Monday, October 3, 2016

Monday morning blog reset

I woke up this morning feeling defeatist. If you have been with me long, you know I'm a decidedly half-full person. I'm taking a few minutes to reset and determine why I feel the way I feel.

Weekly update. I weigh every Monday. That is a stupid day for me to weigh, but I tried to change it once and it didn't stick. So, Monday it stays. I neither lost or gained any pounds this week.

Monthly update. I lost 8 tenths of a pound this month. Not great, but at least the right direction. For two months, I have lost a total of 4 pounds.

Measurement update. I didn't take measurements last month, so these are for two months (corresponding with the 4 pound loss). I lost almost 8 inches in total. Most notably, a full inch in my left arm, 1.50 inches in my bust, 2 inches in my belly, & 3/4 of an inch in my left thigh. These are truly significant changes.

Size update. I'm now in all of my "skinny" jeans. My size 12 Levis and Gap jeans fit, albeit snugly. My Cato size 10 jeans fit great. In fact, I went through the remaining items in my "too small" bin and everything I have ever worn previously fit. YAY!! The remaining items were pieces I had never actually worn before, like the size 10 Gap jeans I bought on sale in anticipation of moving down a size but never made it. It would be super awesome if I could actually get in those for the holidays.

In every conceivable measurement (scale, inches, clothes), I'm doing great. Maybe not off the charts, but certainly nothing to feel defeatist about.

So, let's talk behaviors. Fitness. I injured myself at CrossFit last week. Not horribly, just a lower back strain that I need to baby a bit, but I still am Jazzercising and walking, so nothing to be ashamed of there. This week, I'm planning at least 4 workouts which again, isn't off the charts, but certainly solid.

Nutrition. Ahem. Okay, maybe I found the problem. Since returning from Rio, I have been eating terribly. I will have a day or two here or there when I will stick to the script, but most of the time it is a free for all. I know that if I continue with this behavior, I will eventually fail at my overall goals. So, now I have admitted it to myself and put it in writing for all to see...what to do?

Fortunately, I'm still keeping to small portions, but I need to focus on protein over carbs. I also need to focus on limiting sugar. I hate tracking my food, but I plugged today's meal plan into MFP last night. My hope is that if I put it in there before hand, I will actually follow it.

Breakfast: coffee & mango keylime smoothie
Lunch: ground beef nacho casserole
Snack: mixed nuts & laughing cow
Dinner: homemade pasta dish

The mixed nuts and cheese in the casserole make the day a little high in fat, but otherwise (calories, carbs, protein), I would be exactly at target. Now I just have to be mindful.

Nothing like a Monday morning blog reset. It always puts my mind in the right place for the week!

Hugs!




Thursday, September 22, 2016

August was Amazing!

It has been almost 2 months since my last post, but there is a very good reason why! First, my friends and I went to Rio for the Olympics. It was amazing!

Rio itself is one of the most beautiful cities I have ever seen. There were no mosquitoes so no fear of Zika. The people were amazingly warm and helpful, plus we were careful where we went, so almost no fear of crime. The weather was gorgeous almost every day. And the views were spectacular from every direction. My favorite "Rio" moment was visiting the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue. The whole day with our private Rio tour guide Ederson Oliviera was incredible. If you go to Rio, look him up!


The greatest "Brazilian sport" moment was being at Maracana for the Sweden v. Brazil women's soccer game. We had hoped it would be Brazil v. USA, but I think from a spectator perspective, this might have been better. We got to be all in for Brazil and feel the amazing nationalism that poured out. It was like nothing I had ever seen and I can't even compare it to anything in the States.


My favorite "Team USA" moment was the first day when we saw the women's gymnastics team win gold AND Michael Phelps win his 20th and 21st gold medals. It just topped of the whole experience when the swim team was at the Today show the day we visited and we got to interact with many of them. This "Phelpie" is the best!!


I mean, seriously?!?? We were even on the Today Show website. Click on this link and scroll to the bottom.

It was a trip of a lifetime and I will never forget it. Once we got home, I had a week to catch up before I left for Houston. I volunteered with the Team USA Paralympic team to get them through team processing. All of the athletes, coaches and staff go through Houston to pick up their swag, get fitted for their clothes, take a head shot, do media, etc. The first four days, my primary job was at Ralph Lauren helping the tailors and stylists fit everyone for their Opening/Closing outfits. There was SO much tailoring to be done and it was like magic. People would come through in the morning and all of the alterations had to be complete before the flights left at 8pm. It was unbelievable and my hats off to the amazing folks at Ralph Lauren Polo. Truly incredible! Here is a picture of two of the track & field athletes I got to work with one day.


One of the greatest things about volunteering is meeting people. One of the volunteers and I hit it off and were able to get together for dinner (along with BFF) the other night while she was in the area.


Not for nothing, I was feeling pretty sassy in that outfit.

I've been back a couple of weeks and I'm starting to get back into the groove. I'm back at CrossFit consistently and I'm really trying to focus on nutrition. I brought my bullet blender to work and I'm drinking a smoothie for breakfast each morning. Today's recipe:

  • 1 scoop of Chocolate protein powder
  • 2 pineapple juice ice cubes
  • 1/2 c frozen mixed berries
  • 4 oz. unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 squirts SF strawberry Torani syrup
 It is delicious!

 I lost 2.6 pounds in August even with the two massive vacations. I have another week or so in September, so we will see how it goes. I'm not down anything at the moment, but going back to CrossFit always causes some water retention for me, so I will be glad to take measurements next weekend. I definitely feel a difference in my clothes. I'm fitting into all of the smallest things I have ever worn, so it will be new territory from here. I'm in my Cato size 10 jeans, but I never did fit into the size 10 Gap jeans I have, so that is my next goal!

I hope things are good out in Blog World. They sure are great here!!

Hugs!


Monday, August 1, 2016

July

Another month passes...but I am trying to check in and keep myself accountable. I'm being consistent anyway.

Pounds lost:
  • April - 5.4
  • May - 4.4
  • June - 6.4
  • July - 5.6
 I lost another 4.5 inches in July, most notably from my waist and hips. I'm back in my Cato size 10 jeans (picture on the right side of my blog page.) I'm consistently fitting into size 12s in traditional clothes (not boutique clothes which seem to run smaller.) Only about 6 or 7 pounds to my lowest weight as an adult. That's a pretty big deal. :-)

I did buy a pair of white skinny jeans! Woohoo!


My mom came for a visit for a week in July. We had a lot of fun buying new clothes for my upcoming trip to Rio. Right when she left, I got a stomach bug that morphed right into some sort of respiratory infection. I'm so tired of the doctor but I'm going yet again today. I need to be 100% healthy. Rio is in T-1 week!

Hope all is well out in blogland!

Hugs!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Summer Craziness!

June was crazy busy! Work was crazy, workouts were crazy and there was a whole lot of fun in there too!

I worked out 21 times for a total of 18.5 hours including 12 times at CrossFit. Not bad! I lost 6.4 pounds and over 4 inches. I'm starting to fit into my size 12s. In all fairness, they are big size 12s, but size 12s nonetheless!!

This weekend is going to be crazy busy as well, but I wanted to check in. I need to get back to posting on a regular basis. I'm doing well, but I know how quickly I can go off track if I'm not careful.

I spent my birthday month preparing for my big trip to Brazil and spending a lot of time with friends. July will be more of the same. My biggest focus is making sure I work out regularly and that I focus on nutrition. I get my labs done next week and I have my follow up with my bariatric doctor the week after that. I should learn if I have any vitamin or mineral deficiencies then. I think I might be low on iron. I seem to be bruising a lot. But that is easily fixed.

The doctor wanted me to lose at least 16 pounds in the 3 months between visits. I had hoped for closer to a 25 pound loss. I hit a 3 week stall though when I started back to CrossFit so that isn't likely. I know I was building muscle and doing good things for my body so no worries. Even with the 3 week stall, I'm still right at 16 pounds lost. Since I have another couple of weeks, I should be more than on target with the doctor.

Yesterday, I went through my closet and all my "too small" clothes. So many things actually fit now! I'm so close to my all time low and it is so exciting to start fitting into things I haven't worn in years.

Here is a picture from exactly four years ago. I had just had plastic surgery and I weighed almost exactly the same as I do now.


