Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Day 16: Things are looking quite bright!

This morning I finally got my drains out, and also they removed the stitches from my waistline incision. My chest is healing great, and I was allowed to switch from the binder to a sports bra! How normal :) I am still bound at the waistline for a while more, but that is ok. Removal of drains requires 3 days back on the couch, but I'm ok with that. Tomorrow, I can shower! Considering I haven't since December 11th, this is very exciting to say the least! (I've mastered the sink bath though, no smelly Jenn here!). My incisions overall are better than I'd hoped and are healing as expected.

I don't really have anything riveting to update except that every day is better and better, I feel good but still tire quickly and easily, and I'm still super happy with my results. Today Jill snapped photos from behind at the doctor's office and seeing the whole picture of me'backside was awesome - what an amazing difference!!! I have some photos - they certainly aren't offensive, but I hesitate to post. Just comment with your email address and I will send them if you're interested!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Good News, Bad News...

The bad news is mama'z still draining too much to have them out tomorrow...and with the holiday, I have to wait until Tuesday. Balls. Ah well, I'd rather drain it out than have it collect inside, bloat me out and cause extra swelling. I'm all for following the rules on this, 100%. That's the bad news.

The good news is that I got permission to wash my compression garments, which means I used the timer on my camera to take these two shots for y'all:

Let's all say it together: "Money Well Spent"

All of you WLS folks emailing me who want me to convince your hubbies/significant others that this is worth the dough, give me their email. I'll convince them with just a few before and after shots :) - and I'll throw in a few genuine, honest, tear-jerking paragraphs as well. Because for real - I've had to just sit here and stare at myself to believe that I'm finally in the body I have always felt was stuck in there somewhere...

Wednesday, December 20, 2006


So, today I just was thinking I might try to leave the house tonight for maybe an hour in real clothes. It's good for me to move around at this point, and 1-hour is about what I've got in me. So, played it super low-key all day, and then went to my closet to try to figure up something to wear. I've been dying to try on clothes!

I start putting on some things. I was trying to be creative in dealing with the drains/fanny pack. As a lesbian, it is a cultural/fashion faux pas to have a fanny pack, just as having a mullet, wearing birkenstocks and clogs, are all very cliche - (not that I don't/haven't done these things, say, in the early 90's (never a mullet though)) - but the fanny pack is the crowning jewel of unhip lesbian fashion.

I realized I was kinda lumpy because Melissa had put some gauze inside my waist binder - knowing I'm feeling so much better, I thought, "I'm gonna ditch the gauze..." and then, well, I couldn't stand it. I popped off both binders, hooked the drains to my undies and finally took a look at myself, fairly naked, upright.

And stood in front of the mirror. And stood. Turned. Starred. Stood.

I took a pic with my cell phone and sent it to Jill. I called my sister, at work 1 mile away, and asked her to come over *right now* if she could.


This thought played like the MSN crawl through my mind until my sister showed up...

"Holy smokes Jennifer!" She said. Julie and I have similar bone structure, and indeed, aside from the scars and stretch marks, sagging upper arms and flabby inner thighs (sigh), in many ways, we have a very similar look to us now. I got on the scale, in just undies and still a few bandages, and weighed in at 166.8. Zowee!! But more importantly, I have like a six-pack stomach, I mean, it's like, muscular looking and flat and firm and and and...I guess I just couldn't get over it. Clearly.

I should get my drains out Friday (please, please) and at that point, I'll get a shot in some shorts and a jog bra up. I'm just continually shocked. I heart my surgeon. But I still am struggling with the fanny pack...alas.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006


Here's me, about an hour or so ago. Mind you, these are "old" jeans that still work since I'm wearing compression garments and gauze and swelling. Just thought I'd offer a contrast shot from Christmas 2004... Give me a little time and I'll get some actual, post-plastics swelling, finish up of the last 13 pounds, etc. pix for y'all. I'm actually beginning to see myself as a totally normal looking girl. How'bout that?

Monday, December 18, 2006

A Day In The Life...

Getting better is hard. Seriously. One has to considerably lower the bar in terms of what the definition of "achievement" or "productivity" looks like. For example, each day, I'm trying to walk a bit farther OR faster (but not yet both); do at least one "special activity points" task and break a small sweat at least once.

Today, it looked like this:

8:00: Bathe. This is more of a chore than you can imagine. Emotionally, my self-talk through this process reminds me of a run around Greenlake. It goes a little like this:

Getting started: awesome Jenn, look at you! you can clean yourself!
About 1/2 way: Cool, body clean, just need to wash your hair...
Clean Girl: Ok, now, wash you face...that's it, keep going...brush those teeth...
To the bedroom: Lotion. Just put it on. It's good. You'll feel soft, it's skipping this step or you will be itchy all day and mad at yourself!
Get Dressed: Oh, I know, you're getting pooped, but you're in the home stretch!
Dry hair: Ok, this is hard. But you can sit on your little stool for this. It won't take long....
Last Little Bit, C'mon Girl!: Throw a few curling iron twirls through the ole' mop, pop in a barrett, eyeliner......mascara......face powder.

And we're back on the couch, exhausted.

10:30 a..m: Walk the one block to Lighthouse Coffee. Now, this one is easy as there is a true 'carrot' at the midway point in the form of a rockstar coffee. (Note: Now that I am dating *yes, officially* Jill, who actually owns a coffeeshop in a totally different yet nearby neighborhood, I may need to rescind my unadulturated gushing about how Lighthouse is the best coffeehouse in Seattle...perhaps now, I will at a minimum equate it to her very cool shop, Cloud City Coffee). But I digress (imagine...)...

12:00 Lunch Date: My pal Kirsten came by with the awesome soup from the Greek place by work, and a pita. We visit, it's fun! She leaves, I rest...

3:00 Special Activity - Laundry!: I start the small load of whites, noting the 3 p.m. time. Tidy up the living room and kitchen, just put some stuff away, wipe the counters, gather up the trash. Fold some existing laundry...I'm so proud, thinking I've worked for a good hour! Broken my requisite sweat for the day even...I land on the couch to find the time at a whoopin' 3:18. That's it's folks - I got 18 minutes of energy in me.

4:00 Kate pops by, having run a few errands for me. We visit. It's low key and nice.

Then I putter, watch TV, rat-tat-tat on my computer...Samantha pops over. Kels comes home from work. Samantha leaves. Anh pops over with an absolutely FABULOUS new shirt for me for Christmas...I can't wait to wear it!! Anh takes off, meanwhile though Jill has arrived and we order dinner which she picks up, and then we just hang out and visit until she has to take off....

And that's a day in the life of Jenn right now. Riveting, no? It's funny how in normal life, I'd look at a day like this as unproductive but right now, I sleep well knowing I'm progressing!

Tuesday: Hoping to walk 2 blocks, need to put laundry away, and I think run the vacuum. The Samantha/Anita duo are coming tonight and making soup for dinner - I'm still just a little bit 'Martha, ya know? Gotta clean up for company!

p.s. Body is holding up well. I'm still doing Tylenol every 4 hours + the anti-biotic, occasional Benedryl when I get itchy around the incisions. My sides are sooooo tight sometimes it feels like I might tear in 2, but I don't....and honestly, the most discomfort is still the drain entry points, which I should only have to deal with through the end of the week, and I can handle that. For all that was done to this lil' bod of mine, I'd say the discomfort level really isn't something to be complained about!

OH YEAH, and for the love of gawd, I sneezed for the first time yesterday and thought my stomach was going to rupture to the tune of Sigourney Weaver birthing an alien. It didn't, but I did confirm that I sneeze about 1/week, and that indeed, each and every abdominal muscle you have comes heartily into play when you sneeze.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Introducing: My New Chest!

For the first time since around 5th grade, braless!! I got this tank top a few weeks ago just for this post :) Check out Blue Platypus for some really cool shirts! But, more importantly, check out below for some really cool boobs. :)

Saturday, December 16, 2006

The Past Week Has Been a Blur...

I feel like I'm starting to be able to rejoin the real world. For a bit, the only way I knew I'd spoken to someone was to review my "recently dialed calls" list on my cell phone during moments of lucidity (i.e., almost time for next dose of meds...) joke! I am on Day 5 I guess, not counting surgery day, and I am off narcotics!! Or, at least I'm trying to be - I'm taking tylenol and seeing how I do. Still wiped out and tired - but able to give myself a very respectable sponge bath (mobility has MUCH improved) and feel clean and tidy enough. All bodily functions have resumed - without giving any details - but those who've had surgery know this is a big deal...

I'm a little achy here and there, still negotiating two drains (which are housed in my very fashionable fanny pack) and of course, I'm bound up from hips to chest in a velcro body-wrap and industrial bra. Sexy. It's weird to be squeezed all the time. I suppose it's like getting a constant, somehwhat relentless, hug. Coughing is still no joy, and bending over to say, put socks on, is still not possible. But I can get up and down without wincing, walk across the street and up and down the block...and I even cleaned the bathroom sink. Will the small miracles ever cease? ;)

But here is the crux of this post...I am sad about my boobs.

