Thursday, November 1, 2012

Getting back on track

My last entry here was at my 1 year Banderversary, 5 months ago.  These last few months have been filled with some amazing times.  Biggest thing that happened is that my fiancĂ© and I got married!!!

At some point over the summer I had gotten a fill and shortly after realized it was too much.  I was getting stuck all the time and getting pretty frustrated.  I had some fluid (0.25 cc) taken out of the band and immediately began to feel better and was able to eat normal (as normal as a lapband patient can eat).  As the summer flew by I started feeling like I could use another fill but chose to hold off until after the wedding.  I started noticing some of my portions were getting a little larger and stopped weighing out my salads.  Peter and I decided that on our wedding day we would eat what we wanted without going overboard.  We both ate a few appetizers that were not low-carb and even splurged and had a few bites of our wedding cake.   
We did not want to look back on the day and regret not doing something. 

Right after the wedding we left for our honeymoon in Disney World!!  One of the reasons we chose there is because we knew that we be eating some things that were not on our low-carb lapband food plan and that we would be doing a TON of walking.  We enjoyed our selves while at Disney, deciding this was our one and only honeymoon and made sure we did a lot of walking.  Our off-plan eating had an expiration date of the last day of the honeymoon and we knew we were returning to our low-carb lifestyle once back in NY. 

I have to say we have been back for 3 weeks now and it is not as easy this time around to get off the carbs!!  While I am doing it, it almost seems like a struggle.  This time around (as opposed to right after surgery) I’m finding it a little more difficult to quit the carbs.  I can hear those donuts in the kitchen calling my name where before I never even registered they were in the house.  I had a fill this morning which forces me to go back to shakes only for the next few days, a solid three days is what I need to get all carbs out of my system.  I 100% believe that keeping the carbs out is what contributed mostly to this weight loss, plus the smaller portions.  Hoping this fill is what I need to get my butt back in gear. 

Here is a pic from the morning of surgery 6/8/11 and my wedding day 10/5/12!  Never in a million years could I have pulled off that dress pre-surgery :-) 

 Here is a pic of my husband and I pre-surgery Christmas 2010 and one from our wedding day 10/5/12.

For those of you that would like to contact me with questions about my journey with the Lapband please feel free to email me at


Friday, June 8, 2012

One whole year under my belt!!!

I can honestly say I have not idea where the last year has gone!!!!  Seems like just yesterday I was going through all my pre-op appts and getting all that done.  I can not believe that today marks my 1 year "banderversary"!!!!  I have been living with this band for the past year and will say until I am blue in the face that this was the BEST decision I have ever made!

Over the past few months my weight loss has slowed but as of this morning I am down 92 lbs since day of surgery.  When I started this journey I wore size 2XL tops and size 24 pants, I now wear a size 10 (almost an 8) pants and small shirt!!!  I still have 39 more lbs to go and plan on getting my butt in gear to drop that last bit as quick as possible. 

One year ago I could not have imagined getting to this point.  Has it all be easy.............. NO! But it has all been worth it!!!  I gladly share my experience with anyone who asks so please feel free to message me with any questions!

The compliments from friends and family never get old, in fact they are what motivates me to keep on track.  I love the surprised look on my patients faces when they realize its me!  For my next blog I am going to come up with a list of all the positive things that have changed over this past year :-)  

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Shopping frustrations

I have always considered myself a professional shopper.  I would go shopping every day if time (& money) allowed it!  This past week I needed to buy a few staples for my wardrobe,  everything was starting to get baggy & saggy.  I spent far to much of my life in clothes like that so once I go down a size a pick up a few things to get me through a few months.  In the beginning of this weight loss journey I loved going shopping, I was just so happy when things actually fit right and I could shop in "regular" stores.  This past week I went to several stores by myself, couldn't make a decision on anything and nearly cried in one store in the dressing room!  I realized I have spent the last 10 + years buying clothes that fit, not putting much thought in to how they looked.  At my heaviest I refused to by pants in the next size up so for a while I wore stretch pants to work (and sneakers too since that was the only shoes I could wear). I have no idea what looks good or what my style is.  Finally decided I can not go shopping by myself right now.  Yesterday I went shopping with my future mother-in-law and sister-in-law and was so grateful to have there opinions.  I was tending to look at all the negative things in everything where they were able to help me see all the good :-)

