weight loss tracker

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Slow, but steady?

Well, sort of, I guess. This week could have been (and probably should have been) worse. My band's been feeling much looser for the last couple of weeks, and I've been pushing my portions. AND making less-than-great food choices (hellllllooooo cookies?!?!). As of yesterday morning, I was 4 pounds up from last week. ACK!!!

Fortunately, this morning was 'official' weigh-day, and I'm only a pound up. I'm going to chalk that up to the fact that I called Dr. G's office on Monday and made a last-minute appointment to get a fill -- which I did yesterday. So, I was on liquids/mushies yesterday and didn't consume much at all. He put back in the .5cc that he took out back in September when I was over-filled. It feels no where near as tight this time as it did last time. He had me make an appointment for 4 weeks from now, so I may well get another tiny fill then.

I don't like my band being super-tight, but I've been able to eat like I'm not banded for a couple of weeks now. Hopefully this little fill will put the brakes on things some, even if it's not bringing me back to what I feel is ideal restriction for me. I didn't want to overdo it, especially as I'm going to be out of town for a week (Sun-Sun).

I think we're ready for the holidays. We're on a tight budget, so I've been picking up things a little bit at a time for the kids. We were going to build them a computer from all the parts we have and that my dad has, but my spouse has been working crazy overtime to get enough put together so we can just buy one instead. Nothing fancy, just something that they can play kid games on and that my oldest can use to visit websites for school. The rest of the gift thing I kept simple, just picking up some books, doll clothes, and a couple of board games. And a zhu-zhu pet for each of them. :)

Back in October, a friend of mine who will never be having children passed along her American Girl dolls and ALL clothing and accessories she had collected. (a whole little wardrobe full!). My oldest daughter fell in LOVE with her doll and is obsessed with the story of her doll's character, dressing her up, etc. So I ordered a couple of non-AG matching outfits (actual AG stuff is EXPENSIVE!!) that I hope she'll enjoy, and the box set of the stories from Hastings secondhand. Yay!

Speaking of great deals -- I had the BEST thrift store haul ever yesterday. I found out through an Austin blog that the St. Vincent de Paul thrift shop was closing its doors, and had discounted everything to dirt-cheap prices. And when I say dirt-cheap, I mean it. Almost all clothing was $.25 each. I pretty much got my older girl's entire wardrobe for the next size up -- 25+ pieces. Plus some items she can wear now, a few things for the little one, a shirt and a couple of dresses for me, some kid books and videos, and assorted odds and ends. All for $23. Crazy!

My spouse has to work on Christmas Day and through the weekend, so we're just doing stockings here on Christmas morning, then the kids and I will be meeting up with some of our dear ones (non-blood-family) for Dim Sum. Then on Sunday I'll be taking the kids to my folks' place for the week, and we'll do the 'big' Christmas to-do on Tuesday. Having grown up in a house where my mom was a nurse and worked many holidays, we have never been sticklers for holidays actually being celebrated ON the calendar day. Early? Late? Sure, whatever. As long as we're together, it's all good. Spouse and I aren't religious at all, so the date really doesn't matter to us. ;)

Hopefully I can make it through the visit with my aunt. We had a falling out back in May (huge stupid story), and this will be the first time I've seen her since. She has more body-image issues than most, and is going to probably be a complete freak about my weight loss. I don't want to make a big deal of it, I've been trying to keep focus on the health benefits rather than the aesthetics of it around my daughters, but she is going to be ALL about how it looks, and very vocal (the woman is LOUD) too. *sigh*

Ah well, hopefully we can make it through the visit without any major trauma. I'm only holding out the olive branch for my mom's sake, so I'll have to keep my sass in check. ;)

Happy holidays to everyone! Whatever you celebrate (if you do), may it be filled with love and loved ones! :)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Not going to make it...

... to my Christmas Challenge goal.

So close, but unless something goes totally crazy in the next week, I'm not dropping another 5.5 pounds between today and the 25th. Ah well. I can't complain too much, 80-something pounds down for the year is nothing to sneeze at!

