Monday, December 31, 2007

Too Tight!

Don't we all want to keep ourselves filled to the max? Somehow, it gives an illusion of easier, faster weight loss...and while it helps to have good restriction, I found my 2.0 fill to be excessive. I was PB'ing a bit...but then after my period, couldn't drink liquid without having a little something solid to - I'm guessing - "break the seal" - then I could drink, albeit slowly and carefully. So, on the night of the 30th I woke at 3 a.m. choking on my own spit.

Good times for Jenn. Fortunately, Jill had Ambien'd that night and barely remembered my hacking, choking, etc. I got up, and it took a while to calm down and settle. After, my throat was sore and my lungs hurt.

This is where all the lap-band haters say, "Yeah, see - that's why I don't want a foreign object in my body." But, it's where I say, "I'm too tight. Dammit. Dammit. Dammit."

So, I was a good, responsible bandster and went in on the afternoon of the 31st and got a slight unfill, back to 1.8 where I was in early December. According to the doc, I went from 178.6 on Dec. 5 to 171.4 on Dec. 31st. Man, giving up that progress felt crappy - but then I thought - I'm not giving up anything! I lost that weight by counting my points (WW), doing yoga, bootcamp, and being careful through the holidays. I also noted that when I was at 1.8, I had gone from 183.8 down to 178.6 - that's 5 pounds, and at 2.0, it was 7 - still - this is all good weight loss, all in line with my goals, all good. I was tempted to go to 1.9, but honestly, I felt that feeling of water swishing about in my esophagus rather than going through my pouch, and just didn't want to risk it. I've felt dehydrated and crappy since I got too tight. In the end, the 1.8 won out and seems to be my ideal fill, even if sometimes it doesn't feel as aggressive as I would like.

Still hanging out at 171.4 officially, but I'm back to WW to weigh in on Thursday this week at my regular time - morning weights have shown me in the 169's now, and that is exciting! I was trying for 165 before heading back east on January 12th, but I doubt I can kick 4 pounds in 10 days, unless I ask to be put into a medically-induced coma with a feeding tube. And no, I don't plan on that! :)

On a separate note, I had told my fill nurse about my Bikram Yoga practice, and to my delight, she tried it out and LOVES it - she's an RNY'er a couple years out. It was fun to know I'd introduced someone to it who is sticking with it. Yay Bikram!

Saturday, December 15, 2007

1-Year Plastics Anniversary!

So, this past week was 1-year since my plastic surgery. I kinda forgot about it on the exact day, and then had my 1-year appointment with my surgeon on Thursday. It went well - and basically, here was the gist:

- There are two small bits of skin on the inside of each breast he would like to "fix" - so, February 29th I'm going to have that done. It's going to be two small incisions, in the office, one hour. I kinda didn't care, but he said he'd like to make it right. So, I said, ok.

- My scars are still raised in some areas and redder than he'd like. He said, "Well, unfortunately, for some people it takes more like 2 years to fade and smooth out...and you are one of those people." Honestly though, I've never cared much about my scars - they are much preferred to rolls of extra skin and fat :) Plus, they are symmetrical which makes me happy.

He said, "You look like you've lost more weight!" and after we took photos, I compared now to a year ago (well, 1 month post-op) and I look fairly similar except for clearly being stronger and more toned! Yay Yoga!

My thoughts on the whole thing I'd sum up like this:

- I have no regrets at all!
- It took my backside almost 8 months to be "right" so that I could run or do any high-impact exercise with out a big "ca-chunk" feeling with every impactful step.
- My boobs are great, but still feel a little small to me; that said, most who've offered an opinion have said "they fit your body" which is good...I guess :) Still, glad I didn't get implants.
- I love my flat stomach and my curvy shape!
- My left side hip area and right side are not exactly symmetrical; though, who is? The left side is fuller, and it's kinda weird - both sides are nice shapes, but just not, uh, the same shape :)
- I hardly recall the pain or ordeal of surgery at this was a short time of discomfort for a huge payoff.

I'll have Jill snap some photos soon and post them!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Big Week!

Big, in a good way. Seems the fill and bootcamp had a good impact - I lost 2.4 pounds at WW this week. That's the most ever! So, in 12 weeks, I've now lost 9 pounds. So I guess I should quit my complaining.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Fill Seems Good!

Tonight I ate for dinner:

2-3 oz. fish
1/2 c. veggies

And I was full! Yay! Seems the fill was a good idea. No PB, no stuckages, and overall it seems good. We'll see!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

60 Days! And....scene.

Ok! So, I did it! I finished my 60 yoga practices in 60 days! And, we're done. With that, was a very cool challenge and gave me a lot of good things:

- Structure! Without a formal job, I was definitely seeking some boundaries and structure.
- Strength, Firmness and Tone - Whoa, is my body looking and feeling different. It's amazing to me!
- Mental Focus, Emotional Awareness - It's a lot to be in 90 minutes of wicked heat, doing thoughtful, focused, physical work. Every day.

So that's 5,400 minutes of yoga over the past two months. I'd say 50 or so were Bikram, and the rest Power Vinyasa.

What now? Well, I'm taking tomorrow off! Then...

Boot Camp - M - Th
Power Vinyasa - 1 - 2x/week
Bikram Yoga - Friday, Sat, Sun + others as I feel like it :)
Walking the Lake - Here and there :)

After Boot Camp, I'll need to figure out a new cardio gig. More on that later.

For now, I'm just basking in my happiness that I actually set a hardcore goal and finished it! I had to do 2 classes today to make it - so I did 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Saiko, the yoga instructor I tend to have the most, was super sweet in my 4 p.m. practice and before the final breathing, told the class that I had accomplished a big thing in doing 60 in 60, and people clapped for me :) it was so nice of her, and though I felt kind of silly and embarrassed, I also thought "man, all these people know what that means - they are sitting here doing Bikram, they know how hard it is and they are really happy for me and they really get what a big deal this has been...the time alone is huge...2 hours everytime, the heat is sometimes brutal, and focus and improvement is just hard..." so, I graciously took in all of the positive energy from the group and was glad/grateful for the recognition. Yay me! :)

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fill Me Up

Spose' I'm feeling desperate? Maybe. But it occurred to me as I ate dinner on Monday night...

2 Veggie Spring Rolls
Countless Edamame
4 oz. of Sea Bass
1/3 c. brown rice
1/2 c. veggies

...that I was able to eat way too much. When my lapband is in grand form, I'd say the above meal would reduce to:

1 Veggie Spring Roll
A couple Edamame
3 oz of Sea Bass
No rice
1/4 c. veggies...if I was lucky

So, I went in and got a small fill. I am now at 2.0cc's in my band, up from 1.8 - so really it was tiny. Hopefully it'll help me not be so hungry, and weight will start leaving.

Bootcamp is fun and going well - I'm kinda shocked how much I'm diggin' it...who would have thought?? It's more or less outdoor circuit training - run a little loop, do push-ups, do jumping jacks with hand weights, run again, and do that 3x through. There are about 6-8 groupings of circuits. It's been fun, but a lot with yoga on top of it. Next week, I'll have finished my 60-day challenge with the yoga, so I'll be 'allowed' to miss. Thank gawd too, as 2.5 hours of exercise a day is enough. Well, truthfully, if I do bootcamp in the morning, and yoga in the afternoon, I'm pretty happy doing both! Let's just say Jenn is sleeping quite well these days...

