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. 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.