Monday, March 28, 2011

40 and kept going....

Have I told you lately that I'm a terrible blogger???  I never seem to have down time anymore.  As a matter of fact, I'm doing this one at work on my lunch break (late lunch!).

So....I was all prepared to make a big post when I hit the "lost 40lb" mark....BUT before I could get the blog posted I had lost another 4 lbs!  Wow...I'm down 44lbs.  That's more than my co-worker's son weighs!!!!  I've lost a whole pre-schooler!  I think I'm still in a little shock by the rate at which the weight is coming off.  I know it won't last forever, but it has been dropping surprisingly fast.  Of course...I think I've been surprisingly good following the rules - both doctor's rules and self-imposed rules.  I have hosted at least 3 birthday parties at my house since my surgery and have not had even a single bite of cake.  I don't know exactly how to explain it, but having the surgery seems to have kicked in that "ah ha" moment that you always hear people talk about when they are finally able to kick those bad habits.  Again, this all could end tomorrow, but for right now I feel very satisfied with what I am able to eat. 

I received my first fill on March 17th.  I have a 10cc band and my doctor normally puts in 5cc's for the first fill, but for me he only put in 4cc's.  I guess because I had been losing at a good rate.  I'm scheduled to go back this Friday for another one, but I'm wondering if I should postpone it another week.  I'm still loosing at a good rate.  I'm eating approximately a cup of food at my meals and I haven't - so far - battled with hunger between meals.  I'm very comfortable where my band is right now.  I have the sensation of restriction when I eat something too fast or my bite is too big, but its not such that it won't pass through once I take a break.  I don't want to delay a fill because I'm "fooling" myself into thinking that things are moving along well....but I also don't want go over board with a fill either.  I guess its just going to be trial and error!

One rule that is VERY hard for me to follow is not drinking with my meals - I'm doing it, but its hard.  Part of me is wondering if that has been factoring in with my progress.  Am I cutting my meals short because I'm full or because they are slightly less satisfying without something to drink.  It usually only takes me a bite or two into the meal before I start craving a big tall glass of Crystal Light.  Any advise on how to deal with this WLS rule??

Oh before I end this post...I've been having several NSVs with my clothes.  They've been really falling off of me.  I've lost 2 pants sizes.  That is such a great feeling ladies!!!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

To journal OR not to journal....

That is the question of the day.  I'm a terrible dieter.  And quite frankly one of the reasons I decided on the lapband is that I struggle with diets.  I'm trying really hard to treat this as a lifestyle change, not a diet.  So I guess I'm really looking to you seasoned veterans and asking is it necessary that I journal my food?  I "feel" like I'm doing good without journaling, but am I just fooling myself. 

I guess the other question for the day is related to "meal plans".  How many of you plan out your meals for the week?  God gave me several gifts, but cooking wasn't one of them!  Thank goodness he sent me a wonderful man who happens to be a chef!  This is all a learning experience or him as well.  He's asked me to prepare a meal plan to help guide him.  Sounds easy, right???  I make the meal plan and he cooks it.  What more could a girl want???  Well I just stare at a blank page.  I get hung up in so many different ways. 

First, I'm just not creative when it comes to food.  I'm the person that never has an opinion on what restaurant to go to.  I don't want to say I never have cravings, but I'm probably the laziest person when it comes to food.  I actually googled one time - too lazy to eat - just to see if there was anyone else like me!  If I didn't have someone to cook my meals, I would probably live off cheese, peanut butter and then eventually fast food once the cheese and peanut butter wasn't enough!  For me, food has to be quick and easy to prepare with minimal clean up.  I will say that seeing some of the recipes on many of your blogs has ignited a "little" spark in me to try my hand at cooking. 

My second, "meal plan hurdle" is the nutrition value.  Once I come up with a potential meal, then I struggle trying to determine its nutritional value.  I've gone to those "calorie counter" websites, but usually I can't find EXACTLY what I'm looking for so I have to hope I get close to the right nutritional value.  That's so hard for me because I'm an accountant and somewhat of a perfectionist.  I need my numbers to be right!  If I can't do something perfect - or close to it - then I have a tendency to give up.  That's why journaling and meal planning is so hard for me because it becomes very overwhelming.  Its usually the planning and preparing for the diet that sidetracks me, not the actual diet.