I weighed in today at WW, btw:

Enjoy my new seasonal ticker :)

Monday, December 03, 2007

Here we Are

Not too much to report that is well, good. I got a lil' UTI for which they gave me one antibiotic, which failed, and then a second one, Cipro, which also didn't work. BUT, did you know, Cipro is the antibiotic scattered into feed lots for cattle because it causes "rapid, unexplained, significant weight gain". Apparently, I'm not so far off from a cow. I took it for 3 days, and gained 4 - count'em - 4 pounds...which did not just 'disappear' once the medicine ended. And believe me, I'm so tied in right now to my eating and exercise, nothing I could have done could've had that kind of impact. I'll admit to a bite of this and that, but nothing egregious!

On the upside, today counted as Day 55 of Yoga - a handful have been Power Vinyasa, but the rest have been Bikram. Saturday marks the end of my own little 60-day challenge - and Sunday, I am not exercising one bit!

In other exercise news, I started the Seattle Weight Loss Bootcamp this morning (yes, in addition to 90-minutes of hard, hot yoga). It's 1-hour a day at Greenlake in the great outdoors. Let me take this opportunity to also mention that here in Seattle, today, we are on track for an all-time record rainfall in a 24-hour period! Doing push-ups, sit-ups, running and overall exercise in the morning darkness whilst in a downpour was...well, very bootcamp-like. The other women were very nice, and half had done it before and seemed quite capable and in good shape (giving a soaking wet Jenn hope!).

So, despite exercising like crazy, counting my WW points and staying *well within* my calorie range which should produce weight loss - it seems I've lost about 6 weeks of slow, arduous progress. I will end my pity party here. ;)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

When Jenn Goes Away.....

You can generally assume I'm either (a) gaining weight or (b) feeling fat or (c) over-reacting. Or, all of the above! Seriously, I'm fine - but decided to just take a breather from being so strict and stopped counting points. And you know what happened? Well - I know this will come as a complete unexpected shock - but I started eating more! My weight has been about the same, but I've been WW avoidant. So, I'm going tomorrow for a glorious post-Thanksgiving-I-just-got-my-period Weigh-in! Won't that be fun?

But here's the good news:

- I'm on Day 47 of Bikram! I decided to go for the full 60, which is the recommended starting point for a lifelong practice. I have one to make up, so I will do a double one day here when I'm just feeling like it.

- The scale actually has been oh-so-slowly creeping down.

- I went to my pre-lap-band nutritionist to get some advice that wasn't necessarily mapping to surgeon success rates :) She gave me a slew of tasks, things to do/change/adjust, along with a pep/accountability talk.

- I'm off to WW tomorrow for a weigh-in; I see the nutritionist again in 3 weeks.

What did the nutritionist say? Well, nothing new per se...

- No, I can't stop. I have to get under 155 or I am still overweight, which leads to serious health conditions sooner as I age. No getting off the hook on this one, she was clear as a bell. (Nice try, Jenn :)
- I need to eat 1200ish calories a day, or less, but around that ideally - aiming for 60 grams of protein. She said continuing with the WW point system is perfect.
- I got the 'what'for' because I was not taking a multi-vitamin, only Vitamin D; so I was off to Seattle Super Supplements for a specific Multi, along with Calcium Citrate because I don't eat enough calories to get enough calcium.
- She encouraged 2 vegetarian dinners/main meals per week. I sort of abandoned most veggie cooking when I got my band, figuring protein was too hard to get in. However, she gave me some ideas and options - and reminded me that, simply put, most veggie protein has fewer calories than meat, allowing me to get full faster on fewer calories OR eat more volume when I am feeling more hungry than usual.
- Exercise. Good gawd, my work here is never done. No, 90 minutes of wicked hard yoga in 105 degree room isn't actually enough. She also talked about how your body will acclimate and stop having to work as hard (i.e., burning as many calories) if you keep doing the same thing over and over. And though Bikram is a lifelong process, it's not like a treadmill where you can jack it up from a 12-minute mile to a 10-minute mile. So, once I complete my 60 days (Dec. 8), I am going to look at integrating other aerobic, calorie-burning activities at least a few days a week. "Keep your body guessing a little," she said. Anyone (it's for women) in Seattle interested in checking this out for 3 weeks, beginning Dec. 3rd?... --->

Does this whole thing of mine feel never-ending to you? Yeah, me too. But you know, it is what it is - a lifelong struggle, and this is where those who say "oh, you copped out and got surgery" are full'o'crap, because it's still a load of work. I'll say it over and over though - the difference is that when I do the work, it actually works! So, watch for more updates as I am re-focused.

Special to Ethel: I didn't have a way to write you back on your comment, but I hope your banding went well! One thought - when you do go back to Bikram, I'd recommend talking to your instructor about perhaps doing the pregnancy adapations during the spine-strenghtening series (on your belly) - port pain is no picnic, and happens. This way you could keep going!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Checkin' In

Well, I'm weighing in every 2 weeks right now - it's just moving so slow, and if I so much as drink a glass of water I gain 1/2 pound. My at-home morning weights are in the very low 173's - no complaints, other than "hurry up!"...I remember when I was losing 2-3 pounds a week! My body is just slow and stubborn, always has been, and that's ok. I guess ultimately I'll get it done, even if it takes 6 months.

I haven't taken a day off from yoga yet! I just like it now and it seems to be doing good things for me. Last night, I tried a Power Vinyasa Yoga class - it's done in a warm environment (85-90 degrees, vs. Bikram at 105 or 110) and is a constant flow. It was so fun! Jill went with me and we really liked it - it was taught by one of my favorite Bikram instructors, Saiko. Anyhow, it was clear to me the places Bikram "misses" - hip openings, core strength work (it does some, but this was way more), and shoulders. It's a great compliment and the place where I tried it has a killer new student deal of $35 for one month unlimited! They teach Bikram there too, so I may just shake it up a little. Later!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Day 30: Mission Accomplished!

I know, I know "bikram bikram bikram..." ... "I thought this was a WLS blog, Jenn...geez." Ok, maybe I'll shut up about it now, but it's unlikely. Because here's the thing - I'm stunned, shocked and amazed at the impact doing Bikram/Hot Yoga for the past 30 days. Yes, indeed, today was Day 30 - I didn't miss a single day - not even a single posture even! This morning when I went, instructor was new (to me) and I was a little sad, actually, that she wouldn't know what I'd done. But after the last of the 26 postures, she turned to me and said, "Jenn, today was your last day, right? Congratulations!" (Another teacher in the class told her I think). Anyhow, I was doing my final shavasana (rest) at the end and actually teared up a little. It felt a little like running a marathon might, this huge, intense hard goal that somehow you accomplish and are better for it! And, you're super proud of yourself to boot!

In the past, I've *easily* done 30 days of exercise, cardio/weights, and never, ever seen my body respond or change so fast and favorably! And, bigger than that, those stints were miserable, I hated every second and was angry/pissed/self-pitying - you name it - which made it even harder both emotionally and physically to stay with it, ultimately causing me to give up/quit. With Bikram, once I got past that first week or so, I truly rounded the corner so many people have rattled on to me about and I would discount them in disbelief: The heat becomes secondary to the yoga experience. But it was true, and suddenly I found I was excited to go! I'd look forward to it in my day as a little oasis from everything else. And, no matter how crappy a day may be, I'd always know I did something productive and good for me.

