Supportive Friends

Posted by Sherry , Sunday, October 31, 2010 Sunday, October 31, 2010

Camille's post regarding whether or not to tell her mother about her Lap Band got me thinking about the 'support' that I've received from friends and family since deciding to go forward with the gastric band and the LACK of support that so many of my other banded blogger friends have had with regard to their weight loss surgery (WLS).

I don't have the energy to get all philosophical about it but I wanted to share a quick story that I think pretty much sums up how friends and family SHOULD act regarding a person's decision to have WLS.

Last weekend I, Kate, and some of our other mommy friends went to the mountains for some “relax and recharge” time away from husbands and kids. Hot tub, wine and massage. Need I say more?

Kate and I have been very open with our mommy group about our band surgeries. Partly because we spend so much time together between playgroups, mommy's night outs, birthday parties and family events it would be hard to keep such a secret from them. And partly because honestly, they are all such amazing women and have been supportive in every facet of each other's lives that we felt 'safe' with them.

Well, on the drive up to the mountains, Kate, Shannon and I were all in one car. We were talking about potty training, tantrums and other toddler challenges and kind of out of nowhere Shannon says “I am just so proud of both of you girls and the progress you've made with your weight loss. You both look so good”.

She didn't quantify it with comments about us having had surgery to help us or question whether we'll be able to 'keep it off'. She just did what a friend should do: support us through our journey.

So, not only is Shannon a great friend, she's also a wise woman because damn if we DON'T look good.

See for yourself:

Kate is in the center

Boo! Scared ya, didn't I?

Posted by Sherry , Tuesday, October 26, 2010 Tuesday, October 26, 2010

In the couple of weeks since I've been gone from the blogosphere I've enjoyed such things as hot tubs, wine, pumpkin patches, girls weekend away, wine, a massage by a hippy mountain man that repeated the phrase “relax and restore” about 37 times in the course of 90 minutes, wine, and of course, vodka.

Yet, each of these events, with great stories accompanying, have taken a back seat in my brain since watching this vlog by the crazy yet inspiring Amy W., and her blog posts that followed.

Typically I prefer to be the star in my blog but such an even as eating an entire hamburger WITH BUN, whilst sporting a Lap-Band, trumps my self-centeredness and it simply must be addressed.

See, I'm feeling a bit like you feel after someone you know has experienced something tragic—like a car accident, or the loss of a loved one or your skirt tucked into the back of your pantyhose: What if it was me?!

I try not to be too judgmental (at least not to anyone's face) and so I'm withholding my judgment for Amy's cardinal banded sin. And it seems like she's received enough spankings from her followers to warrant her a plaque in the S&M hall of fame. Instead I find myself biting my fingernails with worry, furrowing my un-botoxed brow and looking at burgers, bagels and doughnuts in an entirely different with mixture of horror and longing.

See, hearing that my inspiration has successfully gone where no bandster has gone before has done a number on me.

Call me naive but I seriously thought that eating burgers with buns, untoasted loxed and creamed cheesed bagels, Panera's Chicken Caesar Sandwiches were feats that were simply not possible with banded restriction.

Now, if you have followed my banded history you know that it took me F.O.R.E.V.E.R. to get any resemblance of restriction in my band. But once I got some (at about 7 ccs in a 10 cc band) Leona put the “kabash” on just about every food I've mentioned above. She simply stops it in its tracks.

While I recognize that everyone is different and perhaps Amy's ability to conquer this burger-beast is a one-off, I live in fear.

Regardless of how much research we did prior to getting our bands, regardless of how mentally and emotionally ready we were for such step, getting the band did require us to take a leap of faith. The gastric band, in the world of medical procedures, is relatively new. There aren't exactly thousands of well known bandsters who have had their band longer than a few years and are out there sharing their stories.

How do I know I won't tap out my band and be without restriction forever? How do I know that this amazing feeling of fullness and satisfaction that I get now after eating a small amount of food won't disappear someday even with a filled band?

Although each day I am finding new ways to analyze my relationship with food and with feeling/being fat, I haven't conquered it yet. I'm not yet free.


While I hope that I can be buried with my band, a thin, healthy woman, a part of me also hopes that if for some reason Leona and I had to part ways, I would still be able to maintain a healthy relationship with food and my weight.

I'm using this band as a tool, not as a cure.

My paranoia, however, is that Leona is going to crap out on me before I'm ready to make my way into remission.

The Price You Pay For A Vacation

Posted by Sherry , Wednesday, October 13, 2010 Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Normally, relaxation comes at a price.

In my neck of the woods a pedicure is $35, a evening of cocktails with the girls is $50 and a Swedish massage is $70 (“happy endings” are extra – unless you have a gift certificate).

And six days on a Caribbean island, my 2-year old in the safe, albeit cookie-filled hands of her grandparents wasn't cheap either. We paid off the vacation monetarily but I'm paying a much higher price via sugar withdrawal induced tantrums, 6 a.m. wake-up calls and acoustic bombardment torture in the form of an alien life form known simply as “The Wiggles”.

Seriously, if they'd wanted to get Noriega out a few days sooner, than they should have played Captain Feathersword reciting the Declaration of Independence over and over again instead of the Howard Stern show: “Ahoy there me hearties! We hold these here truths to be self evident. Oooh hoo!”

Side bar: Did you know that the U.S. Military has used NEIL DIAMOND to torture prisoners at Guantanamo Bay? NEIL DIAMOND?! Who doesn't like “Sweet Caroline”?! That's like saying you feel “tortured” by having to watch puppies and kittens playing with a ball of yarn. No wonder they aren't getting any information out of those guys about where the heck Osama Bin Laden is hiding. Great. I now have to wonder if 'waterboarding' is actually just a day in a jacuzzi.

All these minor annoyances aside, vacation was wonderful. Lots of sleeping, lots of swimming, lots of reading, lots of drinks made with two shots of liquor and names like “Sandals Sunset”, “Orange Bliss”, “No Pressure” and “Knock You On Your Ass So Hard You Have To Take Two Naps In One Day.” I think that last one has tequila in it... and vodka...and rum...and Vicodin.

One thing there was NOT lots of, however, was eating. Our resort was an 'all inclusive' which, translated, means “fat people like it here”. Buffets abound at Sandals' resorts. And when the buffets are closed? No pressure, no problem my brotha! A burger and fries from the seaside bar awaits you!

In the past, just being near all this food, all the time, would have made me eat. I could have finished off lunch and still been signaling my cabana boy to bring me a large order of onion rings with an ice cream sundae on the side.

It was strange being constantly surrounded by food and yet NOT EATING. What was strangely familiar however, was being surrounded by fruity drinks and using the phrase “Sure, I'll have another! Put whipped cream in it this time!” So all in all, balance was achieved.

All this said, pina coladas and strawberry daquiris are sliders so even though I stayed the course with eating, I came home two pounds up due to the alcohol imbibing. Lucky for me Sandals does not have an all-you-can-eat-soft-serve-ice-cream-bar (although I complained loudly to several different resort employees about not being able to 'get my ice cream on') or it would be worse.

But here I am, 4 days post-vacation and those two pounds have disappeared so once again, I'm most thankful to my Lap Band.

Husband and I went on vacation but thank jeebus Leona doesn't take holidays. I hired that bitch to be a workaholic and as expected, she's exceeding expectations.

In a cabana right before my second drink of the day

After my second drink of the day