Sunday, May 29, 2011

Been awhile...

I still haven't posted my 1 year pictures yet. I just haven't had time. My life is changing so much and I have had a lot of animosity to deal with at work. You would think people would be more accepting and proud of me rather than keep telling me I am ditching the unit. I am just trying to better myself and move forward in the company. This is a good promotion for me but why do they make me feel so guilty? I am to the point now that I am just letting it ride and biding my time until June 6th when I start my new job. I will still be working with them but I will be a software tester for them. 

My weight has been staying constant. I did go up a few pounds and I attribute that to swelling with the heat and probably too much salt. It has taken a week or so but I finally got my weight back down to where it has been. I stopped eating avocado for about a week and my weight creeped up. Strange huh? They are expensive. I was getting them 3 for $5 now they are $2.19 each. I still buy 7 a week. Pricey but I am worth it.

Speaking of avocado, I grilled hamburgers tonight. I made me a stuffed burger. I stuffed it with cheese and bacon, seasoned with Cajun seasoning. I topped it with sliced avocado. Can I say YUM!!! It was protein loaded. I have fallen in love with a salad at Jason's Deli. It is loaded with fat and protein. You know it does. I am not about low fat if it is high protein. I think it evens out. It works for me. Again it is my preference. I know others don't agree. I do eat low fat for the most part. I choose low fat when possible but if it is high protein, like around 58g, then I don't worry about the fat so much. Anyway, the salad has romaine, iceberg, southwestern grilled chicken, avocado, bacon, cheddar and asiago cheese. YUMMY.

Lately I have been eating more salads. Almost everyday now I have salad for either lunch or dinner or sometimes both. It doesn't stay with me for very long even with protein on it.

We started our garden today. So far, I have planted tomatoes, cucumbers and honeydew melons. I am getting broccoli and cauliflower tomorrow, hopefully. Maybe lettuce too, I don't know.  I also bought strawberries in planter boxes for my deck. They do really well up there. We fenced in the garden because my dogs, jack russells, will tear it up. The little beasts!

Well I just wanted to do a quick update. I don't know if I will be able to get back on here this week since it is my last week in the unit. I have a feeling my boss is going to wear me out. She keeps giving me things to do saying, you do it because you are ditching us. Whatever!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

A New Beginning

Things are chaning for me at work. There is a job at work, QA Application Tester, that I have applied for twice already and each time it was down to me and one other person. Obviously the other person got it each time and the last time I was told I had it and didn't get it. I was absolutely bummed and was determined NEVER to apply again. And I didn't. That was 2 years ago. Friday they posted this job again for the 2nd time in a week. I was sending that manager some issues we had with software and hinted that she needed to hire a tester for our client. She responded back asking me to interview for the tester job. I pointed out that I had before and got screwed over. Well not in those terms but I let her know I was not happy. She said she would have her manager interview me and if she gives the okay then its mine. That was fair. Now my current job is a grade level 30. This new job is a grade 32. I would be stupid not to try. I told her I would think about it over the weekend and let her know on Monday. Monday I came into work and had an email from her asking if I had thought it over. I said sure I would like to interview. I met with her Manager on Tuesday afternoon. It only lasted 10 min. I had the sinking feeling it didn't go well. About 15 minutes later I was offered the job. WOO HOO!! We discussed salary and I told her I would talk about it with my husband and let her know on Wednesday(today). Now, I really didn't need to think about it. I was taking it.
I accepted the job today and start on June 6th. I am going from a stressful job that has a monthly/quarterly monetary goal, handling 800 files, negotiating with attorneys and adjusters and being team leader of a unit of 13 examiners and now will be testing software. Wow big difference. I will have new challenges and new things to learn. I am about 6 months away from my associates degree in Computer Technology. I hope to continue that and get my degree.
One of the reasons I got this job over the other person, yeah it was down to me and another person, was because of my outgoing personality. Me? This is my tribute to the band. I have a new found self esteem that I have not had in the last 20 something years. I attribute this to my weightloss.
Today was a little extra stressful. I bring this up only due to the weightloss. A while back I had my 1st mammogram since I turned 40. I had to go back for an ultrasound and 2nd mammogram. I have many cysts but they couldn't feel them and  they were just going to watch them and I was to go back in 6 months. A week ago last Sunday, I was getting dressed and looked down and saw a bulge on my right breast. It was a large lump, several inches in size. I called my doctor the next day and they scheduled me an appointment to go back for an ultrasound and aspiration. That was today. Needless to say I have been very nervous. They removed 10cc of fluid from the cyst. They said it was okay and no need to send it off for labs. Thankfully. No cancer.
On with my new life...I am so excited. I have been in my current job for 10 years. This is like starting over but I am very excited.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011


