Saturday, December 31, 2005

Big Fat Post

Well folks, it's that day of the year where we all think about what was and what will be. So, here is a big fat post covering everything I can think of...

First: The end of year weigh-in/update

Ok, for some reason I've never actually posted my weight - why, I don't know. I suppose I fear judgment by the skinny/normal-sized people who would jump off the Aurora bridge if they weighed what I weigh today - though I LOVE what I weigh today! It's all relative, and I'm smart enough to know this, but still - it's hard to negotiate it. So, here are my honest-to-god stats:

Start Weight: 258
Weight Today: 211 (that's down a total of 47 pounds!)

Pants Size B4: Size 24 Size Today: Size 16

Top Size B4: Size 22/24, 3X
Today: Size 14/16, 1X

So, how's that for a look back? 47 pounds lost, and down 5 sizes. Ra-f*cking-hoo!!!!!!!

Second: The Goal-Setting

Small goals and big goals, that's what I've got for y'all. Are you ready? Feel free to hold me accountable!

Daily Goals:
- Take thyroid meds every day (I'm HORRIBLE at this!)
- Drink the g'damn water (also been slack-ass sally here)
- Call the trainer *this week* and integrate lifting weights into daily workouts ASAP
- And for the love of God, keep doing what's working:
  • Plan to go to the gym *every single day* making it ok to miss it now and again; and push it, don't get complacent - keep increasing goals monthly!
  • Keep caloric intake to around 1000-1200 daily.
  • Take in occasional, minimal sugar only as a treat - never daily or regularly, and never, ever, ever as a reward. Oh, and limit the liquid calories overall - save up for the things you really want (i.e., martinis, wine, soy mochas...)
  • Stay sane and reasonable about the whole thing! Integrate it into real life in a real way, so it is sustainable forever.
  • And, keep being proud of yourself, Jennifer.
Bigger Goals:
- Lose 26 pounds before trip to Europe on April 1st (weight goal: 185)
- Meet goal weight by August 15th - another 30 pounds between April 1 - August 15 (weight goal: 155 - this is my end goal weight!)
- Do the Danskin Triathlon August 19-20!!!! (Addendum: Train like a m'f for this all summer)
- Find good plastic surgeon for required plastic surgery by September 1st; nip/tuck (in a big way) by November 1st.

Other Goals:
- Start writing and mean it; be vigilant and take it seriously. To that end, read more.
- Keep spending time alone and or just quiet time doing only and exactly what you want to do.
- Plan sabbatical trip for early 2007 (Australia and New Zealand?)
- Date. Consistently, no matter how hard it is to get out there. Keep at it until something really good comes along - that is to say, no settling.
- Evaluate career; figure out what's next and set a timeline.

How's that look? And, what about you??

Friday, December 30, 2005

Can't hardly wait!

So, I was cleaning the house the other day and found a batch of um, well, naked photos from the last time I lost weight. Back then, pre-digital, I'd schlep over to my local Fred Meyer and pick them up from the clerk, who always shot me a funny little smirk. But hey, not like they are sexy photos or anything...they're weight loss photos for pete's sake. Anyhow...

As I was going through them, I had dated and put my weight on the back of each one. The difference between where I am now and just another 20 pounds will be phenomenal! I mean, I realize in these photos I was like 26, so things likely won't look that good...but still, I actually looked like a relatively normal-sized person. I was shocked. And then I thought, "I can't hardly wait!!!" and it's so within reach and in a way that feels real and permanent. I'm already noticing how much smaller I am in so many ways, but to think that's what to come...yippee! Talk about motivating! And, these photos I was still about 35 pounds above what is now my goal weight. I guess as you peel back the layers, literally, the impact of each pound is more and more apparent.

For contrast here, I found a really um, big picture of myself from last Christmas. Talk about a "robust constitution" (I recently heard on NPR the French president being described this way):
I just love that I don't look like this anymore. Thank god. Here's my and Mikey a couple weeks ago...much better.

Been getting to the gym, eating ok (only two more eggnog lattes allowed - I'm cut off on January 1) and looking forward to getting back to work, and to a routine. Later all! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Nothing says "Work Out Hard" Like a Rock Star

Those of you who know me know I love Death Cab for Cutie (we'll call'em DCFC here for short). So, the lead singer, Ben Gibbard works out at my gym (so does Dave Matthews, and members of Sound Garden & Pearl Jam...but I digress). None of them matter. Ben matters though, because I love DCFC. The man writes the most poignant, intense, gut-wrenching lyrics, and sings them well to boot. (If you don't know them, click on the DCFC link above, you'll get a sampling.)

So, today I enter the gym and there is Ben in all his sweaty glory on an exercise bike! I avert my eyes, of course, so as not to be a star-struck freak, but am tickled nonetheless. I am not the type to bother someone when they're trying to exercise - that is an unglamourous time to be bothered, I don't care who you are. A friend (also a fan) shows up and we giggle together "there's Ben!" - no worries, Ben is happily listening to his iShuffle, so he cannot hear us - and is facing a different direction, so he cannot see us.

I hop on my elliptical and work out as if I am a rock star myself! I mean really, who wants to look like a workout wimp in front of one of their favorite singers on earth?? (Because of course Ben is carefully monitoring the intensity of my workout, esp. since he can't see or hear me...). If only Ben was there everyday - I think I'd be at my goal weight in no time if I worked out at that level all of the time! :) His mere presence kicked my heart rate up 10 notches or so.

Note: He did have good, proper gym etiquette as he cleaned up his machine before heading out. Now that is a good rockstar!

p.s. For those of you who think he's chunked up a bit, I have to disagree - seeing him in workout garb, he's actually rather fit; I think it's his round face that does him a disservice in this arena.

Monday, December 26, 2005

Calorie generosity

So I've been pretty darn generous with myself over the holidays - eating pretty much whatever I want, and making that possible by balancing out the calories throughout the day. Yes, that means skipping some meals...I know, I know - but it's two weeks people! And my eggnog lattes, soon to be seasonal-history, count as meal replacements. Not exactly healthy ones, but hey.

So today I was having one of my usual/easy meals - dropped eggs on toast - two poached eggs on top of two slices of light toasted bread (80 cals for both) - it's a 300 calorie meal. I thought, "I'll forego the usual the calories." Great. Well, someone called and I stopped paying attention to my eating. Without the butter to moisten it up, coupled with my eating too worked out to one egg, one big fat PB. User error, 100%. By far the WORST part of having a lap-band. It's been several weeks since the last one, so I can't complain really...but geez. Bummer. And after, I'm always terrified to eat again (as she sips her 'lunch'...)...

Saturday, December 24, 2005

XL...XXL? Still??? Seriously?!?

So yesterday I had two clothing events. I went to REI only to find that their women's XL is still a little snug for my taste...ok, moderately depressing, but whatever. Later that day, I found myself at Eddie Bauer's sale rack, and found that the XXL fit like a charm. Seriously. That's ex-ex-f*cking-ell....

How depressing is that!?!? I mean, really, I know I've lost 45 pounds at this point (yep, that's an update - down 1 more), but it sucks to feel on one hand, "wow, I'm not so big anymore..." but then good 'ole mainstream society sucker-punches with the XXL tag in the shirt you want to buy. WTF? I'm in the precarious position of not being able to wear mainstream clothes just yet, but finding the smallest size at the ole'LB too big (on top, anyway..I'm still one of ample hippage...). So, I'll make do - I am smart enough not to let this impact me in a big way, but really people! XXL?? ;)

p.s. I wore a L t-shirt for my workout yesterday, so I do realize I'm not really an XXL...

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Foodie & Bandster: Is it possible?

Ok, those of you who don't know me can likely surmise from this blog that I'm a foodie - I love to cook, try all sorts of foods, and eat out at interesting restaurants. I've been able to eat out quite a bit lately and it's been fine in terms of weight loss - but this week, I actually cooked up two really nice meals for friends. I really spare no expense in terms of calories - I believe fancier meals should use the 'real' ingredients. The good news is that I just can't eat that much of it - so I don't worry about it. And, I'm having a blast cooking again! I was so afraid to lose this part of me once I had the band, and with other events in my life, am just now at a place of being excited to have people over again.

So what did I cook? The first meal was a salad with homemade blue cheese dressing with bacon and hazelnuts over an ice berg wedge, and then sliced filet mignon over arugula with a cauliflower puree (yes, with butter and half'n'half). We had a few cookies for dessert. Tonight, we started with a little caprese salad (fresh mozzerella, tomatoes, basil & olive oil), with a main course of a boneless pork loin chop along with a delicata squash w. cranberry mushroom stuffing. On the side was a really nice tomato-roasted shallot relish (which was spicier than expected, though guestboy was happy to eat it all!) We finished with a spinach salad w. blue cheese dressing, bacon & hazelnuts (a (imho better) variation on the other night).

What's so cool is that I could eat these two meals! While I carefully ate 1/2 of the 6 oz. pork chop, and easily 1/2 of the squash...and I had 4 small slices of the filet the other night (2-3 oz.), it's plenty. I'm never left unsatisfied, feeling ripped off, or hungry. And I get to cook and be me! Yay!