One of my biggest problems right now is I can't wrap my head around the fact that I am smaller.  I take my monthly photos to really show myself what a difference there is but this might be the hardest thing my brain has tried to understand LOL.  I look in the mirror and can see that I am smaller but my brain still thinks I am bigger.  I have no concept on if I am bigger or smaller then someone else.  Not that I am trying to compare myself to anyone, I am just trying to "see" what I look like now. 

In January I had fill in the band but kept getting stuck on chicken so in the beginning of February I had a slight un-fill.  Because I kept getting stuck I was probably a little swollen.  I don't think my band was too tight I think my issue was after each time I was stuck I never allowed the irritation to calm down and just kept getting stuck.  They took a little of the fluid out to help bring down the swelling and it made a huge difference.  After a few weeks everything calmed down and I needed to have that fluid added back in so this past week I had a fill.  I honestly hate the days after a fill, all those days with no eating make me miserable!

In February I also finally picked out my wedding dress with the help of my awesome consultant!  My bust and hips were two different sizes so we decided to order the dress the smaller size.  My dress came in in one week and is about 2 inches from zipping all the way up.  Talk about motivation!!!  Can't stop now, I have a wedding dress to fit in to!

 As of 3/19/12 I was down 81 lbs, pants have gone from a tight size 24 to a 12, and shirts size 2XL to medium!!!  I have said it a million times before and will say it a million more times "While the decision to have weight loss surgery is not for everyone, I 1000% believe it was the BEST decision for me!" 

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Getting through the holiday season!

Made it through my first holiday season with my band!  For Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve & Christmas Day I felt the need to make a million and one things that are on my "do not eat" list and still make things that were "legal" for me to eat as well.  Even though I couldn't eat all the pies, cookies, chocolates, & side dishes I made for each day it still felt great to be able to provide my family and friends with all those yummy treats.  When I was making all my truffles and cookies it almost felt like I was testing myself, and it feels great to be able to say that I won!  I did not try a single thing, and Peter reaped the benefits of occasionally being my taste-tester.

Eating with the band is definitely different.  There is no such thing as a fast meal anymore, unless its a protein shake :-).  Everything has to be cut small and I have to take my time chewing and waiting between bites.  I have gotten "stuck" a few times this month and it usually passes (up or down) with in 15-20 minutes, each time it happens it is because I was not fully paying attention. 

I have noticed over the last week that I seem to be eating a little bit more and that I am getting hungry earlier between meals.  I have to listen to my band and see if that is just because I ate a little bit more over the holidays or if I actually need a fill.  I decided I need to try and figure out which it is over the next two weeks, rather than get a fill this week.  If I had gotten a fill I would have had to go back to clear liquids (24 hrs), 2 days protein shakes, 2 days mushy foods, then back to normal foods.  I would have still been on mushy foods for today (New Years Eve) and since we are going out to dinner I decided waiting on that fill was a GREAT idea!

Tonight we are going out to a pub with 2 other couples for dinner, followed by dancing!! I can not remember the last time I went out dancing and was actually excited about it, my guess is that it was back in college :-)

Here are my 6 month side by side pics from 12/8/11
And here is a Christmas 2010 vs Christmas 2011!

Wishing all of my family and friends a very happy, healthy New Year!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Things to be thankful for...

