Thursday, March 28, 2013

Hello There

Where have I been? What have I been up to? I have been busy busy. Life gets in the way of life.
No fills in a very long time.   ti.e.I get stuck every other day. No rhyme no reason.
No weight loss. I lose and gain the same 10 lbs.
I don't need a fill. I assume its because I don't eat enough protein. Who knows.
May will be 3 years since my life changed forever. I don't regret any of it. How can I regret losing 130+ lbs?? That would be silly.
I need to do something to jump start my weight loss. Not sure what though.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

the tortoise or the hare?

When I first got banded I was definitely the hare. The weight was flying off. My doctor had given me the goal of 120lbs over 3 years. I surpassed that within a year and a half I had lost 125 lbs. Then the tortoise caught up because the hare was worn out.

With my band problems I had an unfill and started all over again only this time the hare could not get their second wind.  Slowly I have been struggling. Very slowly. I am just now where I was before the unfill give or take a pound or two after more than 8 months.

The past week or so my eating has been less and no real issues eating like it has been. It's a good thing. I am swelling though. When the swelling goes down my weight usually is down a bit. Small baby steps now.

I am sitting here right now trying to choke down Greek yogurt. That is some nasty stuff. It is thick and it makes my tongue pucker. It is tart. I have the Chobani apple cinnamon. It tastes a little okay when I get the fruit but then comes the pucker. I have a hard time with it. At 13g of protein I need to learn to tolerate it. It is a good protein source especially if I were having a hard time swallowing solid food.

Speaking of protein, Ensure Muscle Health, it's not just for the elderly anymore. Good protein source and the strawberry is pretty tasty. So is chocolate. I put them in the freezer to get them slushy. Takes care of my dessert fix not to mention refreshing on a hot day.

So whether your weight loss is the tortoise or the hare, doesn't matter. In the end, just keep going cause some days you will be the hare but most days you will be the tortoise.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

A Band-tastic Week!

Well, I must admit I have not been able to say that in a really long while. And it has been a really good week! Here's the lowdown. We went on vacation the week before and I was stuck daily. Much the same as has been over the last month or so. It was a difficult vacation. I ate very little because there's wasn't much I could eat. Oddly enough the only food I could eat was Cheetos.

Well, we came back and I had actually gained weight. I was so frustrated. Then I go back to work and find out my boss had resigned the day before. I thought to myself, this is going to be a really bad week. It was in a way. There was a lot going on at work besides that and it was really stressful. That translates into stress and severe band tightness. Not so much this time. Yes I am beyond confused. But I am not going to try and understand.

That being said, I had a good food week, well a good eating week. I didn't get stuck for days. When I did I immediately knew it was because I waited too long to eat. Before I would get stuck even if I didn't wait too long between meals. It was so nice to eat small amounts and not have a bad experience.

I have given up the Cheetos. For lunch I would eat a lettuce leaf with a little mayo spread on it then I rolled a slice of deli roast beef up in it. Delish, protein packed. I had that most days this week for lunch. Dinner was eating out most days. We had football and volleyball all week. I ate small amounts of foods.

The best news ever is....drum roll please....I have lost weight! I am finally down to the weight I was back when I had to get the unfill in December, actually 1 pound less than that. I am super excited. I only hope this continues.

This morning I made a quiche. Sausage and swiss. Protein.  I ate a small slice and am completely full. Almost too full. Glad I didn't overdo it.