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Tour de Gorge

Can you believe there is a whole sport around competitive eating?? - take a look - it's true! So this morning at the gym (of all places) they had the Thanksgiving Invitational Tour de Gorge on, where about 10 gi-normous men stuffed themselves full of pumpkin pies. I couldn't actually watch - those kinds of things gross me out. But my god. I had no idea during my personal 34-year Tour de Gorge I couldn't been raking in some serious dough! Perhaps even enough to pay for my lapband? It was just shocking, funny & odd to see it at the gym - and horrifying that these people learn to gorge/binge and then apparently puke it up in a bucket. One guy's "stats" showed that he once ate 7 pounds of cabbage in 9 minutes - now would you want to be in the bathroom stall next to that dude the following day? I think not. The whole thing is just delightful! I suppose we all need hobbies...

Tonight was my sister's wedding - and my band was snug, so I really wasn't able to eat much - to my dismay, the food was good and I would've loved a few more bites, but as it was I think I snuck too many sips of water and got some too-full-wicked-shoulder-pain (remnants of the gas from surgery...which hurts like a m.f., btw). So, that was less-than-ideal, but man, I didn't really eat much at all:

1/3 c. artichoke dip-like stuff
a few tortilla chips (literally, like 5 mini rounds)
2 bites of bread
3 bites of green salad
3 bites of chicken
2 bites of potato
1 spoonful of corn
2 small bites of cupcake, a little later...

Just a touchy night for the ole' lapband it seems. Anyhow, I did well - though it's a lot easier when I can dish myself up and limit what is on my plate rather than sitting there (after my 4 bites are done with) while everyone eats a giant plate of food, staring at my plate, thinking of having just one more bite - and it's that freakin' bite that puts me over the top, dammit.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Moving Again

You know, this whole thing - the lap band - just fascinates me at times. I've lost another two pounds as of this morning's weigh in, bringing me to a total loss of 44 pounds which is just shocking to me, since I've had a cookie or two (or four...) at work due to holiday festivites, and I'm addicted to eggnog/eggnog lattes (ok, I've had a total of 4 - 1/2 c. servings of eggnog in the past week...but still! it feels over-the-top since they're 170 calories each! good grief!).

Somehow I just expect I'd be blowing up...but I've worked out for the past 4 days, am getting my water in and well, I guess it's just working. In order to lose 50 by New Year's I'd have to sew my jaw shut or do full liquids (eggnog?? ;) so I don't expect that will be happening. I think I'll revise my goal to just not have a goal for the moment - I'm excited to get to 50 pounds soon, and it will be soon! And 60 will be especially noteworthly as that will get me to an actual number on the scale that is exciting to me. So, onward!

p.s. Hope everyone (esp. my WLS pals) are doing ok with the holiday onslaught of sugar and stuff! Ug! It's a lap-banders blessing to be able to indulge in sugar now and again, but it's also a curse that we still can choose to!

Sunday, December 18, 2005

Then & Now

Here are two photos of me with my sister Julie. The first is at our birthday party in June (our bdays are a week apart) and the second is from last night, at her bridal shower. It's funny, I see it and I don't...but there is a difference! (Cheezy grins aside :)

Also, thank you all for your thoughful comments on the last post (especially you Dad!) - I appreciate the encouragement, support and kicks in the butt. Incidentally, I did get to the gym yesterday and did my usual hour+ walk this morning. Oh yeah, and I got on the scale yesterday - I was exactly the same, despite being conviced I gained 5 pounds or something. Not an ounce; progress is the goal however, it was nice to see that even in the face of a week or so of adversity things do not go south too fast.

I realize it's all a process - and I know it just takes time. I'm just glad the clock keeps ticking...

Friday, December 16, 2005

Busy or Bad?

Ok, here's my secret: When I don't post for several days, one of two things is going on. Either I'm really busy, or I'm being bad. This short hiatus is a result of both, actually. Another work trip to Portland coupled with existing plans makes for a busy Jenn. (Aside: I had another fantastic dinner at Park Kitchen though, worth the trip to PDX just to eat there, I swear! As an added bonus, I had fun flirting with the adorable, responsive (and sadly, coupled) server.)

However, my true confession is that I've been struggling a bit otherwise. I've not been to the gym since Monday - I'm just exhausted I think. Break-up land is just not a happy place and drains me; work has been busy, business travel messes up the schedule and is tiring in a whole other way. Not to make excuses, but god - I can only do so much, you know? That said, you'd think I'd compensate with my eating. Nope. I've been taking in more liquid calories than normal (re: discovered eggnog lattes...sweet mary...yum!, had a few martinis/wine/margaritas/greyhounds...) and I've been eating holiday chocolates to boot.

Jezuz Jennifer!!!! For shame, really. I dropped the equivalent of a low-end new car's worth of cashola for my lapband, I LOVE how I feel 42 pounds lighter, I love how I look, my confidence, and the fact that I actually believe and can see getting down to a normal size person. But right now, I feel like a giant f*ck up; while at the same time, I realize we can't all do it perfectly all of the time, right? It'll pass. But I'm a bit digusted with myself this week. Now you know.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Three Months Today!

Well, it seems like it was an eon ago, but it's been three months as of today since I went under the 'ole knife. I've lost a total of 42 pounds! I couldn't be happier...well, if I was at 50 maybe :)

But seriously, I'm really in no rush, oddly enough. I'm enjoying the journey, and realizing that having your body change this much takes time - both physically and emotionally. It's a strange thing to keep up with in your mind, and difficult to articulate. But, I will say there are just times it feels funny, odd, and disconnected being in this body - even though I like it a lot...

Since last month, I've dropped 8 pounds - and to be honest, I can't tell a striking difference in the photos, but there are some nuances if you study them long enough (which I did). Once again, the head-chopped-off photos do the most justice, so here's one. You can see the full lot of front/back/side monthly photos on my other blog here. And, at this point, I am frightened by just how big I was in the beginning - holy crap - it's all relative, but man, when I compare then and now...well, it's just a little shocking.

Saturday, December 10, 2005

3-Month Post-Op Visit

I saw my surgeon yesterday for my 3-month visit. I did not get a fill - as mentioned - I seem to be doing just fine and have enough restriction. By his scale, I lost 11 pounds since my last fill, which is awesome! I weigh in about 2 pounds heavier there since I have clothes on and have eaten, drank water, etc. throughout the day. Still at a 40 pound loss overall.

I'll have 3-month pictures on Monday - I don't expect to see a huge difference between last time adn this time, but we'll see. Either way, I'm cooking along...though the scale, as of yesterday, hadn't moved in a week! :( It will, I know. Patience, Jennifer.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Baked Horror

Today a co-worker was eating a sub - a big fat one with crusty bread. In the past, I'd'a put that whole 12" thing away! To look at even 1/2 of it now is terrifying to me! Baked horror, that's what big crusty hunks of bread mean to me now. That thing would've put me in the ER. I can eat bread - thinly sliced, crusty or better yet, crunchy, with butter or oil to help it along. Oh, and one piece, not 12.

On another note, I had a fantastic meal last night at Portland's ClarkLewis restaurant - but also had the *worst* PB ever. Turns out homemade pasta - and it's gooey, glutenous, soft consistency - is not the lap-band's friend. And I only had literally a couple bites... Lesson learned - no three strikes rule for this one - it is OUT.

Monday, December 05, 2005

Lap-Band Jambalaya

I'm in Portland again for work and tried out a local haunt called Le Bistro Montage last night. What a fun place! Cajun influence, funky space and great energy. Not too hard on the wallet either.

I ordered the jambalaya which allowed you to choose your meats - so I chose chicken, scallops & andouille sausage. So, what does a lapbander do with a good 2 cups+ of this dish? Well, she starts milling through the bowl, one end to the other, picking out the meat...pausing at the 1/2-way point for one spoonful of rice; and then once again at the end. I had one 2" round piece of bread to start (w/butter) and a few spoonfuls of a lovely chocolate pot de creme for dessert. Oh, and a smallish martini. This was a good meal, handled well and in my book successful! Why? Well, I was full, had good food out with a friend, didn't overeat, got to have some of everything and the best the end, ZERO GUILT.

In other news, I took Friday off from the gym for the first time in weeks and weeks! And, unfortunately, it looks like today I may get a 1/2 hour walk around downtown portland in -but I do feel some guilt here - two days off so close together! I just don't want to lose my mojo on the exercise. But, I will go every day for the rest of the week and it'll be fine. Haven't weighed in lately either - kinda don't care, as I know I'm doing well. I have a fill appointment on Friday, but I think I'm filled enough - I'm losing, not very hungry and PB'ing just enough to know that I don't want to be any tighter (at least as long as I'm still losing weight).

Happy Monday all! Have a good day :)

Saturday, December 03, 2005


The last few times I've caught my reflection in a window or mirror I've been a little shocked. I guess I don't spend quality time in front of my mirror at home (however, do not confuse this with a lack of vanity :). Seriously though, I forget what I look like now. Totally, completely forget. It's strange, but don't suppose it's abnormal. And actually, it's good - because I'm pleasantly surprised each and every time.

