A Personal Mantra. Repeat as needed.
Jul 30, 2009
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever God may be,
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance,
I have not cried nor winced aloud,
Under the bludgeoning of chance,
My head is bloody but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how straight the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the captain of my fate,
I am the master of my soul.
---William Earnest Henley, 1875
2008 - Dark Days and a "Do-Over"
Jun 30, 2009
Yes, yes, I know that I have been horribly remiss with my postings (or lack thereof) lately, but once you're in a maintenance stage, there ain't a whole lot to talk about.
During the dark days when I was so worried about having lost "too much weight", my surgeon insisted that my body would eventually settle itself at a weight it liked. Well, it did. That weight, however, is higher than it was at its lowest. Hope that makes sense. I have gained somewhat since that low point, and I can't say that I'm happy about it, but I have had 2 unfills (as well as two health issues) in the last year and a half, and I'm still trying to find that golden fill level again. I'm trying to keep a level head, but it stilll bugs me. I've still lost 200 pounds, so I know I have nothing to bitch about.
And we have been totally lax about going to the gym,. and finally got off our asses this week and went. It felt good. Then, the next day, it felt horrible, since everything hurt. Booo!
What has been doing since my last post? Let's see. September brought my 48th birthday. Ew.
But also a belated birthday trip for DH to Las Vegas (again) for gambling, drinking, sight seeing and BikeFest. Oh! And another tattoo. It's a filthy phrase, in Irish Gaelic, on my ankle.
Hmm, what else? Holidays, yadda yadda yadda.
Last week was the Annual St. Baldrick's Day hair massacre. That's always such a blast!
- No shampoo, no conditioner, no gel, no mousse, no haircolor.
- No blowdrying.
- Saving at least 15 minutes every morning by NOT having to shampoo, condition and blow dry.
- No "bed head."
- No "hat head."
- No static when I take my hat off.
- Not paying $20 a month to get my hair cut.
- Taking my sunglasses off my head and not pulling a bunch of hairs out with them.
- Startling people, especially guys and MOST especially older men (my dad's age) who don't quite know what to think, and drop their gaze really quickly. You can almost see the thought process: "Oh my god. That woman has no hair! DON'T STARE! What if she has (whispered) . . . cancer?"
- Knowing that when I walk into a room, I OWN it. A bald broad can't help but command attention.
- Knowing that if I ever get in a cat fight, I've got the upper hand when it comes to hair-pulling.
- Scaring out-of-line children. Yeah, sometimes it DOES take a village, and if you're kid's being a spoiled brat in public, I'm more than happy to turn my bald-headed glare their way. Ran three of 'em out of Borders for being ill-mannered little b*stards. It was a proud, proud day.
- Knowing that if I ever lose my hair due to cancer treatments or alopecia, I can deal with it, and know that I still look damned good.
May 6th, 2008 ~~~~~
Now that I've emerged from my opiate-induced coma, I'm able to share the details of last week, for those who might be interested.
I was admitted through ER on Wednesday night after an endless amount of time spent trying to second-guess my frequent vomitting and almost-nightly reflux. An upper GI in April revealed a hiatal hernia and a small band slip. A total unfill the same day had no noticeable effect on either problem, so my surgeon decided it was just time to admit me and get the 2 problems taken care of.
I had the procedure around noon on Thursday, and couldn't tell you how long it took, because I was totally dope up the rest of the day. A quick and successful upper GI (with an new and completely odious liquid) the next day revealed everything to be working fine, and I was sent home on Friday afternoon.
The hernia was about 5 cm wide which, according to my ruler at home, appears totally ginormous! My trusty old 4cc band was replaced with a shiny new 10cc one, and my port, per my request, was moved up about 2" on my abdomen to move it away from the waistbands of clothing.
I'm in more pain than I remember being in from the first banding, but I have to remember that I had the hernia stitched up as well. I've also got six incisions instead of the previous five (not a big deal, since my belly ain't being seen by many people, anyway), along with a buncha bruises.
I was giving a script for liquid Percocet, which I gave up last night for plain old liquid Tylenol.
I'm back to square one of the whole band process, starting with the wonderful world of clear liquids. But this time, I'm starting a couple hundred pounds lighter and a WHOLE lot healthier than I was last time.
I feel like I have been given an enormous "do-over", and am so thankful for the opportunity. My biggest fear in this whole thing was that I was going to come out of the surgery with NOTHING at all: no band, no sleeve, no bypass, nada, and be left to fend for myself. And I know where THAT road led me previously.
Overall, I think I'm doing pretty well. I don't know how I expected to feel, but I think I feel better than I expected. On the UPside, I've lost 9 pounds since last week. It's nice to see the scale going DOWN again.
The lesson that his old-timer learned from this whole thing is that I really need to listen to my body (and, of course, to my surgeon!). For months, I was getting nightly reflux and almost daily vomitting (sometimes more than once a day) and trying to write the problems off as me doing something wrong: eating too fast, not chewing enough, eating too late, eating too much, etc. Of course, the other reason I chose not to pay careful attention the fear of KNOWING that there was a problem, and the possibility of losing my band.
But really, the only thing that I was doing wrong was not paying close enough attention to what my poor stomach was trying to tell me. When it finally got to the point when it felt physiologically "different" when I vomitted (that it felt lke a different PART of my stomach was involved), I woke up and realized that something was really, really wrong here.
Long story short, I'm back in the game, and back on track.
May 22nd, 2008 ~~~~~
Three weeks out from surgery, I'm down 16 pounds and feeling fine. No complaints here.
First fill in a week.
July 18, 2008 ~~~~~
WOW It HAS been a while since I've been on here. I'm so derelict in my duties lately!
I've now been for THREE fills, and have 5.5 cc in my band. I'm closer to that elusive little "sweet spot", but he's such a wiley little critter that I keep JUST missing him. I think I'm something like 0.1 cc away from just right.
I haven't been doing much here lately because I'm trying to take it easy on my hand and wrist, which has developed tendonitis and the beginning of carpal tunnel syndrome, and the brace I have to wear makes typing - especially typing CORRECTLY - a major bitch, and god KNOWS how I hate a typo!
On top of that, since I had the revision, I'm finding it hard to stay motivated to do anything, including exercise. Even eating the "right" foods is a problem for me lately. I don't know what the hell my problem is, but I know PART of it: I know that there's no giant payoff in loss of pounds like there was when I was first banded. There simply CAN'T be, since I don't have that many pounds left to go, but I SOOOO loved that rush of finding I had lost a couple of pounds overnight. NOW, I GAIN a couple of water pounds overnight and I lose my friggin' mind. Plus, I've been up and down and up and down the same few pounds over and over over since the rebanding. I know that it's going to take some time, but - to steal a line from "Willy Wonka" - I WANT IT NOW!
Wahhhhh! Okay, I'm done. The "pity pot" is now unoccupied.
And since I've been a slackass when it comes to quotations, here's one. Enjoy.
It is the only coin you have,
and only you can determine how it will be spent.
Be careful lest you let other people
spend it for you."
September 15, 2008 ~~~~~
Ye, gods! I'm FORTY NINE years old (as of last Friday.) Y'know what that means: I'm at the gateway to referring to myself as "X years 'young'." Gag. Well, at least I don't FEEL 49, which is still about 10 years younger than I felt BEFORE I had my surgery. I can't believe it's been almost 5 years!
I figure that it would be beyond trite to try to do something incredibly daring-slash-stupid for my 50th birthday, so I'm planning on making a pre-emptive strike by skydiving this fall. It's been on my "Life list/Bucket list" since I was about 17 and now - at the insistance of my friend Alex - it's time to put up or shut up.
On the WLS side of life, I am losing the weight I gained during the "unfill-bandster hell part deux" part of my life. It's coming off very slowly, but I certainly can't expect to lose as fast as I did when I weighed almost 400 pounds. (Well, I could EXPECT to lose that fast, but not have success at it.)
So far, since the 1st of May, I'm down 18 pounds. Not bad, and no complaints.
September 19, 2008 ~~~~~
For those of you who have been pining for my posts, pine not! I'm throwing in an extra one this week, with some new pics!
This is the newest addition to my growing family of tattoos: number 8.
DH and me on a Circle Lines cruise around Manhattan last week on my birthday.
I just turned 49. Yeesh
And now, a little introduction. I will confess to being a HUGE zombie movie fan! Night, dawn, day . . . whatever time the "Living Dead" want to walk among us and snack on people's unsuspecting brains, I'm there. So when DH asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I suggested a gift from
This guy is FREAKIN' AWESOME! You send him a photo:
And in a matter of days (less than TWO days, in my case), you get back a hand-painted, colored and inked original work of zombiac art:
Oh, he's gooooood!
September 23, 2008 ~~~~~
Crossed another one off my "Bucket List": I went for a ride on a motorcycle this weekend. After a mile or so or sheer, screaming terror (I was screaming "I HATE THIS SO MUCH!!!!"), it was not so bad.
