Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Sigh. Can We Talk About My Boobs Again?

A couple of things I would like to leave you with as I go offline (traveling) for a few days.  Ponder and comment.

#1.  My boobs are killing me smallz.  Not like "my boobs are smothering me in my sleep" kinda killing, but like "my boobs make me WANT to smother myself in my sleep."  I am 27 years old.


Okay fine!  I am 31.  But my chi chi's?  My fun bags are those of an 87 year old.  An 87 year old that has never seen a bra a day in her life.  I am thankful on a daily basis that I was not alive and protesting in the age of feminism...where I wouldn't have been ABLE to wear a bra.  Man...that would have been unpleasant for everyone involved.

Some day kids...these babies are getting lifted.  If I didn't honor Heather's never uttered (ha...I said uttered and I am talking about boobs) but most likely implied sentiments that I can't be naked on my blog, I would post pics of these bad boys.  When I bend over and they are free....well...the old sock with a tennis ball in the bottom analogy always pops into my mind.

And yes.  There are solutions that are non-surgical.  For one, I could just always close my eyes and never look.  Two, I could never bend over.

Problem solved.

But see, sometimes I do peek. And sometimes during sexy time I can almost...I said almost...get distracted with all of their dangle.


Why are none of you plastic surgeons?  WHY?  Maybe I will start a paypal account or fundraiser?  I will call it Tits For...I don't know.  You guys come up with something catchy!

The next subject for discussion is:

I think in my former life I lived through, or possibly died in, the Great Depression.  On the for real tip, it's like Grapes of Wrath up in my mind.  I still have the famine mentality...where I feast just because...and here is the real question...


Seriously.  This is what got my el-big-o and what the band helps me from returning too.  I just eat for the sake of eating.  I eat, or want to eat, whether I am hungry or not.  I eat because I have this irrational fear I may not be able to for awhile.

My grandma (Irene, hence my middle name) had this mentality when she was alive....as some of your grandparents might who were born during the great depression.  Except she didnt horde or eat food, she shopped.  And then had like 3 blenders...never opened...stored somewhere.  Need a steamer shark?  She probably had two of those.  They bought because they could...and came from a time when they couldnt.

But...I never came from a time where I couldnt' eat.

WHY ARE NONE OF YOU THERAPISTS?  I'm going to have to start fundraising for that as well.

Do you ever want to say really hateful things to people on facebook?  Like...they annoy you to no end?  I can't say them here either...DAMN IT! 

Thankfully I am perfect.  Although I have been told that my posts on Heather's wall can induce feelings of nausea.


My connecting flight tomorrow is through Atlanta.  I consider the ATL airport, the first gateway to Hell.  It's big, and if there is so much as a bird passing gas in a 30 mile radius of the airspace...flights will be delayed.  I have 35 minutes between flights.  I am supposed to arrive in business casual, but I have decided to fly L.A. shiek.  I describe this a relaxed yet hip.  Perhaps I will wear sunglasses INSIDE the airport.  That would be mysterious.  OOOOh....or maybe an eye patch.  Eye patches are always hot.

Wish my luck!

Until my return....keep fighting the good fight!

Astounded & Sad

So, through an Alice in Wonderland rabbit chasing (and by rabbits I mean hyperlinks) adventure, I stumbled upon this article written for Marie Clare. 

I read it and thought for a second it must be a joke.  And then I was horrified that in fact, it was not.  And if you make it to the bottom of the screen, you will see the author, Maura Kelly, issues an apology...

but the apology seems like her hand was forced and she had some mending to do. 

I have never seen Mike and Molly on CBS, This weekend I did have someone tell me it was very funny, and now after reading this article I will start watching it.

I guess I am always surprised at such hatism.  I forget that their are people out there who can be sooo bigoted...and not just about "fatties".

Thank God there are those of us who know better, think better, and DO better.

Yucky article.

I need to rinse my mouth out.

Someone pass my the orange hooch.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Mission Statement

For the blog:

To entertain and educate through honesty and humor, mistakes and triumphs, and self professed bits of wisdom.

Watchu think?  Not funny enough?  Grammatically incorrect?  I wanted it to be short enough that it summed it all up and that I could memorize it.  I mean, if you can't recite your own mission statement then WHAT on Earth can you do.

Here are some of my early contenders that didn't make the cut...although they would make good motto's instead of missions:

Everything is better with sequins.

When life gives you lemons, ask for a refund and buy a Diet Sunkist instead.

Everything is better with Cheddar.

Hot people workout.

Just do it.  (I think someone else has this one trademarked)

Sometimes saying things that other people have the common decency to keep inside can take you along way.  Boundaries are for sissies.

In all honesty...the last one is kinda my favorite...and while it is full of panache, I think it may lack a little professionalism.

In other news, I drank too much Tropical Smoothie and I feel ill.

Carry on soliders!  Carry on.

If Your Blog Had A Mission Statement

I thought I would bring this to the masses, and let you have your way with it (in otherwords...fix it for me).

I have a question for you. 

Okay...I have two questions for you.

