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. :)


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!!


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!


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!!


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.


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!


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!


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!

 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!


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"'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!


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.


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!


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!


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!


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!!!