The biggest changes are in my focus, stamina, strength and attitude. You know, just those lil' things. And more specifically, today as I went through each posture, I thought for a moment back to a month ago and how I felt in each one, my ability, my attitude. It was an awesome way for me to track my own progress. I can kick out on 2nd set of 'standing head to knee' - I don't dread 'triangle' and actually was complimented on it yesterday in class - 'camel' doesn't scare me and I actually look forward to it; and 'awkward pose' actually is beginning to look like it ought to (i.e., me not shaking and tumbling least not every time). Huh!

I'm grateful to my yoga pals (er, ck in particular), Jill (for putting up with my excitement, i.e., external processing), and my teachers (I miss Nina!) who all encouraged me and kept me motivated and going everyday. I don't plan to stop or anything, but I do figure on missing a class now and then without the pressure of the "30-day-challenge" goal. Thanks for reading! Now, back to our regularly scheduled weight loss blather.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Good News

I weighed in today at 174.2 - this is good news! That's a total of 6.2 pounds in 8 weeks. I know, it seems slow to me too sometimes...but overall, that's about .5 - .75 pounds/week, which, this close to goal, is really quite good.

Here's the better news though... My body is SO different since committing to Bikram Yoga for 30 days (today, btw, is DAY 26!!!) - my body is stronger, tighter and more defined. I'm not claiming to be a fashion model Size 00 or anything - but here's the proof: Early this year, I was hanging out around 165. During this time, I bought a pair of Lucky Brand jeans, size 12. They were tight on my hips, but fit well overall. This past week or two, they were feeling BIG, so I had a gift certificate and thought "I'll go see if a 10 will fit and get them for motivation and as a reward for the yoga..." Well, I put on the Size 10 and Jill said, "Honey, those still look big to me." Really!?!?! So I tried an 8. SIZE 8. And they fit! Now, they are 'relaxed fit' and fairly generous (like, not a Boutique Size 8, but a Mall Size 8) - but still: I am wearing 2 sizes SMALLER and weighing in 8 POUNDS MORE. This is the yoga, folks - and it's making me love it even more.
For the first time, I may be buying into "muscle weighs more than fat" which in the past, I used as an excuse for not losing weight - when I doubted it to be true. Now, I can see that is the case, and feel it too in how strong I feel, how easy it is to walk up a hill, squat down and pick stuff up, lift heavy things, etc.

Still plugging on. My sister Kate is going to join WW this week, so we're going to go together on Sunday's, it's always good to have a pal! Hope all is well for everyone!

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Little Update

Well, I didn't weigh in this week. I got my period and did my insta-2-pounds-for-5-day gain...and I didn't want that mean lady to give me the stink eye. I'm going to switch to a weekend weigh in anyhow, starting Sunday.

On a happy note, I completed my 23rd day-in-a-row of Bikram Yoga! Only a week to go and I'm at my 30-day goal. Yee-ha! Tonight I went to 8 p.m. because traffic precluded me getting to 6 p.m. on time - but I still went! More soon, but I'm still plugging away!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Slow as. Molasses. Oy. So, this week I barely lost 1/2 pound. Seems my body is fighting every ounce, which is super frustrating! That said, the yoga is building muscle without a doubt - and I look different and my clothes fit really, I ought not to complain. Jill says, "Do you want to have a strong, healthy body or be skinny like a waif with no strength?" Uh, honestly: Both. I would like be skinny and strong! However, it seems to be going slowly - and if you have a lap-band and this scares you, well, I won't say, "It should" but I will say this is proof positive that you do not get it for free. It's still work, and if your body is like mine, it can go pretty slowly when you get down to that last 10-20 pounds. I'm staying with it, and this week, aiming to actually eat a little more. Though it's always felt like a bit of an oxymoron, I wonder if all the exercise and very few calories is causing a "famine" response in my body (as they say) where by it's holding onto every last fat cell. So, I figure what's the worst that will happen if I eat just a bit more?? I'm thinking of scheduling an appointment with my nutritionist too, just to get some advice.

Here's the ticker - not impressive, but, the one good thing is that it continues to go down, ever so slowly, but has yet to go up! That, I will take :) And, my naked-in-the-morning weights are more around 174.? and continue to creep down. Perhaps it will take a long time to get to 155...but hey, I've got time.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

You Will Be Able To Eat Good Stuff With Your Lap-Band

So, I've been on a kick of trying to eat closer to home, and more traditional foods. This tends to spit in the face of a lot of modern nutritional advice, as well as (or, in particular) diet advice. Whole natural foods (not genetically engineered...), no chemicals (nutrasweet, splenda...) and full-fat (raw, whole milk).... Every Sunday I've been heading to the Ballard Sunday Market - our year-round farmer's market. Jill is off this week so she was able to come along! We got:

- A 2.2 pound, grass-fed boneless organic chuck roast
- 1 pound of mixed organic potatoes
- A bunch of organic carrots
- 5 pounds King Apples (an old, heirloom apple that winters well; great cooked - it was my first time hearing of them, but my 90-year-old neighbor's grandparents had them)
- Raw milk
- A Kombucha squash
- Some ornamental gourds
- Tall Grass Bakery Coconut and Almond Granola

For dinner tonight, I made a roast. It's a rainy Sunday and somehow, a roast sounded perfect! Our friend Steve was over for dinner, so before yoga, I prepped the roast so it could cook the 2 hours +; beforehand though, I made the squash into puree (it was so dry! I had no idea, but added enough water to make it into peanut butter consistency - I made Squash/Apple soup for tomorrow, and have puree for two pies for later in the season), and 1/2 the apples into applesauce (pure - just apples and a little water). So, what I ate was...

- 4 oz roast
- 1/2 cup potatoes/carrots
- 1/3 cup applesauce (soft food...)
- 1/4 cup leftover potato puree from last week (sinful soft food!)
- A little pan gravy that I made from the stock and a little flour

It was totally kickass...and I did not feel the least bit deprived, and had about 1 cup of solid food, and about a cup of soft food...a little bit of an egregious meal, but I only had breakfast today with a snack for lunch prior to yoga - so the numbers are likely good.

Today was Day 12 of yoga - I've decided now that I am gunning for the 30-day challenge - I'm almost 1/2 way! I also am reading Bikram's book, and he says basically to do 60 days straight and then you can go to 2-3 times/week and get all the health benefits forever more... We'll see. Still for now, I'm losing weight (albeit slowly - about 1 pound/week) but holy shape batman! My body is looking soooo different. Yay! And I feel like a tough girl to boot.

Weigh in tomorrow; I'm not expected anything too drastic since I weigh daily, it seems 1/2 to 1 pound/week is all I'm gonna get...but I'll take it. Eventually, I'll get there!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

7 Days In-a-Row!

Today marked 7 days straight of Bikram Yoga - Jill said, "huh, maybe you will be able to do 30! You're 1/4th of the way there!" - let's not get too excited. Still, I can't believe how much easier it's gotten already. I honestly hardly notice the heat, whereas before it was debilitating. I don't feel like my heart is going to fly out of my chest constantly (with a few exceptions). My postures are getting better, but that's not really my objective - my objective is to show up, work hard (i.e., burn calories) and ideally, not lay down (which, I haven't yet!).

Foodwise, I'm still aiming for my 24 WW points (1200 calories) despite being "allowed" to have more - I may have a few days of more just so my body doesn't get too used to a routine and settle in here.

