Saturday, March 29, 2014

Boudoir Photos

You all asked, so I'm sharing a few. They aren't too too naughty.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Weigh in Wednesday- 19 month edition

I'm not even going to try to lie and say this doesn't feel good.
 
Highest recorded weight was 344.4. But, I do know that I saw the 350's on a few occasions that I refused to write down.  I've come a long way.
 
It has been 19 months since surgery and regardless of my decision to revise, weight loss surgery has been the best decision of my life and one of the things I'm most proud of. I have a lot in my life to be thankful for and proud of my hard work, but nothing makes me feel as good physically as losing 1/3 of my body weight!
 
 

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Protein Shakes and MyBariatricPantry.com Review

It's been a while since I told you all that I ordered lots and lots of protein shake samples to see if I could become a protein shake girl.... and guess what?!

I think I am!

I think I love protein shakes!

My favorites so far:

Matrix Peanut Butter Cookie
Matrix Bananas and Cream
Matrix Mint Cookie

I even got Christy hooked on these, same exact flavors too!

I mix each of them with unsweetened almond milk (only adds 30 cals for a whole cup!).  I like to mix in PB2 (awesome product-check it out if you don't know what it is) to the Banana flavor, or SF Torani Chocolate Syrup to the Banana or Peanut Butter flavors.  The Mint Cookie shakes need nothing added to them.  They're amazing as is.  I could live off of these shakes.... oh wait.  After revision, I'm going to for a while.

As for MyBariatricPantry, we've had a little rough start due to some shipping issues that were out of their control, but I've heard such great things about them that I'm willing to give them another chance.  Plus, their customer service has been awesome.  When I contacted them to tell them I hadn't received my (second) order, they sent it FedEx, next day delivery, and included some free samples of the Nectar protein.

I love to pay it forward, so I'm sending those free samples to a friend in Germany.  She is lactose intolerant and has told me how difficult it is to find lactose free protein, and Nectar just-so-happens to be, so I want to share.  It feels really good to do something nice for someone :)

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Starting the Approval Process....Again

I've put off writing this blog for most of the evening.  A part of me feels like a failure for what I'm about to write.  Another part of me feels like I'm letting down those of you who've told me I have inspired you.  But I need to make this about me, and only me.

This morning a light bulb went off in my head.  It was a combination of a costly dental appointment this morning and some emails with Sheila.  I realized I don't want to do this lap band follow-up for the rest of my life...for hopefully another 50ish years?!  In my 18 months post-op, I've had close to 30 adjustments!  Sheila used the phrase 'one and done' in her first email to me yesterday when describing the sleeve, and that's what I want.  I don't want to sacrifice financially as well as my time for this band anymore.  

That's why I decided to ask my PA today about revision to VSG...the sleeve.  I'm surprised because last weekend I was worrying she would say that was a better option than the plication (with band), and now here I am not even asking her about the plication!  Then this morning I was worried she would not want to do revision.  I have heard of doctors who think if you 'fail' at one, you'll 'fail' at them all.

Regardless, I haven't failed.  And she is completely on board with revision to VSG.  Her only concern was that insurance will have trouble covering it.  Luckily, I've already done the research and talked to my insurance company.  Here are my criteria for revision of bariatric surgery:

1)  Complications with the primary surgery
2)  Initial procedure was successful prior to complications
3)  The patient has been compliant with a prescribed nutritional and exercise program

Check. Check. Check.

So hopefully it won't be a problem and I will be approved.

If I'm not approved, it wont be the end of the world.  I'm still going to get to my goal with the band or with VSG, it just will take me longer and with A LOT more follow-up if I keep this band.

With all that being said, I just want to tell you all that I still believe in you all.  I still believe in this band.  I still can't wait for you all to get to your goal, and I will still be watching and cheering you on.  And I'll still be blogging and doing this with you--just in a different way.  The truth is I definitely would not be considering revision right now if my band hadn't malfunctioned and I need to have some type of surgery to repair it anyway.  I hope you all understand and support that, I know most of you will because you've been such an amazing support system for me over the last 18 months, words can't even convey how thankful I am to call you all friends!

I will start my first steps to insurance approval at my next office appointment on April 1.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Mother Nature

I've been struggling this week.

