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Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Oh My Word.

Word for 2011!  And a poem too.

When my husband graduated with his MSN recently, my parents sent him in a Graduation card in the mail.  Let me go ahead and preface this by saying I spent the entire month of December consumed with thoughts of, "What happens if the insurance company denies me for surgery?"  I'm sure everyone goes through this....but it's what I'm going through right now.  What if.  What if?!  The whole idea of getting lap band is what motivated me to lose 25 pounds so far.  It's been the life raft that I've been clinging to.  What if the insurance company rips it awayt?  Can I swim?  Will I drown?

And then, if I do get the lap band, can I do it?  Will I be successful?  Or will I be one of the "failures" my PCP spoke about when she discouraged me from moving forward with getting surgery?  Because that would really be humiliating!  "Everyone gains it back eventually," she said.  I vented about that visit here on my blog.  And that's when Sherry came across that post somehow.  Thank goodness.  Until then I hadn't discovered how to connect with others going through the same thing.    

Anyway, so, in the middle of December when I was consumed with all of this self-doubt my husband gets this graduation card in the mail and it's like God speaking to me.   It said,

"I believe
                 the most
single thing, 
beyond discipline
                    and creativity
is daring 
             to dare."

Only it wasn't God.  It was just Maya Angelou printed on a Hallmark card (for $2.79).

So, my word is dare.

Dare:  to have the necessary courage or boldness for something;be bold enough

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Numerical Closet

Over the last few months a few celebrities have revealed their numbers.

Not just any numbers, mind you.  Their most personal numbers.  Their WEIGHT.

Back in September Kathie Lee & Hoda Kotb announced their weights on The Today Show's fourth hour.    It was refreshing my friends.  Like a glass of lemonade on hot summer day refreshing!  I expected Kathie Lee's weight to be something like 115 pounds.  It was 129.  I think she's 5 ft 6 but don't quote me on that.  Hoda is a little taller (I can't remember exactly) but she weighed 146. Here are two women that admit to weighing more than the cliche "120" pounds or less number.  And they both look fantastic.  Especially Hoda.

And I shouldn't leave out Sara Haines either.  Are you wondering who she is?  She's the girl who sits off to the side of their show scrolling through Facebook, reading aloud cute and funny comments people make......  She announced her height and weight on the show that day as well.  She is 5 ft 6 and weighs 143 lbs.  Like everyone else, she looks terrific and obviously takes good care of herself.

Then a few weeks or so after that episode,  Portia de Rossi came out with her book and announced her weight is currently 168 lbs!  I don't remember if she said it on Ellen's show or Oprah's (I watched both) but I made note of it on my iPhone so I could go back later and calculate her BMI.  Out of curiousity, you know.  Are you ready?  25.5.  Say what?!?!?!  .........In case you don't have the BMI chart memorized like I do, let me translate that for you.  Portia de Rossi is OVERWEIGHT (albeit barely, but still).  The beautiful, sexy, Portia is falling into the overweight category on the BMI charts!  Don't shoot me, I'm just the messenger.

Okay, so first Jerome Bettis flunked the BMI test and now Portia de Rossi.  Well, that just proves this whole BMI chart is totally stupid.  Portia, if you are reading this---I want to be really clear.  You are not overweight.  You are gorgeous and I applaud you for coming out with your number and helping me realize that it's JUST A NUMBER and to stop judging my weight and myself---heckmy VALUE AS A PERSON based on this ridiculous BMI chart.

So, here's what these ladies helped me figure out by coming out of The Numerical Closet.  The BMI Chart is flawed.  It doesn't take muscle mass, bone density, or my disproportionately giant boobs into the equation.  So next time, when I find myself staring at 142 lbs (which is "my skinny" & a BMI of 25.5 like Portia) I'm going to think of her.  Instead of lamenting, "I'll never be perfect,"  I'll celebrate because if Portia can rock a BMI of 25.5 then so can I.  With the right outfit, hair, and makeup of course.  :D

Thanks to Portia, Hoda, Kathie Lee, and Sara.

And to the BMI chart---goodbye, I'm leaving you here in 2010.  You're not my measuring stick anymore.  To be more precise, EFFFF You.  

Happy New Year y'all.  :)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

joined the gym

Yesterday, on the morning of our TEN YEAR wedding anniversary, my husband and I started off our day by heading over to Urban Active to take a tour and check into getting a membership.

We were members of 24 Hour Fitness a few years ago when we lived in Colorado.  The equipment is a lot nicer now (at least compared to the "Express" version that I went to 4 years ago).  Each Precor machine has it's very own television.  Wow!  With cable.  Honestly I've always preferred music but if I want to watch something, I can.  Pretty cool.  I had no idea!

They have a pool and some of the group fitness classes are in the pool.  You won't catch me in a bathing suit for awhile, but hey!  It's there.  I'm just reporting.  The spinning classes have 35 bikes.  They even have a movie room and keep it pretty dark.  You can go in there an watch a movie while you workout on the treadmills or ellipticals.  The idea of the movie doesn't impress me as much as the idea of Darkness.  