Though unofficial, my naked-in-the-morning weight is more around 174.4 - and before I started WW my worst was 183.4 - so though the WW is only showing a 5-ish pound loss, it's really coming up on 10 pounds and it's showing. I feel sooooo much skinnier, which lends to feeling much happier and better in my skin. My massage therapist told me today - after about a 6 weeks since she last saw me - that "it's like you have a totally different body." Between the yoga and weight loss, she said 'everything feels much better'. Also, she said it seems like my body continues its healing from the plastics - that my skin seems more healthy, and my scars less lumpy. Always good to be less lumpy. :)

Anyhow, I'm plugging away and trying not to obsess. Jill has gotten off sugar too now - which is a big help! We eat a little dark chocolate at night, but have cut way back on alcohol, nixed anything sugary in the house and overall have been eating out less/at home more. I've been cooking a lot too which has been fun! Even when I can only eat a small amount, I still have so much fun creating and crafting dinners.

That's it for the moment. Hope all is well!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Disappointing Results

So for a week, I eat less than my 24 points a day (1200 calories), do Bikram Yoga 5 times, plus a couple lake walks and for what? One stinkin' pound. Now then, I know, one pound is good. It's a healthy rate of weight loss, blah blah...but, in the moment I wanted to cry. Seems when you work this hard, you should get a bigger payoff. But, it will come. Sometimes your body just has to move at its own pace.

Either way, I'm happy with my exercise and my eating...and, with my body. So there's the upside!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Ok, I'm trying not to obsess or become cult-like in my practice of Bikram Yoga, but oddly, it's kind of, well, addictive. Anyhow, the deal is you do 26 poses, twice each, in a 105 degree room. It takes 90 minutes and is said to cure all ills, basically. For me, as you all know, I'm chugging away at it in my weight loss efforts (hence my blathering on about it here).

Today, during the pose Camel - (you're up on your knees, put your hands on your back as if you were going to put your hands in your back pocket. Then, you lean back, ultimately placing your hands on your heels and doing a pretty deep back bend. Push your hips forward, pull your chest up to the ceiling. Oy, it's one of the two "crowning" poses of the series....see photo) Robert, the instructor, said, "If you're an introvert, this pose, good for you." Not being an introvert, I still perked up to hear why as I'm semi-obsessed with introvert/extrovert dynamics, mainly because I'm a banner extrovert (I know, shocking!). He went on, "This pose forces you to extrovert - it makes you lean back into an unknown you can't see and put yourself out there...and that requires a lot of trust." Huh.

Well, this extrovert is here to say at that moment, the whole posture made more sense to me too! What's funny is I LOVED Camel before my plastic surgery; since, I've hardly been able to let myself do it. Fear. Afraid I can't, or that I will crack in half, or some other excuse... On the second set (he made this comment after the first), I just let myself trust it.

My stomach will not tear in half.
I will not fall backwards.
I will not blackout (completely, anyhow)
I am super flexible.
I used to be able to do this really well.
I can hold it.
I can get back up.

And you know what, I did.

I think my point is that being in touch with your body, and connecting it to what is going on for you emotionally, is a challenge whether introvert or extrovert I think - the difference is where that processing occurs. Yoga - and Bikram in particular - is proving to become serious practice for me working out so much shit in my life, because somehow it makes you think about the bigger picture, even though all you really have to do is lean back and grab your heels; it really is a much bigger thing than that - if you're not afraid of it and let it happen. How much in your life does that apply to? I can list about 20 right here, right now...

That's what I'll be working on for the next bit. Eventually, I want weight loss/maintenance to be the by-product of doing Bikram, not my driving force getting me there. It'll be interesting to see where it takes me once I get to that point. Meanwhile, the weight loss drive is getting me there - and whatever works, I'm going with it!

p.s. No, that is not me in the photo. Good Lord, my thighs will never be that skinny. And I'm not a blonde :)

Friday, October 12, 2007

Plugging Along

Things are going well - I'm trying to really focus on losing weight without losing my mind. So far, so good for the most part. The big things I'm aiming for are to stick on the low end of my WW points and not eat the weekly freebies (an extra 250 calories or so per day) and I'm back onto Bikram Yoga. In fact, ck kept bugging me to go as many days as I could in a row, so I finally spent the dough and signed up for the 30-day unlimited. Well, tomorrow is day 4 in a row...while that may not sound impressive to you, if you'd done Bikram, you know it is.

The best thing to report is that it's working. Bikram burns about 1200 calories in 90 minutes, something I could never do any other way - unless I spent 4 hours at the gym, or run full speed for about 90 minutes, I'd never get that kind of burn. Since I'm only eating 1200 calories or so per day, the rest of the day is my body feeding off the fat on my hips. I hope. Either way, I'm only tracking my official weigh-ins here, but I do weigh every day in the morning, and things are moving in the right direction. Hopefully I'll have good news to report on Monday!

It's nice to see that hard work will pay off, thank goodness for my band - even though I will admit to being hungry a bit now and then, when I do want to eat a bunch, it slows me down and limits me. And that is good. All hail the lapband! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Weekly Report, a Little Late...

Well, last week wasn't exactly a banner just seemed everything got ahead of me...that said, I still managed to drop a little and weighed in at 177.2. I know, slow, slow, slow...but still going in the right direction!

I ate ok, didn't exercise as well as I'd like (i.e., some lazier workouts, not enough Bikram...) and I did eat a little off-plan (we went to Portland for a couple days over the weekend). Ok, enough of the excuses! This week has been good so far! Gym, lake walk, Bikram. And staying in the points...Anyhow, charging ahead!

Monday, October 01, 2007


All that work last week lost me 2.2 pounds. That's 10 sticks of butter. I'll take it!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Weekly Report

So I'm reporting in. My WW Points allowed are 24/day with 35 additional/week to spread around as I like - so 24-29/day + exercise points. Plus points I get for exercising. Oh, did I mention what a rock star I was this week in terms of exercise? Well, lemme tell ya...

Monday: 24.5 Points/60 minute walk (3 points toward 'activity')
Tuesday: 31.5 Points/90 minute Bikram Yoga (10 points)
Wednesday: 30 Points/45 Elliptical (3 points)
Thursday: 22.5 Points/60 minute walk + 45 minute elliptical (6 points)
Friday: 38.5 Points (oy!)/90 minute Bikram Yoga (10 points)
Saturday: 30.5 Points/90 minute Bikram Yoga (10 points)
Sunday: TBD Points/45 Elliptical (3 points)

Yes, that's right, it appears I exercised every day and ate well within the WW Plan. What have I learned?

Well, to be honest, there is some challenge for me in eating how I want to from a philosophical perspective...that is, I aim for whole foods - eating food the way nature made it; not the way we've industrialized food with additives, chemicals, and fat-replacing corn-products. I'd rather have 1/2 cup of whole milk (I even drink raw milk! Please, don't go off on me... :) than 1 cup of fat free milk. Other than 1 splenda in my latte (which successfully got me off of having a mocha every day), I work pretty hard to avoid altered food. And this is where we make a collective bow to my band...because without it, I think it would be hard to do WW and eat whole foods (they are more calories dense, thus smaller portions), and lose weight...without being hungry, a lot.

In all honestly, this is doable. What's hard is the usual stuff - general boredom making me think "wow, a handful of almonds will cure it!" or, "a few more bites of cheese isn't a big deal..." and of course, the liquid calorie impact of coffees, alcohol and whatnot. But I made some good food this week! Sesame crusted tuna with a spring roll and stir-fried veggies; chicken tenders with homemade tzatziki sauce, a couple olives and broccoli...this is not torture.

