Monday, December 20, 2010


It's been a while since my last post.  I have been so busy with work and life that I have had a hard time coming up with anything interesting to write about.  Perhaps this is a good time to give a shout out for all the things I am grateful for.  So, with no further ado, here goes...

Things I'm Grateful For
(in no particular order)
  • Followers.  I noticed this morning that I have a new follower which means that I now have 60!  This is really exciting for me.  I truly appreciate the support and advice that I receive from your comments as well as from following all of your blogs. Sometimes it is easy to feel all alone when you are going through this and knowing that I have an army of sisters (mostly - I think there are a couple of guys) out there going throught the same thing is somehow comforting and helps sustain me when I am feeling frustrated with my slow losses, or have questions about what I am experiencing. You all make me laugh, you make me cry, and you educate me in ways that I did not know were possible.  So, this year, I am grateful for all of you.
  • Weight loss.  I lost a whopping  1/2 lb. this week.  It is not a lot, but given the endless orgy of food I am surrounded by at my office lately from homemade fudge and cookies to catered lunches and cocktail parties it is a small miracle that I have not gained.  I give a great deal of credit to my band for keeping me in check.  I am still trying to determine if I am over-filled but I suppose if there was a time to be, this is it.
  • My job.  After struggling through 9 months of job hunting and endless interviews it is nice to finally have somewhere stable to come every day.  I work with a great bunch of people who are good at what they do and are easy to get along with.  That is a small miracle in and of itself.
  • My family and friends.  Yes, they may be crazy and they stress me out on ocassion, but I know they are my biggest supporters.  I know that when I am in a jam, I can count on them to help me out or provide a comforting word.  And, while I have only shared my news about the band with my mother, husband and best friend, I know that many more would be supportive if I let them in.  I just guess I have to go at my own pace.
  • The roof over my head, clothes on my back, food on the table, and the car that I drive.  While I might hate - and curse - my location (I now have a 75 mile round trip commute to the office every day) I have to be grateful for the shelter, the warmth, and the comfort of having a home and all the things I need when there are so many out there that are struggling to keep or find the same thing.  I would be supremely arrogant of me not to recognize how fortunate I am to have the things I have.  It is my most fervent wish that everyone be so blessed.  
And, as much as I like this time of year because I think it provides a wonderful opportunity to reflect on all our many blessings, I am really looking forward to the new year and not having quite so many temptations staring me in the face.  So, perhaps one of the thing I am most grateful for is that this smorgasborg will end soon!

I hope you all are having a wonderful Monday as we approach the last couple of weeks of this holiday season.  What are you grateful for???

Monday, December 13, 2010

Yep - I feel like a FRAUD!

So, I have been meaning to write this post for over a week now.  I have a confession to make.  I feel like such a fraud!  I am such a whoos (sp?) about telling anyone I had lapband surgery that I joined the new Weight Watchers at Work program to act as a cover for my weight loss.  That way (I figure) I don't have to explain myself to people when they start noticing my weight loss.  Is that just totally horrible?  I am not counting points - although the new point system does seem to reward healthier eating habits.  I am still working on following the basic tenents of banded eating:
  • Protien first, then veggies, then carbs (if there is room)
  • No liquids with meals and for 30 minutes after
  • 1 cup of food at each meal (that is still tough though getting better)
  • No snacking between meals (that is the really tough part!)
  • No drinking my calories (although I have been having a protien shake for breakfast most mornings as that is the easiest thing for me to do given my commute)
  • Eat slow, small bites, chew, chew, chew
  • etc.
I have only told a few people about my band - my husband, my mother and my best friend.  I wish I had the guts to be a huge advocate of the band and didn't mind telling everyone I had it, but I just started a new job.  I don't know these people.  I don't know how they would react.  Whether or not they will judge me or simply not understand.  I am envious of you guys out there that just don't care what anyone else thinks.  I know that one of my problems is that I let others perceptions of me effect me too much.  I was reading catherine55's blog the other day and she mentioned that she has a whole story cooked up to explain her surgical scars and port if she is not ready to divulge to someone that she has the band.  I am assuming that this is relatively common amongst us.  It is sad to me that WLS still carries such a stigma and that there are so many misunderstanding and/or judgements about it.  (It is almost as bad as the stigma attached to mental illness and depression.)  But I figure this is an intervention and tool I chose for myself after a lot of research and many years of yo-yo dieting.  But I also recognize this is a choice many people will not understand and may in fact ridicule.

So, yes, I have joined Weight Watchers for the 8th time (I think it is).  Only this time they are only my beard.  I hope that doesn't make me a horrible person.

Down only 2.3 lbs since my fill.  I am still trying to determine whether or not I need a bit of an unfill but I think I will stick it out til my next appt. Jan. 17th.  I think since I was pretty able to eat most anything and developed some bad post-surgery habits of still eating too fast and taking larger bites (cause I could) that my problem may not be being over-filled but more that I am just not eating correctly.  Really working on the thoughtful eating and trying to see if things work themselves out.

Glad to see everyone is getting into the holiday spirit (for the most part).  I am looking forward to my time off at the end of the year!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Got Fill #2 Last Week

Got my second fill last Wednesday.  Started with 4CCs.  My oh-so-awesome PA, Dawn, had planned to put in 2 more but the needle started pushing back so I ended up with 1.6CCs.  However, after attempting to sip water, I started gurgling and we decided to take .2CCs out leaving me with a grand total of 5.4CCs in my 10CC band.

