Wednesday, May 30, 2012


My trigger food is dip.  Any kind of dip.  Spinach, ranch, french onion, queso, you name it...  Dips are my Devil.  I could get a 24 oz. container of french onion dip from Kroger and that baby (along with a bag of chips) would be gone in a day.  1,380 calories for the dip, 1,920 for the chips.  3,300 calories worth of "snack."  That's almost 3 days worth of calories for me now.  And I would do that 3 or 4 or 5 times a week. 

Is it any wonder I weighed 315 pounds?

I know that there are healthy dip choices I can have now.  Hummus, bean, salsa.  I could have them on celery or, in less than a week, on a tortilla or pita.  They could be a part of my healthy eating plan.  I could incorporate healthy dips into my daily calorie count, just like I do with my 25-calorie freezer pops (Root beer flavored?  Yes, please!).  On my last few trips to Sam's Club, I've almost purchased the hummus, been tempted by the salsa and looked longingly at the spinach dip.

But what I'm slowly coming to realize is that I'm not going to be able to have those foods in my house for a long, long time.  I may be doing well with my eating and slowly adding exercise (treadmill yesterday, yay!), but my band wasn't a cure for my brain.  I ate my breakfast at 7am, but at 9:30, I was trying to mentally justify eating a snack.  I wasn't hungry.  I just wanted the snack.  If I brought that 24 oz. container of dip into my house, I'd still want to (and would be able to) eat the entire thing in a day.

And so, for me, right now, the best way to avoid temptation is not to tempt myself at all.

I'm writing this here as a reminder to myself, no matter how good the hummus happens to look.

In other news, I was scheduled for my first fill a week from this Friday, but the doctor's office called me this morning and left a message that it needed to be rescheduled.  I was prepared to be really pissed at them for delaying my first fill (and therefore my ability to eat beef, pork and bread-type products), but, yay, they moved it up to Monday.  First fill!  I'm excited.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

I hate summer

I'm not particularly crazy about summer, for a whole host of reasons:

1.  Having lived in the south for the last 20something years, I find one thing to be universally true - office buildings crank up the AC to compensate for the temperature outside.  I am currently freezing.  My fingertips are numb and my nose is running.  When I go home for lunch, I'm going to have to bring back a blanket.  Which is insane, because it's freaking 95 degrees outside.

2.  I hate getting into a hot car.  Hate.  I hate those two minutes that it takes for the car to cool down.  Those are like the two worst minutes of my day.

3.  I was looking forward to this summer, at least a little, because we finally have a pool.  When we were looking to buy a house last summer, we prioritized a pool.  We looked at 18 houses, all of which had a pool.  We moved in August, so we got to use the pool for about a month and a half.  I've been really looking forward to using it this summer, but I've been waiting until the weather got a little warmer.  Now the weather is warmer (hotter, actually) and I can't use the pool for another two weeks!  *whine*

4.  I hate my power bill in the summer, even though we keep our AC set at 78.

5.  I hate that my collection of work-appropriate summer clothes is so limited.  I need new clothes (I also need new underwear), but I'm not going to start buying a new seasonal wardrobe that I'll (hopefully) only be able to wear for one season.  Although, what's funny is that I usually only wear my summer clothes for one season, because I usually gain weight from one summer to the next.

In other news, tomorrow will mark four weeks since I started my pre-op diet.  This morning, the scale showed a total weight loss of 30.5lbs.  I'm pretty excited about that.

I had my first stuck episode on Sunday night.  The wife and I went out to dinner with some co-workers, and I ordered a salad with the dressing on the side.  I haven't been having a problem with lettuce or celery incorporated into this BBQ chicken salad that I make, but having the dressing on the side meant that the lettuce was just too dry.  I was able to escape to the bathroom before it came back up, but come back up it did.  And yet the next morning, celery with Laughing Cow Light Cream Cheese went down just fine.  Lesson learned:  no more dry salads.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Post-Op Week 1 TTT!

Ten Things Thursday:

1.  Ever since starting on mushies on Monday, I've been in Bandster Hell.  I wasn't hungry at all from 5/2 until 5/21.  Now I feel like I could eat my own fist(s).

2.  My first fill is on 6/8.  I can't wait.  Can't wait, I say!!  Another date I can't wait for:  6/16, when I can swim in my pool.

