A Newbie To Follow

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, July 29, 2010 Thursday, July 29, 2010

I'm not very good about introducing new banded-bloggers (although I'm great at following them!) but I MUST extend a warm welcome to an ultra-amazing, supportive new bandster who is also my very good friend, Kate!

Kate is a role-model mother, a kind, encouraging friend and is mighty smart and sassy to boot. Kate and I became new mothers together (an ever-challenging trip) and now are on the Lap Band journey together.

I hope you can all join me in offering Kate support. Her blog, Unleashing the Thin Girl is very promising. I've SO enjoyed getting to know Kate over the last couple of years and I know you will too.

Do You Get Full?

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, July 27, 2010 Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I think I have restriction. No exclamation point after that statement because I realize! I tend to abuse! this particular! punctuation mark!

Also, I refrain from being excited about said restriction because I'm still in the 'getting used to it' phase.

On Friday I met with my doctor's P.A., Lisa, and I explained my frustration with my fill level and my concerns about whether the band is ever going to work with me. She was empathetic for the most part but also said a few things that gave me a little heartburn.

After explaining to her that I was following the banded 'rules' about 90% of the time, working out A LOT and truly felt that my lack of weight loss (only 4 pounds over the last month) was not user error, she reluctantly gave me another 1 cc, bringing me to 7.25cc in a 10cc band.

One of the things I explained to Lisa during my visit was that since being banded, I've never really felt 'full'. Satisfied, yes. Knowing I should stop eating and I should be full? Yes. But never I-ate-so-much-I can't-fit-in-another-bite FULL. Even after my Greek food binge. Even after eating 2 cups of tortellini, bread and salad. Even after eating an ENTIRE HORSE. Since being banded, I've never been totally FULL.

Now, there are a few schools of thought – all of which I'm contemplating – on WHY I've not felt really 'full' since being banded: 1) I'm using willpower like any other past diet and thus, haven't let myself get to that overly-full point 2) It is rare to feel 'Thanksgiving” full and most people (including me) naturally stop eating way before that point 3) My brain simply doesn't register when its really full.

#3 is the one Lisa brought up and gave me the aforementioned heartburn and the one I've been running through my head over and over and over again and getting a little more freaked out every time I do.

Yet, when my head is on straight and I'm in a good place mentally, I tend to think that the reason I haven't been feeling totally 'full' is a combination of #1 and #2.

With regard to #1, I AM using willpower. I've not had any restriction until Friday so it is safe to say that most of my weight loss thus far has been at the hands of willpower.

With regard to #2, I don't LIKE being that 'full' and pre-band, rarely let myself get to that point. Where my brain starts hurting is when I start thinking that since I DO have a band, shouldn't a surprisingly small amount of food MAKE me feel that disgusting level of fullness? Shouldn't 6 oz of steak, a pita bread, hummus and ½ cup of salad make a banded person 'Thanksgiving-level' full? Should I not be 'full' after most meals?

So back to Lisa's panic-inducing comment about my brain simply not registering when its 'full'. Is that possible? Have any of you ever been told this or been told this is possible?

90% of me does not think this is my problem. I have felt full in the past and I have turned down dessert after a big meal because I was too full. But 10% of me wonders if it is possible that my brain simply doesn't register the full feeling that often and perhaps I am overweight because of this. Its kind of scary.

The good news? For the FIRST TIME EVER I felt some level of restriction as I was doing the barium swallow post-fill.

For new or soon-to-be banded, some doctors (like mine) prefer, after a fill, to do a videofluoroscopy of your band/pouch while you do a barium swallow. This allows them to see a thick liquid moving through your pouch and, in their minds, have an idea of whether you are “properly restricted.” Personally, I find this frustrating because they want to believe what the video tells them, not what the patient tells them (i.e. I looked like I had 'perfect' restriction but felt nothing). Its also adds quite a bit of cost to your fill. In my case, its about $600/visit and I end up paying about $85/visit after insurance.

I AM eating less and feeling stuck more often. Not 'stuckety-stuck' (to quote many of you) but I definitely have to eat slowly, chew better and stay away from dry meats and doughy breads. Bascially, I'm thinking I am where I'm supposed to be!