First Monday morning, I was up 2 pounds from the day I proclaimed my 15 pound weightloss by May 4.  For some reason, until just now, I was sure it was 3 pounds.  But it's 2.

I was pissed.

I mean, I NEVER set strict short term goals, and the one time I do, I promptly go in the wrong direction.  So, now I have 17 pounds to lose by May 4.

Then, I can't eat.  My band has suddenly tightened up!  Like nobody's business.  I had to eat my yogurt sooo slowly it wasn't even funny.  I PB'd creamed spinach and mashed sweet potatoes.  WTH.

So I mentioned it to a few banded friends who went through the usual list of things that make us gain weight/give us restriction.

Stress?  What do I have to be stressed about?  Life at the new job has been great.
Can't be that.

Period?  Nope, I don't really get one of those.
Can't be that.

Then Monday night I went to bed and had dreams I was in pain in the uterus region.  A period is less common than a kidney stone for me, so I was dreaming about kidney stones!  When I woke up I just had that achey "oh crap, I'm getting my period" feeling.

Bingo.

A few hours later, I was spotting.  Now it all makes sense.  No wonder I can't eat anything and my weight is up.

Hopefully the weight will disappear after this is over.

P.S. Mother nature couldn't have actually had a period herself or she wouldn't have cursed us with this!!!
No Lie, I swear to you I opened this Yogurt RIGHT AFTER publishing this blog and this was what the lid said.  Is Mother Nature laughing at me?!? 

Monday, March 17, 2014

Revision Consideration?

First let me say that this decision is in no way a reflection of how successful or not I feel that I've been.

Not trying to toot my own horn or anything, but I think I've done great with my Lap Band friend.  108 pounds lost in this 18 months together.  Sometimes she and I don't get along because she can be a fickle little bitch, but overall, we've really connected.  I learned to chew chew chew, take smaller bites, what I can and can't eat.  It's been a beautiful union, and I think my decision, when I made it, was the right decision for me.

Do I think I can get to my goal with this band?  Hell yes I do!

So what's the problem?

It seems more and more insurance companies are having issues with the band or WLS in general.  They don't want to cover this or that, and those of you who are banding can understand that the lap band is a LOT of follow up.

It is for any banded person, but especially for me with my leaking port.

When I was in the process of accepting my new job, I did some insurance research and was thrilled to find that UHC is a decent company for WLS care.  AWESOME!

Until I get here and find out that my company has specifically excluded WLS from their plan.

WTF.

So... my solution?  I've chosen that for the rest of 2014, I will purchase insurance outside of my company.

$334/month.

That's not chump change people.

So what does that mean? 

I NEED to be at goal by the end of 2014.  I need my band to require less aftercare for financial reasons.

So, my port needs to be replaced.  I already need surgery.  I guess the question will be what kind of surgery.

My options right now are to replace my port and have plication done at the same time.  I actually wanted this when I was originally banded but my WLS office did not have IRB approval for it at the time.  They just received approval quite recently (less than 3 months ago).  For anyone who doesn't know what plication is, they fold the stomach on top of itself under the band, which creates a "sleeve-like" effect.



Option number two would be complete revision to VSG.  I think I'd prefer the band plus plication right now, but I will talk to my PA and get her opinion. 

I don't think a complete revision to RNY would be available to me right now due to the amount of weight I've already lost.  I'm not sure my BMI would be high enough. Current BMI is 35.1.

I guess I will have more information after Thursday, but I wanted to put all of this out there.  If any of you have input/advice, or questions I should ask my PA, I'd love to hear it!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Green Wine

I REALLY just needed some fun to remind myself of how lucky I am.

Saturday I went to a little St. Patrick's day gathering and it was everything I needed.
Fun.
Wine.
Friends.
New faces.

I had a great time and just wanted to share a few photos.
In these pictures, I feel like the new woman I am becoming for the first time in a while!

Being Silly.
Yep, that's GREEN wine!

And... being even sillier...



It was a good weekend :)

Life is good today!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Ten Things Thursday

1.  Still loving my new job, but I can tell I'm going to be busy.  But busy is good!

2.  I haven't had time to do my usual at work blog reading.  Do any of you use an app on your phone to read blogs?  I need one, and would love a suggestion on which one is good.