#1.  If you had to make a mission statement for your BLOG...what would it be.  This is a serious assignment.  You see, I was recently asked to share MY mission statement for MY blog...and my first thought was...um...crap....I better make one up ASAP! 

As you may or may not remember or know...I started blogging on a whim one day.  Sure...I wanted all the fame, glamour, and money that comes with being a rockstar (I mean, I get paid an annual salary of 1.4 million from the Blogger's Who Make Things Up Association...don't you?).  But besides all of that, I wanted to document my journey, share the good and bad, share too much and make you laugh, and also...let everyone who was big in the britches like me...that you could be fat AND happy.  You could be fat AND still wear a swimsuit.  You could be fat AND live.

In the beginning, I had 3 followers.  I never thought I would have all of you.

So with all that said, I never came up with a "mission statement".  I just wrote.  Or rambled...whichever definition suits you.

I do speak about mission statements where I work.  Our organization has a fantastic one..."Helping People Overcome Life's Challenges".  It is short, sweet, and to the point.  It is something every employee can remember and use to guide them. I am almost certain that the majority of us have worked for companies that mission statements are LONG and full of crap no one will ever remember. 

And so, as I make up my mission statement, I want it short, sweet, and slightly humorous.  I want it to pinpoint what makes me...me.  But when has it ever appeared that I am good at getting to the point?  I mean, look at this email.  I like to blah blah.

So I am working on it and plan to unveil it just as soon as I firm it up.  Until then...start making up yours.

Now.  Question number 2.

#2.  What would your mission statement for your LIFE be?  Because do you know what happens when you start Googling mission statements.  Well, apparently you are nobody until you have one.  And apparently one just fumbles through life without a personal mission statement.  Oooh...maybe my mission statement should be:  mission statements are for sissies.  the end.

No.  That's a little negative.  So, I am thinking about my personal mission statement as well.  Stay tuned.

It is Monday.  I hope you a fantastic week. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Massage The Rear: Mommy Likes

You probably dont remember, because it was rather forgettable, but I had my first massage last fall.  It was an hour long, and I slept through the last 30 minutes of it.  The lady was about 4 feet 1 inch tall, and basically...petted me.  Granted, I did not speak up.  I did not tell her harder...deeper...

wow...that sounds dirty

Anywhoozle, about the same time I bought a gift certificate for a massage for Heather.  I SWEAR (even though she now denies it) that she said she wanted one.  Apparently, the very idea of a massage where a stranger touches her makes her want to rip her toenails off...so...I used the damn thing today!

The masseuse came highly recommended, has been doing it for years, and specializes in everything from the "spa massage" to medical massages. 

I told him some of my tight areas, that I worked out alot, didn't want to be petted during the massage, and wanted to feel it.  Towards the end, he definitely said that I like deep tissue and have a high pain tolerance. 

I started on my stomach and he worked my ass like nobody's business.  It was really amazing.  Here is what we have uncovered from today massage (I realize YOU may not care, but I will share just in case).

  1. The pain I feel in my upper hamstring (think of where my ass and leg meet) is probably being caused by the fact that I like to sleep on my stomach and hike my right leg up in a 90 degree angle.
  2. Also, my quads are extremely developed (I think he was stroking my ego for a bigger tip...it worked) and are disproportionate to my hamstrings...causing my hamstrings to be tighter bc they are trying to balance me out.
  3. When I rolled over and he started to massage my upper pecs, he immediately said "Okay...how many push ups have you been doing ".(ego stroke, add one dollar) I told him yesterday was my push up day and I typically do 6 sets of 17.  He was surprised I hadnt mentioned back pain between my shoulder blades bc I have built my chest and upper/front body up so much that it is pulling my shoulders forward.  This makes me a tad sad bc A) I WILL NOT HAVE A HUNCHBACK and B)I work my back out A LOT damn it.
  4. He showed me several stretches to do for my problem areas and tried to convince me that I need to start stretching more to lengthen my muscles. 

It was really a great hour. 

And while we are on the subject of muscles, I have begun to up my strength training a wee bit.  During the Biggest Loser challenge, I was adding more cardio to the circuit stations and using lighter weights (nothing really above 20 pounds).  Well, now that the competition is over and I have gained about 8 pounds back (huh...funny how tons of beer and carb loaded food will do that), I decided I will just become a beast. 

If you can't beat em...join em.

I am also working on developing a JLO-tastic ass.  Squats with weights, squats without.  Side lunges, forward lunges...here a lunge, there a lunge...everywhere a lunge lunge.

And then about 2 weeks before Memorial Day...I am going to cardio it UP!  I will explain why in another post.

Until then my little Robins...

Batman out.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Oreo Flavored Lies Taste Icky

Happy Monday munchkins!  It is a glorious day in Pensacola Florida and only a four day week...so that makes mama a little happier than normal.

Forgive my absence this last week.  I was on vacation in South Africa and I didn't have a lick of internet acccess.

Okay.  I made that up.

However...I do seem to tell lies these days at the drop of an oreo crumb.

Follow along.