Unfortunately, the passenger seat of the bike was not really made for someone 5' 10", so my knees absolutely killed yesterday. But I'm willing to go again if I can get on a nice, comfy Harley - something with a little legroom. I'm even considering (again) taking a motorcycle course so I can get my own license and drive on my own.
While this was not on my "Reasons Why I Want This Surgery" list, I will say that there is no way on God's green earth that I ever would have subjected my FORMER butt to a jaunt on a motorcycle. I can't imagine what the ride would have done to both my behind AND the bike!
November 17, 2008 ~~~~~
So, after 16 years of what I consider dedicated work to CPTV, I (and 120 other employees) were unceremoniously dumped by the company.
Oh, they blame it on the economy and that may be true (of course, no 6-figure salary VICE PRESIDENTS, of which they have many, were laid off.) But you don't give people who have given quite a bit of their lives to your business a "hey, you're jobless. You can come in for the next two weeks or not - we really don't give a shit one way or the other" goodbye, with no notice at all. If I had made the decision to QUIT with the same amount of notice, they would have boo-hoo'ed and shrieked that the sky would fall if I didn't stay for a month. The people that run that company SUCK and the ones who have made the crappy business decisions that they have for the past 10 years can burn in hell. It's NEVER the people who f*** up a company who end up on the street.
Can you tell that I'm royally pissed off?
November 18, 2008 ~~~~~
Okay, so here's the game plan. I clearly cannot trust myself to be sitting at home, around food 24/7. So, as often as I can tolerate it, I'm going to the gym after I drop DH off at the trains station in the morning.
There's hardly anyone at the gym at 6:30 am, so I can speed through pretty easily. Last week I went 4 days out of 5, did weight machines then 20 minutes each on the bike and elliptical machine.
On the "off" day, I went to volunteer at the Humane Society and exercised the dogs for two hours. Believe it or not, that was a harder workout than the gym!
At best, I'll lose weight faster, but at least I'm not home, having all the food in the house giving me the "stink-eye."
December 3, 2008 ~~~~~
I can't believe that it's already my fifth "bandiversary." Where the hell did the time go? It boggles the mind. Five years ago, I never would have expected to do as well as I did, and I'm still amazed at the results of the relationship between my band (the 2 bands, actually) and me. Who-da thunk it?
It's been a long, long road - physically, mentally and spiritually exhausting at times. It's never been "easy", but I've said before that it's not the hardest ting I've ever had to do. But through everything - the good, the bad and the ugly - I wouldn't have traded one second of it. Every second has been totally worth it.
2007 - Maintenance
Jun 30, 2009
Another fun day in NYC yesterday at the 10th Annual NYC Tattoo Convention. 99% tattooed guys running around in thongs, women doling out spankings with riding crops, a guy with a screwdriver up his nose.
And me, finally "getting my wings" (along with flexing an improved bicep and, yes, posing in "the all-together"!!!)
Not much going on. Enjoying battling the heat with a baldy cranium. So refreshing to not have sweat puddling on my head!
Waiting for new furbaby to arrive tonight. "And baby makes...FOUR"!!
Anyway, here's today's amusement, brought to you by myvirtualmodel.com. Had to finagle it a bit because the weight on the site didn't go all the way up to my preop weight.
For those of you who may actually have been missing me lately, I am taking some time away from the Lapband message board for a number of reasons. One of them is an issue of health, which I hope a surgical procedure in the next month will eradicate.
I'm still READING the board, and am willing to jump in with a PM if someone needs help, so feel free to message me. It's not like I'm DEAD; I'm just not posting for a while.
Also, I am trying to get the "furbabies" to live in peace and harmony now that child number 4 has arrived. Her official name is Katie Scarlett O'Blackwell, but I have taken to calling her "Dr. Evil" and/or "Dr. Destructo." I know she's just testing the boundaries and learning (slowly) who alpha bitch is in our pack (that would be ME, by the way), but who can deny - no matter how wicked she can be - that this face is the true portrait of wide-eyed canine innocence?
And here's a quote for you, since I have been negligent in that capacity of late:
~~~ Brooke Astor, philanthropist, 1902-2007
August 22nd ~~~~~
WHAT IT’S LIKE TO ORDER FOOD IN A RESTAURANT
AFTER WEIGHT LOSS SURGERY
- A Play in One Act
(NOTE: the bulk of this conversation takes place inside the head of a postop WLS patient. Although reading it may take but a minute, the actual thought process may run from a few seconds to a number of minutes.)
WAITER: Evening, folks. My name is Steve and I’ll be your waiter tonight. I have a couple of menus for you. (hands over menus) I’d like to let you know the specials for this evening: our soup tonight is lovely, rich Maryland she-crab bisque. Our salad is Cajun Mahi over Caesar Salad and our entrée is Chicken Piccata with your choice of pasta. Let me get your drinks and I’ll be back to take your orders in just a sec.
HUSBAND: Thank you!
ME (as WAITER hurries off):WAIT! I don’t . . . need . . . a . . . drink . . . (trails off.)
ME (perusing and thinking then, aloud,): Mmm . . . yeah. Okay. Anyway . . .
ME (beginning self-discussion): Well, let’s see – how hungry AM I, anyway? Lunch was five hours so, as the saying goes, “I could eat.” But not too much. Something simple. Something light. Cajun Mahi sounds good, but that’ll be too big and I don’t want to lug leftovers home. Besides, we’ve got too many errands to run, and I’ll end up growing E coli in the takeout container or something. Chicken? Uh-uh. Nope. What if it’s too dry and I can’t get it down? Or worse, it goes DOWN and comes back UP. Ew. No. And with PASTA? Forget it. Where IS the bathroom in this place, anyway? Dammit! Oh, okay. There it is. Better not be a “one-seater”! And I hope no one is in there, just in case. Hell, I’m not proud: I’ll run in the MEN’S room if I have to! I’m not barfing out in the parking lot again. Anyway . . . Hamburger? Steak? Not gonna happen. Maybe I can order something small off the kid’s menu. (looks, hopefully, at hostess) Nah, doesn’t look like that’s an option. She doesn’t look the type to bend the rules.
ME (to WAITER, as he runs by): Steve? Hi. Um, do you ever let adults order from the kid’s menu?
WAITER: Not unless you’re under twelve, honey!
ME (aloud, under breath): I knew it. Dammitall. (looks to neighboring table) And look at the SIZE of that “kid’s” portion, anyway! Dang!
ME (self-discussion continues): Okay, moving on! Breakfast menu? French toast. Pancakes. Waffles. Croissant. Too doughy. Breakfast specials? Nope. Bacon almost killed me last time. And always too much extra stuff, and god knows, I hate to throw food away. Omelet? I could take the extra home, but it won’t reheat very well. I guess the dogs could eat it, but they’re getting too fat as it is.
Maybe an appetizer: shrimp cocktail? Not bad size-wise, but is today one of those days when shrimp will “agree with me”? (rubs stomach, pauses, assesses) Mmm, probably not.
HUSBAND (seeing tummy rub): You okay, honey?
ME: Huh? Yeah. Fine. Thanks. (back to inner discussion) Potato skins . . . onion rings . . . French fries . . . fried clams . . . fried chicken . . . fried calamari . . .fried zucchini sticks . . . mozzarella sticks? Nope, too stringy. Anything NOT fried? Chicken Fried Steak? You gotta be kidding me. Oh! How about fish and chips. Still fried, but the fish would be good if I pick off the crust. Nah, the fries and slaw are wasted. Oh, how about a drink to take the edge off? Nope, I’m driving, and you KNOW that one drink goes right to my system!
Side dishes! Let’s see: mashed potatoes. No. Rice pilaf: no. Baked potato: no. Pasta: no. French fries (again?) No. Steamed veggies? Okay, what’s in there? 2 kinds of squash, that’s safe . . . oh, no! Broccoli. Sigh . . . AND cauliflower. That’s great, if I can load it up with butter. Or cheese sauce. Or both . . .
WAITER: So, you folks ready?
ME (sighing): I’ll have a cup of the bisque.
2006 - Am I "too thin"??
Jun 30, 2009
January 18th, 2006~~~~~~
Not much to report on. Winter doldrums, I suppose.
The only thing that's new is that I've now reached the point of being concerned about losing TOO much weight. It's tough to find someone to commiserate with, because I don't know many (any?) bandsters who have reached "normal" weight. And I haven't found a way to pipe up in my support group meeting and voice my concern when I know there are many people who are disappointed that they're not losing the way they would like to. I hate to sound like a whiner: "Oh, poor me. I'm losing TOO much weight." Heck, even *I* would want to tell me to f-off!
I've often asked my surgeon when the weight loss would stop and was told that eventually everyone's body reaches a "stopping point." However, every time I reach what I think is my stopping point, it starts back up again. I thought I had stopped in June, since I plateaued from June to August. But I've lost almost 20 pounds since then.
