Monday, July 27, 2015

DietBet: Game On

Well if you read my previous post, you might be awares that I am embarking on a 4 week DietBet challenge that I started.  We currently have a pot of $1,190 and 34 players.  I'm feeling good.  I'm feeling good.  You have to submit pictures at both the initial weigh-in and at the weigh-out.  For your full length pic, you must be standing on your scale in "airport security" attire.  Now, although they define what that means, I still don't know where the phrase came from except you have to take off your belt, jacket, shoes, hats, etc. to get through airport security.  Who in the hell knows.  I wanted to take the pic in my underwear and sports bra, but then I started to panic that maybe they say "airport security" attire because they don't WANT people sending in naked pictures of themselves....

Sigh.  So I opted for this number.

All dressed in black.

Going to a funeral.

For my fat.

 Then you have your scale photo, which they assign you a secret word to put with the photo (to ensure you are submitting a current photo and not some weight from 3 years ago.
That's right.  196.2.  It's not really earth shattering or painful for me to see that number.  I had an idea that it was around 190...just from piecing things together from my doctor's visit a couple months ago. And this weekend I drank lots and hadn't pooped in a day...so I will take it!  But to win the pot (with the other losers who do the same), I need to lose 7.8 pounds, or 4% in a month.  There is a nifty little app from DietBet for doing all of this.

Can we just stop and look at the toe on my left foot?  The one next to my pinky toe.  Good lord I HAVE MY MOTHER'S FEET!  What is that toe doing?  Where is it going?  Is it broke?  I just don't even know what's going on with it!

Sigh.

Anyways, focusing on my water today.  I want 100 ounces before I leave work.  Worked out this morning and intend to take the puppies for a jaunt this evening.  Had a protein shake with blueberries and peanut butter for breakfast, a Nature's Valley granola bar for snack, and my chicken broccoli soup for lunch.  So far so good.

Of course it's only been half a day.

But we have to celebrate the little victories!

It's not too late if you want to join. I think you have all week.

Happy Monday friends!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

I'm Starting A DietBet...wanna play?



So a few weeks ago I noticed a facebook friend was organizing a weight-loss competition through a website called DietBet.

Have you heard of it?

At the time, I had not.

Historically though, I do moderately well through organized weight-loss competitions...mainly because I feel more accountable since others are involved.  We used to do them through our work, and Heather ran them.  I came in second once...but I never took the first place slot (hence...the moderately well).  So, I decided to check the website out.

The competition I selected last's for 4 weeks, and if you lose at least 4% of your total weight, you split the pot with other 4% or more losers that have signed up in your competition.

Sounds easy enough right?

The website, through their employees they call "referees" verify your weight and weight loss through pictures you submit.  There are little tricks that they use to make sure they try as hard as they can to eliminate cheating.  For example, on official weigh in days, you are assigned a secret word that you must write on a piece of paper and put in the picture with your scale.

ANYWHOOZLE, if you would like to sign up...come on!  It's $35 to "play".

Here is the link: http://diet.bt/t4qYj5

My competition is called "Down with the el bees (lbs)".

You can play.  Your family and friends can play.  The more that sign up, the more money in the pot!

If you would like to read the rules...you can click here.

If you would read how it works, click here.

And yes.  This means I will have to break my new years resolution and get the scale out.  But I don't think my plan of not weighing is behooving me in the "my clothing fits" departments.  I might just have to admit defeat!

Monday, July 20, 2015

#imahalflesbian

On a lighter note (see the long-winded, slightly preachy previous post), I was asked by one of my favorite people from Apollo, if I would mind sharing my story when we met in Austin last week.

Let me think about it.  Would I mind talking about myself?  ummmmmm....nope. No problem with that.  But Michael didn't tell me WHO I would be talking to.

Turns out I would be addressing the entire staff of Apollo.  Didn't find that out until about 3 minutes prior.

Good.To.Go

But I had prepared a little slide show with pictures...because who doesn't love a picture?

So I got up to speak at "happy hour" at Apollo.  They had no idea what they were in for.  The point was...I am guessing...if for a person with a lapband to tell there story...so those who work in accounting, or manufacturing, or wherever, can see what their work really translates to.

I opened with some before and afters.


Just so they could get an idea of where I came from.  But, to get an idea of WHO I was...I followed up with this nude shot of me striking a pose.

Not much has changed. 
  But I took them through my philosophy of "There are two types of fat girls..." And then I told them about how even though I didn't let my weight hold me back, eventually my weight began to physically hold me back.  I couldn't water ski anymore.  I couldn't walk across the parking lot without my back hurting and pouring sweat.