So here's to a fabulous week I had even though it was stressful. I hope next week is just as good.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Crazy mixed up

After weeks and weeks of not being able to keep solid food down most days, I have been able to eat the past two days. Why? Heck if I know. Now don't get me wrong, I can't everything but I am eating more/better whatever you want to call it. I made tatertot casserole. Super Simple and is band friendly for me. Well right now anyway. Easy recipe that can be tweaked per family likes. Tatertot Casserole 2-3 lbs ground beef 2 cloves minced garlic 1 small diced onion 1/2c diced green pepper salt/pepper to taste 1 can cream of celery 2 cans cream of chicken 1/2 c shredded cheese Brown ground beef with onion, garlic and green pepper. Drain. Add salt and pepper, a can of cream of chicken and can of cream of celery. Mix well. Spoon into 9x13 pan. Mix can of cream of chicken with 1 can milk. Top beef with even layer of tater tots. Pour soup on top. Cover with foil. Bake at 400 for 30-45 minutes. Uncover and top with 1/2 shredded cheese. Bake until melted and lightly browned. Today I made fall off the bone tender baby back ribs in the oven no less. I was able to eat 3 ribs. I also made slow cooked green beans. 1/2 c of those as well. It was a good eating day for me. I wonder how much I will pay in the weight department? Tender Baby Back Ribs 1 rack of baby back loin ribs BBQ rub favorite BBQ sauce or make your own Dry ribs. Run knife under the membrane on the back of the ribs. Grab with paper towel and pull the membrane off. Pat down the ribs with paper towels. Sprinkle generously with the rub. Wrap in plastic wrap and put in fridge for at least 2 hrs. Take out and let set until room temperature. Preheat oven to 300. Tightly wrap rack in foil and place on cookie sheet. Cook in oven for 2 hours. Open foil and baste with BBQ sauce. Wrap tightly again and put back in the oven for another hour. Open foil, baste again with BBQ sauce and leave foil open. Place back in oven and cook another 15-30 minutes until sauce is carmelized. Let rest and cut ribs. So anyone want to take bet on whether I will be able to eat tomorrow? The odds are against me since I haven't been able to eat much for weeks. I have probably eaten more yesterday and today than I have total in the last few weeks. Vacation time is coming up. You know what that means? Bathing suit. YUCK!! I have gotten no sun so far this summer. I am white as a ghost. My hubby and kids are super tan already because they have been going swimming. I refuse to go because it is in my neighborhood and I would die a thousand deaths if anyone I knew saw me in a bathing suit. I have anxiety just thinking about it. Hence the reason I will be going out of state to go swimming to the beach. Sad isn't it? That body image is real and I don't think it will be going anywhere anytime soon. So stats...I had lost 125 lbs but in December 2011 I had an unfill and gained 25 lbs. I have lost 18 lbs of those pounds. 7 to go and I will be back to where I was prior to the unfill. This has been a struggle both physically and mentally. Clothes wise, I was in a tight 30/32 pant and a 4x-5x top at the time of my surgery in May 2010. I am now in a size 18 pant and 1x (18-20) top (sometimes an XL). Big difference. My self esteem is much higher than it was prior to surgery. I have made great strides in that department but still have a long ways to go and I have set backs along the way. I have a new job at a company I have been at for nearly 13 years. I spent more than 10 yrs in the same job but after surgery and losing weight I had the confidence to branch out and want more. I took that chance and have not looked back. I am very happy where I am. Sure there are days I am stressed and feeling bummed but doesn't everyone at some point or another? That too shall pass. All in all I am in a good place in my career. I went from being a team leader claims examiner to a software tester. Big change and a whole new life. This crazy mixed up life. I wouldn't trade it for anything. The good, the bad and the ugly. It's all part of life. How I respond to it defines the direction my life will take.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Stuck like a truck in the muck