3.  In my last post, I mentioned that I've been having what I could only describe as indigestion.  I asked the nurse about it at my appointment on Monday, and she told me I was having "spasms," which would eventually stop.  It didn't hurt, it was just...  weird.  Like someone was squeezing my esophagus for a split second.  It seemed to happen more often when I drank anything.  Then yesterday was my first day back at work, and at about 4:30, I started getting some intense pains in my left flank.  Almost like quickly repeating charlie horse cramps in my side.  I was in tears by the time I got home.  So I took some pain meds and some Gas-X and iced it for a while and it went away.  Now I'm not having the indigestion sensation anymore.  What the hell?

4.  My nutritionist told me that I needed to get at least 70g of protein a day after surgery.  Today is the first day I've been able to do that.  Yay!

5.  I only have 4 incisions.  Don't most of you have 5?

6.  I haven't been cleared for exercise yet, and won't be until 6/8.  But I'm starting bootcamp on 6/1.  Not quite sure how this is going to work...

7.  I'm slowly getting back to where I was pre-surgery, water-drinking wise.  It's harder now that I'm not just chugging it down.

8.  I love eggs.  The whole time I was on my pre-op diet, I just wanted an egg with a runny yolk.  The first thing I bought after being cleared for mushies was an 18-count carton of Eggland's Best.  I've never been so excited about sunny side up eggs.  Or more interested in research on dietary cholesterol.

9.  Because I also love shrimp.

10.  Like Lap Band Gal, who in her losing phase made the decision to only track protein and calories, I am doing the same.  I find it really overwhelming to try to track everything else - carbs and fat (saturated, polyunsaturated, monounsaturated!) and cholesterol and sodium and all of that stuff - tracking all of those things makes me feel like I'm on a really intricate and puzzling diet and that there's only one combination of foods that will keep me within all of my daily requirements (and that combination is impossible to find).  But I track via My Fitness Pal, because I find it a lot easier to plan my day using that tool (and I have a Fitbit that I'm eventually going to use with it, once the wife gives it up).  I haven't found a way to have MFP only show me calories and protein.  So I end up noticing that I'm (for example) eating too much sodium or not getting enough potassium.  And then my OCD tendencies want to take over and I want to correct that.  But then that throws off my protein/carb balance.  It's kind of making me crazy.

Saturday, May 19, 2012


It's done! 

On surgery day, we woke up at 4am.  I showered, the wife packed a bag ("just in case!" she said) and we headed to the hospital an hour away.  We got there just before 6am and checked in at the ER (because the regular hospital is closed that early in the morning).  We waited in the waiting room for about 20 minutes, then they called me back.  After I peed in a cup and changed, the nurse started my IV.  My wife came back and sat with me and we watched QVC until 7:20, when my surgeon and the anesthesiologist came in to see me.  I was feeling quite anxious the whole morning - I kept tearing up.  I remember being wheeled back to the OR and the anesthesiologist telling me that it was time for happy juice.  Then I was out.

When I woke up, it was 9:30am and I had to pee something fierce.  The nurse helped me up from my bed and I went to the bathroom.  When I came back, my bed had been replaced by a recliner.  They brought in my wife, and I walked across the room for the barium swallow.  That took about 30 seconds, but the barium made me a tad nauseous, so the nurse gave me a little something in my IV and I felt better right away.  5 minutes later, I was getting dressed.  They brought me some ice chips while we waited for the doctor to view the results of the swallow.  After we got the a-okay, they wheeled me out to the car.  We were on the road by 10am.

I was awake the whole ride home and since then I've just been taking it easy and recovering.  I have to be honest, though, a lot of my anxiety was pretty pointless. I haven't had any nausea at all since the barium.  I pretty much stopped taking the pain meds on Thursday.  I don't have any shoulder pain, which was one of my biggest fears.  I've been taking a lot of Gas-X, and I got TOM yesterday (Worst. Timing. Ever.), so I feel pretty bloated and greasy, but I haven't been in pain at all.  Yesterday, the wife and I even went to the movies and saw Battleship.

I'm allowed blended soups and thinned out sauces, but I've mostly been sipping on apple juice.  I get a touch of what I can only describe as indigestion when I swallow, and I'm really hoping that's gas and that it will go away soon.

Oh, and the doctor told my wife that I'd done very well on my pre-op diet (I ended up -18.5lbs pre-op, with another 2 since Wednesday).  I credit the cottage cheese.

Thank you all so much for the support.  I can't tell you how much I appreciate it.  I'm looking forward to the rest of my recovery and to life with my band.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Freaking Out

My surgery is on Wednesday.

I am freaking out.