Well, maybe it is... I do notice that I'm FREEZING without so much of my squishy insulating layer of fat to protect me on cold days. ;)
*aaaaah-chooo!* hehehehe

(edited to add) Oh, I almost forgot -- yesterday was my 6-month-anniversary of getting my band. 39.5 pounds down since being banded. 83.5 pounds down since starting my band journey in January!

The semester is over, and I managed to somehow kick ass on all my classes. I have a 4.0 GPA right now, let's see if I can keep that up for another 3-4 years! *laugh*

Now to catch up on all the things that got put on the back burner for the past couple of weeks. Exercise and housekeeping most of all.

It's VERY hard for me to keep up with exercise when we are not on a schedule, but hopefully I can get back on track more than I did this week.

The house is a complete wreck, from top to bottom, and is becoming a real hazard to walk through due to kids' stuff everywhere. Our place is not very big, so chaos takes over in a hurry. I hope to get it all put together before the girls and I leave on the 26th to visit my parents.

The budget was VERY tight for the holidays this year, but I'd been buying in little bits for the past several months, so I think I'm all good for presents. My spouse doesn't plan in advance, so if I left it up to him, the kids would get what I typically get for gifts.... that is to say, nothing. I do plan and scrimp, so the kids (and the spouse, in fact) should have fun opening presents, even though we don't do high-dollar items as a general rule for Christmas. I am salvaging parts from my defunct desktop computer, and my dad has parts from his upgrades, so he and I will be building the girls a computer to bring back after New Year's Day. We'll be at home through Christmas Day, but we're keeping it simple here -- just stockings -- and celebrating bigger with my folks and sister a few days after.

I made decadent cranberry-orange-walnut oatmeal cookies yesterday for a potluck we were supposed to be going to tonight. However, the potluck was cancelled, and I have been grazing my way through the bag of cookies. ACK!! Why can't cookies get stuck by my band like chicken and turkey breast?!?!? I put the darn things in the garage fridge in hopes that I would leave them alone, but they're just so GOOD with hot tea. *sigh*

Hopefully everyone is avoiding holiday temptation better than I have been the past couple of days! I'm going to go play a little catchup on your blogs too. Hey, it's WAY better than the thought of tackling this house! ;D

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Hey, I haven't even eaten any Thanksgiving dinner yet!!!

However, something in my body must have reset this week, because I gained back 2 of the pounds I lost last week.

So, I'm barely back into obese, and I'm not 80# down anymore. Poop!

I guess this is good motivation to keep myself in check over the next few days of T-day madness. I have a Thanksgiving dinner today, tomorrow, AND Saturday that I'm slotted to attend. I might not go to the one on Saturday, though, if I can find some folks to go booty-shaking with me instead that night.

I know from experience that my body likes to do these little bounce-backs after a few weeks of good losses, but it's still not fun. My scale says that my body fat is lower, though, by a couple of percentage points. Hrmmmmmm.

Somehow I got put to task on making the foods I will not be actually eating for today. Mashed potatoes, homemade herb bread, and Nutella samosas. Oh yeah, and green beans. Those, I'll eat. ;) More bread-baking for tomorrow (a sourdough and an herb this time), and something sweet potato-y. I have some awesome sweet potato curries and such I could do, but my folks are traditionalists, so it will be something far too sticky sweet for my liking that I whip up instead.

I hope all my U.S. followers have a wonderful Thanksgiving and make it through without too much temptation or trouble. No stuck turkey, OK??? ;)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

I am a Warrior!!!

Yesterday was the Warrior Dash....

And I did it!!

I finished!

I finished in less than an hour!!

I wasn't even totally wiped out by the experience!!!

Amazingly enough, I was actually somewhere in the back of the middle group of finishers for my wave. I only came in about 5 minutes behind my spouse, and about 3-4 minutes ahead of our friend that ran with us. I really expected both fellas to leave me totally in the dust (or mud). But nope -- I really held my own!

