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Wednesday, December 18, 2013

It's been a month since my last post and what a busy month it's been!!

Hello blog-o-sphere! First off, let me apologize for my month-long hiatus!! It's been a whirlwind of a month for me and blogging just didn't happen. So let me update you all. I finished my second-to-last semester of pharmacy school! We had to take this very large exam to determine if we are ready to graduate in May and to practice for our big board exam. Boy was I nervous! I passed and was soooo super excited!!!!

I also went to my college alma mater and spoke with a group about my lap band journey. I went to a small college in Batesville, AR called Lyon College. The nurse is a fabulous lady who really cares about students. She sponsors this program called "The Biggest Winner" each semester which is modeled a bit after the show Biggest Loser. I remember when I was there I participated for a bit. But of course, this was another one of my participate and be excited for a little while and then quit… This program really works well for her students and even the faculty. Anyway, I was invited to come tell my story. I spoke to a few students and faculty about my journey and some general nutrition and exercise stuff. It was so rewarding for me to speak with people who were very interested in the process and of course health in general. I know I got way more out of my talk than they did. It was so nice to share my experience and to see how amazingly supportive the folks are there.

In other news, I got married on December 8, 2013!! I married my best friend and the love of my life, Judd. He's literally the most supportive person and I really don't know what I did to deserve someone so fabulous. We got married at a small chapel outside Orlando, FL and spent the week in Disney World. Here's a few pics!

We had such a good time!! And I actually lost weight on the trip. FOUR pounds! But I'm getting ahead of myself. I first need to update you guys in general on my weight status. 

Starting weight: 240 pounds
Weight at surgery: 234 pounds (this is where the ticker at the top of the blog starts counting)
Current weight: 208 pounds

Weight loss to date: 32 pounds!! 

My surgery was 3 months and one week ago today! I'm so proud of how much weight I've lost and how well I've done. I've made some big changes in my life. I eat healthy, I work out 3 times a week. I finished boot camp (except the week I was on my honeymoon)!! I didn't quit something and I can't tell you what a huge deal that is for me. The next set of classes start January 5 and I'm going to be there! I love McClure Fitness. If you live in or around Benton, AR, I highly recommend their bootcamp. It's fun and will kick your butt!! 

Thanks for reading y'all and have a wonderful rest of the week! It's only 7 days until Christmas! Merry Christmas and I hope all of you get a chance to enjoy the holiday with your family and friends, the most important part of the holiday!! Thanks for reading folks!

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saturday Weigh-in Numbers and a Sunday Blog-post!!

Starting weight: 240 pounds
Weight at surgery: 234 pounds
Current weight: 220 pounds

So I've hit a plateau this week. I weigh exactly what I did last Saturday. And that really makes me sad because this week I followed my plan to a T! I ate how I was supposed to each day, worked out at bootcamp 2 days and walked for my third workout…. But I'm hoping that maybe my body is just going through an adjustment week. 
I did have one fabulous NSV this week…. I did my measurements and the results are: TEN inches lost since surgery!! That was shocking to me and very encouraging. It worked out very well to have measured on a plateau week because it meant I still had something to celebrate. 

I have a fill appointment tomorrow. I'm hoping to get to talk over how I'm doing and see what we can do about getting the scale moving again. 

I do have a question for y'all out there in the blog-o-sphere. I know each of our surgeons have a different plan and method for their weight-loss patients but I'm curious: What are your goals for calories and protein each day while in your weight loss stage (I'm also curious about maintenance for any of you in that phase feel free to give me details on both)? Are protein supplements like Unjury okay or are they a no-no (as in are you only supposed to get your protein from meat, etc)? Are you limited on your carb intake? How much water is your goal each day? Feel free to throw in any other details. I'm just curious since I've read so many different plans out there. My surgeon recommends 1200 calories per day for women and at least 40-50 grams of protein. Unjury is totally ok with my surgeon and dietician and I shoot for three 32-ounce bottles of water a day and usually hit about 2.5. 

Thanks for reading and thank you for your comments. Can't wait to here from y'all! 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Can I say wow….what a workout!

Hello Hello!!! It's been a while again… I have a several updates for you all. First off, no weight loss since my last update. I've been trying to find exactly where I need to be when it comes to calories. I know we are all different and its really hard to find the green zone... to be full but at the same time to not eat too many calories. So I think for a week or so, I really wasn't getting enough calories so my body was in total starvation mode and was hanging on to the fat like life literally depended on it. I'm now aiming for 900-1000 and I think it may go a little better.

Last week I had a major non-scale victory: I started a new rotation last week at a hospital in little rock that provides scrubs for those who work there. In the past I've always worn XL scrubs, but last week I actually got Larges!!! Not only do I fit in them, but they are comfortable and not tight at all!!!! It's been a very long time since I bought anything in a large size so this was a major non-scale victory for me!