And then I took them to wear I am today.  I showed this picture and I ACTUALLY STARTED CRYING.  Seriously?!  And the only way I could stop crying was to say "I must be PMSing."  Which they liked.  But this picture represents two women, one with lapband and one with gastric bypass, who because of a choice they made (me 7.5 years ago, and for Rachel...10 years ago?) we can climb walls.  We are strong.  And we get to do that together.


And then...I said...

"I found love and became a half-lesbian.  This is not necessarily a side effect of the band, but you may want to list it as one".

I had them hooked then.  #iamahalflesbian led to many a conversation that afternoon and evening.  The number one question..."What IS a half-lesbian?"  A better way to say bi-sexual.  Duh.  But like I remind Heather, I am 100% lesbian with her for the rest of my life.
 And I showed a picture of me skiing again.
And like to throw in this diddy because I think I look like a muddy sex goddess. 
So my little speech was a success.  At one point I was talking to an employee and I spit on her jacket a little...and I apologized.  But she said "I will never wash this again".

Damn it.  My ego was eating that up.

And so it goes folks.

xoxo

The lapband is NOT ABOUT RESTRICTION

It was that time of year again where I am lucky enough to spend a few days with a few other lapbanders, gastric bypassers, and non-WLS individuals that share the same focus and intentions. This will be the fourth year that we have all met, and was started back when Allergan owned and manufactured the band.  At one time, there were several makers of the band out there, but Realize and Allergan were the two biggest.  A lot of lapband patients didnt know there was a choice or a difference in the manufacturing and size of the bands and ports.  I didn't.  I was just lucky enough to get the Allergan 10cc band.  The Realize band no longer exists.

SO, Allergan decided to bring some of us together that had social media pertaining to weight loss surgery.  There is Alex...who owns and operates what is now bariatricpal.com.  It used to be lapbandtalk.com, and that is where many of us 7-8 years ago would find ourselves...immersed in the success and horror stories.

There is Yvonne.  She is a gastric bypasser for over a decade now and has the Bariatric Girl website and facebook page and does a lot of work with the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America, getting grants for those who need surgery but can't afford it.

There is Joe.  He does not have any surgery, but is the head honcho of the Obesity Action Coalition and spends his days fighting for those battling Obesity.  He is not pro-band or pro-sleeve..he is just pro-choice when it comes to ways to lose weight and spends a lot of his time on Capital Hill.

Then there is of course me and Karin. There is Banded Wendy (youtube), Sandy, Bo, and Karin Gillan joined us.  She is the author of the book "Life after Lapband".  She is a bandster currently 10 years out.

These days we are all pulled together by Apollo.  The new owner of the band.  We get to meet with their CEO, their marketing department, and their entire time.

This year was different from years past because instead of us spending all our time trying to educate THEM on what life is like with the band, they shared information with US to help make us better advocates.

One of the most informative presenters was a Nurse Practitioner from Detroit named Rachel.  She has specialized in WLS for over 8 years.  If every clinic had a Rachel, we as patients would be better equipped to handle the band.  She believes in the concept of aftercare, which is constant follow up and support from your surgeon and his/her office.  So many banders get lost in limbo. So many weight loss surgery patients in general go into their surgery very ill-prepared for what life will be like after.

Rachel walked us through her coaching style with her patients.  And she followed up with some information from Vern (one of the original designers of the lapband), with some information that is kinda hard to wrap my brain around.

But I like it.

It turns out, that the band is not about RESTRICTION.

Say what?  That's what all of us were/are searching for.  Perfect restriction. I go into my doctor's office and I say: "I can eat an entire sub.  I need better restriction."  We base our restriction on how much we can eat, or how much we get "stuck".  How many of us are familiar with this concept...

We have been told that the food we eat sits above the band and slowly trickles into our lower stomach over the course of 2-3 HOURS.  

Turns out...if I take a bite of food (considering it was the right size and I actually chewed it), it only sits above my band for 2-3 MINUTES.  Which actually makes sense if you think about it.  When I take a bite of food, and put my fork down and wait, I can feel it move through my band after a few minutes.

SO, if it's not about restriction....what is is about?

It's about satiety.  How long do you stay satisfied (not physically hungry) after you eat your meal.

SHIT.  You want me to eat only when I am physically hungry?  And stop when I am no longer physically hungry?

Well, that is still my battle.  Listening to my body to tell me when to eat and when to stop is a challenge I face every day.  As always, I wish there was a band for my brain.

But I did say to them, "Well, then why for all these years have you told us that the lapband works like an hourglass?"  And they said "that's what they were told".

