Thursday, February 28, 2013

It's not really a "happy" plate

If there is one thing I've learned, this journey is all about overcoming mental challenges, changing habits and ways of thinking.  When I'm able to change those things, the rest follows.

Growing up, when I ate at my grandparents house, we were forced to finish our plates.  Nannie (my grandmother) called it making a "happy plate", and if we didn't, we were in a lot of trouble.  Leaving the table without finishing your food literally had consequences.  As a result, all of my adult life, I have done this.  In fact, I have always noticed a difference between my plate and others... my plate was really always clean when I finished eating.  No morsels to put in the garbage disposal or trash, usually nothing to rinse off before putting in the dishwasher. 

This has been an incredibly hard habit to break.  When I eat at home, I'm usually okay, because I just put a lot less on my plate and am able to finish it.  When I eat at a restaurant, this is much harder.  I know it sounds dumb, but it is just really hard to leave food on a plate.  If there's enough food to take home, that's okay, I don't feel like I'm being wasteful.  But since I often order from the kid's menu these days, sometimes it's just a few bites left and I feel GUILTY for leaving it!

I promise myself that when I have kids, I will never force them to eat after they say they are full.  I think as a kid this was my family trying to teach the kids not to put too much on our plates, but in the end, it didn't work out that way...  It was conditioning me to overeat.  I'm not blaming this for my obesity, but I'm sure it hasn't helped.  My 'sisters" grew up in the "happy plate" household too, and neither of them have ever struggled with their weight.  There is something to be said for having different genetics.

Here's a picture with my sisters last year in May, at my heaviest weight of 344.  I CANNOT WAIT to re-make this picture with a skinnier me!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday

That's a .2 pound loss since last week...guess its better than nothing...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A WLS "problem" you probably never considered

Before I start, just a disclaimer that I don't think this is a real "problem" per se, just something to think about. 

I've never been really big into tattoos.  I have always said that whatever tattoos I get need to be able to be covered by my dress on my wedding day because I am not going to be an inked up bride.

But shortly before the superbowl, I took a good friend to get a tattoo that she'd been saying she would get for some time.  Then 2 weekends ago, while my best friend was visiting for the weekend, I also took her to get a tattoo.  Both friends got their tattoos on their rib cage.  I thought this was really attractive and it gave me ink envy.

I got my first tattoo when I was 18.  It is the Tarheel foot on my foot, for the university I attended.  I got this with pride as I was the first in my family to attend/graduate from a 4 year program.  Thankfully it is on my foot so it didn't stretch with weight gain/loss.  So this was my delimma... I wanted another tattoo but it was very hard to think of a place to get one that the skin wouldn't change too drastically with weight loss and wouldn't be stretched out of shape with any lift I might want one day.  And could also be hidden while wearing a strapless top/dress.

I really wanted the rib tattoo, but I knew a lower body lift would stretch all that skin out in a way I can't even imagine what a tattoo there would look like afterward.

So I finally decided on the back of my neck.  I got lyrics from my favorite band (Shiny Toy Guns) and it is from a song that reminds me of a friend who passed away last year.  Here's a pic:
"Take me now and climb to fly to a higher place where love wont die"

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Another Fill + Adjustments

Today's Weight: 277

No change from my fill on 1/31/2012.

I was disappointed to find out this morning that my PA (Erica) who usually does my adjustments was not there.  And unfortunately, she will not be doing my adjustments for quite a while.  She's pregnant, so she can't be around the Fluoroscopy machine.  I have gotten used to her, and I also just feel that she is better at listening to me.  I can basically tell her what I want, and as long as she agrees it is medically safe, she will do it.

So now, until Erica has her baby, my surgeon Dr. Yoo will be performing my adjustments.  He had a little trouble accessing my port-- I could see the needle bending inside of me (ew!).  And he also only gave me 0.3 cc adjustment.  I am going to miss Erica for sure!  Anyway, I wont be going back again until after my trip to Europe so hopefully I will get off this plateau before my next visit.

