my lovelies. i'm gonna go take a nap and pray i don't feel any major pain

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Food, food, glorious food

********WARNING....... POST CONTAINS FOOD PORN************

Today I graduated to soft foods in grand style.

I'd told my best friend that I was going to make tuna and yellow grits for my first soft food day breakfast. She loves it so after she dropped her kiddos off at school, came over to indulge. I gave her a healthy portion then put less than a 1/4 cup of the grits and a half cup of the tuna in my bowl... and I couldn't finish it!

Once the torrential rain eased up and i had gotten out of my pjs, showered and dressed, we ventured out.
Went to my construction site so she could see how my house is coming along. i'm getting excited now that it's really taken shape.

Afterwards we decided to go to this lovely little restaurant out that way that does tasting menus. You get three different dishes and they're all geographically themed. There was indian, english, spanish, and a few others. I opted for the English themed menu because it had the most soft foods.
First up was the most delicious potato and leek soup. I figure there was a good cup of it in the bowl. I had less than half because I wanted to pace myself.
Next up were fluffy sausage rolls. Even though these aren't technically soft foods I had 3 of the six on my plate.
Finally was a half a salmon filet with a delish dill sauce. It was cooked to perfection and i ate it all, even though I was a bit full.

I was so amazed at how I just wasn't hungry. Before I embarked on this adventure I surely would have scarfed it all down and then possibly ordered dessert.

I'm still quite full so just had a glass of skim milk for dinner. Wonder what it's going to be like when I actually have some saline in my band.

Onto other things.

  • Sad days here in The Bahamas. A charter plane crashed moments after takeoff yesterday and all 8 people onboard died. I ended up working the entire afternoon into the evening updating our newspaper website. At least i can do that remotely.
  • This afternoon a friend called to ask if I'd heard about another plane crash.... turns out a 4-seater crashed in the Berry Islands north of here. Two prominent businessmen - father and son... the son was flying the plane.... and their wives... the young wife is pregnant. Various injuries, but the pilot was in pretty bad condition. Lots of prayers going out for lots of people this evening.
  • Went to the dentist yesterday morning to get the crown put back in. The crown had come loose and what's left of the tooth underneath is decaying. that's how it came out while i was just drinking liquids. there's not enough left for him to get the crown back in so he says my best (read only) is extraction. And of course it's not a simple extraction so he referred me to an oral surgeon. my only question - 'can i be sedated for this?' I am the world's biggest dentalphobe. it's bad. turns out this surgeon can sedate me and i was scheduled for friday morning. but when they called to confirm the appt today i found out i wasn't booked for sedation just a 'routine extraction'. i explained to the nice lady on the phone that if there was no sedation her boss wasn't getting anywhere near my mouth. they don't do sedation on first visit (who the hell knows why) and he's not in office till Friday and has to leave at 12 and is booked solid from me at 8:15 until 12. I explained that i'm just coming of 2 1/2 weeks medical leave and can't see being able to take time off for this anytime soon.... she said come in friday morning on an empty stomach and let's see what he can do. Argh! I am more worked up about this procedure than i ever got leading into my band surgery.
  • Have spent this evening packing boxes. Don't know how I'm going to get this all done, but figure if I try to tackle it a room at a time I'll see progress and be more motivated. This is a lot of work and doesn't help that I still shouldn't be lifting heavy things (like boxes filled with books and stuff).
  • My closet is emptier. I sorted through all my clothes and have a HUGE pile of clothes that are way too big for me already. Too bad I can't participate in the sisterhood. Will have to start my own version of it here possibly. A friend's mother has started the pre-op part of the programme.... Not sure what size she wears, but if she can use it, she gets first dibs.
Ok - that's enough rambling from me... besides... I have boxes to pack!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

How the heck did THAT happen?

Forgot to tell you about this doozy.

I have been on liquids of pureed food resembling baby food for about 3 weeks or so right now. So please someone tell me how in the world a crown at the top back of my mouth managed to fall out Friday night?!?!?! I could understand if I were chewing Now & Laters or something (yeah... that's how I pulled it out the last time this happened...) but drinking soup and gumming fully blended beans?!?! Come on!

Hoping I can get in to see my dentist tomorrow. By the way. I HATE GOING TO THE DENTIST!

Saturday, October 2, 2010

First encounter with a waitress

"You really ARE a small eater!"

Yup. That was my first post-band encounter with a well meaning waitress.

A friend and I ventured out today to the downtown area and I said we could do lunch, just needed to check out menus. Well we hit up a lovely little Greek place because I knew they'd have good hummus (never mind that I had hummus for breakfast!)

I ordered the hummus appetizer and picked at it. Did not touch the pita bread that I'd forgotten to tell her not to bring. I probably ate about half of the 3/4 cup I estimate was served up.

When the waitress came to clear my friend's plate, she said what I posted above. If she only knew!

What I'm amazed at is I've been making a really concerted effort to get in all my water today. Drank a sports bottle while taking my walk around the neighbourhood this morning and have been drinking a lot all day. It's about 4 1/2 hours since that meal and I'm still quite satisfied.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Cheez Doodles

.... are NOT liquids or pureed foods even if i do let them pretty much dissolve in my mouth before swallowing. i'm just saying.
jessica and the band 0
head hunger 1

Rabbits, Rabbits, White Rabbits

An old boarding school roommate used to say "Rabbits, rabbits, white rabbits" on the first day of every month and it stuck. I googled it once, but can't remember where that comes from. oh well.

Can't believe we're in October already. Will be Christmas before we know it and I must admit there's a sense of relief that I won't be having to do the get a tree, decorate and have a huge Christmas brunch get together this year. I'll be homeless. well perhaps not and not really. Worst case I'll be back here at my parents' house. Best case I'll be moving into the new house. In any event, I am NOT doing Christmas brunch.

Talked to Dr Diggiss about the backache and he's not sure what it is, but prescribed some kiddie liquid ibuprofen and calpol and said if it gets worse to come see him Monday morning. The meds are definitely helping so hopefully the ache will be nothing more than a distant memory by Monday.

Last night ventured to my fave sushi place with my folks. It was a friend of theirs bday and they were treating him and his wife and I just really felt the need to get out and about. I had the broth from the udon noodle soup. Had a few well chewed pieces of the noodles, too, even though I'm not supposed to! It wasn't all that tasty, but I didn't feel deprived while all around me were eating one of my favourite foods.

Today I had a protein shake. Well most of it. This one is two scoops with 12 ounces water and that was just too much to drink. I've also had some more pureed baked beans and a bit of my fave Bird's custard. Starting to feel hungry. At least I think it's hunger and not just a desire to eat and feel full. Tonight I'm going to run some homemade chicken soup my mom has through the blender and see how that goes.

Definitely looking forward to Wednesday when I can have runny scrambled eggs, tuna and grits and other soft foods.