They used this idea to reinforce the fact that the band is not about restriction.  For many of us with the band, when we wake up in the morning we are not physically hungry.  Which is true...I can go well into mid morning before I am PHYSICALLY hungry.  So if the band only "works" when there is food in our pouch...why are we not starving after having an empty pouch (for those of us who are not night eaters) when we wake up in the morning.

Turns out.  They don't know.  There may be a correlation to the vagus nerve.  It may have to be the receptors that are located near the top of our stomach that send messages to our brain regarding hunger and satisfaction.  

But, Rachel pointed out that the idea of perfect RESTRICTION is where so many lapband patients do themselves a huge disservice.  She talked about acid reflux at night....a symptom that many of us try to "live with" because we don't want the restriction we have during the day to go away (if we had to get a little fluid taken out).  She had a patient once who actually had a pillow made so they could sleep propped up.  She has had patients that wake up with vomit on their pillow.  These are all indicators that the band is probably too tight.  And if we ignore those indicators, it can lead to a slip, erosion, a tired esophagus, etc.  

Rachel works at a clinic that specializes in all of the weight loss surgeries....and her job is not to promote one over the other, but to educate the patient on all the pros and cons and then ultimately, let the patient choose.  But she said she does tell them that the lapband is the only option that gives you the benefits for life.  Now for those of you have had a bad band experience or love your other WLS, don't get upset yet.  Just hear me out.

She said that with Gastric Bypass you have maybe 2 years to get your mind right (my words, not hers).
With the Sleeve, you have 9-12 months (she said maybe 6 months if you don't follow the rules).
But with a properly working band, you have the same effects on your hunger, satiety, etc at 6 months as you do at 6 years.   

So in other words, all a weight loss surgery really does, as I have said over and over again, is serve as a TOOL.  If you want guaranteed weight loss up front, the lapband is probably not the right choice for you.  Because weight loss is not a sure thing with the band.  But long run, none of the surgeries work by themselves.  We all know stories of people with bypass that have gained all their weight back.  As we get farther out from the birth of the sleeve, we are hearing the same types of stories.  And we of course know stories of those with the band that either never lost their weight, or their weight has returned.

You have to use your tool, whichever it is, to get you on track...but in the end...we have to be the one who keep ourselves on track.  If you have the band that means seeing your doctor and listening to your body.  For all of us with WLS that means trying to change the things that made us fat in the first place.  Maybe that is a psychological thing.  Maybe it is a lack of healthy food choices (or an abundance of delicious unhealhty food choices).  Maybe it's a lack of physical exercise.  Hell...it's probably a combination of some or all of those.  I know for me it is.

One last takeaway from our meeting.  There is no "one right way" to be successful with the band.  Among those of us who have the band that are on the Council, none of us are "perfect".  One still smokes.  One loves artificial sweetners.  One loves Pepsi, candy, and pizza (okay...that's me).  Some have run a marathon, other's do workout videos.  Some lift weights.  Some are in their 30's, one is in her 60's.  Some come are financially secure, other's spend all their money at Target (me again). We are West coast and East Coast and North and South.  Some are introverts and some are extroverts.  It's a grab bag of personalities I tell you.  A personal pet-peeve of mine is when people try and pretend to be superior to others based on their behaviors and choices (I guess this applies to all aspects of life, not just weight loss and lifestyle choices).  It's important to remember that we all have a story.  We are all different.  Our bodies are all different.  Our BRAINS are all different (that's fo sho).  What works for me may not work for you...and visa versa.  So it's important that we try and spend more time supporting each other and bringing each other up, rather than stepping on each other to climb higher.

Good lord.  When did I become so preachy?

The sermon is over.

Happy Monday friends and followers.

Amen.

Hakuna matata.

Namaste.

Hot dogs.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Bellybutton Challenge: WTF

As I was immersing myself in the going-ons of stories under the Google Health news tab, I stumbled upon the most recent internet "phenomenon" if you will called the Bellybutton Challenge.  Apparently it started in China last week and spread like an Asian wild fire across social media, along with the hashtag #bellybuttonchallenge.

Did you know about this?  I didn't know about this.

And I am very hip and current.

Except I will not embrace the return of the high-waisted shorts and slacks.  I just won't do it.

I mean...just because Kim Kardashian WEST is doing it is reason enough...let alone the ass it creates.

Sigh.  But back to business.

So the belly button challenge looks like this:
And according to a study from the US...which apparently cannot be located, and indicator of health for women is whether or not you can wrap your arm around your back, come around your waist, and touch your bellybutton.  I will wait.  Go ahead.  You know you want to try.  I will try it with you.

......

...........

GOOD GOD IN SWEET HEAVEN!  That was worse than I thought!  I can barely grab my side meat.  