You can workout in The Dark without worrying about how much sweat is beading up & down your back and dripping all over your shirt and under your arms.  And who cares what you're wearing or how red our face is getting?! 

The only complaint I have so far is one little child care rule.  They make it clear they do not change baby diapers and will call me away from my workout to come do it myself.  Ugh!  I have no problem with diapers---I'm a mom.  It's just the interruption that's annoying.  Especially if I have to hop off a bike in the middle of a spinning class.  And my little Rex is super gassy and stinky.  Even I think he's pooped a half dozen times a day until I open it up and see that diaper is, in fact, empty.  Hopefully they will check.  With their eyes and not their nose.

But I'm super excited!  I went this morning.  All by myself, so I haven't taken my little boys with me yet. My DH stayed home with them because they have runny little noses and coughs.  I spent an hour on the elliptical and listened to some music.  Loved every second of it!  Yes really!

Can I just say it was heaven to go an entire hour without hearing any 2 year olds whine, "Mommy, I want chocolate miiiiiilk!"  

For ONE WHOLE HOUR, I did not hear any crying, screaming, or fussing.  I did not hear myself warn, "Santa is watching you!"  I did not hear anyone beg me for chocolate milk.  Or fruit snacks.  I did not put anyone in timeout.  I did not recite The Serenity Prayer in my head.  Not even once. 

You might think,  "She's just desperate for some time to herself."

Or, "She just needs a break from her little ones!"

Or, "She's not there to work out--she's just there to escape."  

Hey, I'm not arguing.  My escape burned 500 calories.  I'm skeptical, but whatever.  :)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


It's been a busy week.

My husband graduated from CRNA school at Pitt on Saturday.  His mom and grandma flew earlier in the week.  His grandma has never been to Pittsburgh so we had fun showing her around the city.

Me & DH

On Saturday morning our babysitter texted a message that she was sick and had to cancel.  I was a bit panicked (okay, totally freaked out!)---the graduation ceremony was later that evening at the Omni hotel downtown.  Not a place for toddlers and babies.  :C  Finally, an hour before we had to get in the car and get down there, our original babysitter found someone to replace her.  Whew!  It was a close call.  We were so thankful and had a lovely time.  And, since this is a LB blog, I'll say I was proud of myself for losing 25 pounds by his graduation date--which was the goal I set for myself back in July or August.

That's my DH's grandma & mom.  They aren't deformed, I blurred their faces since I posted without their permission.  Somehow I chopped my feet off while I was at it, which is a shame, because my shoes were these glittery peep-toes.  :)  

Tomorrow will be our ten year wedding anniversary.  I know what you're thinking---"She must've been like 16 when they got married."

You would be close.  Very very close.  :)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


I was 215 at my first visit to Dr. R's office on August 12 (with clothes, of course!) to 183 this morning at home without clothes.  So, about 24 pounds if you remove clothing from the equation.  

Nervousness has set in!  Am I losing too much on my own?  Boy, what a novel way to sabotage yourself!  At my nutritionist consult on Dec. 1, my Nut. guy (that's short for nutritionist, he's not actually loco) reassured me that the insurance company goes by your starting weight & BMI.  He also reassured me that the insurance company goes by your beginning co-morbidities and since I had high cholesterol and blood pressure to begin with, those are still what they will use to make their decision.  I'm still obese, but my BMI is 33-ish, not 38-ish like it was.  That means I'm no longer "morbidly" obese.  Just plain obese!  

So, despite the Nut Guy's reassurance, I'm still going crazy and doubting the process, so I called the PA at my surgeon's office and left a message asking her if I'm somehow screwing myself over by losing too much.  I DO NOT WANT TO BE DENIED BY INSURANCE.  I need to know right now---that way, if I do lose more weight over the holidays, I can strap on ankle weights or load up my pockets with spare change, lead bullets, or God-knows-what-else so that the next time I step on my surgeon's scale I can disguise whatever weight I may have lost!!!

Two can play this game!

Well the PA just called back (after writing one paragraph!) and told me patients have lost enough weight on the six month diet in the past to be denied by the insurance company.



I was 193 at my weigh-in on the surgeon's scale with clothes on 12/1/1o.

But again, she said, "It's rare.  Usually patients are approved the first time, so don't worry."  She reiterated that I not gain weight, no matter what.


I'm just so scared of being denied.  I mean, I've been clinging to this idea since July.  Just the hope of getting banded has been a bright light that has kept me afloat.

Monday, December 13, 2010

merry christmas & i have a question

Merry Christmas.  Oh and I have a question for you.  I'll get to it eventually.  Just be patient.

This photo is what I call A Christmas Miracle.  Two children both looking at the camera.  At the same time!  On the first try! Both smiling.  (One a little better than the other, but hey...)  Cue me some Hallelujah Music please.  

Don't let the cuteness fool you.

Yesterday my two year old stuck my old driver's license (the one where I was skinny!) into the toaster.  It caught fire and ruined the toaster, but even more sadly--it ruined the driver's license.  :(  Later in the day, he got ahold of my return address stamper and stamped our name and address all over our white bookcase.  Well, at least it will never get lost.  

