Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Struggling....with my food pusher

This unfill is becoming my undoing. I can eat anything and everything with no problems. My problem is that and my husband. He asked me if I am able to eat everything. Yes, I can. Now he is back to being a "food pusher" just like before surgery.

It all started with dinner last night. I didn't feel like cooking considering all the cooking I have done over the last few weeks. He was going to get McDonalds. He said he would get me a Big Mac, I said no. He said double cheese, I said no. He said what about White Castle? I said no. He said Wendys? KFC? NO NO NO!!!!! He then said Subway. Ok I can do Subway. Told him a 6".  He said do you want a footlong. No I said 6". Him: I can get you a footlong if you want. Me: No! Him: Do you want Doritos? Me: No just the 6". HIM: I'm still going to White Castle. Do you want a milkshake. Me: No I don't and I don't like theirs anyway. Him: I can get you a milkshake from somewhere else. Me: I said No, what don't you understand?? Him: Ok, do you want a Big Red soft drink? I just looked at him. He, at this point, said the ultimate to me. HIM: I know you don't drink soft drinks but since you can eat whatever you want I thought maybe you would want one. AAAAHHHHHHH!!!!!!! This, people, is why I am FAT!! With this much badger, no wonder I would give in and started just pigging out to keep him from badgering me.

Then, oh and this is precious, I made the comment that I have already gained a few pounds since having the unfill and he said....get this...."You need to go in and get a fill." WTF???? and I am not talking about the name of my blog!

I can't rush back into an aggressive fill just to get my food pusher to back off. He is like this all the time. I have confronted him on this and he just doesn't get it. He sees nothing wrong with him being polite.

I don't know if I am going to make it through this without a huge gain. I have been so frustrated with him that I am downing bags of doritos and the not the baked ones. I am addicted to them right now and he keeps buying them cause he said he knows I like them.

I feel all my success slipping away...

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas Everyone

Even though it is Christmas, today still poses challenges for weight loss. Having an unfill is an extra challenge. I had forgotten what a normal full feeling was. Being banded, it is a much tighter, full feeling. Almost a blocked feeling if I don't stop when I have the soft full feeling. Now, the fullness creeps up on you and before you know it, you are overfull. I had to "listen" real hard to make sure I didn't miss it. It was too easy to ignore.

Today we had spiral sliced ham, mac n cheese made with Barilla Plus. Protein wise this was a high protein meal. Had no problems eating. Ate a salad plate size meal. Hadn't done that in a while since my recent fills barely got me a few spoonfuls of food. I remember being told that a salad plate size portion of food is what I should be eating at each meal. I always thought that was too much for having a band but that is the ideal portion. I keep forgetting that. Had I remembered that then maybe this last fill would not have happened. Here's to starting over. Re-learn all over again.

I hope this Christmas season brings you and yours all the joy and blessings of the season. Merry Christmas everyone! 

Friday, December 23, 2011

Next Day update--post unfill

What a difference between yesterday and today. I did have some residual pain in my chest last night. I think it was due to the unfill. I had some stomach cramping. I had a heating pad on my chest and stomach. Had a good nights sleep. Woke up and didn't feel like eating, a little scared I guess. I had some early morning shopping to do so I just drank a little choclate milk and out the door I went.

I had no more pain. Did my shopping in record time and was home by 11am. I then was hungry and fixed a scrambled egg, sausage crumbles and a wedge of laughing cow cheese. Now prior to the unfill I would only be able to eat 2-3 bites. Big difference, I ate it all. Then my stomach felt quesy. I overdid it. It just felt so good to be able to eat and I didn't eat all that much. It was probably 1/2 cup total. I was full. It was nice to be able to swallow. Other than that I have been sipping on a Special K protein shake and some vitamin water. Again, so nice to swallow without problems. No sliming, no runny nose, no throwing up.

Still I need to be careful and not overdo it. I am keeping it simple. I think the sausage crumbles was too much. I need more bland foods for a few days.

On to the holidays...got food day at my Mom's tomorrow. I have some cooking to do. Just appetizers so that is easy enough.

What is on your holiday menu? We are having spiral sliced ham, mac n cheese, green beans, salad and pie on Christmas Day. I on the other hand won't be having all of that. Probably some soup and maybe some green beans. It just depends on my stomach.

Merry Christmas....

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Band slippage, we think

OMG!!! All of a sudden I was in band hell. There was NOTHING that would go down. Not even water, heck not even my own saliva. It just sat in my throat and then it would have to come up along with slime. It was so bad my nose was running from all the backing up of slime. Non stop uppage for hours. The worst part?? I was at work. Every few minutes I had to go to the bathroom and get the slime out. Hot liquids did nothing for me. It felt like I had a lump in my throat and that my throat had closed up. I couldn't even breathe through my mouth. I finally called the doctor at 2:47pm today and they told me to come in. We got to leave early today for the holidays, we are closed tomorrow, and I spent that extra time at the doctors. I got there at 3:20 and left at 5:20. It took that long to get this under control. First, same girl, couldn't find my port. AGAIN. She then went to find another person to help and they were busy and she came back and asked to try one more time. I said fine, I just wanted relief. I really didn't care at this point. She found the port and the port opening but only .5cc came out. She left the needle sticking in there and went and got another needle/syringe and stuck it in right beside the 1st one and lo and behold, she easily got the fluid out. She took out a little at a time, each time me trying to drink. She took out 6.4cc before I could swallow. We are pretty certain there was slippage due to how much she had to take out. I felt her taking out the fluid too. It was painful. It felt like someone was untwisting my esophagus. I felt it in there. Once it was out, I felt good. The lump feeling in my throat was gone, I could breathe through my mouth and I was able to swallow water. I am nearly back to square one again fill-wise with the exception that I have lost over 100lbs already. I have some serious watching to do so I don't overeat.

WOW so glad that is over. I had some Backyard Burger Chili for dinner. It is more like soup and isn't spicy. It was just what I needed. Went down fine and stayed down. The chili has 8g of protein for a little cup.  I am now sipping on some chocolate milk. It has 18g protein.

My stomach is sore. My port is sore. My stomach inside is sore. It cramps from time to time when I eat or drink so I am just taking it super slow and easy. Nothing solid. There is a lot of irritation in there from the swelling and throwing up. Not really throwing up as much as expelling the slime. Fun times.

I am glad I got off work early even though I had planned to finish my Christmas Shopping. Somethings are more important and I wasn't about to let it go until next week. I wouldn't be able to take off work then either since most are off next week. We have to have coverage.

Saturday is our Christmas celebration at my Mom's. She got a sandwich platter, which I can't eat, well I couldn't but probably could now. Yet, I don't plan on finding out. I have given up carbs for the most part so I don't want to get back on eating bread. So, I am making sausage balls, wings, and buffalo chicken dip. I have this awesome wing recipe. I will post it after this. I am also making punch for us to drink. Good stuff.

Happy Holidays to everyone. I wish each one a blessed Christmas!

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Oh Baby Oh Baby Oh Baby

Oh Baby, is my band still tight! Nearly two weeks post-fill and still going strong. I am so glad for that even though I am struggling with learning to eat bander-style again since mine had been so laxed lately.

My typical meal before this fill and after:

Meal                           Before                                                                          After
Breakfast                 2 scrambles eggs, 3 laughing cow cheese                          1 scrambled egg, 1 cheese

Lunch                       Entire entree Qdoba chicken nachos                                 1/4 of a craft 2 nacho-tiny

Dinner                      2 x 2 in piece of meatloaf casserole                                   3 tbsp of meatloaf casserole

I see a big difference in what I can eat now. To put this in perspective I had been retaining fluid, so I thought and had ballooned up at least 15 lbs on my at home scale. I started watching everything to see what the heck was going on. I got it down to a 2 lb gain when I went in to get my fill. Since then, I am now down 6 lbs.

Today was a big big day. We had our unit lunch. We went out to Old Chicago. PIZZA!! I love pizza but I have problems with it when my band is loose so now would be a nightmare. I was scared!! Everyone was ordering pizza. I didn't want salad when pizza was all around. So I got an artisan pizza for one with anduoille sausage and ground beef. It was cut into 4 pieces and crispy. OH MAN WAS IT GOOD! YES I ate a tiny piece and didn't get stuck which was a good thing because I was also nervous about that since we sat in a half moon booth and I was in the very middle. It was a very good day.

I just want to see that scale go slowly down. It's how I roll.

Ok, product alert....Jeggings. Don't ya love them? I was shopping on black Friday and found some jeans for my kids online at Old Navy. Well Women's jeans were on sale too. I saw these black jeggings with flared legs for $10. Like I am passing that up. Got them and didn't even try them on. They sat in my closet for a few weeks. I wore them for the 1st time last week and LOVE THEM. They are like stretchy knit with an elastic waist. They are oh so comfy. Non Binding for my stomach which is why I wore them today. I love the flared leg and fitting through the thighs and butt. I am different sizes in different parts of my body. If I get the pants to fit my hips, butt, thighs then it is a size too small for my waist and is painful. If I get it larger to fit my waist then I am constantly hiking them up because they slide down my butt. In between on the lower end which is a switch when I am usually in between on the higher end.

Feeling pretty good right now. Happy my latest fill is lasting this long.

What is your New Year's resolution?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

One week post fill...ugh...