All in all the fill has been pretty good.  After going gangbusters in the weight loss dept. my first month, I really stalled out in month 2 only losing 1.4lbs.  Since the fill, I have lost another 2lbs.   I am hoping this is a sign of things to come.  Only thing is that I need to continuously remind myself to eat sssslllllloooooowwwllllllyyyyyyyy.  I have gotten stuck and slimed more times in the last few days than I have in the last 2 months.  I believe this is al due to finally have some restriction now and not quite knowing how to work it.  Things are getting better though.

In other news, I did my 10K on Sunday in solidarity with Christine over at  It wasn't bad.  I definitely need to set more fitness goals to get me moving!  Thanks for the challenge, Christine.

Next blog, I will be telling you why I feel like such a fraud.  Tune in then.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Traveling with the Band

Happy holidays fellow bloggers!  I feel like quite the loser these days.  I haven't blogged for a couple of weeks.  I  have been reading everyone elses but didn't feel like I had much to share about myself.

My weight seems to have plateaued ever since I got my first fill. Not exactly the result I was expecting.  I am trying to be patient and many of you have reminded me that I am in Bandster Hell but it is still discouraging when I see others that were banded around my date who have already lost 20 lbs.  I will admit that the green eyed-monster takes over and I get a little jealous.

I arrived in San Fransisco this morning.  Some of you might remember that I am re-decorating my niece's bedroom for her birthday/XMas (for several years) gift.  We are doing some shopping tomorrow to look at furniture (IKEA) and I am meeting with the contractor to find out what it is going to cost me to have the painting done and the window seat built.  I'll be flying back here the day after Christmas to actually do the job while she is in India for the holidays with her parents.

Anywhooo.  A couple of hours after arriving we (my brother, niece and I) decided to go get lunch.  That was good because I was definitely hungry - it being 2:30pm my (Denver) time.  (Keep in mind, my brother knows nothing about the band.)  As we started to decide where to go, I tried to steer us toward options where I knew I could get protien.  Somehow we ended up at a Vietnamese noodle place.  Trying to be good, I ordered the Curry Chicken and Garlic Noodles (knowing that I would not be able to eat the noodles but at least I could get some chicken in a sauce.  I took my first bite (a small one) and instantly had that burning feeling in my chest.  I kept trying to figure out if I was going to PB or Slime - both of which I have never done but certainly didn't want my first episode at a little restarant on Irving St. in San Fran.  I finally excused myself and went to the bathroom to wait it out.  Nothing came up, and soon the pain ceased.  I headed back to the table and pushed my food around for a while taking small bites here and there.  My brother asked me why I was taking so long and I just said I was trying to eat more slowly these days (which is true).  I got about 1/3 of the chicken down and a couple of bites of noodles.  I am thinking that maybe the flying made my band tighter.

Tonight I had some salmon and a small amount of mashed potatoes and veggies.  That seemed to go a little easier.  We'll see how the rest of the trip plays out and whether or not I am going to be forced to fess up.

Thanksgiving was good.  I had small portions of turkey (about 2-3 oz.), mashed potatoes, stuffing, and a very small sliver of cherry pie.  Again, my band slowed me waaaaay down and I did not (could not) over eat.  So, I do know my band is doing it's job, just not optimally at this point.  I am getting impatient for the big losses and I know they will come.  I do think I am probably going to be one of those slow losers though.  I guess that is acceptable as long as the scale starts moving down again.  I am scheduled for my next fill on Wed. the 1st.  Hopefully, that will jump start something and get me past this plateau.

Off to do some more reading.  I will take some "before" pictures of the room so I can post them later with the "after" shots.

Ciao for now!


Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weekly Weigh In

Well, I bit the bullet and stepped on the scale.  As I suspected, I am up 1.1 lbs from last week.  I know that I have not been eating perfectly.  Too many treats.  Not listening to my body hunger signals.  These are old, bad habits and it is going to take a lot more than Fiona (my band) to help me get over them.  The more discouraging part is that I realized when updating my ticker that even though I have lost 12.7 lbs since I started down this banded road Oct. 4th, I have only lost 2.2 since 10/9.  I have been hoping to average a 10lb. loss per month and at this rate, that is not likely.  I think this is really a message that I have to button up and fly by the band eating rules.  Not easy, but it is doable.  I am certainly hoping for more restriction tough when I get my second fill on Dec. 1 to help me out.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend and better success than I have had this week.

Off to read your blogs!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Heading to San Francisco

OMG, I can't believe it is Friday again already.  Can't say I am sad about that.  Just amazed at how time is flying lately.

Not much to report in my little neck of the woods.  I have not stepped on the scale for a few days as I have not been eating a "band perfect" diet.  I have been snacking between meals and finding myself struggling with old cumpulsive eating behaviors.  The one good thing is that I can't eat as much as I used to so I think the damage is somewhat controlled.  However, I think this means I really need to start dealing with my "head hunger" issues.  My guess is that between the stress of my new job and the fact that things are not all roses at home, I am turning to my old friend food for comfort.  That is a decidedly bad habit and one I must break.  But, just like when I quit smoking, it is learning how to relearn all the old coping mechanisms.  When I first quit smoking I would find myself not knowing what to do with my hands at a bar.  Or instinctively reaching for that cigarette after a meal.  It felt foreign not to light up.  Quite honestly, I don't know what I did to get over the habit of wanting to reach for a cigarette after I ate, or when I was drinking, or when I was stressed out other than letting time take care of it.  I think over time, the urge just left me.  I am hoping the same will happen when it comes to reaching for a treat when I am stressed out.  The good thing is I don't find myself eating out of boredom anymore so maybe I am half way there.  In any case, I will weigh myself tomorrow and take my lumps if the scale doesn't go the direction I want it to.  I have to say, my first fill has not resulted in much feeling of restriction yet so I am looking forward to the next on Dec. 1st.