Let's get something straight though.  When I refer to myself as 'skinny' that's a bit of a misnomer.  I've never been skinny.  I scratched and clawed myself to 142 pounds and hung on there for a few years once.  That's the 'skinny' I'm referring to.  At 63 inches tall, that's a BMI of roughly 25-point-something ---which borders on the Precipice of Normal and Overweight.  That's the geographical place I want to get back to (or so I say).  But yes, I confess!  I'd prefer to be more in the middle range of 'normal' weight---which would be 120 lbs.  Why?  I don't know.  Maybe it feels more secure---like I'm not on the edge of some stupid metaphorical BMI cliff.

Maybe I need someone to slap me upside the head.  

This will seem like another tangent at first, but I'll get to the point eventually.  Pinky swear.  When I went to college, I was lucky enough to attend 'one of them' schools where an A is an A.  No one cared about A minuses or A pluses or any of that.  Which was pretty cool because once I knew I'd locked up a particular letter grade, I did "just enough" when Finals Week rolled around to sit pretty and stay at that letter grade.  Super, because if I knew I had locked an A in Statistics (yes Math is my strong subject), then it gave me wiggle room to hit another subject (like History, grrr) really hard and give it my best effort, so I could hopefully pull myself up to the higher of the Two Letter Grade Precipice that I was teetering on.  

After all, an A is an A, right?

It was at The University of Texas.  It works for me.

Unless we're talking about my weight that is.  And then I can get to the category of normal (which is theoretically an A, right?) and then it's not good enough.  I want better.  I want to be more normal.  Why????   Well, in case you didn't quite catch it---that was the "point" I promised you, dear Faithful Reader.  Wow.  Earth-shattering, I know.  You want to subscribe now, don't you?

Okay, so I guess I didn't make any point at all.  It was a question.  So, to clarify:  Why isn't "normal" good enough?  What's wrong with a BMI of 25?  Why can't I just be happy with that?  Why am I already tempted to lower my goal?

A month or so ago, I attended a "support group" meeting after a weigh-in at Magee Hospital.  They are more like informational meetings (go figure).  This particular meeting was about the skin surgeries some people get after WLS.  The plastic surgeon had a slide about how BMI isn't the best calculator for obesity (but it's all we've got).   To prove his point, he said Jerome Bettis has a BMI of 36.  

Hmmm, so does Jerome Bettis get an A?  Or is he morbidly obese?  It's so much easier to grade other peoples' papers!  When you consider muscle mass and bone density, you have to give him an A.  Screw the BMI calculator!  Why didn't I realize this when I weighed 142 pounds?!?!

So, dear successful & succeeding-as-we-speak Lap Banders & Losers of All Forms, how did you decide your goal weight?  Did BMI have anything to do with it?  Once you got to your goal, did you lower it?  Why?  Why not?  

Tell me, teach me, whisper words of wisdom in my ear.  Please.

my "day at the spa"

Call me crazy, but I scheduled all three of the following pre-op appointments for the same morning, December 1:  Upper GI, Nutrition Consult, & Psych Eval

It was almost as good as a day at the spa.

Hey, with two kids ages 2 and under, I was actually looking forward to having an entire morning of peace and quiet.  I got all dolled up with makeup and clean clothes like I was going somewhere special.  I even wore a real bra.  (Which, as a nursing mom, means it had powers to lift & separate).

So anyway.  I did the upper GI thing first.  My surgeon requires it of everyone he operates on.  I have no history of acid reflux or anything.  So other than feeling like a circus whale rolling around on a table, that went fine.  I say "circus" whale because I had to obey commands such as, "Lean towards me," "Roll onto your tummy" and "Stop breathing."  Hmmm.....  Usually they say, "Hold your breath," but noooooo, this doctor preferred the phrase, "Stop breathing."  Okay, dude.  Whatever you say.

Plus, this old guy sounded like Ben Stein in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, except he was croaking, "Drink.  DRINK!  More.  MORE.  Okay, again.  Swallow, swallow.  SWALLOW!"

I am just a real People Lover!  Can you tell?

Next up was the nutrition consult.  That lasted an hour.  My nutritionist (a guy!) spent an hour going over the post-op dietary changes, week by week.  I can't remember which post-op week it is---but whenever you can start eating 1/4C of protein.  I asked, "Are people full?  Are they satisfied off that little?"  He said most are.

Hold on!

....most?  Most?!?  You mean there's a chance I'll be hungry?  Crap!  I don't want to be hungry.  I hate being hungry.

He was encouraging though.  He said that I've done a great job losing weight since August and that he "can tell" I'm going to be "a huge success."  I hope his crystal ball is accurate!

Aaaaaaaaaaaaand, then came the Psych Eval.

(Cue ominous music).  Dun dun DUNNNNNN.

I had no idea what to expect.  This is what happened.

I walked in and the lady showed me a picture of herself in a bathing suit before she had gastric bypass and introduced herself.  She asked what led me to my decision of wanting LB.  That's when I fell apart.