Well, this fill has been the best/worst by far in the year and a half since surgery. OMG!!! I am still very tight. A few bites and I am beyond done. I am having to learn all over again how to eat lap band style. I have reverted back to the teeny tiny containers. I can usually just eat a few bites. I eat a few bites about 30 min later. I haven't been in that frame of mind in so many months! It is a hard learning experience. I keep over doing it and paying the price. Need to get the low down on the slow down. Need to take it REAL slow and stop at the soft burp as some like to call it. I used to think the more I burped the more room I would have. Not the case anymore. The more I burp the more likely it is going to come back up. YUCK.

I know the difference between getting stuck and overeating. Before, when I could eat more, I would get stuck. No doubt about it. Now I get full and beyond. When I hit beyond it is a very uncomfortable fullness. I can feel it filled to the top. It's not a stuck feeling at all just like a lot of food just sitting there on top. Sometimes I can burp and eventually it gets a little more comfortable. Sometimes it comes up. That too I can tell because of the sliming. If the sliming starts then I am definitely stuck. If no sliming then it is just overfull.

Okay now to todays addiction. Yes I have an addiction even though I can't eat much. Before it was Golden Oreos. Now I have moved on to another cookie. I made mega amounts of cookies for the holiday trays and gift boxes. I made a peppermint sugar cookie drizzled with white chocolate. Oh my, it's my new love. And oddly enough it does not get stuck. No milk. Straight up cookies. I can eat a few with no problem. Go figure. I will be making them again this weekend for my containers to give to the neighbors. What is it with me and cookies? Up until a few weeks/month ago I never ate cookies like this. I haven't eaten this many cookies in years.

We had the company luncheon. I got my little plate and got a slice of turkey, about 6 green beans, a spoon of mashed potatoes and about 1/4cup of salad. I ate two teeny bites of turkey, 3 green beans, a few teeny bites of stuffing and 4 pieces of lettuce. Got filled to the gill but didn't get stuck and kept it down. I guess my real fear is getting stuck and it coming back up. Cause when it is a comin up you need to get the hell outa dodge quickly!!

Okay, I have a problem creeping up. Next week my boss is taking the group to lunch. I am REALLY TIGHT. There is no way I am going to be able to eat. I will have to be very careful but I don't want it to look like I am snubbing the lunch choice nor do I want to look like I am hoarding food to take home. No one in my new group knows I had the surgery, not even my new boss. I am conflicted about telling him. I don't have any issues that interfere with work. I don't anticipate it either but I don't feel compelled to tell anyone in this group. I don't know them very well yet and I think deeep down I feel like I would not be accepted. A couple of them are workout nuts and on diets. That is not me. A lot of people in the company know I have had the surgery so I am sure word has spread but still I don't feel comfortable to confide in anyone and no one has asked about it.
I know some people who lose weight the old fashioned way think surgery is BS and take offense at it. It's not like I enter the company weightloss contests because that truly is unfair. And yes there are some at work who have had surgeries and enter the contest. I think that it is wrong. But oddly enough they never win. The contests are usually the most percentage of body fat lost. They never win and in fact usually place near the end. Kind of sad if you ask me. It's a catch 22. If you win the contest or even make a good showing people blast you for doing it when others struggle the old way of diet and exercise. If you lose or have a poor showing, then it looks like your surgery is a flop or you aren't doing what you are supposed to.

Does anyone ever find themselves looking at someone who had surgery and wonder why they are filling their plate and eating all of it? I did recently. I saw someone who had gastric bypass fill a plate piled it high full of food, bread, stuffing, meats etc. They ate it all. HOW?? Just curious. I know I struggle to eat.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Found another before pic...oh how far I have come

The Fill from Hell

OMG!!! I went yesterday to get a fill. The girl who normally does my fills and has done so since my surgery, left to go to another practice. The last person who did my fill was horrible with no personality and actually questioned whether I needed a fill, even though at that time I had not had/needed a fill for 8 months. I was glad I didn't get her, or so I thought.

First this one came into the room, very pleasant and friendly. Nice, I thought. Then she pulls up the stool right in my personal space and said "Let's get to know each other personally." Umm....WHAT?? After chit chatting about me and my life we got to the nitty gritty. I explained how I felt at times like I had an unfill that I could eat bread and I gained 2 lbs which is the first time I have a recorded gain at the doctor's office since my surgery in May 2010. Her response was to suggest I go on a 2 week liquid protein shake diet to lose weight. Well, my response was I didn't have the surgery to live off of protein shakes. The point was to eat "normally" with band control. She said the holidays are tempting. I said every day is tempting, the point is I am hungry every 2-3 hours and can eat bread so I know I need a fill.

She proceeds to get prepared for my fill and decides she is going to put in 1cc. The previous person, whom I loved and trusted, said she would never do that after you hit 6cc. She would only put in .3 or .5cc at a time. Then this person started the fill. OMG!! After numbing, she started poking around with the needle and couldn't find the center but found my unnumbed flesh many times. She kept grabbing the port and pushing so hard I am certain I have internal bruising. She pushed the needle in so hard I thought it woudl break off. She had to keep changing needles because of all her poking and pushing the needles were dull. What normally takes 5 mins including our chats, took over 30 minutes for the fill itself.

She finally got it in the center and withdrew the fluid to check the level, that was a lot of pushing as well, which I didn't understand. Then she tried to put the fluid back in and it wouldn't go in. She leaned into and pushed hard and met resistance. She was baffled but kept pushing. She showed me the syringe to show that she pulled the fluid out and could only push 1cc back in. Pushing, poking, pushing, poking...Finally she got it all back in. 7.4cc in all. At one point she tried to say the port must have flipped. I said if it flipped how did you get the fluid out and what fluid was it?? She was like oh yeah of course it didn't flip. Umm...nervous here.

The good news, I have restriction. It is that good bubbling with a sip that gurgles down. I have missed that. But oh how sore my stomach is. The fact that the port is at my waistband makes it even more sore and umcomfortable. Stretchy pants today. I can't stand to have anything touch it.

I am starting holiday baking. The up side is that I can't snack on any of it. Good for me. That makes my kids/hubby my taste testers. They are happy about that. The down side is that next week is our work holiday luncheon. Not sure I am going to be able to eat anything. Wish me luck on that.

I started a facebook page strictly for my band adventures. please request a friend invite. Angela Banded ForLife.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Posting problems

Please let me know if you are having problems posting comments to my blog. I thought I had it fixed. I know that I personally cannot post to others blogs. It says my email does not have permission.

Email me if you are having issues. angela.lovato7@gmail.com


Talk Band to me

It has been 18 months since my surgery. I am down more than 120 lbs and feel great. I have ups and I have downs but in the end there is weight I will never get back.

I saw an article today about Rex Ryan the Jets Coach who had lap band surgery. He touts how he gets indigestion and overeats. Hmm...then he says the band doesn't always work. Well, Mr. Ryan maybe you are not working WITH the band. If you continue to overeat and ignore the warnings from your band you will continue to have problems and low weight loss. That really burns me. Why does someone in the limelight have to give such negative publicity to a surgical procedure that can work if used properly?

I have times where I am frustrated but never do I doubt what this band has done for me. I am healthier, happier and more active. Granted I still don't exercise but all in all I am doing great. I can't imagine my life before. I just want to forget about my lack of self confidence.

I have changed in so many ways. I have social phobia. I have anxiety attacks in crowds or if I am the center of attention, hence, giving a speech would send me into overload and a meltdown. Yesterday I went to Bingo by myself. I didn't talk to anyone there but had a nice quiet time just enjoying the day.
I also can't walk in late to any function. I have to arrive super early so no one notices me. I get anxiety when I perceive myself to be the center of attention, like walking into a crowded room after the event has started, everyone turns to look. OMG I nearly throw up. That is changing for me. Still I have the anxiety but not on the level it once was.

What has the band done for you? I am interested, let me know.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Got the shakes....LOL

Okay it has been a few days without Oreos and I am so shaky. No really, I am. I think about them, I have been so close to going and getting me some. I was so proud, the other day I was at Walmart and picked up Oreo Cakesters for my kids and did not even reach for the cookies. BUT I thought about them for the rest of the day and all through today. SERIOUSLY!! What the heck is wrong with me? Those little golden oreos are like my crack.

What's for lunch today? I made Impossible Cheeseburger Pie using the reduced fat Bisquick. Yummy and for me it is band friendly. I am on vacation for two weeks and am worried that being at home will give me the access to eat all day long. Still looking at that fill. If not this week, maybe next week at the latest.

Wish me luck...I have to go back to Walmart for my prescriptions. I know those little gems will be calling my name. NO OREOS!!! Stop torturing me!!

Monday, November 28, 2011


I have been incognito lately. Well not really, just busy. I am struggling this time after the fill. At times it feels like fluid was taken out not put in. Other times I get stuck on almost everything. I have put on weight. Definitely. I thought it was water weight and some of it may be but not all of it. I am weighing getting another fill. I think yesterday I ate non stop all day. I got stuck too, up it came and then I ate again. Bad habit.

I should be happy. This is the first time I have had weight gain since the surgery. I need to step back and re-assess what it is that I need to do to get back on track. Fill or not to fill, the age old question. I am thinking fill because I was able to eat ham. Another meat on my list that is not easy to eat and I use that list to guage my fill needs.

