Thursday, January 26, 2012

3 Years Ago...I Got Naked For A Good Looking Man

His name was Dr. Jeffrey Friedman and as a lady, I will report that it was for a surgery that would change my life.  I have been banded for three years (once the clock strikes midnight...or I guess if you want to be technical...sometime around 10ish am tomorrow).  I thought I would go back to my 1 year post-op report, and my two year post-op, and alas...I didn't do one my second year!  So here is what I wrote when I was just one year out...120 still chillin around 210 pounds on Mr. Scale.  I am going to write any additional comments in BOLD!


THE One Year Post-Please Pull Up A Chair

In the name of reflecting on a year gone by, I have been working on this Bandiversary post. It is a mumble jumble of some of my thoughts, tips, rules (non-rules), and lessons learned since Tina the Wonderband took up residence in my body. This year has flown by and brought me so many wonderful presents, people, and experiences. I don't have all the answers...and our journeys, while on parallel paths in the same direction, can look very different. So here you go! Happy Reading!

All doctors, clinics, bandsters, and rules, are different. They just are. And I am not a slave to any of the rules. I see them more as guidelines and helpful tips. For example, I eat soup...a lot. Soup is a liquid and therefore, slides right down the old shoot. But I honestly feel rather satisfied with 2 cups of wonderful soup. I also now almost always choose soup if we go out to eat. I noticed this when we went to Lambert's for my mom's birthday. Lamberts did not have one soup option. I think I started ordering soup out as a rule after my October fill. It just became too risky to try solid food and a waste of money. And even though I can bring leftovers home, leftovers usually go to waste in our house. I just couldn't see spending $10 on something that I could only nibble at. It does not bother me, this soup fetish of mine. I can have a couple of bites of whatever Tracey gets and I am a cheap date. bahahahah...I order just about anything on the menu now...I can make almost anything work.  But this is because I have less restriction now and have gotten crafty with my fork and knife.

Drinking with meals. This was not that hard for me to give up. At home, I just make sure that I don't have my water near me when I eat dinner. When we go out to eat, I drink about 4 cups of water before the meal comes. I drink right up to that point. I do not personally believe that water primes the band. Water goes right down people. It doesn't just sit there. For me, when I do try and be naughty (cookies and milk anyone?) drinking with my food either hurts OR gets me stuck. I drink all through a meal now.  Before.  Middle. End.

Some bandsters measure, weigh, or journal their food. All the time. I do not. I do measure snacks though. For example, if I am going to have some nuts, I measure whatever one serving size is and put it in a little baggy. This way I know what my calorie intake is for that snack. I do not do food journals, count carbs, or watch my fat intake. Those things, for me, are all part of DIETING. They give me horrible flashbacks and I find myself rocking in the corner with sounds of helicopters and gunfire in my head. They send me to a bad place. However, from time to time I have recommended online food journals to struggling bandsters who feel lost or out of control. Sometimes when we estimate our calories we forget things, round DOWN, or just lie! So it can be a useful tool. And whatever works for you is the way to go.
Fine!  Since I am now living under the "its a diet if I can't eat whatever I want" philosophy, I have been tracking my food on my iphone.

The scale. Another rule I do not care for is the "scale rule". Even my wonderful Dr. Friedman told me not to weigh daily. I weigh myself every day, but only record the weight on Mondays. Mondays keep me motivated through the weekends. I do not freak out if my weight fluctuates during the week...I try to reserve such freakouts for Mondays alone. Your weight will go up and down. But weighing myself every day does keep me accountable for my actions. I go through periods where I weigh everyday, and then when I don't.  I still think it is super important to help some (me) be accountable.

I eat better when I bring my lunch to work. While for dinner I can usually eat grilled chicken breast, some pork chop etc., leftover meat is a no-go for me anymore. It just gets too dry when I heat it in the microwave. This is one of the reasons I make soup and freeze it. But whatever you choose, make it something you can just you don't use the excuse "I didn't have anything". It is a rare, rare day when I eat fast food for lunch. And the only fast food I do eat is either chili from Wendy's or nuggets from Chick-fil-a. Still True.

I am thankful for an amazing doctor, who surrounds himself with amazing staff

I was a trooper through bandster hell. I stayed the course and did not go hog wild (pun intended) when I realized I could eat anything and everything. I was on my high from my preop diet weight loss. I knew what I had to do. Dr. Friedman told me upfront that the band does not work for everyone...that his biggest fear is that his patients won't lose weight. By God I was going to lose weight.

I listen for the real hunger. One of the most important lessons I have learned is when I really need to eat. How many times do we say "OH I am starving"? A lot. And are we really? No. So I took this phrase out of my vocabulary. I might say "I am hungry"....but that is different than starving. When you are fighting headhunger, try and stop and say "Am I really hungry?" If the answer is no, try to resist munching! Drink water instead! Do something. Of course I still snack sometimes whenI am not hungry, but at least when I DO, I am tsk tsking myself! LOL  I am physically hungry A LOT now.  Of course, some of that is due to less restriction, but now that I have started running...ironically...and somewhat makes you SUPER FREAKIN HUNGRY!

I tell everyone about my surgery, if they ask. This will be a debate until the end of time...on Lapband Talk and on these blogs. There are just so many factors that go into making this decision, and I know that for everyone...their choice is their own. I don't think it ever occurred to me to hide it. For me, I tell because it can help others, because their is no shame in having weight loss surgery, because it can educate the ignorant, and because the truth shall set your free. I think about some of the ladies who have been banded because they have seen my progress. What if I had just told them I did it through watching what I eat and exercising (which is not a lie, but not the complete truth either). Would they feel like failures because "Amy did it the old fashioned way...why can't I?" Would they still be putting off the idea of surgery? I am proud of my choice and where I am today. You know ironically, I get the most negative comments about choosing WLS from fat people. Maybe bc the skinny people don't want to be politically incorrect? But as I think about it...yep...mostly my heavy "friends" are the ones who turn up their noses when I tell them about the band. But that's okay...I'll give them time.  Still blabber to anyone who wants to know.