I don't think I mentioned this before but I am heading to San Francisco the day after Thanksgiving to do a little recon. shopping with my niece.  She just turned 14 and I promised to re-decorate her bedroom for her birthday present.  I will be painting, building a window seat in her bay window, buying her all new furniture -she currently has a single bed and I am getting her a double - plus a new dresser, desk and end table (gotta love IKEA).  That plus some new window coverings and a tone-on-tone mural on her wall and she should be set til college.  My trip the end of November is to do a little shopping with her, pick out furniture, and get a feel for her style.  Then I plan to go back the last week of December to implement the changes while she and her parents (my brother and her mother) are in India for the holidays.  I think I am looking forward to this trip more than usual because traveling has always been an excuse for me to fall off my diet-of-the-moment and overeat.  Now that I have the band I am really hoping that I have more control over my eating behaviors and I can just enjoy being there without worrying about "ruining everything".  Does that make sense?

Other than that, I have no great plans for the weekend.  I will have to put my bathrooms and bedroom back in order since they are currently being painted.  That should take up most of my free time.  I do need to slip over to my hair dressers tomorrow to get him to cut my bangs.  I just cut my hair pretty short (shoulder length) after wearing it long for most of my life.  He cut a side swept bang which is longer and driving me nuts so I think I am going to get a blunt cut band strait across the forehead. Man I hope I don't regret that.  But I guess it will all grow out if I absolutely hate it.

Have a wonderful weekend everyone and I will try to blog my weight this weekend - if I am not too mortified.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


For some reason, I have not been able to add myself as a follower to some new blogs I found today and I can't even see anybodies followers.  Wonder if work has blocked that functionality???  How infuriating that I can't do blog stuff at work ;-)

Friday, November 5, 2010

One Month Bandiversary + Fiona got a Fill

Happy Friday Everyone!

I now have 45 followers!  WooHoo!!!!  Thanks for following.  I really appreciate it.

Yesterday was my one month bandiversary.  For those of you who were just banded within the last couple of weeks I can promise you this - it does get better.  My  incisions are healing well.  I no longer wake  up in the middle of the night with this odd feeling in my chest like I am going to strangle to death (just me??? OK).  I can sleep on my side and/or stomach if I want.  And I finally feel like I have energy again.

I also got my first fill this Wedneday.  My favorite PA in the whole world, Dawn, did it. The new PA in the office who is still training told me they call Dawn the "port whisperer".  I believe it!  I swear, I didn't feel a thing.  Even when she gave me the numbing solution she said, "little sting here" and I didn't feel it at all.  I am hoping I always get her.  Apparently, I already had 1CC in my band from surgery (she pulled it out to show me) and then she topped me off with 3 more for a total of 4CCs in my 10CC band.  I have to say, I am not feeling much different.  Of course, I was on liquids the day of the fill and the day after.  I am now on soft food today and tomorrow.  So, maybe when I am eating more solid food I will feel a difference.  Maybe not.  I've read some bloggers who have said that it took them 3 or 4 fills to feel and restriction.  I hope that won't be my case but you never know.  I have my next fill scheduled for Dec. 1 and then I will get another one probably the last week of December - if I am in town.

I've been thinking a lot lately about my attitude about food and dieting.  I've also been keeping up with everyone's blogs every day (yes really.  And, if you aren't on my follow list, please send me your blog link and I'll add you too) and many of you say that what you love about the band is that you are no longer "dieting".  The band just helps you live your life and eat in moderation.  And, even though some of you seem to be struggling right now (with Halloween candy temptations, poor food choices, etc.) everyone seems to have the attitude that they can and will get back on track.  And it finally occured to me the other day - I am no longer obsessing about food, about dieting, about how fat I am.  I am no longer telling myself what a failure I am every morning that I wake up for not having stayed "on plan" the day before, but that today will be different.  I swear, for the last 5 years almost every single morning I would wake up and the first thing I would think about was how I needed to lose weight and how I was going to do it.  I was obsessed and felt like a complete loser for not being able to stick with any plan for more than a few weeks.  Even when I did get on a roll and stick with something for more than a few weeks, my weight loss would stall and eventually I would give up only to go back to the negative self-talk all over again.

However, since the day I made my appt. for surgery I have not woken up once and thought those thoughts.  It is as if I found some peace.  I made a decision.  I have faith that if I follow my doctor's orders, the weight will come off eventually.  I am no longer obsessing.  I am learning to live with  my nifty new tool; how to eat in a "band appropriate" way; and I've decided that this is what will work for me. 

No huge plans for the weekend.  I have to go to a birthday party Saturday night for my sister-in-law's 6 year old boy.  Sunday I am getting my hair done and thinking about seeing MegaMind at the theater.  This will be my second or third movie since being banded and I am still getting used to seeing a movie without popcorn.  The nice thing is that I am not craving it too badly.  Maybe that is the band at work or maybe I have just psyched myself into thinking that.

Hope everyone has a terrific weekend.


Tuesday, November 2, 2010

First NSV!

So, yesterday I was having problems all day with my sz. 14 slacks sliding down at work.  This morning, I found out that I can once again fit into my size 12 slacks.  Yay!!!!!  First fill tomorrow then onward and downward we go.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Weigh In Day & Quiz

Another week, another 0.7lbs. which means I am now down 12.1 lbs. since I started the pre-surgery diet on Oct. 1 and 18.7 from my highest weight this summer. Not exactly what I was hoping for but not bad for not having had a fill yet.  My first fill is scheduled for this Wednesday.  WooHoo!  I am really looking forward to getting some restriction because the longer I get away from surgery, the less restriction I have felt.  I get the feeling I could eat pizza if I wanted to but I am not going to tempt the fates.  It just feels like I am on another diet at this point and not really getting much benefit from having the band.  I know from reading all your blogs that this is called Bandster Hell and I am definitely in it!