I think I'm actually grieving the loss of my big boobs, or, perhaps moreso, my identity as a big-boobed girl. I know, I know "this is what YOU wanted Jenn!" true - but hear me out. Though I'd been asking my mom for a breast reduction since about 6th grade, at some point as a teen/early adult, despite being fat, I started to identify - in a good way - with being a girl of ample bosom. It was like, "well, at least I've got that" "that" being one part of my body that was not only societially accepted, but actually celebrated/approved. Am I making sense? So along with the 95% of my body that was essentially "unapproved" (fat) in having the plastic surgery, I also kinda gave up the one part that I think made me feel like I was 'ok' in the past - my giant chest. And mind you, I easily could've opted for implants and kept myself a healthy D or bigger - but I never gave that a thought. I've already got one foreign object in me (my lap band) and I had no need or interest in any more. I never even considered this.

All that said, I had a little moment last night where I just felt some sadness as I looked at my new, C-cup, cute, perky, adorable lil' boobs. They're awesome by anyone's standard - not to toot my own horn, but rather to toot my surgeon's - he did a seriously bang up job. They fit my new body and honestly, look way better than I expected. But still, they are a mere shadow of their former selves...but then again, so am I. I cheated and weighed myself: 171. Wow, 16 lbs, much of which will go with recovery/swelling reduction and I'm at my glorious goal weight of 155.

I am ok with this - and I will adapt and surely embrace the new ta-ta's (ya know, braless in a fabulous dress, for example :) but, I think I may need to just be a little sad and pay homage to what they once were before I get there. And that's ok - this whole losing a person's worth of fat is a process, and honoring these steps keep me emotionally healthly - not doing so just stuffs down feelings that are there regardless of whether or not I deal with them. It's just funny how though the whole thing is exactly what I wanted, yet it's also true that nothing this big and life-changing comes without some serious emotional processing and work. I'm 'in' though, so I know it will be ok!

xoxo, from my seemingly permanent position on my couch,

Friday, December 15, 2006

So, What's It Been Like?

I will not diminish the intensity of the past 4 or 5 days - but I will say that all things considered, I rate myself a hearty "B+" in terms of recovery. Why? Well, on Wednesday, I managed to get myself up and to the toilet and back down onto the couch. Small achievement to some, but huge for me. Wearing the compression garments (girdle and industrial bra) is odd - sometimes it's hard to differentiate between actual skin/incision tightness vs. the binder. By Thursday, I essentially have been able to get and up and down entirely on my own many, many times/day! I've bathed myself along twice and had help once washing my hair. All in all, I feel far less gross that I anticipated.

Yesterday was my 4-day appointment. I had my pain pump removed (it took 5 seconds, no pain) and all of the steri-strips covering all incisions removed, wounds washed and new steri's put on. I got another look at myself and am still quite pleased with the results. Having always had an ample bosom, it's still odd to look down and see these cute little C cups boobies - but they fit my body and really look amazing! Interestingly, the do all the stiches under the skin and use the strips to hold the outside layer of skin together. This leaves a hairline scar as time goes on. However, there are some herkin' stiches along the waistline as that area requires much more reinforcement. Oh, and my 'new' belly button looks really cool too - all in all, I couldn't be happier at this stage.

Melissa said I was doing really well, and that some people just come in with attitudes that work against their recovery. Needless to say, I am so excited and motivated to get better, there is no question that it's helping to move things along. For now, I'm still bound up (1 month), drains we're looking at next Wednesday or so for removal (he haw!) and then they take your 1-month photos. My surgeon popped in to check a few things and I told him I worshipped him and was so thankful and pleased with the job he did. Honestly, looking at the before/after shots, the guy has a gift.

Oh yea, I wanted to post about what I'm eating! As you bandsters can imagine, I'm terrified of stuckage/PB's - my abs hurt when I cough, move etc. sooooo bad that the last thing I'd want to have to do is a PB. To that end, I've basically put myself back on liquids/mushies. I've had 2-3 protein shakes/day, 2 small yogurts (the kind that come in a 6-pack), crackers, and applesauce. I did have a tiny bit of tuna salad and cheese one night too. The good news is that it's resetting my clock - no sugar, caffiene, alcohol. And, outside of sugar, I imagine caffeine and alcochol will be back in the mix eventually, it's always good to hit that reset button. I'm overall not terribly hungry, but I'm not repulsed at the notion of eating either. Oh, and Im' doing 1-3 of those Airbornne things - basically tasty liquid vitamins. And I've been drinking like a fish...hence, peeing like crazy, which is good motivation for getting up and down over and over.

The two biggest bummers: Mother Nature decided to grace me with my period. Yep, fun times managing that when you really can't bend over or reach things very easily. Second, the site where the two lower drains are inserted are a little ouchy, but c'mon, all things considered, I'm delighted in my recovery so far!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Plastics Are Done!!!

Hi all! I had my plastics on Monday 12/11 at 7 a.m. I had red carpet treatment, things move quickly and I was hardly nervous. Jill (girl i am dating) took loads of pix while the surgeon marked me up. Next thing I knew I was in recovery! They removed 13 pounds of skin!!

Everything has kinda ended up as I expected - holy abdominal pain, batman...I had catheter the first night so I could sleep well. Tuesday, went in and got to see the preliminary product!! They removed bandages and I almost cried. I am not kidding - I have the cutest boobs ever (to me, anyhow). a nice belly button and a flat tummy! The boobs ended up a average C - smaller than he had thought they would end up but they look great! My mom was there and said, "jennifer, I don't recall you ever having such a perky chest...well, maybe when you were 10." And went on to say she was jealous of them :) They redressed the wounds, removed the breast drains and got me all tidied up.

The last two days have consisted drugs and sleep... Oxycodone every 4 hours, an antibiotic every 6 hours along with a homeopathic combo the surgeon gave me for swelling and bruising (which, after 1 day, I had a small 2" segment of bruising on my left hip)...and a valium at night to assure good sleep! It's day 3 today, and I got up to pee all alone 4 times, gave myself a little sponge-bath and my pal Vickie who has been taking care of me at her house washed my hair for me! It does seem as long as I stay on top of the drugs, I really have no pain except for getting up and down, and a little stinging at one of the drain sites.

I have a load of pix which I'm happy to share with other WLS folks considering a LBL or breast lift. Just comment here with you email address (I'll delete it once I get it) and I'll send you a few. For now though, I thought a before & after tummy shot wouldn't offend how'bout them apples??

Friday, December 08, 2006

Surgery on Monday!

Check out today's horoscope:

Here is your horoscope for Friday, December 8:

It's time for you to shed those last traces of hesitation and take a leap of faith. Your willingness to lay everything on the line and go for that make-or-break choice will reward you beyond anything you've imagined.

Here's some information about what's going to happen. I'll try to post again before, but if not, I'm certain to post after.

- I am having two primary procedures: LBL (Lower Body Lift) and a BL (breast lift - mastopexy)
- The estimated time of surgery is 9 hours (yes, I know, 9 hours is long...I get that)
- I will have an incision around my entire waist, front to back, but the way I carry my weight is good and so my scar will be low around my hips; I will have "anchor" incisions on my breasts, which means below them in a c-shape, a line up and then a circle around the nipple area (which should keep all sensation/functionality based on how he's doing it).
- They will sew up my abdominal muscles to tighten them and give me more of a waist - this is the primary pain that I will have after the surgery; hardly anyone complains of incision pain.
- I will keep my belly button, but it will be repositioned based on my "new" stomach landscape.
- They expect to remove between 5-12 pounds of skin/fat, etc.
- Liposuction will only be used if needed for contouring of the skin.

Here are links to photos of both procedures completed by my surgeon if you are interested in seeing the outcome of these types of surgeries:

BL: - NOTE: I am getting Mastopexy alone; no augmentation (which means implants). They're just hiking them up, not adding (good lord!) anything to them.

Here also is a helpful link that explains the process for the BL with drawings:

They do not have one for LBL, but this shows the procedure for a tummy tuck, which is the key part of the LBL:

Hope everyone is doing well!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

This Lap-Bander's Thanksgiving Plate

Saturday, November 18, 2006


One my of pals is always like, "Why ya gotta be all "I got a lapband" the first minute people meet you?" At first I was like, "Well, it's a little all-consuming..." But over time, I started to wonder the same thing. Like, when do I just get to be ya know, a semi-normal person who eats small portions?

So, I met this girl.

The first time we went out, I got some nachos. They were huge. So my picking at them really went unnoticed because no normal person would've really dented them.

The second time we went out, we went to this *amazing* place called Baguette Box. They make this stunning baguette sandwiches. But c'mon, we all know most bandsters aren't chowing down baguettes! So, I get the red-wine braised pork, open'er up, and eat the innards (about 1/2) with a fork, grabbing a little of the wine-soaked bread along the way. So, she gets the skirt steak baguette and you can see where this is going....she was done with the whole thing, and I hardly looked like I'd eaten.