A year later, I still think of food all.the.time. This by no way means that I am hungry. In fact, the only time I feel real hunger anymore is in the morning before breakfast. I have read about those people who after being banded, food just became something they "had to do". I used to really hope for that day to come. Eh, it just might never happen for me. I did learn this year that there are actually people who do not think of food all the time. This was mind boggling to me...and still kinda is! Funny, but it seems that those people who do NOT think of food all the time are thin. Who would have thunk?  Still True

There are foods I do miss...and they all involve bread. I miss peanut
butter and jelly sandwiches, hamburgers with buns, hot dogs with buns, cinnamon rolls, oh cinnamon rolls, Stuffing my face with cookies and chugging milk , pizza, Big Macs...It's a good thing I have the band huh? lol  I havent tried a Big Mac in three years, but I can eat all of the things on this list now.

I set goals. Mini goals, about every 3 months along. I made these goals preband (for the first 6 months out at least). I have met every goal. Don't be afraid to set these mini-goals. Right them on your calendar, a post it note, on the fridge, or on the wall above the scale.

Exercise. I have yet to become an exercise fanatic. Right after surgery I started walking to get ready for my first 5k. Then we did bootcamp/interval training for awhile. Now we just do what sounds good. I play WiiFit once in awhile, we go walking, we are going back to bootcamp, Bandita and I did Zumba. Exercise is an area that I could improve on. Fall in love with your personal trainer and this shit will happen for you too!

Another rule that does not work for me: Not eating in front of the t.v., computer, while reading...etc. They say that when you eat you should be focused solely on your food. No distractions. They say this well help you eat slower and take smaller bites. This is not true for me. For example, when Tracey and I eat at the table, or with family...I tend to eat MUCH quicker. For several reasons. First, I feel a need to keep up. Second, have you ever adopted a dog or puppy that comes from living with lots of other dogs? They eat so quick bc they are afraid that someone else is going to get their kibble. Somewhere deep down I am still afraid of not enough kibble to go around. So, when Tracey and I sit on the couch with our tv trays...I eat much slower. When I am reading a magazine or surfing the net...I eat much slower. It gives me something to do, something to put my fork down and entertain myself with.

Things that have changed:

Where I shop.
What I eat.
How much I eat.
I cook more.
I try new and different foods (but that doesn't mean I like them all).
I can cross my legs.
My lower back pain, my pee sneezes, and shin splints...they are all gone.
The amount of people who read my blog.
The amount of blogs I read.
The amount of friends this blog has blessed me with.
My pant size.

My shoe size.

Things that haven't changed:

My self confidence.
My facial hair (still the same amount...I was hoping for less).
My attitude.
My complexion. I thought it would clear up a lot.
The way I see life.
My obsession with food.
My thirst for Sunkist.
The way I act with, towards, and around other people.
How many pictures I take.
How I wear my clothes.
My finances.
My job.
My dislike of a the majority of vegetables. I do like me some broccoli now.

Things I have learned:
Peanut butter cups and sunkist do not mix. Well, they do...but then they erupt out of your nose.
Eating a muffin in shame in a bathroom stall is not a high point of anyone's journey...but your blogger friends will love you even when you share the shameful moments.
You can walk a 5k at any weight. And most likely you will not be the last person to finish.
It is better to set a goal and not reach it then not set a goal at all.
Tweezers may come and go, but apparently whiskers are forever.
Life's journey is long. You better take snacks. (okay, I stole this one from a calendar).
I really do have bones in my body.
I cry happy tears in dressing rooms, and am also known to cry tears of frustration.
I always want more.
Poopies will never be the same. Good bye big girl poop. Hello chicken nugget poop. My big girl turds have come back.   Just in case you were wondering!
I have no boundaries.
Just when you think it can't get any does.

And finally, the biggie. Why was I able to lose 120 pounds in 12 months? Why Amy and not everybody? I have given a lot of thought to this question and I am not sure I have the answer.
If you think about it...I could have lost more. There are certainly bandsters out there who have done it (Mary for example) and others who are well on there way. I could have lost more by making the right choices, working out harder, etc. I did not have the perfect year. But that's okay! I personally think that for those of us who start at a higher weight, we can lose a little faster at the you could say I had that going for me. There are the things I think are out of our control: Genetics, history, body shape. Even though I was 327, I was solid as an ox under all that fat. Perhaps my muscle mass helped in the beginning as well? There are two things that I think really made a difference in my weight loss. The first is this blog. This blog and all of you who have become part of my life helped to keep me accountable. When someone tells you that you are an "inspiration", it makes you want to keep inspiring! I didn't want to let anyone down. I knew that I would be honest with you guys. I shared the ups and downs. And seeing others make it into a new pant size, or run a 5k...inspires me. The second reason I have lost this weight is...Because I knew I could and I would. When Dr. Friedman told me that the band does not work for everyone, I made a choice that I would not be one of those people. I was not going to have a surgery just to "eat around the band". I wanted to be his star patient. I wanted to be the person on the commercials. I wanted to be a success story. And I wanted to be more than a statistic. Of course, all you have to do is read through my blog to know at times I had a few doubts and questions, but overall...I knew big things (and a smaller body) were possible. And you have to believe. I was at a great place in my life. I was at a good place mentally. It was just the right time.

So that's it! That's all that I could think of! I hope you made it through and I can't wait to see what this next year brings!

Thank you for everything.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Happy Tuesday From Tampa Florida

I flew down to Tampa yesterday to present at a conference this morning, and I had grand intentions of curling up in the hotel room last night, and penning (or keying) a wonderful blog post...since I would be alone and inspired. 

However, the hotel charged for internet connection and my checking account does not authorize such ridiculous spending, regardless of how inspired I think I am.

SO, as I am awaiting my airplane to take me home (via the ATL...also known as the 6th gateway to hell), I thought I would touch base.

Diet and exercise is plugging right along.  I ran another six miles on Friday morning.  In the dark.  It was pretty awesome.  But I wanted to quit almost the entire time.  It is pretty interesting how that worked.  I couldnt figure out why I was having such a difficult time.  Then I realized from about mile 2-3...I had been talking smack to myself.  I was having this internal dialogue with myself, focusing on my pace (too slow), focusing on negative people and thinking evil ways to destroy them, etc.  So I tried to clear my head, to focus on my breath, to focus on my running.  And I made it.  6.2 miles without stopping. 

