Thursday, December 30, 2010


Tomorrow marks one year of Band-Babe blogging. Honestly, that was a HUGE step for me to take. I've never, ever been one to put it out there. I'd never told anyone how much I'd weighed, how much I'd lost, much less my thoughts and feelings about any of it. And I'm grateful every day since then, that I took that chance. I simply would not have been as successful with my band and weight loss, and now maintenance, without blogging. Period. I needed this, I needed you, more than I could have known.

One of the reasons I decided to blog, is because I wanted this time to be different. If I always did the same things, I'd always get the same results. Cliche, but unfortunately (or fortunately) true. And blogging helped me to stumble to the realization that half of my personal band journey was physical, and the other half was mental. Yes, I "knew" that, but I didn't understand that. Writing my craziness, and my saneness, and sharing in yours- has helped me to work things out with myself and my relationship with food.

Many of us chose words for 2010- for many reasons, mine was "spontaneous"- doing things I wouldn't have normally done. Going for it. Going for life. Obesity wasn't just killing me, it was keeping me from living. Getting banded was a big decision for us, it was financially a stretch. But, I did it anyway. And it worked...

So, why not blogging? Why not skiing (for the first time in my life)? Why not shop like a teenager (ok, maybe this one isn't so great)? Why not go for my professional dreams? Why not go to concerts? Parties? Oh my god, I can do anything I want. Anything.

Now, I'm thinking of a word for this year. I'm done with spontaneous, but I need something ambitious. I'm a "what now?" kinda girl (thanks for reminding me Gilly). So, what now??? I'm still thinking about this one... I hope to read more of your "words" for 2011 for inspiration.

Monday, December 27, 2010

some dumb title

It's over and I did alright. This weekend had to be as magical as I could muster, for my little guy. It was delighful to watch his excitement through all of the holiday festivities. I came "this" close to skipping out on the Christmas day plans, but I went because I couldn't bear the thought of missing one single memory of his childhood.

Two Christmases ago, I was just a few months off from being banded. I was at my highest weight ever, and very sick and miserable. Last Christmas, I had lost one hundred pounds, and had made it to onderland, but was not really where I wanted to be. This Christmas, I'm good with my weight, but I didn't have the feeling I thought I would. Being thinner is wonderful (worth the price I paid), but it doesn't necessarily bring happiness.

Do you ever get the feeling that not everyone is ok with your weight loss? At one of our parties, I was actually a little rude about people saying anything about it. I believe they were sincere-ish in their compliments, but this is what I heard- "Wow, you used to be such a heffer and now you're not... good job!". Thanks?!?

At another party, a family member was passing out dessert, and I wanted a piece of pecan pie (planned, no guilt)- and she literally gave me one fifth of the pie, and then watched to see how much I'd eat. On the way home my daughter mentioned the ginormous piece, and thought it was actually going to one of the men, and was surprised it was intended for me. My band is so tight I could barely eat a few nuts off of the top. Hope it was a good show for her. I should have forced it, and pb'ed or slimed- that would have been entertaining, no?

Obviously, I haven't completely emotionally processed the weight loss, or how to handle the subject in social situations. I was a little less peeved about pictures this year, but I certainly did not feel like a million bucks or anything. I'm so grateful for my weight loss, I really am. But I'm once again reminded that true content does not come from being thin. Honestly, it helps... often, but it's not a one way ticket to happy town.

Before you think I'm ready to jump in front of a truck- I'm not. The long hours last week started a fibromyalgia flare up, pain like I haven't had in a very long time. It makes me worried because I don't want to be debilitated by this disease. I've actually been proud at how well I've gotten it under control. This has not helped my general attitude.

Two more parties, but we're going to have to choose one, and I've left this decision up to Mr. Wonderful. Then life will go back to "normal"? Either way, I know what I'm wearing... something NOT from the plus section.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

If you do not think Diet Pepsi is the best drink ever, I will fight you!

Aaaaaaaaaaah. Mmmmmmmmmmmmm. Can I have another, please? For those who don’t know me, I’m a bandster that drinks soda. LOTS of soda. Diet coke sucks, and I “prefer” popcorn ice. I will drive out of my way for the best fountain drink.