I'm not nervous about the surgery itself, or even the few days afterward.  This is odd, given that I am such a ninny about pain.  But any thought about those issues is completely dwarfed by one, all-consuming thought:

What if I pay all of this money and have freaking bariatric surgery and I STILL CAN'T LOSE THE WEIGHT AND KEEP IT OFF????

I know that the band is a tool.  I fully understand that it won't do the work for me.  I'm committed to doing this, to changing my life.  I've lost 18.5 pounds on my pre-op diet, and I want that number to keep going down.  I have a million reasons for wanting and needing to lose weight. 

But what happens if I fail?

My wife (who was very sick with food poisoning this weekend, the poor thing) has had about enough of listening to me ask this question.  She says (with love), "Look, you never have a problem losing some weight.  You're the master of losing 40 or 50 pounds.  But what you can't do is stick with it.  You never get past that 50 pound mark, and you certainly never keep it off.  You need help.  And this is designed to help you.  And I know that you're making the right decision."

I love her for being so supportive, for drinking shakes two times a day and having soup for dinner for the last twelve days.  I love that she's not one of those spouses bringing fast food and pizza into the house while I'm eating cottage cheese.  I know that she's going to be there for me the whole way through this thing, and for the rest of our lives.

But despite all of that, I am still completely freaking out.

Friday, May 11, 2012


My scale this morning said 299.0, which brings me to a whopping 16 pounds lost so far on my pre-op diet. 

The wife said, "If you were on The Biggest Loser, you'd probably be above the yellow line this week."

I'd like to be able to say that I'll never see 300 again, but I know they're gonna pump me full of fluids next Wednesday, and that could send me back over for a time.

Not that I'm not pumping myself full of fluids, too.  I've managed at least 100 oz. of water every day for the last week. 

I'm fighting my way downward.  And it felt like a fight on days 3, 4 and 5.  But after I found the cottage cheese combo that works for me, I've felt satisfied on two cottage cheeses and a bowl of soup a day.  But man, I look forward to that bowl of soup.

The wife signed us up for a bootcamp class starting in June.  I'm nervous, but I need to get over my fear of being That Fat Girl Exercising In Public (How Dare She!).  I *am* That Fat Girl, and if I don't Exercise In Public, I always will be.  So suck it up, self.

I'm also nervous about my first time traveling post-band, which will be for five nights at the end of June.  What will I eat?  How will I eat?  When will I eat?  What will it be like eating in front of people?  Ack!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No turning back now...

My surgeon's office called me yesterday to let me know the exact amount I would need to pay out of pocket for my surgery.  I was a little surprised, because the amount was 50% more than I'd been anticipating.  And 50% more when you're already talking about several thousand dollars is a lot.  But then, this morning at pre-op, I saw the full cost of the surgery - more than $32k.  Knowing that number, I thanked my lucky stars for my insurance and paid half.  Half today, half next week.  I guess there's no turning back now.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Protein shakes and Disney World

I am on Day 6 of my pre-op diet, which consists of two protein shakes a day and two cups of any kind of soup I want, plus any cottage cheese, Greek yogurt, sugar free pudding and sugar free popsicles I care to eat.

I've lost 13 pounds since last Monday.

I've also discovered that I hate protein shakes. 

Okay, that's not fair.  I don't hate them.  I'm grossed out by them.  I've tried them a few different ways: Plain vanilla and almond milk with a packet of Splenda, chocolate with skim milk and cocoa powder and frozen strawberries mixed in, orange cream.  And they've all grossed me out.  I thought it was a texture issue - especially with the orange, which was very, very foamy.  So I tried the Nectar pink grapefruit with water, thinking that it would alleviate that issue.  But no.  Didn't help (actually grossed me out even more - is it supposed to be chunky?).  So while I was good for the first two days and drank my two shakes a day, I haven't done so since.  I'm mostly subsisting on soup, cottage cheese and pudding, plus 100 oz. of water a day.

Which was awesome last week when I was at a "trust retreat" with my co-workers for four nights. *insert eyeroll here*

And did I mention that I don't like cottage cheese?

On a positive note, the trip to Disney World was not nearly as bad as I'd anticipated.  There was not a single ride that I wanted to ride that I couldn't.  Space Mountain, Rock 'n' Rollercoaster, Dinosaur, Expedition Everest, Mission: SPACE, Soarin' and lots more, I did them all.  I was massively exhausted and caught a horrible headcold, but my anxiety about being a fatass was all for nothing.

I have my appointment for all of my pre-op bloodwork and x-rays on Wednesday, and then surgery is a week after that.  I'm ready!