Sunday, May 30, 2010


This weekend I dealt with a very narrow minded person who had in their mind a very distorted view of just what this band should be doing for me. They had asked me how much weight I had lost this week and I said 2 lbs. Did I get a "that's great!" or " Good job!"? Of course I didn't. The response I got was "I guess you need to go back on the liquid or puree diet." I sat there and got quiet. I started to tear up and then I got just plain mad! I told them in many unsavory terms "DON'T YOU EVER SAY THAT TO ME AGAIN!!" I also said, "I have lost 2 lbs. How much have you lost?" It was ugly. REALLY UGLY! They said that wasn't what they meant. Oh yes it was. You can't make a statement like that and mean it any other way than to say I am not losing enough weight or fast enough or the 2 lbs isn't good enough.

So here is the misconception about the Lap Band. It is NOT a magical cure. A person generally does not drop mega amounts of weight really fast. True that one can drop a good amount of weight at first if your liquid stage is long but as you introduce foods into your diet that weight loss will slow and for some stop all together. It is then that you have to find the right combination of foods and exercise to work for you.

The amount of weight you SHOULD lose with the band is 1-2 lbs per WEEK. Just with any realistic diet out there you are expected to eat a certain amount of calories and this is the standard weight loss amount per week for healthy weight loss and long term success. The band's purpose is to help with portion control but it is up to the person what portions the band is helping to control.

This hurt me beyond belief. It felt as if this person just made my 27lbs of weight loss so far as insignificant and not worth mentioning. Any loss is a loss no matter how big or small. For me to lose 27 lbs in about 2 months is incredible in my book. That is 27 lbs that I have lost and not gained back. In the past, I would lose 25 lbs in 10 weeks and then gained back 35 a month later.

So what confused me is this person was supposedly fine with my weight prior to ever starting a diet or surgery and now that I am losing weight they want it off quicker? Why? Are they now seeing my potential and think they would rather have that then me as I am? I just don't know anymore. I do know that this is for me and not anyone else.

Just a warning...You can say your hurtful things and I guarantee I will give you my 2 cents right back. That is my right but when it comes to my weight loss, you have no rights.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Be Prepared

Preparedness. This is the key to any weight loss effort. We are told this no matter what the diet is. Weight Watchers, Nutrisystem, or Jenny Craig to name a few. You need to plan ahead. Be prepared for unexpected things. You want to plan your meals, have your snacks, plan your day.
That was my problem, as much as I thought I was prepared, I really wasn't. I was making things too hard. I was having too much variety and because of that I became frustrated and burnt out.

So, I was on a chat board and expressing my issues with ideas for meals and one bander gave me such a simplistic idea. She has two breakfasts and a few lunch/dinner choices and that is what she sticks with. Simple? Basic? Less thought, less stress.

Well, I am still coming up with my core menu to pull from. These need to be things I have on hand all the time or easy access to. I also need to keep good protein sources in my desk at work for emergencies.

Breakfast for me is usually an egg or egg beaters. Lunch can be left over dinner or if I need to run out I can make several choices. Taco Bell-bean burrito, refried beans, or a soft taco. Chick Fil A-nuggest, side salad, chicken soup. Wendys-chili. I also make my own egg salad, chicken salad. Kroger has a spinach and bacon salad with Balsamic vinegrette. I keep beanee weenees in my drawer at work with vienna sausages and tuna salad kits. It's all about having a set of choices but limit them. I know that if I am going to go out to eat I have a list of places to choose from and what foods I will limits myself to.

In short, it is all about choices. I can choose to be prepared or wing it. Which do you think will be more successful? I can choose a bean burrito or a 7 layer burrito. Which is better? It's all choice. I could just as easily go to McDonald's and choose a double cheese burger but why? I figure I should be satisfied so I have chosen foods I like but are heathier in a way.

My goal is to be prepared. Keep my good choices at hand and not stray. Why set myself up to fail? I know if I get too hungry it becomes severe pain. I have never had anything like it. Its goes from hunger to just plain sharp angry pain. Then I eat too much too fast and that does nothing but hurt me. Having a band makes being prepared that much more important but I can't over do the prepardness. It is possible to be too prepared that you lose sight of the goal and really sabotage yourself.  I found that out the hard way when I was fixing all these little meals so I had a wide variety and I actually got tired of the food and wanted other stuff. Before surgery I would eat the same few foods over and over each week but for whatever reason I thought I needed a huge variety each day now that I was banded. CRAZY TALK!!