I am a food hider.  Still to this day, I sneak food sometimes.  Not just from Heather, but whoever I think will judge me for consuming less than stellar caloric options.  So, I had some oreos in my purse this weekend and my dog was just sooooo hungry....so I gave him an Oreo while I was in our bathroom. 

Fast forward to later that afternoon when Heather and I were getting ready to go to the movies.  I see this little black nubit laying on the floor, but really pay it no mind.  Well, then Heather goes over and picks it up and says "Is this Oreo?  Did you eat Oreos and not share with me?"

And before I knew what was happening...I said.  "NO!  I didnt have any oreo's this weekend.  Maybe the crumb fell out of my purse or something."

I lied. 

About food.

And it should be noted, that in the year we have been together...I have never told Heather a lie.  So off we go to the movies (Lincoln Lawyer, which was pretty good), and I am barely able to pay attention to the movie because I feel so guilty for lying...ABOUT A COOKIE.  And I keep thinking...'You will be 80 years old some day and look back and think the only damn thing you ever lied to Heather about was a cookie.'

So, once we got in the car....I told her. 

Wooo...and she still loves me.  Although she didnt understand why I would lie to her about THAT.

But I suppose for me there will always be shame tied to food.  Man...is that sad to type or what?! 

Which leads me to my next topic of discussion...


I did write a post on Friday, but it was fueled by anger so I saved it instead of posting (man...sometimes I AM smart).  You see...I brought cinnamon rolls into work on Friday.  And one of my coworkers (you know who you are!) said to me "What are YOU doing eating these"?

I took a breath and said "Why can't I eat them?"  And he said "because they are bad for you"...

and there you have it folks.  Something inside my brain snapped.  My passive aggressive monster ripped through my otherwise friendly demeanor.  And PA Monster likes to use the f-word.  So...it went a little something like this:

Me:  "Why do you do that *Ricardo? (*names have been changed to protect the not so innocent).  I don't need you to be the fucking food police!  If you don't want a fucking cinnamon roll, don't eat one!  You read my blog!  You know how I hate it when people tell me what to eat and what not to eat.  Do I tell you every time you go to smoke a cigarette you are fucking killing yourself?  NO"

Ricardo: "I'm sorry"

And yes...I felt bad.    Because I do love Ricardo...but it just like toothpaste on the side of the bathroom sink, people telling me what I shouldn't be eating takes me back to my brother picking on my for food.  It makes me think of feeling ashamed to eat lunch in high school.  It takes me to a bad place.  And it wasn't the first time Ricardo had made a comment, and instead of handling it like a grown-up at the time of the offense...I store it deep down inside until I spew dirty words all over my office.


I Wanna Be A Drag Queen

Friday night Heather and I did a little shopping.  We ended up at the Express.  A store...I am pretty sure...I have only been in once, many moons ago, with my friend Travis when we were shopping for him.  Well...I may have found my new love because if I would have had money...DAMN... I would have bought tons of clothes. 

Anywhoozle, while Heather was trying on clothes, one of the associates (a lovely gay gentleman by the name of Nolan) came up to me and started talking about my tan and whether we ever go to Cabaret (a gay piano bar downtown).  WHY he assumed that we were lesbians is beyond me (perhaps bc Heather was trying on mens shorts and we were holding hands).  But he invited us out bc there was going to be a drag show at 11.  Now, 11 pm is WAY past our bedtime, but we decided to commit.

I have seen 1 drag show before.  This time though, the bar was pretty small and there were 2 performers.  The first sort of looked like a rough J-Lo.  She had real (store bought) boobs and an ass that mezmorized me.  It was huge!  And I wanted to touch it.  The other performer was like a tall, thin, Kim Kardashian and she was beautiful. 

But it struck me...

My calling in life is to be a drag queen!  I mean come on!  You get to wear fabulous clothes, heels, people give you dollars and you don't take get naked...and you get to fake sing and twirl!  I was made for fake singing and twirling!

And lastly...my girl bought me a purse.  I had the most wonderful purse from BOOBS and Chicago Chinatown.  Well, one of the bulldogs ate it last fall.  Since then we have been on the hunt for a cream/white colored crossbody purse.  And Heather has been wanting to buy me one.  And my new bff store (Express)...had it all along.  So I will close with my session with my purse and a tree.

Good day.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A Day In the Life and Bandster Basics

*This may be my longest post ever...just a warning*

Sometimes we forget when we were first beginning.  Do you remember the first time you googled Lapband?  Or the first time you logged into the forums...frantically searching for before and afters....looking at successes and getting pumped...stumbling upon a horror story and then getting scared?  Do you remember the stupid questions you asked?  I remember posting on lapbandtalk.com something like  "is one cup of Wendy's chili bad for you?"

Well, I am going to try and remember back to when I didn't know much about the band...and what information would have been helpful.  Here goes...

