Monday, October 20, 2014

IWTB: What Do I Do Now?

A silly "before" pic the morning of surgery.

Last Tuesday I started to really feel better. It was a complete 180 from how I was feeling over the weekend and I was so relieved. I'm doing a better job of judging how much I can drink at one time, so I rarely get the hiccups and  - aside from a slight issue this morning when I drank too much at once - I haven't been throwing up.

I'm still technically on a full liquid diet until Wednesday. I don't get physically hungry, but man, do I miss eating! It was/is my favorite thing to do and now I'm having to find other things to occupy my time. I tried sewing Brenna an Elsa costume, but discovered I'm better about thinking about sewing than I am actually sewing. So I'm searching out different hobbies and I'm open to suggestions!

I also have permission to start exercising again and I'm looking forward to starting the C25K program again.

What other hobbies or activities should I try?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Officially With the Band

Since this was an outpatient procedure, I expected to bounce back right away. I'd have my lifting restrictions, have to eat in phases, but essentially be myself. That has not been the case. I'm extremely tired and very irritable - I've cursed more than a sailor these last few days. I'm so thirsty, but drinking more than an ounce of water at a time makes my chest hurt and gives me painful hiccups, sometimes even vomiting.

I was supposed to be able to start my 'full liquids' diet yesterday, but instead was hospitalized for a few hours to get fluids and steroids to help reduce my swellling. 

I did a barium swallow to make sure fluid could go through my band. Now I'm having stomach issues, which is so weird since I haven't had anything except clear liquids for a week.

I've been told that I'll start to get back to myself in a few days. And I pray that is true. I did so much research and was sure this was the right choice for me. Now I feel like it's the worst decision I have ever made.

Recording these feelings mostly for me. So I can hopefully look back and see how far I've come. It's a rough road so far. Not asking for pity, just patience with me. 😊

Monday, October 6, 2014

IWTB: This is Why

I'm down 11 pounds. My clothes are loose. I'm not stuffed full of carbs and it has made a difference in my energy level. I don't crave foods that are terrible for me. (I shared with a few friends this weekend that I'm really craving oatmeal. How weird is that?? ) Right now I feel lighter, more energetic and in charge of this weight loss thing.

And this is where I go downhill. If I didn't have surgery in a few days, I know how I would react. I know where my thoughts go...

"I got this! So this one bowl of Captain Crunch won't hurt!"

"I got this! I'm just going to sneak a few chocolate chip cookies..."

"I got this! This dinner was delicious! I've been so good, I deserve a second (third...) helping!"

And soon I would be back to my old ways. I'd gain the weight back - maybe even more. I'd have to go clothes shopping and that 'light' feeling I have now would be replaced with the self-loathing that I am all too familiar with.

The cycle of madness would never end. Losing the same few pounds, gaining them back, rinse and repeat.

My health depends on me losing more than this tiny amount of weight. Because while 11 pounds gone is great, heart disease doesn't care I've only lost 11 pounds. Sleep apnea doesn't care I've only lost 11 pounds. Diabetes doesn't care that I've only lost 11 pounds. They are all looming in front of me, waiting for me to fail. Waiting for their time to strike.

So I'm taking control. And for the first time ever I can say with confidence - I GOT THIS.

Friday, October 3, 2014

I'm With The Band - Cheater, Cheater, Brisket Eater

I've been on the liquid diet for a week now and it has gotten easier. And I've lost 10 pounds! But frankly it still sucks. I'm so sick of protein shakes. And broth. And jello. So. much. jello. Saturday was my anniversary (11 years! Woop! Woop!) and I cheated by eating a little brisket and some broccoli. Whoever thought I would cheat with broccoli??  *sigh*  But the end is in sight!

I saw the surgeon Monday for my pre-op appointment. We went over everything with the surgery, after surgery and maintenance down the road. He also sprung something on me and we changed my surgery a bit. He offered to do a band with plication. I didn't realize it would be an option for me, but had read up on it before. After confirming what I knew and discussing any additional risks, I said, "Sign me up!"

So what does THAT mean?

Plication is when they take your stomach, fold it in on itself, and sew it up. The result is a stomach that is similar to that in gastric sleeve surgery, but nothing is actually removed.

 Banding with plication

Gastric Sleeve

Why would they want to do this?
  • Faster initial weight loss. While the long term results are found to be about the same with each surgery, having just a gastric band is known for slower weight loss. I was completely okay with that. But we're an instant gratification society and I'm definitely an instant gratification girl. Part of the reason regular diets didn't work for me was the slow results. "I haven't lost any weight this week, might as well have a cookie - or six!" Not healthy thinking - I KNOW. Working on that! But isn't everyone more likely to stick to something if you see it's working? 
  • It's still safer than gastric bypass or gastric sleeve surgery. Nothing is being cut and removed from my body. It's still an outpatient procedure, so I'll still be home that day. I just might have a little additional nausea after surgery and I may not be able to move on to solid foods as quickly. 
  • Less maintenance. After lap band surgery, you will see your doctor every 3-6 weeks for 'fills'. (They will inject saline into the port on your band.) 
You can read more about this fairly new procedure here

On Monday, I will drink a large amount of junk that will completely empty out my stomach. Basically keep me in the bathroom all day. The information sheet they sent me about it said to gather books and magazines 'cause you'll need it! Ha! Wish me luck with that! 