Before going, I was really afraid of getting fussed at because I haven't lost any weight in 3 weeks.  Dr.  Yoo's response was that I have been an A+ patient, and even the most compliant patients hit a plateau.  He suggested that I switch to eating 5 small meals per day, instead of the 3 meals I've been eating to see if that helps jumpstart my metabolism.  If I haven't lost any weight by the time I go back (3/28) he said he'd like to see me for a sit-down-and-talk type appointment.  But until then, he isn't worried and told me I should stop stressing it.

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

What a difference 67 pounds makes

I try very hard to stay positive.  It has been difficult lately.  I feel like I'm struggling to lose anything.  Part of it is my fault, I only did zumba two times in the last 10 days.  But I have hardly eaten!  Honestly my band and I have not gotten along since my last fill, so I would've expected some good news.  I stayed on protein shakes for days, and avoided 'slider foods'.  I'm debating whether or not to keep my fill appointment for Thursday (I say this every time, don't I?).

Anyway, so here's the small light I finally found this morning, after days of frustration:

I was carrying my dog's food upstairs this morning.  It's  a heavy bag.  And when I got to the top of my stairs, I was definitely winded.  I looked to see the weight on the bag, 30 pounds!  THAT'S ALL?  I was out of breath from carrying 30 pounds upstairs, when previously I'd been carrying an extra 67 pounds up those stairs on my body every single day?  Wow.  So I got to thinking about it, and I feel so much better than I used to.  Everything is so much easier.  And it only gives me more hope of how much easier things will be on my body when I'm at goal, 70 pounds from now.

So I've decided to slow down.  Stop rushing. 

I have been really successful up until this point, and I'm still doing the same things, so I have no reason to believe I'm just going to stop losing weight.  Although this has been a serious fear of mine.  Does anyone else worry about the tool not doing it's job anymore?  Honestly, that is part of the reason I kept my surgery so secretive before.  I was afraid of failure.  Now that I've "come out" to people about the lap band, I guess those old fears are re-surfacing.

Friday, February 15, 2013


It's always a good idea to take some time to detox.  Sometimes I do a water/protein shake diet for a couple of days to reset my body.  But honestly, that's not the kind of detox I want to talk about today.

I think just as important for this journey as changing your eating habits, sometimes you need to change other things too.  Some of you had to quit smoking (and that's awesome that you did!), some of us had to start working out, and some of us needed to get rid of people in our lives that are just toxic!

Years ago, I dated a guy who was very obsessed with health/nutrition/working out.  You would think this would be good for me, and I guess at the time it was a motivation to get in better shape.  The problem was, he never made me feel like I was doing enough.  Things between us didn't last long, but we remained 'friends'.  I use that term loosely, because I think a friend should make you feel BETTER about yourself, not worse.

About a week after surgery, I went out with him.  That night I ended up telling him I was recovering from the surgery.  After I told him, the mood was suddenly different.  He told me that it was OFFENSIVE to him, that he has to work for his health and I bought mine.  Those were really his words.  He also said that he would never under any circumstance consider any type of weight loss surgery, even if he weighed 400 pounds. 

Well, moving forward, the other day I sent him a picture of me to show him my progress.  He didn't respond at the time, which was fine.  I'd rather him say nothing than to put me down.  But last night he finally responds that my ass is just as wide, but now flat.  Wow.

I sent him the picture originally because I wanted his validation.  I'm not sure why I thought I'd get it.  But after his rude response, I think I have realized that his opinion doesn't matter.  I don't need someone who is not even a real part of my life anymore to approve of my decision to have this surgery or of the progress I have made.

I know that I have to work at this every day, for the REST OF MY LIFE, I didn't just "pay for it" and then the weight just falls off.

So...screw what he thinks.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Happy Fat Tuesday!