She said, "Oh man, I am such a pig! You're hardly started and I ate that whole thing!!"

I put down my fork and came clean. The last thing I'd ever want is a girl, who I'm kinda digging, to feel like she was a pig because of my lapband! She was very gracious, curious and was then like, "oh, ok, now I feel better!" It's just a funny thing, I guess, the whole thing.

By the way - we're on date #6 now! Could be it??? We'll see. One day (date) at a time...

Sunday, November 12, 2006

I caught the bouquet!

Scary, I know...but I caught the bouquet. You can see a little bit of how I'm looking in these photos :)


Friday, November 10, 2006

Former Fat Girl Moment 289: The Bathtub

I took a bath this morning; not something I do often, but felt like it today. Used to be when I drained the tub, I'd sit up, let it drain...and then stand up, allowing the rush of water stuck behind my wide ass to rush past the already-empty front end of the tub toward the drain. My hips were basically damming up the draining of the bath, holding 1/3 of the water back. Today, after I drained the front of the tub, I stood up waiting for the rush of water to come from behind...but it didn't! The tub was completely empty already. :) In other words, I am no longer so wide as to horizontally fill my tub. Who thinks of these little victories until they happen?

In other news - not much to report:
- still stuck at 180ish - criminy!!
- terrified and excited all at once for surgery on dec. 11
- settling into my body though, for a while, it didn't feel like mine - and sometimes I wonder if that's why I've gotten stuck at this weight - inside, a part of me is like, "no, you have to settle in here before you advance" karate, no moving on to your next belt until you've mastered the one before it. sometimes, that's how it feels...but lately, when i look in the mirror, it looks 'right' - wls folks, i think you get what i mean here??
- my baby sister gets married tomorrow! i bought a hot (and very alterable :) dress to wear. i'm very excited!! i'll aim for getting a photo to y'all :)

Hope everyone is well! Sorry I keep checking out, but I'm actually doing well in the scheme of things!

Monday, October 23, 2006

I Have Joined a Cult

Ok, so we WLS folks (mostly) have to work to truly embrace exercise. It sucks to try to move a 260+ pound body. But, I gotta tell you - I've found it. I've officially joined the cult of the lovers of Hot Yoga - formally called Bikram Yoga. What is this, you ask? Well, it's 26 postures of yoga done in a room heated to 105-110 degrees. Hotter than the blazes of hellfire. Yes. But there is this thoughtful discipline about it - you want to do better, and the instructors don't hesitate to say "looks good Jenn, just bring your hips forward a little" or something every class.

So how did this happen? My pal ck asked me to go with him...for, well, months...and one Sunday morning a few weeks back, I was feeling pretty beaten down after a difficult Saturday night. So, I figured, why not try it when I already feel like shit, right?, I'm running around like an evangelist: I found hot yoga! Join me!

So you say, "I hate being hot!" Me too. HATE IT - hello, I live in the Pacific NW for a reason! But now, I cannot imagine do yoga in a cold room. So, I went back that following Monday and bought the unlimited month with a goal of going 3-4x/week, I've gone 9 times this month already. I cannot describe why I'm in love with it, other than to say you sweat buckets and feel the same as you do after running 5 miles - but without struggling past the mental block of simply not really liking it. For me, with running, the challenge really is to just not hate it the whole time. Hot yoga, the challenge is to take it to the next level and I love about every minute of it.

Oh, and did I mention, at ~180 lbs (yes, yes,, in the 90-minute session I burn 1225 calories. No shit people. Talk about a good return on investment! Outside of sprinting, there isn't much that will bang out that many calories - heart rate gets up for a good chunk of it. And again, I like it!

I'm hoping it will kick me back into weightloss gear, as I cannot for life of me figure out what I'm doing wrong. That said, you cannot drink alcohol and do this yoga the next morning - so I've reduced my liquid calories in that arena significantly. Plus, I've axed out all sugar and liquid calories (except for a little wine with dinner here and there) ....again. Trying to just be super-mindful. Sadly, it is amazing how calories start creeping back in and while I've not gained a stitch, I'm not moving down either. So, between sweating 3 pounds off most days, and re-commiting to the 10 Lap-Band commitments, let's hope for some progress!!

Hope you all are well!

Friday, September 22, 2006


I have a slew of simple, long sleeve v-neck and crew neck Lane Bryant shirts in a variety of solid, fall colors (orange, black, red, brown). I would love to pass them on to someone! Soooooo, whoever emails me first at: I will send them to you (and then delete this post). So, ready, set go!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Pictures Speak 1000 Words...Or, 80 Pounds

Monday, September 18, 2006


Plastic surgery is scheduled for Monday, December 11, 2006. Deposit paid. Adobe stock, thank you very muchly, is on my side, and well, I'm just not afraid anymore. I'll be 35-and-a-half that day, which means my 6-month post-op will be on my birthday in June. I like the number 11 - well, I like odd #s in general, and 11 seemed a better one that 13 (I'm not that superstitious, but why mess if you don't have to?? :)

Now, the hardcore work of dropping the rest of the weight with a hearty deadline to work toward (hey, I was a journalism major for a reason - I kick ass when on a deadline!). Oddly, for having 40+ inches of incisions, I'm completely excited.


Tuesday, September 12, 2006

One Year Today: Then & Now

Bigger post to follow soon...a lot going on. Just know I'm happy with how I've done! I mean really, look!!!!

Saturday, September 09, 2006

60 Minutes

Today, Anhl and I decided to aim for 60 minutes and see how we did. We ran the first lap around the lake in 33 minutes - about 11.6 minute miles. When I asked for the first time where we were at on the second lap, she said 49 minutes total. Then I thought, "Ok, thats like 2 more iPod songs. I can do this." When I waivered, I thought, if I finish, then I can post this to my blog:


This is the first time in my life I believe I can make these two statements. Hot damn. Glad people read this, as it pushed me for those last 11 minutes!

p.s. Bonus: This run was on 5 hours of sleep, after 2 hours+ of dancing last night, but only one, I repeat one, drink.

Anhl said, "Um, I'm not so sure about this running in the rain stuff..."
I replied, "Yeah...well, we signed up to do a 1/2 marathon in November. In Seattle." And added, "I believe a trip to REI is in our future..." as today was the first day of serious running-in-the-rain. Jenn also needs to get her some contacts...glasses in the rain? Not so much.

Friday, September 08, 2006


So today was my plastic surgeon consult. And boy, do they make you want it.

I went in figuring this would be the appointment that made me say, "Ok, for my $75, I now know I don't want to be hacked into, no franken-body for me, I'm perfectly fine the way I am. Hmpf." Rather, I left thinking, "how soon can I schedule this??" So let me connect the dots for you.

I went to see the sort of higher-end nip/tuck-like doc over in white-upper-class-bellevue, Dr. Sepehr Egrari. The pretty girl at the front desk greeted me with warmth and friendliness. I went to his office, sat on the couch. He came in and we had some smalltalk...etc. Then we got down to it - I told him I was thinking tummy-tuck-boob-job. I told him a size 8 or so was fine, I had no illusions about ever being a 2 or 4, nor was I really comfortable with that. He said, "good, I get a lot of people with unrealistic expectations." He is a fan of the LBL (Lower Body Lift) and said that a breast lift wouldn't require impants (which I didn't want) - and yeah, at my "small size" he could likely do both together. "Let's go examine you," he said.

Melissa, the also-gorgeous nurse, dressed to the nines in full make-up, explained the little outfit to me. Paper stick-on panties, and a glorified paper tube top. He came in and took the tube top off - and gasped. I thought, "Am I that horrific? I mean, I know it's not pretty...but dude, that's what I'm here for, no??" Melissa chimed in with a little gasp of her own, nodding at the doc.

He said, "Oh, my, you have a very unique body."
Um, this is not sounding good...please go on, I thought.

"You have a gorgeous natural curvy waist - this is excellent! You cannot buy a shape like this." Melissa agreed with vigor. "You will have an amazing outcome." He was visibly excited. He went on to convince me of the full-on LBL, which I'd been quite opposed to prior to this visit. He hiked up skin here and there and showed me what I will look like. Or helped me visualize at a minimum. I'll likely lose my tattoo (low back), or part of it (ug?). I'll have a wrap-around scar from above the pubic bone, up at an angle like a g-string/bikini, and then around the back just above "the crack of the bottom." Eek. Being bi-sected is about as appealing and poking out my eyes...but, having 10 pounds of skin sagging off me isn't so hot either.

He went on to tell me exactly how many milimeters too low my boobs are currently (that's a great moment, btw) and that I'd still be a big C, small D when he was done with'em. I used to think I wanted to be small - but now I realize I'm kinda attached actually, so I'm glad to keep'em around. And that I wouldn't have to wear a bra if I didn't want to (something I haven't done since 4th grade maybe?). Scars here will be around the nipple, down the center (from the nipple down) and a c-shaped one underneath at the crease. Not excited about franken-body or franken-boobies either.