Lately I think I've come to terms with the fact that I'll be needin' some plastics when I'm done. Before, I figured, 'no way...I'm too crunchy for plastic surgery - besides, I'm married and happy and who cares - this is about being healthy!' and truly, I'm not that vain - but this isn't really about vanity. It's about having a giant hunk of skin hanging off the front of my body. Not pretty to think about? Well, imagine having it right there. The idea of a hip-to-hip incision, a homemade belly button and cut'n'pasted nipples terrifies me, but the end result doesn't scare me one bit (though last I checked, the frankenstein look wasn't exactly 'in'). What will I have done? Judging by how things are looking so far, a tummy tuck & boob job should do the trick, perhaps a slight inner thigh lift (which they often throw in for "free" with the other two). I even found a local surgeon to start researching - apparently she is known for making boobs look especially 'pretty.' I'm all for that.

Before, I was married, planning to have just didn't make sense to do plastics before that. Now, I've realized that with my marriage went the possibility of bearing children. I'm 34, and there's *no way* I'd be ready to have a kid with anyone else within the next 3-4 years, and that takes me past my cut-off age (and single parenting is not for me).

So, it dawned on me that the right time to do plastics is when you're about 10-20 pounds from goal - which is looking like will be within the next year. It took me a good 9 months of thoughtful, hearty research to really be ready for my lapband - with it's 4 punch holes and two tiny incisions. This one feels so freaky and scary and big, I thought it best to get the ball rolling. So there it is.

p.s. WLS folk: Any thoughts? Resources? What's your plan?

Friday, December 02, 2005

Special to Lap-Banders/WLS Folk

A woman on my message board posted this awesome compilation of information intended for "newbies" - but I grabbed the link and am posting it here for a few reasons. One, it's just a lot of good lap-band information and links all in one place. Second, it's a great post to refer family/friends to who want to 'get it.' And third, well, I didn't want to lose it :)

I wrote her a note and suggested she add a "Personal Lap-Band Blogs" segment since there are so many of us who catalog our journey this way. Either way, it is a useful post jam-packed with goodies!

Oh, and I added a few more links to some of your sites ----> (let me know if you have a blog you'd like me to link to!)

Hope everyone is well! I'm just plugging away - nothing earthshattering to report.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Worth Posting Twice Today...

Because the scale showed that I finally hit my milestone goal - I have lost a total of 40 pounds as of today! It was a moment, to say the least - I just kind of stood there at the gym and starred at it for a minute or two. I don't know why, but as I've said here, the 40-pound mark somehow feels so much more real than '30-something' weigh-ins. Perhaps it's that the mid-point (for me, 50 pounds) is in sight? Or that I've accomplished 40% of my goal? I'm not sure. But somehow - it feels big!!! Unlike my body, which is feeling smaller and smaller. RahoooOOO!!!!!!

Now, the funny thing is back in August I was fantasizing about my impending weight loss and thought to myself, "wouldn't it be something if I could lob off 50 pounds by new years?!?!" - followed up with a very definitive, "NFW girl. That is TOO big a goal..." - my question now is, is it really? Could it be done - 10 more pounds in 4.5 weeks? Lofty, yes, but I'm all for a stretch goal - so we'll see where I fall out - but I'm gunning for 50 by 2006. But not to worry - I'll be happy as long as it keeps going in the downward direction.
Please Leave a Message

This is a shout out to my friends whose calls I've missed on my cell phone. My pants are too big people, so I often don't feel it when it vibrates...(I usually have the ringer off as a courtesy).To boot, my phone is old and nearly dead, so sometimes the battery just goes kaput - so I don't even get the 'ole "missed call." So, if you call and you want me to know about it, consider leaving a message :)

In other news, my surgeon had his support group last night. It was good - finally met my fellow bandster A. whom I've been talking to for months! He's kicking some butt with his band, and has lost 27 pounds since Halloween (coupled with the 30, yes, THIRTY, he lost pre-op) - the dude is seriously shrinking. Men, I tell ya... :) - but seriously, the stats show that they lose faster if they follow the rules, and he is. Way to go A.!

The last part of my hodge-podge post is to say THANK YOU to all of the new folks reading my blog. I had a few new readers add my link to their site and now I seem to be getting lots of 'traffic' as it were. I love it! Originally the point of this was to spare my family and friends of my endless babble (regarding the band, that is, they will always have to live with endless, er, well, you all know...). It's a bonus to know this blog is actually helping others! So, keep the comments coming - it's fun to have this feel like a little community, something bigger than just me and my thoughts! :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

So Little

In some ways, old habits die hard. Here's my story: Last weekend, I met up with some friends for a movie. I was starving - it was noon and I hadn't eaten, but had worked out, run errands, gotten a massage...So I opted for movie-theatre nachos (something that wouldn't get stuck) - that is, a pile of chips with probably a good 3/4 c. of nacho cheese "dipping sauce" (or glue, whatever you want to call it).

I sat down and my friend asked if she could have some - here's where the "old thinking" came in. My internal response was, "NFW, lady - I'm starving. These are mine!!" Outwardly, I said, "Sure, have a couple - boy I am hungry..." (i.e., don't eat too many!). What's funny is, in the end, I could barely eat 1/2 of them. My eyes are still bigger than my stomach, and there are these occasions when I find myself still being possessive of food that I can't even fit in!!

Funny, sad, weird, and well, something that is changing as I go through this and my awareness shifts. I think a lot of us WLS folk truly have feared not getting enough food a zillion times in life - who knows why, as we live in a country where food is abundant - but that fear is changing for me now as I know I will get enough, esp. since it really doesn't take much. This was a hiccup, but it made me think and that is always a good thing.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Kicking in, that Fill it is!

Lately I've not really been very excited to eat. I'm bummed out, anxious, distracted, know, all of the appropriate post-break-up emotions. And, lucky for me, these are not the times I turn to food for comfort. Anyhow, I realized I really need to start eating meals again and all that crap - so yesterday I did. PB. Today, lunch...PB. They say two weeks after a fill it 'kicks in' - well, it's kickin' all right. This is partially user error - no doubt - but it does feel like something has changed. So, I'll be slowing down considerably, chewing like a m.f. and hoping for the best going forward.

The good news is I've mastered the PB - yep, figured it out! I can now get the deed done in mere minutes rather than disappearing to the bathroom for 20 - and it's not as traumatic as it was at first. I didn't even break into a sweat today! Not that these things are good, but oddly enough, the PB does require a modicum of technique, which I've finally gotten down. Amen. The downside is that I likely look like a bulimic, (which I never was, btw) and feel like I want to clarify to others in the restroom why my feet are turned the wrong direction. Though, I don't say a word, and just figure it doesn't matter if people judge me. But still, it's annoying to get weird (re: judgmental) looks from strangers....

p.s. To lapbanders: while this is an insane offer, if you want my 'tips & tricks of the PB' shoot me a comment or email and I'll be happy to oblige. To be honest, some of them would've made it not-so-awful for me in the beginning.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

My shoes are too big & my pants are too long

It's funny. I've noticed that the 'new' jeans I have (the only pair that fit) are getting to be too big. This is excellent news...but as pants get too big, they become too long. Think about it - if you put a basketball up your shirt, the shirt has to 'rise' up a bit. So, you shrink your butt or your hips, and your pants relax a bit...downward. In Seattle, during the rainy season, this sucks - seems my pants drag in puddles now and are always wet. Classy. No complaints really, mind you, more just an observation. I'm working pretty hard at this point to avoid clothes shopping for obvious reasons, but I may start trying to get creative and hit some thrift/consignment shops just to shake it up (and to have dry ankles).

Secondly, and more surprising, my shoes are getting too big. So, figuring that shoes will last longer for me than clothes, I bought a pair of short little black boots last night. My one pair of black shoes (yes, just one. i'm not a shoe whore...) are, as my sassy sister says, "horrible, dumpy lesbian shoes." And, the h.d.l. shoes used to be so tight they hurt; now my feet flop around in them. To ebay they go! (Actually, I'm guessing this will delight more than one person in my life...though they aren't that bad!) The boots are cool though - and I didn't feel too guilty getting them since I'll be able to wear them likely for a long time. (Bonus: Maybe the heel will help keep my pant legs out of puddles?)

Now, I must stop this money-spending business. I used to be the budget girl, never, well, not so much. On the bright side: I have cute shoes! There is always a bright side. I swear I believe that, despite current events in my life.

Friday, November 25, 2005

That was easy.

Getting through the 'big meal' was basically as easy as I thought it would be. Here's how it went for me...

- snacked on some cheese, crackers & hummus before dinner
- used a small side plate for the main meal
- here's what i ate:
1/8 c. each of squash, cranberry sauce, gravy
1/4 c. each of candied yams, mashed potatoes, stuffing
1-2 oz. turkey
2 bites each of three different pies (which nearly put me over the top, but didn't)

I had no stuckage issues, as most of what I ate was pretty mushy, except for the turkey, but the gravy and cranberry sauce made it go right down. I was happy to be a lap-bander vs. a bypass person though, I have to admit - getting to have bites of everything - esp. "real" dessert - was really nice. Not a moment of feeling ripped off or deprived in the least - so, all is well post-turkey-day. It was, in the end, mostly as expected, no big deal.