As I told Danielle the other day, I don't want to become one of those too-thin Hollywood waifs whose almost-skeletal appearance prompts me to shout, "For God's sake, eat a cookie, will ya?!" at the TV. At least I know that there is no chance I'll ever end up wearing the absurd-sounding "size zero." Not with these "breeders' hips", anyway.
I don't really think there's too much more room for loss, anyway. There is, honestly, not much meat over the bones of those breeders's hips. Or over my ribs, or my collarbone. I can feel 'em all without even making an effort. It's so weird to me.
Right now, I'm 5'10" and 158 pounds. A discussion with a PS estimated that I might have 10 pounds of excess, loose skin, so technically I weigh 148.
I don't want to end up at, say, 128. So I had a bit of an unfill done in the hope that eating a little bit more with help the weight loss stabilize. (laughs) We'll see if my body agrees. In all honesty, I never - in a hundred million years - would have ever expected to have to worry about not weighing enough. Yeesh.
Today's quote comes from Catherine Ryan Hyde, who wrote "Pay It Forward" - a wonderful book that begat a not very good movie.
No matter what you eventually do,
you'll be changing the world in a small way
when you make that decision.
You'll be presenting a different you to the world--
someone who is paying attention to the needs of others.
On a grass-roots level, that's really all world change is.
When enough of us change ourselves,
the world changes, because, collectively,
we are the world."
April 17th, 2006~~~~~~
Once again, nothing much new to report. Holdin' steady at 158-162, depending on how the fiber situation is going.
Enjoying the increasingly nice weather and it's about damned time. Unfortunately, with the spring comes the allergy, but I can deal with that. We're on vacation next week and looking forward to the first trek of the season to "the city." Times Square Spring Block Party, or something to that effect.
Speaking of vacation, we're in serious discussion and consideration of a weeklong (or longer) trip to Ireland this summer. Fly/drive thing, staying at farmhouse B&Bs along the way. The first airline trip we've taken since 1997, so that whole airport security thing will be new to us, but also the first flight since my surgery. It will be nice knowing that I won't have to worry about having to ask for the seat belt extender this time.
April 30th, 2006~~~~~~
Just dropping in with something I found in a free "Natural Health" newspaper over the weekend. To me, it was worth sharing. it's by James Greenblatt, MD.
Ten Warning Signs of Good Health
10. Persistent presence of support network
9. Chronic positive expectations; tendency to frame events in a constructive light
8. Episodic outbreaks of joyful, happy experiences
7. Sense of spiritual involvement
6. Tendency to adapt to changing conditions
5. Rapid response and recovery of stress response systems to repeated challenges
4. Increased appetite for physical activity
3. Tendency to identify and communicate feelings
2. Repeated episodes of gratitude and generosity
and the number one warning sign of Good Health . . .
1. Persistent sense of humor.
Had another one of those oh-so-enjoyable "haven't seen someone in a while" incidents over the weekend.
Hubby and I were in a jewelry store on Saturday getting an estimate on FINALLY getting my 4-sizes-too-big engagement and anniversary rings remounted. There was a woman in line behind me who I KNEW that I knew, but I couldn't, for the life of me, remember from where. I thought maybe she had been in a program I had edited or something.
I said to her, "I KNOW that I know you from somewhere! What's your name - if you don't mind me being so rude?" She told me her name, but said that she "USED to be (insert maiden name here)."
She was an intern where I worked years ago and I hadn't seen her since right after we moved to Bridgeport so that had to be four years ago. I laughed and said, "Well, I USED to be Bette Blackwell."
Her eyes bugged out and she gave me that "OHMIGOD!" reaction. It was totally worth it. I still forget, a lot of the time, even still, that I don't look like the person I used to be. It was a nice reminder.
Down to 154. Jeez, this is weird. When the hell was the last time I weighed 154? Middle school?!
Every time I think it's stopped, it goes a little bit more. I guess since I'm still in "normal", I won't worry about it. Frankly, I have enough crap going on right now to worry about.
Another birthday come and gone. My best gift? From my dear husband. How can you not love someone who gives the PERFECT gift to a woman who loves her tools?
Oh, by the way: it's the tool belt. And it BARELY fits me!
Fill . . . unfill . . . a dab in . . . a little out . . . a drop back in. I feel like I'm turning this into a fine art.
Upper GI of two weeks ago revealed no hiatal hernia, no dilated esophagus. Yay. Reflux caused by band being a little too tight. So, a little fill comes out. Suddenly, I'm eating like a rabid hyena and not feeling full. How can one tiny, little bit - 0.01 cc - make such a big difference? Little bit back in - reflux still gone, and so is my eating rampage.
I am in awe of people who never need a fill. We should be reading about them in Time-Life books or watching docs about them on the Discovery Channel, like the ones they air about other mythical creatures like Bigfoot and the Loch Ness Monster.
Today's my anniversary, and no one remembered but me. I don't know what I expected. But something.
Maybe tomorrow I'll take myself shopping and buy myself something nice.
A little better. Went and bought that "something nice": 14kt gold ring (SIZE SEVEN!) with 5 colored gemstones. On clearance; even better!
Got the Christmas presents for work all wrapped, and got the cards for the Lapband Christmas card swapped, so it was a productive day. Not to mention the fact that 3 weeks from today, we leave for Las Vegas.
On top of that, Paul's company's party was Friday, and he won $500 in gift cards to American Airlines, so after we come back from Vegas, it's time to start planning again.
"The Cosmos Sends an Angel."
I was over at Au Bon Pain for lunch today. While I was waiting for my post-lunch skim-milk latte, a woman in a wheelchair came over, wanting to get a pastry that was in a case on the counter in front of me. I helped her get one, since it looked like the reach was going to be a little far from her low angle. I asked her which one she wanted, and she pointed and said "That one. But it doesn't matter. It's not like I need it," and laughed. I laughed back and told her, "Oh, come on. You know that Christmas calories don't count."
She looked at me and said, "Honey, if I was your size, I could say that, too. But I'm not."
Thank you, nice lady, saying that. I hope that Pecan Pinwheel was tasty.
God help me. I think I am psychologically unable to buy a simple, understated "Little Black Dress" for a Christmas Party, when there are so many sequins needing a good home.
This surgery and the loss process has, I've determined, made me insane. There, I said it. Coo-coo. Goofy, and not in a good way.
About a year ago I went to see my surgeon because I was concerned that, at 158 pounds, I was teetering on the brink of "too thin", mean (for me, anyway) unhealthily thin. Additionally, I had seen a plastic surgeon (at the persistent insistance of my surgeon) for a consultation. The PS estimated that I had about 10 pounds of excess skin. So, in a sense, I really weighed 148 pounds.
Now, keep in mind that I was worried about being too thin. But I still wanted to see that number go down. There's a certain thrill I (and most WLS patients get) to see that number drop. At the beginning, that's s a good thing. You DO want that number to drop and keep dropping.
However, at some point, it really DOESN'T need to drop anymore. But the longing for the rush of a lower number doesn't go away. We all still want to have gold stars on our chart, right?
When we came back from Ireland in August, I was 151: seven pounds lower than my "getting so thin I'm concerned" weight. Of course, the 5-7 pounds loss during the 7-day vacation was caused by doing a ton of walking and having more than one day when nothing (literally) other than a bottle of juice and a cup of latte stayed down. NOT the recommended way to lose weight, with or without WLS.
I should have been horrified by that loss. I wasn't: I loved it. How's that for honesty: I loved the fact that I could still drop that kind of weight.
In September, I had to have an upper GI to determine what my nightly reflux was caused by. Luckily, it was nothing more serious than a too-tight band. A little of the fluid was taken out - something like 0.2 ccs. As in the past, I was almost immediately able to eat more than I wanted, and put quite a bit of weight back on, too quickly. So, I had half of that unfill put back.
Since August, my weight's gone from that low of 151 to about 157-161. That 4-pound fluctuation doesn't concern me, especially since I can lose - and gain back - 2 or three pounds between when I get up and when I go to bed.
I'm back to the same general weight range I was when I was worried about being too LOW, and now I'm concerned that the same weight is now too HIGH. I still want to see that number go lower - lower than the 151. Some little sick part of me wants to see a number that starts with a 1 and a 4, as in 147 instead of 157. Hell, I've been so goofy as to check the BMI calculator to determine that I could get down to 130 pounds and still be "normal" weight. Do I want to be 130? Hell no.
But a desire to be one forty seven at 5'10" and 48 years old. How does THAT make any kind of sense?
Maybe Santa can bring me a little rational amount of thinking. That would be nice change. Oh! And peace on earth, of course.
Leaving to renew our vows on our 9th anniversary.
The Second Half of 2005
Jun 30, 2009
Some good news for a change! I am, officially, DIABETES-FREE!
Went for a check-in with my PCP to see about the iron deficiency (waiting for those results), but asked him to run an A1C while I was there. It came back BELOW normal, at 4.0! And my finger stick came in at 84.
He announced that my diabetes is gone, and told me to stop taking my last medication.