Now its just getting my head to a space where I don't go for slider foods and battling the head hunger when goldfish crackers and yogurt raisins are looking at me.

If you are banded, did you find that once you got to a good restriction level you had a learning curve of finding comfortable, filling foods vs. slider foods?

Anyway, that's where I am!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Theme Change

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, July 20, 2010 Tuesday, July 20, 2010

I was an English major in college. No, not the useful, lucrative side of the major such as journalism. And no, not the ambitious, self-loathing-alcoholism-inducing-but-likely-to-make-you-a-revered-genius-after-you-die side of English like creative writing. I was a LITERATURE major.

So basically I spent my college years TALKING about books and getting graded on my THOUGHTS. And if you've ever met an English professor, you know that the weirder the observation, the more genius they think you are. I spent most of my college education talking and writing papers about “the Other”. If you don't know what I mean by “the Other” – well, its probably because you had IMPORTANT things to think and write about in your college papers.

If you were in the Engineering school or a botany major or something else that actually required hard work, precise answers and coming to class prepared, I know what you're thinking: “Why wasn't I an English major?” You're also thinking “How the hell did she ever get a JOB?” And the reason I know what you are thinking regarding my college major is because my husband – an engineer himself – wonders this aloud regularly.

In any case, this is a long-winded way of me explaining that there is a reason why, when I have ten minutes to myself to evaluate my life, I try to find “themes”. I also try to find accompanying music to the events in my life in case they should be turned into a blockbuster summer movie. “Get Ur Freak On” would probably play along with the opening credits. Oh, and I would be played by Reese Witherspoon. But I digress.

I'd like to say the theme is “hard work” or “changes” or even “comic relief” but unfortunately what I keep coming back to is “apathy”. Yes, apathy. My very least favorite emotion/way of existing in the entire world. The characteristic that I loathe more than just about anything.

I'll take arrogance, negativity, jealousy and severe tourette's syndrome over apathy any day. In my opinion, there is little worse than simply 'not caring.' I like passion! I envy action! I even appreciate mania and 'Debbie Downerism'!

So apathy is a reigning theme right now. Apathy about eating. Apathy about weight loss. Apathy about my work outs. Apathy about blogging. I am still eating decently and losing well (over two pounds last week!) and going to my work outs and bitching to all my wonderful readers (aren't you lucky!), but I'm not all that excited, inspired or empowered by any of it.

I'm blaming the heat. And G.W. Bush.

The good news is that I have a fill scheduled for Friday. I'm hoping this will be just the kick in the pants I need. Because unlike many of the bandster bloggers I follow, my band is not playing a large role in my life right now and I WANT it to. I want to finally write that post about how much “I love my band!”

Right now I'm kind of like “Eh, I have a Lap Band. So what?” I want to be more like “Woo hoo! This Lap Band was the best thing I ever did! I'm going to Disney World!”

I want my theme to become “proactivity” (not a real word but using it will get you an 'A' on a Feminist Literary Theory paper!).

In the meantime I'll keep chugging along. Eating my protein first, drinking my water, changing diapers, dreaming of George Clooney. But none of it will be done with the gusto those actions deserve. Especially the dreaming of George Clooney bit. And that is just SAD.

p.s. I graduated from college cum laude. And yes, I hear you snickering.

Please Talk Me Down

Posted by Sherry , Thursday, July 15, 2010 Thursday, July 15, 2010

Ugh. I need to be talked down off the ledge. I'm starting to head down the crazy-spiral and every day the light of sanity gets dimmer and dimmer.

I've been catching up on blogs and for whatever reason many of my bandster friends have recently mentioned their restriction level in their posts. I'm finding that I'm already at a higher restriction level than many of you (only 4 months post-op) and yet, I feel nothing. I'm at 6.25 cc in a 10cc band. Could I be the one and only lady to top it off?