I haven't been blogging very much lately.  It has become much harder to write since I started my new job but I have been keeping up with everyone's blogs and I am constantly mining them for ideas and support.  I am so glad that I found this community to follow as I continue on my journey.

Lapband and Beyond posted this quiz and I thought I would take it:

     My mother's grandmother was "Libby" and my mom always wanted a Libby.  The name on my birth certificate is Elisabeth but I have always been called Libby.
     Yesterday.  My bother's 18 year old cat died.
     Pretty much.
Turkey Breast
     Nope.  Just 3 dogs and a cat.
     Not much.  I used to be much more sarcastic.  Maybe I have mellowed with age?
     Nope.  They got yanked, along with my adenoids (sp?), when I was 6 or 7.
     Nope, never, ever, ever, ever!
     Honestly?  Captain Crunch.  But I also really like Cinnamon Puffins.
     Butter Brickle and Ben & Jerrys Festivus (Which they no longer make even though I petition them regularly to bring it back)
      Their attitude
      I can get impatient when I feel like I am not being heard or understood.
     I'm barefoot right now (which I usually am when I am at home)
     2 Weight Watchers cheese sticks
     sage green
    Indian Food and the smell of my mother's Yule Kage (Swedish Christmas bread)
     My best friend, Cathy
     Beach house all the way baby!
     Not a huge sport watcher but I like to watch swimming and track during the summer olympic games
     Blonde with streaks of silver

     Vietnamese chicken curry and Chicken Tikka Masala

     Happy endings 
     Key Lime Pie or see ice cream above
     Strength training

Now you know a little more about me ;-)

Have a great and successful week everyone!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Scale MOVED

Finally.  Stepped on the scale this morning and I am down .9 lbs.  Doesn't seem like much but since I haven't lost anything since 10/9 it was nice to finally see the digits move down.  I hope this means I have broken my first plateau.  I guess time  will tell.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

To Work-Out (or not)

Happy Saturday everyone.  I can't believe I haven't posted for a week!  I started my new job on Monday and it has been a tad overwhelming.  I now have a 37 mile (one way) commute to work and a boss that expects her team to be there from 8-6.  It makes for a long day.  Yesterday I found myself almost dozing off during a conference call.  Thank heavens for the mute button.  As I said in an earlier blog, I have been unemployed since last February, so I guess I am out of practice.  Anywho, I am struggling with figuring out when I am going to be able to work out.  I have come up with 4 options - each has their own challenge:
  1. Get up at 5am instead of 5:45 and do cardio (treadmill or elliptical) or a work-out tape at home before showering and heading to the office.  This sounds pretty good but 5 fucking AM?  I'm gonna have to be in bed by 9 to make that work.
  2. Get up at 5am and drive to the gym that is close to the office and work out.  The upside to this is that (if I can get there on time) I could take the 5:45 spin class or Body Pump class on alternate days.  The downside is I would have to pack all my work clothes and breakfast/lunch the night before and still be in bed by 9pm.  Upside to 1 & 2 is that I get my work-out done before work and don't have to think about it again.  Maybe it will give me some additional energy during the day?
  3. My company has an on-site gym.  I could work out at lunch time.  The downside to this is that it is a relatively formal work attire culture and getting sweaty in the middle of the day poses some problems - like time to shower and reapply make-up, re-do hair, etc.  Not to mention the challenge of taking the time to work-out during a busy work day.  My concern with this is that I will come up with too many excuses not to make it to the gym.
  4. Work out after work at the gym close to the office.  This has several pluses and minuses.  If I work out after work, I can miss the rush hour traffic going home (which can be considerable in Denver if you are heading all the way from the South to the North).  There are more classes to choose from in the evening which is nice.  However, many of the classes start at 5:30pm which means I would have to leave the office at 5 in order to get there on time.  This could be a challenge since it seems the office culture is to work til 6.  There are other classes that start at 6:45pm but then I wouldn't get home til close to 9 every night and that poses a challenge with dinner and sleep.  Not to mention my concern that by the end of the day (at least right now) I am so whipped that I can't imagine working out after work.
I guess I am leaning toward #1 right now and maybe throwing in #2 on occasion so I can get in a challenging work-out but that means I am really going to have to become a morning person.  Ugh.

In other news...I had my 2 week (more like 2 1/2 week) post-op check up with my doctor on Thursday.  Turns out that he had 3 cancellations that afternoon so he went home and I got to meet with the PA.  She is nice but I was really hoping to see the doctor as I think that moving forward I will probably be getting my fills from the PAs and I might not get much time with him.  I peppered her with questions about my band - did he remember to put in the low-profile port?  Yes.  How many CCs is my band?  10.  How many CCs will they put in on my first fill?  Varies usually between 3 and 5.  Depends on what my body tells them.  Can I drink Crystal Light Lemonade (I have been concerned about this since I read something that said I should stay away from citrus because of band erosion)?  No problem - drink as much CL Lemonade as I want.  What kind of needles do they use for fills?  Huber (sp?).