Next Wednesday is the big day! 

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I'm With the Band - Pre-op Diet

 I started my pre-op diet yesterday. The purpose of the diet is to shrink my liver to make it easier to move for the surgery. I guess right now it's the shape of a football. This diet will shrink it down to the size of a stingray.

So what IS my pre-op diet? Liquids. Nothing but sugar-free liquids. I have supplements from the doctor's office that I drink 4 times a day and then I'm allowed strained soups, sugar-free jello, sugar-free popsicles, and all of the water my body can drink. I can flavor the water, so I'm experimenting with different sugar-free flavorings like Mio and Crystal Light. (Please don't lecture me on chemicals or how terrible faux sugar is for my body. Let me tackle one demon at a time.)

I was very nervous about doing this pre-op diet. In fact, Tuesday night I was a little sad. I didn't get to almost 250 lbs because it's easy for me to NOT eat food. But Wednesday morning I woke up determined and ready to go.

And honestly, it hasn't been that bad. I've felt hungry a few times, which is odd for me because it's something I've never really felt in many years! Mostly I felt lost. I didn't realize how much of my time was spent cooking, eating, and thinking about food. And now that it's being taken away from me (albeit temporarily) I wasn't sure what to do with myself. It's a big learning process!

I meet with my surgeon next week for my pre-op appointment. Want to know more? Tune in next time!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

I'm with the Band Pt 4

The weeks are just flying by - I can't believe surgery is just three weeks away.

When you decide to get any type of bariatric surgery, there are requirements you have to complete before you can actually do it. I'm pretty sure they are for insurance purposes, but I'm so thankful I was made to jump through these hoops. So what have I had to do?

  • Blood tests
  • Ultrasound of my liver 
  • Sleep study - it turns out I have mild sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome! 
  • Psychological evaluation - I had to meet with a psychologist and talk to him for an hour. I was so nervous about this! But he was very nice and pointed out that I tend to take responsibility for negative things that are not my fault. "Guilt" could be my middle name! It was nice to have him point that out so that I'm more aware of when I blame myself for things out of my control. 
  • Written psychological exam - It was LONG and at the end I had to finish sentences. For the first one it said, "I like to..." and I wrote, "eat apples and bananas." (Cue the Raffi song!) I was certain they would determine me crazy after I forgot to erase that...but surprise! I'm sane!
  • Meet with a dietitian once a month for 6 months. Her name is Whitney and she is so nice. But she's also not afraid to tell it like it is. I'll continue to meet with her through out this entire process, so I'm glad we get along. 
I also tried to read everything I could get my hands on about Lap Band and bariatric surgery in general. This is a huge step and it would be silly to go in uneducated. Somethings I found especially helpful are:

  • Blogs! Honestly there don't seem to be many up-to-date blogs about lap band. But I really like Lap Band Gal!, The World According to Eggface (RNY, not lap band. But still excellent info!), and Bariatric Foodie.  
  • Books! My favorites have been 
  • Facebook - I belong to a FB group specifically for Lap Bandsters. Some are new, some have been handed for years. It's been an awesome resource for all my questions. 
I start my pre-op diet next Wednesday! Want to hear all about it? Then ya'll come back now, ya hear?!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

I'm with the Band Pt. 3

Can't you do this on your own?

No, I can't.

Okay, I suppose I'll elaborate. This is my #1 thought that plagues me.

Why CAN'T I just do this on my own??

I wish I had perfectly wonderful answers to that question, but I don't. The truth is people DO lose large amounts of weight and then keep it off all on their own. And "Hooray!" for them!

Losing all the weight I need to AND keep it off is an impossible feat in my mind. I'm working on that. (A huge part of ANY weight loss process is changing your mindset, not just your diet and activity) The gastric band will be a tool that will help get me there.

Is it the easy way out? Well, it will be easier than trying to do it all on my own. I'll have a physical reminder to make the changes necessary to be successful. But just being banded will not guarantee any weight loss. It will help me, it will NOT do it for me. The choices to lead a healthier lifestyle are still mine and mine alone to make.

What are you afraid of? 

Frogs, mostly. Toads really. They don't move for the longest time and then jump unexpectedly (I say they jump AT you, my husband says I'm crazy...) It scares the bejeeezus out of me.

"I vill kill you in your sleep!" (Toads speak with a terrifying German accent - didn't you know that?)

Oh! You mean about the band?! Well, I'm a bit nervous about the procedure. It's outpatient, but it will be the first time I will have been put under. There are complications that are rare but still worry me. But my biggest fear is that horrible four letter F-word...

I'm really afraid I'm going to FAIL. 

It can be easy to cheat with the band. Just ask Sharon Osborne. I'm really afraid I will find a way to work around the lap band and remain fat forever. 

I'm educating myself, committing myself to the new lifestyle and surrounding myself with a support team and accountability partners. My fear will not become my reality!