Did you know:
  • I started at 327 pounds.  My doctor, the wonderful and handsome Dr. Jeffrey Friedman, told me that the band is not always the best choice for someone who is a grazer.  They find that the band is actually more successful for men, because men tend to eat in volume (sitting down for a huge dinner and getting really full, vs eating and munching on little things all day).
  • Some doctors say that the band will not work as well for those of us who are or were really morbidly obese.  I disagree.  And there are plenty of us out here who are proving them wrong.
Did you know:
  • The band may not work for you?  You could have the surgery and not lose much weight at all.  It is not a sure thing.  BUT, if you work with the band...it can and will work for most of us.
What does "work with the band mean"?
  • Every doctor has a different regimen they want you to follow.  Every doc is different, as it almost every patient.  Some say no pop/soda, some say it's fine.  Some have a 2 week liquid preop and scare the sweet baby jebsus out of you about not shrinking your liver enough for surgery and not being able to operate (thank you Dr. Friedman).  But, you will have to do your part with the band.  You will have to watch what you eat.  You will have to eventually get your ass up and exercise.  You will have to make healthier choices and just be better.  I know you are saying WHAT?  That sounds like a diet to me.  And I fail at diets!!!  The band is a TOOL, not the Alpha and Omega of your weight loss journey.  You can "cheat" the band by eating sliders and soft food.  I for one could eat cheetos all day long and the band would sleep right through it.  But with the right restriction, your band prevents you from eating that large pizza, the extra value meal, the entire bovine.
  • You have to find a doctor that you can have a relationship with.  They have to be open with you and you have to be open with them.  You HAVE to go see them for fills.  You have to follow up.  You have to be a good patient.  ASK QUESTIONS. 