Thanksgiving was uneventful food-wise. I had a little turkey, some mac n cheese, green beans and mashed potatoes. Probably a tablespoon or two of each. I made the mac n cheese with Barrilla Plus pasta. It has 10g of protein in a serving of pasta. Good stuff. No dessert. No snacks. No eggnog. I was really good that day. After that day it went downhill fast. I have been eating non stop all weekend. Not large amounts just eating non stop. A little here, a little there. A little here and there. I am addicted to Golden Oreos. Dipped in milk they are mushy and slide right down so I can eat them non stop as well. I am making myself a promise not to buy them anymore. This could be the cause of the weight gain and this will be the first time I have said no to a food. I have always prided myself in eating whatever I want and not depriving myself of anything but I can't stop eating these cookies. I will eat a whole package by myself in one day. How sad is that?

So I have two culprits. One is the cookies and the other is cappuccino. I haven't had the cappuccinos in a few days but the cookies have been daily. I am thinking the cookies are more so the cause. What do you think?

I am off work until December 12th. My goal is to get myself back on track before going back to work. I am making weekly if not daily goals to accomplish. My first goal is NO COOKIES. I am cutting back my cappuccinos unless I get sleepy. Then I will limit myself to ONE.

I am calling today to get an appointment for a fill. Need to get it done.

Now, I did have an upper GI done a few weeks back. They wanted to have a baseline GI for comparison should I have any problems later on. The upper GI showed good restriction. Really? Cause I don't see it, or feel it. Hmmm....

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Helpful Android APP

It is the Protein Counter Plus. Very basic. You add protein to keep track. You can set it to whatever amout you are trying to reach and as you add foods or protein amounts it keeps track and  you can even chart it. It costs $1.99


It is helping me keep track in a fun painless way. Just wanted to share.

Monday, November 14, 2011

New Product

I started using Barilla Plus pasta. It is whole grain and 10g of protein per 2 oz dried (1cup cooked). It tastes really good and is nutritionally sound.

Here is what the website says about it: Protein Quality Counts

The quality of protein in the diet is just as important as getting enough protein. Protein-containing foods are ranked on a "quality index" with egg whites typically considered the gold standard with a ranking of 1.00. A high-quality protein food means that essential amino acids, the building blocks of protein, which must be supplied by food, are readily available in that food. Because PLUS® contains high-quality protein ingredients, such as chickpeas, lentils, and egg whites, it far exceeds whole-wheat and regular pasta in terms of protein quality.

It is a good source of fiber and ALA Omega-3 fatty acids. I make macaroni and cheese for Thanksgiving each year. I am making it with this pasta this year. Even though it will be calorie laden it will have a good source of protein.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Looking for new things to try and reflecting on the old

I have been scouring the nutrition labels and internet to find ways to incorporate more protein in my diet.

I have a few. One is my white chicken chili. Comfort food with lots of beans. I make sure to take beano before I eat the chili. Second is cappuccino. I know you are thinking what the heck? Well, I am partial to Hills Bros White Chocolate Caramel cappuccino. Simply add a scoop of unflavored in each cup you make. Easy peasy way to get in additional protein.

I am trying my hardest to eat solid protein as that fills me up faster and well banders are supposed to eat protein first anyway. Tater Tot casserole is kid friendly and surprisingly band friendly for me. I am adding it to my recipe page.

My surgery was May 12, 2011. In all this time I have had ups and downs. I have learned a lot about myself and my new companion, the Lap Band. I also know that everyone is different and everyone's band is different but the basic rules to abide by are the same for everyone.

One thing I know that as soon as my band is too loose I overeat. I revert right back to pre-surgery days. One would think or hope that after a year and a half that this would be a new habit. It's not, at least not for me. I have to forever keep that in the back of my mind and be diligent when I start to overeat to get a fill immediately. I also know that the band is very fickle. For example, I got a fill about a month ago. I haven't felt any different, in fact, I have gained weight. Then when it was time for my next appointment for a fill, my band acted up and basically said No I don't think so. Suddenly it was tight and I was not able to eat much anymore. The weight has been slowly going back down which I think now was mostly water weight as I was so swollen my shoes didn't fit. That is getting better as I have increased my water and decreased my cappuccino intake.

So needless to say, my band is working again, no need for that fill after all.

Thanksgiving is coming up soon. I am scouring the internet for side dishes to bring that are band friendly and still within Thanksgiving tradition. I don't do well with Turkey and ham so I am going to be relying on the side dishes I guess. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ups and Downs and a new recipe

Ok so my weight has been creeping up since my fill. I question : was my fill to blame? I had gained a whopping 15 lbs in a few weeks. I knew some of it at least was bloating because I could feel my feet and hands swollen so I was left with what in the heck was causing this?? I have taken a look at what I eat. Nothing new there. I have at time had different drinks but really could that cause all the swelling and gaining?? I just don't know. So I took steps to change back what I drink. No more Sobe since it has 75mg of sodium per bottle but honestly I don't think that would cause it. Vitamin Water Zero has no sodium, so I am back on that. I was drinking cappuccinos. I am hooked on them. I have a 16 oz travel mug and was drinking two to three a day. Yeah I know...so here's what happened. I got on the scale Sunday morning and weighed in at a whopping 247 lbs. I was down to 234  or so a few weeks ago. On Monday, I weighed the same, so I made a cappuccino in my travel mug at home using a mix rather than stopping on my way to work and grabbing one. I only drank that one. Actually I don't think I drank all of it. I started drinking the vitamin water. For lunch I had a strong craving for Voodoo Chicken from JGumbos. It is a level 4 hot sauce bottles. 5 being the hottest. I slather it in sour cream and cheese to cut the heat. Yeah I know what you are thinking..."she wonders why she is gaining". No really, I have always slathered sour cream and cheese on hot stuff. I have always lost weight. Well because of the heat of the meal, I had a fan on and kept sipping on the water. About an hour after the meal I cracked the bottle of water wide open and guzzled, well as best as a bander can, two bottles of water. Came home and homemade chicken nuggets and more water. Weighed myself before bed. Now listen, I am not obsessed with weighing myself for the sake of weighing myself. I have a scientific reason. For years I was on water pills for swelling. I would gain significant weight during the day and overnight would lose sometimes 10 lbs of water weight. Yep was in the bathroom all night, bladder working overtime. It has become a habit. I know that if the weight I gained during the day does not come off overnight they it is true weight gain or something is wrong if it is swelling. Granted I am no longer taking water pills but it still works that way only on a much smaller level since I have lost so much weight. I normally don't gain/lose 10 lbs in a day anymore.
So back to the story...When I weighed myself before bed Monday night was up to 250 lbs. I cried, literally. I was so pissed off. Went to bed, got up several times in the night for a bathroom break. Woke up this morning and weighed myself...Down to 243 lbs. 7 freakin pounds!! So I still am left to wonder, is this all water weight gain? Will keep ya posted.

My new recipe: Chicken Parmesan Bander Style
Serves 4-6
2 cups diced cooked chicken breast
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp olive oil
salt/pepper to taste
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 Jar of favorite spaghetti sauce
2 cups shredded Italian cheese or mozzarella
1/2 cup Parmesan

Preheat oven to 350.
Saute garlic and Italian seasoning in olive oil. Add diced chicken and toss until warmed and slightly browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon chicken mixture in bottom of glass pie plate. Sprinkle with half of the cheese. Pour on sauce then top with remaining cheese. Bake for 20 min or until cheese is melted and bubbly. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

It's a first for me...

True weight gain, I think it is here. I got a fill a few weeks ago and have gained weight ever since. I am not eating more, in fact, I am eating less. I have been keeping tabs on it. The only difference is the Sobe's I was drinking but have since stopped. I think some of it is water weight but I know some is not. I am baffled. I am analyzing my food choices which haven't really changed. My clothes aren't any tighter so I really don't know.

I started a facebook page for recipes called Love and Care Recipes to Share. Please like the page and share your recipes.

I made white chicken chili and sausage potato soup this week. Nothing better than some nice comforting soups/chili when the weather is chilly.

No issues at work. My new job is still going very well, not the stress I used to have. I love my job even with the little stresses. I feel so much more productive and part of something more. It's amazing how such a major change in my life has such huge benefits in both my personal and work lives.

Now, here is an issue I know I have. Eating out...I REALLY need to stop. Question is, how to do that without hurting people's feelings? I am going on a stay-cation in a few weeks and have loads of work to get done in that time frame. Maybe I can use that as an excuse to not eat out. I need to stay and work. I just don't know.

There's nothing harder than being between sizes. I am a very loose 20 or a tight 18. Dang it! My goal is to get into a comfortable 18. A work in progress....

Saturday, October 29, 2011

How's my dumplin'?

Wow, I made chicken n dumplins in the crockpot for a nice hot comfort food dinner on a cold dreary day. The dinner was perfect and delish. Only problem...I can't eat it. Oh I tried and it got ugly fast! Dumplings are not an option anymore. I got stuck and then started having spasms in my band or stomach or something and heaved for an hour. NEVER AGAIN!!

The weather has turned colder so it is time to dust off my soup/chili recipes. I am on the prowl for more higher protein soups/chilis/stews to make is large batches and freeze to grab and go.

I had the best brisket the other day from Famous Daves so I am also on a journey to find an easy yet perfectly tender brisket recipe.

