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.