Yesterday I went for a 1-hour walk, as I did the day before. I've noticed after these walks my hamstrings ached as if they'd never been used before; indicating to me that they aren't getting properly worked at the gym. That aside, hearty fitness walks are a nice change from the gym - and we've had these sunny, blue sky moments that (imho) should be taken advantage of in Seattle in November :) So, I'll likey head to the gym today (sounds rainy) - but all is on track, I'm feeling pretty good and starting to notice my new clothes are getting a bit roomy already.

In the midst of the rest of my life at the moment, I'm truly grateful to have a positive place to focus my energies, er, escape to...

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving in WLS/Break-up Land

I think it's needless to say that the idea of Thanksgiving dinner to anyone who has had weight loss surgery is a bit horrifying. All that food. Even just sampling everything on the table could be dangerous.

I think for me it's more the notion than reality. I figure, we'll be hanging out for several hours. I'll start with the things I really, really want - and figure I can have a round of seconds if I want later on in the evening. It'll be fine. If I do 'overeat,' well, that's user error, and it may happen - but it's my goal that it doesn't, and honestly, it's the least of my worries.

Having had a particularly rough week living in break-up land, I haven't had much of an appetite - which, I suppose in my case, is a positive side-effect. After my last break-up, I asked a good friend, "when did you want to eat again?" He responded with, "girl, this is your body trying to get you skinny and hot so someone will want to date you...ride that wave for as long as you can." So, here's to the lap-band-supported break-up diet ;) It's one thing that is working out for me at the moment, so I'll go with it.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone, and good luck to all of my WLS buddies - it's just one meal - even in the worst case, the damage it could do is minimal. Keep perspective :)

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Socks & Accessories...

One experience that I can't wait to never have again is the dreaded 'shopping with skinny/normal-sized friend'... that is, being left to look at socks & accessories in stores that don't carry my size. I had a friend recently who didn't realize I couldn't go into, say, The Gap, and buy clothes. Well, I can't. So, when I'm shopping with a friend, and we go there, I look at the hats, scarves,'s no fun.

Though I'm not there yet, I'm getting closer! Last night I tried on a fantastic dress at the shop where my sister is getting her wedding dress. It was this fabulous "little" red number and I was shocked that it fit - granted, it was a 1X; but still, a few months ago I'd have been lucky to squeeze into a 3X. More than anything, it was just exciting that they had something I could fit into at all (and look that good)! So, here's to the day when I no longer have to look at the non-clothes items while shopping! I'll let you know when it happens, not to worry :)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


Well, looking back, I had a similar experience post-fill this month as I did last month...big loss, then big nuthin'. Oh yeah, and a big monthly, the good news is that we have movement! Down a total of 37 pounds as of today's morning workout. Somehow getting closer to that 40 pound mark feels very exciting - again, like I posted before, 20 or 30 pounds to me feels like 2 or 3 to normal-sized people. Somehow creeping into that 40, 50 & 60 range feels like, "holy crap! now that is some serious weight loss!" At the 50 pound mark, I think I'll have a 1/2-way-point party or something!

Not much else to report. Eating is going pretty well; I'm thinking this fill is a good one! I have an appointment for December 14th for the next one, should I need it. I've only had two PB incidents since this last one, both were of course user error, but overall I do need to be careful. I've had near stuckage issues with some deli turkey (too dry) and some black forest ham wrapped around a nice cheddar cheese. It seems a good balance though - not so tight that I'm constantly PB'ing, but tight enough that I have to be mindful. Exercise is still going good, too, btw. More soon! Sorry for the semi-boring post.

Saturday, November 19, 2005


Those trekkies out there who watched DS9 know about the shape-shifters...I don't suppose I'd go that far in describing myself (last I checked I couldn't turn into the water in a bucket), but this morning, after a hearty 6o minutes on the elliptical, and the end of the monthly bloat-ville, I looked in the (fullish-length) mirror after my shower and was shocked at what I saw.

My shape is shifting.

I just stood there for a while and for the first time in this process, I just didn't seem like a fat person anymore - I felt more like an average person with a few extra layers of fat at the moment. It's hard for those of you who aren't fat to get this, but I'm guessing those WLS folks who are reading (and I do love that you read me) get this to the Nth degree. It's that moment when you just really start to recognize your changing body as actually belonging to you - being a part of who you are and not this external thing that you distance yourself from rather than embrace.

Don't get me wrong - I have no illusions that I still have ~3/4 of my weight to lose, I'm no skinny-minny and am still shopping at the ole' LB. I get that. But it's still a moment to recognize when you look in the mirror and you see something other than a big know?

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Life goes on...

I was really excited to go out to dinner in pdx last night - I finally hit Park Kitchen, where I've been trying to go for about a year! My friend Kelly & I ordered the "Chef's Dinner" where basically you pay a flat fee and they feed you. Period. Server warns, "It's a lot of food..." and then all sorts of fun stuff showed up - razor clams, wild mushroom fritters, gnocchi in walnut cream sauce, duck crepes, sable fish, duck, dessert!

The good news was that I paced myself nicely over the 2-hour meal, was able to try everything and didn't end up too stuffed at all! Fortunately, my dinner companion is able to chow down, and he graciously ate everything I didn't (much to his delight).

It's nice to know my life isn't over because of the band - I can still be a foodie, just in more of a 'tasting menu' way rather than a 'hoover vacuum' way.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Traveling for Work...

So, I had a little panic about eating while traveling to Portland (pdx) for work - especially being only a week out from a fill. After my chicken incident Friday, I've been a little food-shy, and my reaction to that has not been good - "soft food syndrome" - that is, eating soft food, which goes down like a charm and you end up eating more/too many calories. So, I thought the trip here would be an opportunity to get off the soft food thing, since most restaurants don't have loads of soft foods on the menu :)

For lunch, I had maybe 2-3 oz. of teriyaki beef tenderloin tips, and about 1/2 c. pea salad. I chewed like a mf and all went down well. Bonus: Though I was starving, I didn't touch that damn free bread on the table and waited for my food to come! I'm going to dinner at a place that serves lots of 'small plates' - how convenient (and I've been trying to get here for the better part of a year): - very exciting!

Further, I give myself 5 gold stars: I (cheerfully) got up at 5 a.m. to get to the gym before heading out to pdx at 7 a.m. And I forgot my iPod I expected a shit workout, but it was just fine - time flew, I did 40 hearty minutes and enjoyed it.

Um, yeah, I think I am very much a different person than I was a few months strange.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Two Months Today!

Today is the two-month anniversary of my surgery - very exciting! I couldn't be more happy with my progress. Today I weighed in at 34 pounds down! For some reason, for me, losing 20 or 30 pounds seems like not too much really - I mean, when you're looking 100 pounds+ squarely in the face (and on your ass, thighs and stomach) dropping 20 or 30 feels like a drop in the bucket - that said, somehow, losing 40 or 50 feels like a million! Don't think I'm complaining - I'm not - it's just as I creep closer to 40 pounds, it's starting to feel real to me. Like something is really really happening!

Somehow looking at myself in this set of photos really allows me to see it! (I'm not sure why chopping my head out helps, but it does...). Check out my companion photoblog for a full batch of updated photos :)

So, in the two months since going under the knife, I have had good success for many reasons:

1) Incredible support! Ok, you all know who you who listen, encourage, notice, suggest, say nothing, or help me stay on track when I need it.

2) Getting to the gym! This has been the greatest surprise to me - that I like, look forward to and can barely stand to miss a workout. Not because I'm some workout freak-a-zoid, but because it just truly makes me feel good.

3) The food intake is under control! While until this week I don't think I really had a true picture of what restriction was - I'm there now. But, until now, I've had some hearty willpower and made good choices. I'm happy about that! However, at this point the band is really choosing for me, which is what I want it to do.

The only bummer is that yeah, sometimes I miss just being able to eat whatever I want...not because I'm hungry, but more for the little stress attack I have at times when the food choices appear incompatible with my lapband. It always works out, but it's a little anxiety inducing.

And, well, the 'ole PB is just no fun. Had episode #2 last night as I horked up a chunk of chicken the size of a quarter - looking at it, (again, in the freakin' public toilet - a new sort of fun for the other red robin patrons sharing the restroom with me) - I wondered how in the world it made it past my insane chewing and mindful choosing of teeny bites. I have to be vigilant now - this is new with Fill #2 - any PB is user error; it's always going to be 'my fault,' though, after a fill, it's a learning experience each time. I don't beat myself up for it, but rather take note of it. The bottom line is that PB's are a bit traumatic for me - it's scary, anxiety-inducing, physically painful/uncomfortable, I always break into a sweat, and well, they just suck.

BUT, I will be a little inconvenienced once in a while food-choice wise, and PB here and there to be able to report in 1-2 pound/week weight losses! It's worth it - don't get me wrong. I feel lucky and blessed that I was able to afford to make this life change for myself. I hope I get to report in on December 12th with good news again!!

Friday, November 11, 2005


Here's an adorable shot of my friend Catherine, who isn't just a lap-band friend - we'd pick each other lap-band or not :) But, it has been so great for us both to have someone who truly gets it - who understands the text message that simply says, "PB" and then sends one back asking, "on what?" - we just speak the same language. The bonus is that we have a lot more in common than just having a band!

