Monday, October 21, 2013

Banded Life

Having a laproscopic band has not helped me dump a ton of weight.  There. I said it.   In fact, I'm stuck at 285 lbs.

My recovery was very quick.  I was able to hiking at Devils Lake State Park 9 days after the procedure. Part of that hike is a climb about 500 feet straight up and it's 4/10 of a mile long.  We walked almost 4 miles that day. It was exhausting, yet the feeling of victory over that beast of a hike was something the likes of which I had not felt in many many years.

My battle of the band is largely mental.  I have grown so accustomed to eating and eating and eating until the food in front of me is gone, that I never learned to find "full".  Crazy thing - I can eat everything I used to eat!  Now I have to make the conscious choice to eat good food, high in protein and stop before I am stuffed. It is a daily battle.

At this point I am almost 7 weeks post-op.  I just had my first fill last week.  I can tell a little difference, but I can still eat a lot.  I'm told that this will be the case until I get two more fills or so. That won't happen for probably 6-8 weeks.  So, I am really having to think about what I'm doing when I get hungry. I also have to really watch myself when I eat so that I don't over do it.  It.Is.Hard.

I did join Anytime Fitness about 3 weeks ago...maybe 4 weeks. IDK.  I LOVE it.  I figure that at some point my fitness endeavors and my lapband tool should connect and the weight will start moving again.  The one thing I really really really am aware of is this:

This is a mental/psychological process.  M>E>N>T>A>L

It's within me to conquer the beast.  I need to brain it out to find total success.

Friday, September 20, 2013

I'm back AND banded.

Well, it has been far too long since I've blogged.  Clearly I need to get this bad-boy up to date so I can track my progress and struggles.

When last I wrote, it was April and I was on the mission toward getting the lapband procedure done.  I had to lose enough weight to get my BMI under 50 in order to have the surgery as an outpatient.

Fast forward to September 20, and here I am - perfectly banded and doing okay.

I finished my last class for the procedure in July.  They submitted me to surgery right away and approval came within a week.  I needed to lose 10 more pounds by my August check in to hit my BMI goal.  I was feeling pretty good.

August check in - I lost that 10 pounds - you bet I did!!  I had to be really strict about what I ate. But I was and did the job.  Next would come a flurry of appointments, including scheduling my surgery for August 30. That was the perfect date because my support group is my fellah and my son - neither would miss school for my surgery.

I didn't do so well maintaining my 10 pound loss.  I did get it off before surgery - thank goodness.

Got a call that my surgeon had suddenly decided that anyone with a BMI over 45 couldn't have the procedure done in the "other" surgery center. Noooooo, I was going to have to be rescheduled and have my surgery in the St. Mary's OR.  WTF.  Still haven't received the bill for that - hoping it isn't a ton more than my peers who also had the procedure done had to pay.  I will appeal to the surgeon's kind side if it is. (No fair, I cried!!  And when we talked, I gave him the stink eye so he'd know I wasn't happy.)

Wellll, let's see.....pre-op with my reg. doctor was Aug. 28.

Surgery: September 4.

We had to get up at 3:00 a.m. to drive to Madison; we were on the road by 3:30 a.m.. It took about an hour and 15 minutes.  We arrived and our car was swept away by valet parking guys.  We didn't even have a chance to warm our chairs up good before i was called to register and then taken back to "my room".  Had to get completely nakers and gown up.  Apparently there are two gown sizes for adults:  regular and mammoth.  I invited John and the nurse to put the gown on with me - they both declined. We could have all fit in comfortably.  I was hooked up to the IV and they started jacking me full of fluid so I'd be well hydrated.  I waited.  I was soon whisked away to the pre-op space without my sweet John and with about a dozen other folks also preparing for surgery.  I was just a little scared.

The anesthetist dropped by to chat me up.  "Can you climb a flight of stairs?" he asked me.  My eyes got big and I responded - "Dude, I hike state parks."   He said, "Oh, well, I guess you can then."  Oh, you stereotyper guy!  This fatty-fat girl walks and hikes and takes stairs! Youbetcha!!!    Never ever underestimate the power of a woman determined!