Geez!! There are some days I wonder why in the world I got this lap band. Yeah I know why. I get all whiny when I am struggling. Wasn't this supposed to be easy peasy? Oh yeah, I had surgery. DUH!! Yeah it is a daily fight. I fight myself and my band daily or my band fights me. I really don't know anymore. Stress is my enemy and wreaks havoc on my band. Each day is a struggle to find some solid food that does not get stuck. A food works one day but not the next. Frustrating. Now I know there are reasons why I am not doing so well in the weightloss department. I don't eat small bites and I don't chew chew chew chew...I had this down pat the 1st year but this last year has been a bear. I tell myself daily slow down, small bites and CHEW!! I really don't listen to myself very well. All I hear is blah blah blah. Kind of like the teacher on Peanuts. I quit eating eggs for breakfast. I just really can't stand them right now. Not sure why. I started eating sausage gravy. I know you are sitting there saying SERIOUSLY?? and you want us to feel your pain? Gravy? Yep it is my new vice. I actually get the Tennessee Pride sausage grave in the pouch. The entire pouch is 320 calories which is a lot but holds me until lunch. Lunch today was 1/4c of left over spaghetti I made the other day. Pasta? Yeah I know. I ate it two days ago and kept it down. Today...well it came back up. Dinner was 3 small slices of smoked sausage and a salad. My snack today at work was pork rinds. The small bag was 31.5g of protein. Which is 1/4 of my daily protein goal. Drinking my cappuccino and my vitamin waters round out my day. Ensure Muscle Health protein drinks are my go to when getting stuck. I get stuck, it comes up I grab a protein drink. It is my back up plan. I even stick them in the freezer to get a little slushy. Makes it much better. If anyone has some good band friendly high protein recipes please pass them along. I am quickly running out of options.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

still hanging in

No weight lost lately. I just don't know what to do. I can't win for trying. I have noticed that the weight loss stopped when I stopped logging my food on fat secret. Hmmm...maybe? I think it is time I get back in the habit and go back in my logs to see what was working. I still can't eat much. Some days are better than others. Solid foods still present a problem. The ultimate snack right now is pork finds and Ensure muscle health protein shakes. The pork rinds are 9g protein per serving and the protein shake is 13g. I am not too tight. The problem is I am eating too fast, taking too big bites, not chewing enough. I don't know why I can't wrap my head around that fact. Two years post op and since December I have not been able to get in gear. I really have excuse not to log my food. I have the app on my phone. I can access oblige e or on my kindled fire that hubby just got me. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Difficulties abound

Well I have only lost 8 lbs since my fill. Then again I guess I could enthusiastically say I LOST 8 LBS!!
Only, I feel like I should have lost more. I have been struggling lately. Stress is playing a huge roll in how bad some days are.

I have had some really difficult decisions lately. One decision I no longer have to face is my friend at work wanting me to go to lunch with her daily. Not an issue any longer. Unfortunately she was let go. It was a major shock as she was formerly my boss and we have worked together for 12 years. I have stressed over worrying about her. I have stressed because I am being tapped to replace her, more in a bit on that. I am stressed because my current job has picked up immensely.

Because of stress there are very few foods I can eat. I don't believe I am too tight I truly think it all has to do with stress. I am trying daily to eat solid foods. Right now I can't eat pork, chicken, steak and some ground beef. I can't eat meatloaf at all. I get stuck big time. What I can eat is fast food. Go figure and when you are desperate you will try anything. I can eat Skyline chili and McDonald's Angus deluxe snack wrap. I can eat grilled burgers at home as well. No bread of course but I am thinking I could make my own snack wrap. The snack wrap is a small tortilla, 1/2 burger, cheese slice, lettuce, mayo and mustard. McDonald's adds tomato and onion which I don't like. I am drinking Ensure Muscle Health. It has 13g protein in each little bottle. The chocolate and the strawberry are pretty good. My other staples are scrambled eggs, cereal, cheese and panino (mozzarella and prosciutto rolled up).

Now back to my stress. I mentioned they are tapping me to replace my friend as she trained me and I am up to date on all information / procedures related to this client. I reluctantly applied after pressure. I had an interview on Friday and came away not wanting that job at all. The manager asked me on a scaled of 1 to 10 where was I with wanting this job. I said maybe pushing an 8. I have severe reservations. When I took the job I have now last year I was beyond excited. I was grinning from ear to ear. I test software.It is what I have a knack for and what I love doing. I am working on my degree in information technology so this is where I need to be. I am wanted for the job because of my knowledge and the client knows me. I absolutely do not want it. I felt I should not proceed on with the interview process. It isn't fair to anyone if I continue on and then decline should an offer be made. So I withdrew. Hopefully this won't bite me in the butt.