I hope to check in a little more regularly!!

Hugs!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Vacation Wrap Up and Weekly Accountability

Things have been crazy busy, so buckle up!!

Let's start with Weekly Accountability:

Loss this week - 2.2 pounds
Total Loss since revision - 33.8 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 79.8 pounds

This is actually for two weeks. I lost 2.4 pounds last week and then was up .2 this week after my vacation. I'm okay with that.

So right before the holiday weekend, I got my hair cut. The plan was to be able to make it funky on the weekends but wear it more conservatively during the weekend. However, I like it WAY more funky-like so I have just been wearing it that way. My only issue is that if I'm not wearing makeup, I feel a little masculine.

 The stylist did it on the left and I wish I could recreate it better. I'm sure it will take practice. The right side is with it flat. It is okay, but a little short for my taste to wear it that way.

I spent Memorial weekend with my brother's family in Louisville. My parents went as well and we stayed in a hotel not too far away. My oldest nephew graduated and was a speaker at the ceremony. It was just fantastic! I love him so much, I just can't even say.


You can see in this picture I did my own hair. It is a little less sculpted than when the stylist did it. I'm sure I will get better at it!

My younger nephew left for camp and to say he was excited is a massive understatement. This kid LOVES camp. I think he would live outside if he could. He is going to be my world traveler someday and I love it!


 Then there is my niece.


She finally took a normal picture with me right before I left. The rest have faces or we are snapchat filter dogs. You know how it goes. She is 12 going on 25 and she rounds out my love trifecta.


I even took a picture with my brother. I can't tell you the last time we took a picture together just the two of us. He smoked pork and salmon while we were there and it was amazeballs. The guy will be ready for a grilling competition soon!


We went to Churchill Downs for the races on Saturday. It was a lot of fun!

I managed to get a workout while I was in KY too. See the difference without makeup? I'm not a fan. I just feel like I look manly. I'm sure I will get used to it.



While I was in Louisville, BFF was busy with Olympic prep. I can't believe we are leaving for Rio in 70 days!!!


And finally, I started back to CrossFit this morning after an 8 month hiatus. Today was a little lighter than normal because worldwide, Memorial day is a really tough workout. It was a good day for me to dip my toes back into the water. We did a lot of mobility work and stretching. We also worked on our front squats which was good for me. I went light, 45# which is the bar with baby weights, but I feel like my form was good.

The workout was:

21-15-9
Deadlifts (85# which was probably just right for me today.)
Box Jumps (I did step ups instead of jumps, but I did that before too. The boxes are big at this gym.)

So...I'm ready to go back tomorrow!

Hope you all have a wonderful and safe holiday weekend.

Hugs!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Key West & Weekly Accountability

Key West is beautiful!!! Before I tell you about my vacation, I want to check in for my weekly accountability:

Loss this week - .2 pounds GAIN
Total Loss since revision - 31.6 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 77.6 pounds

Since I went on a 4 day vacation, I'm not even upset about a little teenie tiny gain. I do hope I make up for it this week though!

Thursday, BFF & I headed to the airport bound for Key West. We had a connection through Miami and got in about 4pm. We met up with our friends Lili and Coco and headed to Duval Street for dinner. We went to Keyviche for dinner and had a lovely time catching up. 

Friday morning, we had breakfast and headed to the marina. It was our friends' wedding day!! We cruised around in the boat for a couple of hours. The conditions were perfect and it was just beautiful. We stopped at a beach for a while and collected shells. Then we headed to a deserted sandbar. We got off the boat and had the wedding ceremony. BFF was the witness and I was the officiant. I worked hard on the wedding script and I think my friends were both pleased. It was the perfect wedding for those two!! Not another person or boat in site. After the wedding, we played around the sandbar and then got back on the boat. Just as we were all starting to drag, we saw a big pod of dolphins. It is mating season, so they were all playing around like crazy. There were probably 10 or 12 of them and we sat and watched them for a while. It was the coolest thing!!

That night we had dinner on the beach. It was so lovely. I know that not everyone agrees with same sex marriage, but when I look at my friends Lili and Coco who have been committed to each other for almost 20 years, in my heart I only feel love. I couldn't be happier for them.

Saturday the girls went fishing, so BFF & I took a seaplane to Dry Tortugas. The plane ride was awesome (after my initial panic went away...I don't like flying.)

View of Dry Tortugas from the seaplane
 Once we got to the island, we took a quick walk around and then went snorkeling. It was the best snorkeling I have ever done!! The coral and fish were beautiful and I even swam next to a shark! It was only about 18-24 inches long, but still...A SHARK!! After about an hour, we dried off and took a walk around the old fort there.

View from a window of the fort.

Beach Hair, Don't Care!

The trip was a bit pricey, but it was worth every penny. We head back to Key West, had lunch (mmmm...shrimp & fish cakes!) and then showered. You get really dirty near the beach!

Lunch on the beach.

Then it was time for the scooter. Driving a scooter for the first time is not easy. I took it for a test drive around the block a few times and managed not to crash. Once I stopped trying to break all the time and stopped using the handlebars so much, things got a lot better.

It was bad enough with just me, but I agreed to drive BFF around and I was petrified I would crash and kill her. But it got a little better. We went to Duval Street and did some fun shopping. We had planned to take the scooter around that night, but decided that it would be too stressful so we took it back.

This totally cracked me up!

We went to Mallory Square for sunset which is apparently a thing. Hundreds of people were there along with a lot of entertainers and food vendors. After, we met up with our friends for drinks. Coco caught an 8 foot shark that day! She is a big of a badass and it was a great story. They had the pictures to prove it. The bar was out at the beach, so it was the perfect way to end the day.

Mallory Square Sunset
 Sunday morning, we met up for an outdoor breakfast and walked around a bit before the girls took us to the airport. The vacation exceeded expectations in every way and I'm sure we will go back someday.

Now it is back to work. Happily, the scale was back down today, so now I can start working on losing some more. I went to Jazzercise last night and plan to walk at lunch the next couple of days. I'm 2.8 pounds from my next mini-goal. It would be super cool if I could reach it before I head to Louisville Memorial weekend.

Hugs!

Monday, May 9, 2016

Weekend Wrap Up and Check In

Good morning!

I had a lovely weekend and I hope you all did too. I will say that I was frustrated on Friday because I was nursing a 2.5 week stall and I was getting tired of it. So I changed how I was going about things.

I know this is hard to believe, but I am a planner. (Sarcasm font, anyone?) It is how I establish control in my life. In order to keep my nutrition in line with what I should be doing, I make a plan ever Sunday and meal prep. I write down everything I eat BEFORE I eat it and check things off as I go. It helped me with hunger because I spread my calories over the day and could eat something before I got so hungry that I would make bad choices.

I think post-WLS, it is not as beneficial of a plan as it was before. I think it is possible I am eating unnecessarily sometimes. Again, this is all trial and error, I don't know. I decided to try only eating when I'm hungry. I know to normal people, that sound obvious. But for someone like me, that is just scary. I don't make good choices when I'm hungry. I overeat when I'm hungry. Blah blah blah.

Starting on Friday, I took the leap. First of all, I can't really overeat right now, so my challenge is simply to make good choices. With the exception of a drink (1!!) each weekend night, I did just that. Because I have been limiting carbs, I really am not craving them right now. I really want protein and that's mostly what I'm eating (with healthy fats.) And this morning, I'm down again. Coincidence? Time will tell.

Speaking of Friday, it was Derby weekend and my family lives in Louisville. My nephews went to the Oaks dressed in their Derby attire. How adorable are they?

I love those kids (they aren't even really kids anymore!) I'm headed up to the oldest's graduation in a few weeks. I feel old, but oh so very proud.

Friday night, BFF & I ran some errands, got pedis and had some Chinese food. Saturday we got up and went to Jazzercise. BFF taught some new type of strength class and it was awesome. I'm still sore today! Apparently she is teaching the same set tonight. Hopefully I will still be able to walk tomorrow!!

In the afternoon, we went to a Beatles tribute concert. It was hot and sunny outside, but we had a lot of fun. After church, we went for Mexican food on the patio.

I can't believe I actually like a picture that includes my bare arm. I'm definitely feeling good!

Yesterday we went to the annual fund raiser show for the theater where we have season tickets. They always do such a good job and we had a great time!

