Happenings

20130405-211848.jpg

I’ve been at my “goal weight” for a little bit now and it’s made me think about what’s next. When I started talking about having lap band surgery several people asked me what would happen once I “lost all my weight”. No, the band does not get removed or unfilled even. Unless something tragic happens I will die with my band right where it is now.

I have long decided that a “goal weight” was stupid because it’s a made up number to placate my brain when my body may have something else planned. So I decided that my body will find a happy place and it will be good no matter where it is.

I may no longer be fat but I’m also not fit and that’s not ok with me. Enter peer pressure. The great thing about attending a school that focuses on health is the healthy options we are given. Cafeteria food isn’t awful and there are more health smart options than not. We also have a really nice gym. I’d say it’s free but I know how much I pay for tuition and the word free makes me chuckle.

The peer pressure part? Oh nothing a couple of guys with military pasts and a collegiate track/basketball player can’t handle. (Love you guys!) We work out every day after class. Our usual routine is weights (rotating between legs, arms, and core), an Insanity workout (you know THAT infomercial), and then just for fun about an hour or so of elliptical running.

I like this. I never thought I would. I’ve never liked running or any other fitness thing. I like hiking but that’s not exactly the same. Did starting out hurt? Hell yes! Do I feel awesome for the rest of the day? Hell yes! Will I keep this up after our little group’s schedule changes? Definitely.

20130405-213834.jpg

Journey

Three years, four months, and four days ago I weighed 250 pounds and was going in to have a lap band placed. I looked like this a few weeks after it was done:

20130202-205750.jpg

Today I am 150 pounds! That’s right! I HAVE MET MY GOAL!!! I have lost 100 pounds. At 5′ 6″ that took me from a morbidly obese BMI of 40.3 to a normal weight BMI of 24.2.
Today I look like this and couldn’t be happier that I made the decision to have weight loss surgery:

20130202-210551.jpg

20130202-210620.jpg

It hasn’t been an easy journey but it has been my own. I’ve learned a lot about my messed up head and body image. I will always feel like I’ve stolen some 6 year old kid’s jeans when I take mine out of the dryer but I’m ok with that. I will never again have to feel like I’m pushing the limits on water slides (physics 101) or about my legs going numb from the circulation being cut off by a lunchroom chair.

20130202-211419.jpg

Three Years Post-op!!!

Three Year Band-iversary!!!

Today is the three year anniversary of my lap band surgery (Band-iversary if you will).  I have kept a log of my journey in numbers.  Numbers don’t lie.

Three years ago I was 250 pounds, I wore a size 24 pant with XXL shirts, and had a BMI of 41.6 classifying me as a morbidly obese adult woman.  I couldn’t walk up a hill let alone stairs without feeling sweaty and like my heart was in overdrive.  I made sure that all of my tops were larger than necessary to help camouflage my body.  Where I used to have a nice hour-glass shape I was more of an apple with a small indention where a waist might have been.  It was not uncommon for me to secretly eat an entire fast food meal on the way home from work just in time to make dinner at home and eat again.  I am not proud of these things but I know that I am not the only person to have found myself in this situation.

Fast-forward to today.  I weigh 162 pounds and have a BMI of 26 (25 is considered “healthy”).  I can fit into a size 10 but am more comfortable in a 12.  I wear medium sized shirts.  I can not only walk up stairs and feel fine I have been caught running up stairs at work.  I am proud of how I look.  I am conscious of how I carry myself now and wouldn’t even think of trying to blend into the background.  I no longer sneak food.

Do not be fooled into thinking that a Lap Band is an easy answer.  It is far from it.  The dark side of these surgeries isn’t told unless you know where to look.  I’ll let you in on some secrets.

I have a hard time eating certain textures.  If meat is too firm my stomach cannot tolerate it and it is coughed up.  Any food that “puffs” up in my stomach is also coughed up.  So there’s bread and most rice.  I am not using the term “coughed up” as a delicate way of saying that I throw up or puke.  It is a similar action but not exactly correct.  The offending food does not make it into the part of my stomach that houses stomach acid.  So it comes up in about the same form as it went down.  Think of it as a lap-bander hair ball of sorts.  It has taken me a long time to not force the issue.  If a food is a no-no it’s a no-no and there’s no forcing it to work.

One of the lap band rules is no drinking while eating or for an hour after finishing a meal.  If this rule is ignored it also leads to a fun trip to the bathroom.  Except this is not to cough something up it’s to slime for a while.  Yah, sexy I know.  Picture this; you have food in the top stomach pouch (the one that is made by cinching the band around the stomach) waiting it’s turn to drop into the main part of the stomach and all of a sudden you flood this area with water.  It has no where to go but up.  You have essentially backed up the sink.

There are more things but these are the main issues I had the hardest time learning.