Well to the nitty gritty...I haven't lost any weight since my fill. I started drinking Sobe waters made with Stevia and actually started gaining a little weight. I think it is water weight as the Sobe has sodium in it whereas my Vitamin Water Zero does not. I am backing off the Sobe for a week and going back to my Vitamin Waters to see if that makes a difference. I have also taken to drinking cappucino every day from Thornton's. That may also be the culprit. I am definitely eating less than before my fill but something is causing the weight gain. Granted it is only a few pounds so that leads me to think water retention.

Does anyone have problems with mood swings? I am all over the place lately. Mood swings in the past have led me to eating and now I don't so the mood issues are stronger. Not sure how to deal with it.

I am sitting here enjoying some wings watching the UL football game. GO CARDS!!

If anyone has some good soup/chili/stew recipes please pass them along.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Still not there

Well the fill I got has not made that much of a difference. I can still eat a lot at time and at other times I barely am able to eat at all.  I am getting frustrated with it. I know it is me and not the band. I know I need to get back to basics and start over.

I am back to eating out again for lunch. I get so tired of that. I did however go to Famous Dave's and got a two meat lunch combo. Brisket and wings with bbq beans and jalapeno mac n cheese. (I usually get two meats in case one meat gets stuck, I can try the other)
I had 2 wings and 2 slices of brisket. 1 tbsp of beans and also mac n cheese. That was lunch. Dinner was 2 hard tacos. Late night I ate more brisket. The next day I ate the rest of the wings. So that lunch lasted me a two days. But that isn't always the case.

I sat here last night trying to understand what I have or haven't been doing correctly with my band. I realized I no longer eat my protein first. Solid protein. I am back to plate grazing. A little of this and a little of that. The hardest part for me is focusing on eating and starting with the solid protein. I can say that I do get the full feeling which I haven't felt in many months. That sensation has been absent for quite some time.
I'm a picky eater but I like real food. I am a meat and potato kind of girl, where not potato anymore but basically I like my meat. I don't like fish at all unless it is deep fried and no longer has any fish-like taste. There are some days I don't eat any veggies at all. I miss that.

I have mixed up my waters and that may be a problem. I usually drink Vitamin Water Zero which has no calories, fat or sodium. I have been drinking Sobe with zero calories, fat, but it does has sodium. It is also made with Stevia like the vitamin water zero. The flavors are awesome. I love the macintosh apple cherry. It is like drinking watery apple juice. It's good. I got a few other new flavors to try. Strawberry Apricot. The coconut is good but is sugar laden.

I need to get my head wrapped around getting back on track. I want to continue going forward and not looking back. I have to say I have been lucky. I have no true weight gain in my entire journey. Unfortunately I haven't had any real weigth loss in the past many months. That needs to change.

Once again, I need to focus on bringing lunch to work. I think that is a key factor. I also need to incorporate more veggies in addition to increasing my protein. I have some things to think about since today is grocery day.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Got my FILL on...

Well, I finally went and did it. I got a fill. It has been a whopping 8 months since I was at the doctor for a fill. This past week and weekend I was able to eat pot roast and then able to eat an entire Western BBQ burger, bun and all from steak n shake. My cue that I need a fill.

I have to say I was not happy getting my fill. The girl that normally does it was there and announced that she will be leaving the practice and this new one will take her spot. The new one has the personality of a rock. She was rude and impersonal. She looked at me like I was lying when I explained why I felt I needed a fill. She said just because I could eat an entire burger does not mean I need a fill. I flat out told her I know my markers and when this can happen I need a fill. She started to argue with me when Laura (my fave that is leaving) spoke up and said look how much weight she has lost, if she says this is her marker then you need to listen to her.

Do you think I was too harsh when I turned to the new one and said: " I am not a band junkie looking to score my next fill. If I was then it wouldn't have been 8 months since my last visit." SERIOUSLY!!!

I also didn't like her giving me the fill. She had to dig around because she kept hitting the edge of the port. I can't imagine why she couldn't get it right considering I can grab my port myself it is that prominent now. Which makes my skin crawl. Well, needless to say, I did get .3cc in my band. I didn't notice any difference at first. I was able to drink normally. I was also eating soft foods for 24hrs and ate those without issue in fact was starving just moments after eating. It wasn't until the next day when I began eating solids again that I noticed the change. We got Qdoba for dinner. I ate 5 bites and was completely full. I ate a little more about 5 hours later. The day after I ate chicken nuggets at home for lunch and only ate 3 and was full. I can definitely see the difference when eating solids. We'll see how long it will last.

They also want me to get an upper GI so they have a standard to go by should my stoma stretch out, they will be able to compare it against the GI. That's Tuesday. I know from prior GI's that I had to drink down barium solution fast. There is NO WAY that will happen this time around. Not looking forward to it.

It never fails, I get a fill and my family doesn't everything within their power to stress me out when I eat. I don't understand that. I keep telling them to stop because I am trying to eat and that just fuels them more and more to keep it up. I swear!!

I haven't lost any real weight in months. Hopefully this will be the push I need to get back on the losing track.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Still hanging on...

Well my new job has been keeping me pretty darn busy and add to that cheer for my daughter and football games for my son and my days are filled up!

We have stopped eating out pretty much. We had been lately eating out most days but lately I have been making sure to cook dinner except football nights. I bring my lunch most days now. I have to keep that up.

Trying to make hearty meals for myself that are high protein. Yesterday I made chili. I have tons of it for the week for myself and family. Too bad it's not going to be cold this week like last week. Still I can eat chili any day of the week.

Thankfully I have not been getting as stuck as usual. It's a nice feeling. Oddly enough, I got stuck eating chicken noodle soup from chik-fil-a. I made apple cinnamon crescents and ate several of those and did not get stuck. Go figure. These are yummy little treats that you can make as you wish with whatever you wish. I will have it in my recipe section. Who doesn't like a cresecent roll?

I have decided to go back for a fill after my work project is done next week so maybe the week after I will get that done. I feel it is time since my weight loss is at a standstill. Not up but not down either.

I need to keep moving forward and not be happy staying the same.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Family Reunion

This weekend was a family reunion. The first such event in more than 25 years. Needless to say I usually only see these people at funerals. No one has seen me since the last funeral and I was 120 lbs heavier. Would they notice? Yes and no. A few noticed and most did not. A little disheartening.

This reunion was a cookout at the park. They supplied the meats and we brought side dishes. I made jalapeno mac and cheese and cheesecake brownies. For my meal I made cashew chicken salad. I wanted to make sure I had food. I also brought my waters. It was a beautiful day. I got slightly stuck but it went down. I ate a cup of chicken salad (40g of protein) and a cheesecake brownie. That's it.
They had smoked pork, which I can't eat and hot dogs which also I cannot eat. Glad I brought the chicken salad.

It was a great time with family but the pictures got me a little depressed. I saw the pictures and I saw myself still very heavy. Lately when I take pics I looked like I lost weight but for some reason in these pics this weekend I looked heavy. I haven't gained weight so I am at a loss. Am I seeing things? Now I am bummed about it. I know I haven't gained weight because my jeans I wore today I had to keep hiking them up. I won't be able to wear them anymore, too big. I know pics tend to show more weight on you but really lately I thought I looked decent in pics and didn't mind taking pics. Now, I don't want pics taken. Mental?

Need to do some rethinking and reassessing. I am definitely thinking of getting my fill after my project at work is over. Mid October maybe. Got to get back on track.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Can't believe I have neglected my blog

I have been extremely busy for a while now. So busy, in fact, I haven't had time to update my blog.

No additional weightloss to report. I am finally able to eat without getting stuck at every meal. It is a huge relief but I am still wavering between, to get a fill or not. I am just enjoying eating again and not that I am overeating just being able to eat normally.

I had one week where I was able to take my lunch daily instead of running out. My friend was on vacation. For the first time I was able to get the stubborn 5 lbs off and kept it off. Eating out is my enemy. When I eat out daily during the week I put on 5lbs and then lose it over the weekend only to gain it again the next week. I am trying to bring my lunch more often now that my friend is back from vacation. She isn't too happy about that but I have to do it for me.
 Since starting my new job in June, I now get up earlier, eat breakfast earlier and therefore am hungrier for lunch earlier whereas, before, I didn't eat lunch until 1 or 2pm. I am now hungry at 11 or 11:30am. So I have been bringing snacks like yogurt or cheese sticks. I did go out this week and got 3 bowls of chili from Logan's Roadhouse. I love their chili. It has 13g of protein. So I had chili three days. Still kept those stubborn 5 lbs off. Then on Friday we went to IHOP and I got an omelette and bam a few pounds came back. Crazy!!

I need to bring my lunch or get foods ahead of time that are good choices, like the chili.

Life keeps me busy with football, jazz band for my son and cheerleading for my daughter. I need to get back to my roots of keeping prepared. I still take my lunch tote everywhere with drinks in it at least so I always have my Vitamin Water but I need to be more proactive and more assertive with bringing my lunch despite how it upsets my friend. I do try to warn her by emailing her the night before.

Being prepared is the key to success. Bringing foods rather than buying is always the better choice.

For those reading my blog...if you aren't able to post a comment, you are not alone. I can't respond to any posted comments either. I am working to get this resolved. If you just want to email me directly, feel free at latinalov7@insightbb.com.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

A long long week

This eating out has to stop! I can't keep doing it day after day. I try to keep on track but it is no good.