My weekly accountability:
Loss this week - 2.6 pounds
Total Loss since revision - 31.8 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 77.8 pounds

The loss was a full pound more than last week's gain so I'm back in new territory. Also, I realized that I forgot to take my monthly progress photo last week, so here it is.



Bottom line, things are going well. I just have to be patient and trust it.

Hugs!

Monday, May 2, 2016

Weekly & Monthly Check-in

BFF & I went to WinStar this weekend. We had a couple of comp nights and we saw Harry Connick Jr. while we were there. I was super unlucky day one and lost my limit quickly. But things got better on day #2. It is a nice little getaway. We got back yesterday afternoon in time for me to get my chores done.

Things were not pretty when I weighed in this morning.


My weekly accountability:
Loss this week - (1.6) pounds GAIN
Total Loss since revision - 29.2 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 75.2 pounds

Yeah, so that sucks. Fingers crossed that it is mostly water retention and will be gone tomorrow. It still was painful to see. My punishment is logging my food for the week. I hate doing that, but it will help me stay in line in case I was wavering.

Luckily, my monthly check-in happened at the same time and I have seen a drop for the month.

My monthly tracking:
Loss this month - 5.4 pounds

That isn't a ton, but what is even better is that I have lost almost 12 inches this month. Most notably in my belly (3"), hips (2") and a staggering 1.5" in my right thigh. So, good things are happening even if it isn't all showing on the scale.

I prepped all my food yesterday for a reset. I hit a snag this morning because when I got to work, someone had thrown away my egg beaters out of the fridge. Rude! So I had to be flexible. Not going to lie, my "plan B" did not turn out well. But I ate it, so whatever.

Breakfast - the plan was for a Sriracha Beef Egg Mug. Egg beaters with ground beef, frozen veggies, swiss laughing cow and some sriracha. Instead, I had ground beef, veggies and cottage cheese. Again, it was not great, but it was nutritious. I will stop and get some egg beaters after work for tomorrow.

Lunch - I made paprika chicken last night. I mixed 2T of paprika with 1t of minced dried onion and 1t of kosher salt. I used it as a dry rub for some chicken thighs. Once they cooked, I used the drippings and mixed with some sour cream for a little gravy. It was pretty tasty. Today I'm having one leftover thigh with a 1/2 individual can of peas and 1T gravy.

Snack - Greek yogurt or lunch meat rollup depending on my mood.

Dinner - Tonight I'm having a pseudo-shepherd's pie. I browned some ground beef with onions. I'm going to mix that with some peas and a little bit of mashed potatoes.

I'm planning to Jazzercise tonight. That should get my body back on track and I think I will feel much better tomorrow!

Hugs!



Monday, April 25, 2016

Weekend Wrap up and Accountability

Friday after work, BFF & I headed to dinner with her uncle, aunt and cousin. It was nice to catch up! We went to a steakhouse type place and I was able to get salmon with a sweet potato and green beans. I ate about 1/3 of everything.

Saturday I got up and went to Jazzercise for the first time in many, many weeks. I'm definitely out of shape. I used 5 pound weights and didn't do much of the core work and I was still tired!! Tonight I will up myself to 8 pounds weights (normally I use 10, so that will still be a break) and start working my core. As hard as it was, it felt so great.

Saturday night after church, we went to a friend's house for a crawfish boil. I was worried about what I could eat, so I brought some deviled eggs. I had a couple of eggs, but the crawfish were cooked so perfectly, I ate several of those as well. It was a beautiful evening until the mosquitoes came and we had to go inside!

Sunday, BFF & I had a girls' day out. We started out at breakfast at a place called Modern Market. I thought it was cool because all of the nutritional info was right on the receipt.


I had an egg scramble with broccoli & cheese. It was delicious! I ate about 2/3 of the egg and about 4-5 pieces of potato.


After breakfast, we went shopping. We went to Target, The Container Store and the Galleria. I got a lot of organization stuff for my declutter/organizing mission at home. Plus, I got some clothes for my trip to Florida in a few weeks. I don't have a lot of casual summer clothes that fit!

I'm going to be in a wedding in a couple of weeks. It is a super casual beach wedding and I was told that their color is coral. They are so laid back and just told BFF and me to wear whatever we want. I'm sure they will be in shorts and t-shirts. I wanted to be casual but still wear a dress, so I went with this:


BFF's dress is all coral, but this one has coral in it and it was on sale. Plus, it looked good!

My weekly accountability:
Loss this week - 2.2 pounds
Total Loss since revision - 30.8 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 76.8 pounds

Not too shabby! Since I reached my goal, I was able to order my new bedding. I can't wait to get it!! I'm enjoying this reward thing so I decided to add one every 5 pounds. Is that terrible? Ha! So I have 4.2 pounds to the next one. :)

Hugs!

Friday, April 22, 2016

Follow up Appointment

I had my 6 week follow up appointment yesterday and it could not have gone better. I had lost 9 pounds since my appointment 4 weeks prior. I was cleared for workouts. AND I found I can have caffeine. No alcohol for a while yet though.

Every time you visit for an appointment, you have to list out what you ate the day before. The doc told me that my menu looked like a sample menu. Ha! I told her that I learned a lot with my lap band and as long as it was working properly I did really well. She is actually a former band patient and understood entirely.

Today's menu:

Breakfast - breakfast taco fillings (brought into the office for someone's birthday. So much better than a cake!!!)
Snack - Greek yogurt
Lunch - leftover meatloaf & green beans
Snack - 2T peanut butter
Dinner - Grilled salmon, sweet potato & mushrooms

We are going to dinner with BFF's uncle, aunt & cousin for her little cousin's birthday. She and her uncle were close in age and grew up more like cousins than uncle/niece. Her cousin calls her Aunt BFF. Anyway, when we lived out in the 'burbs, we would see them every week at church and we would have breakfast with them after. Now that we live downtown, we don't see them often. It will be nice to catch up.

Did I mention that I get to Jazzercise on Saturday? YAY!! I will start with itty bitty weights and work my way up, but hopefully it won't take to long to get everything working right. I already notified CrossFit as well that I will be coming back on 6/01. I'm excited and terrified thinking about it.

Today, I'm going to forego going out to lunch and I'm going to walk. I thought I might try and jog a few small intervals.

Things are starting to fall in place. The doctor told me that her goal for me was to lose 16 pounds for my next appointment in 3 months. I would like to lose more like 25. It will take work, but now is the time!!

Hugs!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Ten Things Thursday

1. Today is going to be a good day. My clothes fit. My hair did what it was supposed to do. AND I get a massage tonight. Not even the clouds can dampen my spirit. Although, the sun looks to be peeking out!

2. I started eating "real" food on Tuesday. It is going great! I only eat a small amount at a time, but I eat 5x each day instead of 3. So yesterday looked like this:
  • Breakfast - Greek yogurt & coffee
  • Snack - SlimFast Protein
  • Lunch - Homemade meatloaf & green beans
  • Snack - 2T peanut butter
  • Dinner - Lunchmeat & Cheese roll ups with avocado
I'm finding that I'm hungrier in the morning than I was with the band. So today I had egg beaters for breakfast and yogurt for a snack. It definitely made a difference!

3. I have my 6 week follow up appointment today. I feel like I'm doing great so I'm eager to check in.

4. Today I met my current mini-goal!! I'm now officially regularly obese instead of super obese. I know that is a very good thing, but it is too much to get happy for obesity... 

5. BUT...I will get happy for my reward! I have been wanting new bedding since I moved a year and a half ago. I decided that would be a great reward. I found what I wanted online, but when I went to price it, I couldn't get the bed skirt. I looked all over the internet and no bed skirt. Booooo! I have an adjustable bed that sits really high so I feel like I need one.


BFF & I are going shopping on Sunday so this is my #1 priority. I would like it to be bright and cheery without being overly busy.

6. I'm hoping at my appointment they give me workout clearance. I would love to be able to go to Jazzercise on Saturday. Fingers crossed!

7. After my surgery, I joined an online support group for people that have had weight loss surgery with my doctor. I'm having dinner with some of the people on Sunday. I've never met any of them, so it always makes me nervous. But I have found that you can never have too much community in this endeavor. Even though I'm nervous, I'm looking forward to it.

