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...