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 :)
Liquid Failings...

I won't hold back - Thursday SUCKED. I did a couple things wrong and never recovered...

1) I let my blood sugar crash. DUMB GIRL! I had a soy mocha around 8:30, then didn't eat anything again until almost 1:00 - by then I was light-headed and woozie...had gatorade, a protein shake and a sugar free pudding. But, no luck - I still felt off all day. My new strategy is to eat every 2 hours or so, even if it's just 50-100 calories, and not let that happen again. No fun. After all that food, my blood sugar was about it had to have been wicked low. Ug!

2) I didn't take a nap! Ok, exhaustion does not help. I basically tried to push myself way too hard...I was trying to be "all better" which my body informs me I'm not. So, rest is in order for the next few days in order to be ready for work on Monday.

In other news, I caved on the liquid diet. I called my nutritionist after #1 above happened and said that I can't do it! She assured me I can, and allowed me to add pureed foods - nothing that has to be chewed. I was like, "AMEN!" - though it's largely mental, knowing that I can add some items of substance really helps me emotionally - things like hummus, thinned out mashed potatoes...though I did have my favorite vegan corn chowder for dinner - like a whole cup of it - and it was awesome! It felt so good to feel like I was actually eating...

Eating, however, continues to be interesting and difficult. Each time my belly is like, "um, yeah, what the **** are you doing here? why you gotta go and bug me like this?" followed up with a variety of digestive activities and usually some hearty trapped-gas pains in my chest and back. Joy! Eating is now a 5-second pleasure - the part when I get to actually eat - the rest is all a game of negotiating the impact. That said, this is the healing phase - it won't always be like this! But I won't lie and say that makes it any better in the moment...

Onward! I am starting to figure out my 'new body' and I'm sure as I do, things will get better and better. I have a 1 p.m. post-op doc appt. today, we'll see what he says...Michelle tells me though I feel like crap, I look fabulous. There's something :)

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Turning Points...

So, yesterday brought several turning points.

- I took a shower - not much on earth can make you feel more human than a shower!
- Removed the dressings - I got to see my incisions, which are really not that bad. Four of them are literally smaller than 1 cm, one is about 1.5 cm and 1 is about 2 cm. They don't really hurt, but the biggest one is sore...I'll take it over a big fat "open" incision any day!
- Stopped the narcotics - I realized yesterday morning that most of my problem was feeling nauseous and dizzy - so I stopped the drugs at 6 a.m. yesterday and switched to liquid ibuprofen. It's working just fine with no side effects!
- My um, intestines "woke up" - no details here, but anyone who has ever had surgery knows that this is a true turning point in your body's healing and in feeling normal.
- Visitors Galore! I had four visits yesterday, all were short, but I was up for it which was good! (Thanks Julie, Amy, Mikey & Meg!)

I slept well again without waking up for over 8 hours, which is fantastic. I'm still tired out surprisingly easily at times when I don't expect it at all. I didn't make it to the Lighthouse yesterday, but did start off today with a decaf soy mocha which I walked over and got for myself (Michelle was along of course for moral support and to pick me up in case I tipped over... :)

Here's the thing though: I know I'm doing this recovery thing right because I'm not stir crazy, bored or frustrated. At times I really just lay down and relax and think about nothing. Those who know me know how big a deal that is! I'm hoping for continued improvement daily. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Titanic in My Tummy

So, being on a "full liquid" diet is something else. Today, I've eaten:

- Protein Shake for breakfast (3/4 c. unsweetened soy milk w/a protein mix)
- 1/3 c. broth and a cup of mint tea for lunch
- 1 pudding cup for a snack (I was starving! pudding feels like you actually ate food!)
- As much water as I can tolerate
- I plan on a soy mocha as my other big "meal" later in the day

Each time I eat, however, it's quite a little digestive festival in my tummy. It seems to take a good 20 minutes for things to 'calm down' ... After "breakfast," I had Michelle get her stethoscope to listen, since it sure felt like it would sound interesting. Indeed, she said it sounded like "the Titanic in the movie, just before it snapped in half...creeking, moaning..." Hm. So there you have it.
Body Pinball