Just keep in mind that being prepared means you can enjoy foods with your friends instead of alone. Which would you choose? I don't want to turn them down when I know I can eat out. I also know that I don't have to eat out when I bring my own foods. But I will always have a choice that is why I carry an insulated bag with me to work and if I am going to be out all day. I have simple servings of snacks, food, water so I don't have to stress about the choices.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A learning process

Each day I am learning new things about my band and I have also learned that it continues to be a struggle. I have gotten the typical: "you took the easy way out" or " you are just lazy because you aren't doing the hard work to lose weight". I have news for each and every one of you. THIS IS HARD WORK!!

People seem to think that anyone who has WLS is just taking the easy road. There is nothing easy in this. First, you have to have to courage to through a life altering surgery electively. Then endure pain, discomfort and in some cases being very sick just to get to a point where then the hard work begins.

Portion control is still priority. We must pick quality high protein foods and they must be band friendly. We must still maintain a certain caloric intake. Exercise is a must not a choice. And...if you don't follow the rules then the consequences are high. Right now "normal" people can pig out, unbutton their pants for room and live life to the fullest. WLS surgery patients pig out and spend quality time getting to know the toilet bowl at the nearest restroom. There is no amount of pants unbuttoning that could save you. The fact that beyond getting sick it can do damage to your stomach pouch and band which can be costly.

Ok, back to point. Learning. I learned something new about my stomach. It doesn't tell me when I am full until 30-60 minutes AFTER I am done eating and I do eat slow. That's a problem. I don't know I am full until it is too late soooo I will need to measure out and stick with that measure. No eating out of the pot, bowl or or full container. Only eat out of my little portion containers. Without restriction, I have to modify my thinking right now. I won't begin to have restriction until after my fills so this is a waiting game. Yesterday, I had a fairly good food day. An egg w/laughing cow wedge for breakfast. 2 tamales for lunch. I spread dinner out. I had a broccoli casserole of sorts then my hubby and I went to Bingo. Now, we have not been out since before surgery so this was my mini test. This bingo allows you to bring in your own food. Yeah that is sweet, so this is one place I can go and stay on track. I brought a container of homemade potato salad and a vienna sausage for protein. BUT...I thought I would try something off the menu. I got a bowl of chili. I had maybe a quarter of it. Not bad, and for the first time I only spent $1.50 to eat. By the way, I never did eat the food I brought.

I am taking it one day at a time. Each new day brings new challenges and new hope. Make the most of it.

Friday, May 21, 2010

No restriction

Well yesterday I went back to work and noticed I didn't have much restriction. I was hungry a lot and only brought with me 2-3 oz servings and only 4 meals. I had yogurt, ham salad, a tamale, and green beans with cottage cheese. All day nothing made me feel full until I ate the green beans w/cottage cheese. Yeah I know that really sounds gross but it was actually DELISH! I had gotten green beans at a local restaurant and they were super peppery. Now normally I love my pepper but since surgery I am super sensitive to it and a little for me now overpowers the dish and that is all I taste. So anyway, these beans were good but really peppery. So  I was eating them and they were strong and I thought hmmm what if I ate a bite of cottage cheese? It was the best thing to me. I ate a little snack pack of cottage cheese and 2 oz of green beans. For the 1st time that day I was full. I ate it at 6pm and  was full the rest of the night. That too was a first. This morning I get up and I am way hungry. I fixed a little breakfast casserole. Hashbrowns, egg beaters, turkey sausage and a wedge of lite laughing cow cheese. I made two servings of it. I ate nearly all of it, both servings and was full but not stuffed. So that tells me I can eat more? Not a good thing. I think. Then I wonder okay I am at some point supposed to be eating 1250 calories a day now how am I supposed to that if I don't eat more? If I stay at say 3 oz then how am I going to get in 1250 calories in a day? I would have to eat high calorie stuff and that isn't good so I am really confused now. I go to the doctor for my first follow up on June 10th. This is going to be a battle I can see already.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Learning new things everyday

It's funny how we take so many things for granted. The most basic function in life is eating. We must do it to survive and before it was just a given. Eat what you want, when you want, how much you want. There were no limits, only those you set upon yourself. And unfortunately I wasn't very good about setting any limits for myself which is why I am where I am today.