Unfortunately, I have fibromyalgia, and when I’m stressed (say like, working very long hours)- I start to HURT. And I think (well I know) that caffeine makes it worse.

Fortunately, I’ve been trying to take care of myself while I’m immersed in these projects. Fighting for my sleep, and drinking WATER! Who knew? I used to be so good about it. I’m back to getting at least 120 ounces a day. I don’t hurt as badly.

Diet Pepsi tastes better.

What I ate today: Oatmeal, Thai curry and rice (lunch w/ the boss), and chocolate covered pretzels (a few!!!). Sadness, I didn’t get to the drink last night, and I don’t think tonight… but definitely this weekend. I’m in love with Pinnacle Vodka- whipped cream flavor. It’s my new drink of choice, and may just tie for the best drink ever. We seriously bought the last four bottles in the valley. Merry Christmas to me!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

If the band fails?

The thought crossed my mind to try to lose weight with this fill. The diet mentality is better, but still there. My weight is back to “normal”, but I’m still about ten pounds overweight. Size twelve is not a size eight, but it’s also not a size twenty-six!

Here’s a question for you. If the band fails you in the future, would you consider gastric bypass? Losing my restriction at twenty months out, made me think about how long my band will help me. I’m estimating for a long time, but will that be for life? I have definitely made behavioral changes, but I now question my ability to keep weight off without the help of my band. My answer to the bypass question? Yeah, I think I would do it if I regained lots of weight. Not sure how many pounds it would take, but I would not wait until I weighed three hundred… it would be long before that.

Food today: Raisin, date & walnut oatmeal, onion bagel w/ cream cheese & deli ham, chocolate covered pretzels, Kit Kat (pms-ing, so sue me), and some Amy’s matter paneer will be dinner. Also plan on a couple of shots of vodka the second I get home (long hours + pms = bitch). Food calories will be 1400. I don’t know how many calories are in the drink (and don’t care).

I’m not reading, I miss that- I look forward to it, it’s my usual unwind activity right before bed. I wish I could indulge myself because I’m thinking about so many of you, but once I start- it doesn’t stop quickly. I’m being selfish in writing, but I need it for me.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Never dieting again?

Someone mentioned recently “dieting without dieting” in relationship to the band. One of the upsides of being banded, is never having to diet again? Depends on you define “dieting”?

For me, I will always need to be mindful of what I’m eating. Sometimes that’s just a series of judgement calls as I go through the day. Other times, I find it helpful to write down what I’m doing. That is monitoring my food intake, and technically dieting.

One of the main things that’s different for me this banded time around, is that I eat whatever I want. That’s technically not dieting. Huh? Here’s my clarification: I used to eat anything- I loved good tasting food (obviously) but I rarely arrived at whatever satisfaction I was attempting to feed. Now my food choices are only what I REALLY, REALLY want, and only a little bit. And, I have new found enjoyment of food that I did not have pre-band.

The parade of Christmas parties has helped me to see how this works in my life. Everywhere we went, I took roughly a tablespoonful, or a 2x2 square, or quartered serving, of everything that looked REALLY good to me (not just kinda good, or took a serving simply because it was there). I then ate only a little bit of what made it to my plate. And if a food didn’t taste as good as I expected, I did not eat it.

Ideally, I would have stopped when I was full… but we all know how to ease around restriction if we really want to- and I wanted to! Where my band was helpful in my holiday eating, is that I’m not hungry all day long (THANK YOU FILL LAST THURSDAY!!!), so when I choose to ease around my band, calorie wise- I’m good for the day. I do not choose to do this often, only on special occasions.

I used to think that my band was really a diet enhancement tool, a competitive edge, if you will. And maybe that’s what it is. But it’s stopped the “crazy” dieting for me. With restriction and lack of the majority of my hunger, I have a sense of control that helps me to enjoy food, as I truly believe we were meant to. With that control, I don’t feel guilty because I do not want to eat diet foods and I do want to eat delicious (no more naughty!) real food.

Here’s what I’m eating today (and I did count the calories):
Raisin, date &walnut oatmeal, ham & cheese omelette drowned in salsa verde, wheat thins, cottage cheese, two tangerines, ½ ham & swiss cheese sandwich, chocolate covered pretzels, frosen tortilla casserole. This is 1600 calories, which feels (and looks) like a feast of food. Since I’m now practically living at work, I packed my entire days worth of food, so I was able to count all the calories.