So let me hear your thoughts and comments on journaling and meal planning.  

Monday, February 28, 2011

4 weeks post op.....

It appears that I'm much more successful in my lapband journey than I am at blogging!  Can't believe my last post was Feb 5th!  Time sure does fly. 

Part of the reason I wasn't motivated to post is that the scale just stopped right around the 3 week mark.  Up until then the scale had been moving downward at a fairly good pace. I got used to seeing a lower number everytime I jumped on the scale.  Then all of a sudden it stopped and one day it actually moved back up 2lbs....WHAT?!?!  That wasn't supposed to happen!  Naturally, I searched every website/blog I could find to see what I was doing wrong.  After that "in depth" appears that it was fairly common to stall out at the 3 week mark.  I was just beginning to introduce "real food" back into my diet.  I guess my body needed some time to figure out what was going on.  Fortunately, the scale moved this week....significantly! 

I've been really surprised how my "thoughts" have been changed by this experience.  I'm so much more aware of what I put into my mouth now.  During my liquid diet phase, I significantly reduced the number of carbs I was eating.  I actually went through carb withdrawals with headaches, etc.  I think that was a huge turning point for me because since then I've been running from carbs like they were poision!  The more I read about the low carb diets, the more it makes sense to me!  It seems to me that low carb and lapband are made to work with each other!

As a part of my journey to a healthier me, I'm researching healthier recipes.  If you haven't discovered Eggface, then I recommend you check her out.  She has some really AMAZING receipes.  She may actually end up inspiring me to learn how to cooking which would shock my family!  Thank God for live-in chefs!

Next major milestone is March 15th....1st fill.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And then it was surgery day...

First let me say, I admire all of you ladies who diligently update your blogs, inspiring those like me!  My surgery was Monday (Jan 31st) and I'm JUST NOW getting a chance to sit down and give a status update!  Kudos to you all!

And it was surgery day...I was surprisingly calm considering what I was about to endure.  I did have a slight meltdown the day before.  Being a single mother of two, you can't help but have a fear that something might happen that would take you away from your precious babies!  Luckily the meltdown was short lived!  As far as the surgery goes, everything went as smooth as I could have hoped for.  Going into it, I had hoped to lose 13 lbs on my 2 week liquid diet, but ended up only losing 8 (according to my scales).  HOWEVER, there was a 5 lb difference between my scale and the one at the hospital.  I was so happy that I think I skipped to the room they were going to prep me in!

All of the staff in CMC-Mercy (Charlotte, NC) was wonderful.  It didn't take long for them to get me ready and everyone seemed so supportive of the surgery.  I can't remember if I've posted this before, but I had dual surgeries - an ovary removed as well as the lap band.  I was a little nervous about doing them together, but I got opinions from anyone and everyone that had MD following their name and they all agreed that it was better to do it together than have back to back surgeries.  The procedure to remove the ovary was performed before the lap band.

I remember very little about the operating room.  The surgical nurse told me in the prep room that she had some medicine that would relax me and block any memory I had.  I have to say it worked!  I remember being wheeled in there - still as calm as I could be.  I recall moving over to the operating table and putting my arms out to the side.  I looked up and thought "what a pretty light that is...." and then there is nothing after that until they woke me up.  Recovery was actually harder than the surgical part.  It took a LONG time for my bladder to start working.  My family kidded me that it took 2 hours to do 2 surgeries, but 4.5 hours for me to pee!  They ended up giving me lasix to "help" things along.  It didn't take long after that.  Problem was...I couldn't make it the 45 minutes home without stopping somewhere to pee.  I'm actually sort of glad they gave the lasix because I think it helped me get rid of the excess fluid faster.

I had read on other blogs that I shouldn't check my weight when I came home because I would weigh more with all of the fluids they pumped in, but I just couldn't resist.  So I'm here to say...they all were right.  I weighed 10 lbs more.  Its a little depressing even though I knew it was temporary.  So take it from me...just don't even look! on to recovery.  I've been a little confused (concerned) that maybe I was misunderstanding my post op diet.  The diet I was given is clear liquids on the day of surgery, full liquids day 1 to 3, puree/soft diet for 2 weeks.  All of the banded bloggers talk about another 2 weeks of liquid diet.  I'm thrilled that I don't have to do that, but it just seems odd that the diet can differ so drastically between doctors.  I was nervous eating yesterday, but the egg salad I had went down fine and it tasted soo good!