I got dressed and Melissa gave me a tour. She is genuine to the Nth degree, but the whole office kinda had that secret feeling of "come on, jenn, be one of us. the beautiful people. just do it..." The OR looked oh-so-Nip/Tuck it was freakish. "Your procedure will be about 8 hours; then we let you wake up and require you to walk to your car when you're ready to head home, about 3-4 hours later." Yikes. "We wash your hair before you go, since you can't shower for 4-days with the drains and pain pump. We want you to feel good!" Pain pump? High-five for that sucker. Compression garments. Drains. Ew...then it was time for the dreaded "before" photos, for which I stripped down to my pretty-paper-panties and the doc snapped 8 shots of me, and complimented me on my ability to follow directions (I'd apparently done a good job of turning as I'd been instructed).

Overall they poo-poo'd all the pain and suffering, focusing on results. How sales-pitchy, but ultimately true. That said, the recovery sounds abyssmal; but, it's a few weeks of yick for a lifetime of goodness. I get that.

Next up was Karen who kindly printed three quotes up for me: LBL alone, Breast lift alone...and then the big enchilada combining both. Our price tag? $19K. Ug, but I knew it, planned for it, and it's doable - but holy hannah, both surgeries add up to a whopping $36K (lap-band+plastics)- getting skinny ain't cheap, and don't believe anyone who tells you otherwise.

All I need to do is plunk down $500 for a date. I'm at 180ish right now, he said to drop 10 more before surgery (170), and he'd be lobbing off around 9-12 (160) and that most people lose 5-7 after surgery due to not wanting to eat (150-155). That said, my goal is to drop 20 before, getting me under 150 once I'm done. He said I could go on, too, and lose 10-20 afterwards without messing up the gig. Or, he said "It'd be fine to do this for your tonight really..." um, no.

My big question is this: "If I lose 30 pounds more and get to 150, will I still need the LBL or can I get away with a TT?" I will ask. I'm guessing either way it's good - my back side could use a little pick-me-up I suppose - and the TT alone isn't really that much cheaper, though, I'm more bummed about the bi-section than the money. Really. More importantly though, I wonder "Can they fatten up my tush so I actually have an ass???" I suppose that will cost extra.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Run Run Run..Stuck Stuck Stuck

I ran around Greenlake in 35 minutes last week - 15 run, 5 walk, 15 run...and then last night, I ran a good 40-minutes straight up! No stops! And, my iPod even pooped out with 10 minutes to go and I didn't waiver. Hee-haw! It's getting there.

On the other hand, the scale is not working with me at the moment. Granted, I'm bloated. Oh, and I've had a rough few weeks as my mom was diagnosed with an (operable, benign) brain tumor which she had surgery to remove this past Saturday. Needless to say, eating right has not been a priority - though all told, in the realm of it all, I have done ok...but certainly not ok enough to drop any weight. Only 1 week to my 1-year mark...and sadly, I will not make it to 177 as I'd hoped. That said, I will in time - just not next week. Alas....the good news is I got through these past few stressful weeks alive, and mom is expected to make a 100% full recovery, and I didn't gain 10 pounds as I would have pre-banding. There's always an upside, no?

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Little Jenny Goes for a Run

So, I did it.

Last weekend, I got the shoes and the bra of steel.

Yesterday, I got the new Motor CD I was waiting for (if you at all like electronic/funk, and buy one album this year like that, this should be it). If you have iTunes, give it a listen. Fabulous workout beat.

So this morning, I went for a run.

Yep! A RUN. I went 27 minutes before my body said, "done" and I just stopped, walked a bit, and then ran the last 3 minutes home for a round 30 minutes of running, 20 of walking. I love running, and I'd forgotten how much - especially the part before it becomes hard :) The first 20 minutes were pure bliss! The last 7 I was really pushing. But that will change and improve in time. I'm not looking to bust out on the marathon course or anything, but 2 or 3 days a week, especially until I'm done losing - and then after more for stress and endophines - will do just fine.

Jenn is running. Holy crap. My scale shows me around 181. That's good too!! I can't wait until a 179.? shows up...I'd take a photo, but even though my camera is small, it will make the weight go up!

Sunday, August 13, 2006

New Photos are up! Lucky!

Check them out here! It's hard for me to see big changes, but that is normal. I can tell when I look at myself in the mirror au'natural, and that's good enough for me.

Yesterday I went to Lucky jeans and bought me a pair! I was nervous they'd look at me and tell me I was too fat to even walk in the store, but my pal smb assured me "well, i see women your size leaving the store with bags of clothes..." so I thought, let's try. I spent an ungodly amount of money for one pair of jeans - but I heart them! And, I figure they'll be with me for another 10-15 pounds, which is 3 months+, and that is ok. Felt good to feel normal, no?

And, the best part, the flamboyant gay man helping me said, "oh, honey, I dropped 120 pounds about 3 years ago - I get it!" and we went on to have a huge conversation about the emotional weirdness of losing this kinda weight, and the concept of what I now call "the fat filter" - that is to say, the people who talk to you, date you, love you when you're gigantic comprise a small segment of society. Whereas, once you're 'normal' you find yourself being approached by the masses - and it's hard to discern who "your people" are, when before it was a given. Fascinating chat, lovely man for helping me feel comfy. And, well, super hot if only I had the ass to really show them off, alas, all the weight loss in the world will not produce me a round bottom. Ah well....

Friday, August 11, 2006

11-Month Post-Op Report - down 79.1 pounds to 182.9

Well, miracles do happen. Heading up to my surgeon appointment today, I was gunning for a 4 pound loss - really, 1/week at this point is good, right? I mean, we shouldn't get greedy, right? So, plopping on the scale (ok, stepping, but what a boring verb!) I showed a nice 5.6 pound loss putting me at 79.1 total. Now, I had no idea would be so close to the big 8'Oh! or I'd have tried to pee once more. Alas, I'll take it. Just 27.9 to go which feels like nothing on one hand and eternal on the other. That said, right now I'm focused on my 1-year appointment September 12th. I have a number in my head - should I commit? Right here right now? Yeah - ok - here it is: 177.

This is why. I remember weighing a hefty 135 in 5th grade. Next I remember being 185+ in high school and ever since. Twice - once at 19 and once at 27 - I hit 178 for about 15 minutes. I've never seen, as far as I can recall, any number below 178 on a scale. Hence the 177 goal. I like 175 for it's round-number quality; so that's the stretch goal. We'll see - but I'm going to try to keep this high level of focus. It seems to help when I'm not seeing anyone, and my friends are really busy - i.e., no distractions or variations (re: excessive drinking) to the plan. That said, I am figuring there will be wrenches in the plan along the way, but somehow, though there were this time, I still got there!

Oh, btw, surgeon scale weighs me in at 2 pounds less than my home scale. (Mostly writing this for my own reference). And, regular-person yoga is going just great! It's a good challenge and is keeping my in touch with the 'ole bod - a good thing, as Martha might say.

I'll get some new pix up soon!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Hi. Remember me?

Where does Jenn keep going? If only she had the answer for you...

Seriously, it seems like I get all 'on track' and then something knocks me off and I'm trying to get back for weeks. It's lame, but it's life, and so while I try not to beat myself up too much, I also try to pay attention and not let this keep happening, or happening to the same extent.

Friday I have my 11-month appointment. I finally bought a scale and things are looking good. I plan to take it with me to his office and weigh on both to see what the discrepancy is, if any. Just good to have a gauge. After September, I can drive up and weigh in anytime - but no more "free" appointments, so it is unlikely I'll haul up to Edmonds (25+ minutes, a true expedition for a city girl who rarely drives more than 12 minutes anyplace ever) just to step on a scale. If I know how mine compares, I won't need to do that.

More to come!

Friday, July 14, 2006

10 Months Out

Who can believe it - a year ago I was anxiously preparing for surgery, getting ready for my pre-op diet and having a myriad of "last suppers" (though I wasn't out of control, I did try to hit all of my favorites one last time). Today I went up to my surgeon's office to weigh in officially:

Wow! Who could be happier? Well, I'll admit to occasional 'bypass envy' as I know if I'd had the bypass, I'd be closer to my goal. BUT, I also know the lapband was the right choice for me and that I'm right on schedule for a good lil' bandster. With 8 weeks until my 1 year anniversary, I should be right where it seems most people are who have about 100 to lose: 80ish pounds down. That said, I have an inkling to sew my jaw shut for 8 weeks and hit my 100 pound mark...but I won't. Please! I know better.

It's exciting to be in the 180s - other than weighing 178 for about 15 minutes back in 1998, I honestly don't remember being any weight other that two-hundred-and-"x"... it's weird to be solidly in the "one hunderds" and even more exciting to be cookin' toward the end goal. I think once I've got 20ish to go, it will feel real. It's still a little "out there" for me at the moment - wearing regular clothes, looking like everyone else (i.e., not standing out as the fatso in the room), etc. So, I continue to digest (no pun intended) this insane amount of change to my body and soul. It's good though, don't get me wrong!