I don’t feel the need to go below 1600 calories to lose weight. In my first year out, I did eat only around 1400 per day. When I’m maintaining ~170 lbs, I eat between 1900-2300+ per day (I’m more active than I let on, don’t let my lack of formal exercise fool you). Anyway, my point is, I don’t think everyone needs to starve to lose weight. Only you know your body, and I know learning to listen to mine is really a new adventure.

Friday, December 17, 2010


Aaaaaaah. I feel much tighter, like a virgin bandster again. Sweet spot achieved… a little snug- but that has gone away after a few days with my previous fills- I’ve presumed it was a bit of swelling. Even sweeter, I can be trusted around candy! Having my restriction “disappear” and actually being hungry, was a real eye opener for me. This fill is providing such a contrast to that feeling. I was reminded of how much I rely on my band to help me. Today, I can actually have candy on my desk… and no worries! I allowed myself a couple of snack sized peppermint patties last night (if they melt in my mouth, they are liquid?!?)… and I could barely suck down two of them.

The NP at my surgeon’s office was fabulous. I’d never been to see her before, but she is excellent. She found my tilted port. All 4cc’s were there, and she added 1cc. My plan was to ask for 0.5, and I thought she’d think that was too much. I asked her how much she was thinking about adding, and she said “oh, I never give more than 3cc’s at a time”. What? What? She also said “come back tomorrow if this isn’t enough, because one day hungry is one day too many”.

AND, she did the obligatory “wow, you’ve done such a great job” (even though she’d never seen me before)- and I have to admit it felt really good, especially because they “get” the journey. Am I the only one who dreamed about that moment? At my first appointment, it was hard to hope and believe, that one day I would come into that same waiting room… much thinner! It was my dream! Maybe being this size is becoming more routine (gasp) for me, because I wasn’t expecting a big reaction from the staff. It honestly caught me off guard. I guess they really haven’t had a chance to see me very often, and it did look like it was a slow afternoon for them. Anyway, it felt good.

This renewed restriction is well timed. I was stressing the sugar cookie making that we’ll be doing over the weekend. And the parties. And the dreaded Christmas stocking? Hanging there, full- and untouched. Except for the peanuts- protein… good choice, huh? I’m obviously getting a little blogging in… at work… I need to focus elsewhere for a few minutes. I’m trying to think if I’ve hit my plan or not. I think I have. Fill- check. Stocking- check, thanks to fill. Mindful eating- check, thanks to fill. Blogging- check, even if it is on borrowed time. ;)

What I ate today: vanilla yogurt, provolone cheese, half a piece of pizza, two worth the calories chocolate truffles, one ounce salted peanuts, valiant attempt- several bites- of sweet & sour pork w/ rice, and I'll probably try another peppermint patty or two. I don’t think I’ll be drinking this weekend (not in the mood, really?), and I think I’ll do fine at the parties. Scale is back to where it should be. Whew.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Stocking of HORROR

IAP progress:

1) I got guilted into putting my stocking at work back up. !@#$%^&*. Let's hope this fill tomorrow wipes out hunger completely, or this is going to be more of a battle than I'd care to deal with.

2) I "know" I need a fill, but I'm sceeered! I haven't had a fill since the beginning of April. I didn't even get "restriction" until January or February- 10+ months after surgery. Tomorrow afternoon...

3) I'm going to start journaling on my blog what I eat (again). I used to do a quick summary at the end of every post. It kept me accountable, and I know I like reading on other blogs what you are eating, because then I get band friendly food ideas for variety. There was an article in our local paper yesterday about how a food diary is really the best way to lose weight. "Diet" food wasn't advocated, just being aware of what you're eating... and slow weight loss. Oh, and a super great tool- like my band! A recipe for success...

4) It looks like I will be losing my blogging time, and any sort of life, until the end of the year. It's a work issue- and it involves budgets, government projects, and executive summaries, and never leaving work. This is good for me. This is good for me. This is good for me.

So, half of my Indulgence Avoidance Plan will work. Two things that work are better than nothing.