Pain control....there definitely is pain involved, but its been very tolerable.  My stomach feels like I overworked my abs doing sit ups.  It hurts to stand up or roll over, but again nothing I couldn't manage.  Gas has been an issue, but luckily I was prepared for it.  Had I not been, I probably would have called 911 because the pain was in my chest, neck and across my back - just like heart attack symptoms for women, per Dr. Oz!  Luckily, I had my gas-ex strips and they really did help.  Moving around also helped....A LOT.

What am I eating....well, that's been tough.  I'm not the primary cook in my household and I've never been creative when it comes to food.  On post op day 2 thru 3, I just stuck to the standard soups.  I will admit that I've not done very well getting the protein in, but its improving now that I'm on mushies.  The mushy stage has been egg and chicken salad, scrambled eggs, grits and salmon patties.  I'm trying my best to make them healthier.  I used lite mayo for the salads and used FiberOne cereal instead of crackers to make the salmon patties.  Oh...and I took a few potatoes from my potato soup and mixed it with some Greek yogurt.  It tasted like a baked potato with sour cream.  So far, I haven't had any problems eating.  Just keeping my fingers crossed that it continues to be that way.  I do hope I can get a little more creative with my food as I move forward.

All in all it has been a great experience.  I have a hard time believing its done.  Everyone at the hospital kept congratulating me on my "new life".  Its really exciting to think about what the future holds.  I turn 40 this year so I'm really hoping to make the next 40 better than the first!

Sorry this was so long, but I felt like I needed to talk about all of this in one posting.  I'll work on being more timely with my posts.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ups and Downs!

Let's start with the "ups".  I finally saw the scale move.  Down 8 lbs since starting the liquid diet.  I was beginning to think I was a failure a the liquid diet!  Another "up" is that I've really been faithful to the diet.  I don't know if I remember any diet that I've followed so closely.  I think it helps knowing I have a next Monday. for the "downs".  Called home this afternoon and picked up on the fact that my family was planning on having hotdogs for supper.  Now, I'm a good southern girl and I REALLY enjoy my hotdogs.  I was obsessed with it all afternoon.  I had been doing so well not being hungry with this diet, but not today!  I could visualize eating a hotdog.  How sad is that!  They were kind enough to eat before I came home, but it really threw me off my game today.  Does this get better or will I find myself obsessing over food?  I never obsessed over food, overcourse I never denied myself food either.  Oh Lord...I hope this isn't a sign of what's to come!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Time for an update.

Its been a few days since I've posted an update.  I had a pleasant surprise when I went to the doctor last week.  The dietitian informed me that my liquid diet wasn't scheduled to start until Monday!  Who Hoo...I left immediately and found me some real food...and boy was it good!  I will say...that even though my liquid diet was delayed I tried to eat sensibly the rest of the week/weekend.  I was already down 11 lbs and I didn't want to gain any of that back because of a last minute splurge.

Now, I've officially been on the liquid diet since Monday.  I've been very proud of myself.  I have not cheated once...unless you consider the 1 cracker that my daughter gave me.  I couldn't turn her down.  She "fixed" it just for me!  I'm really struggling to find protein drinks that provide the nutritional value that my dietitian recommends.  I found some Pure Protein at GNC, but boy is that expensive!  Any tips on good protein shakes?? 

Here's another it normal to be on the liquid diet for - now 4 days - and not lose a pound!!!  Could I really be screwing up a liquid diet????  I think I need to find a lap band mentor to give me some advice.  Any takers??

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Liquid Diet eve...

So its the night before my liquid diet starts....I'm no more prepared than I was a week ago!  I think I have 6 chocolate protein drinks, 3 cans of soup, and some sugar free pudding/jello.  I have an appointment with the dietitian tomorrow so hopefully I'll leave there feeling a little more confident that I am right now! 

One of my biggest fears is "buyers remorse"!  Did you have it?  If so, how did you get over it?  My heart is racing just at the thought of what I'm about to do!  I know I'm doing the right thing and I truly believe I am ready...despite my last minute "cold feet" episodes!  I'll just continue to read other blogs and seek out much needed encouragement!