First off---I admire anyone who can wear a bathing suit when they are 'morbidly obese'.  That means she endured shopping for it.  And, as a plus-sized girl---that is torture.  Then, she somehow mustered the self-confidence to wear it.  And I have to say, she looked GOOD in it.

[sidebar:  I think it was Sherry who went off on some tangent somewhere regarding torturing terrorists with Neil Diamond music.  I have to agree.  If that's true, no wonder Osama bin Laden is still hiding somewhere.  He might have fallen in The Rabbit Hole of your blog though Sherry.  Have you considered that?  But I just came up with a new method of torture that may or may not violate the Geneva Convention.  Get these terrorists to gain some weight and go bikini shopping!!!  It's genius.  Maybe I'll write Obama and the Department of Defense a letter].

Anyhoo.  Back to the Psych Eval.  After making a joke about my "day at the spa," I answered the shrink's question.  Through tears, I explained how I had sat on the sidelines of Sandcastle (the local water park) while my two year old splashed in the kiddie pool this summer.  How he begged, "Mommy come play with me!"  How I couldn't--- because I refused to wear a bathing suit.  My friends got in the water with their children.  My son was the only one whose mommy wouldn't get in and splash around with him.  It made me feel terrible.  I told her how much I admired her for wearing her bathing suit and for rocking it.  I told her how I was just tired of sitting on the sidelines---and not just at the pool, but how my weight was now preventing me from doing all kinds of things.  I didn't want to teach my boys it was okay to sit off to the side and watch.  I want them to get in there!  I want the same for myself!  I want to feel good about myself again.  And damn, it would be great too, if I could zip up a pair of tall boots again!  

I didn't even tell her the story about my six year old niece, who gave me the unvarnished truth, not once, but twice, and how her little kid voice was the reality check I needed (albeit brutal).

Then I left and prayed that I hadn't flunked the psych eval by crying my eyes out.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

things that make you go hmm

Okay this is semi-embarrassing.  My next door neighbor just handed me some of my mail that was delivered to his box.  (There goes my letter carrier's Holiday Tip!)  On one envelope, the return address says, "Bariatric Department of Surgery" on it or something like that.


Obviously, I've discussed this surgery with my husband and he's on board.  I'm not sure who else I want to tell!

Maybe I'm way wrong on this, but I'm afraid certain people will be judgmental.

My mom and mother-in-law frequently make comments about other people's size and body weight.  When my mom visited when my youngest was born in May, we were watching The Good Wife on CBS and she commented that Julianna Margulies "has cankles."


That's just one example, but both my mom and MIL frequently make comments regarding how big or small other people are.  They are both thin.  One more so than the other.

But it gets old.

Nauseating, even.

love, prison, & orgasms

How's that for a catchy title?

A few years ago I started taking Topamax for chronic pain issues.  It didn't help my pain but I noticed something miraculous---my appetite went from OMNIPRESENT to vanquished.  It was so liberating.  It felt like freedom.  I felt normal for the first time in my whole life.  Except for the pain.  It was still there but with regards to my hunger, wow!  Without much effort I lost seven pounds in one month.  Then I found out I was pregnant.  So I had to stop taking it.  That was 2008.  Fast forward to 2010. 

So when I went to see my PCP in November I asked her if I could start taking it again.  I already bitched about that visit, my tears, my frustration.  In my venting post I forgot to tell my audience of one the whole purpose of going to the doctor!  Whoops!  Well, that was the point of going to see her in the first place.  I wanted drugs.  She obliged me.

So, the first week I was at 25 mg at night and noticed no difference in my appetite. Once I bumped it up to 50 mg, my appetite decreased dramatically after just a few days. As far as I know, this isn't an option to keep my weight under control forever. But! I've lost six pounds in 3 weeks.

It didn't hurt that I came down with a vomiting stomach virus and a vicious cold in the last three weeks either.  I don't typically lose that fast.

I'm in love though---Topamax Love.  I still have hunger at meal times.  When I sit down to eat I'm hungry like anyone else.  But I get full faster.  I stay full longer.  I don't think about food between meals.  It's my idea of heaven, really.  Is it cheating?  Maybe.  No more than LB I suppose (and for the record, I don't see that as cheating either).  I still have to make good decisions when I eat.  But it's helped the number one reason fall off the wagon every time---it tames The Hunger Demon.  That feeling in my stomach that is screaming, "Hungry!  Feed me, feed me, feed me!"   No amount of broccoli, popcorn, and lean protein can seem to make The Demon happy.

But Topamax has killed that stupid bitch.

Is this what LB feels like?  I hope so.  Because Topamax isn't a long-term solution.  My doctor feels like three months at a time is okay---basically long enough to get me to surgery.  It causes electrolyte imbalances which means my fingertips are shriveled up.  It causes numbness and tingling.  It makes my brain a bit foggy.  And the worst part?  I can't have an orgasm to save my life.

So do you know what that means?!

It means---I'm really never posting pictures of my beautiful face!  First I confessed to peeing in a styrofoam cup and now this.

Hmm, so maybe I'm not in Topamax Love after all.  Honestly though, it's not even about the weight loss.  It's just so lovely to feel free of hunger.  I feel like I just got let out of prison or something.