For the past month and a half I have been trying to listen to my body and what is it "sayng" when I eat.  The Lapband (when adjusted properly) is there to help me feel fuller faster, which means I eat less food.   Part of this is to learn to listen to when my body is telling me I'm full.  For the past month and a half I have been trying to pay attention to see if I needed to be adjusted or not.  Two weeks ago (11/3/11) I finally had my first fill.  I was so nervous about it since I was not sure what to expect at all.  The whole thing took less than 5 minutes and was no big deal at all!  I laid down on the table, the nurse practitioner felt around on my stomach to find where my port was (sown into my abdominal wall), she then pinpointed the port with a sonogram (or ultrasound, not sure exactly), numbed the area with a needle of lidocaine, then another needle was inserted into the port and saline (1cc) was added to the band.  When the needle of saline was put into the port there was A LOT of pressure, almost felt like she was trying to touch the table underneath me through my abdomen.  The pressure lasted less then 1 minute and was much easier this second time around since I knew what to expect. Post fill I am required to go back to the same plan as post surgery, only on an abbreviated timeline. 

First 24 hours is liquid only, next 2 days is 3 protein shakes, 4th & 5th days I can re-introduce mushy foods for 1 meal and then finally 6 days post fill I can go back to eating my one meal of regular foods along with my 2 protein shakes each day.  This was MUCH harder then I even imagined it would be!! At first I thought "No big deal, I dealt with it for longer right after surgery".  It is much different now that it has been 5 months and I am used to eating.  By the second day I felt awful and I was starving!  I was pretty cranky and actually had to give in a little early and had some mushy food (3oz) on my third night.  I had another fill this morning and I am happy I know what to expect and have warned all of those around me that it would be best to steer clear of me until at least sunday :-)

At my appointment this morning I weighed in at 61 lbs less then the morning of surgery and I have knocked off 12 points off my BMI!!!  I am know only consider Obese, instead of Morbidly Obese.  My weight is also now under 200 lbs (1st time in at least 10 years) and today I wore a skirt from NY&Co size 14!!  I also was planning on waiting a few more months to start wedding dress shopping but have decided I can't hold out any more.  While I am down on LI next week for Thanksgiving I am going to go try on wedding dresses for the first time!! While I am not going to order one until I am closer to goal I can't wait to start the process!

                      My size 14 skirt from NY&Co!!!

Sometimes I look at the life I am living and I wonder to myself "How did I get so lucky?"  With Thanksgiving right around the corner I am taking this time to look at my life and be grateful for all the people in it.  I have the most amazing fiance, phenomenal family members, and fantastic friends (including all my Facebook friends).  
I appreciate all of you coming along on this weight loss journey with me.  Posting about everything keeps me honest and accountable. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Slacking on the blog

I just realized its been about 6 weeks since I last blogged!  Clearly lots have happened since then as you know from my updates on Facebook.   Last month at my 3 month post-op mark I hit the 45 lbs mark, and three weeks later I hit the 50 lbs mark!  Things could not be going any smoother then this!  I still am drinking my 2 shakes a day, one yogurt or cottage cheese, and my small portion of dinner (3 oz protein & 6 oz veg).  I try and change things up so I am not eating the same things all the time and getting bored.  The amount I am eating is keeping me full for a few hours after I eat so I still have not gotten a fill.  Occasionally they say that a person will come out of surgery at exactly the right spot with the amount of saline in the band, I thank my lucky stars I am one of those people.  I have been warned that this feeling of satiety that I have now can change at any time and as I continue to loss weight the band my become looser around my stomach.  If the band becomes looser I will possible need a fill to make it tighter then, for now I'd rather leave it alone if its working properly. 
The way I eat now is drastically different then pre-surgery.  Now because the band is around the top of my stomach I need to cut my food into very small pieces (think toddler bite-size) and I need to chew, chew, chew everything very well so that it goes through the stomach opening (stoma) without any problems.  If something is not chewed enough or small enough it can get stuck.  Getting something stuck feelings like you are having a heart attack.  The food either needs to pass through or come back up.  I have been able to avoid this problem until this past week!  I was waiting for Peter to come home so we could head out to dinner and I had started to get hungry.  I went into the kitchen to grab a few little pieces of some kielbasi we had in the fridge, realized very quickly that kielbasi is no longer my friend and within a few minutes knew something was not right.  Getting something stuck feeling like you have something sitting in the middle of your chest, and I then started to feel the muscles of my esophagus moving (like it was trying to move the food ).  Then the nausea started because all the muscles are moving, then because something is stuck the saliva you are producing can not go down and sits on top of the stuck food.  At this point I was hoping the food was going to pass quickly but instead a little tiny bit came back up (coated in slime :-( ) This all took less then 4 minutes and luckily I was 100% ok as soon as that happened.  Any other bandster reading this avoid this feeling at all costs, its uncomfortable and gross!
Same thing happened on Saturday night at the food tasting for our wedding venue.  I took a bite of something, either filet Mignon or salmon, and it was apparently not small enough or not chewed enough and I got the same feeling in my chest & esophagus.  Luckily this passed through within a few minutes but at this point the lesson is learned! CHEW, CHEW, CHEW !!!!
 Here are some pics that I have been slacking on posting on here.
This was 3 months post-op!