How do I live like this? Easily.  Like anything it just takes getting used to.  I love how I feel and would never change my decision to have Lap Band surgery.

I’ve lost the equivalent of a baby calf’s weight!

88% There

20120621-211114.jpg

I just checked my BMI and I have just 12 pounds until I am officially a “normal weight”! I have come so far it doesn’t seem real. My brain hasn’t caught up still.

I take my jeans out of the dryer and still think I’ve stolen some four year old’s pants. When I look at the numbers on the scale my eyes skip over the first digit and go straight to the last two. Telling someone that I weigh One Hundred and blah pounds sounds so foreign. Have you ever been asked your age and had to take a moment to think about it? Yah, same thing.

I’d love to give myself till the end of summer to get past “overweight” but I know better than that. So I’ll say by the end of the year.

Day 3: Deeper into Hell

20120430-174237.jpg

I actually completed the entire workout today! Granted if I sit for too long now I need help getting back up. But I finished it!

This is not to say that I did the majority of the workout without using Jillian’s modified moves. Because that would be a lie. I don’t even care. I can do pushups for the entire time I’m supposed to be doing them. Are they the girly kind using my knees instead of my toes? Hell ya! Is this program kicking my ass? Duh.

I just really hope that my formerly round body catches on soon and stops this super sore routine. Because it is making things hard. Like getting into the car, standing up from the toilet, and don’t even ask me to sit on the floor.

Jillian Death Match Day 2

20120429-102007.jpg
After doing my first Ripped in 30 workout yesterday I realize what I’ve signed up for. The program is made up of three circuits of her 3-2-1 set up plus warm up and cool down. The 3-2-1 is 3 minutes of strength moves, 2 minutes of cardio, and 1 minute abs. Sounds easy, right? HA! Yesterday I only got through the second circuit. Today my goal was to get past that point.

I still didn’t finish the workout but I did get past where I quit yesterday. So I’m happy with how I did. I have learned a few things though.
1: When she says have water handy. Do it.
2: Fans running on high are very helpful.
3: Wearing shoes really helps.
4: During the cardio sections large-chested women can count on not doing the arm movements because you will be holding the girls down to avoid black eyes. Not even trying to be funny.

After my workout yesterday I expected to be sore but WOW. Even a hot shower didn’t help much. What did help? Another workout. I’ve heard of hair of the dog but never in this context. Guess this is incentive to keep it up.

Reversing the Failure

A few weeks ago I posted about how I fell off the lap band wagon a bit.  I wasn’t following any of the rules that I was supposed to and had called to schedule a fill.  Three days before Christmas I got my fill.  It went well which has been rare for me in the past.  My surgeon’s office now does all fill procedures under fluoroscopy.  Think of it as a moving x-ray.  Here’s the simplified version of what happened.

  • Get poked by giant looking needle (took 3 times to find my port even with the floro assisting… silly crooked anatomy)
  • Stand up and move into position
  • Drink “orange” barium to see how my restriction is before getting any additional saline put into the band
  • Find out I had “almost zero restriction”.  Translation inside my head: Holy Cow! No wonder you’ve gained 10 pounds in just a few months!
  • Doctor K adds 1 cc of fluid (1 cc = 1/5 of a teaspoon)
  • Drink “orange” barium again
  • Doctor K announces “That’s a bit tighter than I’d like”
  • Doctor K removes 1/2 cc
  • Drink water
  • Witness that the previously swallowed barium now flows slowly but much better through stoma (opening from band made pouch to lower stomach)

The pictures below are not of me or my parts but they will give you a good idea of what happened the other day.

Innards

Drink up!

 

How has the fill been treating me?  Good.  I’ve added to the no-no list of foods.  Sadly, potatoes in all forms are on this list now sigh.  As are pork chops unless cooked to a medium well, chicken that isn’t roasted,  beef roast unless there’s a ton of sauce to help it down, thick-skinned veggies (bell peppers this means you), pizza, and bread.  I don’t even dare try something as crazy as a burger of any kind.  Pasta is still on the go list though thank the gods! I was always told that as the restriction on my band gets to where it should be my ability to eat much of these things would become very limited.  Which is fine.  I just need to remember not to push it.  Yacking isn’t fun.  Really I mean it. 

Hardest thing for me to remember?  Listen to my body.  If I’ve had a half a cup of yogurt and my body silently tells me that’s enough it means THAT’S ENOUGH AND PUT THE DAMN THING DOWN!

Best part about all of this?  I’ve already lost 8 of those pesky 10 pounds** I gained the last couple of months.  And to that I say I’M BACK!

**And to answer those fools that say I shouldn’t flip out about gaining back 10 pounds I want to remind you that where I’m at 10 pounds is a pant size.  Eating too much and the sensations it brings are just the beginning for me.  10 pounds turns into 20 pounds which turns to gaining back everything I’ve worked so hard to lose plus some.