I had the presence of mind to request a trip to the potty before the nurse started the IV to make me relaxed. I preferred waltzing thru the middle of the pre-op area in my flowing gown - butt not hanging out -  to the notion of trying to whiz on a bedpan.  Disaster averted.

Surgery happened.  I'm having a hard time remembering being taken to surgery.  All I do remember is waking up just after having the tube taken out of my throat and feeling like I was going to throw up. I swear they put something on my just that I could inhale to help with the nausea.  I would end up wishing I had that stuff -whatever it was - over and over once we left the hospital.  Was taken in my bed back to my recovery room and eventually woke up. No pain at that point. Just woozy.  The day went on, and the surgeon never stopped in. I think that's weird. He did report to John that the surgery went great, no complications, etc. Again....weird.  I was able to eat and swallow and keep down water via ice chips.  And by about 4:00 I was able to drink 8 oz of water and pee in the hat on the potty. (I told my nurse I felt like a cat peeing in a litter box. Well. I did!)  Once those two things were accomplished and John had my Rx for pain - we were off down the road to home.

Nausea phase one:  since I was a little kid, I was prone to car sickness.  We were trying to get out of Madison when I had to make John pull over in case I puked.  I sucked lots of air and the wave passed.

Nausea phase two:  60 minutes later we arrive at Wisconsin Dells.  We went to Wal*Mart for
Gas-X strips and tylenol. Doritos for John. (Ugh!)  And I was sick sick sick again - just had to walk it off and suck air to make it pass.

Arrive home about 6:00.  I got settled in. Took some medicine. Heating pad on my back for the pain from being inflated.  My son came home.  My sweet, loving John bolted like he'd been launched outta there. He had had enough fun for the day.

Nausea phase three:  dry heaves. OMG - no one wants to freekin' dry heave anyway, much less a fat lady just banded.  Suck air, suck air, suck air.

Nausea phase four:  vomitous frightnous - kill me now.  OMG - I called the oncall nurse and got little reassurance. I talked the on call doctor who said I should throw up any more.  (Really???)  I could go back to the hospital like 2 hours away for IV's.  (Hell to the no!)

Called John - he shoulda stayed, but he is forgiven.  I was screwd in the event that I needed to go to the hospital for IVs cuz I was drugged and my kid can't drive at age 14.

Nausea phases five and six - more dry heaving and finally upchucking the minimal liquid in my system.

8:30 p.m. Time to go to bed.  I figured that if we all don't totally dehydrate over night, i was going to be just fine 'til morning.  I slapped on my jammies and my CPAP maching and was out for the night.  Next morning, I felt pretty good, all things considered.

This is long, so I'm going to quit here. I'll write more again soon.

To be continued...

 This is my Spring 2011 probably close to my heaviest.  I need to find this top and see how it fits now.

This is 2013 after hiking 4 miles in the beautiful bluffs of Wisconsin.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

I'm learning...

I intended to write more regularly -ooopsies!

I had my monthly appointment at the weight management  program yesterday.  I am down a total of 13 pounds since starting the program.  My blood pressure was SUPER! Thanks to that walking I'm doing, I've got it a little more under control - not that it was a problem, but there is family history there.

I have 10 pounds to lose now so that my BMI goes under 50.  That means that I can do the lap-band procedure as an outpatient.  I. must.lose.the.ten.   Granted I have like 3 months, but I also have a 30 year class reunion in August. I am doing a 5K walk in early May. I'm also doing a Dirty Girl event near Milwaukee in the middle of August - unless I manage to score a surgery date by then in which case I won't be getting dirty with my girl-peeps. 

Things I learned at yesterday's class:

1. We truly are all different as we pursue this thing called health.  I was in class with two other people and we were all three very very different in our approaches and in our paths.  I have to say I feel really really smart about this process and how I'm going to get to the big day as healthfully as possible.

2. When I want to, I have amazing determination.  Strangely, this is one of the first times I have put the focus on my self and worked hard to achieve something primarily for ME.  I continue to learn that I am worthy of good health, wellness, and looking like the woman I am on the inside. Cuz inner-skinny-bitch ROCKS!
We know that's NOT what I meant.

Annnd, that's not it either. You get the point.