8. I have to get things done this weekend. I'm traveling 4 out of the next 5 weekends. While it will be fun, fun, fun...I also will have no extra time in the month of May. Gotta make things happen.

9. My dad is having surgery tomorrow. He is 75 so no surgery is really minor. He is having two surgeries on his foot. He will be in a cast for a while and then a boot for a while after that. I'm not sure who is going to be more annoyed, my dad...or my mom. Sending prayers of patience for both of them.

10. My jeans are almost too big. They may have to go soon. I'm going to have to break out the next size down!

Hugs!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Weekend Wrap up

Saturday morning, I went to Jazzercise with BFF. Of course, I can't actually Jazzercise yet, but it was nice to see some friends and while they danced, I walked. I went for an entire hour and finished a 5K+. I'm a little sore today but I have to say that I felt really good. I really hope that they clear me for workouts soon. I find out on Thursday. Fingers crossed!


This is me as I finished up. After that we went to La Madeleine for lunch. I had a scrambled egg and cup of tomato basil soup. Delicious! Although I'm getting tired of the pureed stage. Eggs, cottage cheese with spaghetti sauce and refried beans with guacamole is about all I can stomach in this phase. I'm extremely done with pureed soups. I'm ready for some new things. Today is the last day though, so I can do it!

After lunch, we went to get our hair cut. Since our hair stylist is near where we used to live, we often go together and just make a little "suburbs trip" out of it. I got my hair chopped.


Holy eyebags, sheesh. But you get the hair idea. I always feel like my eyes look bigger when my hair is shorter. After hair, we made a quick grocery store run where I was so excited to buy actual FOOD! Woohoo! Then we went to church. Deacon told me he loved my new 'do.

After church, BFF came over and we watched Confirmation on HBO. I don't typically comment on anything that could be political, but I will just say that it made me very sad. I was in high school during the Clarence Thomas/Anita Hill hearings and I remember a lot of people didn't believe her. I'm glad she spoke up and I think it at least helped our country move in the right direction. There is still a long way to go, but I truly believe that this was an example of one woman making a difference.

I had this thought as I crawled into bed Saturday night before 10pm...


Yesterday, we had theater tickets, but it rained and stormed all day so we actually skipped it. Instead, BFF came over and helped me put together my new cabinet. It looks really nice!


 I was super productive the rest of the day. In addition to my normal laundry & food prep (meatloaf!!!) and the cabinet building, I cleaned out my refrigerator and finished trying on all of my clothes in storage. They are now sorted:
  1. Items I can wear now are in the closet.
  2. Items I can wear in the next 10-15 are also in the closet.
  3. Items that will take 15 pounds or more are in a box in my armoire.
  4. Items that are too big or I no longer like were bagged up for donation.
  5. Items that were stained or torn or otherwise damaged have been thrown away.
I have been really doing well with my commitment this year to purge more. Next on the agenda is to go through all my purses and bags. I also need to reorganize my bathroom. I think if I worked at it, I could get rid of a whole cabinet in my bathroom and take it upstairs for useful storage. I will focus on those things next weekend.

Lastly, I'm in a wedding in a few weeks. It is a very casual, destination wedding. The brides will be wearing shorts and likely no shoes. It is on a beach in Florida. BFF & I are standing up for them, but we told them we would be girly for them. Ha! This is the dress I ordered:

 It looks really short, but the measurements indicate otherwise. I'm hoping the model is just really tall. Anyway, fingers crossed. If this doesn't work, I will have to find time to go dress shopping. I'm looking forward to the wedding. It will be the first same sex wedding I have attended. The day of the Supreme Court ruling, our friends immediately called us and asked us to be their witnesses. We were so touched! They have been committed to each other for 20 years and this means so much to them.

Finally, my weekly accountability:

Loss this week - 1.4 pounds
Total Loss since revision - 28.6 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 74.6 pounds

Still going in the right direction. Of course, I want it to go faster, but I know I'm doing what I'm supposed to do, so I'm just trusting the process. It makes me gag a little to think of what I have to eat today. I think today is harder than my last day of liquids! But tomorrow, I get meatloaf and green beans!!

Hugs!

Friday, April 15, 2016

New Goals

I spent some time last night thinking about my goals. I have two kinds of goals: life goals and actual weight loss goals. Today I'm focusing on the weight loss.

There are many ways to "attack" losing weight. I've been through this process more times than I can count. My blog is titled "never-ending quest" partially because I know that my fight against obesity will be a never-ending battle. But I also know that I have about 12-18 months of an edge. During this time, while my body is figuring out what in the hell I've done to it and before it can adjust itself, it will be easier for me to lose weight than it is "normally". I know this because I experienced it with the Band.

After that initial period of easier weight loss, but when my band was still working properly, I was just normal. It wasn't virtually impossible to lose weight like it was before. However, it was absolutely not easy. I see it as I was finally normal. Most people out there have to watch what they eat and be active in order to not put on weight. Very few people out there can just eat what they want and sit around and still be thin. So I don't mind work, I just want that work to pay off. For a few years, that was how it worked.

Last year, I put on a lot of weight as I struggled with my band issues and my brand new hernia. It sucked. But now I have an incredible opportunity to lose as much weight as possible while it is a bit easier. I made a commitment to myself that I will use this opportunity.

So, what should be my goal? When I got my band, I made a goal to lose 120 pounds. I fell short by 23 pounds and actually "settled" about 20 pounds above that. It was good, I felt great, in fact! I was active and strong. I was healthy. I'm currently now in the mid-range of where I settled. I need to lose 23 pounds to get to my lowest adult weight. My goal is to reach that before I go to the Olympics.

By the end of the year, it is my goal to be at my high school weight. I was always heavy, so weighing as an adult what I weighed in high school shouldn't be an issue. I have kept my prom dress for almost 25 years. It is a total bucket list item to be able to fit in it again.

It is my slightly aggressive goal to lose another 20 pounds after that by this time next year. I honestly don't know if I can do that. If I can't, I have promised myself that I will still see the success in what I do accomplish. But if I can, it would actually put me in the normal BMI category. To be clear, I haven't ever been in a normal BMI category. When I was the "right" weight, I was shorter, so the goal weight was lower. I know the BMI scale is stupid and that someone muscular and broad like me might never be "normal"according to it. But I decided that doesn't mean that I can't go for it!

My mom is the same height as me, but she has a much smaller build and doesn't have as much muscle. There was a point where we wore the same size and I was almost 40 POUNDS heavier than she. Think about that for a minute. We were the same height and same size, but I weighed 40 pounds more. Her BMI was "normal", but I was "obese". I wasn't even considered overweight...I was OBESE. Yet I wore the same size as a "normal" person. So, my point is, with my build, I don't know if it is feasible. But I do know that if I don't make it a goal, I definitely won't get there.

You can see details of my new goals on my goal tracker page. While trying to update my photo page, Blogger ate it. Hopefully I will get it back up again and updated soon.

I am less than a half pound away from my next goal, so fingers crossed I'm there my Monday! My reward is the new bedding I have been wanting to get for ages.

Hugs!


Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Scales are Stupid

I'm frustrated. I'm frustrated because the scale while moving up and down daily, has been in the same range for a week. I'm doing all the right things, everything I can do.

Believe me, I know that my body has been through a lot of stress so it probably is just reacting to that. I could be retaining water because of the recent start with activity or from hormones. I should have started my period a couple of days ago and I haven't, so I know that is probably itl.

Just because I know all these things, doesn't keep me from being frustrated. :-) So, I will focus on something else. There is no questions that I can see results of my labors. Yesterday it was even more clear to me. My workout buddy couldn't work out yesterday, but I went anyway. I noticed when I changed that I had the same outfit I wore several weeks ago at the start of this. That day I had my friend take a picture. Yesterday, I stopped a random person in the locker room and had her take my picture. When I compared the two, I forgot about the scale:


I don't super love putting pictures of me looking like this out into the world, but whatevs. You can see on the left just how bloated I was. On the right, I feel so much more like myself. I'm smack in the middle of my "normal" weight zone. I'm sure in the 6 months I have been inactive, I have lost some of the muscle I worked so hard to build, but I can get that back in time.