My surgery was a week ago today. I feel 90% back to normal. I didn't realize until I went out to the grocery or store just how weak I still am. Today I went to the grocery and was there for about an hour. By the time got to checkout I was sweating bullets and felt lightheaded. Yet, I made it and I am fine. Tomorrow I go back to work and while my job is sitting down all day I know I must get up every 1/2 hour to prevent blood clots as I am still high risk they said for two weeks after surgery plus I don't want my side (where the port and hernia repair is) to stiffen up.

I am bored with my meal choices already. I know I shouldn't be but I love food, no surprise. I am not overeating but I am eating my little 2-3 oz every 3-4 hours.I am trying to make good choices but even so because I am eating so little my choices are all good. I have been trying to come up with some variety and I have a few. I had the breakfast casserole this morning without meat and it was a wonderful change and I was full.
Breakfast casserole
Serves 1
1 tbsp. Bob Evans seasoned hashbrowns
1/4 c. egg beaters, any variety
1 wedge Laughing Cow light cheese
Optional: 1/4-1/2 pre-cooked turkey sausage patty, processed  or 1 tsp of diced ham that is processed

Spray skillet with cooking spray. Add hashbrowns and cook until tender being careful not to brown too much. You want them soft. Add egg beaters and cook until soft set. Add cheese and meat if desired and heat until cheese is melted and meat is warmed.

Tamales is another good choice. Take one tamale and heat through. Process it and add a 1 tsp of reduced fat or fat free sour cream. Depending how many oz you are able to eat it may be two meals. We are only eating a fraction of the actual serving so our caloric intake is much much lower but we get exactly what we want. I LOVE this!

Pork n beans with chicken franks. A small can processed and heated through, again very tasty and sticks with you. Good protein source.

Ham Salad
Serves 2-3
A small package of diced Ham.
1/4 c. Kraft light mayo made w/olive oil
1 tsp pickle relish or more to taste

Here a a couple of must haves for the kitchen. A small electric chopper. I have a mini one that I have had for years. Never use it really cause it is small. It is grate for onions but then I started buying them frozen. It is perfect for me. I can blend or process food and make a few servings for myself. Small containers. My favorite is Rubbermaid round cups. They are disposable but the perfect size. They are 1/2 c. The lid screws on and they are perfect. And the last tip is have someone that will eat your leftovers if you can't freeze them. I hate to waste food but sometimes you can only eat something a few times in a row before you are sick of it. It is nice to have someone who will take what is left after you pull a few servings for yourself out. Let's face it. A recipe for 4 servings is more like 16 band servings.

Monday, May 17, 2010

A lovely Band day

I had a nice day today. No issues. Got to drive today for the first time since surgery. Went to the bookstore and bought "Eating Well after Weight Loss Surgery". It has quite a few lap band recipes. I am looking forward to trying them out on the family.

I have a a couple more days at home then I probably won't blog as often, or maybe I will. Who knows. I fully expect to wore out after my first day back to work. Fortunately I only work 1 day then I am off again for three.

I ate the usual today. Yogurt, egg salad, applesauce, refried beans. I feel perfectly full right now. It amazes me how filled up one can get on a few tablespoons. I haven't been watching calories at all. I probably haven't had more than a few hundred calories a day since surgery. I know with time it will increase somewhat. I remember eating thousands of calories a day and still being hungry. They say your stomach is the size of a football. Mine was probably the size of a small country. I could really put it away. Now I literally put it away as in out of sight because I can't eat it all.

I have had people ask me what it is like. They just don't understand how the band works. I tell them it is like an hourglass. In my "hourglass" the top part is small and the bottom is bigger. The top is full when I eat and it slowly digests and filters down into the larger part. Once the top is empty it is time to eat again. As I lose weight the skinny part between the two halves loosens up and the top part can filter through a lot faster than before so I get a fill and it once again becomes the perfect hourglass.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Sunday was not a Fun-day

I had a lot more downs then ups today. I slept in this morning and got up and knew I had not eaten in a long time so I tried to eat some yogurt. It just didn't sit well this morning. I don't know if it was because I really wasn't hungry yet or what. Then later in the afternoon it felt like something was blocking my throat and wouldn't let anything pass but yet I could drink water. It was just a weird feeling. I wasn't nauseated. I didn't feel like I was going to be sick. Then all of sudden I just felt the need to get to a bathroom. Again no nausea or feeling like I was going to hurl. I get there and immediate dry heave three times and only split a miniscule phlegm. I felt freed up and my throat no longer felt blocked. Weird since I hadn't eaten anything prior to this.