So, the other night after our yoga class she said, "Take my picture!!" - I did, and thought to myself how awesome it is that she's in a place of actually wanting to have her picture taken. By the time most of us get surgery, we are at a point of really wanting to hide from the world, or at a minimum, not have someone catalog our fat bodies on film.

It says something significant when you're ready to be documented again...seriously.

Here's to you CathiD! So glad I found you!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

Deux Fill and Some New Clothes (finally!)

Fill #2 went off without a hitch. It was actually even less of a big deal than the first one. This time he had me lay down for the whole thing. He found my port easily, numbed me up a little, and then put the big sucker in. After pulling out what was in there, he reinjected it along with another .6cc, for a total of 1.6cc's in my 4cc band. Another conservative fill, but since I'm doing well, the ideal is to find that perfect spot where I can relax for the most part and enjoy life without worrying about PBing all the time. So, happy fill! (If you want to see the needle, you can check out my other blog - I promised my doc I wouldn't post it on this one - he said, "don't put that on the internet! you'll scare everyone!")

After my fill, I actually went shopping and bought some clothes! It was very gratifying and exciting. I've dropped about 2 sizes in most things - can't think of something that makes a girl feel better than fitting into the next size down...or two. What's funny is for once, I erred on the side of smaller rather than bigger. In the past, I figured "sure, I'm losing weight at the moment...but I'll just get fat again later." Now it's so different. It's more like, "No, Jennifer, get the smaller size - it fits you, for one - and you want to be able to wear it for more than two weeks." It's nice to have faith in oneself, no? So, if you think something looks to small on me, well, know that it won't soon enough. It was a choice - a hard one too - FatGirl Faux Pas #1: For the love of God, do NOT wear tight clothes!!!!! - It's right there in the handbook (you among me know exactly what I mean). But, really, nothing is really too tight - it's just that it actually touches my skin, as opposed to what I've been wearing lately, which hangs off my body completely, only coming in contact with my hips which hold up my pants...and my chest, which, well, nothing more to say there....

So, I got 3 pair of pants, 2 sweaters, 2 nicer shirts and 2 utilitarian shirts - coupled with some of my existing clothes that still look ok, I should get through the winter with these. I'll need to budget for spring/summer for sure. I came home and did a major closet cleanse and realized that come warmer weather, I don't have a thing for my bottom half, and only have a handful of well-loved tops. So, I'll plan for that.

My lap-band friend Catherine and I chatted last night about how easy this is, relative to every other weight loss attempt we've ever made. That's it's frighteningly effortless - how sometimes I get on the scale and think, "Hm...unexplained weight loss. I hope I don't have cancer..." literally because it just shouldn't be this full-proof! But it is, and God knows, I will take it!

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Passing 30...

So I've been dying to get past the 30-pound loss mark. Yesterday I was at 29.5 - sooooo slow! I thought, anyhow. Well, today the scale showed a definite loss of 31 pounds!

I'm in love with my lap-band. No shit. Despite feeling like I had a shitty, shitty weekend - martinis galore, three mini-cupcakes, two "big" dinners, some halloween candy late last week...BUT, what I forget and have to remember is the fact that I'm still eating so much less than in the past, and that most days really are pretty routine.

I'm beginning to see that these "missteps" are really just life, you know? I mean the goal of this thing is to be able to live like a normal person! For me, that means going out for drinks once in a while, having a cupcake at a birthday party, eating a mini-Twix or mini-Butterfinger once a year at Halloween. What is beautiful and amazing to me is that the band is forgiving enough to allow me these indulgences and yet I still continue to move toward my goal. However, I realize I am doing my part. I'm planning my meals pretty well, cooking at home and I'm going to the gym every day, working out at a nice level that I enjoy but that still pushes me.

So, tomorrow is Fill #2 - I'm nervous but excited! Fill #1 has been fairly forgiving - I can eat a little bread, rice or pasta if I choose. Red meat goes down. As long as I don't eat things that are too glutenous or drink a giant gulp of water after eating a good bit of food, I don't really 'pay' for anything. And, since that fill nearly 4 weeks ago, I've lost 7 pounds - right on schedule (1-2/lbs./week) - so in theory, I could stay here. But I won't. I can still overeat if I choose. I want to employ the band as my willpower! So, fill tomorrow - along with greater restriction comes the risk of greater incidents of discomfort. And of course, greater weight loss!!!

Tuesday, November 01, 2005


Ok, so I'm greedy. Today I'm weighed in and am at a total of 29 pounds lost (in two months)! I was quite keen to get to that coveted 30-pound mark today, but it will come soon enough. But I'm greedy! I want more! I want it now! Basically, I believe we're all 3-year-old inside in some way or another...and here's where I'm opting to manifest mine :)

Seriously though, I've lost 5 pounds since my fill on 10/15 - basically that's 2.5/lbs./week - well within target! And to be honest, I'm not nearly as focused as I was in the past, so I'm sure it could be going faster - but really, I ought to be happy that I'm clicking along with minimal effort (which is the whole point of the band, actually!). Still getting to the gym, still enjoying it, and having moved back into my house, I am back to menu planning/shopping/cooking in a good healthy way for myself. On target! Onward...

Friday, October 28, 2005

The Dreaded PB

Yesterday I had my first serious incident of the dreaded "productive burp" - i.e., PB. Like a fool, I returned to World Wrapps figuring I just needed to chew better and eat more slowly. Got the same exact thing I got seriously stuck on Monday. I guess I wanted to just see where my limits are, and how much restriction I really have...and boy, I know now! Ug. So, if you want to know what happened, in graphic detail - read on. If not, that's ok - just know this: it hurt, it sucked, it was awful, gross and painful...and hopefully, not to be repeated!

***Stop here if you'd just rather not know...***

So, here's my PB tale...basically, you feel like you've got something painfully stuck in your esophogus, toward your upper chest. Swallowing doesn't really help, though I tried a little water just to see (that works sometimes in pushing things through...) - but it didn't help. Then came the "sliming" - that is, your body starts pumping out tons of saliva (slime) in an effort to lubricate the food down (or up). So at this point, I went to the (public) bathroom and stood over the sink spitting for a while...delightful! And man, it was painful!

Then the fun really began - I made the switch to - god this is so embarrassing - kneeling in front of the public toilet to continue spitting up spit - followed by the pinnicle of this horrible event where I gagged about 3 times and had some stuff come up. Nothing solid actually, but it was different than the clear spit. Then, I finally felt like whatever it was must have passed through - phew! At this point I felt wiped out and was sweating! All told it was probably about 20 minutes start to end.

The good news is that you never feel sick - it's very mechanical, so I went and finished my food (sans tortilla) and headed to yoga. I believe wraps of any sort are officially OUT!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Fill #2 is on the books!

Well, I've been enjoying knowing that I can eat anything right now - still in limited quantities - but that I don't choke if I eat bread or rice or whatever. I had sushi for lunch, for example. No problems!

But, this enjoyment doesn't exactly line up with my goals, now does it?!?! I want to be one of the lucky ones - the ones who can eat anything they ate before, but only 1/4 to 1/3 of what they ate before. I don't want to have a list of things I spit up if I even attempt them! Please no.

BUT, I do want to lose my weight - and right now, I'm probably eating more like 1/2 of what I did before - sooooo, I finally stopped procrastinating and made a fill appointment for November 9th. While I want to get cookin' again soon (though, I'm not really that far off!), I also am terrified of "errosion" (where the band basically grows into your stomach tissue - think dog's who have collars that are too tight and grow into their skin...) - this happens when your band is tightened up too quickly. So, I'm figuring on having two more weeks to let the first fill settle in.

Typically, it takes 3-5 to get good restriction. I've proven to be a textbook bandster so far, so I'm expecting the same with the fills. Until then - I will publicly promise to continue my gym regimen (going well!), doing yoga 1x/week, and walking, taking the stairs, etc. when possible. Further, I will keep journaling my food intake even when it's bad. Because somedays, it is. There. Now you can all hold me accountable. :)

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


Well, I'm down one more pound for a total of 28 - not bad really! And, since my fill, I'm down about 4 pounds. So, I'm on schedule so-to-speak, but I'm calling today to make my appointment for the next one. I don't have good restriction, though I do have a little, as evidenced by my near PB incident last night at World Wrapps, as I ate my favorite Teriyaki Tofu wrap a little too fast, and not well-chewed. Ouch! It was not fun. I imagine World Wrapps will not be an option at all after this next fill...

Anyhow, just a brief check-in to say it's going ok and I'm doing well. I think everyone knows that things in my life are upheaved at the moment as Michelle and I are splitting up after 7 years - it's rough, and hard to keep focus on my weight loss at the moment, but the gym is a great stress reliever and I'm not overeating, and, well, weight is still coming off - just maybe not at the rate it maybe could be. But I'm ok with that - balance is key right now :)

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Restriction Me Thinks...

Well, I'm feeling the slightest bit of restriction in the morning - basically when I eat my one veggie sausage patty no matter how much I chew, and how slow I go, I get the dreaded "golf ball" feeling and then this sensation that can only be described as "stuck." Painful? Maybe a little. But more anxiety-inducing than anything. I'll still have the sausage, but I'm guessing after my next fill, the sausage will have to go...