Now for my most recent news: Today was my first night of beginning boot camp at Mcclure Fitness and let me tell you what: it was a seriously hardcore workout!!!!!! I knew I was out of shape but wow y'all, this workout seriously kicked my butt. I was panting and red-faced before the end of the first 2 minute section… and it lasted for an hour! There were 7 stations that we did for 2 minutes (and several we ended up doing twice) plus we stopped in the middle and did 90 seconds of planks (which, let me point out, I could only do about 7 seconds of at a time) and did abs and a cool down at the end. It was hardcore!! I'm so proud that I made it through and didn't give up even if I couldn't do each thing for the full 2 minutes each. I am going to have to find some shorts or capris though because I sweated like crazy in my long pants!!!  ;)

Last but not least, it's my two month bandiversary!!! Its been such a whirlwind but I'm really starting to adjust to life with a band and I'm feeling more in control and comfortable with all things lap band.

Thanks for reading y'all and I hope you all have a fabulous rest of the week!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Weigh-in and Update

Hello blogosphere! Today was weigh-in day and the results are:
Starting Weight: 240
Weight at Surgery: 234
Current Weight: 221
Weight loss (2 weeks): 2 pounds since my last weigh in and 19 pounds overall!

So let me update you all as to what's gone on my last couple of weeks. First off, I got my second fill 8 days ago and it has made some drastic changes already. I went from 3 ccs to 4.5 ccs. It made a big difference especially for the first few days on the amount I could take in. I went from being able to eat 1.5-2 cups to being able to eat about 1 cup. The first few days after my fill I could only eat between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup but that has changed over the last few days and is back up to around 3/4 to 1 cup depending on what I'm eating. I have a feeling the original awesome restriction I had was more to do with some swelling around the stoma from the tightening of the band just because it wasn't used to the band being so tight and after a few days that went down leaving some extra room.

I know I should have lost way more weight than 19 pounds at this point over a month and a half after surgery. I truly have had a bit of a relapse back into my old ways little by little over the last 2 weeks. I don't mean eating until I literally feel like I could explode like I used to; more like eating the wrong things. For example, I have reverted to some mushies like Chili's cheese fries and the like. I think I truly have experienced a little of the post surgery depression we were warned about because I am a food addict and the band changes how you eat, what you eat, and literally your entire mind-set and way of life. Before surgery, food was my comfort, my reward, what I did when I was bored or sad or even happy. I guess over the last two weeks I've been feeling some of the depression because I don't have the option to use food as my comfort. So this last week I fell off the band wagon a bit and instead of feeling better, I actually felt worse. I thought it would make me feel better to have some mushies and not be so concerned about all the protein and calories and all that... boy was I WRONG. Not only have I felt more tired and sluggish, I've actually not felt the happiness I thought I would from eating whatever I felt like. In addition to not feeling fabulous, I had some serious gas! Overeating (even just a little) and eating the wrong foods causes lots of pressure to build up and let me tell you what: It is SO NOT WORTH IT!!! So I learned a lot about myself this week. The biggest lesson I learned was that I'm a food addict and I have got to work on learning self control and discipline. I also learned I've got to do more for myself. I took a huge step and got a lap band to change my life for my health, so now its time to actually take the steps I need to so that I can make this tool work for me. My lap band doesn't do the calorie and protein counting for me; it can't help me monitor and measure my portions; it can't make me get up and exercise. I on the other hand CAN!

Here's my plan for the next phase of my journey. I've decided to get myself back in check and back to the basics of counting, measuring, and tracking everything!! I will be successful in getting my health back. I also have decided to start bootcamp! I'm going to be doing the beginners bootcamp class at McClure Fitness twice a week. This is a huge step for me. It's also going to be a big test for me. In the past I've been known to join a class or gym or running app or whatever, be really into it for a week or so and then start making all kinds of excuses as to why I can't go. It starts with missing one class and the next time I turn around, I've dropped out completely.... So I'm blogging about this to have some accountability. I also plan to post some "after-workout" pics so you all can be my witnesses to me truly sticking to it. The class doesn't start until November 12th so be looking for my blog posts after that for updates on how its going.

So now back to how the band itself is doing. After this second fill, I've started to understand what lots of banded folks were talking about when they'd describe their band experiences. First off, I read several people who found they were more restricted in the mornings. Well I totally understand what they were talking about. I find that I am much more restricted early in the day versus later. I also can't believe how much I didn't chew my food before being banded. I always just bolted my food down and stuffed myself silly. Now I'm working hard to slow way down and chew until the food is literally like applesauce. I will say, its a new world for me to actually enjoy the food I'm eating. Its a hard lesson to learn and its another of my goals to keep working on in the next few weeks.

That's really all I have for y'all right now. I wish it was me telling you how amazing everything is going and how the weight is just falling off.... But my lessons and struggles just reinforce the fact that a lap band is not a magic bullet and does not do the work for you. The lap band is a tool and a teacher. It requires a lot of work! I love my lap band and I'm ready for it to teach me.

Thanks for reading and being my accountability!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Weigh in day...... And the results are.....

Grand total of 17 pounds lost!!!
Starting weight: 240 lbs
Weight at surgery (which is where the ticker above started tabulating): 234 lbs
Current weight: 223lbs!!!

