Monday, June 28, 2010

Houston - We Have Restriction!

Today my daughter and I went to lunch at "The Pancake Store" aka First Watch. I knew she'd eat the pancakes and that I could get eggs - my new favorite. I sort of jumped the gun a bit in having them (not supposed to until Wednesday) but I'd tried it at home and it had gone ok.

Our waitress had to think we were nuts as both of our plates looked minimally touched. My daughter hardly ate any of her lunch and I managed about 1/2 of my eggs and about 7 of the little potatoes that came with it (about an inch square). I didn't touch my english muffin of course. After eating that much (and frankly, about a bite or two before) I could tell I was done. I felt like I needed to either cough or burp. I was a little nervous because I hadn't felt that much tightness in a number of days. We had lunch around 12:30 p.m. and I really wasn't hungry at all until probably 5 p.m. Yeah!

I guess it's still my stomach healing because I'm not even two weeks out but this was the first time that I really felt the "stop"!

As promised, here are my lovely befores... The scale has been bouncing around so I haven't seen the technically 20 down again but given that I'm eating between 800-1100 calories, I have to lose weight at some point. I'll have my husband take comparison shots when I get to the 20 again - even though there is minimal difference.

I'm going to have a party the day my jawline magically reappears :)!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Feel Good Friday!

Today I'm wearing....

* Pants that I couldn't wear two weeks ago

* A shirt that I couldn't wear two weeks ago

* Heels - ok, so they're wedges but still!

And per my scale - I'm officially down 22 lbs woo woo!! I'd like to get to 25 down before my first fill on July 14. Hunger is starting to rear its ugly head but it's manageable.

I took the dog for a walk last night which she loved and I didn't die.

Good news all of the way around!

Oh - I did have a moment of old behavior that I didn't feel good about. I was fired up about something my husband did that involved my parents. I had planned on picking up soup from Houlihans for dinner anyway.

Well, I ate that soup in about 5 minutes I think. Totally old school Susan - ticked off about something and use food to cope.

Afterwards, I worried that I might have messed up the band but it was soup so I don't think I could have done much. I was more upset about falling into old habits. But, it was a bowl of soup. And, I recognized the behavior so hopefully I'll be less likely to repeat it.

I really noticed how the stress in my body just evaporated after eating. It was pretty bizarre to recognize such a physical reaction. Maybe next time I'll try taking the dog for a walk again :)

I'm going to try to post some pictures this weekend. I love seeing everyone else's so I need to get some out there too.

Happy Friday!!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Shoulder pain?

I've eaten oatmeal twice now and both times I've had searing (maybe not quite searing) pain at the tippy top of my left shoulder. Gas I'm assuming? So weird though. It really hurts so I think I'll hold off on more oatmeal for a while.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

An Ode to Cottage Cheese

So I sprung for the full fat version of cottage cheese for my re-entry to chewing. I even put a little pepper on it. I ate 1/4 cup in about 20-25 minutes. It was delicious. Not a bit of fake sweetness to it. Yum, yum, yum. I'm sure I'll be sick of it my the time I move onto soft foods next Thursday, but for now HURRAY!

I had my one week follow up appointment with Dr. Minkin today. First time I've had on makeup and fixed my hair since leaving for the hospital. First NSV (non-scale victory) - I didn't sweat when I was getting ready Yeah!!

Dr. Minkin said everything looked good and that he'd see me in three weeks for my first fill. I have the standard Allergen AP band. He said he thinks it's the best band that they've made. Sounds good to me. I thought I had staples that were going to have to be removed but I don't - yeah!! I can start putting vitamin E on the incisions next week.

Another NSV - I can wear both of my wedding rings again! I had only been able to get my wedding band on and off for a while so it was a nice treat to be able to wear my engagement ring too. I usually take off my jewelry as soon as I get home (and don't wear it around the house) but I think I'll wear it today.

Dr. Minkin was really pleased with my weight loss - 17 pounds per his scale. I'm sure things will bounce around as I start to eat food. It's really nice to have the first 20 pounds almost done and to know that I'll be able to lose more than that. 20 lbs has always been a block for me in the past.

I'm pretty sure I'm the burping queen. I burp pretty much after drinking and eating but it's not like a regular burp. It sort of hurts because it's right at the top of my chest. Maybe this will get better? It's not a deal breaker - just takes some getting used to.

Oatmeal for lunch!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Every day does get better - thanks Jenny!

And Heather - I'm in St. Louis. Did you have your surgery here?

Haven't figured out how best to respond to comments :).

Yeah for me - I just drank about 3/4 of a premade protein shake pretty quickly (blech!!!). And, I don't feel an awful amount of pressure in my chest. I think that's a good sign that I'm healing and the swelling is going down.

So looking forward to being able to eat a healthy diet and ditch the protein shakes.

Three movies so far during the recovery. I honestly think that's more than I saw in at least the last 6 months, maybe even the last year.

The September Issue - pretty good. Nice and low key so good for resting. So fun to get a peak into Vogue.

Pirate Radio - British music in the 60s. Again fun, sort of slow but super cute British boy "Young Carl".