According to the PA, my incisions are healing well.  I did ask why my port seemed so low.  When the doctor originally explained port placement he said that it was placed halfway between your belly button and sternum and to the left.  However, mine is only about an inch above my belly button and to the left.  When the PA looked at it, she thought maybe it was because my rib cage come down further than most.  I am just hoping this doesn't mean that my port will be likelier to stick out after I lose weight.

Anyhow, I have my first fill scheduled for Nov. 3.  I am really looking forward to it since I feel little if any restriction at this point.  I've still been trying to eat on plan but Aunt Flo paid me a visit this week and I was ravenous!  I swear, on Wednesday, I was ready to knock someone over for a piece of chocolate!  And though I have stayed largely on plan (per doc's orders) I have not lost an ounce since Oct. 9th.  So, I'm ready for my fill, Mr. DeMille!

And, although I have not blogged this week, I have been reading everyone else's blogs and I do constantly find them a source of strength and inspiration.  Every time I am having a little pity party for me, I read a blog and realize that I am not alone in this.  Everyone else is experiencing challenges, plateaus, frustrations, and SUCCESS!  So, keep it up folks!  I'll try to be a better blogger and post a little more often.  But it might take me a little while to settle into this new job before I can find the time.

Have a terrific weekend folks!  I am off to clean my filthy house and paint some sample boards for potential paint colors for my bedroom.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Lots of Randomness

Happy Saturday everyone!  I just wanted to thank all the people who left very kind, supportive comments on my last post.  I really appreciated it.  I think I was just overwhelmed by the enormity of the decision I have made.  Realizing that I can no longer use food to soothe me, stifle my emotions, celebrate, keep me company, etc. is pretty huge.  I am so grateful for a community that provides support, encouragement and endless amounts of information (and entertainment).

Random Thoughts:
  • I am really new to blogging and am having the hardest time figuring out how to do what seems like it should be easy.  Like, how do you add a tab?  Can we only use the design templates provided in this program? etc.?  So frustrating.  And there is no way in hell I am asking my husband because I don't want him to know how to get to this blog.
  • I started on soft foods a few days early.  I am justifying the move because I start my new job on Monday and I want to make sure I know what foods I can tolerate before getting into the office.  It would be mortifying to have some sort of sliming episode when I am the new kid on the block.  So far, tuna, ground turkey in marinara sauce and scrambled eggs all seem to be winners.
  • I'm getting a facial today - woohoo!  My little "new job" treat to myself.  I am sooooo looking forward to it.
  • I weighed myself Thursday Friday today and find that I am the exact same weight I was last Saturday.  How is that possible?!?  I have been following Dr's orders to a T.  Could I have already plateaued?  I'm freaking out a little bit.  If anything, maybe I am getting too few calories.  But I am trying really hard not to "test out" my band limits yet since I am still healing.  Of course, I feel no restriction so far.  I get to see the doctor this Thursday so maybe he can tell me.

After reading Amanda's post yesterday, I thought it was fortuitous to come across this article this morning.  You all might find interesting.  It's by Mark Hyman, MD and explains food addiction.  It's a long read, but well worth it.   In part, it says:
Here are some of the scientific findings confirming that food can, indeed, be addictive(ii):
  1. Sugar stimulates the brain's reward centers through the neurotransmitter dopamine, exactly like other addictive drugs.
  2. Brain imagining (PET scans) shows that high-sugar and high-fat foods work just like heroin, opium, or morphine in the brain.(iii)
  3. Brain imaging (PET scans) shows that obese people and drug addicts have lower numbers of dopamine receptors, making them more likely to crave things that boost dopamine.
  4. Foods high in fat and sweets stimulate the release of the body's own opioids (chemicals like morphine) in the brain.
  5. Drugs we use to block the brain's receptors for heroin and morphine (naltrexone) also reduce the consumption and preference for sweet, high-fat foods in both normal weight and obese binge eaters.
  6. People (and rats) develop a tolerance to sugar -- they need more and more of the substance to satisfy themselves -- just like they do for drugs of abuse like alcohol or heroin.
  7. Obese individuals continue to eat large amounts of unhealthy foods despite severe social and personal negative consequences, just like addicts or alcoholics.
  8. Animals and humans experience "withdrawal" when suddenly cut off from sugar, just like addicts detoxifying from drugs.
  9. Just like drugs, after an initial period of "enjoyment" of the food, the user no longer consumes them to get high but to feel normal.
I've long believed that the introduction of high fructose corn syrup and the explosion of fast food/chain restaurants since the mid-70s has contributed to the explosion of obesity in America. 

Hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


It's been 10 days since I had surgery.  Things seem to be healing well and I am starting to get into the groove of eating small portions and protein first.  I have been out to a couple of restaurants and aside from temporarily forgetting not to use a straw or drink with my meal, I have done OK.  The only thing is...once in a while I think to myself, "What have I done?"  I'll think of going out and splitting a pizza with a friend or getting a huge pile of hot wings at this fun biker bar in Denver and think, "Well, I can't do that anymore."  and panic a little bit.  And then I realize, my food addiction is HUGE.  I love food.  I am hopelessly addicted to food.  I need to find some way - on top of this tool that I now have - to deal with my addiction.