I eat maybe every 4-5 hours. I was wondering why I was so hungry at 11:30 am everyday when before I wasn't hungry until at least 1pm. Duh...I now eat breakfast at 6:30am when I used to eat at 8:30am.

I made another crockpot meal and the family loved it. I had no problems eating it and it had pasta in it. I will be adding it to my recipe page. It is chicken stroganoff. Yummy!

Ok, here's a touchy subject...constipation. It happens to everyone regardless if they had surgery. It happens more often with someone who has had surgery. Gas and constipation go hand in hand for me. I cut out or limit my veggies and try to focus on protein and I get constipated. There's no happy medium. I can hold onto about 5 lbs when I am constipated. I need to find balance in this area or add metamucil to my diet which I really don't want to do.

Still looking for recipes. If you have any send them to latinalov7@insightbb.com

Thanks everyone!!

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The week in review

Well, it didn't go as planned. Monday I took my lunch and life was good. Tuesday was our Mid-Manager's retreat. BORING!! Lunch consisted of grilled chicken, bbq pulled pork, potato salad, cole slaw, green beans, salad, and cookies. I got a small piece of chicken, a tsp of pork, potato salad, green beans, a little cole slaw, a little salad and cookies. I always get a smidgeon of each because I never know what will go down and what won't. It went okay. I ate 3/4 of the chicken, pork, potato salad, green beans. I ended up eating about 3/4 of my plate. Wednesday my hubby and I went to the state fair. I had several lemon shake-ups. LOVE EM! I had 1/2 a cheeseburger and some aussie cheese fries. A little caramel corn and that was it. Not too bad. Lunch on Thursday was from our company caterer which was angus patty (like salisbury steak) mashed potatoes and salad. I ate all of the meat and a little of the rest. Friday was QDoba so I did not keep to my plan to bring lunch everyday.

Next week I should have a better shot at it. I start a computer programming class next week, Mon/Wed/Fri, during lunch so I have to bring my lunch if I want to eat. That leaves Tues/Thurs. I think I can make it work. I also take 2 night computer programming classes each week.

So, for this next week I once again am going to try and get my protein in.

It will be hard because of my son's football and in a few weeks it will be his football and my daughter's cheer.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

The daily buzz....

Hunger is not a problem these days as much as getting the protein in is. I believe that I haven't lost any weight because I am not getting enough protein. So, my goal this week is to increase my protein daily to get in at least 120g a day. I need to find my niche again and this is the only thing I can think is causing me not to lose weight. I am not overeating, if anything I may be under eating because I am not hungry very often.

So far today...
B: eggs, laughing cow cheese (28g protein)
L: McDonald's Angus deluxe snack wrap (20g protein)
D: will be meatloaf casserole. I don't know if I have calculated the protein in that or not. Need to check on it.

Even if dinner is 20g of protein that will leave me short on protein for the day since we should have at least 70g of protein a day. What to do, what to do? I am usually not more hungry than this. I am not a fan of protein bars or protein shakes. I prefer real food to get my protein. I am making spinach artichoke dip for snack so that will add another 7-10g of protein.

Another thing I have been or haven't been doing lately is eating my protein first. I am a plate grazer. I eat a little of this and that all over the plate. When I first had surgery I put only protein on my plate first then veggies after I ate the protein. I don't anymore. I fix my entire plate and hence I graze on different ones instead of eating my protein first. So I have identified two potential causes for me not losing weight. This week I will put them to the test.

Speaking of tests, Tuesday will be a big test for me. I have a Mid-Management Retreat. My first one. It is an all day event at a facility away from work. We eat breakfast & lunch there. I know for breakfast they are having ham biscuits. I plan on eating my breakfast before I leave home. So I may eat a little fruit. Lunch will be chicken. I can do chicken. The test is that I don't get stuck. This retreat is with dozens and dozens of people so the stuck potential is high and close proximity to the bathroom is low. Fingers crossed.

I also plan on going to the state fair this week. Wow how will I ever resist the krispy kreme hamburger on donuts or the fried kool aid? Yeah I don't see them as a problem, yuck!  I used to love the ribeye sandwich, too tough for me to chew now, and the pork sandwich. Pork gets stuck. Fried broccoli and cheese and fried cauliflower, can't have. I loved the fries with cheese, bacon and ranch. Can't really eat fries anymore either. Oh and funnel cakes or elephant ears?? Bread product, not likely. I'm really not sure what I will get to eat. I went last year and got a healthy veggie plate from one of the stands and was bored and disappointed. I mean part of the fun of going to the fair is the fair food. I might try a Gyro. Never had that. Burger without the bun I guess. Not too appealing at the fair. Looking forward to the lemonade shake ups. YUM! Lots of walking to be had there so I will get my exercise in. Not too many places to sit down and veg out. I can have the sliced apples with hot caramel. Yummy. We are going sans kids so I am looking forward to enjoying some time with hubby just perusing the fair seeing what we want to see when we want to see it.

The rest of the week will be ordinary. I just have to bring my lunch. I have problems with a friend who wants to get lunch daily. We don't actually go eat somewhere, we just run and pick it up so it's a lot of fast food. Famous Daves (BBQ place), QDoba(southwestern) which is actually high protein(45-50g) so I don't mind that one, Homerun Burger, Jason's Deli. Other than QDoba none are good choices for me. I want to bring my lunch all week that I am there but how to tell her without pissing her off?? She uses our lunch time to vent about how crappy things are for her since I left the unit. I feel bad for her but I am not sorry I left. I had a great opportunity and took it and am extremely happy where I am at. Anyway, I need to think of myself and where I am heading both health wise and job wise. This time I come first. I am off work two days this week so that only leaves two days to bring my lunch. I can compromise to Qdoba one day but the other will be my lunch from home.

Now I am off to get laundry finished for another school week for the kids and work week for me.

Friday, August 19, 2011

MIA for a while

I have been busy busy for quite a while. My new job keeps me busy all day but now that I get off work at 5pm I have more time for my family. My son just started football. He's in middle school. You know he played flag football for 3 years. He's in 7th grade and is playing his first year of full contact football.
Now, my son is by no means a big boy. He's tall but lean and they have him as a linebacker. So sad really. Some of the boys he's played against he said he just prayed they didn't fall on him. They were HUGE!!
Well we have been going to his games which are about 2-3 games per week. My daughter starts cheer at the end of the month so once we get football over we will be going to the elementary school basketball games that she cheers at.
 My new pic from last week

Band news-- 
Nothing. Absolutely nothing. No gain, no loss. I thought I was getting restriction back but no, it's gone again. I guess I just need to suck it up and go get a fill. I hate to shell out the $150. As I have said before I don't have restriction. I eat fine for about 5-10 min then BAM. A wall slams down and the food prairie dogs back up my throat. Sometimes there is pain in the chest with the food coming back up. Sliming is a real possibility. Throwing up is almost a certainty.
I don't overeat though. I think because most of the time the food comes back up I end up not getting enough food. I have added some protein drinks on those day. I still am not fond of protein drinks.

My food intake today:
B: a scrambled egg, wedge of laughing cow @ 6:30 am
L: a deluxe angus snack wrap from McDonalds @ 12:30 pm
D: Chicken breast, cauliflower @ 7:00 pm
Snack: snack pack of pringles, rice krispie treat.
Vitamin Water Zero.

I only eat when I am hungry so it's not as if I am hungry often. The food I do eat stays with me for a long time. Sometimes I force lunch or dinner because I am not hungry but I know if I don't get enough calories/fat in a day I can't function and my body will revert to starvation mode. I had that happen when I was 17 yrs old. It is not pretty. I was very sick. I didn't know at the time but later found out the cause. I had sores in my mouth and down my throat. It was so bad I couldn't eat or drink for 3 weeks and I couldn't even swallow my own saliva. I spit in a tissue. I ended up in the hospital with collapsed veins. When they were finally able to get an IV in me I was 70% better in no time due to the fluids. Test revealed I was in starvation mode. I also learned after spending a week in the hospital that I am allergic to artificial sweeteners like splenda, aspartame, etc. Stevia doesn't bother me because it is natural.

Tomorrow is a new day. I need to get this figured out. I guess I am back to trial and error. More error than anything it seems.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I think its time for another fill

But I am still on the fence about it. After weeks if not a few months of consistently getting stuck I have been able to eat bread lately. Not a lot but still, something I don't usually do.
For instance, when I eat egg salad on toast, I can eat 2 slices of toast. Last night I grilled burgers and I ate 2/3 of a burger including the bun. But that's all I ate for dinner. Today we got HomeRun Burgers. I usually take the bun off and eat the meat and toppings. Today I cut the burger in 1/2 and picked off most of the top bun and ate half of it with about 6 cajun fries. Now the kicker is I seem to get full faster when I eat some sort of bread with my meal as part of the meal like the toast or the bun.
Tonight's dinner is Chicken and Black Bean Quesadilla.

My total food intake for today was:
Breakfast:2 tbsp egg salad on 1 slice of toast.
Lunch: 1/2 Cheeseburger w/ 6 cajun fries
Dinner: 1/2 of a Chicken/Black bean quesadilla (maybe as I have eaten 1 wedge and may not finish the 2nd wedge yet)
I feel restriction which I haven't felt in months. Not the stuck feeling but the full feeling. It's nice to feel it again.