Sherlock Holmes - more rambunctious bit requires a level of attention that I wasn't always able to give. Really like Rachel McAdams though.

I'd rate them all - pretty good. Might watch 500 Days of Summer tonight (bouyed by Catherine's recommendation).

And, way, way too many episodes of House Hunters to count. So much for my grand plans of home organization.

Oh- I forgot, saw Toy Story 3 yesterday. Pretty dark for my 4 year old. Lots of tears for Mommy.

My Internet at home is down so sending a quick update via mobile posts. First of all - thank heavens for the blogging community! It has been so helpful to go back and check in on how other's recoveries went. I know that this too shall pass.

Second - surgery suckity suck suck sucks!!! I haven't ever had anything like this (besides delivering my daughter). Yuck. So looking forward to having this behind me.

I took my bandages off today and I'm pretty bruised. I have some staples that they'll have to remove and I'm trying not to freak out about that.

I'm having quite a bit of pressure when I drink (and then it lasts for a bit). A little weird burb helps.

Thanks again for all of the past entries that hare guiding the way for me. I'll post a more detailed version when I get to a regular keyboard.

4 days till runny oatmeal - hurrah!!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

I am a bandster! I understand the surgery went well. Love the magic button with the morephine. I feel pretty good but tired. No gas yet. More info to come. Thanks so much for all of the well wishes!!!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Really real?

The hospital just called. I'm supposed to be there at 11:30 a.m. tomorrow for my 1:30 p.m scheduled surgery.

My husband just texted to see how I'm feeling. My Mom has called. My two best friend's have e-mailed to see how I'm doing. I'm sort of weirdly calm. This has been such a long process (and it really hasn't even started) that it's kind of amazing that it's going to happen. Hopefully. No jinxes please. Still struglling with the if/when thing.

Please, please let me wake up. Please, please let it go ok. I joked to my husband that I was going to write a note in magic marker on my stomach to my surgeon - Do a good job! I have so much to live for! Ok, maybe I am a bit nervous.

See you on the other side! (Fingers crossed)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Value - Inside and Out

A few years ago, I saw a motivational speaker, John O'Leary. He has an amazing personal story...

Per his web site www.rising-above.com...
John’s life is proof of the power of the human spirit. As a nine-year-old boy, he was burned on 100% of his body and given less than one percent chance of surviving the first night. He endured months in the hospital, years in therapy, dozens of surgeries, and lost all of his fingers to amputation. Despite the odds, John overcame these challenges and enjoys wonderful success in life.

John sends a regular e-mail message that I often find incredibly thought provoking. Here is one of his recent messages that really resonated with me. Interestingly enough, I think my weight gain helped me to ignore my "cover" more and really learn more about who I am and why I have value as a human being. I got to the point where I was so far being able to pull it together and try to look/feel attractive. I had to get past it and just look at me. Who I was on the inside. Who I wanted to be.

I want to be attractive on the outside again and of course that is part of the reason for having weight loss surgery. But, I think I am finally going to see the good that is behind my appearance - for myself - and appreciate me for all of me. The good and the not so good.

Ignoring the Cover

"Judgments prevent us from seeing the good that lies beyond appearances." Wayne Dyer

Too often we let our first impression of brands, foods, events and people dictate the way we feel about them going forward. By just seeing the cover, with little real perspective and with limited knowledge we judge, pigeonhole, write-off, and never offer a second chance. In doing so we often miss the opportunity for them to prove us wrong, reveal their real value, and (occasionally) become a significant presence in our life.

Having an early morning presentation the following day in northern Wisconsin, I HAD to make the last flight out of Atlanta, GA. Arriving at the gate as the plane was boarding, the airline attendant shared with me that the flight was oversold by five passengers that evening; it was extremely unlikely I would make it. (Not good!) Shockingly, five potential passengers voluntarily deplaned, agreed to fly out in the morning and left with roundtrip tickets anywhere in the US.

With great joy I boarded the plane last, found my seat, sat down next to a large, goateed man, smiled at him and said, "Man, I bet you were hoping that I was going to sit next to you tonight!" The giant stared back at me without expression and in a deep voice growled, "Actually, I was hoping like hell that no one was going to sit there."

Normally, I would have run and hid or at least sprayed mace in his direction (the cover of this man certainly suggested that would be the right move!), but as we were stuck sharing an armrest for the next 2 hours, I just smiled, nodded and pulled out some work for the coming flight.

Shortly after takeoff the brute spoke again: What happened to your hands? How did the fire happen? Anybody else hurt? How was the recovery? What do you do now? What kind of messages do you deliver? How is business? How is your family?
The colossal man listened deeply as I answered.

His chiseled face became soft as he smiled discussing his own young family: his older boys, the adopted son, the new baby, the beautiful wife. He loved his new company and his new city. The wild grizzly I had feared because of his abrasive cover was, in reality, a tender teddy bear.

About a month ago my new friend, learned of a high school near his new city that had dealt with a recent string of tragedies. A total of four students had committed suicide in the past 12 months. He called me the morning he heard the story and said, "Dude, don't care what it costs, don't care if I have to collect bottle tops, I am bringing you into this community to inspire these kids."