So, I've mentioned the trapped air (CO2 gas) hanging out in my upper body, outside of the digestive tract giving it no actual escape route. To deal with it, you have to kind of think about stirring a glass of coke until the bubbles just dissipate - however, there's no way to um, actually stir. Instead there are three methods that can help: walking, a heating pad and chomping on gas-x. Now, I've been walking hourly as I'm supposed to (when awake) and took a gas-x, though I don't see what good it can do...

Last night, however, my back was killing me from the gas so I added the heating pad! Now, there was an impact! All of the sudden it felt the bubbles in my body were engaged in a hearty game of pinball - flying around...essentially, being stirred up! Now, only if you were in my shoes at the moment could you appreciate the utter joy this brings me. Everyone said the trapped air would be the worst part, and I have to agree...the incisions are sore but not intolerable, the headache is annoying but whatever. The air though is a bizarre, unfamiliar feeling (likely part of why it's so distressing) which is hard to target for relief, although a big shout out to Julie for the heating pad loan!!!

Otherwise, I'm doing ok. Slept about 11 hours straight last night, with Michelle bringing me my painkiller every 4 hours throughout the night, though I went right back to sleep each time. Feel free to email or call - I'll pick up/respond if I'm able. And I'll say it again - I appreciate everyone checking up on me! It's nice to feel loved when you're physically feeling like crapola.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

The Big Dipper?

Well, I did it! Yesterday was the day, and I would say that overall, the experience exceeded my expectations. I went from being prepped to having a nurse say, "Jennifer, you're all done! Surgery is over!" - I have no recollection of going to the O.R., hence had no time for a last minute freak-out. Excellent!

I woke up and rated my pain a 6 on a 1-10 scale, not bad really - and had an immediate shot of demoral to bring it down to a spacey, loopy 2. From there, I was in my room by 10:30 a.m., slept until 2:00, had some "food" (broth, popsicles, juice...a proverbial carb-fest after the past two weeks!) and just rested most of the day. I took 1/2 doses of the liquid vicodin, which I tolerate well, and had various shots and IV drugs like antibiotics, blood thinners and insulin.

The good news: no nausea at all, just a little dizziness, no scratchy throat, no dry lips... The not-as-good-news: definitely sore belly, the CO2 trapped in my chest cavity has had its moments (no escape route, so you just feel a bit like a bloated whale), and overall I've had a low-grade headache. Oh, and it's hard to differentiate gas, headache and hunger - I'm sure my discomfort is a little of each, but I'm never quite sure what to do to resolve it....

Now, I'm on a liquid diet for a week which I will survive and overall, I'm really happy to be done with this part of it. I had a great experience and feel I got my money's worth - the hospital staff was fantastic, organized and I felt well-cared for.

So when I got home, I looked at my belly. I have 6 incisions - 5 of which are 12mm, and 1 that is 2 cm. What's funny, though, is that they are in the shape of the Big Dipper, minus one. I mean EXACTLY - I found this somewhat odd, but it made me happy in a twisted Jenn sort of way :)

p.s. Thanks again for all of the well-wishes! The cards, emails, text messages and calls and even "missed calls" have made me feel very loved :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Do Not Eat the Pretzel Nugget

I'm just about off to the hospital....waiting for Michelle to finish getting ready.

So far, so good. I slept well, from about 10:30 - 3:30 without waking up, and the alarm was set for 4:15. However, I woke up at 3:30 to the horror that I'd eaten a single pretzel nugget and they cancelled my surgery. I argued that I'd spit most of it out, but they still sent me packing. It was horrible! Fortunately, I woke up utterly starved, so it was clear that no pretzel nugget had violated my digestive tract. Phew! Of all things though, a pretzel nugget...where do our dreams come from?