Then I made it Tampa yesterday afternoon, presto chango-d into my running gear and set off to run. Our hotel was in a weird place, sandwiched between corporate buildings, busy roads, and parking lots.  It took me awhile to find a sidewalk and I had to stop a lot at the busy intersections, but I started plugging along.

It was hot.  Sweat was burning my eyes.  I found myself in a neighborhood that was starting to get a little scurry.  There were shopping carts in my way on the sidewalk...

so alas...

I turned around, running partially blind (sweat) back to the hotel.  Only 3 miles.  I was frustrated.  But I guess it was  better than the old Amy who probably would have piled up since I was unsupervised. 

I did enjoy my meal last night.  Which meant that it was paid for by the company that had recruited me to speak, and that I didnt worry to much about calories.  I registered a 2 pound loss on the scale this week, bringing me to 172.2.  I SO want to see 169.9 by Monday.  We shall see.

Hugs and kisses.  I am about to mount the friendly skies!

Pictures below from after my Friday morning run.  Do not worry.  I am not yet running in just a sportsbra...however I was on fire (like....temperature wise) and the shirt had to come off as soon as I entered the hizzie.

Until the next episode my sugarbums!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


It's Wednesday, January 18th, 2012. 

Just in case you didn't know or happen to be writing a check and need to know the date.

You are welcome.

That is my gift to you for the day.

Well let us see.  Nothing exciting has happened since last night's post.  I appreciate all of your kind words and encouragement.  I am sticking to my plan and not getting thrown off track.

The wonderful Vanessa asked the practical questions "How are your clothes fitting.  How are you feeling?"

Damn it.  I hate it when people are practical.  But actually, they are fitting good.  Maybe even a tad looser.  And I FEEL good, minus the knee pain.  But I feel healthy and fit.

SO FINE!  I will buck up.  But only a little.  Just for you guys.

I am trying a little change up.  The only thing I can figure is that maybe, even though I am using my calorie tracker and I am on track....maybe I am eating too many calories.  Remember, it said I could eat 1445 a day.  Which sounds good to me, and is in line with what I try to stick to any other time I am counting my calories.  But on the day I went running for example, I burnt 750 calories...and you enter that into the app and it basically changes what you can eat for the day to 1445 + 750.  So it tells me that I can eat up to 2,195 calories for the day.  SO I did. 

That's a lot of calories.

AND I KNOW you are saying well you went negative with the running so blah blah.  But that's the only thing I can figure...

so I changed me "Activity level" on the app from moderately active during the day to lightly now my new calorie goal is 1,148. 

I no likey that so much.  But we will give it a try for a little while.


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I Drink Fat Juice

After what can only be classified as an epic scale failure, I had decided to rename water.  It's fat juice.  That's the only way I can see it. Water must actually be high calorie lard. 

After my 5.02 mile run on Saturday morning, I ran again yesterday morning.  6.2 miles...outside...without stopping once!  I even took my UnderArmour shirt off and kept jogging the entire time (I had a tank on underneath, I do not believe I am ready to jog in a sports bra).  Anywhoozit, it was awesome.  I stepped on the scale today, ready to reap the rewards from running more in a weekend than almost ever in my life...

and yes...

the scale read 176.

Yes friends.  That is UP almost 3 pounds from last Monday.

*&!^(*&%!(*&^kjalk;jaovnf wfe;n

Suck it scale.  Eat my poop.  And here is the deal...

I don't know what in the WORLD to blame it on.  I have been pooping 3 times a I can't use the old "maybe I have a warehouse full of shit in my pipes" excuse.  I have been drinking water and peeing on cue...there there goes the "maybe I am retaining water" excuse.  I have lifted lighter and upped the no "muscle weighs more than fat" excuse.


I even got me a little piece last night and everyone knows SEX MAKES YOU SKINNIER!

So.  There we have it.  The world is evil. 

But do not worry.  I haven't given up all hope (well I have actually), and I am keeping on.  I have that even though water must be making me fat, I will continue to drink it.  And even though there are skinny bitches out there that eat junk food and drink yummy grown up drinks all weekend yet are still skinnier than me, I shall not become bitter and jaded (I really already have).

I would say happy Tuesday.  But I dont want to.

So here is a cup of fat juice to you.

It helps to wash down my bitter pill.

Until tomorrow...


Saturday, January 14, 2012

I Run On Cold Hard Facts

I dont really know what that means.  But I ran this morning.  Outside.  And it was AWESOME!  I have never run in the cold before...and by cold...I mean Florida around 34 degrees.  I ran 5.02 miles and I could have ran more.  I don't know if it was in my head or the cold kept me energized...but I actually enjoyed it.  I want to do it again.

Tomorrow or Monday I may run 6 miles. 

bahahahaha...that makes me giggle.

Happy Saturday loves!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Today I Am Grumpy.

It all really started last night.  Heather wanted a snack after dinner.  And we were all out of her pudding I usually make her.  So I said "you can have that Skinny Cow ice cream sandwich in the fridge" (it was the last one.  The last one that I had been dreaming about all day).

I DIDNT THINK SHE WOULD ACTUALLY EAT IT! (and granted, she asked me about 8 times if I was SURE I didnt want it)

So she did eat it.  And then afterwards said ,"That was not good.  It tasted like dirt".


Of course, I didnt say this out loud...but from there was down hill.  I hated the dogs, I hated the tv, I still hated my ass.

I actually slept okay though...but then woke up hostile.

And it has continued. 


Anyways, working the plan still.  Circuit yesterday with an appetizer of a mile on the treadmill.  Bootcamp this morning.  Circuit in the morning tomorrow, and then a run sometime before Monday.  Still not drinking my calories.  Still drinking my water.  Trying to eat a "clean" as possible.  Little by little.

But don't be confused...this has not bolstered my spirits. 



the end.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

My Soup Recipes

Several of you have asked me for a couple of my soup recipes.  Here are a few of my favorite!!