Hopefully I'll have more good news at my next 'anniversary' date! Pics will be posted soon - gotta get my sister to snap'em for me in the next couple days.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Hiking, for the love of pete...

Ok, so now I'm an official card-carrying lesbian who lives in the northwest....yes, today I went hiking. I met a girl a few weeks ago, who is cool, and we're hanging out a bit (oh-so-low-key-casual, don't get excited). Anyhow, today, the plan was to go on a hike. She planned it, and I just trusted I'd be able to do it. She picked perfectly - about a 3-hour "easy/moderate" hike to Heather Lake up north near Mt. Pilchuck. And I'm happy to report, I hiked away with really no physical strain, emotional panic or problems (I toppled twice, but that can happen in the midst of a normal day for me, really). Hot diggity! Though, now I'm feeling as if truck ran me was good fun.

Here's the thing: I walk all the time. I love it. Hiking is walking, just in more interesting places and on more varied terrain. Sometimes intensely varied - but still, this isn't rocket science. I like it, but I think I've classically feared it due to the weight issue and not being able to 'perform' so to speak. But today, I had a great time, got a fab workout and had a lovely lunch sitting on a giant rock next to an alpine lake - this would not have happened 70+ pounds ago, nfw.

I heart my lap-band.

Friday, July 07, 2006

No More Glucophage!

I meant to report, I went to my endocrinologist last week. He's kind of an older dude, a bit of a crumugeon, but a stand-up guy in his profession. I am happy to report a fasting blood sugar of 88!!!!!! In the past, I was typically at 108. He officially let me off glucophage - which, to be honest - I'd stopped taking after my surgery. I hated it. Shame on me though, for self-medicating (or not, in this case...).

Anyhow, Dr. No-Bedside-Manner stopped to put his hand on my shoulder, tell me congratulations and looked me in the eye and said, "you know, this is huge - what you've done for yourself here, most people don't or can't do. you are my patient of the day!" It was very sweet actually; I also took the opportunity to tell him that he was my inspiration. He once said, "Unless you lose 50 pounds, you will, without question, need to take insulin shots at some point." This terrified me into looking at I thanked him for making a difference for me. And that was that! I see him again in 4 months for a check-up and for my thyroid (which, I am taking my drugs again, thank-you-very-muchly).

In other good news, I'm meeting most of my goals from my recent post. I did drink a bit over the holiday weekend that exceeded calories limits; however, no looking back! I'm back on track now - no alcohol since Monday, and none planned until Saturday night. It's my mom's 60th birthday and in a move somewhat oxymoronic for a bandster, my one sister and I are taking her to the Herbfarm Restaurant here in Seattle. It's quite famous, and offers a 9-course meal with paired wines. I plan to go nice and slow, eat no bread and sip the wine and know that I don't have to finish it all. Duh! The portions are teeny tiny, and the meal lasts 5 hours, so I can pace myself. I don't plan to eat much tomorrow prior to dinner though!

Exercise is on target and my yoga for round bodies class is good. I signed up for a (gawd help me) hip-hop dance class! We'll see how that goes, but man, I wanna dance like that! I'll need to come up with a system to bind my chest and my fat belly, but they sell garments for that. Hee-haw!

Hope everyone is doing well! :)

Friday, June 23, 2006

Boob Job Nightmare

So I had a dream that I had a boob job; they screwed it up and instead of making them smaller and perkier, they made them BIGGER - enlarging them into giant, honey dew melon-porn-star tits!

Oh, and one side was significantly bigger than the other, they were all dimpled and poorly shaped.

...and the best part? They put two nipples on one boob, and no nipple on the other. I awoke and said to the doctor, "Did you not notice this? Doesn't it look funny to you?!?!" Needless to say, I was happy to wake up and see all was well with my chest. Phew!

Hm. Now there's a subconscious manifestation of fear, no?

Thursday, June 22, 2006

9 1/2 Month Surgeon Visit - Update!

Well, one happy Jenn hopped on the scale to learn I weighed 190.9 - down about 5 and a 1/2 pounds from last month! Very exciting! All told with pre-band weight loss, I'm at a total loss of 71 pounds at the 9.5 month mark. Somehow, passing the 70-pound mark feels seriously significant - similar to when I passed 40...I dunno, some of these milestones just feel bigger than others. Bonus: I am now merely overweight, no longer obese, with a BMI of 29.9!

I had the alternate surgeon today, who was very nice - but I'd never met him. I discussed my fill situation and we agreed to a teeny tiny unfill. I'm wicked paranoid to go too low - 1.8 was loose! So, I went back to 2.0 exactly (I was at 2.1). The unfill was relatively uneventful. We'll see how I do - but it has to be better. I'm tracking with fitday now, like religion, to snap myself back to center in terms of caloric intake, so it's just a matter of whether or not I'm starving all the time, etc. which I doubt.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Press the Reset Button, Jennifer.

Ok, I realized something: It is me.

Yep, I realized I was off the wagon, but I don't think I knew how far off the wagon I, I hit the reset button this week and, with the help of my ever-faithful pal ck, I set some goals to help be get back in the game. Here they are, both for support to those of you who may be in the same boat, and for accountability:

1. Get back to 800 - 1200 calories/day.
So I did for a few days, thought I was practically starving myself and found that I was indeed at the high end of my range...1200 calories! This is fine, but before, I was eating considerably more, meaning I was likely in a 1500-1800 range; fine for maintenance but I'm not there yet. Obviously.

2. No work out, no go out.
Back to this: No wine, drinks, etc. unless I've exercised, and then, only within my calorie range.

3. Exercise: 9 hours/week.
Six days of 1-hour walks + 3 days of 1-hour workouts at the gym, or a second walk, or whatever. 9 hours each week though, with only 1 day of rest.

4. Take the Meds.
I've been blowing off my thyroid medications which is ludicrous; plus stopped taking all insulin-resistance-related drugs after my surgery. Nice Jenn, self-medicate - great idea!...Sigh. I have an appointment with my Endocrinologist next Tuesday. I'll be back to center then, but have gotten back on the thyroid wagon (all the sudden I'm tired and my skin is dry and my hair is growing slow...and and...)

5. Get the Band Adjusted Properly
I'm too tight. I sort of like it; but dumb! Hello - slippage, etc. are huge risks. So, off to the surgeon later today. Git'er done, girl.

6. Nutritionist Check-In
I'm not eating enough protein. I'm eating soft/liquids, too much of them. Probably drinking too much alcohol too - not in an alcoholic way, just in a calorie sense. No more sweet drinks - they taste too good, are too full of calories and too easy to have another. Martinis...savories. Only.

7. Post to the Blog!
You guys help keep me on my toes; when I'm posting, I'm working. When I'm not...well, I'm, I'm back to posting daily or near-daily until I finish losing, or need another break.

8. Dissect the Emotions
Watch for an 'emo' post soon - I've been pulling the emotions apart, and trying to put myself back together in light of what I'm learning. I'm scared to be skinny - no doubt - but I'm ok to keep working toward it at this point and face the fear. More on this soon, but know it's a component.

9. Buy a Scale
Accountability. If I'm not working out at the gym, I have no sense of how I'm doing. It will help. I'm ordering one this week.

10. Sugar only Twice/Week
I was getting mochas. Eating the free evil chocolate at work. Ordering sweet drinks (lemon drops, margaritas)...I was getting addicted again. So I'm off sugar for 1 week - then, it's allowed 2x/week. Period.

I think that's it. I'll revise if I forgot anything. I feel better, and skinnier already, being back on track. Surgeon today - I'm not expecting to lose since I know I've had loads of liquid calories and travels since my last fill; but hopefully this adjustment will get me where I want to go!

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Writing & Reading

As I've posted here before, I take writing classes at Bent - a writing school for queer folk where we can test out our writing in a safe space. I love it!

As most of you know, I wrote a piece about getting skinny - I read it at a queer spoken word event last month here in Seattle. Last week, my instructor asked me to read an abbreviated version of it at Seattle PrideFest this weekend! I was terrified - reading my piece in front of thousands of people - many of whom happen to fall into my dating pool! But I committed. I have it ready. Scary!

If you'd like to read it the full original version, email me ( and I'll send it to you a PDF. I don't think I'm game to post the whole thing here and I may want to publish it someplace, and sometimes there are weird requirements around it being 'published' elsewhere.

Monday, June 19, 2006

PB Tips!

I put a post on the lapband messageboard on Obesity Help detailing my tips on how to handle the dreaded "productive burp." I'm not posting it here because really, only bandsters need to know this and care, and well, it's a little gross. So, those bandsters who are interested, you know where to go to find it! Posted at 10:50 a.m. PST on June 19th. Enjoy - comments here or there (OH) are welcome, or added input!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ok, you tell me....

I'm going to do it. Buy a scale. That's right. A scale. In my home...