With a little bit of ceremony, my husband and I flushed the rest of my metformin pills down the loo. They didn't go willingly, however, but opted to lie in a clump at the bottom. A little bit of shoving with the toilet brush sent them on their way.
See ya, little guys!
A minor, yet major to me, victory last night.
FINALLY squatted my body weight. Actually, MORE than my weight, since the machine was at 180 and I'm at 176. It was kind of a silly goal, but one I really wanted.
And while I only (there's that word that I detest) did 2 reps, I was pretty damned pleased with myself.
Expect trouble as an inevitable part of life and when it comes,
hold you head high, look it squarely in eye and say,
'I will be bigger than you. You cannot defeat me.'"
"FUN WITH THE D.M.V."
Old license photo versus today's new pic. I'm not sure why the new one makes me look like I have a point on the top of my head. Just call me "Oblio". There's got to be a couple of you out there old enough to remember THAT allusion!
We should do this every day of our lives.
Number one is laugh. You should laugh every day.
Number two is think. You should spend some time in thought.
And number three is, you should have your emotions moved to tears, could be happiness or joy.
But think about it. If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that's a full day.
That's a heck of a day.
You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special."
I received this as part of a weekly women's health e-mag, and thought I'd share it:
For anything worth having, anything of value, there is a price to pay. If there were no price, there would be no value. The price is not arbitrarily imposed on the thing of value. The price is in fact a big part of what gives it the value.
If diamonds were scattered around on the ground everywhere, they would be worth no more than pieces of gravel. The rarity of diamonds, and the resulting price that must be paid to obtain them, are what make them so valuable.
Trying to obtain something of value without paying the price will only lead to frustration and disappointment. Much of the misery in the world today is the result of such misguided quests.
For anything of value, be willing to pay the price. Be grateful and enthusiastic about paying the price. Because without the price to pay, there is nothing of value.
"EXERCISE FUN!" I've been keeping a workout log since January: what exercises I did, how many pounds, how many reps. In a fit of boredom, I started adding up the weights. For example, if I do bicep curls at 40 pounds, do 15 reps and 2 sets, I've lifted 1200 pounds (40 x 15 x 2). That number alone was staggering to me.
Now, I'll be the first to admit that math is not my strong suit, and I've checked the numbers, pardon the pun, a number of times. But even if I'm only CLOSE, I've lifted, curled, crunched, pressed, pushed, pulled and squatted . . . drum roll, please . . . . 845,291 pounds. That's 422.65 TONS. Ye gods. Whoda thunk it??
Always has been, always will be."
~~ Grandma Moses
Here's a good general time waster, but something that proved, for me anyway, to be a lot of fun. Go to Google, and type in "[******] needs", but replace the asterisks with your name, as in "[Bette] needs".
Here's what I, according to the Internet gods, need:
-Bette needs her big sister
-Bette needs a little more "diversity" in her life.
-Bette needs the weekend to think it over.
-I think Bette needs to get on with her life. ...
-There were so many important people Bette needs to meet.
-Bette Needs Snowshoes
-Bette needs to think seriously about her role in her relationships
-For that Bette needs to be thanked
-Bette needs an Exorcist
-Bette needs to go back to the bath houses with the rest of the men.
-Bette needs a certain latitude to work, but we realize there are certain things you can't do on TV."
-Bette needs a carpenter to build an installation
-Bette needs someone to Help her honestly look at what she's doing and EDIT it!
-Bette needs time to make another costume change
-Bette needs new hired help
-Bette Needs Rescue
-Bette needs a good slap.
-Bette needs no explanation
-Bette needs to come to her senses, and fast!
-Bette needs to do a Hello Dolly revival
-Bette needs to get over herself post haste
-Bette needs a haircut.
-Bette needs to chill out and little and not work so much.
-Bette needs to understand that all of this is because of her doing.
-Bette needs to get hit by a car.
-Bette needs a smack on the hand.
-Come on guys, Bette needs more well wishes.
-"I think Bette needs me more than The Senate."
-Bette needs to win at something, damnit!!
-Does anyone else feel like Bette needs a big hug?
-I think Bette needs some spirit lifting.
Who says there's nothing but lies out there on the Internet? They're pretty much dead on.
Do not look back and grieve over the past, for it it gone,
and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come.
Live in the present, and make it so beautiful
that it will be worth remembering."
We were talking about this at support group tonight, and I thought I'd share it for those who hadn't seen it. Enjoy!
How Much Weight Have You Lost?
Your weight loss =
1 pound = a Guinea Pig
1.5 pounds = a dozen Krispy Kreme glazed donuts
2 pounds = a rack of baby back ribs
3 pounds = an average human brain
4 pounds = an ostrich egg
5 pounds = a Chihuahua
6 pounds = a human skin
7.5 pounds = an average newborn
8 pounds = a human head
10 pounds= chemical additives an American consumes each year
11 pounds = an average housecat
12 pounds = a Bald Eagle
15 pounds = 10 dozen large eggs
16 pounds = a sperm whale's brain
20 pounds = an automobile tire
23 pounds = amount of pizza an average American eats in a year
24 pounds = a 3-gallon tub of super premium ice cream
25 pounds = an average 2 year old
30 pounds = amount of cheese an average American eats in a year
33 pounds = a cinder block
36 pounds = a mid-size microwave
40 pounds = a 5-gallon bottle of water or an average human leg
44 pounds = an elephant's heart
50 pounds = a small bale of hay
55 pounds = a 5000 BTU air conditioner
60 pounds = an elephant's penis
66 pounds = fats and oils an average American eats in a year
70 pounds = an Irish Setter
77 pounds = a gold brick
80 pounds = the Worldï¿½s Largest Ball of Tape
90 pounds = a newborn calf
100 pounds = a 2 month old horse
111 pounds = red meat an average American eats in a year
117 pounds = an average fashion model
118 pounds = the complete Encyclopedia Britannica
120 pounds = amount of trash you throw away in a month
130 pounds = a newborn giraffe
138 pounds = potatoes an average American eats in a year
140 pounds = refined sugar an average American eats in a year
144 pounds = an average adult woman
150 pounds = the complete Oxford English Dictionary
187 pounds = an average adult man
200 pounds = 2 Bloodhounds
235 pounds = Arnold Schwarzenegger
300 pounds = an average football lineman
400 pounds = a Welsh pony
Last night I had another new - and amusing - experience. I went to the pre-op seminar in Westport - yeah, the same one I attempted to go to on Monday! Crappy, rainy night, but I went. Good thing, too, since I was the only postop la bandster there, and Ilike for us to be represented. Nice, small group.
When my "Before and After" pics came up on the screen during the Powerpoint presentation, one woman told me that she didn't believe the "before" was me. She was very serious about it, too. She told me three times, until Tim asked me to get out my photo book, which I had the presence of mind to bring, so she should see the progression of photos. She still seemed pretty wary, even when I showed her my floppy arms and some abdominal skin sag. I threatened to pants myself and show her the proof of my saggy ass. I wasn't sure what kind of proof I could offer, but I did offer to let her call my husband on my cell phone. She didn't take me up on it, but me making the offer seemed to work.
My first thought was, "Why on earth would anyone CLAIM to be that unhappy, unhealthy, severely obese person if they weren't?" Then I realized that hey - when I look at some of the most recent photos, sometimes *I* don't recognize the "new me" as me.
I told the group that there I times when I FORGET that I'm not in the body of the person I was in almost 2 years ago. That I was standing in line waiting for a stall in the ladies' room last week, looked in the mirror and thought, "WHOA! That's ME!" That I honestly forget sometimes, when I'm not looking in the mirror, that the fat lady, on the outside, anyway, is gone. There's this still-strange-to-me skinny lady, with new-found cheekbones, collarbones and shoulder blades, and thin, almost dainty wrists, living here now.
It's not easy, though. The fat girl still lives here, and she fights with the skinny girl every day. She wants to eat when she's bored, tired, angry, lonely, sad, happy . . . hell, even horny sometimes. I've said it before and I'll say it again: this isn't easy. It's a constant battle between the two of them. Most days, skinny girl wins, but not always. Those moments of defeat are the moments when I find myself looking into my reflection in the water in the loo once again. The flesh may be weak, but the spirit is always unbroken, and I'll get back up and fight again.
Jeez. This is getting far too deep and philosophical for me. It's time for a long bubble bath and then, bedtime.
Paul's company's Christmas party was Friday night and, I must say, I looked f-ing great. I was in a tight and clingy black velvet dress, a knockout pair of strappy black suede heels, and some nice, big, dangly earrings.
Highlight of the night, besides "winning" $13,800 at blackjack? I got HIT ON at the blackjack table, and I DON'T mean by the dealer in that "Hit me" way. I got hit on by a guy sitting next to me. THAT was damned funny, especially since Paul was on my other side.
Am I sure that I was getting hit on? I'm fairly certain that after guy tells a woman he doesn't know that she looks "hot", twice tells her that she's a "sexy white girl" (lyrics to the song that was playing at the time) and then gives her that "I don't see a ring on your finger" line (although he clearly wasn't looking very hard, since I had on a wedding band and faux diamond ring), he's not asking me to pass the chips. Know what I'm saying?