My father was an alcoholic.  My sister is an alcoholic.  And my little brother has battled drug addiction.  My family is no stranger to addiction.  It just seems that my older brother and I used food instead of drugs or alcohol to fuel our own addictions.  And, unlike alcohol or drugs, you can't just go cold turkey on food.  I got the band because I need assistance in battling my addiction.  But I also know that substance abuse - no matter what the substance - is a substitute for dealing with my underlying pain or issues.  Food masks the pain.  It makes me feel good.  I can stuff my emotions with food.  I can relieve my stress, or anger, or frustration, or boredom with food.  But food never cures the underlying problem.  And the terrifying thing is, I have been covering up the problems for so long, I am not even sure what they are about anymore.  And I am scared to uncover them.  Now, with the band, I don't think I am going to have any other option other than to try to address the issues that caused me to become addicted to food in the first place.  And scary.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Birthday Weekend

Well, I made it through my birthday weekend.  No cake, but I did have frozen yogurt yesterday and it was WONDERFUL.  My DH took me out for dinner last night.  I had 1/2 small crab cake and a bowl of lobster bisque.  I am not suppose to be eating anything other than pureed foods for 2 weeks which means I have about 7 days left but I just couldn't resist some crab cake and I made sure to chew, chew, chew.  So far I have not had any instances of nausea or needed to throw up so I think my recovery is on track.  I guess I am wondering what everyone else had to do post-op as far as diet?  My doctor recommends 2 weeks of pureed foods followed by 2 weeks of "soft" food including things like ground meats, tuna and chicken packed in water, melon, etc.  Basically any thing that could be mashed with a fork.  The other doctor I met with had a much shorter recovery diet plan and said it was based on each individuals reactions to food.  I am just getting super bored with pureed food and I have started to get my appetite back so, consequently, I feel hungrier more frequently.  I know that pureed foods will not keep me satisfied as long as more solid food but I don't want to do anything at all that might jeopardize my band placement or health.  I'd love to hear what others have experienced.

This week is going to be insane.  I have to run a ton of errands before I start my new job on the 18th.  I've been unemployed since I got laid off last February (except for a stint from May-August when I worked a contract job).  It's been a long haul and I can't believe I am finally going back to work.  I also can't believe that I only have a week to get it together.  All this down time, you'd think I'd have it more together.

So friends, it is off I go to bed to try to get a decent night's sleep before the week of crazy.  Hope everyone had a great weekend!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

No More Gas Pain

Finally!  The shoulder pain is gone. Now I just have this raging growl in my stomach which I am pretty sure is hunger pain.  Hoping my breakfast of Greek yogurt is enough to quell the pain.  Is it normal to wake up this hungry?  This is the second morning in a row when my stomach has woken me up telling me to eat.

I ventured out yesterday for the first time since surgery to give my cousin a tour of some neighborhoods here in Denver.  He and his family are thinking of moving here from Big Bear.  I felt pretty good but I was glad to get home when I did.  I don't think my energy is where it needs to be yet.  Today I am off to shop for fabric with a friend.  She and her husband have asked me to help them design and decorate a restaurant they are opening.  It will be a European Brassiere.  I am really stoked.  I love to design and I really love to shop when I am spending someone else's money.  I actually started my own design and faux finishing business about 4 years ago when I was laid off from my job.  I loved it but eventually went back to the corporate world because the market tanked and one of the first things people cut out of their budgets when times are tough are high end fininshes and remodeling jobs.  But, I still do it on the side when asked cause it really is something I love to do.

I am down 10.5 lbs this morning from my consult appt. and 7.5 lbs from my surgery.  Yay, me!  I am wondering if this means I might be able to hit onederland by Thanksgiving?  I am making that my mini-goal.  I am going to try to start working out as soon as possible.  I have to wait for my doctor appt. on the 21st (see you there, Gen) to get approved.  I'll probably just start out with simple cardio and some weights if that is allowed. I just got a new job (start on the 18th) and apparently they have a gym on premises so I should have no excuses when it comes to working out.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Day 3 of Recovery

I should have knocked on that wood a little harder when I mentioned that I didn't get the dreaded gas pain.  My left shoulder is so sore, I wish I could go get a massage!  I've been sitting here with a hot pack on it most of the day.

In happier news (again, TMI) I finally had a small bowel movement and some gas escape today which has taken some pressure off my innards.  I am feeling hungry but eating very cautiously.  I am terrified of throwing up at this phase of recovery.  Yesterday I had:
Breakfast: Chobani Greek Yogurt - 14 g. protein
Lunch: Muscle Milk Light protein drink - 20 g. protein
Dinner: Cream of Tomato Soup made with skim milk - 7 g. protein
plus my multi, calcium and pain killers - oh, yeah and water, water water

Today I've had:
Breakfast:  Chobani
Lunch: 1/2 C, cottage cheese (13 g protein) and left over tomato soup (7 g protein)

I see a pattern developing here.  Not a lot of variety because I am not enamored of the idea of eating "pureed meat".  And I have another week and a half of this.  Soft foods will feel like a luxury when I finally get there.

So, here is my question.  I am being really good.  Staying on my doctors orders and working hard to eat enough protein every day.  My birthday is on Saturday.  I am thinking of splurging and getting some frozen yogurt.  It is definitely smooth but it is also most definitely not on the list of approved foods.  Should I be bad and splurge?  Thoughts?

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Day 2 - Recovery is SLOW

Well,  I think I felt better yesterday than today.  Perhaps all the good drugs hadn't worn off yet yesterday.  I can feel some slight shoulder pain coming on today and my stomach hurts.  I have been taking my Vicodin religiously today since I am not fan of pain. I was able to take a shower today and that made me feel a bit better for a little while.  I am also bloated and, forgive me it this is TMI, but I am very gaseous and it does not seem to be able to escape.  What the heck is that about?  I just sent hubby to the store for some GasX.

I spent a good part of today reading  Gen's S.O.B. Stories today which gave me a lot of hope.  I swear, you have no idea how meaningful all the blogs are to me as I get started on this journey.  I really only have to look at what you all have to say to know I have made the one of the best, most life-altering decision I could make for myself right now. So, pain be damned.  I'm sure this too shall pass.