Last Friday, after challenging 1,200 young adults to dream big, act courageously, and impact others' lives through their own, I asked my friend (the former grizzly bear) why he felt the urge to do something.

He replied, "Dude, when you see others suffering, and you don't do something, you become part of the problem. Life is way too precious to not risk a little when there's an opportunity to serve others."

Servant leadership was not on the cover of his book when I first met him. Being forced to sit next to him on a flight, though, offered the gift of reading much more than some superficial cover. After learning more of his story I am reminded of the value in reading past the cover.

My friends, in your life, consider diving into the stories being written all around you. Turn past the ragged cover and expect a beautiful story to unfold.

Celebrate the pages of your relationships, rejoice in your own experiences, demand beneficial growth from even the most difficult challenges you face today. To paraphrase the giant, "Dude, life is way too precious to expect anything other than that."

Protein Shake Challenge....ugh.

My real "three day pre-op" diet started yesterday. It was my daughter's fourth birthday party but I abstained from everything yummy in favor of the watery, brown, overly sweet water as told. Ok, I had two small bites of my Mom's potato salad, but that was it.

In my quest to find a decent "shake", I tried Muscle Milk light (pre-made) and Atkins Advantage (pre-made). Both of these, along with the Slim Fast pre-made and mix, are all about the same in my book. Overly sweet, weird taste, I can get it down but yucky.

This morning, I'm enjoying a decaf, nonfat latte and had an Optifast shake. Interestingly enough, I think the Optifast is my favorite. It's not as super sweet and mixes well in my new blender bottle. I have quite a supply of about every shake on the market that I need to get through. After that, I'm going to see if I can procure some Optifast. Is there a black market for protein :)?

Speaking of shakes - I was reading on Lap Band Talk and it seems there is a bit of a debate about the role of protein shakes and ongoing weight loss. Some doctors encouraged them while some told their patients not to drink their protein. Also, people were talking a lot about "hard protein or solid protein". I'm assuming that that is meat, cheese, eggs other? Someone said their doctor advised them not to eat beans while in the weight loss stage?

One final question - does a protein bar count for a protein shake? I also caved yesterday and had an Atkins protein bar because I just couldn't have another shake. Need to call my surgeon's office today to find out if that is ok.

T minus 2 days.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Slim Fast Low Carb (pre-made)

Consistency/Smoothness = Good. This is a pre-made shake so it's very well blended. One lump.

Protein Content = Good. The pre-made high protein slim-fast has 20 grams of protein which is considerably higher than their mix.

Smell = Higher protein equals weird protein smell. Hence, the yuck.

Taste = Passable. Sort of a weird, watery, overly sweet taste. Who started calling these things shakes? Thick, brown water is more like it.

Overall rating = Not awful, which for a protein shake may in fact be high praise.

In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't do so well with my protein shakes over the weekend so the taste test challenge lapsed. Back on the wagon today. Real pre-op protein shake diet starts Sunday.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Protein Shake Challenge

In Today's episode of "Susan's Protein Shake Challenge"....

Slim Fast High Protein (previously Optima) has emerged as a clear favorite. Pretty sweet but minimal weird protein aftertaste. Only has 15 grams of protein and that is with the milk.

The Slimfast soundly defeated the "unflavored" Unjury protein powder that I mixed with chocolate pudding yesterday afternoon. Gross!

I tried a "Think Thin" protein bar (240 calories with 20 grams of protein so good stats) yesterday and thought it was yucky. However, it got my 4 year old's stamp of approval and she finished almost the entire bar. Bonus - it's also gluten free.

Muscle Milk Light will be this afternoon's contender. Not nearly as fun as the Pepsi Challenge :).

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Feelin' Good

Looking back over recent posts, I've been a bit of a Debbie Downer. Amazingly enough, when you don't feel good, it comes across in your behavior (just a bit of a sarcasm problem there).

I know I'm barely into Day Three of my Pre-Pre-Op diet but amazingly, I feel good. I feel better. I feel like I can do this.

Typically when I would start a diet, every day was a struggle. I think this was in large part because of the sheer enormity of the task in front of me. I wasn't focused on the changes I wanted to make each day but rather "OMG, so I lost 1.4 lbs, I have eight million more to go". I worried about the inevitable falling off the wagon. I expected to fail again.

Over the past few days, I've tried to focus on - Am I hungry? How am I feeling? What does my body need? And amazingly enough - I already feel better. Still way too big with minimal clothes in my closet that fit. But feeling good. Hope is a drug and I am signing up for more.

I can't tell you how helpful it is to read everyone's blogs and to get a sense of their experiences with the band. It is really helping me to stay both optimistic and realistic.

T minus 13 more days - yikes!!!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June 16 Baby!

I'm approved!!!! And, my date is June 16!!!!! Wow - how quick was that.

I think it took about 24 hours for the insurance approval. They must have really thought this was a good idea ;). Good thing I started my "pre" pre-op diet this morning.

Thanks so much for your encouraging comments. I read them when I first woke up and it really helped as I got ready to face the day.

YIPPEE!!!!!!!! I'll post more later but my Internet is down. Good thing I set up mobile blogging!!!