What can you eat once you are banded?
  • At this point in my journey, I can't think of one thing I CANT eat.  However, there are somethings that I try to stay away from because they are difficult with my band.  Example:  Bowtie pasta.  It doesnt go down well.  And then it just sits in my band and expands...causing me to PB (get to that in a second). 
  • I can't eat a sandwich, or a hamburger with a bun, but I could eat a roll if I tear off little pieces at a time.  Hot dogs give me problems for some reason.  Dry chicken or reheated meat (with the exception of a hamburger) often give me problems as well.
  • I still drink soda, I still drink beer.
  • I love soups.  I can eat veggies.  I can eat fruit. 
  • Eating after being banded is about going slow.  It's about chewing.  They say with proper restriction that 4-6 ounces of solid protein (a piece of meat about the size of your fist) should keep you full for 3-4 hours. 
  • Most docs want their patients to avoid "slider meals".  Meaning, eating a bowl of soup for lunch or yogurt for breakfast isn't going to keep you full or satisfied because it will SLIDE right down.  You want your food to stay in your pouch, and slowly drop down.
  • Sometimes though...food may get stuck and then you get "sick".
The Dreaded PB:
  • A couple things may happen if a piece of food gets "stuck in your pipe" as Heather refers to it.  You aren't going to die.  It's not like it gets stuck and you need the Heimlich.  But if a piece of food gets stuck, ain't nothing else going down until it moves or comes up.
  • The first thing that may happen is a productive burp (PB).  This is not throwing up.  When something gets stuck, your slobber starts to build on top of it.  For me, when this happens, I get a weird sensation in the back of my jaw.  And if I wait long enough, I will have to get somewhere private (hopefully) and let it come up.  What comes up is this weird slime/foam combo.  It doesn't hurt.  And hopefully...it moves whatever is stuck.
  • Sometimes though, it takes a little more work.  Sometimes that one piece of food I didnt chew enough will be down there for hours.  And then, it's not PBing.  It's sort of like dry heaving until that piece comes up.  There is a tightness in the chest...a pressure.  It's not fun.
  • I will say that not everyone gets stuck or PB's.  And most of us would agree that when we do get stuck...it's our fault.  We eat without being present, we didn't chew, we ate too fast.
Restriction and Tips for Eating:
  • Unless you are extremely lucky, you will not awake from surgery with perfect restriction.  Some docs put a little liquid in your band to start with, others wait.  I had to wait 6 weeks for my first fill.  And again, unless you are the rare case, you probably won't get restriction with your first fill.  It took  me several fills before I had good restriction. 
  • ASK your doctor what his/her fill policy is.  Some docs are super restrictive with their fills.  They only fill on a schedule.  They don't care whether or not you have restriction.  All I know is if Dr. Friedman hadn't let me tell him that I was ready for a fill...and if he had made me wait regardless of what I could eat...I wouldn't have been as successful as I was. 
  • You will know you have restriction when you have it.  It's sort of like having sex.  If you have to wonder if you had an orgasm or not...um...you probably didn't.
  • Restriction will keep you full and satisfied for 3-4 hours.  You will be able to eat less. 
  • Restriction DOES NOT RESTRICT YOUR BRAIN.  You may still mentally crave things.  You will have to learn the difference between head hunger and physical hunger.  This is very hard.
  • When you do have good restriction, you will have to change the way you eat.  This is easier said than done.  You should be taking small bites.  For example, if you are eating steak, you need to cut that sucker up into pea sized bites.  You need to chew.  Then, set your fork down and wait a few seconds.  You should eat sitting down.  You should pay attention to what you are doing.  You will learn that things like eating in the car is rarely going to end well. (Always have your emergency PB kit in your car.  A couple of bags, some papertowels or handywipes.  Trust me.)
  • You probably shouldnt drink with your meal or for 30 minutes after.  Liquids can help push your food down...thus...cheating the band.
How much weight will I lose?  How quickly will I lose it?
  • Now you know that there is no one answer for this.  Statistically, Lapband patients lose around 40% of their excess weight. SO, if you are 100 pounds overweight, statistically you will lose 40 pounds.  I hate statistics.  And remember, they are an average.  17 more pounds lost and I will have lost 100% of my excess weight...and I am not alone. It can happen.
  • However, there are so many factors that go into how much and how fast.  Genetics, age, diet history, personal support, family life, exercise.  Some weeks I lost 7 pounds.  Some weeks I gained 5.  The weeks I gained, I gained because I ate poorly.  I cheated the band  The weeks I lost, I ate and made healthy choices.  There are some weeks, even when I WAS doing the right thing...I didn't lose.  It can be frustrating.  But you can't give up. 
  • You will have to keep upping your game.  At some point, even with the band, you will either have to adjust your food or exercise.
But, I feel like the band is "cheating".  I feel like if I have WLS, I am weak.
  • I'm gonna tell you what.  Who gives a flying monkey's ass?! Cheating what?  Cheating early death?  Cheating sleep apena?  Cheating high blood pressure, sore joints, diabetes?  I say CHEAT AWAY then.  There is no shame in WLS.  It's not about will power.  It's not about failing.  It is about trying to find a tool that works to give you some power, give you your health. 
  • I tell whoever wants to know or will listen about the band.  And yes, I have heard "Oh...well...I thought you did it the hard way"...or "hmmm...that must be nice".  I say listen FOOL.  There ain't nothing easy about the band.  It makes some things easier but it is still work.  And I find that people either give you 'tude about the band bc they are afraid or jealous or because they don't understand.  Either way, that is okay.  I will educate or I will ignore.  I feel like if I were to say "oh, I am just watching my diet and working out"...that I would be lying by omission.  AND, my real fear is that someone who is overweight will think "Well, Amy did it "the old fashioned way", and they will feel like a failure when they try and do not succeed.
Will my relationship fall apart if I have the surgery?
  • We all hear the stories of what happens when someone has WLS.  The divorce rate and seperation rate is a little higher for us.  There are several reasons.  One, for some of us....when we lose weight, we become a different person...or the person we would have been if our bodies hadn't been our enemies so long.  Our expectations may change, we may want more.  OR, our partners may not be able to deal with the new us.  OR, as in any relationship...sometimes it's just time to move on.  I don't think that having WLS should make you fear losing or changing your partner anymore than the normal person.  There are tons of bandsters out there still happy and maybe even happier with their significant other.  Sometimes though, even though we can't see it or don't want to admit it...we have settled.  And once you start to shed your cloak of security or denial...you realize you deserve more (too bad we don't realize that to begin with.  Long story short...people change and grow...with or without weightloss surgery.
Are you worried about complications:
  • No.  But most days I am not a worrier about things that may or may not happen.  I heard recently that the stats for band slipping are about 5% and for erosion, about 1-2%.  Slipping for example, can be avoided most of the time and according to the docs...is easy to fix.  Erosion is of course a little more scary.  But I hope that by always paying attention to my body, my band, and how I am feeling...I can avoid it or if it ever happens...catch it early.
Do fills hurt?
  • Mine never do.  My doc has never done one under fluoro.  He gives me a numbing shot and then the fill.
How many fills do you have to have?
  • To get restriction, it took me 4.  My first year I had around 6 fills.  My second year, I had 2.
Will you ever have the band taken out?
  • Lord I hope not.  Even now that I am at goal weight and weight loss is more of what I do instead of what the band does for me...it's always there.  It's my safety net.  It will keep me from ever being 327 pounds again.
Why did you choose the band over other options?
  • I was 28 when I decided on the surgery. I didn't want my stomach cut apart.  I still wanted to be able to absorb my nutrients.  I wanted to be able to eat sugar and other things without getting physcially ill.  I liked that the removal of the band was a possibility if something went wrong.  I liked the idea of being able to control my restriction. And even though I bitched and complained along the way, I liked the idea of a slower weight loss (vs Gastric bypass).  It gave my skin and my brain a little more time to adjust.
Did you know there are different brands of lapbands? 
  • I have the Allegran Lapband.  Ask you doctor your choices and the differences.  Mine is a 10-11cc band.  Some are smaller. 
Were you worried about the loose skin?
  • Barely.  I figured I may look like a saggy deflated sack after I lost my weight, but I would rather be deflated then morbidly obese.
  • And I am lucky.  My skin is nowhere as bad as it could have been.  Again, so many factors go into skin.  Age, genes, working out, sun...etc.
Would you do it again?
  • In a heartbeat my friends.  In a heartbeat.  It was the best decision of my life.  It was a tremedous catalyst for change.  I can't think of one negative consequence of the band.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dear Dr. Oz...get me on your show...ASAP

Linda posted the other day about the Dr. Oz show that focused on Lapband surgery.  And just like Linda...I thought that Dr. Oz presented a very balanced look at the lapband.  The show really focused on the recent BMI requirements and how they changed...and the question was "For someone with just 30 pounds to lose...is the lapband a good idea?"