So tell me, what one do you have? Do you love it? What are the "must have" features in your opinion? Send me a link too. Cost is no matter - I just want a good one.

Why? Well, I don't fear becoming a scale addict at this point; the scale at my gym is not well calibrated (when I was over 200 lbs, it weighed me 2-3 pounds lighter than my doctor's office; now that I'm under 200 pounds, it's weighing me 2-3 pounds heavier than my doctor's office...).

Thank you in advance!!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


Ok, note to self (and to lap-banders everywhere!): Do not get an aggressive fill before traveling. Especially internationally. Where they eat lots of rice. But really, not at all.

I have not been having a lot of fun since my last fill. I have an appointment on 6/23 where I plan to go back to 2.0cc’s from the 2.1 I have now. Here’s why: I am having a little PB festival every time I eat. I even PB’d water while I was in Manila – it was first thing in the morning and I awoke parched and slammed a ½ a bottle of water. Ok, so maybe it was my fault…but water? Really?? Further, it seems that the only meat that is friendly to me right now is fish – and even that, I have to be sooooo careful. And you all know what this leads to…

Soft foods. So I’ve been eating cheese. Which is fine, I always do – but I worry I’m eating too much. And in Manila, I actually drank frappacinos – yes – a glass of calories really – almost *daily*. Good lord! I do not do that!!! I certainly will have desserts, but in a calculated way, not in a daily downing of a giant, glorified milkshake! In New York, I failed to get through Chinese food, barely made it through Indian and well, nachos (one of my mainstays) both times were not seamless. Thankfully, my birthday dinner was ok: 1 oz Manchego cheese; about 8 mussels; 4-5 of the crispiest potato rounds I could find in the batch; and later in the evening, shared creamy dessert (cheesecake, mousse cake) with a hot cappuccino to get it down smoothly (all went well – happy birthday to me!).

While I love fish, I worry about gaining weight in this panicked mindset – because what actually happens is that you eat this insanely small amount, get a little stuck, and then a little later – 30 – 60 minutes maybe – it goes “clunk” and works through the band. Then you’re starving. So you eat crap to not be hungry. All signs, and obvious ones, of being too tight. That said, I did want to give it the college try and also allow the fill to settle in. I know too many people who panicked a week after a fill and regretted it later. I just wanted to be sure.

And, well folks, I am. That said, I do think I’m dropping weight – haven’t weighed myself in a while, though the scale in Manila put me at exactly what I weighed last time I was at the surgeon’s office. And certainly, if I don’t lose, though it feels like reverse psychology – the best thing to do is loosen up. If I do lose, it becomes a tougher choice, no? I mean, if I’m losing, and that’s my primary goal *for the moment*, maybe I’ll just eat fish for a while? We’ll see.

But don’t do this. If you have a lap-band, reschedule that fill for after big foreign/domestic celebratory travels. Trust me!

Sunday, June 11, 2006

35 is MUCH Better Looking then 34, No?

Today I turned 35! Here is a photo now, and on my 34th birthday. Much improved!!!
More soon.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Yo, Mama'z Tight

Whoa. This fill is wicked tight...and I'm not sure if it's "too tight" or if I just need to re-adjust to having it this way. If I eat insanely slow, I can get in enough food...but I fear "soft food syndrome" a little and have found myself going to soft/liquid foods just to get enough calories in to think. BUT, that said, I'm groovin' on losing weight again and knowing that it's happening! I don't own a scale, so I don't know exactly what's happening, but I can feel it...and you who have a band or bypass know "that feeling"...the "i'm getting skinny" feeling.

So, I've decided to stick with my fill and go with it. I will never starve; I still have 40+ excess pounds hanging off my body that can be accessed anytime to avoid certain death from starvation :) I did PB a little water yesterday after eating a small spoonful of cookie dough (I know, for shame) - but it just shows that it's working. What's true is often it's not "real" hunger, but rather "head hunger" in that I feel I should eat or be eating more, but really, I'm not hungry. So, I just need to adjust myself to what is essentially a brand-new lapband...which is how it is people: Every fill is like going back to the first one. I swear it.

I'm traveling now effectively for the next three weeks. I am home for a day here and there, but off to Manila, then NYC, then Portland. I'm home for good on June 17 and my next appointment is the following Tuesday, June 20. So we'll see how I do! I'll be posting a bit between now and then...first up: Manila! Home of fried and overly sweet foods.... (yes, I've got Luna bars for days...)

Sunday, May 28, 2006


My "real" photos are on my other site, but I was reviewing some old posts in order to write up some of my lapband experience for my nutritionist, who is writing a book on lapband nutrition. I found this photo, and thought it would be fun to share it in comparison to a goofy photo I shot of myself yesterday. Please excuse the bowling shoes; normally I'd have boots on with a chunky heel.

Holy crap. Perhaps I just need a little self-validation, but damn if this won't do the trick!

Saturday, May 27, 2006

New Photos Are Up! Click HERE.
A pound is a pound!

Sorry it's taken me a couple days to post. My surgeon appointment on Tuesday actually went quite well - to my surprise, I lost a pound. Yep, just one. And while in some ways that should be devastating - we are talking a month here - it wasn't *at all*. I was delighted not to gain really.

So, I was going to wait to get a fill until after my work trip next week (to Manila, in the Philippines), followed by a weekend in NYC to celebrate my 35th birthday...oh yeah, and then a couple days in Portland, OR for I'm basically traveling from May 31 - June 18. BUT, then I thought, "did'ja drop $18K to stay fat then?" and my answer was a big, fat NO. So, when my doc came in I said, "we need to do a fill" and he looked and my chart, busted out the needle festival required for a fill and went to it.

Turns out I'd 'evaporated' about .2 cc's, so I was at 1.8 cc's. Seeing how I've lost about 19 pounds since that last fill, we opted for a 2.1cc total fill - .2 to get me back to where I was, and an additional .1 to compensate for the stomach shrinkage that likely occurred due to my weight loss. And now, a few days later, let me tell you: I am tight. It's kinda good though to come back to center; for example, on Thursday I had folks over for dinner. I ate:

- some cheese with a couple olives
- 5 or 6 small mussels
- 1 good-sized scallop (1.5 oz.), and a spoonful of califlower puree
- a few bites of key lime pie
- a few pieces of chocolate

Not a banner healthy meal, but my point is the quantity. I was able to eat considerably more pre-fill. The fun right now is that post-fill "i know i'm losing weight" feeling. Now that I'm exercising outdoors mostly, I realize I need to finally break down and buy a scale. I've always been anti-scale, but I do think it will keep me on my toes...

The last thing I want to share is a little epiphany I had. So, I've been slow to understand why my weight loss has slowed. Granted, user error has had an impact - a little too much going out, a little sugar here and there, and since I wasn't filled properly, I have had occasional hunger and eaten in response to it at 'non-meal times.' Ok, so there. That makes sense.

But here's the thing mentally I put together: My surgeon had told me to start talking with the plastic surgeon when I got to 180. When I broke 200, I basically stalled out...and I think part of why is that I am still utterly terrified at the notion of getting plastics, of having that kind of intense surgery, of being franken-body afterwards with scars from here to Canada... so as I started to think I was getting "too close" to 180, I think I had a mental block. If I think too much about it, I start to have a little panic attack...or cry...

So it dawned on my that the Plastic Surgery Police aren't beating down my door with a billy club. I don't have to have plastics at 180, 150, or ever for that matter. And this is exactly how it was for me about the lap-band; for a long time, I'd think of it and it would make me anxious/cry and I'd just think, "i'm not ready"... so in terms of plastics: I'm not ready. I don't have to be, but I do have to finish losing my weight. So I feel like I uncorked myself and am raring to go now! It's just funny the things that scare us, and how they impact so much.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Surgeon Tomorrow

I fear my first gain! I just don't feel like I've been losing and it's all my perhaps tomorrow I'll get snapped back into shape when I go to my surgeon. I'll post some photos then too, but I gotta warn you, i don't feel like I look any different.

That said, my pal Anhl said I should post some of my naked photos, or at least a "decent" segment of me here are two "before & afters" of my legs. Still no model, but my god, what an improvement, no? The before shots even gross me out a little, so it's ok if they have the same effect on you. Cellulite...ewwwww....

More tomorrow after my 8-month appointment! Yikes!

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Before & After

Here is my lunch yesterday in Les Beax, France before I ate...and after. I ate the tuna off the top of the salad, an olive, the mozzerlla and a slice of tomato, and a few bites of the veggie tart. I am still stunned sometimes - before my band, I'd have put the whole thing away + bread! I love this thing!!!