On this day, one year ago, I was embarking on the biggest adventure of my life. Little did I know just how much it would change my life. I hoped it would but really had no idea of what I would accomplish.

So many things have changed in my life since that day. No more soft drinks for me. Anyone who knows me knew that Big Red and grape soda were my passions.
I can now sit in a seat at the movie theater and not be wedged in there plus I don't have to sit a seat apart from people because of my size. I can sit in a booth at any restaurant and not have my stomach sitting on top of the table or it being shoved up in my throat.
I can get in and out of my car with ease. I can walk from far out in the parking lot into work without stopping to breathe heavy.
My feet don't swell everyday like before. I can wear cute shoes and not have pudgy feet. Hey, some things are important.
As I have said before, I can use the regular stalls in the bathroom at work instead of the "luxury suite" or handicapped stall.
The biggest thrill for me is being able to cross my legs. I can sit like a lady again.
I have dropped a multitude of sizes. Gone from a tight size 28/30 possibly larger(30/32 in some things), to 18/20. More 18 than 20. I can buy off the racks now at regular stores and of course Old Navy is my favorite right now. I haven't taken my measurements in a long long while so I will update that on a later date as soon as I find my measuring tape.
My health has dramatically improved. Blood pressure is no longer high. Cholesterol is normal again. Was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes December 2009 and no longer take any medications and blood sugar is normal. I had a mini stroke in 2008 but now my risks are lowered for a full blown stroke. I have APS(antiphospholipid antibody syndrome) but my clotting risks are lower due to the drastic weight loss. Edema is mostly gone now. Reflux is mainly gone. I rarely take meds for it.

This has been a hard journey. It takes a lot of work and effort. It's not the miracle cure some people hope for and others (non banders) think it is. I have a lot of sacrafices with the band. I still have bumps and curves in my journey because of the band. Things get stuck even a year later when I am an expert on what I can and cannot eat. It's always a learning experience every single day.

My BIGGEST accomplishment?? I have lost....DRUMROLL PLEASE....112.5 LBS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Am I happy with the surgery? You bet I am! Would I do it again? In a heartbeat! Do I have any regrets? Not a one! Would I do anything different? Yes, I would have done this sooner. Do I recommend it for others? No. Now I know you are thinking what do you mean No? I could never recommend a surgery for someone. This is such a personal decision to make. It is a huge investment not only for you but your family. This isn't for everyone. You have to be in the right frame of mind to do this because there are some psychological stresses on you when you have this surgery. It's not like a diet that at some point you can give up and go back to what and how you were eating. This surgery is adjustable so you can "give up" to a point but it's not going to fully go back unless you have it removed. You can control just how restrictive the band is by getting adjustments. Could it work for you? Yes it could. Would it work the same for you as me? Absolutely NOT! We are all different and unique so is our weightloss journey.

I had hoped to have pictures ready to post today but of course I don't. I will get those together soon and get my one year pic posted.

Thank you everyone for your love and support as I continue my journey.

I look forward to the next year. I am excited to see how my life continues to change.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Avocado, the perfect fruit. My new obsession

My new obsession is guacamole. A very simplistic yet yummy recipe.

Mashed avocado, 1 large or 2 small
juice of 1 lime
1 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp garlic powder
Mix well, put the seed in the guac and enjoy.Yes the seed keeps it from turning as quickly. Check my recipes for one with minced garlic instead. I use Baked scoops to "scoop" it up. I seem to crave it daily. Of course you can add chopped tomatoes, minced onion, jalapenos, cilantro etc. I personally don't like that in my guac.