Today has been a particularly bad band day.  I have tried numerous things to eat but nothing stays down. I tried meatloaf for lunch and got stuck and slimed. It came up. I waited an hour and tried again. Same outcome. I waited then tried to drink Ensure. It got stuck and came back up. I then thought maybe it is spasms again in my throat. So I fixed some really hot cappuccino. I sipped on that then all of a sudden my tongue and throat tightened up. I RAN for the bathroom and barely made it.

I waited and nibbled on crackers. I know what you are thinking after all that certainly I can't eat a cracker. Yep it went down and stayed down. I ate a slice of cheese on crackers. Kept it down. Go figure. I just don't understand it.

It is July 4th, a holiday, my off day. Happy 4th of July everyone!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

So sick of the hot flashes

If the hot flashes must come can't the other part just leave? I am entering menopause or some stage or form of it. Each month a few days before my week of 'bliss' begins, I have severe hot flashes. The kind that lasts non stop and soaks me completely. Then as soon as I start, the hot flashes dissipate but are replaced by Earth shattering cramps. I mean labor-pain like cramps. That lasts a few days then over the next few days it all tapers off. To top it off I not only bloat I float the whole boat. Then if that wasn't bad enough my band is that much tighter, so the past few days has been nearly impossible to eat. Plain old applesauce gets stuck. Not the chunky applesauce either.

Every day something if not most things I eat end up coming back up because of sliming due to the excess tightness from my blissful week. This morning I ate soft scrambled egg with a wedge of laughing cow. I went to work and all along felt it just sitting there in my chest but didn't have sliming. I went to a meeting and came back to my desk and then it hit me. The sliming started and I got up to go down to the other end of the building almost to the bathroom. I barely made it in the stall before I lost it. It was over 2 hrs after I ate that it came back up.

One thing you should know is that I continue to try and eat when that happens. I don't want to be malnourished. Lunch time came around and I took the advice of another WLS blogger and went to Chick fil a and got a kids meal. The grilled chicken nugget meal with applesauce and chocolate milk. The nuggets were more like a thin grilled chicken breast that was ripped apart into 'nuggets'. I ate three of them with a little chick fil a sauce. I saved the applesauce and milk. Advice, go through the drive thru since then they don't look at you funny when you order a kids meal and you don't have a kid with you. Most places don't honor the lapband card to get a smaller portion or kids meal.

Dinner was a cup of meat chili with cheese and sour cream. I ate 3/4 of that and it was touch and go there for a while. I finally ate the applesauce and drank the milk.

That is the extent of my eating today. All in all it was a good day as I kept the majority of it down.

As I have said before, the app, calorie counter by fatsecret for Android, is AWESOME!! I keep track of my food effortlessly. Scanning the barcode is so convenient. The recipes are great. I am making Tandoori chicken this week. I really like the High Protein recipe collection. It gives me lots of ideas. It also has some protein shake recipes. Can't ask for more than that? I highly recommend it. To be able to enter my food online or on my phone and they sync up with each other is great. Coming from a person that gives up tracking food usually after a few days and now I have been tracking for nearly two weeks, it says something.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Same old, same old

My fill was last Thursday. A week later?? I have lost 5.5lbs. Yes I am happy about that but still cautious because it always starts out good and then fizzles out and the small weight loss comes back. Restriction? Yep it is still there for the most part. Oh there are some days that it seems a little more loose than others but for the most part it is holding its own. I am still rushing my food. I tend to bite off more than I can chew, literally.

I am limited on what I can eat right now. I have been eating the same foods I know I can eat but sometimes even those cause a problem. I have learned or actually realized because learned would mean I actually don't make that mistake any longer. I realized that if I wait until I am super hungry with hunger pangs and try to eat I do two things. I take too big of a bite and I barely chew. Food comes back up. Oh when will I learn?