Ok, I got a new phone for my birthday so it takes pics front and back. Sweet! Here is today's pic of me. I took it at work today. After the pic I called up the salon and made an appointment for a cut and color next Friday. I desperately need it!!

I had a wonderful vacation, and am really rested. I am glad to be back at work but still puzzled by the restriction feeling. It's something I haven't felt in so long it is foreign to me. Hello my old friend, welcome back! I hope you stay awhile. I may hold off once again on getting that fill.

Question, does anyone else "hiccup" when their pouch is maxed out? When I eat (when I have restriction, that is) when I have the restriction feeling, I start to biccup. It's a cross between a belch and a hiccup.

Oh well, here's to restriction, may you reside in my band as long as you can...

Saturday, July 30, 2011

I say....Unbutton your pants!!

Ok, I know that sounds crazy but frankly I was at my wits end lately with the whole getting stuck thing. No matter what I tried, did or ate there was no rhyme nor reason on why. Well, I have come to the conclusion that it may have something to do with my pants. Or more specifically my waistband.

Let me explain...

My port like everyone else is located basically where my waistband hits. I tell you it is a freaky feeling when my waistband "catches" on my port. I am so paranoid something will happen to it given that I paid cash for my surgery. No insurance will cover the problems. Anyway, back to topic. I found that whenever I wore loose pants or pants with a non binding elastic waistband I didn't have "slam-the-door-shut" stuck issues. I mean I would still get the slight pressure which was an indicator to slow it down but it wasn't so painful that I would have to go throw up to get relief. I was able to enjoy my meals. Now I started watching what was I wearing when I got stuck, stuck hard and apparently those times I had on jeans or tight waist pants. I got the idea to unbutton my jeans one day when we were eating. It was just enough to allow the pressure to subside and the food went down. I have continued to test my theory over the past few days and it seems to be consistent.

So, stress AND waistband tightness can cause band issues. And people think WLS is the easy diet fix. There is nothing easy about it. 

As I have said before, I recently got promoted. New promotions are announced in a newsletter which includes a picture. UGH!! My last picture was nearly 2 years ago so I opted for the picture update. I really don't like pictures but given that I have lost 115 lbs in the last year I think the difference would be amazing and was worth it. So I stood up against the wall and had my picture taken and  must say it was a pretty good one. One that I won't mind when it comes out. I will have to copy it and post it on here which reminds me I still haven't posted my 1 year pics. I am so behind the times. 

Today I went shopping for my birthday(which is tomorrow). I will be 41. My mom insists on taking me out and buying me a gift rather than giving me a check. So we went to Old Navy. Yeah I love that place. Found clearanced a pair of pants, a shirt and sunglasses. We then went consignment shopping. I found 3 pairs of pants there. It's funny how I don't mind shopping for clothes anymore. 

Despite not losing much weight lately, it is still all good.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Finally back to normal

Well, my water weight gain is now gone. I am back to my pre-water weight gain weight. Boy that was a mouthful!! I am also down an additional .5 lb. My grand total to date is 115.5 lbs.

I have NO idea on why I swelled. No idea on why it went away. Go figure. Maybe the lab work I had done will tell me something.

My little addictions are getting out of hand. I am really into egg salad on wheat toast (yay I can eat toast with egg salad on it!!) and rice krispie treats. I eat a rice krispie treat every night before bed, while in bed and after every meal. Seriously I do! I go through these phases or cravings all the time. It's crazy but my one rule is that I don't deny myself anything I want as long as it doesn't cause any band problems. While I would love to have a Big Red or a grape soda I won't because of the carbonation however I do indulge in the rare Coca Cola Float from Wendy's. YUMMY! and since it is mixed with a frosty the carbonation is not a problem. I love them so I do not go by Wendy's very often.

Today I had:
egg salad
rice krispie treats

Sad isn't it?

Monday, July 25, 2011

Gaining ground...not a good thing

I am posting my first gain. This gain though is due to water retention. This heat is causing me great distress with swelling. I haven't had any issues with swelling in a year. I went on vacation and gained 12 lbs. I took a water pill last night and lost 8 of those pounds. At first one would think ok you were on vacation and just gained weight due to poor eating. Nope, I ate better than I do at home. I still got stuck just as much so nothing really changed. I spent 10 days swimming and bike riding but it wasn't muscle gain.

I went to the doctor today about it. I was diagnosed with CHF(congestive heart failure) in 2001. I assumed the swelling was also due to the CHF. Probably not. My doctor said back in 2001 they didn't have the tests available to pinpoint specifically if a person has CHF. Due to my spontaneous collapsed lung and back then they assumed it was CHF. She said since I have lost so much weight that it is unlikely plus coupled with the fact that I had an echo cardiogram and PET scan before the band surgery and they both came out normal.

Needless to say I am going back tomorrow for more tests. But the extreme heat here is probably the cause.

I found that roll ups are good protein choices when traveling. They are very simple and when kept in the cooler are good for a snack or light meal.
I am making my foods for this week for lunches. I have to get away from eating out every day. So, I am making egg salad, chicken salad, jalapeno roll ups and smokey red beans and rice with smoked sausage. Now if only I can keep to the plan. It's hard to do when I have someone who wants or expects me to go to lunch daily. Be strong, say no. Yeah, easier said than done.

Eating lunch while traveling was difficult because the choices for lunch are fast food. We ended up at Wendys most days when we were on the road. I had the chicken wrap but frankly got sick and tired of chicken. We stopped at DQ on the way back home and I ate nothing. There was nothing but chicken strips and I just couldn't bring myself to eat them. My husband pissed me off by telling me its better than nothing. Oh how I ripped him a new one over that comment. I think he was being insensitive since I told him there was nothing there I could eat but chicken and I didn't want chicken so he said that was where he was stopping. Intentional? Oh Hell yes! Anyway I let him have it over that. It's not too much to ask to go somewhere where they have something for everyone.

I am getting ready to grill some smoked sausage for dinner and also for my red beans and rice. Two meals at once. It's a good thing.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Vacation update

Well the car ride was not as traumatic as I thought it would be although I had a few touch and go moments. At one point I made hubby pull off quick cause I thought I was gonna hurl. I was stuck but as soon as I got up out the SUV I was fine. WHEW!
The snacks I took in the car were cheese cubes, PB pretzels and rice krispie treats. Yes I took rice krispie treats. They are my fave and never get stuck. I also had Vitamin Water Zero in the cooler. Life was good. We stopped at Wendys on the way there. I have not eaten at a Wendys in over a year. I got a chicken wrap. It had a chicken strip, cheese, lettuce and ranch dressing. It was yummy and only took me an hour to eat it. Needless to say we had a long leisurely lunch. I had to keep stopping and resting between bites. Didn't get stuck though. A few times I thought it would but it didn't. For dinner we stopped late and I had wings from Zaxbys. No problem. We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Suites. They have a complimentary hot breakfast. So for breakfast I had scrambled eggs, bacon and apple juice. Our condo has a full kitchen so I went to the store and bought foods. Eggs for breakfast, pepperoni for wraps.

When we go the beach I pack a small tote cooler with Vitamin waters for me and cheese cubes. Of course drinks and snacks for my kids too. We come back to the condo for lunch which has been egg salad on toast for me. I haven't been able to eat toast at all since surgery until this weekend. I am making the pepperoni roll ups for lunch tomorrow. Dinner tonight we grilled out burgers. No bun for me! I had slaw as well. I had 3/4 of the burger and about 1/3 cup of the slaw.

Well I have been wearing a bathing suit and it wasn't as scarring as I thought it would be. I do have a lot of hanging skin on my arms. But it was okay. The funny thing about the beach is there is always someone there that looks worse in a bathing suit than you do, lots look better but someone always looks worse! Got a little burnt but hey it's the beach! Everyday we go the beach in the morning after breakfast then go back and eat lunch. Rest a bit then to the outdoor beachfront pool. Back for dinner then possible another pool. So far that's the plan. I want to throw in some shopping and the kids want mini golf. I have to say I am way more active than I was a year ago. Even though last year I was at Myrtle Beach too it was only 2 months post op and there wasn't much of a difference at that time other than I was able to stay at the beach longer than in years past.

I have to say one of the biggest differences I have noticed is getting up and down off the beach blanket. It was always so hard to hoist myself up off the ground and needed help getting up. I fell a few times too. Very embarrassing. That was the PAST! I get up and down fairly easy and, knock on wood, haven't fallen once. I am still self conscience and have gotten a little anxious a few times. Borderline panic attacks but I worked through them. I am still a work in progress and each day reminds me of that. I don't think I will ever be completely panic free but it is tons better now.

I went bike riding today with my little girl. We rode for about 30 minutes and man were my legs tired but it was a good tired. I guess I like my new bike. I may even start riding it around the neighborhood at home. I said I may.

Well, alls good for now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

What has gotten into me??