So, I did a little research online. Did you know that avocados are a complete fruit? It is very useful for lowering cholesterol, blood pressure, regulating blood sugar. It helps with blood clotting among other things. What a wonderful little fruit! I am addicted.

Yes they are high in fat but it's the good fat, monounsaturated. High in fiber, 9.2g. It is very filling too. Even though it is a "mushie" food, with regards to my band, I still feel full after eating my guac. Yummy stuff. 

Sunday, May 1, 2011

107 lbs bye bye

I was pleasantly surprised this morning to weigh and have lost a few pounds. I have been sitting at the same weight for a bit. I was even more surprised given what I have been eating lately.

I was so happy yesterday. I ate a piece of pizza like normal. As in, I didn't scrape off the toppings. I ate the whole piece. It was a extra thin crispy pepperoni pizza. Frozen from Kroger's. Dang was it good. I had 2 little slices, that was dinner. I got up late so no breakfast. I had a 1/2 a chimichanga, a tablespoon of re fried beans, a tablespoon of Spanish rice, some guacamole for lunch. I had 8 pepperoni/cream cheese snacks and a few pringles. Top that off with water and vitamin water zero and that was the extent of my day. Not a good food day but very satisfying none the less.

I have also started a little exercising too which I think helps considering I have not exercised hardly since the surgery. May 12th will be my one year bandaversary. I am so excited. I won't be at my goal. Meaning the 3 year goal my doctor set for me. He said he expected me to lose 120 lbs over 3 years. I am already at 107 lbs down. 13 lbs more to hit goal. I don't think that will happen in less than 2 weeks. I am happy anyway.
I didn't get to go to my exercise class on Thursday. My boss had me doing some work so I had to skip it. I was bummed a bit but not after I heard how hard it was. LOL. I have to do a demo at work on Tuesday but I am hoping it will be before my class otherwise I will have to skip that day too. I can't be red and sweaty for a demo with a client.

Today I had eggs for breakfast. We are having burgers for dinner. Not sure what I am doing for lunch yet. I will probably have my pepperoni snacks today too. Love them little buggers.

Stress is a key factor on what I can eat. I have found that the presence of my kids makes everything get stuck. Isn't that horrible? They always pick with each other at meals so I am constantly getting on them. It causes me to tense up and the food gets stuck. I have found I need complete peace to get through a meal without trouble. Even water gets stuck if I am stressed.

It has been almost a year and I am proud to say I have kept some new habits. I have not had a soft drink since March 25, 2010. I don't drink with my meals other than a sip if it is spicy. I only drink vitamin water zero or water. Occasionally I may have some lemonade, not sugar free though, or hot chocolate or hot cider if I am stuck. Again I don't do sugar free because I am allergic to artificial sweeteners. Breads, pasta and rice are not usual with me. Most of the time they get stuck so it isn't worth the trouble. I can, however, eat Jimmy John's sandwiches. That bread does not get stuck. It is french bread and just perfect for me when I have a hankering for a sandwich. Mac and cheese, my all time fave is no longer on the menu. Rice is occasional. Muffins, bagels, toast not an option at all. So that also means no cake or doughnuts or biscuits.
The meats haven't changed much. I can't eat pot roast, steak or pork chops. It's too tough or stringy. Ham if it is thin or very tender. Ground beef, chicken and turkey is the best for me. I HATE fish if it isn't fried so that's a problem too. I won't eat any other seafood. I lost my tolerance for tuna when I was pregnant with my 2nd child and to this day I can't stand it. It gags me. I am a very picky eater when it comes to veggies so I pretty much eat the same foods over and over.

Anyway, my life is pretty much the same food wise as before surgery other than some off limits foods. That's okay though. It was well worth everything. I only wish I had done this sooner but everything happens for a reason and I believe this was just my time to do it. I had to hit rock bottom health-wise in order for me to make this choice and work at it.

I have come a long way from a year ago where at this time I was on my pre-op diet. YUCK!! I was starving back then just so my liver would not be so fatty. By the time surgery came around I had a "bikini-ready" liver. It was skinny.