I felt so hungry all day. Each time I ate 2 oz I felt like I could eat twice as much more. I was able to wear pants that were not elastic so I assume the swelling once again is down. That may explain why I am so hungry. I had been told that as the swelling goes down my hunger will increase. Some people don't and they are comfortably restricted and others are not. I guess I didn't expect it to happen so soon.

I probably could have returned to work tomorrow but I am off until Thursday and then I am off again on Friday which is my usual off day. Might as well take advantage of the time to off to plan my 1st day back to work. I need to get to know this new "friend" better. I sit at a desk all day and rarely get up other than to heat up my lunch if needed or go to the bathroom. I work four 10 hour days so it will be a very long day. I will have to eat on a schedule and also schedule time to get up and just walk around. I think I will walk to the farther breakroom to get ice just so I can stretch my legs and also start using the bathroom at the farther end again to stretch my legs. My biggest problem is the coughing that I get when I talk to much. I think my lungs still are not expanding as much as they should.

Tomorrow will be the 1st day I can drive since the surgery. OOOOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHH...sorry I just sneezed three times in a row and MAN DID THAT HURT. Wait...followed by several coughs. Whew, I just took some allergy medicine. I hope it kicks in before my next coughing bout.
I plan to take a trip to the bookstore to see what is good for recipes for WLS and also a quick trip to the grocery to stock up on some things for work.

Another day gone...

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 4

Strange day. The hunger set in big time. I am assuming the swelling has gone down quite a bit. I was hungry and ate every 3-4 hours. I had been craving egg salad ever since I saw a recipe for it on So this morning I boiled some eggs, cooled them and made egg salad. A little lite mayo(kraft made w/olive oil), pickle relish, mustard, and pureed the heck out of it and thinned it with pickle juice. It was a little piece of heaven. 2 oz was plenty. I will limit the egg to once or twice a week. I made some chocolate cheesecake pudding, also from It was very good.

My stomach spoke a lot to me today. It gurgled and then drained. Yes I could feel and hear the draining. It was very weird because when it was done the stuffed feeling was gone and I was just plain old comfortable and not hungry.

Pain is way down. Deep breaths are getting easier.

I have a very bad habit I need to break! Tasting while cooking. We all do it and evidently I do it without thinking. I was cooking alfredo w/chicken for my family and I just popped a spoonful in my mouth without thinking and then suddenly I was like OH CRAP and spitting it out. Had I chewed that up and swallowed it would have turned out very very bad.

Tomorrow is another day!! I wonder what changes I am in for tomorrow.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 3

This is my third day. The nurse said to count surgery day as day one. So today I get to add full liquids like juice, milk, yougurt, and protein shakes. On Sunday I can add applesauce, bananas. By Wednesday I wll be eating mashed potatoes.

Day three is going well. I took out the Q-Ball catheter, well hubby did. It was painless. I can take deeper breaths today with little to no pain. I have sinus drainage so I tend to cough which is actually good for my lungs. I just don't want to cough too hard or too much. I don't want to shift the band while it is healing.
The sorest part today is the port site and the hernia repair which was just above the port site. I am not taking any Lortab. Just regular tylenol liquid for adults and that is only once in the morning. I am very stiff in the morning. My throat is still sore so I guess that is going to take quite a bit of time to heal.

All in all I am very pleased right now. Oh oh! I was able to go to my daughters 1st dance recital last night. I was worried that I wouldn't get to but I did. It was wonderful to see her. I was not uncomfortable at all.

I am a little groggy today but I think that was due to a lack of sleep last night. We had a strong thunderstorm come through Thursday around 1:15 and our power went out. It came back on at 3am this morning. It was stuffy in our house. We can't open windows because of my allergies and my youngest daughters. We just hooked up the generator and plugged in the fridge, deep freezer, a lamp and 2 fans. We all slept in the living room. The kids were on the floor in sleeping bags and hubby and I slept on the couch in the reclining seats.I was hot most of the night but we survived.