I also eat a Kashi GoLean hot cereal, which is tasty and between the two, I get about 20 g of protein. Ra-hoo! The cereal goes down like butta'- so hopefully post-fill#2 the cereal can stay part of the repertoire. All in all, it's a perfect breakfast for me.

Otherwise, things are going well. I didn't get to the gym yesterday for the first time though I'd planned to - I feel kinda badly about it, and today I'm booked out and can't go either (but do have yoga tonight, so I'm not a total slacker!). However, Friday I will hit the gym again with vigor! I'm so excited at the progress I'm making, I don't want to lose momentum.

Lastly - I had two "NSVs" this week. Those are "non-scale-victories" - times when something good happens outside of the scale moving down. So, I got new bras and the size went down, and I also got a pair of jeans from a friend that actually fit! All my clothes are loose, so it feels almost inappropriate to wear something "tight" - though, they really just FIT. Exciting, for me anyhow....

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Holy Crap!

So, yesterday's weight report was a lunchtime weigh-in. Those are usually a little higher...I've eaten, drank water, etc. (did you know, the standard 16.9 oz. bottles of water weigh 1.5 pounds!? That's right - drink one of those and expect the scale to creep up a bit!).

Anyhow, this morning I went to the gym before work and weighed myself. Holy Crap! Down a total of 27 pounds and into a range I've not seen in the better part of a decade. How 'bout them apples?!?!

Monday, October 17, 2005


So it seems my fill is having little to no impact. I can pretty much eat just like I did before the fill - which, since I'm pretty well on track, isn't so bad - but I was kind of excited to see what restriction felt like! Some say it takes a fill about 2 weeks to really kick in (though I can't seem to understand the physiological logic behind that) so I'm going to just hang tight and keep doing what I'm doing. Overall, I eat less than half of what I ate pre-surgery, but I'm still a bit hungry now and then. Either way, I'll get another fill in a month at the most.

The good news is that after what felt like a not-so-good eating weekend, I hopped on the scale today to see what damage I had done - and, much to my surprise, I was down another 1.5 pounds! Who knew! The total is now 25.5 pounds off. Incidentally, that's about 25% of my goal! Yay!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bravely, She posts photos...

Ok, so you'll notice a link to the right which will send you to another blog of photos. While I'm not terribly fond of photos of myself, in particular full body shots...further in particular, from behind - I thought it'd be fun to be able to see my progress in a tangible way, and figured I'd share it with all of you too. So, (drumroll please...) - go to to see the progress. I apologize they aren't set up side-by-side, but over time, the changes will be more apparent! So far, however, I can sure see a difference. Can you?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Fill'er Up!

Yesterday was my first fill - that is, they injected saline into my band in order to tighten it up and create restriction. I'm glad I didn't stress about getting it done at all - because it would have been wasted energy. The process was quick and easy!

I went in and saw the nutritionist. We talked about how I was doing and since I'm cookin' along, decided on a conservative first fill. The doc numbed the area with Lidocain, which to be honest, I barely even felt. Next up came the giganta-needle which I opted not to look at. He had to dig around a bit to find the port, but it was odd feeling rather than painful.

Once he had the needle in the port, I sat up (yes, with a big needle sticking out of my tummy). He then started to inject the saline while I drank water. He put in 1cc - my band holds up to 4cc's - which is a safe, conservative first fill. Most people take 3-5 fills to hit the elusive 'sweet spot' where you have what is considered 'good restriction' - defined as losing 1.5-2 pounds/week with relative ease, little to no hunger (except at meal times, when it's appropriate to be hungry), and few to no episodes of having food get stuck.

Most people seem to settle in at somewhere between 2-3cc's. The reason they don't do that off the bat is that it increases the risk of erosion - a complication where the band literally grows into the stomach. Bad. Thus, I was happy as could be with my conservative fill, esp. since I'm doing ok eating for the most part! Some people get more agressive fills out of the gate because they are starving all the time and eating essentially as they did pre-banding. I'm not in that boat (thank goodness!).

More to come! I'm on liquids today, mushies for a few days and then I can start seeing how solids do. I'll keep you posted!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Last night Michelle took my measurements as well as photos. I looked at the photos for quite a while and definitely can see it! Measurement-wise, I lost a good bit around my waist, and an inch here and there. Overall though, I just look way less puffy! It's amazing how lobbing 24 off the top makes a difference.

Tomorrow is my first fill! It's exciting and scary. I'll let you know how it goes!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

One Month Today!

I can't believe it's been a whole month! I'm happy to report that at my weigh-in today, I lost another two pounds - bringing the grand total to 24 pounds lost since the beginning of the pre-op diet; 9 were before surgery, so that's 15 pounds since surgery. No complaints! Michelle took my photos today too so I had some visual aids to allow me to compare - overall, there is definitely a difference!

I'm excited to get my fill on Friday and start the process for real - right now, I can pretty much eat as much as I want to, though I've still be sticking to about 1000 on average. I'm hungry though, no doubt, so it will be nice to put an end to that! More to come on the fill after Friday :)

Monday, October 10, 2005


So, I'm getting smaller. It's funny to use the word "small" to describe myself in any fashion, really. But, yesterday I bought a shirt a size smaller than before - it was cheap, so it was ok (I promised not to go broke on clothes as I shrink) - anyhow, it was exciting and fun and gratifying.

No weight loss to speak of since last Wednesday - still holding steady at 22 pounds down - and no complaints on that! I'm still getting to the gym, though eating is getting harder. I'm glad to be getting my fill on Friday - I see my calories creeping up a little, and while I'm still in "the range" I was quite pleased with my rate of success before. Getting the fill will help me to eat less, which is a good thing.

More to come! But for now, all is well.

p.s. This week I take measurements and photos! Btw, it's 4 weeks out today!!!!

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Could it be?

That I like going to the gym? I've gone for 7 days in a row - and here's the kicker - I haven't hated it! I think that is the part that is key for me - I go, do what I set out to do, feel good and successful, and it doesn't feel like a big deal - just part of the day. So, that is exciting, no?

I cheated and weighed myself mid-week - I could just feel the news would be good and indeed, I am down a total of 22 pounds! Not that it's all about the numbers, but it is nice to see measurable results. It's becoming more noticeable too - some clothes just fit/look better, while others are being retired so I don't look like I'm sporting a tent. Might go to the big girl consignment shop this weekend just to see if I can find some cheap waredrobe additions for now.

Eating is going ok - though I ALMOST had my first 'incident' last night as I did three things wrong (all at once!) - I took a bite of my sesame crusted tuna and 1) it was too big of a bite, 2) I didn't chew it well enough and 3) I neglected to "lubricate" it with some sauce, and it was a drier piece from on the end. So, what happened? It felt like it was just hanging out in my chest for a few minutes, deciding whether to go up or down. I took a small drink of water which helped it down (thank God, not up) and I was able to continue eating. While I think I have no restriction, moments like that remind me that there is at least a little. It was a good lesson I suppose!

I'm scheduled for my first fill next Friday, 10/14. Should be interesting - the last phase of re-learning to eat (again)... :)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Eaten Yesterday

Some people ask me what I eat. So, for lack of a better topic, here is everything I ate yesterday:

- 1/2 c. hot cereal (Kashi GoLean)

- 1/2 c. homemade tuna salad
- 4 olives

- 1 c. homemade vegetarian chili
- 1/2 oz. (really nice) Beecher's cheddar cheese
- 1 tbsp. lowfat sour cream
- 1 oz. Pirate's Booty (healthy cheese puffs)

- 1 decaf soy mocha from Lighthouse (12 oz) (best coffee in Seattle!)
- 48 oz. water +

That adds up to about 1000 calories, which is what I promised myself I'd eat at a minimum; I don't want to starve (though I'm hungry a lot right now - but somehow it's not that bad...), but somehow you think 'less calories = more weight loss' but really, it doesn't quite work that way. Not enough food and fat hangs on - I swear it to be true! Plus, I'm getting to the gym, so it's important to eat enough.

Lucky for me, this rule resulted in a lovely mocha from Lighthouse around 7:45 p.m. last night...hadn't hit 1000 yet, so I HAD to... :)

p.s. 3 weeks post-op as of yesterday! time flies, huh? Also, yesterday I was told my butt is getting smaller, since I can't see it, I appreciated the insight.

Monday, October 03, 2005


Well, as of Friday I was approved to start eating solid food. That night it was a delight to CHEW again! :) I'm feeling more like a normal person, still eating "soft solids" but working hard now to separate liquids from solids to start to get an idea of how much (if any) restriction I have in anticipation of my first fill on 10/14. Basically I report on how much food I'm eating and how hungry I am at what point after eating; from there, they gauge how much to tighten my band. While I'm not honkering down on a bagel or well-done steak (and really, no one should -rare people, rare...) I did enjoy some tuna this weekend, chili, an english muffin w/ a poached egg on top, and some potatoes. All very exciting!