It is hard to explain how I felt from October-March. It was like I was in a fog and watching my life on TV. I knew I wanted to feel better, but it was like I was powerless to control it. I would imagine it is what depressed people feel like all the time. My heart goes out, truly. At least I knew my struggle was temporary. I'm still amazed that the very night after my surgery when I laid in bed and even through all the surgery pain, I was so happy not to feel the effects of the hernia. No more fluttering around in my chest. No more wicked acid reflux. It all was all gone. In the last few weeks, I think I have gotten some of my best sleep in years!

Now that the haze from surgery and medication and all that nonsense is gone, I really feel like myself. That is truly what this was all about. I'm going to work hard to lose weight, just like I always have. I know that no matter what, it is going to be a struggle for the rest of my life. I'm okay with that as long as I feel like me.

So, today instead of being annoyed at the stuck scale, I'm going to be so happy that I'm back. 

I saw this on Facebook yesterday and it made me think of my post about scars. I like it!


Hugs!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Weekly Check-In

Weekly Check-In

Loss this week - 1.6 pounds
Total Loss since revision - 27.2 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 73.2 pounds

I'm always happy when things are going in the right direction. With the addition of new foods, I expected a slow down. I hope to boost my metabolism a little more this week.

The best news is that the pain is gone!!! I can actually even sneeze without pain. It is joyous!

Nutrition

I can't say that I'm a big fan of the pureed food stage. I'm happy to be getting savory flavors though, for sure. Plus, there is only one more week until I can move to soft foods. After everything I have gone through, that is totally doable.

For breakfasts this week, I have Egg Beaters. For my protein power-ups, I have shakes (although I have a couple of Greek yogurts to mix things up.) For lunches, I have my cottage cheese/marinara concoction. And finally for dinners, I'm enjoying the soup my dad made and left in my freezer.

A few of things I'm learning:
  • I'm getting a slightly more normal appetite back which is great. 
  • It's easier to eat thicker things as the day goes on.
  • I really don't love pureed soups and can't wait until next week when I can enjoy them as is!
 Fitness

 Even though I no longer have pain, my abs are still sore. I carried something up the stairs yesterday and could feel the tightness. It is probably good that I still have 2-3 weeks before I can go back to Jazzercise, but I'm ready to start walking in earnest. My goal is at least 3 days at lunch this week and then on Saturday morning. Hold me to it!

Other

I don't have a lot on my plate this week other than work. Work is a bit crazy busy (in a good way) so I can take time to really dig in there. Additionally, I can get a few more things done around home. I did a lot of purging when my parents were visiting. I'm continuing that trend.

I tried on every Spring & Summer item in my closets this weekend. If it was too big or I didn't love it, it went in the "give away" pile. If it fit, it went back in the closet. If it was damaged, it went in the trash. If it was more Fall/Winter, it went in the guest room closet. I filled 2 garbage bags already!! I'm still about 20 pounds heavier than my highest so I have two more boxes of things to go through as I drop weight. It should help save some money to have some things to wear for another few sizes. I just want to stay on top of it.

My goal is to try and live more simply. It will take a while, but I'm making progress!





Friday, April 8, 2016

Feeling more like myself

I'm really starting to feel like myself again after my recent sleeve revision surgery. The left side pain still lingers, but it gets better everyday. Sneezes are the worst, but it also hurts when I cough, laugh or move awkwardly. I also still have trouble sleeping on my side, but I know it will all get better with time. They told me it would take 4-6 weeks to heal and I'm only at just over 3 weeks, so I'm right on target.


I started eating pureed foods on Tuesday. The first day was a little difficult. I has some Egg Beaters in the morning, but they didn't go down smoothly. For lunch I has some pureed cauliflower soup. It went down easy peasy and honestly, I don't think I ate enough. I was a little light headed and hazy most of the day, even though I added a couple of shakes to keep my protein in check. I felt better in the evening after eating my favorite new concoction:

Noodle-less Manicotti

1 part cottage cheese
1 part marinara sauce
1 oz mozzarella  cheese

stir, then heat in the microwave until warm.

I realize it had been a long time (35 days!) since I had real savory food, so my bar is low, but it was SOOOO good! I think that I would add some ground beef later on for an easy and tasty, protein packed dinner. I didn't think I liked cottage cheese...maybe I don't normally, but I do like it this way! 10 more days of pureed food eating before I move to soft foods. After having a band for 6 years, I'm an expert at soft food!

I find the hardest thing has become getting my water in. I ordered some cool Swell bottles to inspire me.

This morning I had more Egg Beaters and they were great today! Lunch will be trickier. We are going to a Mexican restaurant so I'm going to order a side of refried beans and a side of guacamole.

I can feel myself itching to get active. I'm all ready to go work out and then "kablow"...it's like a knife to my side which reminds me that I'm totally not ready yet. All in due time. I know.

I'm just glad that the energy is coming back and my mind is getting back to normal! I've had some trouble feeling like myself the last year, but the last 6 months have been really "off". It's like I can see the light at the end of the tunnel and I want to run toward it but I'm in quicksand so I have to take it slow. But the light IS getting closer!

Hugs!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Getting back into things...

Today I'm starting my weekly check-ins. I want to keep myself accountable and this is the best way to do that.

Loss this week - 3.8 pounds
Total Loss since revision - 25.6 pounds
Total Loss from highest - 71.6 pounds

Wowzaa. I know the big losses are coming because of my highly restricted eating, but it still feels good. Weight-wise, I'm about in the middle of the range I spent the vast portion of the last 4 years. It is nice to start fitting into my clothes again.

It is amazing how much you can do to your body in just a few months of feeling terrible. But, I will pay that no mind as things are quickly coming back down. In addition to the 25 pounds, I have lost 18 inches! Most notably over 3 inches in my bust (goodbye back fat!) and over 3 inches in my belly. Also, I've lost over an inch in each thigh!!

As for recovery, my left side still hurts. I can tell it is getting better, but it is agonizingly slow! Heating pad and ice packs help my back pain that is coming along with it. It is absolutely better than last week, but annoyingly it just won't seem to go away.

Food

Today is my last day of the doctor required liquid diet. While I'm SO eager to start eating some savory things, it makes me a little nervous too. Today is day #35 of having only liquid in my diet. Other than being hungry, it has been easy. Moving to more solid food is nerve wracking for a few reasons:
  • What if it makes me sick?
  • What if it makes me gain weight?
  • What if I try to eat something and it won't go down?
Those are all things I had to deal with when I got my band, so I know I will be okay. But the doubts are still there. With the band, I always knew I could go get fluid out or even get the whole thing out if I wanted. What I have done is permanent. You would think I would get panicky about that, but I really don't. I get a little anxious on occasion, then I remember everything I have fought through and done. I will do whatever necessary to help myself be and stay healthy!

It will be a learning curve, but I have no doubt I will figure it out!

My plan for tomorrow is this:
  • Breakfast - greek yogurt
  • AM Protein Power Up - Shake
  • Lunch - Pureed Cauliflower Soup
  • PM Protein Power Up - Shake
  • Dinner - cottage cheese with spaghetti sauce
One step at a time!

Fitness

I still can't work out, which is good because I don't think I would be able to anyway. However, my back seems to be better when I don't sit around so much. I'm going to test it today and walk some at lunch. I will keep it leisurely and stop if I feel like it. If it hurts more after, then I won't walk anymore until I'm better. But if (as I hope) it keeps it warm and loose, it actually just might do me some good.

Plus, it is a glorious day outside. I might not get to go to the ballpark for Rangers Opening Day, but that doesn't mean I can't get a little sun!! Fingers crossed!

I will be patient though. I know with solid food and ramping up nutrition, the energy will come. But it is easier to move something that is already moving!

Weekend

The weekend was nice. BFF was in Vegas, so I had to entertain myself. I spent a couple of evenings last week with an old friend that was in town. Her son is my godson and it was great to see him. He is such a good kid!

Saturday I saw Zootopia with Debidoodle. It was super cute! Plus, I love spending time with her. It is crazy to think we would have never met if we hadn't had WLS. For those that are new to my blog, Debi & I met at a WLS support group after we got banded around the same time. Fortunately, she is not having any trouble with her band. Yay!

Sunday was the First Communion for another godson. He looks like Mowgli from the new Jungle Book movie! He did a great job. I got him a lego rosary. Who even knew such a thing existed??