Btw, thanks Band Groupie for becoming my first follower.  I see we are both in the same city, pretty cool.  If I see you in public and recognize you, I promise to fess up and tell you who I am.  :)  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

in a slump

I've been in a slump.

I haven't been filling out my food journal.  Even on days where I eat right and have everything to be proud of, I just don't write it down.  I don't know why.  Sabotage?  Laziness?  Stubborn?

Part of me knows I should do this to be successful.

And then the other part of me feels I shouldn't have to.  "Normal" people don't have to write down everything they eat---so why should I?  (That little voice answers---"because you're not normal").


I feel like I've been white-knuckling it, hanging on to the edge of a cliff....so I made an appointment to see my PCP before I let myself fall into the abyss.

I saw her a few days ago to talk about my weight.  I told her I was hungry ALL THE TIME.  I described this ever-present hunger and how I'd managed to conquer it for the past 3-4 months but that I couldn't hang on any longer without help.  I told her I'd started the six month "Lifestyle" diet change THING at Magee Hospital and that I'd lost 20 pounds.

By "conquer" the hunger I mean to say that I've LIVED WITH IT.  I've accepted it as part of my existence.  But I just can't do it anymore.

Anyway, she said, "That's great!  You're losing it by yourself!  You don't need surgery!"

I lamented that it was a Catch-22.  If I lost some on my own, some would say, "you don't need surgery," and that if I didn't lose anything beforehand, people would say, "you're just relying on surgery."

She said, "People are going to perceive you how they want to perceive you."  That was a good point---actually, that was about her only good point!

She said she'd support me if I decided I wanted LB but she discouraged me in so many ways.  Let me list them for you.

1.  "You'll gain it back."  She went on to say she had many patients who lost it all, only to gain it back.  My surgeon has this chart that shows how, over time, LB patients keep off an average of 60% of their excess body weight.  I relayed this information.  She said, "Well eventually they gain it back."  She didn't offer any research to prove her statement.

2.  "You'll lose your hair.  You don't want to lose your hair do you?"  No, of course I don't want to lose my hair.  As far as I know, hair loss can be caused by a major loss of nutrients, like in gastric bypass.  But it comes back right?  Right?  I don't know.  I need to research this further.  Off the top of my head it seems like the 1-2 pounds of WL per week on LB won't cause hair loss but....I'll check into it.

3.  Regarding not feeling full:  "Eat more fiber.  Eat more protein."  Duh.  I've been doing that.  I actually binge on raw carrots, broccoli, grilled chicken, and black beans.  But I'm still hungry.  I'm tired of being hungry.  Why is that hard to understand?

4.  Regarding hunger:  "You're bored."  Ummm, no.  No, I'm not.  I have a 2.5 year old and a six month old.  We have passes to the Carnegie Science Center, the Children's Museum, and we get out of the house every single day to do something whether it be errands or just plain fun.  I am not bored.  She suggested I get a hobby.  I have several actually.  I love to scrapbook and knit.  Unfortunately I don't get to do these things everyday.  Why?  Because I'm BUSY!!!  She even suggested I go back to work.  (I'm an occupational therapist.)  I don't want to.  I'm sure I'll miss it eventually, but I don't right now.  I just enjoy being a stay at home mom and I'm really thankful I can be with my boys at this stage of their life.

5.  She said I could "binge on candy" if I wanted to.  Like if I wanted to eat M & M's, she said I could eat the entire bag as long as I didn't eat anything else.  Really?  Because I'd still be hungry.  That was her example!

6.  I mentioned one of the reasons for wanting LB was so I could keep up with my kids.  She said, "No one can keep up with their kids!"   She wasn't trying to be funny when she said this.  She was serious!   Okay I will confess this to my audience of zero----there were times when I was pregnant and 250 pounds that I just didn't have the energy or motivation to go upstairs to our only bathroom to pee.  So I peed in a styrofoam cup in the kitchen.  Perhaps I should have cited that as a reason for needing to lose weight.  I mean, if you can't summon the energy to walk upstairs and pee like a normal human being, then something is seriously effing wrong with you.  And now I'm making a mental note to never post a picture of my face on this blog after making this confession public.  :D  

7.  She said, "Write down 3 good things about your day."  I'm pretty sure she stole this idea from Oprah.  The gratitude journal.  And I'm not laughing.  I don't think that's a stupid idea.  I just don't think it will help me.  Why?  Because I have so much gratitude in my life.  Scrapbooking is gratitude.  It's love and sunshine on sparkly papers and.......

At some point in all of this, I got teary-eyed because I felt like I was putting myself "out there," being vulnerable, and for what?  For nothing.  Because still, no one understands.  I hate it when I cry!!!!

Let me reiterate.  I am HUNGRY.  All.  The.  Time.

Did she hear me?  No..........no.  

She did, however, say one thing I will agree with.

After telling her how I took my kids to the water park over the summer but felt left out sitting on the sidelines wearing my clothes (not a swimsuit), she said it was clear I had a self-esteem issue.  Okay that's true, but I sat there wondering if she'd want to go to Sandcastle wearing a bathing suit if she weighed 220 pounds and would suffer skin-to-skin contact from her crotch to her knees.  What would her self-esteem be?  LMAO.