There are tons of tomato soup recipes out there, this is some version of one that I found and originally posted on January 6th, 2010.  I use a handheld immersion blender (only like $30 and TOTALLY worth it).

Tomato Soup

2 cans (28 ounces each) of diced tomatoes
3 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 yellow onion chopped
2-3 cloves diced garlic
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Hot sauce
Pepper and salt
Additions to the old recipe I made this time:
Half a block of cream cheese
A package of feta crumbles

Open and drain both cans of tomatoes, reserving the juice for later. Spread tomatoes out on cookie sheet and season with salt and pepper (don't be afraid to be generous). Place in preheated oven (375) for 20 minutes. (the idea here is to give them a roasted flavor, but you can actually buy fire you may be able to skip this step, unless of course you are using fresh tomatoes...which you could)

During that time, put a little olive oil, the onion, and the garlic in a dutch oven/big pot and sauté onions and garlic until tender (5-7 minutes). Add celery and carrots and continue to cook and sauté until they are tender (about 5-7 minutes). Add chicken broth and tomatoes (from the oven) and the tomato juice you set aside into pot. Add pepper and salt to taste. You can add a little garlic salt if you want. The recipe called for 4 drops of hot sauce, but I added a little more. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for 20 minutes. Throw in the cubed cream cheese and mix until blended.

Use your hand held blender stick (immersion blender) to puree soup (you could transfer to a blender but that's no fun!) You will need to do this for sure, or your soup will not be the correct consistency.

Taste and season with salt, pepper, or hot sauce until you like it.  Toss in the feta.

Even with the cream cheese and feta, if you can yield 6 -8 bowls, that brings the calories in around 200-220 per serving.  Not too shabby.

Creamy Chicken Divan Soup

This is my favorite.  It is so good.  I have found that using a rotisserie chicken makes it much better.

Ingredients2 tablespoons butter
1 medium-size sweet onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1 (48-oz.) container chicken broth
2 (12-oz.) packages fresh broccoli florets (about 12 cups)
1 (8-oz.) package cream cheese, cut into cubes
4 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 (8-oz.) block sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Melt butter in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; add onion, and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until tender. Add garlic and red pepper, and cook 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth and broccoli. Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and cook 10 to 15 minutes or until broccoli is tender. Stir in cream cheese.

2. Process mixture with a handheld blender until smooth. Add chicken and shredded cheese. Cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with almonds, if desired.

Note: If you don't have a handheld immersion blender, let mixture cool slightly; process mixture, in batches, in a regular blender until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Return mixture to Dutch oven, and proceed as directed.

I actually stuck to the recipe (pretty much). I added more garlic then it called for, I used a liberal amount of ground black pepper, and I bought a rotisserie chicken and chopped it to bits.

Sometimes, if I am feeling really naughty, I throw in more of the sharp shredded cheese.  I can usually make 7-8 to go containers of soup, around 325 calories each.

Creamy Black Bean Soup

1 medium onion, diced (watch your thumbs)
1 clove garlic, diced
1 tbls olive oil
3 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3-4 cups chicken broth
1 can Rotel
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin *
Lime juice

Saute onions and garlic in olive oil over medium/high heat for 4-6 minutes until tender. Add beans, broth, rotel, chili powder. Cover and bring to boil. Remove lid and reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Squirt in some lime juice. Puree with hand blender (or regular blender). Serve with cheese, sour cream, blue chips, etc!

Super low in calorie.  You would need to check for exact count, but I get about 8 take to work containers out of it, at around 200-250 calories a serving (of course that is before anything I might add like cheese or sour cream).

Taco Soup

1 can whole kernel corn
1 can pinto beans
1 can chili beans
1 can kidney beans
1 can black beans (drained, rinsed)
1 can rotel
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can chicken broth
1 package Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
2 packages Taco Seasoning
1 pound ground beef
1 onion, diced

Brown beef and onion. Put in big pot. Add everything else. Bring to boil, let simmer for at least an hour (you could make this in a crock pot also). All those beans add up to a good amount of sodium, but it makes A LOT, so you can put them in little bowls and freeze them for a take to work or quick lunch kinda thing!

You can really play with what kind of beans you use.  I usually switch it up. This is fun to bring to work bc when you reheat it, it smells so so good!

White Bean Sweet Potato Chili-Crockpot

I am making this one tonight, and have not tried it...but I will let you know tomorrow.  I found the recipe in my Oxygen magazine this month. 

1 cup navy beans
1 yellow onion
3 cloves garlic
4 cups chicken broth
2 cans diced green chiles
2 sweet potatoes
1-1.5 diced chicken
1 tblsp cumin
1 tblsp oregano flakes
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups chopped kale (I left this out bc I am scurrred)

Soak the navy beans overnight.  Drain water and put at bottom of crockpot.  Cover with about one cup chicken broth.  Toss in the diced onion, diced garlic, cubed chicken breast, and cubed sweet potatoes.  Pour in remaining broth.  Stir in cumin, oregano, cinnamon, and green chiles.  Salt and pepper.

Cook on low for 8 hours.  10 minutes before serving, mix in chopped kale (again...Amy no likey this idea). 

If you yield 8 servings, that is 140 calories a serving!  I figure even if we just get 4 BIG bowls, that's only 280 calories a serving.  Not too shabby.  Of course it may taste like caca....and then it won't be that cool.

Stay tuned.

The containers I use for my soup:

They are ziploc twist tops.  They are awesome and heat in the microwave nicely. They measure 2 cups.

Some bandsters may not want to do soups, depending on what level of restriction you are at.  The creamy soups theoretically will not satisfy your physical hunger for long bc they will move through your band quicker than say a solid.  But some of the soups, like the taco, the sweet potato, or even the creamy chicken divan...can be chunky.  I find them very satisfying.  And it is SO nice to be able to freeze them so I can just grab and go.  That way I have no excuses for not bringing my lunch.

Mission Accomplished and Today I Hate My Ass

Last night I took myself to the treadmill.  And I did it.  4.5mph (which is a 13:20 pace) for 3.5 stopping.  No deviating.  And it wasn't that bad.  I could have gone farther physically but my brain said "Okay dude.  You did what you said you were going to do.  You are dismissed".