The downside is that with solid food re-entry, typically weight loss stalls out until the fill. I'm ok with it, even though it's a little hard when I feel like I'm doing everything right. Still tracking all my food, exercising, etc. - but, all who get the band know that you have to have patience! It's not like the bypass where the weight just flies off your body. So, I did weigh-in yesterday and the scale did not move - so still at a 18.5 pound loss since 2-weeks pre-op.

Though, still happy, truly.

Friday, September 30, 2005

Miss Piggy?

I kinda feel like a pig. It's all relative, right? In my past life (that is, pre-band), I would feel like a pig if, say, I ate 4 pieces of Pagliacci pizza, a breadstick, some salad and lots of diet pepsi. Pig. I'd feel that way when I went out and I had an appetizer, salad, entree, a few bites of dessert, a couple martinis and some wine. So, back to the relativity....

My dad is in town and last night we went to Buca di Beppo, and all-American Italian feeding trough. Everything there is family-style, so there is no individual "portion" really. I ordered what I knew I could eat...1 meatball with two sides of sauce, and an order of mashed potatoes (to be shared). In the end, I felt like a pig! Here's what I ate:

- 4 sips of wine (prior to food - no drinking while eating, Jennifer!)
- 3 oz. of the meatball
- 1/2 c. red sauce (mixed with the squished up meatball :)
- 1/8 c. alfredo sauce (also mixed with the meatball)
- 1/3 c. mashed potatoes

Ok, so basically I had a about a cup of really saucey meatsauce and 1/3 c. of potatoes. Now, I KNOW I AM NOT A PIG. Please don't send a zillion comments about negative self-talk, etc. - it's not a judgmental statement actually. It's more an observation of a few things:

- How little food now makes me feel FULL. Yep, I surpassed satisfied last night - no pain, no suffering, not stuffed - but I definitely was full.
- How odd a feeling it was to feel filled up - it's been about a month probably since I've felt that.
- That association I have with simply feeling full in that I feel pretty bad about it - even when, in this case, what I ate was completely reasonable! (Yes, this is a spot that needs some work, I know)...

I'm not exactly sure the point of this post; however, I think it was an experience that taught me to pay extremely good attention when eating out (a few more bites and the rest of my evening may not have been very pleasant), and know that once in a while, feeling full (not stuffed!) is really ok and I don't have to feel badly about it. The world didn't end, I doubt I gained 300 pounds or anything and oh, by the way, stayed within my calorie goal: total for the day - 1060.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Fitting In

I think my biggest joy as of late is being able to fit into my two favorite pairs of jeans, both of which I grew out of over last winter. Between Christmas and June, I put on about 15 pounds. How, you ask? Well, I made three batches of cookies for the holidays...and though sugar isn't my vice, somehow eating too many of those made me continue to want sugar after they were gone. So I ate sugar (which had been sworn off except for special occasions), and then continued to for a good few months - and packed on some poundage. Ack.

So, it's been fun to grab my jeans from the 'retired pile' in my closet and slide right on into them with ease. On the other hand, I'm struggling with shirts - seems already some feel like I'm wearing a tent when I throw on some of my favorites. Actually, that's probably a lot about my desire to wear things that fit so it looks like I've really lost weight! I mean, it's no lie that I'll take any compliment you've got for me. :) This is work, and as with any work, we all like to be acknowledged, right? Though, wearing clothes that fit also helps to give me that confidence level I get when I don't feel like the Stay-Puff Marshmellow Woman. (At a certain weight I just feel, well, puffy).

So, having a minimal clothing budget, I'm working to figure out creative solutions on the clothing front, which I have every faith that I will be able to do :) Ebay, clothing swaps at my support group, thrifting...and, in a few sizes, I'll be able to borrow Michelle's clothes - much to her dismay.

In other news, I burnt my forehead while curling my hair at the gym yesterday. Who does that once they graduate 8th grade??? Geez....

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

My Peeps!

Last night my surgeon had his lap-band support group. Both he and the nutritionist attended which was nice - there were probably 25 people, about 5 pre-op, 2 supportive partners, and the rest were post-op, though all were less than 1 year out. This group, as opposed to the other one I went to, was very supportive and informative. I'll be a regular for sure! There is something really cool about sitting around with a group of people who just get it in a way that you can't unless you too are knee-deep in it ;)

I also connected with my new band-buddy C., she is awesome - we'd been emailing for a while but didn't meet until last night. She's definitely one of my people, so to speak. Cool girl, open, funny and just 4 days ahead of me with her band. It was just great to meet someone that I'd choose as a friend period - band or not - and that we have enough in common to talk about things other than port pain, burping, eating, and emotional food-related stuff (though we talked all about those things, too). We went for coffee after the support group and yapped for 2 hours - that's what happens when you put two extroverts together and add some caffeine. (p.s. for those who know her, C. totally reminds me of Gayle!)

Otherwise, I'm feeling pretty successful these days. I know I'm doing it right, getting exercise and not obsessing. In fact, it dawned on me yesterday that in a way, I've been waiting for the other shoe to drop - that is, for it to feel hard, defeating, painful...for me to feel angry, pissed, exhausted, hopeless and more pissed. BUT, what I realized is that this is the first time in my life that I've attempted a serious weight loss while in a good, healthy headspace. All of the other times I was looking for a general sense of inner peace and happiness by shedding pounds; this time, however, I'm going into with those things already in place. I am smart enough now to know losing weight doesn't solve all of your problems, I promise you that - been there, done that...

So, instead of waiting for it to get hard, and for me to get pissed, I'm operating from a perspective that it's not going to happen that way. I won't let it. This is it. How it is now. It's doable. It's good. There will be hard moments, even days and maybe weeks...but I'm refusing to resent it, hate it, be angry about it or anything else along those lines. Those things don't really help, now do they?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Pay Attention Jennifer

So, I'm trying to figure out the hunger continuum - here's how it goes for me:

*starving - hungry - empty feeling - not hungry - satisfied - full - stuffed - exploding*

My goal is to stay in the purple zone - to never really get hungry, per se, and when I do eat, stop once I'm not hungry anymore, occasionally eating until I feel satisfied - but never full. And certainly never stuffed or exploding. Figuring this out is an art! Once I get good restriction it'll be easier, though I'm doing pretty well at eating as if I already do.

I'm paying attention, for the most part...but it's easy to forget I am in point: Today I finished lunch and had a co-worker come in to chat for a few. I absentmindedly grabbed my water bottle out of my bag (where I'd put it so I wouldn't drink too soon after eating) and just started chugging away because I was thirsty post-workout. After about, oh, maybe 6-8 ounces, I realized what I was doing - just about the same time I started to feel like a bloated whale, which lasted for about an hour. Thank god I didn't drink more than that! It just goes to show how so much of this is really about breaking habits.

I don't really know how many more times I need to drink with food or too soon after to learn, but I doubt this will be the last time, alas. Pay attention, Jennifer.

Monday, September 26, 2005

2 Weeks Today!

Holy crap - two weeks ago at this moment I was in the midst of getting my lap-band installed. It feels like an eon ago since so much has happened and changed for me since then. At this point, I pretty much feel like myself 100% with the exception of a little bit of port pain/swelling, which likely involves some scar tissue making it seem like more than it is. Successes so far:

- I've got the pre-fill eating figured out, and I know once I get the fill on 10/14, I'll have to learn it all over again, but I'm working pretty hard to form the right habits now so that time isn't too traumatic.

- I'm exercising! And, I really don't mind it.

- Down 18.5 pounds, and of course that feels good - but also fitting into clothes from last winter that I wouldn't have had a prayer of wearing a month ago is nice :)

- Overall, I'm committed (though I knew I would be - and many of you have been very sweet & supportive in reiterating how much faith you have in me to do this right!)

So, my band turns 2-weeks old today - I have an nutritionist appointment on Friday and then I start onto solid food! I'm scared of that since I'm in a nice little mushie-food-groove right now, but it will be interesting to chew again, no?

Sunday, September 25, 2005


I went to the gym *again* today - that's 3 days straight! It's amazing how much easier it is to get there when you get results. Speaking of - I weighed in today. I've decided Sundays will be my day to weigh - for a few reasons:

1) Keeps me on track over the weekend
2) Gets me to the gym on the weekend (I don't own a scale, must go to gym to weigh-in :)

So, the grand total is 18.5 down over the past 4 weeks! Nine prior to surgery, and 9.5 since. I know it will slow down! I know it. (Average is 1-2 pounds/week, though 4.6/week has been fun...) But for now, I'll continue to enjoy what feels like a nice initial payoff for dropping the wad $ and going through the surgery. I am not getting obsessed with the SVs (that is, "scale victories" a bit of lingo from the Weight Loss Surgery online community :) - there are also NSVs, "non-scale-victory" like fitting into you skinny jeans, for example) - but it is nice that there's a way to have a measurable result.

I weigh the least I have in about 4 years right now - a little less than I did at my wedding in 2001. Just like that. Huh.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Getting Easier

Today I went out to lunch and ate somewhat normally - which is both exciting and scary. It seems my internal swelling is all down, and I don't have much restriction (if any). So, the exciting part is that things are easier...the scary part is that I probably could eat anything I wanted to. Not that I'm going to try to...but, it was nice to go out to lunch and feel normal. Of course, I ate half of the meal for lunch, and brought the other half home and ate it for dinner :) My first 'fill' is on 10/14, so I need to make it to then maintaining the same calorie intake as I am now - which should be reasonable to do so long as I pay attention.