3. Grazing vs 3 squares - I have been grazing throughout the day to get my protein in.  I'm not eating as many veggies and fruits as I should but I've got this protein thing down.  So last night I bought the baby carrrots in the bag and dragged them to work with me.  I've eaten some.  They give me hiccups.  But I ate 'em anyway. Maybe I'm sucking air. But I'm getting in the stupid vegetables.

4. I'm prone to celebratory food fun.  We had spaghetti with meat sauce and garlic cheese bread for supper last night.  OMG - it was delish.  I've eaten a bit of pasta, but this was pasta-palooza.  Naturally this morning I had to have a chocolate bismark with chocolate cream filling chocolate frosting and chocolate sprinkles.  The Kwik Trip knew I was on my way.  I chased it with a chocolate milk.  That's the end of the food fest.  Now I have to get serious again.

5. Cleaning out the fridge is empowering.  I don't have enough room to see all my veggies on the shelves because of all the crap and leftover containers and rotting stuff I forgot about and jars of pickles we inherited from my mom when she died.  Who the hell needs 6 jars of pickles in their fridge?  I made my son drain and dump them all out.  I don't much like pickles.  I felt bad dumping them. But now I can see what's all in that fridge and maybe won't let stuff rot and leak all over.

Things are going along well. I feel good.  The only "issue" is that I think "that time of the month" is freekin' early. I.HATE.IT.A.LOT!!! 

Hopefully it will pass quickly so I can get on with the rest of my life.


Thursday, April 4, 2013

This work is hard!!!

Stalking lots of blogs lately, I notice the hot topic seems to be the notion that some folks see bariatric surgery as "the easy way out."  Maybe I thought that as well, but then I met my boyfriend who has lost 180 lbs. thru gastric bypass surgery and has to run every day to keep the evil  pounds at bay. I think of another friend who has lost a ton of weight but is still miserable as a person.  It ain't easy.

If you've ready any of this blog, you know I am preparing for lapband surgery.  I am about 3 months into my 6 month preparation program.  At 322 lbs my BMI  was over 50. In order to have the surgery as an outpatient, i need to lose weight to get that BMI below 50.  


The mental part is just as challenging as the physical.   I have been fighting demons for years and managed to swaddle them in my fat self.  Unraveling the reasons I've gotten to this weight his hard and painful.  This shit ain't for sissies.

And before January 1 I had become a complete couch potato.  Since then I have been working toward getting fit.  I am walking. For a while I did one walk a day. Then I decided to try two walks.  Now I'm up to three walks a day.  I started doing 15 minutes in the morning; now I'm doing 30 minutes.  Around lunch time I take a 15-20 minute walk, making myself climb the stairs in my office building from the basement to the 4th floor. Hauling this carcass up that many stairs is an ass-kicker. Today I wanted to skip it because I've been congested and am having trouble breathing, but I did it anyway.  This evening I will walk my three two rounds of walking.

This morning -  I jogged.  I've read a little about the Couch to 5K program, so I decided to add some bursts of jogging in with my walking.  I hurt now a little, but by golly it didn't kill me.  I think I will try a little of that again tonight.  The dogs will love it.

My personally prescribed eating program seems to be working.  I feel good and can tell when I've fouled up.  It isn't worth it to feel so gross, so I know I have to be much much more careful what I put in my mouth.

I've been drinking hot tea the last couple days to fight the congestion in my chest.  It sure helps.

I'm really enjoying this journey, even though it is hard.  I like me a lot these days and feel like a success for the first time in ages. That's a good thing.  I don't feel like I need to hide anymore, either.  Hide from what?  IDK - but I have the sense that I've been hiding from the world. 

OOOOP! Gotta go. I can smell the coffee pot burning out the bottom.  Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Hangover - kill me now.1

I had a beautiful weekend with my man and my son.  Easter was with them plus my brother plus my bestie and her hubby.  What a great day.

The bad news is that I was off the hook with my eating.  I was a frickin' eating machine and didn't give a rip that I was falling right into my old stuff myself at holiday time pattern.

I felt like total crap all day long.

I'm exhausted now.

Lesson learned.


Friday, March 29, 2013

My five things Friday...