Here's what I ate today (and how I "know" I need a fill):

oatmeal, greek yogurt & honey,runts (candy... !@#$%^&*), prime rib, half a baked potatoe, roll & butter, green beans (in sauce!), two chocolates (from the box I was going to give my sister... I'm thinking it will be hilarious to put "IOU"s in the empty spots and still give it to her... ha ha ha), three fritos, and for my farewell dinner before my fill... brown rice (I just try to ignore that it's healthy-ishy and just enjoy the nutty flavor) w/ half a stick of butter (going out with style...) w/ loads of salty soy sauce... that's actually a comfort food for me that I grew up with. Weird, but that's me. Do you think I might need a fill?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Combo's and Candy Cane Frenzy

HOLIDAY IAP (Indulgence Avoidance Plan):

1) Get a fill! Fill #5 scheduled for this Thursday. Why wait until January? I don't know what I was thinking. Oh, and I think Thanksgiving caught up with me. WTF? Two weeks later, but the scale is now up two pounds. Real weight gain- indulging seemed like such a good idea at the time. I keep asking my husband if the scale is saying he's gained weight (in hopes that the scale is wrong about me)- but his weight has remained the same. Goody for him. :(

2) Take down my stocking at work. My work/weekdays are when my eating is more controlled, and I rely on that. I cannot bring the goodies home, an I can't think of anywhere else to dump it. I'm fine having candy around... until I'm not. I told my boss what my plan was, and she proceeded to tell me that she thinks she ate 5,000 calories yesterday, and right now I honestly think I could the same thing.

3) Be mindful. I need to acknowledge when I'm struggling, without panicking. That's new. Weight will always be a concern for me, but hopefully not a worry. If that makes any sense. I need to be aware of what I'm putting in my mouth in the evenings and on the weekends as well as during the day. And hope my Ambien eating isn't too bad. My daughter texted me this morning to say "someone" went on a Combo's & Candy Cane frenzy last night. Hmmmm...

4) Blog and learn. Blog and learn, baby. Thanks for the thoughtful advice, I appreciate the help and support. I fully credit BOOBS for the majority of the mental success I have had in dealing with my weight issues. Having the physical help from my band is wonderful, but almost meaningless without addressing the mental emotional aspects. THANK YOU!!!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Did you? Do you?

Curiosity is going to be the end of me. But, I have to ask... did you get your band thinking you'd keep your weight off? Honestly, I did. From the beginning, my intent was to use my band to keep weight off. I knew I could lose weight on my own. It was keeping it off where I had difficulty.

And did you get your band thinking there would be no effort on your part? Why would anyone go to the trouble- time, expense,and recovery of a surgical intervention- only to end up not following at least some of the basic rules for success? Sometimes I'm naive, and very black & white, but I was just wondering what other peoples expectations were compared to the results they've achieved.

I'm 130 pounds down, however maintenance is the real test of my experience. Anyway I look at it, the longterm success rate of the band remains higher than than the success rate of not having a lapband. Blogging is a big piece of my longterm plan- it reminds me of the basics, which for me are easy to overlook at this phase. Protein, protein, protein.

Moving onto life... my curiosity got the best of me this afternoon... and I emailed a cousin on my bio dads side. I think I've really thrown him for a loop. Surprise! It was not the easiest thing to do, but I didn't want to be afraid to take a risk. I felt the fear, and did it anyway. I won't be afraid to throw on the brakes if needed, however there are things I'd like to know.

Holiday hell, our neighbor just brought over homemade chocolates- and if my family doesn't eat them fast enough, they will be going into the garbage can. I'd rather waste food, than waste my life fat. Definitely the better choice for me. I'm trying to put together a holiday indulgence avoidance strategy. I allowed myself to do whatever at Thanksgiving, but with very little restriction right now, that's probably not the best idea. I probably won't go for a fill until January, so this will mostly be up to me. The indulgence avoidance strategy is an entire post in itself. Do you have one?

Friday, December 10, 2010


Work is crazy busy. I asked for this. I really did. I WANTED this.

I have no restriction. NONE. I am hungry! I do believe I need a fill. I am actually having to watch what I'm eating, because I can finish entire meals. "FOCUS ON PROTEIN!!!"...that's what I need to remember. My band is filled to about 4 cc's... and the entire reason I got my band... is to keep weight off. This is now THE purpose of my blog... keeping track of THIS part of my journey. This is the IMPORTANT part. Losing is good, but maintaining is the goal.