This was a huge facing-my-fear experience for me. All through school, I was the chubby chick who was picked last for teams, the slowest runner, etc. Running was my least favorite physical activity -- ever. So, I went into this experience with two very distinct minds. Logically, I knew that I would finish. After all, I'd been finishing within a decent time in training. Inside, though, some big part of me was convinced that I'd be the fat chick last straggler of the day, making my embarrassed way through the final gauntlet with all these people looking on and smirking/laughing at me.

After it was over, I was sore -- but not in my legs or feet. In my shoulders, across my back. Apparently I had been holding on to my fear and anxiety in a physical way and hadn't even realized it until it was all over. I literally felt like a noodle, and I really was wishing for a hot tub. heheh

Now, though, I am SO glad that I did it, and I think my spouse and a few of our friends that were there in other waves are going to try to hit more of these adventure races around Texas. The idea of a regular 5K doesn't really appeal to me as much, but I loved running through the muck and mud, sliding down hills, climbing over cars and walls, and wrangling my way through and over rope obstacles.
Bring it on!!!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

80! Not Obese! and New Hair!

Hey so I guess I should update!

After 3 weeks of inexplicable great numbers on the scale, I'm solidly down over 80 pounds total since the start of 2010. Yay!

This milestone gets me a couple of others.

-- According to the BMI calculation, I am no longer obese -- now I am merely overweight. :D

-- And, I am 2/3 of the way to my goal range - I'm aiming for somewhere between 145 and 150 pounds.

Today I got my hair cut and colored. You can't see how bright the red is in this shot, but I have bright streaks of red in near-black. No more crazy salt-n-pepper hair, woot!

Day after tomorrow is the Warrior Dash. I'm not really sure I'm ready. I know I'll finish, but I don't know if I will manage it in less than an hour. I've been able to get my time down to 40 minutes to cover the same distance (3.2 miles) on the treadmill, but the race is on a horsetrail with 12 obstacles, so I'm sure my time will increase considerably from the treadmill time. I don't have a great pedometer, so I haven't been able to tell how I'm faring when I've taken my running out to outdoor trails. Guess we'll see!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Oh look, I'm on the radar again....

... and other thoughts.

So last night's Freak Homecoming Dance brought home something that I'd noticed every other time I've lost weight, but hadn't noticed yet this go-around. Usually, right around the time I hit onederland, I come back on the radar as far as attention from guys is concerned. I haven't been particularly social, so it hadn't come up too much yet, but last night it definitely did. I showed up, and the attention was *immediate* from a couple of guys I'd dated casually in my long-lost past (who haven't said hardly boo to me in the intervening "fat" years -- not rude to me, I was just invisible). And another guy that I never dated, but knew me back in the late 90s came up to me and was asking me what I'd been up to, why he hadn't seen me around since he moved to Austin, etc. The thing is, he HAS seen me around.... but I didn't register on his radar, so he never realized that we were at the same parties and such for the last couple of years. LOL

I got a little bit of the same sort of stuff at a local monthly social dinner recently. Several guys (who I've seen at these things every few months for the past 3 years) apparently just noticed I exist. It's weird and disconcerting. At least the female contingent of my various social circles is more observant (and less "radar"-oriented, it seems). heheheh

On the flipside, I have been noticing some other interesting phenomena. A post from Lap Band Gal got me to thinking about my attitudes about justifying food, and about how people react to food statements. And about how those attitudes and reactions change as I become less overweight.

I was at a new Chinese place with my spouse and kids a couple of nights ago. Kind of like Pei Wei, but local and with less options. Anyways, there was a very obese couple eating at a table near where the line to order was. They had ordered the lettuce wraps as an appetizer, and I was really impressed with the large portion size (as I was looking to feed all four of us off it). I commented that "Wow, that's a big amount" or something similar, and immediately I could tell that she had interpreted it wrong -- her eyes narrowed and she mumbled something about how it was only chicken and mushrooms and lettuce. She would have probably taken it as intended from the 270# me, but it definitely went awry from the 191# me. Oops. I casually clarified that it was a lot of bang for the buck and proceeded to order one of the same for us, plus my entree, my spouse's, and a kids' entree for them to split. We then proceeded to discuss kids and her grandkids, so I think everything was fine from there, but there was a real moment of ACK on my part. I guess I'm going to have to think about what I say more closely, as I'm so used to being on that side of the fence that I still see myself there --- even if other people don't now.