Hee hee hee.
The First Half of 2005
Jun 30, 2009
A minor victory: pants were getting a little baggy in the thighs and butt, so I stopped in at Wally World for another pair (clearance rack, too.) I'm down to a 16. I haven't fit into a 16 since I was in high school.
I started this process as a 32 - does that mean I'm now half the woman I used to be?
Random quote for the day coming up. And remember - I said that some of them are strange. Here is proof of that statement:
-- Jane Ace
A terrible weekend. No matter what I eat, or how much, I couldn't seem to feel full, either physically, emotionally or spiritually. Everything seems to be calling my name again, just as it did before I made the decision to have surgery. On top of that, I have gained a couple of pounds that I can't, in my current state of mind, write off as water weight gain, constipation or any other rationalization. THAT has me in an unbelievable funk.
It's weird how things change so much from day to day. TODAY, we went to the mall and I got a cheeseburger Happy Meal with apple slices and milk. Only managed to be able to hold about 1/2 of the burger and just had the milk a couple of minutes ago. (The apples will end up a snack for later.)
Yesterday, I think I could have had the same 2-burger/big fries/big soda meal that I had in my "old life" and still had room for an ice cream. Whether I actually COULD or not, I don't know, but I feel like I could have.
We're still going to the gym 3x/week and working out like mad, but the last 5 days or so have really gotten me down. As I've said before, I know that it's not all going to be sunshine and lollipops, but it sure has been a tough ride lately. I'm terrifed of falling back into the habits that got me here in the first place, and I know that no one can stop me but me. Sigh.
Random quote for the day:
being the only one
who knows you're scared to death."
Well, THIS is more like it! Started dropping pounds like crazy since Wednesday, so some of that gain WAS water. But I woke up this morning at 205.5 on my home scale. D'ya know what that means?
My BMI is now 29.4, which means I'm no longer obese of any sort: not super, not morbidly, not severely. Just "moderately overweight". It ALSO means that I'm ten pounds from my goal. And yes, the blues of a couple of days ago are gone.
but to be married to a man who makes you laugh every day...
ah, now that's a real treat."
Oh, lord, will it ever be WARM again? There are so many days this winter that I have honestly missed the layers of fat that kept me oh-so toasty throughout the winter. But I'll take the shivering over feeling like crap all the time.
Woke up this morning, did my usual weigh-in and found that I am balancing on the edge of being under 200 pounds: I was 200.5. Man oh man, that point-five is a killer! The last big milestone was being "just overweight". Once I get under 200, my last goal is my final goal: 195. Only five and a half pounds to go. Anything after that is, pardon the food analogy, just gravy.
and not everything that counts can be counted."
As they say in the soccer world...
I woke up this morning at 194. More later.
Okay...it's later. My goals were always little ones: I wanted to lose 10 pounds, since I knew I could lose ten pounds. Then, I wanted to lost 50 . . . then I wanted to lose one hundred . . . my surgeon and my therapist said I needed to pick a "final goal". I decided that I wanted to get to the last weight I could really remember being: I remember that I was 195 when I took the physical I needed to enter college.
I honestly didn't think I could do it. I had no real expectations about this surgery: whatever I lost would be fine with me. Somehow, I turned around, and here I am. I had hoped to make it to 195 within 18 months of my surgery, if I did it at all. And now I can't believe, not only that I did it, but that I did it fours months ahead of anything I could have dreamed.
Tonight's quote is not at all random. I have been saving this one for today. From Confucius:
consists not in never falling,
but in rising
every time we fall."
Still losing. Down to 191, and that's not a complaint. I just don't know what happens now. Do I keep losing, until I disappear completely? Dunno. Guess I'll have to ask Doc E. what my next move is.
Actually discovered that I'm on the brink of having a good time at the gym. I think I may have discovered what an endorphin rush feels like. Riding the incumbent bike and listening to music that prompts me to pedal really fast and get my heart rate up to about 150-160, I got a feeling that I could only describe as a rush. It was sort of like an almost-orgasm crossed with a really mellow high (not that I would know what that feels like). I liked it. Happened twice on Wednesday. I want more.
Today's quote is, again, not random. I discovered this one yesterday, and I really liked it. If you're interested in looking for meaningful quotes, try this website: ThinkExist.com.
We are just passing through.
Our purpose here is to observe,
to learn, to grow, to love...
and then we return home."
--Australian Aboriginal Proverb
This morning I weighed 188. Which means I've LOST 188, so I am officially half the woman I used to be. Even my BMI is half what it used to be.
I don't know what I have as a weight goal anymore, besides keeping the number from going UP! I've passed the goal that I set for myself, which was 195.
and that is laughter."
--- Mark Twain
Not many postings lately, since there's not a lot going on and I don't have a lot to talk about. Holding steady at 183-184 for a week or so. That means I only have 7 pounds to go to be "normal".
Random quote for the day:
looking ridiculous that you realize
just how much you love them."
I'm feeling a bit George Jetson-esque, running on the treadmill with Astro, yelling, "Jane, stop this crazy thing!!!"
I'm down to 181 . . . a loss of 195 pounds. Yes, still astounding even to me. Where does it end? When does it stop? I still haven't gotten an answer to that question, and now it's a) concerning me and b) irking me. I don't want to disappear in a pile of bones, but I don't want to have to start snacking on spoonfuls ("spoonsful"?) of Crisco to ingest more calories, either. I don't honestly think it's physically possible for me to get more food into me without either eating all day or throwing it back up. I have a meeting at the doctor's office tomorrow night, and we'll see what he says.
Had a great time in Manhattan. Nice weather, sunny day. Cheap shopping: baseball hats for $5, new sunglasses for $5. And the best part, besides the fact that I got to spend a beautiful day with my husband, is that walking around the city didn't kill me. Didn't even come close. I didn't feel like I was lumbering around the City that Never Sleeps like a Clydesdale. There was some spring, and some speed, in my step. My knees...my ankles...no pain. And I noticed, while on the train, that when I walked down the aisle, my ass didn't bump into anything. Yay!
We went to a brewpub for lunch so Paul could try out a beer sampler. He loved it. None for me, though: hate beer. Don't even like the smell of it. I gave the French Onion soup a try, but it ended up coming back up. I think that the melted cheese topping was just too thick. And it was certainly possible that I ate it a little too fast.
But my day did not end with "no soup for you!" I did, in fact, have some fabu soup at a place called "Dishes" at Grand Central: African Peanut Chicken Soup. [Note to self: FIND THAT RECIPE!!]It was 5 bucks for a little bitty bowl, but it was soooo good, and came with a nugget of wonderful sourdough bread. The perfect snack for the train ride home.
I've been having a terrible time the past week, gaining weight again (EIGHT POUNDS!) and have real problems with...um...let's just say problems with fiber. I was bloated, felt really heavy, and I was cranky as hell. Things were not moving along at all and I started drinking more fluids and munching on Fiber Choice tablets like they were cookies. Finally cleared things out, and I've dropped five pounds in 2 days.
trying to please every meddlesome moron who's got an idea
how I ought to be!"
--- Bill Watterson, "Calvin and Hobbes"
Yet another plateau, up and down the same 3 or 4 pounds for about 2 weeks. Every time I hit a plateau now, I realize that there's a strong possibility that it will be my final one, and there I will stay. That's fine, as long as get to KNOW that it's my "final resting place" in regard to my weight.
And having to deal with the dark side of WLS: constipation. That just makes me even crankier, since I feel so heavy and bloated. I can only eat so many Fiber Choice tablets before I get full - and sick to death of them.
Good lord! ONE MORE POUND off me and I will officially be "normal", in regard to my BMI anwyay. I don't think I've been a "normal" weight since I hit puberty which, by the way, was when everything started going horribly wrong. I was a nice, thin, active kid until then.
Anyway, even I am stunned. Where did it all that weight go, and so FAST?
And what's more scary is the thought that if I were to have plastic surgery, they could probably lop off another ten!
to be ever in view, and which should be true and appropriate in all times and situations.
They presented him with, 'This, too, shall pass away.'
How much it expresses! How chastening in the hour of pride! How consoling in the depths of affliction!"
~~~~~ Abraham Lincoln
Time for a little catch-up, I guess, including a few new pictures. New one at the bottom, but here's one of me in the infamous pre-op "fat pants". Yes, I CAN finally fit into one leg of them!
And me, fresh from the gym . . .
I had a "jumping-up-and-down-and-squealing" moment on Wednesday when I went looking for something new to wear. When I was standing in the dressing room, realizing that I was standing there in a SIZE EIGHT, I actually jumped up and down and squealed (but not loudly, thank God.)
Now, I think I came out of the WOMB wearing double-digit size, so this was really quite momentous for me. From a size 32 to a size 8 in 18 months!
but often we look so long at the closed door
that we do not see the one which has opened for us."