Immediately after, I picked up BFF from the airport and we hit the grocery store. I bought several things to test out in upcoming days.

Tomorrow night I'm going to see Springsteen! What, what!?! Then I have a happy hour on Wednesday. Hopefully the week will be uneventful!

Hugs!

Friday, April 1, 2016

One month...

It has been exactly one month since I started my pre-op diet. Starting on the first of the month makes the breakdown easy:

Pre-op Week 1 - 10.4 pounds lost
Pre-op Week 2 -   4.6 pounds lost
Post-op Week 1 -  4.4 pounds lost
Post-op Week 2 -  2.8 pounds lost
Remaining Days -   1.6 pounds lost

TOTAL -  23.8 pounds lost

I feel like that is a pretty amazing accomplishment. I'm still drinking only shakes/liquids. Other than the inconvenience it causes for socializing, it is fine by me. I suppose I'm ready for some new flavors, but it certainly isn't as bad as I had thought it would be. This is my 32nd day with no solid food and I'm not going crazy. It is a freaking miracle.

Anyway, this is what 23.8 pounds lost looks like at the moment.






I tried to be as comparative as possible. At first I thought maybe the second outfit is just a little more flattering than the first, but I realize it is more than that. I have lost a whole lot of bloat. It feels really good!

I still have an ache in my left side. They said it could last up to 6 weeks! Now THAT is likely to drive me crazy. I would gladly take another week of liquids to lose the annoying pain. Crossing my fingers it fades over the weekend.

Tuesday I can start eating some more things. Yogurts and puddings, plus pureed foods. My dad made a bunch of soups I can't wait to try! I plan to bring my bullet blender to work to puree them each day. Shake for breakfast, pureed soup for lunch and dinner. I think I might add a shake in the afternoons if I'm short on protein.

It is more than possible for me to reach my next mini-goal before next month's check-in. So very close to that number I need to see to be confident I will be able to hang-glide in Rio!!!

Hugs!

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Scars

Scars can be ugly. There are creams, ointments and oils to get rid of them or lighten them.

When I got the excess skin taken off my arms, many people were aghast that I would voluntarily have an operation that would leave a scar on my arm from elbow to armpit. To be honest, I thought about it a lot. I was concerned. But the skin on my arms was such a nuisance. When I would work out, sometimes I would think that someone was coming up behind me. But nope...it was just my bat-wings flopping around in the wind.

It was during that time that I realized that everyone has scars. Sometimes, like mine, they are visible. Although, I would argue mine aren't too bad. I had been working out three mornings a week in close proximity to several people and it took about 4 months before any of them noticed my scars. People just don't pay attention to that kind of thing.


You might see evidence of burns or accidents on people's faces or bodies. Some people have scars from their chicken pox or acne. My dad has a scar the entire length of one shin because he decided to add kerosene to the furnace when he was a little boy. (Side note: how my dad survived his childhood is a mystery...)

I have all sorts of scars I know are there, but people wouldn't see. On my head from the time I cat-sat for a friend. He assured me that the cat was really nice if you don't pet him with your hands. Um, no... I have scars from my weight loss surgeries. Or from where I sliced my hand with a knife. I still have a bump on my knee from when I cut it on a screw sticking out of the floor when I was in the 6th grade.

Everyone has scars. But most scars no one can see. Emotional scars from any number of things. I have several friends that suffer from anxiety and/or depression. Friends that were abused or mistreated. Friends who were bullied, lied to, made fun of...  Even when the wounds heal, there are scars.

Our scars might tell our story, but they don't define us.

Hugs!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Post Op - Day #13

Most everything is going so well post op. Unfortunately, I have a persistent, nagging pain in my side. It radiates from front to back and is making it difficult to do much. My understanding is that it is perfectly normal and varies in severity and duration from patient to patient. I'm trying to have patience and be as thoughtful in my actions as possible. But I would be lying if I said it wasn't annoying as heck!

While this nagging pain persists, the rest of the pain has faded. My incisions are all healing well. The piercing pain that accompanied all movement is gone. Once I conquer this side pain, I will be good to go!

Weight

During my 2 week pre-op diet, I lost 15 pounds. It was difficult for sure. The biggest motivator was to have my liver in perfect operation shape, but it didn't suck to see the scale move like that. I quickly reached my initial goal of losing the weight I had put on since the holidays. I was no longer bloated and puffy. My clothes fit better.

Since the procedure, I have lost another 6.8 pounds. I now weigh less than when this whole ordeal started in October which was my 2nd goal met a few days ago. That feels really good.


For the last couple of years, I spent my time losing and gaining the same 10 pounds. I was at the top of that range when my band slipped. So my next goal is to get those 10 pounds off yet again. My goal to do that is mid-May. I have beat my last two goals, so I feel good about this one.

The month ends on Thursday. I will take a new picture then to get a good comparison to my start a few weeks ago!

Activity

The doctor cleared me for walking exercise, but until this side pain clears, I'm not going to work out. I hope that by being extra careful, it will fade sooner. Fingers crossed!

Food

I get a little hungry every once in a while, but nothing like before. I do have to make sure to eat so I can get in all my protein. Also, I started my vitamins today, which should help as well.

I had tried some pudding a few days ago and it went down fine. The doctor said though that the goal of the first 3 weeks is to make the stomach work as little as possible. So even though I could get down pudding or yogurt, it should be shakes only until next week. I'm fine with that. It is a little boring, but it is much easier to make good decisions when you aren't starving!

That means I'm on day #28 of liquids. It will be nice to get some variety. My dad made a bunch of soups while he was here. He, mom and BFF would eat it and then he put the leftovers in the fridge. That is going to be my food for a couple of weeks as soon as I get through this phase. That will give me a lot of variety!!

Sleep

I'm really sleepy. I don't think I'm sleeping well. It is probably from the pain. Although I bought a new mattress in December and I'm a little worried it is from that. I will keep an eye on it.

I"m sure part of it too is that I'm not active right now and my body isn't getting a lot of energy. Another reason why I'm eager to feel better and start working out! Even if is just walking.

I can feel myself WANTING to do things, but my body just isn't ready for it yet. I keep reminding myself that it hasn't even been two weeks since surgery, but it is hard not to be a little impatient.

Bottom line, I'm recovering well, just not as fast as I would have liked. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!

Hugs!

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Post op

My gastric sleeve surgery was last Tuesday morning and it was a great success! I kept meaning to write an update post, but honestly I didn't feel like doing much.

We got to the surgery center at 4:30am along with 2 other people. One man was getting the gastric balloon and he went before me. It only took about 10 minutes! I don't know anyone that has ever done that procedure. It would be interesting to know what it is like.

They got me through PreOp quickly. I remember mom came back to see me before the surgery. Once they gave me some drugs, I was flying high. Apparently I told the anesthesiologist tech that I loved him. Ha!

Next thing I knew I was coming out of surgery. I don't remember the first phase of recovery hardly at all. They moved me into a secondary recovery roomwhere I spent the next 4 or 5 hours. I would sip water every 15 minutes and breathe and walk every hour. The nurse was super nice and helpful. I needed every bit of that time, I think.

The first two days were tough. I could barely get down water and medicine, but my parents were so patient and helpful. It was hard to move. Getting in and out of chairs or bed was extremely painful. I did notice the very first night, even with all of the abdominal pain, the fluttering in my abdomen (from the hernia) was all gone. YAY!!

I spent most of my time in bed or in my recliner. I would walk and breathe every hour. I started sipping on watered down shakes and Isopure. By the weekend, I was drinking shakes easily and also drinking the broth from strained soups. My dad has made soup everyday and put the leftovers in the freezer. I'm set for a couple of weeks after they leave!!

On Sunday, BFF drove me around a little bit to get me out of the apartment and to give my parents a break. That was nice! Yesterday was my last day off and while I mostly sat around, my dad put together my new Broadway nook. I LOVE IT!!


I framed all of my Broadway and West End Playbill covers. He hung them along with some lights on the stairs. It just looks so fantastic!!

Today I'm back at work. I'm tired and a little hazy, but overall not too bad. I will work 1/2 the day at the office and 1/2 at home, today, tomorrow and Thursday. We have Friday off as a work holiday which is awesome!