On a slightly sad note, my Malti-poo Lily is refusing to sleep with me right now.  I think she must sense when I am in pain and she stays away from me.  She did the same thing this summer when I had a pneumothorax and subsequent pneumonia from a bicycle accident.  I thought she was supposed to comfort me - the little stinker.
Luckily, one of our 2 Golden Retrievers is still giving me some attention so I don't feel totally abandoned.

Food yesterday:
Breakfast - 6 oz. Greek yogurt = 14g protien
Lunch - 1 C. lowfat cottage cheese = 26g protien
Dinner - Muscle Milk Light = 20g protien
plus 2 chewable multi-vitamins, 1000 mg chewable calcium with D, and 64oz water and Crystal Light

Oooo, I feel so virtuous.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's Done!

It's done!!!!  I got banded yesterday morning at 9:16a.m.  I think I shall dub my new partner in weight loss Fiona.  Why?  Not so sure.  I just like that name.  Sounds foreign - like this thing in my body.  And seems like a good fightin' name.

The whole process wasn't so bad.  I think the 3-day clear liquid diet was actually more of a drag than the procedure itself.  I expected to be much more nervous than I was but I had my mother along to keep me company while I waited.  Why, oh why, does the doctor make you come in 3 HOURS before surgery???  I sat in the waiting room for over an hour before being taken back to get prepped (thank god for trashy magazines).  In the prep room I had to disrobe (everything) and put on the lovely, starchy hospital gown (I swear they are made of curtain fabric).  The the nurse inserted my IV line and hooked me up to a bag of saline and antibiotics.  She also asked a series of questions I am sure I have answered at least 5 times before but at least it helped pass the time. A phlebotomist came in to take some blood and then I was rolled upstairs to another pre-op waiting room for additional waiting.  As I waited for my doctor to come in, I got to hear the doctors talking to the patients next to me and across from me.  One older lady was having some kind of bowel surgery that - if unsuccessful - was going to cause the surgeon to attach a colostomy bag to her (how distressing!).  The guy across from me was having a hip replacement.  I almost felt frivolous having my surgery.  It makes me feel incredibly grateful that overall I am pretty healthy and that what ails me is quite curable.

Finally the doctor came in to see if I had any last minute questions - which I of course forgot.  I asked him a couple of questions about the post-surgery diet.  I had read somewhere that you shouldn't eat hot soup for 4 days post-surgery but he said I could.  Yay!  I love cream of tomato soup.  What I did forget to do was confirm that he was putting in the low-profile port.  I sure hope he remembered cause it's done now!  Then the anesthesiologist came in to ask more questions and see if I had any for him.  Finally, the 2 surgical nurses came in to roll me into the operating room.  I moved onto the operating table and they got me all situated.  Then the anesthesiologist said he was going to give me something to relax me (didn't even ask me to count down) and I swear I was out in 15 minutes.

The next thing I know, I am waking up in recovery and being asked things I don't remember.  I think my mom was there though.  I dozed off and on for a couple of hours it seems like and then they sent me down to pre-admitting again to complete my recovery.  I was able to dress and the nurse came in periodically to have me get up and walk around.  Finally, when I appeared "with-it" enough, they gave me my discharge paper and my husband came to pick me up.

We stopped to pick up my prescription for Vicodin and headed home (probably around 3:30 p.m.).  I grabbed a pre-chilled protein drink from the fridge (Muscle Milk) because I was starving (or so I thought, it's hard to distinguish from the stomach pain) and sipped a little.  But I ended up going back to sleep and napping off and on til about 6:30.  Finally, I woke up long enough to watch Dexter with my husband but decided that was all I could do last night and I took myself to bed.  I did walk around a little bit first and used my spirometer as ordered by the doc.  I slept with my feet elevated above my chest as recommended.

What I am finding amazing is that I have not (knocking on wood right now) suffered from any gas bubble pains (my biggest fear).  I have had them before when I had a laporoscopy and they are miserable.  I had asked my doctors office what to do about them and they had said that walking around and laying down with my feet elevated above my chest was the best thing I could do.  Note taken and followed!

I am feeling pretty good this morning.  I do have stomach pain and I am distended from the procedure.  I took my gummy multi-vitamin this morning and 2 Vicodin.  For breakfast I had 6 oz. of Greek yogurt and made sure it took me 20 minutes to eat it.  I think that has quelled the hunger.

So, that's my story.  My journey has begun.  I am excited and a little nervous.  I feel like this is my last ditch effort to get this weight off and keep it off.  I know that I will need to be vigilant for the rest of my life and I hope that Fiona is up for fighting the good fight with me.

Thanks for reading - if there is anyone out there.  I appreciate all the support and good words.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Not Loving the Liquid Diet

As I mentioned in my last post, my lapband surgery is scheduled for tomorrow morning.  In preparation, my surgeon has me on a 3 day clear liquid diet - water, Crystal Light, sugar-free popsicles, sugar-free jello, chicken, beef or vegetable broth.  Yep, that's it. That's all she wrote.  I can't believe I made it to day 3 without diving head first into the pop chips in my pantry.  Right now I'd give someone a hundred bucks if I could eat a slice of pizza and get away with it.  Food addict much?  It is times like these when I realize how truly and utterly food obsessed I am.  I mean really, this is only for 3 days!  I should be able to do this no problem but I feel like I am hanging on by a fingernail.

But I'm excited.  Excited and nervous.  Can't wait to meet my band and get started.  I am just so grateful that there are some many great blogs out there by folks who have been through this.  It really gives me courage and perspective.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Prepping for Surgery

TGIF everyone!