I was GOING to say that not much was new, that the only thing that was sort of exciting is that I can ALMOST squat my body weight at the gym (ALMOST: I can do 160 lb.) . . . but then I realized that I hadn't updated in about 10 days.
Last week, I reached what I had considered my ultimate, unattainable goal: I reached a "normal" BMI. No longer "super obese", not "morbidly", not even "moderately overweight". Just, plain normal. I weighed myself in the morning, saw the numbers of pounds, and had to wait until I checked a BMI calculator to see if it WAS what I thought. And I'm not ashamed to admit that, if it wouldn't have ruined my mascara for the day, I would have bawled like a baby.
If you had told me going into this that I would EVER have reached normal weight (granted, the HIGH end of normal), I'd have checked your blood alcohol level.
If you had told me going into this that I would, 18 months out, have reached normal weight (granted, the HIGH end of normal), I'd have called you "loco" and, quite possibly, "delusional."
On top of that, Connecticare sponsored a wellness "thing" (I can't really call it a "seminar") at work last week where they measured my body fat. Not with calipers, but with an infrared light that's supposed to be second only to the "dunk tank" test for accuracy. Mine BF is down to 24.7%, which is also within the normal range.
The strange (or, perhaps, not so strange) part of it is that I still don't consider myself thin. When someone says I'm "skinny", I always correct them with "SkinniER." "ThinnER." I don't see myself as fat in the way that a bulimic or anorexic does, but I still see myself and think of myself as a fat person. When I cross the street a fraction of a second too slowly and someone beeps, I expect to hear a weight-related comment following it. I don't hear those comments anymore, and it still takes me by surprise.
A couple of weeks ago, I was walking out of a store and saw my shadow. (No, that doesn't mean 6 more weeks of winter.) But my mind couldn't grasp the idea that that thinner shadow belonged to me! I kept watching it as I walked, and almost walked right into my car.
When I look at photos of myself, especially when I'm wearing my hair up, I can see how thin my face and neck have gotten, but somehow, it still doesn't all register in my head that I've changed. When I'm sitting down and looking at my thighs, all the loose skin puddles to the sides, so they still look pretty large. However, when I flex that quadricep muscle and it pops up like a rock,
(shrugs) I guess it's just that my brain is taking longer to adapt to the changes than my body is. I guess that my acceptance of "normality" is going to take me a while.
They sparkle and shine when the sun is out,
but when the darkness sets in,
their true beauty is revealed
only if there is a light from within."
~~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross
I just want to give a big "thank you" to the preop patients I spoke with at the support group meeting last night in Westport.
As you could possibly tell from the posting above, I had a truly "craptastic" day yesterday and, to be honest, I really didn't have the energy to go to the meeting, but I went because I had promised I would.
I always enjoy speaking to people about my WLS experience, with the hopes that my experiences can help someone else who is just starting the process and I never regret going to a seminar or support group. It's just that some days, I'm tired and drained, physically, spiritually and emotionally.
But there were a couple of you (and I won't mention any names, in case you're shy) who took the time after the meeting to speak with me, ask me more in-depth questions, and to mention that you enjoy what I write here. I really didn't start keeping this profile for other people; I use it as a form of therapy on both good days and bad (obviously.) The fact that anyone bothers to read it is whipped cream on the sundae.
But to be told that some of you not just get a laugh out of it, but read it on a regular basis and look forward to new postings means more than I can say. THAT'S the cherry on the sundae.
I'm glad my words can be here to entertain, amuse and inspire, and I mean that sincerely. I'll try not to let you down.
unless the act would work great injury to yourself,
and never refuse to take a drink - under any circumstances."
~~~ Mark Twain
A lot of people have asked me, both in person and online, about skin sag.
How bad is it? (That depends on your definition of "bad.")
What can I expect? (That depends on your age, how much you lose, genetics . . . on a lot of things.)
Can I beat it? (Honestly? I really doubt it.)
As they say in the car ads, "Your results may vary," but here are mine, in all their puckered glory. Sorry, no nudes. (laughs) And maybe this will prove that I HAVEN'T had any plastic surgery done.
All in all, considering how much weight I lost and how fast I lost it, I don't think it's too bad.
Onward to My Bandiversary
Jun 30, 2009
Had another fill on Wednesday; that makes about 2 cc. I'm having a tiny bit of trouble adjusting to requiring less food - I still have that "old-me" idea of what it will take to fill me. The "new-me" requires sooo much less, but old habits are hard to break. And I still have the "clean plate" syndrome where that little voice from my childhood tells me that children are starving in Africa, so I'd better finish those last couple of bites . . .! I'm trying to, in 6 months, defeat lessons and bad habits I've acquired and nutured for 45 years. I guess I can't beat the demons overnight.
According to my home scale, I'm down to 266, so I've lost 110 pounds. BMI is down to 38.3, and I've lost 51.25 inches overall. For heaven's sake, if I suck in my stomach (which is not so hard anymore), I've got a 38" waist, and I can feel RIBS (my own, not baby-back) if I look for them.
BP was down to 110/80, so Dr. E took me off my final blood pressure med this week. I've got an appointment in 2 weeks for a physical with my PCP - who hasn't seen me since the surgery - and with any luck, he'll take me off my oral diabetes meds as well. My levels have been running 75-85 before meals and 110-130 after. A HUGE change from the 250-300 readings I got before the weight loss.
GOD this is fun!!
July 12 ~~~~~~
My PCP hardly recognized me last week. Says that everything is looking good: EKG is great, BP great, glucose levels great (reduced one of my meds). No complaints from him.
Down 118 (weight=258) as of this morning, BMI is down to 37.0.
Tough going the past couple of days, but I'm okay. I'm still adjusting to the restriction from the latest fill - having a hard time convincing my brain that I need less food. Having a protein shake for breakfast, then coffee thru the morning, soup at lunch and a more substantial dinner. [Water throughout the day, of course.] THINKING I'm hungry at dinner time (later now, around 8 pm), FEELING hungry, then only getting a couple of bites down before finding out that there's "no room at the inn" and having it come back up.
Nobody said this would be easy. Some days are better than others; last night and tonight have been a little rocky.
Down to 256, so I've lost 120. Dr. Ehrlich told me last night that, at this weight and with my comorbidities gone, I wouldn't even qualify for WLS now.
Thought I'd throw in a couple of new pics for good measure: the obligatory, "WOW! Look at the giant pants I used to wear" shot, and (finally!) one of my celebratory tattoo:
VERY pleased to announce that, when it comes to men's sizes, I am no longer wearing a size with an X in it: I'm just a large. From XXXXL or XXXL to just plain L. I usually ended up getting men's not just for the larger sizes, but also because of my body shape (really long arms, long-bodied, etc.)
It was sooooo cool to be in the dressing room, trying on an L and seeing that it fit fine.
As for ladies' sizes, I'm down from a 32 to a 20/22. Had to buy a dress, the first one since my surgery. I have a wedding to go to the end of August, and am OFFICIATING for one Labor Day weekend. That's right, I'm an ordained minister, if you can believe that, performing my first ceremony.
Didn't have to buy a dress on-line or from the Lane Bryant catalog; just walked into Walmart, tried it on and off I went. YAY! It's a size 20; a tad snug (JUST a tad) but I know it will be fine in a month. If not, if it's too loose, I'm only out $16. Even discovered that I can now wear "store-bought" pantihose, too.
The results came back from my most recent blood tests. A1C level is down to 6.2. Fasting glucose is 103. Cholesterol down to 153 and LDL is 93. BP was 122/74 this afternoon.
Weight is down to 254, loss of 122.
Went to my husband's company picnic yesterday. One of his co-workers LITERALLY did not recognize me. That was such a hoot! Brought my album of pics from preo-op to now and got lots of "Ohmigod"s.
Lunch was half a hot dog (no bun), half a slice of cheese, 2 bites of BBQ pulled pork (no bun), 1 bite of mahi-mahi. Dessert, couple of spoonfuls of a nice, light coconut cream pie (no crust) and a few spoons of frozen lemonade.
I remember that I used to be able to eat 2 lobsters, steamers, corn on the cob, potatoes, a hot dog and a hamburger (both with rolls), a grilled portobello mushroom, and still had room for an entire frozen lemonade. That was only a year ago, yet I can't remember how I did it.
Went to buy some pants today in anticipation of fall. 32...30...28...26...24...22...
I'm down to a 20! And yes, I did smile a little to myself in the dressing room.
At my appointment with Dr. Ehrlich yesterday, he asked me if I was suprised by how well I'm doing and whether I had expected to do this well (and he called me "a poster child for weight loss surgery" - THAT was cool!)
Am I surprised? Well, sorta. I don't know what kind of loss I had anticipated or how fast I anticipated the weight coming off; I hoped it would be quite a bit of loss. And I AM surprised and pleased. The plateaus have bugged the hell out of me, but at least I know that they eventually end. The times that I have been sick, I know that they are caused by something I'VE done, not something the band did. (They're usually caused by my eating too fast and/or not chewing well enough and, as I've said, I've found those to be extremely hard habits to break.)