However...I had just one teensy weensy (and by teensy weensy I mean HUGE) problem with the show (as did Linda).

They featured two lapband patients, one 6 years out, one 6 months out.  And they showed how much each ate now that they were banded.  The girls 6 months out...get this...

breakfast:  6 tablespoons of yogurt
lunch:  maybe a cup of broth
dinner:  crap...I can't remember...but is wasnt solid either.

I was yelling at the tv.  I was flabbergasted.  I was annoying Heather.

First, I could and did eat more than that a WEEK after surgery.
Second, if six months after surgery your doctor still wants you on liquids and mushies...COO COOOOO!
Third, what she was showing doesnt follow ANY bandster rules I have ever heard of.  Everything she ate was a slider and hardly any protein!

It made me so frustrated because I do not want anyone thinking it's that "easy".  I also don't want someone considering lapband to look at that and say there is NO WAY I am getting the surgery if that's all I can eat!

It was some BULL-HONKEY!  So...I emailed Dr. Oz today.  I am sure he will call me later tonight.  I will keep you posted.

In the meantime, it did make me realize that for those just starting to research WLS, I should (and perhaps YOU as well) should write up a little post about what OUR lives look like now that we are banded.  I mean...I know you can tell that by reading through our blogs...but I have to remind myself some people don't know the ins and outs of banding like those of us who have been around the band block.

Yes?  yes.

Happy Thursday!

Atkins Is Over...and So is the biggest loser challenge!

The BL challenge was 3 months long. We will not know the winner until this afternoon...

My starting weight:  176.5  
Ending weight: 159.5
Difference: 17
Body percentage lost:  9.63

My partners starting weight: 174
Ending weight: 141
Difference:  33 pounds
Body percentage lost: 19.20

I will take it!  It was tough.  Atkins helped me lose 15 of those 17 pounds over the last 2 weeks and four days.  I am sooo looking forward to maintaining again...to not being obsessed or crazy.  To just being healthy and fit.

I thought I would do a little recap of my thoughts on Atkins for your guys.

  • I was really on a sweet kick.  Starting Atkins was a real eye-opener for me.  It took less than a day for me to realize that practically everything I was putting in my mouth was sugar loaded.  I was eating a lot of candy, drinking regular soda, and tons of other carbs.
  • I have always thought that the idea of restricting carbs was a load of whooey.  But it is interesting, after the first 4 days off of sugar and carbs, how I do crave them less.
  • Seeing how 98% of the things I enjoy do have carbs, I have found some new products and alternatives out there to high carb or high sugar options...ones that I will continue to buy and eat regardless of whether or not I am doing Atkins.
  • The idea of how we burn fat based on what we are eating is very cool train of thought. I would like to continue to explore this topic.
  • I have realized I do not need or require the immense amount of carbs and sugar-shit I was eating.  I just don't. 
  • It helped me lose some weight!  Whether or not it was really because of ketosis, or just because it was a change to my normal routine...it definitely helped me shed over 10 ell-bees!
  • It was fun and a crazy feeling relief not to have to add my calories up in my  head all.day.long.
  • I went and gave blood last week and they get your cholesterol read.  Remember that I have been trying for over a year to find my genetics and bring my number (usually around 213 and my doctor wants it under 200) down.  Last month at my doctor visit, it was 197!  Last week, not even two weeks into Atkins...it was 237.  The highest it has ever been.  Even higher than presurgery.
  • Lack of energy.  Atkins says that by week 2, you should have more energy.  Not so much for me.
  • The social aspect of Atkins blows.  Its hard to low-carb/no -carb around others without making them aware of it.
  • It's expensive!  Even if I didnt by the bars...bacon, meat, eggs...aint none of that cheap my friends!
  • Less poop action.  You know I love a good movement.
  • While I never got full fledged ketosis breath, I had dry mouth a lot and just a weird taste in my mouth.

Where do I go from here?
  • I intend to continue to be aware of my carbs.  I will not move on to the official stage 2 of Atkins (called OWL), which allows you 5 more carbs a day (for a total of 25)....although I will try on most days to stay around that goal.
  • I want to limit my beer drinking. I don't actual enjoy beer.  It doesnt satisfy any thirst.  If I am going to drink calories, I would rather drink a nice cold pepsi. 
  • When I do have breads and pastas, I will have 100% whole wheat.  But that it nothing new.
  • The occasional candy bar is not the end of the world....but it adds no value to my nutrition.
  • And while I joke about oreo's and ice cream, what I want even more than that is some cereal/granola!  Man...I am going to eat a little of that this weekend.
  • I am nervous that when I do eat some sugar, I will go crazy.  I am interested to see if I can feel a physical or mental urge to consume more non-stop.
  • For the challenge at work, I have upped my working out.  I remember when I used to work out 3 days a week.  And then it became 5 days a week.  Now it is 5 days a week, and sometimes it is 2 times a day.  It is very easy to slip into crazy...regardless of what it is.  And while I hate to say it, I think my body is a little tired.  I don't want to run myself into the ground.  SO, I may cut back....maybe....:)
Would I recommend it?
  • Yes.  At least to jump start a stall, or to get some sugar out of your system.  If you do decide to do it, would recommend following the guidelines to the letter.  You don't need the book. Atkins official website has all the phases, foods, etc. you will need.
Final thoughts:
  • We all have to find what works for us. This helped me for sure.
  • I am actually super afraid of eating "bad" sugar again.  I am afraid there will be some chemical reaction in my brain and I will go nuts.
  • It's crazy to say it...but my band didn't have much to do with this weight loss.  And from here on out, with my level of restriction...my band won't really have much to do with whether I lose more or not.  That will be solely up to me.  What my band WILL do is keep me in check and prevent me from pigging out and gaining all my weight back. 