Today at work, my awesome coworker made a King Cake for everyone.  I got a tiny piece to test the waters, and I was able to eat it!  So I went back for a normal size piece and I found the baby inside!  For anyone who doesn't know, finding the baby inside the king cake is good luck for the year.

Looks like it is already bringing me luck, because I was able to eat my lunch (No PBing)!  I've eaten a lot today, but I suddenly feel a burst of energy and it's great.

My stress hasn't gone away, but I did lose 2 pounds since last week (today weighing 275.2) so maybe that's what has helped me eat. 

Regardless of WHY I'm able to eat, I'm happy.  Tonight is my cousin's birthday, so we're going out for dinner.  Hopefully I'll continue to be able to keep my food down for this evening :)

Monday, February 11, 2013

How to make your band tighter/looser

The number one thing that makes my band too tight.... STRESS

Instead of needing an unfill, can someone give me something for anxiety?!  LOL

I think I've figured out that is what's wrong.  It's been 10 days since my last fill and I've eaten 5 meals successfully.  I really do not want to get an unfill, because I can eat...sometimes. 

I normally LOVE my job.  I love the people I work with.  I love what I do.  I love that my job makes a difference in sick people's lives.  But lately, I have not loved some external factors.  And I really think the stress of it is affecting my ability to eat.  I did pretty good eating over the weekend.  But then last night I started feeling somewhat anxious about this week's work and tried to eat dinner.  No solid food dinner.

On the up side... what makes my band loose?  ALCOHOL

3 of the 5 meals that I was able to eat successfully during the last week were after a few drinks.  I don't know the real reason this happens, but my educated guess is that the stomach is a muscle, and maybe alcohol allows it to relax enough that I can eat.

I've read a lot about what makes other people's bands tight/loose.  Any other suggestions on how to make me loosen up so I can eat?

While alcohol works, I can't drink at every meal just so I can eat...haha.  I think there's a word for that...alcoholism.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Weigh in Wednesday + my band is too tight

No change in my weight since Thursday.

Unfortunately, asking for an aggressive fill might have been a bad idea.  I'm unsure.  Sometimes my band is so fickle. 

Since Thursday, it has been very hard to eat, except for 2 occasions.  On Sunday, for the Superbowl, I definitely overate.  I even ate a cupcake, which completely surprised me because I can almost never eat any type of carb like that.  Then last night, I made tacos and ate 2 tacos.  Aside from those two meals though, I have PB'ed almost at every meal.

For those of you who are pre-surgery or don't know, PB stands for "Productive Burping".  I don't really think this is a good description of what I do, because a lot of times I end up sticking my hand down my throat to get rid of the uncomfortable feeling.  I'm at work right now debating which is worse-- how uncomfortable I am right now, or having coworkers hear me get sick.  It's pretty embarrassing to get sick at work... if anyone hears, they crowd around the bathroom stall until you come out so they can check on you. 

So, stick it out for a week until I've lost a couple pounds so it's a normal tightness...or go get an unfill?

Monday, February 4, 2013

It's February...

...and I'm still sticking to my New Year Resolution!  That is probably about 20 days longer than I've ever stuck to a Yearly Resolution before!  So...what was my 2013 Resolution? ..........

Yes, that's right, to take the stairs.  I actually made this resolution in 2011 and didn't stick to it.  In fact, I don't think I EVER ONCE did what I said I was going to do that year.  But this year is different.  I'm 67 pounds lighter so far, and it is A LOT easier to walk up the stairs to my desk as opposed to taking the elevator.  I was so serious about it that I've written it on my whiteboard at work where I write my weekly tasks to be completed.

Anyway, I know it is a small resolution, but I don't make big resolutions.  And little changes help :)

Also, I was looking at photos last night and wanted to share something.  Look at the difference in my face from last year to this year (sorry the photo quality on both pictures kind of sucks)....
Photo from March 2012... I cannot believe me and one other person finished all of that Sushi....
Yesterday... I think my face looks different?  A lot of people tell me I look younger.