I'm restarting my ticker, btw, with my starting WW weight. Not that I want accountability to all'y'all in cyberspace, but rather, I need it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Moving Along

Things are moving along...weight watchers is actually pretty easy in a lot of ways, the struggle is the usual struggle-stuff. Like, not eating too much (duh) and not eating the "wrong" things (duh again). So there are two plans: The Core Plan and The Flex Plan. Briefly, the Core plan is fairly low-carbish and lets you eat "until you're satisfied" without counting anything - mostly from a list of meat and veggies, with a serving of brown rice or potato granted daily. The upside is "free" avocado, melon, polenta, eggs, Canadian bacon, fish, and veggies. Well, I thought this was the plan for me! It seemed so lapbandy!

Alas. It was not. I hardly lost any weight (though, I must excuse myself as an old pal came to town who used to live in Seattle and basically wanted to eat/drink his way through the weekend, and well, I'm a good I had to oblige!). Still, though the core plan sounds great, you can't eat cheese, nuts, crackers, mayo, sauces, wine, etc. and even though you get 35 "points" per week in addition, I just kept blowing it but condimizing my food, or drinking wine, or both.

The Flex Plan is the well-known point-counting deal where all foods having points, and you get in my case 24/day, along with 35/week that you can distribute if you want them. And you get extras for exercising. Basically, it works out to be about 50 calories/point (1100/day for me), and the more fiber, and less fat, the larger the volume of food. And the more you exercise, the more food. So, it's a bit of a carrot to do good things like high fiber, reasonable fat intake, and of course, working out. This one seems to be more realistic and is more achievable for me. A lot of people hoard points all day so they can have ice cream every night - whatever works - but I'm aiming to eat consistent meals most of the time and not save up for night time (fat-making) binges.

I gotta say, how one could do this without a lapband is beyond me. It's enough food for me, and I realize a lot of when I want to eat when I'm not really hungry is out of boredom, antsy-ness or just cravings. Or stress of course :) So, for now, I'm into it and liking it. Yesterday's dinner was a good one:

4 oz. raw chicken (3 oz. cooked) with a light panko/parmesan coating (2.5 points + 1.5 for coating= 4 points)
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil (3.5 points)
1/2 c. polenta (2 points)
1/2 c. marinara (1 point)
Couple tablespoons parmesan cheese (1 point)
1/3 c. Cauliflower steamed, then tossed with a little butter and parm. cheese, salt and pepper (1 point (butter))

So, think about this meal...not bad, but 12.5 points! That's about 1/2 my day, fortunately I had a doctor appt. and didn't eat much for breakfast; but really, it could easily be lightened up by not coating the chicken or using olive oil to pan fry it; ditch the butter from the cauliflower and we're down 6 points to a 6.5 point meal. Think about that - 1 tbsp. oil, 1 tsp. butter and tablespoon each of panko and parm are the same as the whole rest of the meal, calorie-wise. But all that's so good!

And so small. I think this is definitely where I get tripped up: A dab of butter here, a glug of olive oil there - that's 200 more calories folks...So, I'm working on just dialing back on those kinda condiments. With the band though, simply broiling chicken is just too dry and I'd never get it down; though, marinara is a saucy way to deal with that. I guess there is always a better way. Just gets tiring thinking about constantly manipulating everything that goes into my mouth either to make my band happy or the scale happy. That said, it's life - because keeping my band happy, and the scale happy, make Jenn happy! And, I'm glad to see the scale creeping down, even if it does feel kinda hard.

I'm also happy to report I've been working out again consistently. Easy days are a walk around Greenlake (about 55 minutes to walk it) or 30ish minutes on the elliptical (350 calories burned); average days are 45 minutes on the elliptical (~500 calories burned); and banner days are two of the above or else Bikram yoga (burns 12oo calories!), or an hour at the gym (650 calories). I haven't missed a day in a while now! Mixing up the activity and duration are helping fo'sho.

Anyhow, sorry for the rabid details...just trying to get back into the weight-loss head space.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Well Hello There!

My, I didn't realize it's been 2 months since I posted. Summer flies by here in the northwest, particularly August/September, as they are by far our nicest months. Though, since we had an incredible summer overall, it seems I've been busy for eons!

Anyhow, let me update y'all. I had an additional fill after that last one back up to 1.8 - I feel like I did before the "incident" (being way too tight) back in May. Jill says, from her view, this is how I used to be - having to eat really slow, getting stuck a couple times a week, minimal/rare PB's... It's again a reminder that the band is a tool, not a solution - and when you use it, it works. So I'm glad to be tight enough to know my tool is charged, I just need to keep it engaged!

The thing I've noticed lately - to the hilt - is that unfortunately, the weight loss battle continues. However, I feel like I've got someone on my side, my Band, that is, and unlike before when I would have yet another "last supper" and start another diet or fad or whatever, now when I really reset, I know I will see results. That is worth a lot! If struggling with food and weight can't disappear completely, I can sit happily knowing that I now feel 'normal' - that is, if I eat right and exercise, I will reach/maintain a healthy weight. Pre-band, I did not believe this (nor was it true). Not to discourage anyone new to the band or thinking about it - I wouldn't change it! But I do remember way back when, sitting there in JennyJudgment-ville thinking "oh, c'mon, it can't be that hard now that you've had surgery" or "oh, you must be cheating" or "I certainly won't be dieting! Plu-leeze!" ..."I won't settle in at 165 or 180!" Well, let me tell you a few things....having just reached my two year bandiversary last week...

- I still struggle. I will not tell a lie.
- I feel like I have a safety net now, and I can engage it as I choose - and frankly, I sometimes wish I chose to more often; or that I had over the past year anyhow.
- Routine helps!!! I found it way easier to lose weight when I worked 8-5 M-F, and was single and thus creating routine and filling up time with things like the gym, walking around the lake with friends/dates/myself, etc. and eating at home. I'm in the midst of making new routines now so I can feel that security and success again within the new set-up of being self-employed and having a girlfriend.
- Old habits die hard, and I have to fight my desires for sugar, chocolate, liquid calories (coffees, alcohol, etc.)
- Snacking will do you in, even on healthy foods like nuts, cheese, crackers etc. - 200 extra calories will halt weight loss, and that is not much food.
- I love my band. There are things about it that are a bummer, but overall, it is a very good thing and I wouldn't change it!

So, mea culpa: I am still hanging out at a weight I can barely write here but I am going to: 178-180. I have been there since I got back from Europe in June. Am I a loser? Kinda. But am I happy here? Well, kinda. Here's the thing: I had been trying to decide what is a good weight for me for a while, whether perhaps this weight was ok... I still had my goal of 155, which I set randomly way back when, based on my sister Julie who is gorgeous and lovely and who weighs about that. We have similar bodies otherwise, so it seemed a good goal. In thinking about staying where I am, I realized that man - I weigh a mere 23 pounds over my 'dream weight' - and how lame is it not to complete the process?? Well, again, kinda lame. For me, anyhow. So I decided to charge ahead, even though overall, I really dig my body as it is - but I don't like being on the edge of an unhealthy weight, nor knowing if I gain 5 pounds I start to get into way scary territory.

In order to conquer the balance, and keep me accountable and focused, I actually went out and joined Weight Watchers on Monday. Weekly meetings and weigh-ins will help with routine and focus. I know - bandsters reading this are saying one of a few things (I used to): "Lame." or "That'll never be me! I'm done with all that dieting crap" or "Shame on you for not just following the rules and doing it right." Or worse. And in some cases (probably longer-term bandsters): "You go girl, do what you need to..." - and honestly, over the past 2 years I've sat in judgment of other people doing diets or things like this, so I know - and the judgment was really just a manifestation of my own fear of being that person. And now I am, and it's ok! This is not irreparable damage.