Otherwise, I'm about ready. Toothbrush, check. Deodorant, check. Clean underwear, check. iPod charged & synched, check. What else does a girl need?

I'm happy and relieved the day is finally here! Thanks for all of the well-wishes (I don't think my phone has rang so much as it did last night in years! ;) See you on what all of the "bandsters" on my message board call "the losing side" (ug!).

p.s. Perhaps a good omen is that I'm have a fantastic hair day! ;)

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Nervous Tummy

Well, I'm nervous today, which I suppose is expected behavior. I realize that it's all out of my control at this point. I show up, do what they tell me, go under, wake up and start a new chapter of my life. Simple, in a way - but not so much in another way...

Wish me well! Think of me at 7:30 a.m. if you're up :) Thanks to all of your for your love and support through my decision-making process and leading up to the big day.

p.s. I lost about 9 pounds on the pre-op diet. Ra-hoo! A great way to start!

Saturday, September 10, 2005

T minus 2 days...

Wow - I can't believe it's only two days away! I'm definitely a one-topic girl at the moment...(sorry everyone). So, today I'm working on a few logistics - getting vitamins, making sure I have protein shakes stuff, re-reading pre-op and post-op instructions.

I'm also enjoying my last weekend of solid food for a good while - albiet low-carb, a NY steak with blue cheese butter still beats liquid meals. I know that part is going to be really, really hard, but, it's 10 days of my life - and some doctors have people do 4 weeks of liquids - I'm lucky! After that, I'll progress through slushie, mushie, soft and then solid foods over the next 4-6 weeks, and should be getting my first fill somewhere around October 28th, which is when the fun really begins!

For now, I'll just keep working on minimizing my inner stress/freak-out level, which seems actually quite reasonable at the moment...I'll just sit back and enjoy that.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sooner than Later...

Yesterday I got a call from my surgeon's office that they moved my surgery up to the first slot of the day at 7:30 a.m. - while originally this is the slot I wanted, I was kind of shocked by the change! I've had 9 a.m. in my mind all along...but, despite having to be at the hospital by 5:30 a.m. (leaving our house by 5:00! yikes!), I have come up with a list of good things to focus on regarding this change:

1) No traffic
2) The hospital is slower in the early morning, so I'll get more attention and care
3) My favorite - the only surgery that is 100% sure to happen on time is the first one of the day! So, I won't have to be anxious waiting like I would have been if my 9 a.m. slot started to run late.
4) It'll be over with sooner :)
5) I'll be in a sleepy stupor, coupled with the anesthetic, I may not remember a single thing!

It'll be time before I know it. Am I freaking out? Maybe.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

What will it be like?

I've been thinking a lot about what it will be like not to be the fattest person in the room. It's a big shift, no? I mean, it's like saying to someone who's always been tall, "Ok, you're going to be of average height from now on." It's a huge part (no pun intended) of who I am - the funny fat girl, or the fat girl who is still cool, the fat girl that could still get a hot there.

So what will it be like to just be normal? (Hmm...ok, perhaps I'll never be quite normal :), but of more average size.)

I suppose we'll see, but I don't pretend for a minute that it won't be a significant, challenging and weird transition for me emotionally...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Maybe I'm More Ready Than I Thought...

I slept amazingly well last night - a good 8 hours, relatively uninterrupted. Ra-hoo! Maybe I'm settled...or perhaps I'm just distracting myself so much I'm causing utter exhaustion. Though, to be honest, I'm kind of taking it easy, hanging out by myself a lot and keeping my stress level relatively low.

Perhaps it's all the meat I'm eating. Who knows...5 days to go.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Next week at this moment, I'll be done.

Wow, just looked at the time. My surgery is 1 week from today at 9 a.m. Holy cats. I think I may be past a lot of my fear (but do stay tuned to find out for sure...), and I'm actually getting a little bit excited. I think my mini-weight loss over the past week or so has helped me remember the whole point of this...there is a good outcome planned here!

