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.