That's my update - I feel a little scattered about it all, but fortunately, Jill and I are going to be living together soon! :) This helps with routine a lot! We've spent the last few weeks re-facing my house (paint, furniture, windows, etc.) in an effort to make it ours - she'll be moving in over the next month or so. The nice thing has been eating at home! When we were alternating houses, it seemed to hard - over the past few weeks, we've been eating at home and lucky for me - I found a girl who is happy to forgo the carbs, and who generally eats about as much as me (maybe a few more bites). So she is fine eating 4 ounces of fish on top of a bed of veggies; or marinated chicken strips with homemade tzatziki sauce with olives, tomatoes and broccoli. This helps too!

I'll try not to stay away so long this time. Hope everyone is doing well! I appreciate the emails and comments reminding me to come back here! :)

Friday, July 13, 2007

Captain, We Have Restriction!!!

I'm so happy, oddly, that I barfed up my dinner last night. I really thought it was still mushie enough, and well, I was wrong. But I joyfully realized that my band is back in action, and I'm grateful, relieved and really, really happy I have it! Yay! More to come! But in the days since my Tuesday fill, the scale is definitely moving in the right direction. Phew, Jenn is relieved!!

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Fill, More Fill...

Well, I got a flouro-fill a couple weeks ago only to 1.1 (outta 4.0). When I was too tight, I was at 2.0. I watched on the little x-ray screen as I drank barium (mmmm! good! ;<) and saw my band letting the liquid through. Frankly, 1.1 looked reasonable; it appeared the opening was about the size of a McDonald's straw, which makes sense.

Or not.

I found I could still eat pretty much anything, though I had cut back some, I still knew I could...and I did. So, Tuesday I went in and got another fill; this time, when she drew it out I was only at .9, which is interesting because even when I've got 4 months, I've never 'evaporated' a bit! So, I think my fill was too small (obviously). I'm now at 1.5 cc's and things are feeling more normal to me, though I'm still on liquids and mushies for another day.

In terms of my weight, I actually can't post it. It's that bad. That embarrassing. I packed it on and feel like a big fat whale. However, I also know I can fix it, and now that I know my band is more reasonably full and I'll have help, I am feeling much more hopeful of getting back to where I was - and ultimately, to the coveted-not-yet-seen 155. My nurse recommended the South Beach diet, so I'm checking that out instead of WW. I realize sugars/carbs are my downfall, (duh! ask 9 outta 10 fat people...) and South Beach mitigates that problem. So, I'm excited to get going.

The other challenge is exercise. Why is this so hard? Can someone please inject me with the exercise gene? I want to WANT to exercise, but it is so hard, each and every time - even though I know it makes me feel good, gives me good energy, and makes me lose weight. I get it. But it is a drag, trying to get back to it...

I hope I don't sound too depressed. I am actually feeling good about it all and am ready to get my ass in gear. So, more to come. And later, I'll tell you what I weighed....when I don't weigh that any more. :)

Monday, June 11, 2007

6-Month Plastics Anniversary!

Well, it's been 6 months since my plastic surgery. Here's a little update - I'll be relatively general, but am including a few details for those of you thinking or planning on plastics.

Overall, I'd say I'm 100% happy with my outcome and would do it again in a heartbeat. Let's start at the top...

My boobs are great. I love them. Truth be told, the, uh, centers don't exactly line up if I'm braless, and they never seem to ever...uh, go flat, if you know what I mean. So, a padded bra is a requirement or I feel a little naked. They themselves, overall, are very symmetrical though and a fantastic size (though, once I get my last 15-20 pounds off, I know they'll feel too small to me...but I'm used to being a DDD, not a C, barely). I can, if I'm feeling like it, go braless! This is exciting from an anti-gravity point of view. The scars are minimal and to be expected. Sometimes, if I lay on my tummy wrong, they can hurt, and the incisions sometimes still get tender when I bloat up a bit each month. I have 100% complete sensation in the chest area too. All that said, it's expected for Year 1 and ok with me.

For the lower body lift was a bigger deal and continues to be. The scar is, well, undeniable. But, again, I'll take a flat tummy with scar over the alternative any day. My hips and belly below the belly-button are still numb - expected up to 1 year. When the numbness subsides, those areas hurt for a bit, kind of achy more than anything. I still feel tight here and there, and sitting for too long in a position that puts pressure on the scar can be less than fun. Complaints? Well, I have a fairly flat butt (did before though, too - but now it's worse), my belly button is oh-so-slightly off center, and the scar is still a bit lumpy in areas (to the touch, not sight). But again, I am really not complaining in the scheme of things. I love my new body!

So, that's the update, and here's a full length photo for kicks. I still feel like a "big girl" but not a "fat girl." There is a difference! I am getting re-filled in a week or so and looking forward to lobbing off the last bit. Then, perhaps, I can focus on something else in life! Oy!

p.s. One other PS thought - I do find now I focus on the remaining fatty places, upper arms, upper back above the bra, and calves...I think we're never happy with our bodies 100%. However, I still love it more now than ever before!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lap-Banders: Do Not Try This At Home!

So, how's it going for empty-band-Jenn? Well, it's odd - to be honest. Here is the good, bad & ugly of being unfilled while traveling in Europe.

The Good
I won't lie. I'm a glutton, perhaps that's why I'm still housing a fat-girl soul...and it's been fun. Being unfilled. I've been able to be an easy travel companion (sure, a baguette sounds great!...I'll have the coke, please.), I've enjoyed the dumbest things (re: diet coke...with an egg...on an english muffin! all together! can you imagine the PB's!). It's been a joy to not be the 'difficult one' or just feel like it. And, girls, you know the first place most of us gain (and sadly lose) weight is in the chest...and I'm quite happy with the top-half of my figure! Not to be gross, but being back to uh, 'regular' in terms of elimination has been so cool...seeing that most of the time I'm not praying for world peace, I'm praying to...well, you know....go. Yeah, being unfilled is kinda cool - one of our lapbanders rights, really - "you can undo it anytime, for any amount of time, and get it back to 100%." Sure, ok. Now onto...

The Bad
I can eat anything, and at times, find my old-school voracious appetite kicks in with vigor. My God, can I eat. Even my lovely girlfriend said, "Ya know, I kind of understand now why you were fat. You seem to put on weight faster than any normal person would - and unless you're sneaking food, you're not eating that much from where I'm sitting." True. Sing it, sister. Truth is, what I consider a "huge" amount of food doesn't really map to anything egregious; it's more a comparison to what I eat when properly banded. But hey - *This is why I have the bleepin' lapband.* Even my doctor once said I was "metabolism-challenged." Awesome. Anyhow, it's easy to be 'bad' and obviously, I tried for about 33 years pre-lapband to be 'good,' and didn't succeed then either. It's not exactly workin' out for me now.

The Ugly
I feel kinda like crap, to be honest. Not physically - but emotionally. It's hard to be back onto the willpower wagon; I don't have to work this hard anymore normally. And of course, I subscribe to "Hard work is good" but you fellow WLS people know, this isn't the kinda work that feels good. It's like carrying a 20-pound boulder around in circles but never actually building anything. Futile, hard, pointless, frustrating and unsuccessful.