If there's anyone out there reading this, I'd love a comment or unsolicited advice or insight....anything?

Thursday, October 14, 2010

good news, bad news

Well the good news is my cholesterol is perfect.

The bad news is that I might be disqualified from getting lap band.  :(

My BMI was less than 40 when I started this process so I need two co-morbidities for my insurance to cover the costs of surgery.  I have high BP and high cholesterol.  Or so I thought!  I've always had high cholesterol but I recently had blood drawn.  When I checked my results on-line I saw that my cholesterol was 149.  Ugh!  I cannot ever recall my cholesterol being less than 200!  It's usually around 210.  WTF.  I hope this doesn't disqualify me.

I have a history of gestational diabetes so I'm hoping that will count in my favor.

I feel a little defeated.  If I'd only gained about 10 pounds before starting to lose weight, or made an appointment the second I hit 220, or if I'd only loaded up my pockets with lead.  The what if's are killing me!  Because then, I would have qualified automatically with a BMI of 40.  But it's too late for that now.

So I'm struggling with negative thoughts today.  On one hand, I feel like I'm doing great.  I've even wondered if I can or should do this without the band.  I had decided it was better to go ahead and get it.  Now I'm realizing that even if I don't qualify, I need to find a way to continue this lifestyle change without it.  I'm going to have to find some strength somewhere to get through it instead of throwing myself a pity party complete with cake and ice cream.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

cold hard numbers

So yesterday morning I was flying high & celebrating my first 10 pounds.

Then, the afternoon came.

I had agreed to be a participant in a research study at Magee Womens Hospital.  They are studying how WLS can reduce the risk of endometrial cancer.  I volunteered to donate blood a total of 4 times (once before surgery & 3 times afterward) and fill out about an hour's worth of paperwork.

What I didn't know is that they would also TAKE MY MEASUREMENTS and calculate my % body fat!

I sort of felt like a contestant on The Biggest Loser, minus the black tights, my Enell bra, and a bazillion fans viewers.  We can also subtract the foregone conclusion that I'm already out there walking around skinny!

At the hospital I weighed 207 lbs. (202.5 at home).  The machine calculated my % body fat at either 47.6% or 46.7%.  I can't remember.  But what's the difference?  Either way, that's fucking terrible!!

I knew it was bad, but it was hard seeing it.  I wanted to say, "B-b-but I've already lost some weight."  The lady (my mom's age) patted me on the shoulder and said something that was supposed to comfort me...

Next came the measurements.  My waist:  106.5 cm.  Hips:  123 cm.

When I got home I had to translate those numbers into the inferior Imperial system I'm familiar with.  So that's a 41.9" waist & 48.4" hips.

I looked up what the recommendations were for body fat % and found the table below here.

Essential fat10-13%1-3%
My eyes welled up with tears as I left the office.  After losing more than ten pounds I felt so disgusted, humiliated, and defeated.

Oh well.  As Dr. Phil loves to say, "You can't change what you don't acknowledge."

Aside from the humiliation, I'm very happy I had my measurements taken by professionals.  I had thought about doing it myself, but wasn't sure where to place the tape, etc.  I'll go back for the same measurements when I'm 3 months out of surgery.  The lady said I'll look so different they won't recognize me.

I like to imagine that next time, when I walk out of there, I'll have tears in my eyes again.  Except next time, they'll be happy, thankful tears of joy and gratitude.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

ten pounds down

I just want to take a second to celebrate some small accomplishments.

I've lost ten pounds since July.  Twelve and a half to be exact.  

My weight loss picked up when I started walking for an hour a day.  Actually, pushing two boys in a double stroller feels more like mowing the lawn (but with less noise).

In addition, I'm no longer taking sleeping pills at night.  I have more energy.  The stairs in my house are getting easier.  I've gone from a size 18 to a 16. 

And I like myself a little bit more, because, instead of breaking yet another promise to myself (getting in shape), I'm doing it.  Fo' real this time.

Friday, September 24, 2010

dreading events that should be fun

Do you ever find yourself dreading an event that should be fun?

I do.

Like when my sons were born I dreaded being in photos because of my weight.  Especially because I didn't have control of the camera.  Normally I ordered the photographer (my husband) around so I can get the most flattering possible angles (I have camera angles down to a science, people!).

Like when my dear best friend from high school told me she wanted to bring her two boys and visit me in October this year, I was thrilled at the thought of seeing her again (it's been wayyy too long).....but I was disgusted at the thought of her seeing me.  Then, when she let me know it just wasn't going to work out, I felt more relief than anything.  I didn't want her to see me like this.  Isn't that sad?  That is just frickin' pathetic!  Because I always have fun with her!  We always talk and laugh and in my head I know she doesn't care what I weigh.  But I do.

Like my other bestie from college drove five hours in one day at a moment's notice meet my newest baby over July 4th weekend.  Loved every second of her visit but I felt horrified for her to see me like that.  220 pounds!  My worst nightmare.  I couldn't help but wonder if she thought, "How the **** did she let herself get like that?"