Saying “I feel nothing” is a big statement when it comes to band restriction so I'd like to offer up some evidence. Last night I ate, in less than 15 minutes, about a cup to a cup and a half of tortellini, a piece of garlic bread and about ¾ cup of shredded chicken with tomato sauce. And guess what? I didn't even feel FULL.

Now, if this was a fluke, ok. But its not. I'm regularly able to eat a cup of protein heavy food and still be ravenous. I mean REALLY HUNGRY. I try to make the right choices but that doesn't seem to be heading off the hunger.

I wake and am immediately able to scarf down a scrambled egg and, if I'm feeling especially hungry, a couple of pieces of turkey bacon.Now, not every day is like this. But most days are.

I'm up a pound from last week (my lowest weight) and it is an unpleasant feeling. Particularly unpleasant seeing that I pretty much lose only 1 pound per week. It is a real "one step forward, two steps back" kind of thing for me.

What's wrong? Why is this not working for me? Why do I still feel like I'm on a diet and not doing well and that I'm about a hair's length from falling off of the wagon and landing in fattyville?

And I need to confess something. About once a week I'm taking an appetite suppressant. I have these leftover phentermines from the last big diet attempt I made and when I start feeling like I've had a few out of control eating days, I pop one of these pills to help control the hunger.For the last month I've probably taken one a week.

I know taking these pills is not physically or mentally healthy but I simply can't help it.

I have a fill scheduled for Friday of next week and I'm terrified its not going to work. I mean, is it possible that I'll top off my band and never have it work?

I'm scared and panicking and need a life-line or two.

You're Never Too Old

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, July 13, 2010 Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The world works in mysterious ways, my friends. Basically, over the last 10 days or so I have been crippled with writer's block and haven't been able to come up with much to report that would capture even the most loyal readers' attention.

See, the life of a SAHM who could care less about scrap-booking or triple coupon days leaves much to be desired. I had thought I'd spend some time this week catching you up on my hunt for my vampire fiancee and watching my first werewolf initiation but stupid Sookie Stackhouse stole my thunder. Our lives run so parallel it is UNREAL.

Lucky for me, some material fell into my lap.

For starters, I found out today that my 88 year old grandmother joined a gym for the first time.

While Leona and I have been sitting on our fat asses, eating our weight in malted milk balls and brie, my 88 year old grandmother is doing bicep curls and tricep extensions at her local Gold's. I can only hope that there is some steroid pumped trainer who's arms are so big they don't fit in anything but sweaty tank tops, spotting my grandmother when she's benching her weight in what I like to refer to as the 'grunting' room of the gym. Now THAT would be a sight to behold.

In any case, when asked why she felt she needed to join said gym, her response was that she “needs to watch her figure”.

Now, I don't know about you, but all my life I've been waiting to turn 88 years old because I assumed that by then, SURELY, I could be DONE “watching my figure.” I'm not sure if her interest in pumping up is due to a fear of losing physical independence, boredom, vanity or a combination of all of the above but all I can say is, if hearing your grandmother talk about which machines she 'gets the best results from' isn't inspiration, well, frankly, I don't know what is.

I've relayed this story to my trainer for the sole purpose of having him use it against me. When we're doing bosou ball step ups with 15 pound dumb bells for minute long increments and I tell him that I'm starting to tire and would like to stop, he can look at me with a straight face and say “Sherry, seriously. Your GRANDMOTHER can do this.”

Did I mention that I signed up for a 3rd training session this week?

Eat my dust grandma.

It Was Just My Imagination

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, July 4, 2010 Sunday, July 04, 2010

Me: Ok, baby. I'm heading out now.

H: Why are you so dressed up?

Me: Because it's Girls Night Out!

H: But you're just going out to see a movie. It's not like you're going to a club or anything.

Me: Ok, FIRST, it's not “just” a movie. It's "Eclipse". Starring ROBERT PATTINSON...and co-starring Taylor Lautner's ABDOMINALS.

H: So you bought a new dress and new shoes and spent time on your hair, all for an imaginary date with an imaginary vampire?

Me: Uh, duh?!

I was a little disappointed when Edward didn't jump out of the screen and ask me to move to Forks with him. I mean, I looked GOOD...