Ok after a weekend day of firsts, it continues. I bought a bike today. We are going on vacation to the beach and staying in a plantation resort. No golf carts allowed in the 53 acre resort. You either drive, hoof it or ride a bike. We are taking our bikes but I didn't have one so we bought one. I haven't ridden a bike in 10+ years. Oh this is not going to even be funny.
We got the bike at Walmart. I forgot to pick up my medicine so I go back in and while walking to the pharmacy I see a halter bathing suit top in black in my size. $10 so I bought it. What has gotten into me?? I tried it on when I got home and it fit just fine. So now I have two halter bathing suit tops( one black and one purple floral) and one black swim skirt.
I just can't believe I just bought it. Crazy!!
Today was all Mexican. I had 1egg/laughing cow for breakfast. Lunch was Qdoba 3 cheese nachos (black beans, chicken, cheese, sour cream,  lettuce) and dinner was taco salad from Senor Iguanas. That's it.
I did find some peanut butter filled pretzels at Kroger. They are in the aisle with the nuts. They had a big container of snack mix and also one with the filled pretzels. I bought one of each. Those peanut butter pretzels are darn tasty. I think I am going to get one for vacation road trip. 5g protein per serving.
Looking forward to vacation knowing I won't come back to work with tons of stuff hanging over my head like before. I will actually get to enjoy it.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Saturday, a day of firsts

Well, Saturday was a day for firsts for me. First and foremost, I wore shorts out in public. Yes out in public! I have not worn shorts, other than on vacation which is always in another state, therefore no one I know would see me. I went yard sale shopping all day and wore shorts! Shocking. We went to city-wide yard sales so it was a lot of walking, which I did.
I also bought...shorts for myself at that the yard sales. I can't believe it. I have NEVER bought any piece of clothing for myself at a yard sale. Let's face it, yard sales don't have "Big Girl" clothing. They now have my size or I now wear that size clothes. It was nice to buy a pair of shorts to kick around in at home for $1.
I did a lot of walking and as such my legs and  butt hurt massively bad all night. I soaked in a hot bath and that still did nothing for the pain. Which brings me to my next 1st.
I took a long hot bath. I normally only take showers. The reason? Because of my size, I couldn't fit in a standard tub. I always thought our master bath (I use the term loosely as it is very tiny) was a small tub but actually it is standard, I was the one that was over sized. I would get in the tub with only a few inches of water and once I sat down, the water nearly overflowed. Then I could never scooch down and soak because more than half of my body would still be above the water. No soaking there. I was more like wedged in there. Last night however, was different. I got in the tub that was nearly full and it did not overflow. I fit in it with room to spare on the sides and scooched down and completely soaked. It was nice for a change.
The next 1st was that I went shopping for a bathing suit. Yep, that was very hard to do. Full length mirrors, bathing suit, body exposed. Yep it was nerve racking. I did it, I got a bathing suit and I hate it. There wasn't much of a choice so I got what fit but I don't think it looks very good. Oh well, I got a size 18 where as last year this time I was wearing an extremely tight size 28. I had to squeeze in the one last year. I tried it on for kicks yesterday and well it fit like a roomy dress. It was falling off me. Now that showed me the difference a year has made for me.
So Saturday was a day for 1sts.

I still haven't lost any more weight and I am no more closer to deciding what to do about vacation than I was before. I have lost my food once in the past few days. That was only because right after eating I went to clean up the floor in my room and that involved a lot of bending over and well, I won't be bending over after a meal. Too much pressure on my stomach causes food to come back up. Lesson learned.

Here's something I have noticed over the past few months. With my new found self esteem, I have noticed that people notice me and actually make a point to talk to me. It's crazy how lately it has been more noticeable. Normally, I am a wall-flower. I prefer not to be part of a conversation but am happy just sitting in the background. Lately people are drawing me into the conversations whether I want to or not. It happens in grocery stores, restaurants, work, even repair men that come to the house. One guy from MSD came and randomly started talking about his vacation and how he would like to take it now but can't, blah blah blah. He likes Florida, where do I like to go for vacation and such. Really? What does any of that have to do with my drain out front that is washing out my yard?
The pizza delivery guy did the same thing basically. As soon as I answered the door, he started talking about a lawsuit over video game violence and how isn't that what parenting is to regulate what kids play and watch? He just kept babbling. I just wanted my pizza. Geez dude.

I guess with new found weight loss, new found self esteem, comes the responsibility. The responsibility that people will notice you. Wow! What a concept. Mix that with a jealous husband and it gets ugly fast.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Day 3 nothing got stuck!

Ok, so now I am so confused. What is causing it? There are only 2 things different about the last three days. One was I didn't have to work and two was that hubby was gone most of those days. Actually he's been working so he hasn't been here at all except from 3am to 10am. Hmm...is it work, is the kids or is it hubby?

Today was a good day so to speak.

Egg/laughing cow cheese
Meatloaf casserole
Vitamin Water.
Bowl of Strawberry Mini Wheats with milk

That's it today. I wasn't hungry at all. I only at when I was hungry. Didn't get stuck once. I had one little slice of meatloaf casserole and stopped eating as soon as it got tight. I just didn't eat anymore. So now here's my thought. Have things changed again with my band and when I get stuck it is not that I am stuck but I have eating enough? Sometimes I wonder and others when I get stuck immediately I know it isn't cause I've had a enough. Some things to ponder.

Tomorrow I go back to work. I will take my lunch with me I think. Maybe some watermelon too. Or I could go get a salad from Jason's Deli. I haven't had one in ages. I may do that and stop by the Fashion Bug to check out bathing suits.Eww....bathing suits...

My spirits are still up and down. No meltdowns today because I haven't gotten stuck so it's all good right now.

We'll see what tomorrow brings. Will work cause issues? I do get stuck at work and the kids and hubby are not there. so who knows what the common factor is if any.  

Sunday, July 3, 2011


Where's the fat?? Well, now what did you think I meant, LOL!! This should be my new motto when I start second guessing my decision...I could get a tshirt made. Or change the name of my blog to WTF...I may do that!!

I know that I need to keep focused on the prize ahead. Many times lately I have had moments of despair and regret. Just moments. I get stuck over and over and think to myself why did I do this? Why don't I just go and get an un-fill? I am set to go on vacation soon and wonder how I am going to do this when I am getting stuck so often. An unfill would solve it and I would enjoy my vacation. Do I want to risk that? I just don't know what to do. I know I am not eating right and getting stuck is probably causing damage in my esophagus when I have to throw it up. I haven't been back for a check up in months but I know they are going to tell me I am eating too fast, too big of bites etc. They may do an unfill a little. I have to pay cash for my visits and fills so I try to avoid going back if I don't have to. It's expensive. I certainly don't want to pay for an unfill. To me/for me that is a step backwards.

You know I actually had a melt down the other day crying saying I was happier before surgery. I know that is not true but it came out of my mouth just the same. Here 14 months later and I still have issues. I felt before like I was in a constant moving forward motion. Now I am either stuck where I am or falling behind. I don't fee like I am going forward anymore. Getting stuck is the cause of my feeling this way. If I wasn't getting stuck everything would be fine. That is my only issue.

Work is no longer my stress. My homelife is. What a switch. Maybe they both were but work was so much more and now that it isn't my homelife seems so much more stressful. Vaction will be my difficult test. We have gone from a 7 passenger Nissan Quest to a 5 passenger(tight 5) Dodge Nitro. No longer will we be able to put one kid in the back and one in the middle to keep them apart. They will now be right together the entire trip. How many times do we ride to the store and there is a fight because he stretched out and punched her arm or she moved her foot just enough to kick him? They they argue denying it. That is just on a 5 minute drive to Walmart. How will 10 hours in the car go? I will be starving because there is no way I will be able to eat.

I thought getting my new job would be fantastic but it has just brought the issues from home to the forefront. I try to ignore or play down getting stuck but it is a nightmare. Fortunately yesterday was the first day I my food stayed down despite being stuck a few times.

Today so far, I have eaten:
scrambled egg/laughing cow cheese, I know it's surprising lol
El Cherro frozen chicken enchilada meal. It has 14g protein and 8g fiber. It's wasn't too too bad. Not good like real mexican food but still had good protein for a tv dinner.
Had one bottle of Vitamin Water Zero and some cookies.
Dinner will either be meatloaf casserole or tacos.I haven't gotten stuck so far.

I have to get more protein in. I tried another protein bar and YUCKY!! It had such a bitter aftertaste. Those are high calorie too. As much as a candy bar. I don't see myself eating those anymore. Got to get another plan. We are going to the beach so I need foods for the car and also non-melting ones for the beach. I will have a cooler with me both in the car and at the beach. Any suggestions?

Our villa has a kitchen so I will be eating breakfast daily and we will fix some meals there but I know we will eat out too. That will be a nightmare. I can't remember the last time I ate a meal out that didn't get majorly stuck.