Like this December my husband is graduating with his master's degree and I'm half dreading it because of my weight.  Okay, totally dreading it.

They'll be having a formal dinner and celebration for his class at the Omni downtown.  He'll be wearing a suit....and I'll have to find something suitable to squeeze into.  Instead of looking forward to a glamourous celebration, I'm consumed with thoughts of,  "Will I be able to find a formal dress that fits?"  Ugh!  And I'll probably end up wearing PANTS.  Why?  Because pants have an elastic waistband, my friends...  Elastic.

At least I still have 3 months...Hopefully I can drop another 15 pounds.  Every little bit helps.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

spy calculator

Found another cool app for my iPhone.  It's called the Spy Calculator.  It's a way to hide private photos and videos.....probably made for some XXX action but I'm using it to take photos of my progress.....and so I'll have no worries that someone will pick up my phone and see them.

This app (99 cent) looks and functions exactly like a digital calculator but when you type in your password (a numerical sequence), it will unlock your private photos and videos.

Pretty awesome.  I wonder if Tiger Woods had this app.

I plan on posting before and after photos on this blog, but right now I don't feel comfortable showing my face or my fat rolls.  Once it's gone I'll be proud to show it off.  :)  I took some pics this morning but I've already lost 15 pounds.  I'm still quite a chubster but I wish I'd taken photos at the very beginning.  I guess it was just too painful.

new stroller

I've been pushing my kids around the neighborhood in my big double stroller but the hilly terrain is killing my back, shoulders, and wrists.  I have to hang on for dear life!  If a death grip is not maintained, my boys just might go flying down a hillside!

If I stay on city sidewalks, I'm fine.  But I get tired of listening to cars whiz by.  There are some beautiful unpaved trails in our neighborhood.  I can get down most of them, but it's killing me.  Some trails at the park must be totally avoided because it's just too difficult.  On occasion, my husband will watch one child for me while I take the other in my single jogger and it's heaven!!  I can go on any trail no matter how rocky, hilly, whatever.  Pushing a single is cake!!

So I just ordered a new double....a side-by-side jogger with bigger wheels.  Should come in 5-7 days.  I hope this does the trick.  My back cannot wait.

switching addictions

My mom has said several times that people who have WLS just "switch addictions."

She said people turn to alcohol or drugs when they can't turn to food.

I've heard of this phenomenon as well but I wonder how common it really is.

I can't ever see myself addicted to drugs or alcohol.  I can count on one hand how many alcoholic drinks I've had in the last year.  Granted, I was pregnant for much of that year.....but I didn't miss it at all when I was pregnant.  My youngest baby is almost 5 months old and I've had only one glass of wine since his birth.  And I would never do drugs or abuse prescription drugs.

Honestly, it kind of hurts my feelings when she says this.  She has no idea I'm planning on getting this surgery so I have no idea why I take it personal like I do.  It's almost as if she's saying, "Fat people are hopeless."

But that's not what she said.  That's me being sensitive....right?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Lululemon Pants

Yesterday Hoda & Kathie Lee were talking about their favorite things.

Hoda said she loved her workout pants, by Lululemon.  So I had to check them out.

Super cute.

But they don't make my size.  :C

According to them, a size 12 is an XL, a 32" waist.  Boo.  Guess I'll have to wait awhile & EARN these.

get your greek on

I've never been the sorority type.  I'm talking about yogurt!  Yum!

Total Fage greek yogurt is heaven.  I've tried a few brands but this one is the best.  It's a bit pricey but Costco sells it for $5.86 and the container has 4 cups in it.  I go through 2 containers a week.  Wow, that's a $40 a month yogurt habit.

I mix one cup of it with 3T Splenda and a heap of cinnamon.  Mmmm mmmm mmm.  Creamy heaven.  It's even better with honey but those are the empty sort of calories I'm trying to avoid.

It has 0g fat, only 120 calories, and 20g of protein per cup.

And I mean---a FULL measuring cup!  Not a chintzy 4 oz yogurt cup.

It's the perfect non-breakfast Breakfast!  It's quick, it's yummy, it's loaded with protein to help you feel full.

Another thing it's good for is dessert.  Yes, dessert.  It satisfies my sweet tooth craving.

You can also dollop it on a baked potato and it takes just like sour cream.

I love it in smoothies too.  About 1/4C will turn a 16 oz smoothie into a dream.

I've heard that it makes a good substitute for oil or butter in baked good but I haven't tried that yet.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Bariatric Card

Once a month, Magee Womens Hospital holds support group meetings that you can attend after a Module and weigh in.

The Support Group Meeting I attended on Sept. 8th just felt like an informational session comparing gastric banding to gastric bypass.  I didn't learn anything new.

The surgeon did mention one thing though.  She said after surgery you are given some kind of "bariatric patient" card to carry in your wallet and that some restaurants will allow you to use it to order off of the children's menu.  Sweet!

I just wonder if I'll be brave enough to use it.  

Then again....why do I care?  

Am I still in junior high?

What will all the other kids will think of me?