The latest question has been, what is my goal? I never had set any long-term goals, just short-term, like losing 10 pounds at a time. If I HAD to pick a goal now, a FINAL goal, I'd like to reach 195. That's the weight I was when I left high school, and I don't think it's an impossible one to reach - I've got less than 60 pounds to go. But even if I DON'T reach it, I'm fine with it. I'm perfectly fine with where I am now, because I know at some point, I'll stop losing, my body will settle in, and that's where I'll be from then on, as long as I keep eating right, exercising, etc.
It's the "eating right, exercising" part that I'll have to keep dealing with all my life because no matter how much weight I lose, I'll still be a fat person on the inside, until the goblins that still haunt me (food addictions) go away. The band helps keeps the demons at bay; I'm the one who has go all "Xena: Warrior Princess" on them to slay them, or at least to drive them off.
One of the issues that comes up with some regularity in the support groups is, what happens when you've reached your goal, and people stop commenting on how good you look; how well you;re doing? I found out this weekend what it's like, and it's not so bad.
I said previously that I was officiating at my friend Lori's wedding this week, my first as an ordained minister. Saturday was the day, and I was obsessing a little: did I look okay? Would I sound like an idiot? Was the service going to be too long? Did I really know what I was doing? Was this the right dress? Was my makeup okay?
Then one second of sanity and clarity took hold of me shook me like a terrier with a rat: hey, sister, it ain't about you today. No one's going to be focused on you (well, not much anyway. I WAS performing a sacred rite and declaring two people as man and wife after all.) Suddenly, sweet release. All the anxiety was gone. I think it was what people in AA call "turning it over."
This was a very small wedding of about 20 people, all of them Lori's and Bob's family members, none of whom I knew or had even met. No one knew much about me, except that I work with Lori, that I was the minister, and that this was my first wedding. No one except Lori knew that I had had WLS.
It was great. What a relief to get together with people and NOT talk about it for a change!
So what DID we talk about? The bride and groom. He was so nervous, but didn't she look beautiful? The service was lovely, so personal, and was it REALLY my first time? Hell, the groom's Dad, the ex-marine, and I even compared tattoos and swapped inking stories.
It was just a nice day, and it really was a treat to have the focus OFF weight loss and weight loss surgery . . . for a change.
That being said, I am available for weddings, renewal ceremonies, commitment ceremonies (e.g., gay weddings) baptisms, absolution of sins, etc. I'm not so sure about Bar/Bat Mitzvahs and a bris is out of the question.
Today's sermon is on "Getting Your Yucks Where You Can Find Them."
I walked across the street from work for lunch today at St. Francis Hospital's cafeteria. I'm sitting there reading Michael Moore's new book (which probably makes me a commie, in some peoples' eyes), in my new, hard-to-miss hunter's-orange sweatshirt emblazoned with "Psych Ward 158-3-26" on it, fastidiously cutting my little portion of salad fixins into tiny, bite-sized niblets while repeatedly peppering the lot. (Hey, I like a lot of pepper!) I looked up and, while not ALL eyes were on me, some were. "Let 'em wonder," I snorted with a chortle, and went back to my reading. I'm still chuckling and curious as to whether anyone ran off to get the butterfly net.
The next one is a little grisly, but in keeping with the season since Halloween is only a few days away.
When my Mom died, I started considering my own mortality (okay, I had considered it before then but hey, this is my story.) I had long ago decided that I wanted to be cremated, and but I started looking for info about it on the Internet - y'know: who does it, how much it costs, etc. There are all kinds of sites selling lovely (and some not-so-lovely) cremation urns with helpful information like, "Inner capacity: 228 cubic inches".
Uh . . . how do I do the math to figure out how many cubic inches of "cremains" my 350+ pound body will leave? Will my fat melt away like a big ol' Yankee candle or just hang around like the aftermath of a roasted chicken? Who do I ask, and how would I even begin to ask such questions? I mean, I've got a morbid curiousity, but you have to draw the line somewhere!
All I could think was, "Will the ashes of my big ass even FIT in one urn, or will I have to suffer the post-mortum indignity of being sifted into two?!". Well, (whew!) I guess I don't have THAT problem to worry about anymore. One less worry on my plate (pardon the pun.)
A big "thank you", by the way, to Nancy from the Lap band forum, who showed me how to do the math and . . . I've lost 71.8% of my excess body weight (if you go by a 5'10" woman weighing about 170 pounds, for a "normal" BMI of 24.4)
Tomorrow will be 11 months, and I'm stuck at 227 . . . one pound away from that rascally 150-pound loss goal.
On the upside, I'm off one more diabetes medication with only one left to go. I had hoped to be off all of them by now, but I had been diabetic for almost 8 years, one of those on 2 kinds of insulin, before my surgery, so I am grateful to be rid of what I am.
Well, I did it! I woke up at 226.
Paul and I made the big leap and joined Planet Fitness (aka "the real gym") last week, went on Tuesday and again last night. And did some exercise ball crunches last night when we got home.
I, never one to leave well enough alone, went to Curves today, on top of last night's routine. NOW I know why they say not to exercise two days in a row. My pecs and arms were yelling "What the hell are you doing to us??!!". They were achy, but not too badly. I definitely felt some strain, but not too much. And the weird thing is . . . I didn't hate the feeling.
ME? NOT HATING A MUSCLE ACHE??!! That's abnormal. That's . . . a sickness! And I think maybe I liked it just a little bit. What the hell is happening to me?
And I'm two weeks away from my 1-year anniversary. I have to say that THAT fact staggers me. Almost a whole year has gone by already!
What am I thankful for this Thanksgiving? God, where do I begin? In no particular order:
-I'm thankful for my husband, Paul, who has been there the whole way, never doubted my decision, always supports me, and spots me at the gym
-I'm thankful to my primary care physican for suggesting to me that I consider WLS as an option
-I'm thankful for the incredible stroke of good luck (and good research) that led me to my wonderful surgeon
-I'm thankful for Dr. Ehrlich for being not just a great doctor, but great a great person as well
-I'm thankful for everyone I've met through and at support groups and for all their help
-I'm thankful for being given the opportunity to "give back" at preop seminars
-I'm thankful for everyone on this website who has supplied me with suggestions & support and for all of you who have allowed me to answer your questions and inspire you, too
-I'm thankful for all of YOU, for taking the time to read this crap! :-)
-I'm thankful for this incredibly smaller, lighter (and yes, saggier) body that doesn't seem to mind exercise anymore, doesn't ache all the time anymore, and doesn't require so many meds to function
-I'm thankful that I woke up this morning at 216.5 pounds
-I'm thankful for being only TWENTY ONE POUNDS FROM MY GOAL!!
A year ago tomorrow (by day, not by date) I was lying on a gurney, getting my feet massaged by a wonderful volunteer, having lost 22 pounds with my pre-op diet and wondering if I was making a big mistake. That maybe I didn't really NEED this surgery; that maybe I could do it - the weight loss - on my own.
Fast forward 366 days (leap year, y'know) and I know that I couldn't. I KNOW that I could not have stayed the course without my constant companion, the Band. I KNOW I would not have lost any more, would not have kept the weight off, and I KNOW I would have gained back more than I had lost.
Sometimes I forget that fact, on those days that are "not so good." I have to remember that no one, myself included, ever said this was going to be easy. But my thoughts always manage to find their way back. I read a quote recently that said, "Even if you're on the right track, you'll get run over if you just sit there." (Will Rogers, by the way.)
I like that. I know that even though the band sends me on the right track, if I don't pay attention, I'm gonna get a locomotive in the ass, so to speak.
So, keep moving, and watch out for oncoming trains.
Well, I still am having a hard time wrapping my head around the fact that a year has gone by, but here is my year-end comparison, as promised!
First appointment: 376
December 2, 2004: 216
Diabetes A1C: preop: 9.7/ October 2004: 5.1
Average glucose level: preop: 285-300/ today: 80-140
Medications: preop: 7/ today: 2
Total inches lost: 83.25
Pants size: preop: 32/ currently: 18
Top size: preop: menï¿½s 4XL/ currently: menï¿½s medium
My mood lately has been as cold, gray and crappy as our weather. The only things that seem to keep me even remotely interested in getting up every morning are:
1. My husband, God bless him. For more reasons than I could possibly relate.
2. The dogs. And endless source of humor and good spirits. Of course they're always in good moods - what do they have to worry about?
3. The fact that I made this great decision a year ago to give myself the gift of a better life. Not just to me, either, but to Paul. The longer I stay alive, the more time we get to have together. And that, as Martha Stewart would say, is a good thing.
The road I was travelling previously was taking me to a dead end, and taking me there frighteningly fast. I'm glad that I chose to take a new path.
Well, that's enough. I'll climb down off the pity pot and shut the hell up with my whining. How are all of YOU doing?