3.  I'm retaining water something serious.  :(

4.  I've been going to the morning bootcamps and that trainer is just not as hard.  Last night I planned my evening around making it to the 6:45pm bootcamp so that I could see my friend who is the owner/evening trainer.  She really kicked my butt.  I was sweating in a way I haven't in a while.

5.  I found the most awesome strapless bra at Lane Bryant.  Although most of their clothes are too big now, I still need them for bras.  I got measured again and am a 38DDD.  I didn't want to believe it so I tried the 38D and there was no way in hell.  The 38DDD strapless was PERFECT.  It supports and lifts and does all the wonderful things a regular bra does. I could wear it on an every day type basis honestly.

6.  This company loves bread too.  Sandwiches and bagels, oh my.

7.  On Tuesdays and Thursdays they pop popcorn for the employees.  I went to check it out Tuesday and found out they only use coconut oil to pop, no butter or salt.  It's an 'add your own' toppings type popcorn.  Maybe my band will tolerate popcorn.  Haven't really tried it much in the last 18 months.

8.  I'm having lunch today with my manager- who is also the Director of my department.  At lunch I plan to tell her about my WLS because it's just too hard to hide.

9.  Speaking of, yesterday, I had my first coworker ask if I had gastric bypass.  After seeing some old pictures I hung in my cube and then realizing I had nothing but protein shakes and yogurt yesterday (she sits beside me) she put 2 and 2 together and just asked.  I told her I had the band and she wanted to chat about it.  Once one person knows, everyone knows.  Le sigh.

10.  I have a little instagram crush on a WLS guy.  I am not the kind of girl to get internet crushes, but this guy is so nice and positive and his WLS journey has been so inspiring to me.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

First Day Flutters

I know I may be a little late to the game, but a HUGE congratulations to Luka for new opportunities ahead as well as personal and career growth.  I'm so proud of her courage to pursue greater opportunities!!

I woke up this morning excited to start my new job.  I didn't feel stressed, but it was not possible to even keep my coffee down!  So I tried but gave up after several PB episodes.  Instead of making a shake for the drive as I'd planned, I threw a Matrix Bananas and Cream and a Protizyme Peanut Butter Cookie Protein serving in my purse for later.  No other snacks as usual, I guess I wasn't thinking.

The drive to the office wasn't nearly as bad as I'd expected.  I had given myself an hour and made it in 35 minutes so I sat in my car talking to a girlfriend that I chat with on most drives into work.  When I walked in, I was surprised to find I was in orientation all day with four remote employees for most of the day.  I hadn't been warned of this.  Since they were remote employees, they got laptops (I didn't) so most of the information was irrelevant to me.  I was bored out of my mind and my body was sore from bootcamp yesterday so it was tough to sit still for hours on end!

Although I wasn't thrilled to sit there with nothing to really do, I was impressed with the company's training, organization, Sharepoint site, and IT personnel automatically.  That's a great sign because all of those factors were disappointments at my last company from the very first day.

By 10am, I had to drink my protein shakes because I was famished.  But the 230 calories those two shakes provided just didn't sustain me!  When lunch came, it was a sandwich platter.  I was unaware that lunch would be provided and I would be unable to leave.  So I had no idea what to do!  I improvised.

I immediately threw out the bread, lettuce, and tomato slice.

I cut up my turkey and cheese in fine slices, and gutted two pickle slices to take them out of the skin and chopped them finely.  I then added a packet of mayonnaise because my band doesn't like dry meat.  I essentially made turkey salad :)  It was yummy but  by the time I got home from my very long day, I definitely over ate because I was just far too hungry.  Not bad choices, just probably too much.



The end of my day, I spent exploring the SharePoint site and making my official company CV.  Tomorrow I will get to explore my protocols and write a biography that they will use in proposals to "sell my skills" to clients.

I don't know much yet, but I do know I am the Lead Clinical Data Manager for 3 small studies.  All three studies are Oncology, already built, enrolling patients, and just need me to maintain them.  That means a lot of reviewing data (or 'data cleaning') for now, which I think is a really good place to start.  It is a good way to learn the data management system I will be working with.  The downside, however, is that I didn't have any input in the build so I will just work with what I have.  Overall, though, I think this is a really positive thing.  I think it can be an awesome learning experience if I use it as such, and that's my plan!

I'm exhausted from my first day, and ready to get to bed!