No.  I think I'm 33 and must remind myself that NO ONE GIVES A SHIT.

Was it Oscar Wilde or Eleanor Roosevelt who said it more eloquently?  Something like, "You wouldn't care what other people thought of you if you realized how seldom they did."  Wise words.

Friday, September 17, 2010

you should be losing TONS! C U Next Tuesday.

Okay.  So.  I attended my first "Lifestyle" meeting at Magee Women's Hospital on Aug. 12.  It's held in an auditorium.  I wasn't sure what to expect.

At each class, you complete a "Module."  Basically, they have us read an educational packet and set some goals for the month.  We don't interact with each other.  We just sit and mind our own business.  Not everyone is working on the same module.  After writing our goals, a nutritionist looks over our goals, puts us on a scale, logs our weight, and sends us home.  There are 6 modules you complete as a requirement for the insurance company (the 6 month diet).

When I started checking into gastric banding in July, I weighed my highest non-pregnancy weight ever.  I cut back calories, started getting more active and lost five pounds before even meeting my surgeon or getting weighed for the first time.  It felt good to see I had lost five pounds on my own.  I completed Module 1 that day in August and the educational packet I read suggested eating 1400 calories.  So for one month I faithfully exercised and filled out my food log.  I did, however, frequently (but not always) eat as much as 1700 calories because I'm breastfeeding my youngest child (born May 1).

Fast forward to September---I looked forward to seeing how much weight I'd lost.  You know what I lost?  One whole pound.  One!  I asked the nutritionist, "How many calories a day should I be eating?" and explained I was breastfeeding a 20 lb four month old.  She said, "Oh?!!  You're breastfeeding?  You should be losing TONS.  When I breastfed I lost tons!"

In the words of a good friend, "What a C U Next Tuesday!"

Don't you love that phrase?  I hate the "C" word, but I love that phrase.  It's just so appropriate at times.

The nutritionist never answered my question.  She just said, "Fill out a really good food log this next month and I'll go over it with you next time."

Ummm.  Okay.  B-b-b-but I thought that's what I was here for.  I *did* pay my $20 to be here today.  And I did bring my monthly food log today.  Again, I felt like the fat girl getting brushed aside.

Monday, September 13, 2010

iPhone app

I found a really cool iPhone app today.  It will log your run/walk/cycling workouts using GPS technology.

It tells you how far you walked, how fast, it maps your route, and records all of your workouts and saves them.  After a week or a month it will give you stats as to how many miles you logged.

Love it!

Just go to the app store, type in "map walk" and a list of apps will pop up.  This one is by Sprint.  It cost $3.99 and is well worth it.

Update:  September 19, 2010.  The app is great but I've noticed when it's cloudy out the GPS has difficulty getting a lock.  So I walked for an hour and didn't get any credit.  Well---that's not true.  My doctor has me wearing a pedometer so my step count was accurate on that.  Maybe just go with the free app like i map my run.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

a memo on grammar...

You are LOSING weight people.  Not loosing it!

Your spelling skills are going to make me loose it soon.

Friday, July 30, 2010

very first appointment

So my very first appointment at the Bariatric Center at Magee Womens Hospital is on August 12, 2010.

The lady over the phone told me to start writing down everything I eat and to bring it with me.  They will give me another food journal at this appointment and they'll weigh me.

It's my understanding that six months after August 12, I'll be eligible for Lap Band surgery so long as I've complied with the diet.  I get the idea that the diet is an effort to prove my weight loss commitment to the insurance company so they'll be willing to pay for the procedure.

So....that means I'll hopefully be eligible for surgery in February 2011 around my 34th birthday.  :)  That would be an awesome present.

An even more awesome present will be feeling (& looking!) fabulous at 35.

ouch! my feelings need a band-aid.

A few weeks ago I started looking into Lap Band surgery.

Over Christmas 2009, my husband, son, and I were celebrating the holidays with his family in Colorado.  We were setting up our Wii characters---you know, selecting hair color & style, eye color, outfits (etc!) to compose your "mini-me."

Blonde hair?  Check!  Hazel eyes?  Check.  Long lustrous girlie eyelashes?  Check.  Cute outfit?  Mmm...it's not real life, but I did the best I could....

Then my five year old niece chimed in, "You need to make it bigger because you're big."

[insert the sound of a record scratching!]


I was actually 21 weeks pregnant with our second child.

But still.


And for the record, I'll be damned if I have to bowl with a fat Wii character.  Being fat in real life is depressing enough.  I think I'll let my Wii character live in Fantasy Land.

And if that didn't hurt bad enough....

Fast forward a few months.  Our son was born on May 1, 2010 and my husband's family came out to visit in June.  I was sitting on the couch and my niece (the same one!) said, "How come your neck hangs down like that?"

Ummm, I believe she was referring to my double chin.

That's it.  I'm not pregnant anymore.  I've got no excuse.

These extra pounds must go before my own two sons can say something so hurtful about my weight.  Right now they are innocent and love me for me.  They don't see my size.  Eventually though, they will. The thought of them pointing out my size crushes me.

What was your 'that's it' moment?