I meant to write this post last Friday but life has been a little whirlwind of activity lately.  I met with Dr. #2 last Thursday and was so impressed with him, his staff, and his practice that I went ahead and scheduled my surgery.  I will join the land of the banded on Monday, Oct. 4th.  I can't say that I haven't had some nervous moments since making the date, but I know this is the right thing for me to do.  I have struggled with my weight for as long as I can remember.  I know that the band is only a tool that will help me in my journey to lose weight.  I still have to do the hard work of eating right, exercising and learning to deal with my "head" hunger.  But it is my profound hope that the band will make this journey a little easier.

In preparation for my surgery, I had to begin a 3-day clear liquid, sugar free diet today.  I can have water, chicken, beef or vegetable broth, sugar-free jello, sugar-free popsicles, Crystal Light and sugar-free Kool Aid.  All I can say is my stomach has been grumbling most of the day and I have had to fight the urge to grab solid food just to have something to crunch on. I'm also not particularly looking forward to the Liquid Pureed Diet for the first 2 weeks following surgery.  I'm glad that I like Greek yogurt and cottage cheese but can't imagine how I can prepare pureed meat to make it palatable.  Anyone out there have any great ideas?  If not, I think I will stick with yogurt, cottage cheese and protein shakes for a couple of weeks. Also in preparation for the day of surgery, I went and got a library card today (I know, I know, I cant' believe that it has taken me so long to get a new card) so that I can download some audio books to listen to on my iPod while I wait.

To top off my week, I finally got a job offer today.  Yay!!!  I have been job hunting since February when I was laid off due to the acquisition of my former company by Oracle.  I did take a contract job from May - August but other than that I have been "pounding the pavement" looking for a permanent new gig.  It has been incredibly stressful and I am excited to be starting my new job with my new band.  It feels like a new beginning all around. 

Hoping everyone has a really terrific weekend.  I'll try to post again before Monday.  If I don't make it for some reason, I'll make sure to check in when I get home and let you all know how it went.

Til then, be well.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Meeting Dr. #1 & Talking to the Husband

So, yesterday I had my first consultation with a doctor - let's call him Dr. #1 - for my lap band surgery.  I had  attended a seminar last week at Dr. #2's office and have a consultation with him on Thursday this week.  It seemed prudent to check out a couple of different doctors to see who I clicked with, what their pre- and post-op procedures were, the pre-surgery diet, post-surgery fills, etc.  Dr. #1 was a very pleasant guy.  His daughter is his practice's psychologist and runs their monthly support group.  He was very knowledgeable and told me - in pretty graphic detail - how he performs the procedure (photos included); how he mitigates the risk for band slips; band erosion; etc.  I am sure that he would do a fine job.  However, I still want to meet with Dr. #2 before I make any decisions about who will do my surgery.

#1 did confirm for me that I am a qualified candidate and that he would do the surgery for me if I wanted him to.  I had been worried about that because my BMI is on the borderline of 35.  I do have sleep apnea and GERD so I was pretty sure I was a candidate, but not entirely.  Now that I am sure somebody will do my surgery, I decided to finally tell my husband I have been researching this and plan to go ahead with the procedure. You see, I expected a lot of resistance from my husband.  A lot of the "all you need is willpower", "this is the easy way out", etc. posturing.  Over the years, I have learned to pick my battles with him and not even start a contentious discussion until I have all my facts in order.  No sense in trying to convince him I plan to do something if I can't actually make it happen, right?  To my amazement, he took it very calmly.  He seemed receptive to the idea and had some questions but in the end he said it was my decision to make.  I was pleasantly surprised.  Perhaps he has actually recognized how difficult my struggle with my weight has been over the years.  He has seen me start, then stop, numerous diets since we have been together.

The first time I met my husband, I was at my second lowest weight in my adult life.  I was fit and trim and felt pretty good.  Shortly before we started dating, I quit smoking.  A year after we started dating, I turned 40.  So, in the space of 1 1/2 years, I quit smoking, fell in love and turned 40.  This was a recipe for weight gain if there ever was one!  Since we have been together, I have managed to regain the 30lbs I lost prior to meeting him, plus an additional 50lbs I've never had before.  At the rate I've been going I could qualify as a linebacker for a pro team in the next five years.  And, while he has never said anything derogatory about my weight, I catch him staring at me sometimes.  And I feel like I must be a huge disappointment.  I don't think I am the girl he thought he was signing up for.  I don't even have childbirth to blame for my weight gain.  I'm humiliated and ashamed.  That is why I plan to do something about it.  At least now I know he will support my decision which makes this journey so much easier.

I'll report my findings on Dr. #2 after I meet him Thursday.  I hope to make a decision about who I plan to go with no later than this weekend.  It's time to get the show on the road!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Dipping My Toe in the Water

I've never been very good at keeping a journal (much less an online blog) but I am looking for an outlet to help me stay honest and somewhere I can document my weight loss journey.  I have been inspired by numerous bloggers out there as they post their trials and tribulations pursuing a healthier life and lifestyle: Phoenix Revolution, Adventures of Gastric Girl and The Sweet Spot to name a few. You guys rock! and are - in large part - responsible for the birth of this blog.

I am currently in the process of getting approval for a gastric band and am hoping to be banded in October. Like many people, I have spent most of my adult life watching my weight go up and down - losing 30, gaining 40 and on and on (I'll touch more on my history in a later post).  After a significant amount of research I have decided that the lap band is a tool that can help me reach my goal and maintain my weight for the long term.  This blog will document my journey into bandhood.