Can't wait to see what tomorrow brings.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Happy Band day to me, Happy Band day to me!!

I was banded this morning and they found a hiatal hernia and repaired that too. I don't feel too bad considering. I am sore. I have burning sensation near the port area and it is achy. I have a little shoulder pain and chest heaviness. It gets better after I get up and walk around and I have a heating pad as well. All in all I am happy. I am drinking fluids fine. My throat is REALLY sore from being intubated and I get cotton mouth when I take the liquid pain meds.

I had to be there at 5:30 am. I weighed in and I lost 4.3 lbs in the last week for a total of 18.3 since March 25. Not a whole lot of weight loss there but any loss is a loss.

After weigh in I went to my room and got into my gown. They took vitals and my blood sugar. Did you know the anesthesiologist prefers your sugar to be a little high? Mine was 133 and I am diabetic. They started the IV. A little later the anesthesiologist came in and talked to me and checked my teeth and mouth. I felt like they were inspecting a horse. After that the nurse came in to give me a Lovenox shot in my stomach. Ouch! It didn't hurt at first but them it started to burn. She put a nausea patch behind my ear. Then she gave me some meds in my IV and then some stuff to make me not care and relax. At about 7:15 they wheeled me to the OR. Seriously, can the tables be any more narrow? And really, making me scoot my own butt over from the bed to the OR table?
On goes the oxygen mask and out I go. I wake up in recovery and it was all over and I was THIRSTY!! I had some sips of water and the recovery nurse called me her dainty sipper. I have no problems swallowing. That is good news. After some waking up I was herded pretty quickly to get dressed and go home. I was on my home by 10:30am.

I think the hardest part right now is taking deep breaths. It is uncomfortable and hard but I force myself to do it.
My advice for the first day is sip liquids all day and get up and move around. Keep a heating pad handy as well. It really is soothing to have that heating pad on my back/shoulder.

Let's see what tomorrow brings...

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Tomorrow is the day!

Tomorrow is surgery day! I woke up this morning full of excitement which quickly turned to butterflies. I am sitting here wondering so many things. Of course, I am questioning myself. Is the surgery necessary, is it the right thing to do, will I succeed? YES< YES

It's hard to believe that I only have one more day until my life changes forever. I have expectations but not high ones. I don't believe in setting the bar too high. Baby steps. I don't want to be disappointed if I set a standards too high. I have been on the chat boards and seen people who aren't losing as fast and get discouraged and want to quit. Take heart! One step forward two steps back. Isn't that the way of life? Any movement forward in the overall picture is a WIN WIN.

Being realistic is the key. Let's break this down. At the beginning I will be on liquids. Then gradually add soft foods, pureed foods, then mush. Solids are the last to be added. It stands to reason that after adding solids again there is the likelyhood that I may gain some weight or even be at a standstill. I have to be diligent and make the best food choices for myself.

I recently spoke to my Aunt and she said to remember that they are doing surgery on my stomach not my brain and your brain is going to want to go back to the old habits. My surgeon said the same thing. It is so true. Just because my stomach is smaller doesn't mean my brain is. I am still going to want the old things I eat and how I ate them. It will take some serious discipline to create new habits. If I go into this with the thought that this surgery will curb any old habits or hungers then I am going into this with my eyes closed. Reality check!

Well, I am spending today sorting my foods and things I will need. Making any last trips to get the little things that I know my hubby won't have a clue of what to get.

The time is near...........................................

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A few more days until my new life

It's hard to believe I am only a few days out from having surgery. My band date is May 12th!!
I have been going through an emotional roller coaster today. I have my ups and downs. I cried and then I was okay. I was scared then confident.

This is the right decision, isn't it? I know it is but naturally I have moments of doubt. I have so many health issues that can only get worse if I don't get this taken care of and get my life on track.

Today my health issues are:

High Blood Pressure
Type 2 Diabetes
High Cholesterol (well a little because of my other health issues)
Low good cholesterol
History of TIA(mini stroke)
Joint Pain
Blood Clotting Disorder (antiphospholipid antibody syndrome)

Let's see what issues are left in six months.