1. I can be an inspiration. Out of the blue this morning a co-worker facebooked me wanting to go for a walk around my little town.  My house is a mess always and she lives in what is to me a palatial estate.  So I warned her about my "white-trash-third-ward" abode and over she came.  We had a great walk and talk. She told me that my commitment to walking on a regular basis has given her motivation to get her own self moving.  Whodathunkit?

2. I am in a perfect place today where I don't care if I eat or not.  Life is good.  I don't feel the need to graze.  And what I have eaten has been high in protein. Plus an apple.  It's not that hard today.

3. As I'm cleaning out my body and brain from depression and being sedentary, I am inclined to also clean my house and get rid of the crap that just sits here gathering dust.  Depression is a terrible thing.  I'm not saying I'm a hoarder exactly, cuz I can navigate the house easily. I do have random piles of stuff that need to go somewhere or in the garbage.

4. I love this weather. It's almost 50* in Wisconsin today.  I have sheets on the line.  I love sleeping in line-dryed sheets after a busy day.  I'm having a sleepover which makes it even better.

5. As I emerge from my old life, I realize how truly blessed I am today.    I'm glad I returned to blogging because I enjoy writing; it's so healing for me.

God bless y'all.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Making myself do things I'd rather not do. It's a good thing.

My inner spoiled brat tends to want to run the show some days.  It's her I have to conquer in order to win this war on myself.  While I was walking recently, I found myself actually thinking about me as two entities - kinda weird, but it makes sense to me.  I've apparently always given in to that spoiled brat which is part of why I ended up over 300 lbs.  It's just easier sometimes....well, most of the time.

No one said that losing weight was going to be easy - it's hard as hell!  And even though some folks think of WLS as the "easy way out" to lose weight, I'm here to say that it isn't true.  And I'm pre-surgery.  I have a ton of work to do before I am finally approved for the lapband.  When I started this my BMI was over 52. Yikes!   I have to get it down to below 50 before I can have out-patient surgery.  That means losing like 30 pounds before I can even get on the table.  And it isn't easy ( no one said it would be, right?)  So I'm busting my butt to get the pounds off before I can even get to the big dance.

So what am I doing to keep the spoiled brat at bay and make progress toward losing that first 30 pounds?

1. I'm eating small meals throughout the day.  In my former teacher life that just wasn't going to happen. Now that I have a desk job with a permanent spot from which I don't often wander, it's pretty easy for me to graze.  My meals consist of protein bars, yogurt, fruit, a chicken salad kit, and repeat of the fruit and yogurt.  I have to get my veggies in at the evening meal, but that is working pretty well.

2. I am drinking at least 64 oz of water a day and trying to make it 100+.  I feel better when I do drink more water.  Plus, I've pretty much given up drinking soda.  Water is free, anyway.

3. I'm walking.  I was walking 30 - 45 minutes a day after work. Well, now I get up earlier and walk for 15 minutes in the morning.  Then after lunch I go out and walk another 15 minutes. In the evening I take the dogs for a walk.  3 dogs - that's 2 15-20 minute walks so I can handle them safely.

4. Taking the stairs -  no more elevator.  I don't often have to go to other floors at work but when I do- it's the stairs I take.  And on that lunch walk I'm doing, on the return trip I am in the basement of our building and I walk to the 4th floor by the stairs.  Today my inner spoiled brat didn't want to do the stairs.  I stood there running excuses past myself for a good 2 minutes.  I envisioned my fellah's look of disapproval if I let myself off the hook.  I felt the guilt of skipping it.  So I did the stairs.  I can't go fast.  I want to drop at the top. But by golly, I did it. 

5. I've cut out a lot of random carbs.  I just prefer eating my self-prescribed diet of fruit and bars and stuff because I know what I'm getting for nutrients and calories.  If left to just free-range feed, I don't do well and I know this.  I have to just be on point always.

And I'm seeing results. The scale doesn't show me much, but I refuse to let that bother me.  I can see in my face and neck that I look better - cripes, I think I've lost a chin.  My clothes definitely it better. I'm missing a saddle bag on my right hip and can't wait for the left one to disappear, too. The non-scale victories are plenty satisfying, especially when the scale doesn't show progress.  I don't need no stinking scale to tell me.

I hope that I am making life-style changes that will last me a lifetime.  Slow and steady.  Changes by change. I may not like every change but change?   It's a good thing.