It felt good though.  My knees didn't feel so good.  But it's part of it I suppose.  Running is terrible for your body.  Good for your heart...bad for your joints.  But we try anyways don't we.

I can say that there is not a day that goes by that something isnt sore on me.  Sometimes its that good sore from DOMS, or lifting, or working muscles in a different ways, other days it's achy joints, pulled can have your pick.  I would say it's because I was fat for so long, but Heather is sore all the time too...and she hasn't been fat a day in her life.  I could say it's because I am getting older...and hell...there may be some truth to that....but I am only 32....that's not THAT old.  I think it's just from working your body.  It's good for you, but it does make an impact. 

It can't really be an excuse though for NOT working out.  When my neck was stiff and hurt to basically blink, I could still do lower I focused on that.  If you have bad knees, can't do lunges or squats or the can focus on upper body and other lower body moves that don't cause such an impact or strain on your knees.  You can work with what you got and what you can do.

Here is the thing about excuses.

Definition: A reason or explanation put forward to defend or justify a fault or offense. 

I could say that when I eat bad it's because I work a weird schedule, or there is always food around, or...I am on my period.  But for me, the truth is....I eat bad because it tastes so damn good and I am addicted to food and like to put it in my mouth. 

I could say that I took a week off exercising around Christmas (bc Heather was off work and hence there were no actual classes) because Heather was off work and hence there were no actual classes...but the truth is...I could have done something...a dvd, a jog....I didn't want to.  I didnt make time to work out because I didn't want too.

I know that there are valid reasons out there for not getting your ass to the gym.   Some of you work 16 hour shifts, and then come home, barely have time to take care of yourself, and have to care for others.  But for the majority of us, we usually find time....even if it's only an hour or two a do things we like.  Watch Grey's Anatomy, watch football, take a nap, read a book, go to the movies, go out to eat.  If we want something bad enough, we find time. 

It's hard to find time when we don't like it.  But usually the time is there. It COULD have been done.

You dig?

Now, on to more important matters...I feel like a bloated cow today.  For no good reasons other than the moth$#fu*&ing scale said 174.  And I KNOW, that weight fluctuates, that when I weigh at 5am it's a little higher...BLAH!  I want it to say YOU ARE SO SKINNY AND BEAUTIFUL.

Oh my God.  I just had an idea.  Someone needs to make a scale that gives us compliments.  Or lies to us.  Like, if we are up a pound from the last weigh in, it will say "No worries hot mama, just water weight".

Wouldn't that be great?

So I feel like my ass is fat.  And it doesnt help I am wearing light grey slacks sans Spanx.  Alas, I am just going to drink more water and pretend I am a super model...and stay away from mirrors.

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Three Almost Totally Unrelated Thoughts

1st.  I just ate the best greek yogurt.  I don't really usually enjoy yogurt because of the texture, and greek yogurt is usually even worse, but in my search for a healthier alternative to satisfy my sweet tooth, I picked these up the other day:

Yoplait Greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom and granola mixer.  I almost licked the container clean.  YUM-O.  It has 230 calories, 12 grams of protein, and will hopefully fuel me during my run in a few minutes.

2nd.  Have you ever stopped to think about how losing x number of pounds will feel on your body?  Of course I think about how much better my body feels now, versus when I was hauling 327 pounds around on my 5'4" frame.  But, it never occurred to me to think there may actually be a difference in me weighing 170 versus 150.  What if there is?  That would be awesome.  We shall see.

3rd.  When is the last time you felt at peace?  Like, do you ever get this overwhelming sense of calm and peacefulness?  I do. It usually only lasts a few minutes, and I am not sure if this will scream CO-DEPENDENT or not, but it usually comes when I glance at Heather....I could be in the kitchen and she could be on the couch...and all I see is the back of her head...but I know in those few beautiful fleeting seconds, that I am at peace.  It is a wonderful feeling.  I should learn to try and hold on to it for longer periods of times.  And it's so hard to is certainly nothing I have experienced before...but it's this need to change...just this feeling that I am exactly where I need to be, doing exactly what I need to do.  I was wondering if a majority of others felt this from time to time.  I sure hope so.

Off to run babycakes!


Monday's and Food Coma's

Presently, I am in a food coma...but through the haze brought on by my homemade tomato soup and lack of caffeine, I have managed to drag my comatose body to the keyboard to say hello.


And for those of us who work the Monday-Friday grind, we begin again.  As today is my weigh-in day, I weighed 173.2 this morning...which is a loss from Jan. 1 of...crap...I can do math...6.8 pounds.

I shall take you 6.8 pounds and we shall dance a jig.  Although I really want out of the 170's again dudes.  Hopefully by next week, although that might be a tad of a stretch.

Today I am running after work.  I think I will set my goal for a 4.5 mph pace, for 3.5 miles.  I know I can do it...I just tend to like to quit after 3 miles saying "that's good enough for today".  Well, it isn't good enough okay AMY?  I need to keep pushing a little bit each week. 

On a side note, I picked up a box of nerds (one of those tiny ones) from my coworkers desk today...not because I really even like them, but I was in a snacky mood...and I ate them.  I or 40 calories.  Then, AFTER I ate them, I went to log my calories...60 flippin calories!  For that.  Blah. 

Love ya's!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Weekend Winddown

Man, I could not think of a catchy blog title!  I am sitting her cross legged on my couch, enjoy my first diet sunkist of the day.  99 ounces of water in, I cracked open a cold one.  Oooh, it burns me so good.

One of the things that I find different about using the dailyplate/livestrong app for tracking my food is that it doesn't just go off a set number of calories that YOU want to eat a day.  After you put in your height, weight, normal info, it asks you how much you would like to lose per week.  I have selected 2 pounds.  Then, it takes in account of what you say is your normal activity level for a normal day and it generates a goal.  Mine is 1,445.  In other words, I can eat 1,445 calories a day and lose 2 pounds a week.  Then you can click on the little circles add food or your exercising (only 150 for me today thanks to disc golfing). 

It's nice.  And I have stuck to it so far (it's been nearly a claps).