Well shit.

I'm fat.

Be careful though.  Beijing Morning Post reported that a 24-year-old woman in Chongqing dislocated her shoulder from repeated attempts to reach her belly button.  

That's dedication.

I joke of course.  I mean, not about the fact that someone apparently really dislocated her shoulder trying to touch her damn belly button, but I joke about the overall stupidness of this.  But if you stop joking, it's actually kinda sad.

I have this vivid memory from college.  I was sitting in front of my entertainment stand watching a show about anorexia.  And I was journaling at the time (maybe that's why it's so vivid, I actually have the journal entry), and a girl was literally starving herself to death.  And I was jealous of her willpower.  And I thought to myself, "if I could be anorexic, at least I would die skinny."  AND IT ACTUALLY SEEMED LIKE OKAY LOGIC!  

We spend so much time comparing our bodies to the bodies of celebrities, neighbors, friends, enemies.  We spend so much time looking at the little "flaws" that we hate and spend so little time looking at the parts of us that are amazing.  We spend so much time on this quest to find the perfect diet or the perfect surgery or the perfect pill or powder that will finally...FINALLY...make us thin...that we cheat ourselves from enjoying the things are bodies WILL do for us.  

What if we just stopped hating our bodies.  

What if we just decided to love ourselves?  

Now I am not talking crazy talk here and saying that we shouldn't be doing things that actually MAKE us feel better.  

For example.  I can love my body but also love the fact that for nearly $12,000 I can have my boobs returned to their normal starting position.  

I can love my delts and traps yet work to love them EVEN MORE.

I can love myself but choose to have a surgery that may possibly grant me the push I needed to become HEALTHIER.

It's really hard to do this.  It's hard to focus on the positive and not ruminate in the negative.

This is what went down yesterday when I went into the restroom at work.  I would say that this conversation just happened inside my head, but I was actually talking out loud to myself.

Looking at my reflection in the mirror from the front: "Damn it.  I am so fucking sexy".  And then...as I turn around and look over my shoulder (I like to check out the caboose on the regular, but yesterday I was wearing light grey thin slacks and I KNOW I shouldn't look at my ass in light colored thin material) and I see my cellulite and I say "Ugh.  Fucking Cellulite".

I went from feeling so sexy to feeling disgusted.

I thought "Everyone is probably looking at my cellulite".

But just as quickly I decided "I'm going to pretend it's not there"...

I mean...what can you do about it?  Wear black slacks of course, but I mean right then and there in that moment I was stuck with what I was working with.

And I decided that even if someone WAS thinking I had a lot of cellulite in my ass, I wanted their next thought to be..."but she sure is rocking it".

lol

There are other examples of course.  When I am running I try to be thankful for a body, although slow and sometimes achy,  at least allows me to get out and propel myself in a forward motion.  

I might be a size 12 at the moment, but that's a long ways from the size 26/28 that I started at.

I might have stocky legs, but they are strong.

And that's how it goes.

We get to choose how we feel and how we frame our thoughts.

Simple right?

Happy Thursday.

If you dislocated your shoulder while reading this post, I do not take responsibility! 

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back Day: Gains Going Up

It's not secret that my favorite day when it comes to working out is leg day (ie. booty day).  My second favorite day is shoulders.  Did you know building your shoulders can make you look like you have a smaller waist?  My LEAST favorite day is Chest day (that's Heather's favorite and about the only day she can lift considerably more weight than me), so that leaves Back Day coming in third.

I do likes me some back day...for several reasons.


  1. Heather likes a sexy back, thus I must try and have a sexy back.
  2. I too like a sexy back and it's often the first thing I look at when I see a woman in a swimsuit or wedding dress.
  3. Having a well developed back lends itself to good posture...and good posture is super sexy, makes you look taller, and also makes you look more confident.
  4. Our back muscles, lower and upper, give us so much strength and support.
Let's just take a gander at this picture.

That's Abby Wambach. She is one of my secondary loves and she also happens to play for the US Women's Soccer Team.  Soccer is rather boring.  She makes it worth watching.  I did get in trouble once for having a picture of her on my phone.  In my defense, it was on ESPN and it IS artistic...AND motivating (although I will not elaborate on how it motivates me).  In Heather's defense, she Abby was completely nude. Fine...here it is.


But IN MY DEFENSE AGAIN...Heather has a crush on Milla Jovovich.

And once when I just happened to see her google search history I noticed she had googled some youtube video of Milla singing or something...and when I asked her what EXACTLY she was doing with said youtube video...she just giggled and snatched her phone from me.

So there.

We are even.

Lord.  I have got off track.

So, back to back workouts.