So I'm writing this blog from the airport in Chicago on my way to a wedding for two of my dear friends in Indiana. So not only do I get to celebrate with them, I also get to spend the weekend with Judd so it's a super awesome time.

I told you guys I'm loving the restriction my fill is giving me the other day...I still am but I know this first fill wasn't enough! I get hungry before the next meal when I eat the right portion sizes of approximately 1/4 cup so my portions have been more like 1/2-3/4 of a cup for now. Of course I can't be upset because obviously it's working but I'm sure the success won't last without another fill to get me comfortably in the elusive green zone!

I did have several NSV's (Non-Scale Victories) this week when trying on dresses to wear to this wedding. It's so nice to have lots of options that look and feel much better than they did 17 pounds ago!

Y'all enjoy your weekend and thanks for your support and for reading my ramblings!

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Sorry it's been a while!

So first off, let me apologize to y'all for taking so long to update my blog! I started a new rotation this week after being off for the month of September, so I've been super busy trying to get back into the groove of school.

The last two weeks have been awesome but I could tell my stomach has healed and had very little restriction! I actually gained a couple of pounds because I literally was hungry all the time and mushies are really not low calorie!! It also didn't help at all that my fabulous fiancé came home last weekend. When he comes home, we go out a lot with family and friends... this means dinners, coffees, etc and with my ravenousness, well lets just say there were lots more calories than normal consumed. We had a blast Calling the Hogs in Fayetteville last weekend, even with the at times torrential rain! Here's a picture of us!

We were quite wet but Hog fans are not fair weather fans and this time we meant that literally! We didn't win the game but the Razorbacks played their hearts out and Judd and I couldn't have had a better time. 

So this week I started my fourth of nine rotations that make up my last year of pharmacy school. I am loving this rotation; it has me on my feet all day, every day which is my kind of work. I stay busy and the days just fly by, plus I'm learning so much and getting one step closer to becoming a pharmacist!! 

So that's my social news, now let me tell you how my lap band journey is going... Most recent news............... I got my first fill yesterday!!!!!!! It's amazing how a few milliliters of fluid can change your life!! So yesterday, I didn't have anything to eat before my fill appointment. The fill was really no big deal. My surgeon actually performed the procedure for me which was awesome! He's such wonderful person and I love chatting with him. Anyway, first off he numbed the site with lidocaine which is fabulous since the needle to actually put fluid into the port isn't small. I was literally so excited to finally have some restriction that I can't remember how much fluid he put into the band. I'm pretty sure he said I had 2.5 cc's and he said something about 5 or 3 during the procedure, so I may or may not have 3 or 5 cc's in my band! ;) All I really know and care about is that I finally have some restriction and I'm LOVING IT!!!! Yesterday I had about 3 oz of potato soup for lunch..... That is amazing to me because I got so full. This morning I had my coffee with unflavored unjury and a tablespoonful of caramel drizzle creamer which makes it like a fabulous caramel macchiato--> my absolute favorite! It's just amazing to me that these small amounts fill me up. Lunch was some greek yogurt and for dinner tonight I making my homemade chili. It's a rainy day here so it totally made me think some chili would be called for! 

I feel like I've had a whirlwind of a couple of weeks and tomorrow all the excitement continues because it's my first wedding shower! I don't think I've shared with y'all that Judd and I are getting married in Orlando, FL on December 8, 2013 and we are just so excited. We have been blown away by the wonderful folks around our home town who have wanted to throw us showers even though we are eloping. We just love all these folks so much! 

I guess that's all from my world for now. I'll be updating you all how the next few days go with my newly acquired restriction. Thanks for reading everyone! 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Hello all.........MOM here.  I will occasionally pop in for an update.  So surgery was Wednesday the 18th and I can only say it was nothing compared to having my gallbladder out 3 weeks prior.   I am glad I did not do those two together.  Band surgery was great (as great as any surgery can be) except for two bouts of nausea!!!  Double yuck!!!!  I really think it was from some of the pain medication. I didn't take anymore pain meds after the last bout and have had no more nausea since.  So after getting home Thursday afternoon I really just took things slow.  I made sure I was up and moving around the house every hour or so. (One of the most important things to do is MOVE; you feel better and of course its good to prevent blood clots and whatnot.) This weekend was busy as usual.  Saturday morning the 10 year old had a morning football game.  Made it through that with no problems.  Spent the rest of the day hanging around the house.  Sunday we decided it was time to break out---we headed to the Zoo.  It was a beautiful day for a leisurely stroll.  I had no problems with that but did check out quite a few benches to rest in between exhibits!!!!  So with all that what about food?  I am on full liquids right now and so far its been ok.  I have been having a small sugar free hot chocolate with Unjury each morning.  I like something warm first thing in the morning since cold stuff feels like it constricts my throat and upper stomach.  I had the usual yogurt, jello, soup throughout the day.  This soon after surgery its really just a few bites at a time throughout the day and we can't forget WATER, WATER, WATER.  I keep a bottle with me all the time.  I can't drink a lot at one time so I just drink all day in small sips. So all in all I can't complain and I just wanted to pop in and say hi to the blogosphere!! Thanks for reading!