Do you ever wonder how people find your blog (hello... I think one of my brother's friends is following my blog)? The internet is a strange (and wonderful) place. One of the reasons I have not been blogging, is that I've been searching. The internet. And I found my biological dad. I've never looked before, never had the inkling. This isn't even something we talked about in my family. Ever. But, I put a name in google... and voila... pictures, profession, personal and social history. It turns out my bio dad's cousin was our next door neighbor when I was growing up... I called my mom to tell her the freaky news- and she was really open about it. My entire life, I've been sparing her feelings- but she told me last night that she wondered why I hadn't done this before. Um, I don't know. I have no burning desire other than curiosity (and it feels weird to cyberstalk someone). I'm writing this like the whole thing is no big deal, but I'm forty years old... and this is the first time I've discussed this in the open. I don't know what to do with this information, it was just a whim that I even looked.

Christmas parties started yesterday (I was in charge of the work party, and that's the only one I'm responsible for). The rest should just be fun... one down, five to go! No pictures taken or posted... I fail at my holiday challenge. I'll set a little mini goal to take one tomorrow night and post it! I have to admit to a little bit of clothes shopping this holiday season. That makes me merry, and will hopefully keep me motivated until I get some restriction back, or a fill. Shopping is a good diversion to eating.

That's all I've got... I have caught up on reading blogs, but was an unfortunate commenter... but I've been crazybusynorestricitionfoundbiodadandchristmasparties...

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Happy Hanukkah

My littlest just found out that Jewish children get presents for eight nights. I've never seen a kid so bummed about Christmas! There is less cultural diversity here in Utah than in Maryland (where I was raised), so it's heartening for me to know that he's aware of other religions and ways of life. Even if my child now completely resents his own...

Trying to move away from the bah-humbug now. Scale was 170 today, still median normal for me. I prefer to see 160's, but for certainty, clothes fit the exact same from 167-173 (ack, which is the high number that is my alert number, my I need to watch what I'm doing number). I can zip up my old size ten clothing, but once again- just because I can, doesn't mean I should. I'm happy in a twelve. My weight fluctuates 5-6 pounds during the month. I don't consider any of it a gain or a loss, unless I'm out of my "range".

Amy had a great post on maintaining after "goal". I'm not really at goal, but I am done trying. She's right, I did try harder (counting protein grams, drinking water) when I wanted the weight to come off quickly. Not bypass quick, but I needed and wanted the mental validation that a scale number could give me. It was difficult for me, because my weight would come off in what I called "whooshes". Nothing would show on the scale, then all of a sudden- five or seven pounds would fall off. I just came to expect it. I didn't really think of them as plateaus, I just know how my body works. But maintaining is something I'm still learning about. I didn't know for sure how Thanksgiving would end up, because I wasn't going to "diet" or "try" through the holiday. But, I did fine. I wasn't terribly worried, but this phase is a new learning curve for me. I like it much better, though.

I am also going to take Linda's Holiday Challenge. I'm going to take pictures of various holiday activities and post them. We love to make and decorate gingerbread houses every year. There are four Christmas parties so far, and I do love a good party. Everyone is getting into the holiday spirit at work- read: no one wants to do anything real, and everything is being put off until the new year. So, there's lots to be excited about... even if you're not Jewish!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Crisis Averted

It's an official "no gain". Scale was right at median normal for me today. Yes, I'm happy, shocked, and in love (still with my band).

Also got a text from my son today. I was hoping it was the "break up" text, but unfortunatley not this time. I'm awful, I know! It was the "here's what I want for Christmas" text... I shit you not. If I wasn't so poor, I'd be worried he's just using me for my money. Since that's not really a possibility, I'll take any positve correspondence. It's the same either way for me financially, and this way we're "talking". Fine by me.

Thank goodness it's almost Thursday... I keep reminding myself today that I am not defined by my job. This project of mine is a roller coaster and I do not like rides. I'm a little no one with big eyes watching me... and it's a bit frustrating to be in this position. I went for this, I ASKED for this. I got what I wanted!?!

Three (3!!!) crisies averted. Not too shabby for one day.