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Sweaty and Sweet

In honor of Karin's Workout Glow Wednesday (which I think is a wonderful idea bc we all are looking for reasons to boast about are cardio induced sweat)...here is this mornings results.
 I double layered my shirts today to sweat a little more.  I don't know if you can tell that white tank is soaked.  Tomorrow morning I am doing cardio before the weigh-in, and I kid you not...I am wearing a long sleeved UnderArmor shirt and beenie (water weight be gone).  I may fall out.  Someone should have the AED ready.  Lisa and I already made a pact that if we do pass out, we will drag our partners body to the scale.  And weigh them in...naked. :)

Temptation Island

It occurred to me that I have neglected to blog about my weekend.  We went to Defuniak to catch some of Fisher's ballgames.  Good times. 

It was a very challenging weekend being on Atkins.  Because this is my choice, I hate to impose my eating restrictions on anyone else, and feel terrible if they begin to make decisions based on what I can and cannot eat.  So Friday night we went out for...


Sweet Chalupas, I love Mexican.  I love cheese dip, chips, little carbs that scream "ole'"!  So I watched everyone eat chips and salsa.  In slow motion I watched those little flat pieces of pressed corn (aka chips) dip into the white cheese.  I watched big mugs of cold beer being delivered.  I slobbered on the frozen drink section of the menu.  And then I ordered a chicken burrito and ate the inards.

So on Saturday we woke up early, headed to another ball game. 

The thing about Atkins is...it's not a diet of convenience.  You can't pack fruit, grab a bag of chips, no granola bars...etc.  So I existed on the Atkin bars for the most part.  I decided to cook a late lunch for everyone (bacon cheeseburgers) around 3 (the first time we ate since breakfast)...

and the damn thing got stuck bc I was so hungry and ate it too fast.  Up it came.

And my wonderful Gainey's...well...they drink a lot of beer.  And although I dont miss beer, I kinda wanted to be a little intoxicated late in the day as well...since almost everyone else was. 

No beer for Amy.
And then...it was time to go fishing.  Um...me no likey fishing really.  Because a) you have to touch the worms and b) if you catch the fish you have to TOUCH THEM!

And I will tell you one thing I don't like so far about low carbin' it.  I lack energy.  I can rally for my workouts, but this weekend I was just..."dull".  And Henry was so worried about me.  And everyone thought something was bothering me...but it really wasn't.  I was just missing the "spunk" that makes Amy...Amy.  I couldn't find it...and I didnt like it.

But onward and upward my friends!  Tomorrow is the last day of the competition and I can't WAIT for it to be over.  I will post the results for you, as well as my summary of this low-carb thing.

Happy HumpDay!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

12 days in, 2 days left

I am 10 pounds down in the last 12 days.

And yet...today I had a teensy weensy break down.


*I decided today that there is such a condition as post-pms.  Call me Dr. Amy.

Doing this weight loss challenge with a partner is stressful because I want to do good for my partner.  I want to do my part!  Lisa has lost 32 pounds in the 3 months since we have been doing this challenge.  She started at 174 l.bs.  Granted, that was a high weight for her and she went from not working out at all, to working out and changing her diet...but she has done extremely well, and I am super proud of her.

But I feel like I haven't pulled my weight (hahahahahaha PUN). 

And I don't think I will meet my goal of 159 pounds by Thursday.  That's 4-5 more pounds.  And mama doesn't like not reaching her goals.

So, I am stuck at 164 since last week.  And after I weighed in today...I hung my head and started to cry.  It went a little something like this:

I step on the scale.

Heather:  "What's the damage"?

I stomp my foot.

Me: "164.  Same as before I worked out this morning.  Same as yesterday!"

I slump in the chair, place forehead on Heather's desk.

Heather: "Babe, your body just likes it where it is.  You are super sexy and I love you. "

Me: crying now and talking like a 3 year-old "But Lisa's body didnt like it where it is...SHE lost weight.  I am letting her down."

Heather: "You are not letting her down.  She is proud of you".  hugging me "Now stop it". more hugs "Stop it right now".

And so I did.  But it happened. 

So on Thursday morning, I think around 10 am....I will weigh in.  Here's hoping my friends!

Happy Tuesday!