My dad is having trouble with his foot (maybe a bad stress fracture) so please send him positive thoughts and patience mojo. My post op appointment will be on Friday so I should have another update next Monday.

Hugs!

Monday, March 7, 2016

Liquid Diet - Day #7

Day #7 of the pre-op liquid diet. Let's start with the good, shall we?

It is technically 1 day shy of a week and I have lost 9.6 pounds. I went back and read my blog post from Day #6 of my lap band pre-op diet. I was feeling similar...tired of it, but it is only another week. I can do it. I had lost 7.3 pounds by that time, but then again that pre-op diet was much less strict.

My LB pre-op diet allowed for 2 shakes per day (any kind with at least 20g protein) and one broth based soup with chucks (so like chicken noodle, vegetable, etc.) To be honest, I stretched that one quite a bit. This one is harder to stretch. :) Hence, the 9.6 pounds loss at a much lower weight.

I did "cheat" once this weekend. On Sunday mornings, BFF & I typically walk to Starbucks together. It is once of my favorite things about living downtown...walking places. BFF is not a fan of walking places, but Starbucks she will do. We went this Sunday and instead of my standard latte, I got a decaf non-fat latte. I'm a rebel, huh?

I tried a few different shake combinations this weekend.

My favorite:
  • Almond Milk
  • Chocolate Protein Powder
  • 2 Decaf coffee ice cubes
  • 2 pumps SF caramel syrup
 Another good one:
  • Almond Milk
  • Vanilla Protein Powder
  • 2 coconut water ice cubes
  • 1/4t cinnamon
I started using my bullet blender at home with the ice cubes and it is a great alternative! I'm continuing with the shaker bottle at work, but will use the blender when I'm home. Also, I bought some more SF flavorings through Amazon. I had caramel & hazelnut, but I bought butter, strawberry, yellow cake, coconut, peach & pear. I had the yellow cake with vanilla this morning and it was delicious. Very sweet though. I might try that with the cinnamon sometime.

I would say the number one issue I'm facing with this diet is inconvenience. I'm way to social for this kind of thing to work long term. The (close) second issue is the hunger. I keep counting this liquid diet down to my surgery date, but the reality is that I will have to do it for 3 weeks post-op. But I know post-op, I won't have the hunger I have now, so it is completely different.

Tonight is just a normal night. Tomorrow I have my monthly dinner with the girls. I have to take a shake, but they don't care. Wednesday night we are getting pedis. We did this a few nights before my band surgery too. It really warms my heart that my friends want to help me pass the time as the surgery comes closer and I likely get more anxious. Thursday I have a massage and then we are back to the weekend.

Just continuing to take it one day at a time...

Hugs!!

Friday, March 4, 2016

Still on liquids

Day #4 of the liquid diet. Ironically, I find it hard to keep hydrated. I have to make myself drink water. My typical day has been:

8am Coffee
9am Protein Shake
10:30am Jello or popsicle
12:00pm Protein Shake
1:00pm Jello or popsicle
2:30pm Chicken or Beef broth
3:30pm Jello or popsicle
5:00pm Protein Shake
7:00pm Protein Shake and jello or popsicle

In between I might have a Vitamin Water or Crystal Light or even chew gum. I tend to wake up hungry, but once I have the coffee, I don't usually get hungry until the afternoon. Then I stay hungry the rest of the day. There is no way I could sustain something like this, but then again, it wasn't meant for that. The purpose is to shrink my liver to make the surgery as easy as possible.

I'm a little over 20% done. I have been Xing the dates off on my calendar which is nice. It makes me feel like I"m accomplishing something.

Wednesday morning I woke up with a bad back. I'm convinced it was God's way of telling me that a two week liquid diet is not so bad. :)  It was rough getting through work because it was hard to even get out of my chair. At one point in the day, I had gotten up to use the restroom and get a popsicle but I forgot the popsicle. I sat there a few minutes trying to get the energy to get up and couldn't. I emailed one of my employees and told her I would be her best friend forever if she would get me a popsicle. She popped into my office with the popsicle and told me I was in charge of our matching bracelets. Ha! I love my team.

Yesterday morning, I just so happened to have my annual well woman exam scheduled. I told her all about my ordeal and upcoming surgery. She said that according to my labs (other than the weight gain and external issues) it didn't do much to harm my system. My triglycerides were slightly high but in her words "barely". Everything else was A-OK.

I woke up this morning and my back is a little better but it still hurts at times. I should be mostly okay tomorrow and I think I will be 100% on Monday.

This weekend will be tough, but I will just keep taking it day by day. Plus, I keep reminding myself that this is hardly the most horrible thing in the world. Suck it up, Beth Ann!

Hugs!

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

And so it begins...

Today is the first day of my pre-sleeve surgery two week liquid diet. The plan is to have a shake at 9am, noon, and 2pm (with a 4th at home for "dinner".) I also have 8 oz of chicken broth for 4pm or so. Then I brought sugar free popsicles, jello and gum along with vitamin water & decaf tea, so I can have a little something every 30 minutes or so.

I also plan to drink a lot of water which will mean a ton of bathroom trips.

I'm finally updating my weight ticker today. I gained exactly 20 pounds from the night that my band slipped (or whatever happened) until this morning. It was only just over 4 months. I'm hopeful that weight will come off quickly.

The even better news is that even with all this nonsense, I have kept off 46 pounds from the beginning. So, I'm not starting over. I'm just starting again. Interestingly, I didn't get to my goal weight the first time. In fact, I didn't even get within 20 pounds of it. It will be interesting to see if I can get there this time.

Here is me today:


I hated pictures of me prior to weight loss surgery. But then for a long time, I loved (or at least didn't mind) them. I just realized that I really don't like them again. :-) My hair that I feels looks so sassy in real life looks...well, not sassy. I don't really mind the rest of me in this picture. The shirt is cute and jeans are jeans. Interesting. Overall, I just don't feel good on the inside, so I don't really feel good on the outside.

I'm looking forward to:
  • Not feeling like I could be a fire breathing dragon (that should be fixed with the hernia repair.)
  • Not feeling like I have a caterpillar in my chest (also hernia.)
  • My clothes fitting again. 
  • My arms not hurting because I'm stretching the skin at the scars from my plastic surgery.
  • Working out again!!!!!!!
  • Feeling like I have control over my own body again.
  • Sleeping better!
 All of those things will come, I just have to be patient and take it one day at a time.

Not too long ago, someone told me that I didn't seem like a person that cared about her weight. I think that they meant that I was confident about myself and wouldn't allow weight to change that. I also think they meant it as a compliment. And there is some truth to that. I no longer let my weight define me. However, the bottom line is that I feel like crap. I didn't used to feel like crap. And I don't want to feel like crap anymore. If someone else that is overweight doesn't feel like crap, they might choose a different path and that is absolutely A-OK!

Hugs!

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Special Weekend Edition

I hadn't heard anything from the doctor since Wednesday morning. Friday, our amazing company closed early to celebrate some jobs well done. I left work planning to hear nothing until at least Monday. BFF & I left work and headed to downtown Grapevine to do a little shopping. While I was there I noticed that I had a voicemail on my work phone from the doctor's office. Yay for the technology!!

I called and talked to my coordinator who I adore. On Tuesday, I have a gall bladder ultrasound at 9:00, an appointment with the PA at 9:30, and my pre-op education appointment at 10:00. Thursday morning, I get my blood drawn. I start my two week pre-op diet on 2/29 and the big day is Monday 3/14!

My biggest goal over  the next 3 weeks is to get work ready for an extended absence. I'm only taking a week off, but the next week I will be working from home some. I work with a lot of different areas of the company and interact with many people, so I have to make sure that my team is ready to deal with that. They are awesome so I know it will be fine, but some preparation will help make it smoother.

Medifast is done. One week, well actually, five days in the books. Not going to lie, it was terrible. But now I only have 10 days until my liquid diet, so I'm not going to spend it miserable. At least I can keep the rest of the "food" for post-op. They will make good snacks and on the go meals.

Last night I met up with my Rio travel mates. The trip is getting more and more real.

Have a great weekend!

Hugs!

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Happy

Good morning! I'm in such a happy mood today. I had a great surprise yesterday. Something made me think of a couple of friends from long ago yesterday morning, so I sent them an email. They had both moved away a long time ago, but it just so happened that one of them was in town for work. She, BFF & I got together for dinner and had the absolute best time catching up.