HA. That was a pun.  BACK to...never mind.

So this was my workout today.  I don't know if anyone cares but I am always interested in new ideas and new moves...so here you go.

First, let us look at the primary players of our back.

When I workout by myself, or even when I train or others join me, I usually do 2 "moves", for 5 sets.  Each set contains 6-8 reps. So you do "Move A" 6-8 times then "Move B" 6-8 times, and you repeat for 5 sets.

For example.  Today I started with single arm bent over fly (8 rows on each arm) and then went to single arm upright row (each arm, six upright rows).  I used a 30 pound dumbbell the entire time.
 Here she is using the cable machine, which I do as well sometimes.  Today though, I used a dumbbell.  The advantage of doing single arm anythings is that you engage your core more.  Another advantage for me is that since I lift so heavy, doing a single arm bent over fly lets me support my lower back with the arm propped on my knee.


Next was triceps push-ups and good mornings.  Triceps push-ups are different than your regular push-up because you keep your arms tucked in.  This is a plus for me because regular push-ups hurt one of my elbows.  It also targets your triceps more (hence...the name TRICEPS pushup). I alternated those 8 push-ups with good mornings.  I used a 40 pound barbell. Good mornings work your lower back and your hammies.

If you can't do "real" push-ups, you can go to your knees.  If that is still too hard, you can push up off a chair, a bench, or even the wall.

Next up. Single arm triceps kickbacks and a series of side planks. I hold the side plan exercises for 30 seconds each on each side. I use a 12 pound for kickbacks.  You keep your elbow high and really only move your arm from the elbow down.

Normal side plank.  Your leg stacked on your knee makes it harder.  You can always drop that top foot and prop yourself with it either behind or in front of your straight leg.

 Side plank with dip.  Dip your hip to the ground and back up again.
Side plank with lateral raise or lateral drop.  I take that weight and extend my arm down over my head and back up again.

After all of those, we have bent over row and farmer carry. For bent over row I use 25 pound dumbbells.
 And for farmer carry I use 2 45 pound plates.  Farmer carry is just walking a certain distance while holding weights by your side (like a farmer carrying jugs of...milk? IDK).  I walk the length of the machines at Planet Fitness.  It probably takes me 30 seconds to do that.
I also did shrugs.  Shrugs are just what they sound like.  You hold weights and shrug your shoulders up and down.  I alternated this with bent over barbell row.
And that was my morning!  It took me about 45 minutes. I don't spend much time resting between sets because I want to keep my heart rate up and my time is limited because I have to get to work! 

 Happy Tuesday Dudes!





Monday, June 15, 2015

Healthy Crustless Quiche: Num Num

So, I was chatting with my sister from another mister, Rachie Poo, about what we were eating for dinner tonight.  Recapping foods eaten and foods to be eaten is preeeetttty much part of our daily texting routine.  Sometimes we throw in poop updates and sex stories...but much of the time we discuss food.  OKAY, so we also talk about working out and people who make poor selections from their wardrobes, but you get my point.  
And this made me think that perhaps I should share (or possibly reshare) this quiche recipe.  It DOES require a food processor, but other than that, it's pretty simple and you can make it fit your tastes.  I will tell you, when she says don't use more than 2 cups of fillings, you should listen to her.  Sometimes I go cray cray with the veggies and the quiche won't set up as firm.  I usually cook this on a Monday for a meatless Monday kind of dish.  The usual cast of ingredients for my 2 cups of fillings include: onion, bell peppers, sauteed spinach, garlic, and brocolli.  And I like to add sliced roma tomatoes on top.
We eat ours with a side of black beans and some salsa.
Yum.  
It reheats really nicely and can also be eaten cold. For the original recipe and for pictures, click here.
Healthy Crustless Quiche Base Recipe
Author: 
 
Ingredients
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup – 2 cups filling of choice (sauteed veggies/meat)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup greek yogurt (or sour cream)
  • 1 cup 1% cottage cheese
  • ¼ cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Additional spices/herbs or choice, optional
  • 2 cups grated cheese of choice
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Spray an 8 by 8-inch baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Allow fillings to cool once cooked.
  3. Combine the eggs, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, flour, salt, and pepper, in a medium bowl. Stir together, or blend in food processor until the mixture is smooth, about 1 minute. Pour the mixture into a bowl with the filling ingredients. Add ½ the cheese and mix. Pour the mixture into the baking dish and smooth out the top. Top with remaining cheese.
  4. Bake until set, about 45 minutes. Remove the baking dish from the oven. It will be puffed up, but will fall slightly as it cools. Allow it to cool, then, refrigerate. Cut it into squares and serve.