I am also a little nervous about wearing a bathing suit. I have NO idea what size I would wear. I dread going and trying them on. I also need to get some shorts. I went to Old Navy yesterday. By the way, they are having buy 2 get 1 free sale in stores(around me anyway). That includes clearance items. I bought 9 pieces of clothing for $84. I also donated a pair $2.50 flip flops to the troops and got an additional 10% off my purchase which made it $84. I did buy a chambray skirt. It comes to just above my knees. We'll see how that goes. I haven't worn a skirt of any kind in more than 15 years. I wear pants and capris but no skirts and rarely shorts and never out in public. I don't even have to try clothes on anymore. Right now I know my exact fit so I can look at clothes and know if that will fit me or not. I am around an 18-20 in bottoms, depending on the store and stretch of the pants and XL/XXL in tops. Not the plus size XXL. Just the regular. I only get the XXL in sweaters so I can layer them. The tops I get XL. A big difference considering at my biggest I was a tight 28 pants, probably really a 30/32 and I was 30/32 in tops or a 4X-5X. Amazing I do keep this in mind when I have my meltdowns. I have come a long way and I need to keep remembering that.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

My daily struggle continues

I just don't know what more I can do other than taking fluid out of my band. I am getting stuck daily and daily it comes up. Knock on wood, but so far today I have gotten stuck but kept it down. Stress is a major factor but right now it is my kids. I know that is horrible but my kids seem to always start a fight with each other or start bickering at meals. We went to Senor Iguana's the other day. I get the beef chimichanga. It comes with refried beans, spanish rice, lettuce, pico, guacamole. I eat half and take the other half home. Well not that day. As soon as we got there my daughter kept kicking her brother under the table. Then he complained that she was talking too much. Then he complained that she looked at him. GEEZ!! Of course, hubby just ignores them. I can't do that. I have to be the bad guy and that invovles me raising my voice which causes my band to tighten. I took two bites got stuck. Then waited it out. By that time everyone had eaten. I started to eat and it was going along smoothly. Yay me, then no. My daughter started crying that her belly hurt. She became so dramatic, flopping around, wailing. I got up and told hubby to get a to-go container and took her to the car. We get to the car and she is laughing and playing. She had gas and apparently "released" it on the way to the car. Really?? I get home and it took me two hourse to choke down a soggy chimichanga.

This morning I got up early and fixed some scrambled eggs, my daily breakfast. It is soft and usually goes down without too much trouble even though I am extremely tight in the morning. My son gets up and decides he is going to start nagging me as I sit trying to eat. I told him I was trying to eat to please go play in his room so I can eat. He leaves and then comes back I tell him to leave, he comes back and so on. My eggs got stuck. I waited it out and it finally went down. They just aren't getting it through their heads that they need to behave while I eat. They just go on and on. We are supposed to go on vacation soon but I just don't know how I am going to do that. I did fine last year which was just after my surgery. I got stuck but not often. Now it's different. I guess I will have to keep protein drinks on hand and bars. Otherwise I won't get enough protein. I am suspecting this is why I am not losing weight. My protein intake is reduced due to the getting "sick" daily. (knock on wood, not today).

I have eaten bad today.
Breakfast: scrambled egg, laughing cow cheese
Lunch: hotdog wrapped in crescent roll
Dinner: grilled hamburger with cheese, japapeno mac and cheese. (It took me nearly 2 hours to eat it bun and all but dang it was worth it!! I haven't had a bun in forever)
I had a chocolate/banana starbucks smoothie and some chocolate milk today.

I have my good and bad days. I grilled my rosemary ranch chicken kabobs the other day and grilled some asparagus too. That was good. I could only eat 3 chicken chunks before I got stuck.
The weird thing about eating the burger tonight it it got stuck. Hurting stuck, then after about 20 minutes I ate a little more and then a little more then I felt like it was "primed" and it went down fine. I am puzzled by that. It's been nearly 14 months since I had the surgery and it gets more and more different every day.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Great day, good food day

I took the Cashew Avocado Chicken Salad today for lunch. I decided to just take the avocado with me and cut it up fresh when it was time to eat. It is packed with protein and chunky chicken. I ate a cup of chicken salad and still have enough for 5 more meals. I spooned half the container on a plate and diced 1/2 of the avocado on my plate and the other half in the container and mixed. That was earlier today at noon. I keep an igloo lunch tote at my desk with a large ice pack for my Vitamin Water Zero and my lunch foods. I put the container back in there and just came home. The avocado is still fresh and green in the salad. It hasn't turned. No lime juice either. I also tweaked it a bit more. I added much more Ranch and less cashews. I should have added more swiss unless most of it is in the other containers. The celery makes great crunch and so do the cashews. I used the unsalted cashews and added Mrs. Dash today on my portion and pepper. It's a keeper. I will be posting a recipe for grilled avocado. I know, crazy isn't it? I should dedicate a page to avocado recipes. Ooh, I should~~

Had eggs for breakfast. Fixing spaghetti for dinner. Lots of lean beef and garlic. Yum! I use vermicelli noodles. They are much thinner than the thin spaghetti. Easier to digest for me.

It's gonna be a busy work week with my job but I am looking forward to it. It sure beats my previous job with all the stresses of making a monetary goal before the last day of the month and spending the last day of the month working on making the unit goal and end of month reports. I would most times be there until midnight. I could NEVER take off on the last day or the last week of the month for that matter. Now I can because I no longer have those worries. Do I feel bad? I feel bad for those that will have to do it but I don't feel bad personally. I am glad to be done with it.

My mom called me today and she commented how different I am. She said I am a whole different person that has nothing to do with my weightloss but everything to do with my new job. I am much happier. I am in a field I have a strong interest in and one that is growing. My last job I was at the highest position pretty much. There was no chance for further advancement any time soon. This was a good move for me although I was worried about it there for a bit. I am still nervous about getting a new boss but so be it!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

And the beat goes on...

I am plugging away. I finally am down a few more pounds. It still has been hit or miss on the getting stuck. I know I need to eat protein so I keep trying no matter what.

Stress plays a big factor in it. I have come to realize without a doubt that my kids and hubby are the main cause of my getting stuck. I can't relax when they are around. My kids are always bickering at meals and hubby just ignores it. So that leaves me to break bad. Which in turn causes me to get stuck.

Point is Friday I went to lunch with my new department. A group of 12 people went to El Torazo. A group I don't really know. Eating for the first time in a setting like that. I really expected to heave ho. Nope! I had a chimichanga, refried beans and rice. YUM!! We sat around from 11:30 until 1pm. I took a bite then talked a bit then took a bite and talked a bit. It took me until 1pm to finish but I did. I was so happy for a couple of reasons.

The first reason is that I have had anxiety disorder for many years. I had to have medication for it and it still really didn't help. I wouldn't be able to walk into a crowded room or sit with people I didn't know, let alone eat with them. Throw in the lab band and it was a recipe for shear terror and disaster. Not so anymore. I think my weightloss has curbed many fears that were imbedded in me and I now realize that is was due to my weight. So I actually looked forward to the outing and enjoyed it tremendously. AND I didn't get stuck.

Second reason was I didn't get stuck and I was eating with a group I really didn't know. Good things are still happening.

I have a new recipe for chicken salad. It is loaded with protein. YUMMY!!

Cashew Avocado Chicken Salad
8 servings.

4 cooked, diced or shredded boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 c Ranch dressing
1 c. cashews, unsalted
1 avocado diced
salt, pepper to taste
4 slices of thick precooked bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 c. diced swiss cheese
1/4 c diced celery
1 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, optional
toasted pitas
shredded lettuce, optional

In large bowl mix all ingredients and chill 30 min. Stuff pitas or serve as is. I recommend eating asap because of the avocado. If not mix everything but the avocado. Cut the avocado at the last minute or prior to but mix with some lime juice and add to chicken salad when ready to eat. It is delicious and 28g protein.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Stuck anyone? PLUS new recipe

Well so much for good food days. It comes and goes. My band isn't too tight. I think I am eating too fast and too big of a bite. Not chewing enough too. Now the question is...do I need a fill? Am I eating too fast, too big of a bite, not chewing enough because my band is too loose? I don't have restriction I have constriction. I don't feel full. I feel like the food suddenly is prairie dogging back up my throat. I can eat for 5-10 min before suddenly a wall slams down and it tightens up and eventually comes up. I'll have to think about this one.I haven't had a fill since March or maybe February.

I am getting used to my new job and then today BAM!! I find out that I will have a new boss soon. My boss was promoted so as soon as they hire her replacement I will have a new boss. Possible someone outside of the company too. I am worried. What if they come in and decide to clean house. I am the new person. The low man on the pole so to speak. Three of us were hired within weeks of each other. One has been there 6 weeks. Another going on 4 weeks and myself just ending my 3rd week.

Last night I made a fantabulous meal. Grilled Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs. YUM!! Didn't get stuck at all. Here's the recipe. My kids loved it. It is one of my keeper recipes for the family. This was hubby's plate. He had potato salad and macaroni salad. That is my daughter's bowl of salad. I was able to eat 1/2 a skewer but these were large metal ones. I like the metal because it heats up and helps cook the inside of the meat.

Rosemary Ranch Chicken Kabobs    


1/2 cup olive oil

1/2 cup ranch dressing

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon lemon juice 1 teaspoon white vinegar

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to


1 tablespoon white sugar, or to taste


5 skinless, boneless chicken breast

halves - cut into 1 inch cubes

1 green pepper, cut into chunks

1 red onion, cut into chunks


1. In a medium bowl, stir together the olive oil, ranch dressing, Worcestershire sauce, rosemary, salt, lemon juice, white vinegar, pepper, and sugar. Let stand for 5 minutes. I pour about half of the marinade in a squeeze bottle to baste the kabobs. Place chicken in the bowl, and stir to coat with the marinade. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes while you heat up your grill.

2. Preheat the grill for medium-high heat. Thread chicken onto skewers alternating pepper & onion and discard marinade.

3. Lightly oil the grill grate( I don't do this because there is olive oil in the marinade. It didn't stick). Grill skewers for 8 to 12 minutes, or until the chicken is no longer pink in the center, and the juices run clear. Baste with the marinade you saved.

Served with a nice salad. It was delish.