We had seen each other a couple of times over the past 7 or 8 years, but we had left things a little awkward. Turns out that we all wanted to tell each other that we had no ill feelings, but weren't sure how to do it. It was cathartic and joyful and warmed my heart like I can't even explain. I don't know what made me send that email when I had only emailed her a couple of times over the years. I had never emailed her just to tell her I was thinking of her. God, fate, coincidence...whatever you want to call it, it has made me happy today.

Medifast update: yesterday's meals...
  • Breakfast - coffee & Medifast berry cereal (dry)
  • Lunch - I had an off site work lunch. I had 1/2 of a "breakfast bowl" that had sweet potato hash, ground beef, egg, avocado & salsa. It was the most amazing thing I had in days.
  • PM Snack - Medifast S'mores Crunch Bar (Again, a surprise because I don't typically like bars, but this one was pretty good.)
  • Dinner - This was a hot mess because we impromptu met our friend at a bar, I ended up drinking two drinks...but just a club soda mixer, so not terrible...but then I got some sort of chicken and pasta dish. It was freaking delicious though. AND I only had half even though I was still hungry. 
This morning I was down another 1/2 pound so I'm not going to get too bent out of shape. The whole point of this is to keep control until I can have surgery, so anything I lose is a bonus.

I did gift my boss with a bunch of Medifast food today. He does it off and on when he wants to lose a few pounds. I gave him the ziti marinara soup stuff along with chicken noodle soup and oatmeal raisin bars. I told him I would rather be fat. He laughed and said he wanted credit for actually eating the stuff. He deserves huge kudos. Bleh. I will say that over the last 5-6 years, I have learned to eat pretty clean so all this processed stuff is for the birds.

Yesterday's comparison picture got me to looking at old photos. Here is a timeline collage:


Top left was the beginning. Yeesh. I barely remember her, although I do remember how horrible I felt both internally and externally. Not my favorite time. Top right was my lowest. Not only had I lost over 95#, I had started CrossFitting and working out hardcore. I felt awesome!!

Bottom left was about 25# heavier and where I settled in for about 3 years prior to having band issues. I was still working out hard and even though I was heavier, a lot of it was muscle and I still felt good all the time. This particular picture was October 2014. Bottom right was yesterday which is about 20# heavier. Let me be clear...this extra 20# is NOT muscle. Heh. So still 50# down overall and just feeling better about myself in general.

While there is no question that I would like to lose weight, my number one priority is to feel better so I can start working out again. There is no question that is when I feel my best. I'm starting to feel like that time is actually coming which is contributing to my happy mood.

No further news on the surgery yet. I think I'm just waiting on them to contact me to schedule, so cautiously optimistic!

Hugs!

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Updates...

Day #2 of Medifast:

  • Breakfast - coffee & peach yogurt 
  • AM Snack - Medifast berry cereal (ate it dry. Wasn't bad. Nice and crunchy.)
  • Lunch - shrimp & veggies
  • PM Snacks - First I had the Medifast Pretzel Sticks which were tasty enough, but later I was still hungry so I had a Medifast sea salt popcorn snack. A little later, I was still hungry so I had some Medifast spicy black bean veggie chips which were really good.
  • Dinner - I got home late, so I ended up eating Medifast beef stew. I thought it would be terrible, but it was fine. Almost good!
  • Late Snack - Finished the night with a Medifast popcorn snack.
Lost another couple pounds of bloat so my pants zipped a little easier this morning. I will say that this diet has helped decrease my appetite immensely BUT I have no energy. If I tried to work out at all, it would be terrible. This is definitely not a long term solution for me, but hopefully I can keep some semblance of control while waiting on a surgery date.

Speaking of... I heard from Doctor #3 late yesterday and they confirmed that they had everything they needed and would be sending my file to the nurse for review. I received another email from her first thing this morning saying that there were two items from the nurse. First, I would have to do two weeks of liquid diet instead of one. No biggie. And second, they wanted to know if I wanted to a gall bladder ultrasound first.

Apparently for $50, they will do a gall bladder ultrasound to see if you have stones or any other issues that might indicate it should be removed. For a couple more thousand dollars, they will remove it at the same time they do the other procedures. I decided to go ahead and do the ultrasound, but wait on any action unless it appeared to be an emergency since my insurance would likely cover that 100% later.

She and I talked back and forth a couple of times answering my questions and deciding. I almost didn't know how to handle all that communication!! I believe the next step is to start scheduling things. She said likely I could schedule the ultrasound on the day of my pre-op meeting. Hopefully I will be able to actually see dates in the next few days!

Monday I went to my for my lab work for my annual exam. I'm proud to say that everything is normal except that my cholesterol was 2 points out of normal range and triglycerides were high. Not terrible for 4 months of questionable nutrition choices. It will be interesting to see how they compare next year.

On the subject of updates...I used to be better at update pictures, but I haven't been good lately. Here is me the same size several years ago on my way down, and here is me today.  The chicky on the right is happier anyway!


Hugs!

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Medifast...

So...Medifast. It is about what I expected. Yesterday's recap:

  • Breakfast - Medifast oatmeal (powdery and slimy at the same time which is actually kind of impressive if you think about it. Taste was okay and it did feel like there was some substance to it.)
  • Snack - Medifast shake made with milk (a little gritty, but not horrible. As with a lot of shakes, just doesn't feel like there was a lot of substance.)
  • Lunch - sauteed shrimp with mushrooms, zucchini and asparagus. (I made this myself and it was delicious.)
  • Snack - Medifast crisps (these were chili cheese flavored. Pretty tasty actually.)
  • Snack - Medifast Ziti meal (I changed my mind and had a cookie dough protein bar instead. As a rule, I think protein bars are disgusting and the devil's work, but I thought I would give it a shot. I put it in the microwave for 15 seconds and I could almost convince myself that it was warm cookie dough. It is a stretch, but it did help to have a little sweet.)
  • Dinner - Salad (I changed my mind and had roasted vegetables with white beans from True Food Kitchen. It was served cold so I guess it was a salad. It wasn't something I would have normally, but it wasn't bad.)
  • When I got home I had a sugar free popsicle. It was good, but did nothing for my hunger.
Not going to lie, went to bed hungry and woke up hungry. I got my blood work done this morning for my annual exam next week. It will be interesting to see how it reads after eating whatever (for the most part) for the last four months (and little exercise.) It will be a good baseline to compare to next year.

I was three pounds down on the scale this morning. I was obviously bloated and it is was good to shed some of that quickly. There is no way I can do this long term. Did I mention that I'm starving constantly? Once I have a surgery date scheduled, I can figure out how to move forward. In the meantime, Medifast it is.

Speaking of surgery, I had my post-op nutrition class yesterday. It was boring, but in all fairness, this is not my first rodeo. They taught us to read food labels. I pity the person that is having weight loss surgery that doesn't know how to do that. I've been on a diet since the 4th grade. That stuff is second nature to me.

The last thing I need is for my former doctors to send in paperwork to the new doctor. I spoke with Doctor #3 (new doc) office and they said that they are missing the original lap band report and the EGD report. On Wednesday, she had said specifically that the pathology report was in the packet, but not the actual EGD report.

So yesterday I called both doctors. Doctor #1 (band doc) said that they faxed it on Friday (hmmm...) Doctor #2 (first opinion doc) said that they also faxed over on Friday (double hmmmm...) So I emailed Doctor #3 again and gave that information. She said that they did not get Doctor #1 info at all and for Doctor #2, they got the EGD report, but not the pathology report that they needed. Wait, what?

So again this morning, I talked to both former doctors. Doctor #1 said that she would gladly fax the documents again today (within the next 10 minutes.) Doctor #2 said she would gladly send again as well but reiterated that the pathology report was in the original documents sent and the EGD report was sent on Friday. I really think that my new doctor's office is the confused party. I emailed them with all of this information this morning, so we will see. My only choice is to be patient. (Good luck with that. Ha!)

One of the things that makes me happiest about all this is that recovery is so much shorter with the sleeve surgery that there should be no problem being ready for Rio even if it continues to get pushed a bit. That was a real concern for me.

Anyway, it is almost time for Medifast meal #2 today. I will keep you posted. :)

Hugs!