And this was 4 months post-op, down 50 lbs!!!

This second picture was taken on 10/5/11.  We went out to dinner at Applebee's (where we had out first date) to celebrate that in 1 year we will be getting married!!! Even more motivation to keep up my momentum!  I have gone from a tight size 24 to a 16 in 4 months, the thought that I will not be a plus-size bride is almost unreal to me!  Can't wait to start dress shopping...after the new year :-)

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Living in the moment & loving every minute!

Life with the band is much easier than I thought it would be.  Sure those first few weeks were pretty rough but I got through it and have been just coasting along with no major problems.  I have been doing fantastic with following the strict program laid out by my surgeon & dietician and it shows in my weight loss.  Last week I had another follow up at the bariatric office and between 7/25 to 8/10 I was down another 8 lbs!!  That put my weight loss at 34.5 lbs and I am down another 2-4 lbs since then. 

Going out to eat is getting easier and easier.  Making smart choices is now becoming my norm, rather then ordering all the things I used to love.  Its funny how other people will sometimes feel bad about eating something in front of my, but all I tell them is "I choose to get Banded, you didn't.  Please go ahead and enjoy your self, I'm ok ".  I am so happy with my progress so far and have no intentions of messing this up just because I can't control myself.  The smaller sizes I am wearing are confirmation enough that I don't need to eat how I used too.

Last month I had found a pair of nice grey pants that I didn't even know I had and I had them hemmed to fit my height.  The pants fit great for a few weeks then all of a sudden last week they are now too long and baggy.  My hips and legs are getting smaller so these pants are now too big!  Went shopping this past week for a new pair of nice black pants for work.  When I started this journey I was wearing a pant size of 24, well the pants I just got this week are an 18! I can't even remember when the last time was that I was this size :-)  When I got home from work today I went through my entire closet and drawers and cleaned out EVERYTHING that was too big.  I literally got rid of half my clothes!  I still have more then enough clothes to last me a little while and will only need to buy a few essentials along the way.

As most of you know I am an Audiologist and work in a physicians office.  I am supposed to wear a lab coat at work but stopped a few years ago because it got too tight.  Tight like I couldn't really move my arms and there was no way in hell that thing was buttoning LOL.  Last month I tried on the lab coat and it was still too small.  Today I was freezing at work and decided even if this coat was tight it would be better then nothing so I put it on.  Without even realizing it I went to close the front of the coat and then noticed that I was able to pull one side right over the other!  I was able to button the whole lab coat and had some room to spare.  That's a huge reinforcement that what I am doing is absolutely working.

Last month I had started going to the gym and seemed to be super excited about it.  Somehow I lost the motivation already but luckily that hasn't slowed my weight loss.  I know I need to get back into it and will as soon as I get back from my girls weekend away in NC.  All in all I think I am doing pretty well and have not ever regretted getting this surgery!!

 Picture of me wearing a new cute little dress !