Not too much to think about now other than to follow the pre-op diet for one more week and prep "food" for the 10 days of liquids post-op. I got a fabu little protein shake sample pack that has 17 of them in it, and also am planning on figuring out some nice soups to make up. Outside of that, not much to report. Onward.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

Ok, I Can See How Atkins Can Work...

Low-carb girl marches on. I know I've lost weight doing this - my clothes are way looser...but man, I still don't get how you get skinny eating meat, cheese, eggs and fat. But, hey, it's only two weeks of my life, and I'm in a groove. Who can complain about lovely steaks on the grill with a nice blue cheese butter? Or Pork Chops? Or beef fajitas, no wrap?

However, I gotta say, it's easy if you just hide all of the carby food from yourself - I went to the store the other day and was like, "Oh yeah! Bread does does candy...and chips!" I quickly got out :) I also went for my first restaurant meal - that was scary, but I did fine with a salmon ceasar, no croutons. One week to go. Scary.

Saturday, September 03, 2005


When you opt to go under anesthesia, you’re basically saying, ‘ok, dude, my life is in your hands.’ It’s the ultimate surrendering – to basically trust another human being with your life in such a direct way (granted, it’s a well-trained human being, right?). I suppose we do this more often than we thing – say, every time you get in a car that someone else is driving I would say on some level, you’re putting your life in their hands…but it obviously doesn’t feel quite so …grave.

Further, after surgery you’re not 100% for some time – and you have to trust other people to help you. Now, you who know me know, I’m a pretty darn self-sufficient gal. However, in this case, I accept that fact that the recovering-control-freak side of me is going to lose – I realize surrendering to the doctors, nurses, and anesthesiologist is a must, as is trusting that afterwards, I cannot take care of myself all alone.

Ok, ok, I get it….uncle, again. Damn. Will the life lessons ever end? I suppose, deep down, I hope not.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Meat Fest 2005

We are away for a getaway to Whidbey Island for the weekend. Currently being carb-phobic, I found a little cottage with a full kitchen and gas grill and we brought food for almost every meal so as not to have to endure the temptations (and uncertainty) of restaurant food too many times. Well, the amount of meat we bought for the weekend stunned me! (See photo…all those brown packages? MEAT.) When I unpacked the cooler, there were pork chops, steak, bacon, turkey burger, turkey kielbasa, breakfast ham, tuna, salmon, and chicken! Not to mention plenty of eggs and cheese.

Ok, so my brain is struggling to reverse its belief system. My whole life, since about age 5, I’ve been working to figure out how to eat the most food for the lowest calories/fat. Knowing with the band, and my limited stomach size, I’ll have to think about it in the opposite way: How do I get the most nutrients and calories in small amounts of food? I have to start thinking like someone with no appetite, like a little old lady…Of course, this won’t be a problem until I have good restriction, which will take some time…

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Too Skinny? Um, yeah...right!

Ok, there is one question that virtually everyone asks me when I tell them I'm going to have this surgery. So, I am going to address it here since those of you who haven't asked probably want to know too.

You're not going to get too skinny, are you?

Um, folks, let's see - I've got about 100 pounds to lose. With the band, most people are at about 65-75% loss of their weight at the 2 year mark, and unfortunately, at about 55% -65% at the 5 year mark. So, if you think about it- odds are I may not even reach my goal of 100 pounds at any point. But even if I did, I'd be on the high end of a healthy weight for me - to quantify it, at that weight, I'd be lucky to wear about a size 10 at that point. For a 5'7" girl, size 10 ain't too skinny by anyone's standards...

Note that I'm not getting the bypass, which often does allow people to lose all of their weight an in some cases, those folks struggle to stop losing. One of the upsides of the band is that it can be adjusted - if I need to stop losing (man, what a problem to have!!!), I just have them loosen the band and then I can eat a little more. Or, I can just add liquid calories to stop weight loss easily. Ok, so, before we all get ahead of ourselves...let's just see how I do! You can all tell me if I'm looking too lean, seriously!