The Addiction that Was

Sometimes I find is hard to articulate to "non foodies", just why I couldn't "push away from the table"...or how I became 327 pounds.  We all have our reasons, but I stand beside the fact that I am addicted to food.  Even now, healthy and 162 pounds, I think of food...pretty much non-stop. 


I thought this article was interesting. If you would like to see it in it's original form, you can click here.  Bariatric Girl does an awesome job of posting weight loss surgery and related articles on her Facebook Page...which you can find here.

Whether eating food or simply craving it, food lovers appear to have neural activity similar to that of substance abusers, a small study suggests.

The study of 48 young women (mean age 20) found that while the women were anticipating drinking a chocolate milkshake, those with higher food addiction scores had greater activation in brain regions associated with reward than those with lower scores, Ashley Gearhardt, MS, of Yale, and colleagues reported in the Archives of General Psychiatry.

And when the women actually got to drink the milkshake, they had reduced activation of inhibitory brain regions seen on functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

"Similar patterns of neural activation are implicated in addictive-like eating behavior and substance abuse and dependence," Gearhardt and colleagues wrote.

Prior research has shown that there's an addictive process in the development of obesity, the researchers noted.

Food and drug use both result in dopamine release in the brain's mesolimbic regions, and the degree of release correlates with subjective reward from both food and drug use.

Yet no studies have examined the neural correlates of addictive-like eating behavior, the researchers said.
So they hypothesized that higher scores on a food addiction scale (the Yale Food Addiction Scale) would be associated with patterns of neural activation that are similar to substance dependence.

Gearhardt and colleagues enrolled 48 healthy young women with body mass indexes (BMI) ranging from lean to obese (24 to 40), who had been recruited for a long-term healthy weight maintenance trial.

Each woman had fMRI as they were exposed to two conditions -- anticipation of a rich chocolate milkshake versus a tasteless control solution, and consumption of the milkshake versus the tasteless control.

The researchers found that food scores correlated with greater activation in the anterior cingulate cortex, medial orbitofrontal cortex, and the amygdala when women anticipated drinking the milkshake (P<0.05).

The anterior cingulate cortex and the orbitofrontal cortex have both been implicated in motivation to eat, as well as with intake of drugs in patients with substance abuse, while the amygdala is also associated with increased motivation to eat.

Women with higher food addiction scores also had more activation in other regions associated with the anticipation of reward -- the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex and the caudate.
Yet there was less activation in the lateral orbitofrontal cortex when the women actually drank the milkshake -- an area associated with inhibitory control and ability to suppress previously rewarded responses.
Thus, the reduced activation "may be related to either less inhibitory control during intake of palatable food or a reduced satiety response during palatable food intake," Gearhardt and colleagues wrote.
Still, the study showed no significant associations between food addiction scores and BMI.

Those scores, however, were correlated with emotional eating and external eating, so the findings could have something to do with the fact that the sample was young and more metabolically healthy, the researchers added.

Gearhardt's group concluded that the study "supports the theory that compulsive food consumption may be driven in part by an enhanced anticipation of the rewarding properties of food," and that eating "may override desires to limit caloric food consumption ... resulting in disinhibited food consumption."

The researchers noted that their study had some important limitations.

For one thing, they excluded participants with eating disorders and Axis I psychiatric disorders, so few participants met the clinically significant distress or impairment criteria of the YFAS, required for a diagnosis of food addiction.

Therefore, the researchers said their work should be considered a conservative test, and future studies of the neural correlates of food addiction should include participants with more severe scores.
The team also did not measure hunger (although participants were asked to refrain from eating four to six hours prior to their fMRI session) and noted that fasting and hunger are associated with similar patterns of neural response, possibly confounding their results.

They noted the relatively small sample size and said the results would not be generalizable to men.

Gearhard and colleagues suggested that future studies should be longitudinal in design to allow for "a greater understanding of the antecedents and consequences" of true food addiction.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Don't Give Up

Today you woke up.  You opened your eyes, you got out of bed.

Not everyone gets that chance.

But we did.  Today we got the chance to do whatever we can do make it the day we want.  Now, today...we might not get exactly what we want, we may not reach our ultimate goal...

But we get the chance to try.

If YESTERDAY you ate too much, fought too much, were moody, sad, angry, tired, at the end of your rope...

Today is a new day.  Take a deep breath.  Try and replace the negative thoughts that flood your mind with positive ones.  It can be a time consuming process...but try it.

Just for today.

And then maybe tomorrow will be a little easier...a little better...a little healthier.

As it relates to my lapband/weight loss journey...I was never perfect.  I gained some weeks, I went coo coo crazy some weeks.  I was never consistently the perfect bandster.  I don't know if that even exists.  When it comes to my human journey...well hell...I fuck that up all time.  :) I can be so emotional (when you wear your heart on yourself, it can get bruised pretty easy).  Sometimes I overreact, sometimes I think the sky is falling...

But I think that all we can do is hope that we learn a little, grow a little, and pick ourselves up...

I believe in happiness.  I believe in love.  I believe in the strength of the human soul.  I believe in the healing powers of compassion, laughter, and diet sunkist (okay...that last one may be a stretch).

And today I believe in me.


Yoda Amy