On the Way to the Century Club
Jun 30, 2009
March 1 ~~~~
INFURIATING! MADDENING! DISHEARTENING!
I've had two fills (had the third today) but the weight loss is slowing down. I've only lost a pound in two weeks. [BMI is down to 45.8 from 54.0, so that's not bad.]
I'm not eating any more than I have been and, with the exception of a week off when I hurt my knee, I've still been working out 3 times a week.
So what gives? Between the slowed weight loss, a generally crappy month at work - and the inability to run to bags of Doritos for solace - I've been in a pretty foul mood (<---understatement. Just ask my husband.)
Well, on Friday, I asked to be measured at Curves. I was astounded to find out, after doing the math, that I've lost over 18 inches since the beginning of January when I joined! I just couldn't believe it. Maybe it's just that I'm losing fat and gaining muscle (of course, we've always been told that muscle weighs more than fat) and I KNOW I'm gaining muscle, because I can feel 'em. Anyone wanna squeeze my bicep?
March 15 ~~~~
FINALLY, some progress! Since the last fill, two weeks ago, I've lost 14 pounds. I'm at a total loss of 69 pounds in 3-1/2 months, and my BMI is down to 43.8. I've also lost a total of about 23 inches.
I not only had to buy a replacement wedding band, but I finally had to break down and buy some new pants. Thank God things at Walmart and A.J. Wright are cheap. [Total cost for 7 pairs of pants, 3 shirts and the ring: $136.]
I'd hate spending a lot of dough on clothes that might only fit me for a couple of months. But I am down from a size 32 to a 26 or 28 (depending on the brand.) It was nice not to detest trying on clothes for a change.
March 18 ~~~~
PS: My A1C test number has dropped from 9+ to 6.9!
March 24 ~~~~~
It's funny the way people react to my weight loss.
Yesterday, I worked with a composer that I hadn't seen since before my surgery. He came in and crowed, "Oh, you changed your hair! It looks so great!"
The producer I was working with and I cracked up, and the composer couldn't figure out why. I said, "It's not the hair, it's what's under it!" He looked confused and said, "Oh. Is it a wig?!"
I just laughed and said, "No, I lost 75 pounds since the last time you've seen me, you dolt!"
If nothing else, this surgery has certainly provided the opportunity for increased quantities of chuckles!
APRIL 5 ~~~~~
At today's weigh-in at Curves, the scale showed that I've lost 79-point-something pounds. So, in celebration, I'm rounding it off to 80 pounds. YAY!
MAY 3 ~~~~~
Down 90 pounds!
(Slowly, but surely.) Right now that equals:
2 sizes smaller in undergarments
2 sizes smaller in tops
4 sizes smaller in pants
36.75 inches smaller overall
BMI down from 54 to 41
Off both insulins
Glucose levels down from high 200s to low 100s
MAY 24 ~~~~~
Down 97.5 pounds. I am DYING to get those last 2.5 off that are keeping me from "The Century Club". They are bedevilling me. The only "date-related" goal I set myself was so lose 100 pounds in 6 months, so I really want this one!
Can I do it in a week? Ah, if not, that's fine too.
I'VE LOST 100 POUNDS SINCE SEPTEMBER!
My BMI is down to 39.6 from 54.
I've lost a total of 43.75 inches:
2 off each arm
3 off my chest
9.5 off my waist
8.75 off my abs
6.75 off my hips
3.5 off each thigh
2 off each calf
I promised myself that when I hit "the century mark", I'd celebrate with a new tattoo. Looks like it may be time to get inkin'!
Is it wrong to be as proud of myself as I am?
The First 3 Months Postop
Jun 30, 2009
Hello again, everyone!
I had my banding done on Tuesday, and just got home Friday. Thanks our lovely nor'easter/blizzard, it took about 3 hours to get from Norwalk to Bridgeport (usually a 15-20 minute drive), but at least I am home. My husband's happy to have me back, and the 2 dogs went simply insane with glee.
If everything had gone seamlessly, I would have been home on Wednesday, but I had quite a bit of trouble keeping food down because my new stomach was inflamed and not letting much of anything through. I had very little pain - just an achy, "someone-poked-me-in-the-belly-HARD!" feeling - and was up and walking a couple of hours after the anesthesia wore off, but kept vomiting because there was no place for the liquids I was drinking to go but back up.
Dr. Ehrlich told me that it's not uncommon in people with a high BMI. Thursday night I stuck with just rinsing my mouth with ice water or Gatorade, with no swallowing, and things stayed down okay this morning and afternoon, so they released me.
On the plus side, between the 1000 calorie diet, 2 days of clear liquids and post-op problems, I've already lost between 20 and 26 pounds, depending on which scale I used. I was 376 at my first appointment with Dr. E, and 350 on the scale in pre-op (352 on the scale in the surgical wing, and I gained 2.3# when I took my shoes OFF! I have always believed that scales are the work of the devil.) Also, my glucose level was down to 120 by the time I was released. The doctors have already told me to cease taking my insulin.
So far, so good. I had juice, gatorade and sugarfree popsicles during the day, and little beef broth and Isopure for "dinner". I actually started craving food, instead of being nauseated by the thought of it, so I take that as a good sign. The weird thing is, instead of craving chocolate or Doritos, like I might have expected, I am DYYYYYYING for protein. Everytime I see someone cutting a big hunk o' meat of the Food Network, I'm ready to jump through the screen and grab it.
Got approval to proceed to Stage 2 of the diet. Who would have thought that 98% Fat-free Cream of Chicken soup would be heaven? Believe it or not, it was better than a chocolate Atkins shake!
I'm "jonesing" for meat. I thought I'd be craving chocolate truffles, or pizza, or something really bad for me, but all I seem to be craving is meat. Beef, ham, chicken, turkey -- doesn't seem to make any difference. Everytime I see it on TV, I want to crawl through the tube and take a bite out of it. I guess you can say that I, the dedicated and unapologetic carnivore, will never be adopting a vegan lifestyle.
I'm a week postop, and would love to know how I'm doing with my weight, but my evil scale only goes to 300 pounds, and I know I haven't lost THAT much weight. But I have an appointment with Dr. E tomorrow and will report in.
It's neat, though, to notice the little things that are telling me I've lost SOMETHING. I've lost the annoying and painful swelling I had in my calves, feet and ankles after I gained 30 pounds when I started taking insulin.
I can fit my big hooves into shoes that were too tight a month ago. By "big hooves", I'm not referring to myself as a cow; I just have big, wide feet that are shaped more like shoeBOXES than actual shoes.
My engagement ring, that has been pretty snug for quite a while, spins pretty easily now. Heck, even my watch is a little looser.
Doctor Ehrlich says everything is proceeding nicely. I've lost 30 pounds in the last month, and 8 since the surgery.
I've reached one of my "baby step" goals: I weigh what I did when I got married. YAY!
I'm now on what I call a "normal diet", i.e. eating the way I will be for life, and everything is going great. There aren't any foods yet that have bothered my system, including green beans and peas, which bothered me in the puree stage. I even went and had my favorite, Chinese food, last week (shrimp, chicken and veggies, with brown rice, steamed with a little sauce, not greasy) and that was all fine. I was DYING to have sushi, but I thought that might be pushing things. Maybe next time.
Christmas was great, and I really enjoyed being told how good I looked. I can see the changes, obviously, but it's nice to have other people see it, too. Dinner was surprisingly easy: a couple of small pieces of ham, a few slices of scalloped potatoes, a little cranberry sauce, and dab of jello salad and that was it. I didn't feel deprived - and that was a good thing.
January 22 ~~~~~
I started working out at Curves for Women a week ago Monday and have been going 3 days a week, as they recommend. I hate to admit it, but I don't hate it. 30 minutes and I'm in and out before I know it.
And I have the weirdest lumpy thing growing on my arm recently. Oh, no . . . wait. It's a muscle!
January 26 ~~~~~
HOLY COW! In two weeks of going to Curves 3x/week along with my new post-op diet, I've already lost 10 inches!!
January 29 ~~~~~
I'm now 8 weeks out and have lost 50 pounds (actually, 53 since my first appointment with Dr. E). 30 since my procedure. And 12 since I started Curves. It's amazing what getting up off my a** and exercising can do!
I had my first fill (a small one) two weeks ago and haven't really noticed that I was eating less, but I guess I was.
One of the best parts of all of this is knowing that I don't have to deprive myself like I did when I was on the many diets I tried over the years. I can still have, if I want them, a candy bar or Doritos or a Dunkin Donut. I just don't have - and haven't wanted - very many of them. I've had one Dorito (one of my favorite previous-life snacks) and maybe ten potato chips since my surgery, and one peanut butter cup, when I could previously have eaten a couple of packs without a thought. And though I am in "Dunks" every morning getting my coffee, I haven't had - or wanted - a donut.
February 16 ~~~~~
Weight loss is slowing down, not staying "full feeling" as long, and taking longer to get full, so I had a second fill done. Down to 320, though.