My favorite that is so good is my roast beef roll ups. Private Selection Super thin deli roast beef (3), squirt a line of real mayo (.5 tsp) top with a super thin slice of boars head horseradish cheddar. Roll it up. YUM! I eat it with a knife and fork cutting tiny bites.

I don't eat many vegetables and when I get a recent fill I don't have room for anything other than the protein so I am now incorporating grated cauliflower in my ground beef. It literally disappears so it gives me a little veggie. Not much but a tid bit.

The app I downloaded for my android phone, Calorie Counter by Fatsecret, is awesome! It keeps track of my foods and weight and charts it. It has a really nice recipe section that has TONS of recipes including high protein recipes even categories based on certain diets. It is synced to the website so you can access it online or by your phone. I can track my weight and look back and see what I was eating when I lost weight versus what I was eating when I gained.

Found a BAD BAD treat that is really good. I debate telling you because you want to avoid it but it is soooo good. Do you like girl scout cookies? Well, Nestle Crunch has girl scout bars. Yep. They have peanut butter, chocolate mint and caramel & coconut. Yes they taste exactly like their counterparts. They have the limited time GS on them. There are two little bars in there so I have one and share the other or save it for another day.

What I need to work on for this week? Still need to work on pre-planning and portioning out my foods. I need to clean out my fridge and start cooking for the week for my meals that way when I cook the family's meals I can just pull out mine and heat it up. Easier said than done.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Day 2 post fill

Well, for some reason I thought I would wake up this morning and the restriction would be gone. You know, you get a fill and there is some swelling around the band and the next day the swelling goes down and voila you are no longer restricted. Not so today. So here is to day 2.

I am between mushies and solids today. I have Boars Head prosciutto panino (prosciutto rolled in mozzarella) and cut three slices for my meal. Yes really, that is all I can eat and that takes me about an hour. It has 7g of protein per slice so that is 21g in three little slices. I take a few bites then rest. I am focusing on going slow, slow, slower.

I also ate some chili last night and did well with it. Again a bite or two then rested till it went completely 'down'. Today I got skyline chili, no pasta. Taking my time and it is soupy but thickens up as it cools and the meat is so small that I don't get stuck yet it is filling.

Have you ever noticed how pre-band when you were full it felt like a rock was in the bottom of your stomach weighing it down but after the band, fullness feels like a rock sitting on the top part of your stomach and back filling into your throat. I literally can 'see'/feel where the stoma is just by the fullness feeling.

I spent yesterday getting reacquainted with my band because I kept trying to eat too fast, too big of a bite, big gulps of drink. All big no, no's. Today it is much slower. I am trying to think how I will incorporate that into my lunches during the work week. I only have an hour and if I go home that gives me less time to eat because of the driving time. If I stay at work and eat then I can't relax and people are there talking to me. I am still trying to figure out that one.

Now I have spent some time reading other's blogs and they are getting me back in the right frame of mind. Found some great recipes for cauliflower, thanks!
I also found some good apps on my android phone to track my foods. My favorite right now is Calorie Counter by fatsecret. I can track my food, exercise, weight and it includes recipes. I found some more great ones for cauliflower. For instance, did you know that you can grate cauliflower and it is similar to rice? My favorite foods include cabbage rolls but they are made with rice which gives me trouble. I found a recipe that uses grated cauli instead of the rice in the meat mixture. I am super excited to try this one.

Ok here is a dilemma. Tomorrow is yard sale day for the neighborhood. I have lots of big clothes. Do I put them in the yard sale? I actually feel embarrassed that I was that big and I don't want my neighbors to see exactly what sizes I wore, yeah I know they saw me big but it is different when they know your clothing size. At least it is in my mind. I am still debating this one. I mean what are the odds that someone that large will come to my yard sale? I have clothes from sizes 24-32 in pants and 2xl - 5xl in shirts. I even have a winter coat that is a 5x.

Well, tomorrow I am grilling rosemary ranch chicken kabobs for dinner. I may make a cauliflower dish too. I need to have backups in case the main dish is too much for my stoma to handle right now.