The Traveling Skinny

A few observations that aren't necessarily food-related...but, I gotta say, it is awesome to be in shape when traveling! Yesterday, we went to the Pont du Gard near Avignon; it's an 18-story high ancient Roman aquaduct. I climbed to the top on BOTH SIDES of the river without hesitation, and that was after going to another hikable site earlier in the day. Getting to the hotel, I found I had to then carry my bags up three flights of winding problem, in fact, I went back to help Amy with her bags :)

Fact is, weighing less and being in shape simply makes life better. There is no question! You don't fear flights of stairs or hills, there's no anxiety when you forget something in your 3rd floor hotel room and in general, one can just 'keep up with the tour' so to speak. It's awesome and is helping to get me psyched for what I'm calling 'weight loss: round 2' when I get home - I am anxious to re-focus and reach my goal weight before (or around) the 1-year mark (Sept. 12). I have about 45ish to go, and I know with some serious focus and hard work, I'll get there (or tres close to it). Reaping the rewards sure does inspire!

Hope everyone is well!

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Travelin' Band

Ok, sorry it's taken me a while to post - you can read about my trip on my other blog. Here, I'm going to post about living with the lapband abroad, or at least my experiences so far...

First, on the flight over, I have to say I used to think airplane portions were skimpy! Not any more - my 3 oz. of surprisingly tender roast beef, 1/3 c. potato terraine and 1/3 c. green beans added up to the perfect 1 cup of food. For breakfast, they brought us a ham & cheese croissant, I just ate the ham & cheese, along with the 1/2 c. yogurt and was good to go!

Once in London, I admit I was loving my band if for no other reason than the exchange rate! Holy mackeral - the prices there look similar to those in Seattle, however, due to the crappy exchange rate, you basically have to double the price of anything...ouch! Food rundown:

- So, night #1 my friend Amy and I went to Indian food - I got a 'side dish' portion of Mutter Paneer (cheese, peas and sauce) and basically just ate that with a bite or two of Amy's rice. It was about 1 c. and stayed with me pretty well.
- Breakfast at the hotel was a soft cooked egg and about 1-2 oz. ham-like 'bacon' (more ham to me than bacon). I still struggle with eggs, but knew the protein was a good thing. I think I also downed a 1/2 piece of wheat toast.
- For lunch, I ate 1/2 a panini with veggies & cheese for lunch one day - it took forever to do - but it went down ok.
- That night for dinner I got fish'n'chips - I was seriously tight, not sure why - so I ate just a few bites of each, thought a PB was coming on but it passed (amen) - and then (for shame) at some ice cream...I just knew I'd be starved later if I didn't...

Then came the fun. I got this gastric bug going around London...let's just say I think I lost about 8 pounds (I'm guessing). (Gross information alert, skip to next paragraph if you're squimish) I was terrified I was going to vomit, as the distress was well, on the other end - and then basically I dry heaved but nothing came up. I was rather terrified since vomiting can cause slippage, etc. but since I got over it, it seems I'm normally restricted. Phew! Still, totally scary.

Once I was eating again I wasn't eating much...I had a bit of a parmesan tart for dinner with some veggies last night, and today being a travel day (and now Amy being sick), I admit I ate like crap today. One egg and about an ounce of ham-bacon; a yogurt parfait (3/4 c. total); a small Paris-size slice of pizza loaded with veggies...and a couple snacks I'm not willing to admit to ;) (I am on vacation people!)...

But, the long and short of it is that travel seems doable! I am thinking of getting a small fill, but obviously wanted to wait until I was back from my trip to go through that adjustment. For now though, I can eat a little of just about anything...the only pisser in London was tossing food out that I couldn't finish - if only for the money! At home I can take the leftovers or I bring along a friend/human garbage disposal to take care of my extras, so I rarely feel wasteful...but if that is the biggest problem I have, I'm doing well! ;)

Hope everyone is well!!! Take a look at some of the pics on my other blog - I still sometimes am shocked at what I look like!

p.s. My hotel towel fits all the way around me, I can tuck it in and actually move around and still be 'decent' - how about that!?!

Monday, March 27, 2006

Quick Update

Hi all! Just a quick note to say hello. I really have not vaporized (just yet ;)

My weight is about the same, though I do seem to be shifting. I bought a Size 14 pair of jeans yesterday! (Granted, the khaki's I got were 16...lighter color, less forgiving). Holy crap though- and I also got a slew of Size L shirts. This is still shocking to me.

I'm off to Europe on Saturday and looking forward to it. Got a bunch of last minute things this weekend and still have the really, really last minute things to go. I wish I had been able to get it together to lob off the 15 pounds I'd hoped to if only to be able to shop and buy cool clothes whilst across the pond; however, I suppose still requiring larger sizes (for the most part) will protect my wallet a bit. (Though, handbags, shoes and jewerly aren't specific to skinny people...which is problematic for the checking account).

Otherwise, I'm eating ok - having PMS tightness as expected this month, resulting in about 5 days straight of minor to major PBs. Sucks, but it was expected...and it'll be over with soon enough. Exercise is good too - walking 50-60 minutes each morning, and sometimes an added hours around the lake in the afternoon! I've been seeing my trainer 1x/week but haven't really been doing it otherwise. Post-Europe, I want to keep walking a few days/week and then work in gym days 2-4x/week that will involve both cardio and lifting. And of course, Danskin is coming! I will be starting to bike and swim as well upon my return. Ug!

That's the quickie update - sorry for continually disappearing. A lot going on otherwise which I just don't have the energy or need to really go into here. Know that I'm focusing on myself and while at times I feel really, really bad - at others, I feel like my life is going in the right direction and I'm crazily happy and content. So the plan for now is to just carry on!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

6-Month Post-Op Report - Down 58.5 Pounds

I know I am a few days late, but here is my 6-month post. Today I saw my surgeon and after taking a good month "off," I found that I had lost just 1.5 pounds in the past month...according to my his scale. Horrifying? Not at all. I didn't do anything to lose weight in the last month - I took weeks off from the gym, ate ok but certainly not ideally. I went in fully expecting to gain 5 pounds or so, and had even prepared myself emotionally for this news. Losing 1.5 was a thrill!!! I'm not doing photos this time since not much happened...

What's funny is how fat I feel right now...yet I'm skinnier than I was a month ago - all because I haven't been working at it. Those who know me know this is a metaphor for my life - it's hard for me to take credit or feel good about anything unless I'm working my ass off. And I suppose the metaphorical lesson here is that you can relax and let things unfold naturally you still will get where you're trying to go (maybe not as fast, but what's the hurry?)...

For the past few weeks, instead of going to the gym I've instead been going on 1-hour walks in the morning. It's been delightful! Even though it's Seattle, most mornings have been rain-free. It's amazing how fresh air and sunshine can keep ya going. I'm headed to Europe for 2+ weeks soon, so I wanted to be ready for all the walking! Plus, I needed a change but wanted to keep exercising and this worked out great. For now, I plan to keep up the walks until my trip on April 1st, and then when I return getting a good plan for the gym in order to be ready for Danskin.

Sorry for my continued absence here - life got a little heavy unexpectedly; however, things ebb and flow so with that in mind, it ought to lighten up soon so I should be around more. Plus, I am taking my iBook to Europe with me so hopefully I'll be posting a bit from there, with a goal of writing here about weight-related stuff while traveling.

Oh, and by the way, I weight 199.5. Holy shit.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Monday, March 06, 2006

Danskin Tri

The Danskin registration opened up today! I signed up - yikes!!! Who's with me????

:) Just do it!

Sunday, March 05, 2006


Yes, two posts in a day. If you know me you know I have a tendency toward the extreme, though I work to temper it. However, in the here & now I was reminded of a topic I wanted to post.

So, I'm working to amp up my t-shirt collection. Why? Couple reasons:
1) They actually make t-shirts that fit me now!
2) It's a hip look, the t-shirt over the long-sleeved shirt; I like it when I'm going for my sporty-spice look.
3) Sometimes it's hot when I go out dancing, they work.
4) The ole'rack looks pretty good in 'em, I must say.
5) There are days I just don't want to work that hard, and it's easy to look ok in a t-shirt & jeans provided both are cool...

Which leads me to my dilemma. So far I have three t-shirts in my little collection. Two are cute and fitted, one is a Nada Surf shirt, a band that I like (it's a little bigger, but still cool and yesterday, got me some good flirtin' with a random barista who missed the show! another plus of the cool t-shirt...conversation starters).

So this week for work I had to go to Cupcake Royale to pick up cupcakes for a baby shower. They have t-shirts with their very cute logo and cool, very, very "jenn" colors (pink on brown! my palette!). I was all set to add t-shirt #4 to my collection when it dawned on me...

I'm not skinny. Yet.

Fat girl wearing shirt with food on it - that's a no-no - but not just any food, but a fattening, decadent, egregious cupcake, for the love of god? It feels like an invitation to taunts, whether spoken or not. So I didn't buy the gawd'damn thing. In terms of my dress/style, I feel more put together and fashionable than I ever have. But apparently, I'm still not able to shake the fact that I'm still an XL, a 16, 200ish pounds...and not yet able to wear a 'food' shirt without fearing judgment. Alas. Perhaps some month in the future I'll take my photos for y'all in a Cupcake Royale t-shirt - then you'll know I'm over this hump.