I'm no dummy - I got the lapband because I proved to myself, over and over, that no matter how hard I worked to lose weight, no matter how well I ate or how few calories I took in - I couldn't do it consistently (i.e. forever). And it's somewhat depressing to realize that indeed, I rely on my band, bigtime. Though, in the same breath, duh! I mean, that's what I got it for! I was smart enough to know when to 'call it' per se; to throw in the towel and acknowledge 'I need help.' Well, it's no bowl of cherries to somewhat relive that difficult, humbling, painful decision. And here I am, sitting in that thought, antsy.

That all said - around Europe we're logging about 7.5-9.5 miles of walking per day! This can't hurt. I'm compensating for it though, with wine (I'm in France, for pete's sake! When in Rome...), occasional ice cream, crepes and well, bread. Ohhhhhh bread. Anyhow, I don't feel particularly fat; Jill comments that I view myself obsessively in the mirror (that may just be vanity though...who knows :) and based on what I see and how my close fit, honestly, I feel like I've held steady. I'm guessing I'm still hanging out around/about 170-173. I have no scale, opting not to pack it :) I get home on June 13 and couldn't get in for my re-fill until June 21st.

I can't wait, actually, to have it back - truth be told. BUT, staying unfilled for this trip feels like it was the 100% right decision. I always thought I'd never be one of "those people" who got unfilled for a trip or event; and likely wouldn't have thought to had it not be necessary so close to my departure. Phew! I've not blown up like a whale, but I'll be glad when I can relax again and just get back to the rules - rules that are easier to follow with immediate consequences when I don't. Here's to gearing up for Lapband Round 2: Getting to Goal - 155, baby.

Hope you all are well!

Monday, May 21, 2007

She's Come Unfilled....

So much to report, so much space on the internet. Well that works out now doesn't it...

I don't know where to start but I will update you first on lap-band related stuff. A couple weeks ago, I gained like 4 pounds outta no where. It was weird, and concerning. Then I noticed I was PB'ing a lot. A lot. The kicker was the night that I was literally up all night with burning reflux.

Yeah, you heard me. Reflux.

Bandsters know that the lapband instantly cures reflux - so now, reflux = early slippage sign. Coupled with PB's and weight gain, I called my surgeon and went in for an unfill. My fluid was right at 2.0 cc's - and I hadn't had a fill since last summer! I guess I'm not much prone to I asked, "how much will you be putting back in?" And the nurse explained that nowadays, they leave you unfilled for 2 weeks.

So what else could I do but have a full-on panic attack and burst into tears? Fully convinced for 2-3 minutes that I'd surely explode and blow up to 262 before walking out of the office....I eventually collected myself. I agreed, fine, whatev'...I mean, she has the needle. And I can't exactly refill myself.

Next up I had to meet with Dr. Billing, my surgeon, who uttered these unexpected words, "Jenn, you're going to Europe in 3 weeks - just stay unfilled until after your trip. Eat some bread in France." Panic attack, take 2. "That's like almost 6 weeks! I'll surely blow up like a balloon." He assured me that it's ok to be unfilled for a few weeks, and that I was a good lil' patient who would likely not gain much more than 5 - 10 pounds.

FIVE TO TEN POUNDS?!?!?!?! Ok, WLS folks, you get the panic attack #3 that ensued.

But, after lots of thought, careful consideration and well, rolling the proverbial dice...I have decided to do just that: I will be unfilled a total of about 6 weeks when they fill'er back up on June 21st. And, indeed, I'll experience Europe puke-free this time. Jill & I leave on Friday! Edinburgh, Amsterdam, London & Paris (for my birthday!!)...

So how has it been? I won't lie to you:
- It sucks.
- I miss my band.
- I am indeed WAY more hungry without it.
- I am definitely eating more. A LOT MORE.
- Yeppers, weight has come back, but I'm weighing in daily and have stayed within 2 pounds of my doctor visit weight of (cringe, it almost hurts to type this) 170.
- I realize "i did the work" but I must say, the band does a shitload of it for me.
- I miss being full, and staying that way for a long time after a smallish meal.

Ok, the good, again I won't lie: I've cheerfully taken a dive in to no-lap-band-land and eaten...EGGS! Salad! Diet Pepsi. Bread, a couple times. Pizza, too many times. A burrito. I've taken big bites, and chewed poorly. I've drank giant glasses of water with food. In tandem. I've drank water to wash down the aforementioned big, poorly chewed bite, and nothing has flown back out!

Sure, it's been fun to eat the things I "can't" normally. But here are Jenn's words'o'wisdom: Don't think it's all good. I feel like shit, or, relative shit - I remember how tired I was from eating too many carbs...I've had heartburn from eating tomato sauce, oy, yeah, those were the days.

Bottom line: My lap-band RULES. I would be fat without it, as I was before, and well, as much as I'd like to not depend on it - I do. And I'll be happy to have'er back.

Here's a little update of me a few days pre-unfill:

Not the most flattering angle, but you get the gist.
Hope everyone is well! I'll be posting from across the pond, to my other Photo Blog, starting this coming weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Holy Crap!

Whoa! Have I had some serious life change since I last posted. Where do I start? Ok, first, everything is ok!

Yesterday was my last day at my job - my job of 10 years! I worked (as most of you know) for Adobe Systems. It was time, and I am now happily unemployed! I will be posting more now that I'll have time on my hands. Promise!

Update on WLS stuff - so, with all the transition going on, I decided to sit steady at 163-165 pounds. I'll write more on this later, but I was killing myself and it was just too much stress. I hit my 3-month plastics anniversary this past weekend, and I have my formal appointment next week. Here are a few shots of me now!The one of me and a bowling ball was taken by a tipsy friend, but I was surprised to just see my body - it still shocks me! The other is me at my desk, on my 2nd to last day. More soon!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Lap-bandin', Weight-Watchin'...

Tuesday, I went to my surgeon's Lap-Band support group for the first time in ages. I'm reminded that it is just so individual, the experience we have with our bands. One woman said, "I feel like I am on a diet every day for the rest of my life..." and there were nods around the room. Another piped up and said, "Wow, my experience is the opposite - I don't feel like I'm dieting at all!" I'm in the camp of the latter (yay!)...though, lately, I am on a diet everyday actually - but that's not about the band. It's more about me getting back to center on calorie intake, healthy habits and awareness.

Which leads to me how the WW'ing is going: Good! I weighed in this morning at a spry 163.8 - that's almost 2 pounds in 10 days! In 1.8 more pounds, I hit 100!! I mean considering how stuck I was feeling, it's amazing if you just (duh!) restrict your calories a little, exercise a little, drink more water and be loses weight. ;) Seriously though - the biggest changes for me are:

1) I'm drinking my water - 64 oz. (8 - 8oz servings) per day!
2) Alcohol consumption is minimal - I went out a lot and always got a drink without thinking. Now I get water a lot of the time, and when I do drink it's the low carb (re: dirty martini or red wine...) option. And alcohol is a lot of WW 'points' - most of the time I'd rather get to eat something.
3) Down with cheese! I know, this is shocking because I'm such a huge, huge fan of cheese. I will report I've not bought any 'nice' french or other cheeses since I started. Rather, I'm eating those silly little Laughing Cow "light" rounds. They're tastey, and 50 calories (1 point).
4) Portion Control: Yes, this is an issue even with a lapband. Somehow, I can easily chow down 1/2 c of almonds, for example. One (2-point) serving is 12 almonds. That is not 1/2 cup for sure...that 1/2 cup has about 3x the calories!