I didn't eat breakfast as you can see (we woke up late and I was chugging water).  Lunch was my homemade tomato soup, and dinner is yet to come.  You will see that my snacks are leading the charge...due to the two skinny cow ice cream sandwiches I have consumed.  Those bad mamma jammas are good!

I didnt have to workout this weekend thanks to already doing cardio 4 times and circuit 3.  (my goal is cardio twice and circuit 3).

I am feeling good and staying on track.  Historically though, we know I do well for two weeks...and then...well...mommy strays.

I have bought a variety of different things to snack on when and if I feel like I need something sweet.  Strawberry applesauce, pear chunks in light syrup, apple and peanut butter, greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom and granola mixer.  I also have been enjoying FUZE slenderize drinks (20 calories).  I have one a day.

I have my lunches prepared for the week (tomato soup with feta).  I have my snacks planned.  I have my breakfasts.  I got this.  I got this.  You got this?  You do.  I know it. 

Friday, January 6, 2012

Why You HAVE To Workout

There were a couple months at the beginning of my journey that I didnt really work out.  Maybe somewhere around month 4 & 5.  But ever since then, and for sure right after surgery...I have been doing SOMETHING that could be classified as a workout.  In the beginning it was just walking, increasing the distance every week.  Then it was bootcamp once or twice a week.  Now, and for the last 2 years really, it has been a steady workout of resistance/weight training (circuit). 

I was thinking last night about those of us "goalsters"...those of us who have reached our goals and are maintaining for the most part.  I can't think of one bandster who has reached goal that has not adopted working out into their lives.  Can you? 

With other WLS, you may be able to reach goal without really working out too much...but I know that even with rapid weight loss, eventually you are going to have to start least to keep the weight off.

But more importantly, to make you body look good.

Even if you could reach your goal with the lapband without a day of exercise, I don't think it would be very pretty in the end.  Think of rapid weight loss.  We know that losing weight really fast means that most likely, it is taking some of our muscle mass with it.  So you could end up skinny, but not fit.  And our metabolisms are already so so jacked up.  So if we lose muscle...that aint helping the situation.  Why do have a different body composition or shape than others who might weigh the same or less than me (I get the:Wow, you don't look like you weigh 170 a lot).  Its because my 170, or 178, or whatever...of course comes with some fat I could still stand to lose, but comes with a lot of muscle.  I know that we are all different.  Not everyone wants big ol' biceps, some people may enjoy the waif look. And that's cool.  I dig.  But if you want to get your extra off, keep your extra off, and have your remains work for you for the fullest...eventually, hopefully sooner than are going to have to exercise on a regular basis. 

And I can tell you, for me, it's never really fun.  Like you will never hear me say "I LOVE WORKING OUT".  But you will hear me say "I LOVE SEEING WHAT WORKING OUT HAS DONE FOR MY BODY".

And that's the hard part at first.  When we have so much extra padding, sometimes it can take months...even close to a see our hard work paying off.  But once you get that taste, it pushes you.  You just have to hold on through the "not seeing" part. 

But if this girl can do it, you can do it.

Fighting the good fight.  That's how we roll.

Where My Vitamins Live

Can you see them there?  Amongst the clutter?  Right on the top of my laptop docking station at work live my vitamins.  I house them in a little daily pill container.  And I am currently on the longest streak in the nearly three years that I have been banded of taking my vitamins as I am supposed too.  I load the container every Monday morning, and start taking them sometime after breakfast.  On the weekends, I throw the container in my purse and take it home. 

I am getting some blood work done for my upcoming 3 year check up, and I am anxious to see if the areas I was deficient in last year are better now. 

Just wanted to share what works for me! 


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Mommy Sipped The Hooch

So a couple important updates.

I have made a new rule.  If I drink at least 100 ounces of water, I can have one diet sunkist.  There.  So I had one last night, cold out of the fridge, a beautiful little can...and I drank that sucker in record time.  It was beautiful. 

BRUSSELS SPROUTS:  Big news kids.  They are NOT terrible.  Thank you for all the suggestions.  I went with Em's suggestion of a Rachel Ray recipe that calls for sauteing them with onions and then boiling them in a cup of chicken broth for 10 minutes (check the comments section from yesterday for the link).  Of course, I didnt use the bacon bc Heather doesnt really enjoy bacon (she's not right).  I went the boil route bc I like my veggies mushier rather than crispier.  It helps me.  So out they came.  They didnt make the house stink at all, probably bc of the onions and chicken broth.  I may have used too much salt...but oh well.  Heather loved them.  I believe her exact words were "that shit is good babe".  I didnt love them like I love broccoli, but I believe I can come to actually like them.  They will definitely be added to our veggie rotation. 

Along with our Brussels sprouts, we had about 4 ounces of chicken breast and a side of whole wheat cous cous that I mixed with halved grape tomatoes and feta cheese.  I really really enjoy cous cous. 

I hadnt hopped on the scale since Monday, and Monday is was 178.2...and I wanted to see 175.  I don't know WHY people, but that's what I had in my head...because you know when you start working out you instantly feel thinner?  Anyways, I saw 177.2.  Blah.  Fine.  So I ran before circuit this morning.  2 miles/26 minutes. Then I circuited for 45 minutes.  Total calorie burn of 610 calories.  Thank you heart rate monitor.  I will take that.

For breakfast I hate half an Atkins bar and drank a cup of milk.  For lunch I am having my creamy black bean soup (low in calorie and pretty tasty), and if I get hungry for snack I have an apple and peanut butter or some strawberry applesauce.

I am 33 ounces of water in and plan on getting my 100.  For no other reason than I can consume a pop.  Ooooh...if I drink 200 ounces can I have 2 pops?  I'm ON IT BUDDY!

Happy Thursday.  Keep living the dream people.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

I Like Pretty Things

David Beckham Shows Off Sexy Six-Pack Abs in H&M Underwear Ad

David B has been blowing my phone UP! He keeps calling...asking me out...and I say "NO DAVID BECKHAM.  NO!  I LOVE HEATHER".  He just won't get the picture though.