Ok, ok, - I give. I know I keep disappearing and I am honestly sorry about it. I've been taking a little hiatus as mentioned in my last post - a break from working so hard at losing weight. It's been a nice breather, but I'm getting back on track now. Exercised the last 4 days in a row (thanks ck, for the help getting it back) and made a few bargains with myself to keep at it. Somehow, these little deals & contracts work for me (i.e., dessert is ok 2x/week; no workout = no go out, etc.). It's just hard to keep at it relentlessly without shaking it up.

I haven't weighed myself in ages, but last time I was holding steady - I doubt that's changed at all. But we'll see soon enough & I'll keep you posted. One thing that has been strange is that I've struggled to accept compliments from people regarding my weight loss while on my break. It's like I don't deserve any kudos since I'm really not working at it right now....strange, lame and true. I suppose it's still nice when people notice, but I feel like a little bit of a fraud for taking a compliment that I feel like I don't deserve - no lectures needed - I know I deserve it, blah, blah - it's just right now they make me feel a little awkward. But hey, now that I'm getting back to it, perhaps I'll be more receptive to these comments.

Otherwise, not too much else to report. I think most of you know I taking writing classes at Bent . After class last week I went for a drink with a classmate who totally inspired me to finally, and I mean FINALLY, write my 'fat piece.' I've been trying to write a piece about my experience being fat that captures the feelings I've had about it in the past, but presents them in a way that shows I'm in a different place now. I'm still tweaking, but I'm pretty happy with it so far. I'm hoping to read it at the next spoken word night I go to in May...but we'll see. Pretty risky putting yourself out there like that! Once I finish, I will either (1) post it (this is unlikely) or (2) give you a email address to write to if you'd like to see it. I'm happy to share, but posting it...not so sure. Maybe an excerpt, when the time comes.

Hope all are well, sorry again for disappearing - just know I'm focusing on myself and it's good!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Rewarding Yourself

One of the things I've been doing a lot of lately is rewarding myself. I think it's hard to figure our how to do this when you're a fat girl inside - c'mon, we've always used food as a reward, right?!? But I think along the way I've done a good job of milestone rewards that have made me feel good & happy & proud of myself. Sometimes the reward is around a specific number on the scale, sometimes a timeline (I worked out 10 days in a row), and sometimes it's just a general "Hey, I rock. I'm doing this for myself." Here's some of what I've done at different stages:

- New haircut - change it up! don't be afraid - I've gotten as many compliments on my new hair as I have on my weight loss, I swear it!
- Clothes - this is a big one since you know you won't be wearing it for long...but still
- Accessories - shoes, bags, jewelry - things you won't shrink out of - a good $pend :)
- Spa appointments - I'm not too proud to drop a little $ at the spa and feel the love
- Mini-getaways - Go someplace new where you just get to be YOU and not "jenn who was fat before..."
- Breathers

Breathers? What's this? Well, this sort of maps to where I am right now so I thought I'd spend a moment on this one. Think about it: When you're charging to a long-term goal it's exhausting. Like running a marathon, there are these moments where you're flying along and others where you feel like you will topple over in 4 more paces. I think I'm feeling like I'm going to topple over in terms of driving so hard to lose weight. So, I am giving myself a breather! This is why I haven't posted in a while, have taken to walks around the lake rather than the gym, have relaxed my eating a little (not in a bad way, just not focusing on it so vigilantly).

Overall, I am sort of taking a little 'vacation' from my own personal weight-loss marathon.

For me, it's proven to be a good decision. I'd rather slow down a little than topple over completely, no? And it's allowing me to focus on some other things that matter a lot: my job, my writing and dating...these all require energy out of me too, and one only has so much gas in the tank. I feel fantastic where I'm at right now, and I have total faith that I will reach my goal in good time. I just think taking a few weeks off is a good pacing break. For me it is, I might post again tomorrow...or in a week...I'm stepping out of the drivers seat for a little bit is all and hopping on the bus instead; not as fast or direct, but it'll get me there.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

5-Month Bandiversary

Time flies! Today is 5 months since I got my lap-band! Including the pre-op diet, I've lost a total of 57 pounds as of this morning! I am two pounds...a mere 8 sticks of butter...from Onederland! I'm really excited for this, but after a big drop this week (partially due to lack of appetite due to my cold/flu), I don't expect to see further loss for a little bit while my body catches up. No complaints though - considering I weighed 258 at the start of my pre-op diet, and 262 back in June - I'm thrilled with my progress! View my 5-month photos here.

Other noteworthy comments:

- My blood pressure was 102/70 this week
- My resting heart rate was 60
- I'm wearing a size 16 on the bottom in most brands, and a 14/16 or a regular'ole XL or even L on top!
- I feel much, much better!
- I have good restriction and other than around my period, it's not too tight.
- I still struggle sometimes to eat well and eat right, but mostly I do ok and am comfortable with the overall life change.
- It's not a total walk in the park, but it's easier than any diet or other weight-loss program I did before - and I don't hate it at all, whereas those diets, programs, etc. *I hated*

My big goal is to be at 185 by April 1st - that's 15 pounds in about 6 weeks - lofty and likely not doable, as my pattern seems to be lose 10 one month, 6 the next, then 10, then 6 or we'll see where I land!

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Well, Hot Damn.

First, before we get on to the 'hot damn' part of the post, did y'all see the new link I posted to plus-sized workout garb? Now, to the non-WLS people who read this - allow me to explain. The workout world assumes that if you're plus-size, you don't work out. Ok, somewhat safe assumption; however, how the hell are we supposed to not be plus size any longer if when we go to work out, we've got nothing to wear to the freakin' gym?!?!? So, gawd-bless these folks - up to size 6XL! Check it out ladies!

Ok, now for the fun part. I went to my surgeon today figuring I'd lost about 6 pounds since my last fill. I've had the flu since Wednesday (yeah, I was trying to diminish it by calling it a cold) so I haven't weighed in for days. (Though, I did work out Wednesday, and walked around greenlake (3 miles) both yesterday & today). I digress. Imagine.

Ok, so since my last fill, I lost 10 pounds!!!! How about that - I weighed in on his scale at 204.9; and typically I'm 1-3 lbs. more there than at the gym - which is what I use as my gauge. Now, my official-naked-at-the-gym-on-an-empty-stomach 5-month bandiversary weigh-in is on Sunday; this number will be less than 10 for sure (my monthly doc appts. are not synched up with my surgery anniversary exactly). But nonetheless, by my surgeon's account I'm at a total loss of 53, and he's thrilled. It was a nice surprise.

I'm about 4-5 pounds from Onederland, and I want to sew my mouth shut for a couple days to get there sooner, but I know I just have to be patient! My trip comes up on April 1st - I had a lofty goal of being at 185 by then, likely not going to happen - though, really, I'd be thrilled at 190, and happy at 195. So, we'll see where I land. Sunday is picture day! I'm sort of excited to see them now that I know something solid happened.

Friday, February 10, 2006


Way back when, I used to eat this locally-made granola (which you can buy on now). It was seriously calorie-dense - 230 per 1/3 c. - but I loved it so it was ok. I was always starving though and people at work would say, "you're just eating that itty lil' bit of granola?" Well, I was making some space for my roommate Kel in the cupboards and came upon an unopened package of the said granola. I've had a rotten cold and have worked at home for the past couple days, so I've had to improvise food since I hadn't planned on being here. For breakfast I had 1/3 c. granola with 1/2 c. yogurt (which I stole from the aforementioned roommate) - total calories about 330, fine for breakfast (though low on protein in the scheme of it all...). Here's what was funny: I felt like I was eating a ton of food! It was so yummy, satisfying and plenty of food. This is exactly how it is supposed to work, but I'm still continually surprised...

And then at lunch, I had on of my "emergency" frozen meals from Whole Foods. It was Chicken Tikka, and the whole container was 490 calories but I'd already figured there was no way I was going to eat the 1 c. of rice on the left side of the little plastic tray. So, I planned to eat the chicken, sauce and about 1/4 c. of rice (and tossed the rest). Again, figured it'd be about 300-350 calories, just fine for lunch...but the funny part was I couldn't even finish what I set out to eat! I had to put about 1/2 c. of the chicken/sauce/rice in the fridge. It's shocking to me every time.

For dinner, I had 5 vegetarian "chicken wings" which are essentialy spicey chicken nuggets in the shape of a baby drumstick. Silly. I dipped them in a little blue cheese dressing or BBQ sauce. About 250 calories here. And I was full. Shame on me, I know, for not having any veggies. I've been horrible about that and it's shocking to me since I love veggies so much...

Today though is my 5-month surgeon appointment along with a check-in with my nutritionist. It's always good to hit the 'reset' button with these monthly visits - plus, it's proven that those who show up each month for follow-up lose a lot more weight, more quickly, than those who don't. More to come - Sunday is my official 5-month!

p.s. Thanks to all for your nice replies to my last post. I appreciate that you all enjoy reading my stuff and I will try to post even when it feels perhaps a bit dull to do so - just so you know I'm alive & kickin' :)