Goodnight Blogger Family.  Thank you for all of your love and support lately.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Birthday Goal

I VERY rarely set a timed goal.  At the end of 2013, it felt like a big deal to say I was getting to onederland (my goal) in 2014.

But here I am ready to make an even shorter-term goal.

I want to lose 15 pounds before my 26th birthday.

That means I need to lose 15 pounds in 8 weeks.  CAN I do it?  Yes!  It will be hard, but I'm going to bust my ass between now and then so that hopefully I will see 222 or lower on my birthday!  

I went shopping today and bought a dress to match some shoes that I LOVE.  The dress is nice but will be great once I lose another 15 pounds, and if I do that, I will wear this dress on my birthday.



So I'm claiming it.

I will weigh 222 by May 4th!

Friday, March 7, 2014

Blue

I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions.  I will not eat my emotions. 

Instead I'll write about them.

I am feeling a little blue today.

I woke up crying this morning, and I didn't know why.  Then on my way to work, I thought of my friend who I have the tattoo on my neck for, who passed away two years ago and cried again.

Then upon logging into facebook, and seeing his mother's facebook status, I realized today was actually the anniversary of his death.

I miss his smile.

He had an infectious happy personality.

He was truly one of my best friends when we were younger.  We drifted apart during college but he was still one of the best platonic male friends I ever had.  I will never forget our fun times, our inside jokes that I can't share with anyone else, or our absolute inappropriateness. 

I was driving home on March 8 two years ago when I got the text that told me Tyler was gone.  I had to pull my car over on the side of the road and call a friend who was out of state.  I couldn't allow her to find out on facebook because they were also very close.  Telling her was one of the hardest things I've ever done.  I still remember sitting there shaking.

I miss you Tyler.

June 4, 1988 - March 7, 2012






Thursday, March 6, 2014

Weigh in

Minus 106.8 pounds

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Hump Day

Yesterday I was in a piss poor mood.

Went to bed early so I could wake up for the 5am Bootcamp class.  But instead of getting extra sleep, I had nightmares.

I first dreamed about being left at the altar.
Then about being tortured and raped.  I woke from this dream only to fall back asleep and resume the dream.  I woke in such a sweat that my bed was soaking wet.
Then I dreamed it was football season again.  Yes, that's a nightmare too, just not as bad.

So I drug my ass out of bed and reluctantly went to Bootcamp.

And all is well with the world.

Exercise makes me better.

Sigh, but now I'm at work, doing some mindless boring task I don't want to do.

Will I look like an asshole if I request to use my last personal day tomorrow since Monday is my last day?  Probably, but I don't care.  Fingers crossed my manager approves it.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Bottomless Pit

oh. my. goodness.

I can't stop myself from eating!

I need this stupid snow to go away!  I'm ready for spring!!!

Wanna hear what I had for dinner last night?

2 servings of pringles
2 chobani flips
1 regular fat free chobani
2 servings of gluten free rice crackers (white cheddar)
a small banana

It was snack central at my house last night.

UGH!

I'm a food addict :(
Normally I'd refer to myself as a recovering food addict.

But it seems I've fallen off the wagon.

Need.

to.

get.

back.

on.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Boudoir Shoot!

The days leading up to my Boudoir shoot yesterday, I was excited!  But then yesterday came, and I'll be honest... a little fear began to creep in.

I was afraid I would hate every photo.  I was afraid that at the end of the shoot, I would hate my body.

I got there a little early and had my hair and makeup started.  The girl who did it was amazing and so nice.  We talked and she made me feel so comfortable.  I did curly hair and dramatic makeup.  It was fun to get all dolled up, I got the girl's number so that she can do my birthday hair and makeup!

Dressing room selfie as I waited between outfit changes

The photo shoots themselves were a lot of fun.  Afterward I got to go through the photos and choose "Maybes" and "Nos" to narrow my choices.

I had 23 maybes!

Then I narrowed it to 9.  geez.... 

And finally got it down to 4.  I got 1 free edited photo, and chose to take the other 3 unedited so that I didn't have to pay crazy amounts for them.

I haven't decided yet if I will post them.  They're very tasteful and don't show much skin at all.  They'll be back in 3 weeks.  If it would offend any of you for me to post them, please let me know that!  I value your input and feedback!