But I am not kidding when I said I stared at this picture for at least 60 seconds, elbow on desk, head in palm, mouth slightly opened.  He's pretty. 

What's funny though, is if I just look at the midsection-above the package, or at the quads, below the package-I could mistake him for my girlfriend. 

It's true.  I live with a ridiculous peace of muscle.  And during the winter, one may not be able to see what I am dealing with on a daily basis, but it's motivating.  Not like I think for a moment that any amount of working out would make me resemble her body, but she has spent many years working on her muscles and their placement.  For example, she has one of those butts.  You know.  Pokes out but sets high.

And this may have just turned into a Heather compliment fest, but I really had a point until I got distracted with Davie up there...

and of course the point is ME-focused.  I have been working on my lower half with squats, lunges, and the I have discussed before.  And I am pretty sure that my quads AND my ass are getting bigger (not due to the few pounds I am up).  And both of these things are good...but they are almost counterproductive to one of my lifelong wishes (since puberty anyways) that pants shopping was easy.  Because my hips...well ladies and gentlemen, seem to be stuck in weight loss purgatory.  Meaning...fat doesnt seem to ever leave them.  And so now I am adding muscle bulk, not really trading that fat bulk...and holy Pepe jeans people...the fit of my slacks is getting weirder.

Sigh.  A trade off I suppose.

Anyways, those are my thoughts.  And one last thought about Heather.  The girl was off work for practically 2 weeks, barely worked out, and ate and drank like the end of the world was right around the corner.  She LOST weight.  Mmmmhmmm...saw 121 on the scale.  I almost stabbed her with my SonicCare the morning she skipped off the scale.  But I would miss her too much.

Or at least her ass.

The end.

My Playlist

It didnt show up for some of you, so here you go:

T.H.E (the hardest ever)-Will.I.AM (dirty version)
Break Stuff-Limp Biskit (dirty version)
Sugar-Kid Rock (again, dirty version)
So Hott-Kid Rock (dirty version)
Fish-Craig Campbell (country)
Nookie-Limp Biskit
Hell on Heels (country)
This is Why Im Hot-Mims (great reminder of why you are working out)
Stereo Hearts-Gym Class Heros
Work Out-Cole World J. Cole
You-Chris Young (country--might be too slow)
Pause Zumba Mix-Pitbull
Walk This Way-Run DMC
Booty Wurk-Joey Galaxy
Shake Ya Tailfeather-Nellie
No. 1-Nellie
Sexy and I know it-LMFAO
Moves Like Jagger-Maroon 5
I do-Toya
Faded-Soul decision
Hurts so good-John Mellencamp
I wanna be bad-Willa Ford
Hit Em Up Style-Blu Cantrell

There you go kids!

My Quads Need A Sedative

I am not sure why, but my run on Monday has made me very sore.  Perhaps it was the wind, or just the added distance running outside, but I have run over 5 miles before on the treadmill and do not remember being hobbled.

Having to wear high heel shoes to work doesn't help.  I could barely walk out of the gym today, make the 20 feet trek to my office, and throw myself in my chair.  I thought someone would find me, laying in the parking lot, hugging my gym bag and whimpering.

We were supposed to do bootcamp this morning, which is a torturous 45 minutes cardio/ab thing Heather designed to break up the monotony of circuit....but no one showed up so I just ran on the treadmill.  Did I say this the other day?  Who knows.  I find the lack of the soda hooch is sucking my brain power...but the number one reason running outside is better than running on the treadmill?  You can't just stop when you are running outside.  I mean you can STOP, but you have to run back...or else make a phone call for a pick up.  But when you run outside, you have to run back.  On the treadmill, when you want to can just hop off.

So I did.  After 36 minutes and 2.72 miles.  Damn...I should have just made it to 3 miles.  But I did burn 400 calories.  So score! 

Tonight for dinner I will be trying a new vegetable called brussels sprouts.  I am scared.  They look very vegetable like.  But last year I fell in love with broccoli, so anything is possible.  I believe I will roast them the oven with salt, pepper, and olive oil.  Any suggestions are welcome.  Remember, the goal is to get me to like them.

Happy Wednesday my friends!  Go forth and conquer!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Why Dieting is Like A Gfit From Santa


And for those of you who want to tell me...."It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle change"...I dont want to hear it okay?

I have decided that LIFE is a DIET.  If we can't eat whatever we want whenever we want, than it's a damn diet.



There.  I feel better.  But only a little.  Only if we are measuring in sparrow farts.  Tiny.  That's tiny dude.

Can you tell it's day three of my detox from crap?  Or shall we call it "Food Freedom".  Oh how I miss thee Food Freedom.  I havent had a drop of pop (soda if you insist on saying it wrong) since 11:59pm of the year 2011.  I was thinking I would get through the withdrawal headaches, but they showed up last night.  Bastards.  And I ate 3/4 of an apple today because I read that apples are better than coffee at waking you up...and I don't drink coffee, so I cannot accurately compare, but I know they aren't as good as a nice cold can of POP!


This morning for breakfast I had half an Atkins bar and a cup of 2% milk.  Then for a mid-morning snack I had some pear pieces in lite juice and my vitamins.  After which, I took a big swig of water and then threw all that up.  Awesome.

For lunch I had some peanut butter and mr. apple, and a soup to go. 


tonight for dinner I will be enjoy an all beef frank, on one half a wheat bun, smothered in my chili with spicy mustard and cheese.  Now that's tasty.

Full of sodium you say?

I say suck it.

Just kidding.

Well.  Only a little.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Questions From The Un-banded

I received a FB message from one of my coworkers, who I love because everytime we run into each other she says "You've lost more weight", and then I get to tell her that I am in fact getting fatter...and we argue briefly about how good I look.

But I digress...

She of course knows that I am banded, has found my blog, and asked me the following questions.  And I thought I would answer them here for any of you newbies or those who are considering WLS.

 I am really thinking that this is the route I want to go but I have so many fears... will I loose the weight, be able to resist the temptations, tone up?? How did you do it, and were you not scared?