In other news, I won $10 gambling today (jackpot party! woo-hoo!), and I did 45 minutes on the stairmaster - I don't know which of these two events was more exciting. Yes, I do - winning the $10.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Lap-band = iPod Accessory?!

Today one of my best friends was with me as I told a peripheral co-worker that I had WLS and about the lap-band. My friend, who saw the laproscopic photos of the band inside my tummy said, "It's like an iPod accessory - white with some gray accents. Totally looks like an Apple product!"

What's funny is that while the band had a visual appeal to me, I never put this together! I held it in my hand and looking back, it even felt like iPod accessory...this just seemed funny and apropos.

In other news, today I went to the gym for the first time post-op and it went quite well! I did 30 minutes on the stairmaster and it actually felt great. I love those (unfortunately rare) workouts that are just easy, relaxing and almost, er, fun. I also weighed in - up 2 pounds - and no surprise really, not because I'm eating badly (plu-eez people! can you say 1000 calories/day?) but rather that my last weigh-in was after 5 days of, well, starving. To be honest, I was relieved it wasn't more! It'll go soon enough, I think my body is catching up anyway to the loss thus far - clothes are definitely fitting a little differently, things are a'shifting about...

p.s. I enabled anonymous comments to make it easy for y'all to comment (yes, I said y'all). If you are one of my friends/family, please consider signing your comment or give me initials or a tip as to who you are - some of the comments are really nice, and I'd love to thank you for them, but I don't know who to thank ;)

Thursday, September 22, 2005

That was Weird.

So I went to a lap-band meet-up/support group tonight and had a very strange experience. It wasn't really my scene, as it turns out - one woman was nice and one girl seemed kind of cool. The other three were just not my people. I think I'll pass on that particular group in the future - it was a little discouraging, and they mostly warned me of all of the struggles/challenges they had, but not really in a supportive way...I just took it in stride and figured I'm not them, and I'll just stick to my guns. My doctor has a support group monthly, and his is next Tuesday, so we'll see how that one goes! I don't quite know where I find the young, hip, city-dwelling bandsters with whom I'd have something in common beyond having a lap-band....?

For dinner tonight, I was in a spot and ended up getting pintos'n'cheese at Taco Bell. I was starved, and it was handy - I ate about 1/3 of the cup of beans with 2 packets of hot sauce mixed in to make it the right consistency, along with 2 oz. of nacho cheese sauce (nasty, I know...but at the time it was fantastic!). So, I basically had beans and cheese with some hot sauce - it made me happy! And, what a cheap date I am - $1.25 for dinner.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

She Stands

So, tonight I went to two shows and stood for a good 3 hours - and survived! I have some muscle pain around the Borg unit input device (the port), but otherwise, I was ok. Not too much else to report on the Band front, other than:

- I'm comfortably sleeping on my stomach again through the night. Ra-hoo! Much, much better.
- Eating is going pretty well - I'm working to stretch the time in between 'feedings' (they're hardly meals now ;) and have gotten to around 3 hours between without hunger. Yippee!
- I did a full stop on drinking while eating; it's working out ok, but it's a little rough getting in 64 oz of water when following the rules...
- Incisions are looking swell. Not swelled. Swell.

More tomorrow! Overall my feeling is 'so far, so good!'

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Resistance is Futile...

So I felt my port under my skin for the first time last night - I feel like a Borg from Star Trek's strange to have a little unit inside you. It basically just feels like a little lump, no big deal. I've dubbed my band the Borg. I knew a name would come to me...

All else is going well. I realize that even on pureed/mushie food I cannot drink when I eat, so today was the full stop on that. (I was getting too full, and feeling too much air in my belly from it). I got in 825 calories today, which is pretty good.

I feel good and had more energy at work today - didn't feel exhausted and brainsqueezed like yesterday. That said, I slept from 9:30 p.m. - 7:00 a.m. last night without waking up once. Oh, another exciting event: I slept on my tummy!!!! That's probably WHY I slept so well.

I'm becoming quite the pureed food chef. Tonight I made Indian food - mutter/aloo paneer...that is, peas, cauliflower and paneer cheese in a Korma sauce. Michelle at hers normally, I took a scoop or two and put it in the food processor. I was tentative, but it was really good actually! One pisser of not drinking liquids is the definite need to pull back on high flavor foods and super spicy foods - though not being able to drink anything makes it easier to eat less, since it's so intense.

It's all starting to settle in...almost feeling normal! Onward...

p.s. I measured my largest incision and it is *exactly* 1" - yay! I'm so glad they're small and subtle.

Monday, September 19, 2005

Slow down, Turbo...

Well, I believe I officially overate last night. A dear friend made dinner, accommodated me very thoughtfully and nicely, but alas, I think I just ate too much food.

I am starting to 'get it' that indeed, whether it's post-surgery swelling or not, I am restricted right now and need to be way careful how much I eat. I felt like there was a golf ball lodged in my chest for a good part of the night, but a little liquid advil at 3 a.m. helped me get some rest.

Shame on me! But at the same time, this is the discovery period - live and learn. I've decided that I really need to stick to eating out of a small cup or tiny bowl - this is really the only way I can accurately gauge the true amount of food going in. So, if you invite me over anytime soon, I'll be bringing my own dishes :)

Sunday, September 18, 2005

Captain, We Have Restriction...

Last night I believe I experienced restriction for the first time. It was a lot like people on my message board described, so I wasn't shocked or confused...though it's odd to feel "new" things out of your body at age 34.

I made butternut squash puree - I didn't thin it out at all though, so it was thickish. After about 1/8 c. and a little tomato soup I made, I did get a slight feel of a golf ball at the top of my throat, and a sort of pressure/discomfort around where I estimate my band is. So, like a good girl, I stopped eating, took my food to the kitchen and walked around a bit. While it was no picnic, it was no disaster either - sort of a safe experience in beginning to understand what restriction feels like, along with gauging my limits at this point. (See photo of offending meal, note that 1/2 of the soup and 1/8 of the squash was actually consumed...)

Other exciting news...I went wedding dress shopping with my sister. It was a bit much in a way, but it felt good to enter back into society :) I also had my first post-band "meal out" - yep, a 16-oz-Peanut-Butter-
Banana-Smootie-Add-Protein-Powder-Please at World Wrapps. I ate all 500 calories of it! It was actually exciting to be able to take in that amount of food with no "payment" for it then or later. Ra-hoo! And, I hit about 1000 calories again yesterday, thanks to Mr. Smoothie!

Otherwise, I'm trying to balance taking it easy with getting back to normal - and it is a bit of a tight rope walk...Michelle reminds me that "hello! your body was completely shut down - it's gonna take a while to wake back up all of the way..." and with an added head shake she mumbles, " you just don't get it honey." She's right, as usual :)

Saturday, September 17, 2005


1) I am awake again. My other blog is back in action!

2) Scroll to the bottom of this page - I've added a weight loss ticker which I'll do my best to keep updated. It's at the bottom because I don't want to have too much focus on the numbers. Too much pressure.

3) I've made it so anyone can comment without having to login - sorry about that! You'll have to do a word verification as I've been getting a bit of spam, but it should be a short step. Comment away!

Friday, September 16, 2005

Now, that's better.

Friday was a much better day! I rested pretty well and headed out to the doctor's office for my post-op appointment. Much to my surprise, I dropped 7 pounds this week - while I expect some of that will return once I'm eating again, it was still inspirational to see the scale down a total of 16 pounds since the start.

Most of my symptoms are diminishing, though I still get tired insanely fast! I believe I will sleep in my own bed tonight (been on the couch) and try to start having a semi-normal routine. The interesting thing is that really, I haven't been bored one bit! Strange but's amazing how much mindshare recovering takes.

Two fun things for today:

1) I got my "surgery survival prize" - yep, an iPod nano! I had recently finally gotten a shuffle, and not three days later the nano was announced. I returned my shuffle and shelled out the additional $70 for the much-higher-functioning nano. Mostly I wanted a smaller mechanism for working out. I got the black 2g, as that's all I really need. It's hot!

2) I started to cook for myself! This is a big step. Somehow food becomes terrifying after stomach surgery. Today, I made two 1/2 cup batches of tasty potato puree (w/some nice cheddar cheese, a little butter and some milk), and a nice tomato soup from fresh tomatoes. Bonus, I met my 50g of protein goal, no prob.

I'm up to about 1000 calories - thank God! Though the weight loss is dandy, I have no desire to lose at this rate if it means being faint from hunger. That's not exactly the point, now is it? I'll be happy to do the 1-2 pound/week thing once I'm all adjusted (which, by the way, my first "fill" is scheduled for 10/14!). In the meantime, I'm aiming for 1000 calories/day or so, and I'm eating about 5 meals at 200 calories or so each - right now that seems to be all my belly will hold.

Feeling MUCH more like myself and planning to strategize around eating at work this weekend...I'm eating carbs again, but honestly at this point, I just want to get in some calories and protein to keep myself afloat :)