I've been walking about 1 hour/day again - I just dig it! I will work in the gym, etc. as needed, but to be honest, I lost the bulk of my weight getting up at 6:15 a.m., walking from about 6:20 - 7:20 each day, and then getting to work by 8:00 - done with the exercise (check!) and energized to boot. So, as long as I lose, I'm gonna stick to exercise I actually enjoy, rather than forcing myself into activities that feel emotionally hard...until I need to in order to lose, anyhow.

In other quick news, I had my "scar treatment" appointment with my PS yesterday. I got this silicone stuff to wear for 3 months (!!!) 20 hours/day. It's a nuisance to be honest but they've been right about everything else so far. I still get tight in my abdomen if I sit for a long time, and that left side - boy - they sewed that up teeee-ight! Sometimes I still get that "I'm gonna split in two" spasmy feel, but it passes. All in all, still 100% happy as a clam about my plastics! At 8 weeks, I can do a sit-up, and start going to yoga again. I may also try pilates - Jill is a big, big fan, and I figure, why not try something new?

Sorry for the absence and slow updates. I'll try to do better next week!

Monday, January 22, 2007

WW to Finish!

Just wanted to let you know that I signed up for Weight Watchers online in an effort to lose my last 11-15 pounds. Actually, it set my goal at 150, and today I weighed in at, I'm aiming for a 16.6 loss and we'll go from there.

It's super cool in that it gives not only a way to track food intake, but little checkboxes for water, veggies/fruit servings, vitamin, etc. so you can also track healthy habits (which I'll admit, have been a struggle for me...can't seem to get a vitamin down the hatch to save my life!). I realize that while I've lost all this weight, there are other aspects of having a healthy body besides being at a "normal" weight. For example, I'm still eating too much of some things for a healthy heart (yeah, yeah, the cheese...), using artificial sweetners/chemicals as a crutch (crystal light...), and not getting in many fruits & veggies (and then complaining about my...uh, fiber-challenged body).

Anyhow, now with the clearance to exercise again, a 2nd wind (so to speak) from my joy around my post-plastics bod, I'm gunning it to my end-goal! My weigh-in day is Monday, and I'm going to post it here, too - even if it's ugly.

This entry is mostly to ask for accountibility from all y'all...but also a little pitch to those of you who may need a similar mechanism to continue your own weight loss. So, if there's any appeal, consider signing up - you get a week for free, and then it's $65 for the first 3 months. I chose the "flexible" plan where you count points (you all know how i love to track stuff) - but there is one with "no counting" as well! I figure, I paid thousands for my lap-band; another $65 toward the effort is a drop in the bucket...and I know that for me, structure yields the best results for my body (and soul, for that matter).

So here's a link. If you sign up, let me know! It's interesting balancing and integrating general weight loss philosophy/rules with the lap-band rules - it's completely doable - and I'd love some other folks who are working through the same adjustments to swap ideas, successes and failures:

Thanks for all of your love & support down to 166.6 - here's to finishing!

Sunday, January 21, 2007


Hi everyone! First, I wanted to thank so many of you who have written such nice comments to me lately :) They make me smile, and also happy that I blog!

What do I have to report? Not too much, really. Still healing along - I'm allowed to work out (no impact) but have been going to the gym and doing stairs or elliptical or walking (outside) everyday. My weight is still where it was, but I have to be patient - I did have 13 pounds lobbed off, and then dropped another 4-5 during recovery - that's a good month's work. I just need to sit tight, but I'm anxious about the last 11 pounds...

I'm wearing 12's that are big on me, which is cool. I'm still swollen, but in a way that is normal and expected. I had to go to Portland for work and on the drive home I could feel myself swelling up! I got home and my loose jeans had become tight - so I'm trying to keep moving and yet, not overdo it...all in all though, I'm still kickin' along, getting my energy back, etc.

Last - can I rant? I yet again ran into someone who made the reference that people who lose weight without WLS "work their asses off to lose weight" as if we don't! GRrrrrrrr! Like, last time I checked, everyone I know who's had WLS has um, worked. Just a little bit. No? Really now...

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Bad Jenn!

Where did I go? I don't know, but once I was freed from the couch seems I've neglected my blogging responsibilities! So, let me catch you up...

Once the drains were out, I puffed up like a little sausage. Not fun! And since, I've learned that when skinny people PMS, the bloat is not only noticeable, it's undeniable! I think when I was fat, and extra inch or two of bloat was hardly noticable - now, it means a different pair of pants need to be put on. I look like I'm three months pregnant! That said, at my follow-up appointment, Melissa quickly determined that it was indeed just swelling and no fluid retention, which in the realm of medicine, is good news. I was kinda hoping she could just make it go away. Alas...two months before the swelling is gone.

I was overdoing it. Imagine. So Jill whisked me away to a no-internet-no-cellphone space so I'd chill and be ready to go back to work - which happened this past Monday. I had to hold still and lay on my back for 3 days after the drains came out, and to be honest, restful days = less puffy days.

Last weekend, I had the amazing experience of shopping with the lay people - normal sized clothes people. First, I didn't spend a lot - it's like I have a little innertube around my waist where my incision is...I'm a size 12 with it, and expect to be a 10 without it - plus I have 11 pounds to, I went to Tar-gay, and Macy's sale rack, and the JC Boutique (that's Penney's). I spent not much, and rounded out enough of a woredrobe to go back to work. My sister and I were across the hall from one another trying on clothes for the first time in our lives!

Earlier in the week, I needed undies...Jill and I went to the mall and I walked by some place that said, "5 for $25 Undies" and my hips were killing me and I was like, "perfect!" so we went in, I picked 4, she picked one...then I saw sale bras. As of drains-out day, I was allowed to remove the chest binder! Bras, provided no underwire or push-ups, were permitted so I grabbed two "sports bras" that actually look like regular bras! Then, I was like, "Jill, what is this store? Where are we??" She said, "Uh, Victoria's you not see all of the "VS's" all around??" I realized I'd never been in one. Funny! I went back with my sister Julie and got a few more.

Otherwise, I also accomplished clearing out every single article of clothing now too big. Every drawer, closet, on-the-floor-under-the-bed piece of clothing was tried on. I got rid of undies, bras, pants galore and some shirts. I let it all go! It felt great!!!

Lastly, getting back to work has been rougher than expected. First, sitting/being mobile all day is a switch. Using my brain in such a different capacity for 8 hours in the same day has proven exhausting (yeah, my job, as it turns out, is more challenging than surfing the web, watching Arrested Development and sleeping...). And, the swelling is not as tolerable when you have to sit up all I've been doing some good working from home, lying on my couch, laptop propped up on pillows on my belly. Gettin' it done, but feeling a little stressed and overwhelmed - it wasn't the piece of cake I'd hoped it would be, but I'm sure it's more the transition/adjustment than the actual work.

Overall, I'm still 100% delighted with my outcome! My chest is in good order, I've had minor incision pain for the first time (at 4 weeks...weird!) but usually only after I've gone braless for a bit - so I keep a sports bra, or the little t-shirty bra from target on and all is well. My waist is swollen in the front (have I mentioned that???) and across my hips in a bumpy way; I am to massage it whenever I think I do. It's not the most fun thing but hey, in the realm of recoveries, I cannot complain! The incision itself is symmetrical, healing well, and I am I truly happy about it.

Sorry for the hiatus, getting back to life again zapped my energy and time! I'm going either this Friday or next for my official 1-month photos and I see the doctor himself for the first time (complication-free peeps only see the nurse, which is fine by me!).