I hesitate these days to tell someone that the band is the most amazing weight loss tool ever.  Because even though for me, it certainly has been, over the past several years, I have seen those who succeed, those who don't, those who really want to but...for what ever reason...the band was not the right choice.  But I do not hesitate to say that for me, making the choice to a) have weight loss surgery and b) going the route of the band versus other options, has been the best decision of my life.  It has freed me.  It has given me things I never thought were going to be possible.  It has allowed me to live my life to the fullest-physically speaking anyways.   I would do it again in a heartbeat.

But, medical issues aside (bc there are those in our fold who have had to have the band removed and chose other options) I know the band CAN work.  But it only does about 50% fo the job.  And maybe that's why it worked for me.  Because I knew I could do HALF the work at least....just don't expect me to do 100%.  (Heather says I like to do things half-assed.  She may be on to something).  Once Dr. Friedman told me that I could have the surgery and NOT lose any weight, I knew I wasn't going to be THAT girl.  If I was going through with it, I was going through with it.  And it helped Dr. Friedman was smokin' and I wanted to impress him.

And like I have said before, having a good doctor-regardless of hotness-but one that you trust, can work with, let's you get fills when you make the case for one, etc...can make you or break you even before you get started.

I don't really remember being scared.  I remember being scared the day of surgery, just bc you get that fear that you may die :) But after that...I was good.

And the toning up thing.  Well, that depends on SO many factors, but I believe that if you start working out and then actually start WEIGHT TRAINING, that over the does start to look better.  I have been lifting now regular for at least two years.  And it's not THAT bad.  You can't just lose the weight and THEN start toning.  It will be too late.  You can't just do cardio and expect your body to tone up.  It's a mix.  But you have to do it.  And that can be one of the hardest things.  Because the band doesnt help you work out.  Damn it.

But regardless of what you choose, do your research.  Be honest with yourself.  But don't wait.  Don't let your fears keep you from something that potentially could change your live for the better.  The unknown doesnt have to be scary.  It can be full of great things, new things, and the beginning of a new lease on life.

Hope that helps!

Running Against the Wind

Part of my "new" exercise routine for this new year will be changing things up just a little...and sadly...for me...that means adding more cardio to my workout and possibly cutting back on my weight lifting just a tad.  Instead of 4-6 sessions of weights a week, I am going to cut back to just 3 times a week, and add 2 sessions of cardio.

Mommy hates cardio.  I've even grown to hate Zumba.  I know.  It's true.  But, for ME to LOSE weight, I know I need to up my cardio and keep it consistent. 

So this morning, I went for a run.  I made my little playlist to go along with my Nike running gps app...which I have talked about before, but it is well worth the $2.99 to purchase it.  I love that it tracks my route, I can play my playlist through it, it tracks my pace, shows a map, etc.  I have tried other free apps in the past, and none are as accurate or user friendly. 

Anywhoozle, I started running to Will.I.Am's new I got a little excited out of the gate and thought I may have to start walking just 1 minute in.  I made it though, without stopping, 3.13 miles...half of thosse against the wind.  The wind is no joke my friends!  I did pass this cute jogger man twice, and managed to say "This wind sucks" to him like I knew what I was talking about.  My pace is slow, but it was steady.  Upon entering the house I grabbed my water bottle and the bottle of IBprofen.  My knees were really hurting for some reason this time...they usually dont bother  me.

Hell.  I am old.

But I am feeling good spirit wise.  I feel like I can stay away from the diet hooch for the day, drink my water, make positive choices.

Here is my Nike GPS app for today:

I am also using Daily Plate/Livestrong app to track my calories.  Heather uses it religiously, and I have used to from time to time.  We pay for the $2 version...and they recently  made it tons more user friendly.  Here is the home page on my iphone app:

Some of the songs I have on my running playlist are:

Happy Monday folks.  It seems like a lot of us bloggers are recommitting.  Let's do this together.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Holidays: Gifts That Keep On Giving

Apparently, I am storing up for a long cold winter.  Like a squirrel collecting nuts for a snowstorm that will never arrive, I have been packing on the pounds over the holidays.  10 pounds to be exact.  And I have reached an all-time PB (post-band) high of 180 el-bees. 

That's right.


It is official.  Perhaps I can blame a residual counter gravity effect due to the winter solstice...but...probably not.

And seeing as how January 1st seems like a good place to begin....I shall begin again.  I have been thinking about my plan of attack for several days now, mulling over my grand ideas and possible goals...whilst eating large amounts of ice cream and swigging Pepsi straight from the 2-liter bottle.

Here is what I've got.  What worked for me during the first year of weight loss?

1.  Goals
2.  Blogging
3.  Water consumption
4.  Self-discipline
5.  Proper Restriction

And as of late my friends, I really can't claim to have possessed any of the above 5 mention items.

So here is my goal.

By May 1st, that is five months from today, I will have lost...

wait for it....

wait for it...

30 pounds. 

So I will weigh in at 150 on May 1st, 2012.  Awesome. 

Am I scared of not reaching this goal.  Wellllll....sure.  30 pounds is a lot for where I am, how I eat, how I work out.  But you have to set a goal.  You have to make it public.  And so it is.

I will also be blogging more regular.  I will be updating my weight using the tracker ticker every Monday, just like the good old days.

I started drinking water again today.  I remember when I used to be religious about the old H2o.  I would preach the virtues of it.  And then slowly...the demon soda pop took hold of my heart.  As of midnight last night, I am giving up drinking my calories (well, at least pop with calories)...although I will be cutting way back on adult beverages and diet soda as well.

As for the self-discipline, I need to be more more know...make actual healthy choices.  I did this once.  I shall do it again.  This part, for my old all up to us.  The band does not make the healthy choices for us.

And finally...proper restriction.  I still get stuck...but that doesnt mean I have good restriction.  It means I am probably trying to shovel a full sized hamburger down my throat like a normal person and it gets lodged.  My band is actually pretty loose. I am coming up on my three year anniversary, so it is time for a visit to Hot Doc anyways...but I moved it back until the beginning of February...bc I am not dragging my ass in to see Dr. Friedman having gained 10 pounds.  OH hell no.

So there you go.  I'm feeling good about it.

Of course, it's just the end of day one. 

Happy New Year to all of you.  May it just keep getting better :)