My camera last night had serious blurry issues, so I didn't get any good body pics. But, there were other cameras and a pro taking pics too, so once those are posted, hopefully there will be one where I can see how I actually looked. I don't have a full head-to-toe mirror here, so I never did get to see the total package that I managed to wrangle for an outfit. ;)

Saturday, November 6, 2010

The Halloween Candy Diet?

Um, OK....

So maybe me eating everything in my kids' buckets last weekend that contained chocolate+ (I like chocolate, but it's a weakness only if it's combined with nuts or cookies or something) was a trigger to get the metabolism rolling or something? LOL
And I kept nibbling on the pan de muertos we made too.

2.6 pounds down on Thursday, and another .5-1 gone unofficially since then. What???

And it's not like I had major exercise offsets or anything. A lingering respiratory bug has me doing my runs with more walking than running for the last 2 weeks.

I'll take what the scale says, but I'm very confused!!

Hopefully it will keep on going, though, because I'm going to be hard-pressed to make my Christmas Challenge goal if I hit anymore plateaus.

Tonight is a "Freak Homecoming Dance" that I'll be attending. I'm making my mum today (don't ask, the HUGE and obnoxious homecoming mum is apparently a Texas-only phenomenon), and am trying to figure out how to make myself tall enough that my dress hem won't drag on the ground. Fortunately, in Burner culture, platform combat boots go with *anything*, including ethereal vintage 70s formalwear. ;)

If I can remember to actually USE my camera, I'll get pics. heh

Monday, November 1, 2010

Put it back in!

So it would seem that I need to put at least .25 cc of what I had Dr. Ganta take out back in again.

I've hit something of a plateau, weightloss-wise, and my willpower has been lacking big-time. School got crazy, kids got sick. Then I got sick. My restriction is erratic at best, and much like before my last fill, I can usually take down at least 2 cups before feeling sated. I get stuck every once in a while, but it's usually only with chicken or pork. Everything else goes down fine, and in whatever quantities I choose to eat it. *sigh*

Still, there hasn't been much in the house to eat that's dietarily detrimental in quality (just quantity), until a couple of days ago. Then we took the kids to my spouse's place of employment, where they have trick-or-treating all over the building. Yep, candy. Lots of candy.

Two days later and all the chocolate-related candy goods have disappeared.... and we all know where they went. :(

I'm so glad we do the Sugar Fairy thing around here. So as of this morning, the candy is gone (including last night's haul), and given to someone participating in the Halloween Candy Buyback program. Whew!

I won't be able to go get filled again for a few weeks, though, I think. My copay is $50, and I just don't have the extra right now to do it. I just registered for my spring semester classes, so this month has a double tuition payment whammy. I'll just have to dig a little deeper and find some willpower reserves somewhere. Especially if I intend to make that Christmas Challenge.

C25K is going OK, I guess. Being sick this past week meant my runs were on the weak side, but I did do them, so that's something. :) I don't know how much distance I'm covering on my outdoor terrain runs, but the indoor ones are coming out to about 1.8 miles per 25 minutes. I have to get faster or my butt is going to be lagging way behind at the Warrior Dash in a few weeks. (EEEK!)

I hope everyone has been doing GREAT! I've managed to read blogs every 2-3 days, but I have had NO time to comment. I don't expect I'll have more time any time soon, as my 8-week distance learning class just started and I somehow have to find time to watch 26 hours of online videos and take exams and quizzes relating to them. And keep up with my other classes. hrm.

Yesterday was the last day of our gym membership. I loved that gym, but the Y is less than half the price for a family membership, so we start over there tomorrow!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Speedy post!

Sorry I've been negligent in my posting. Life's getting all crazy and such. I should be back to my normal schedule now that my oldest is back in school. She's in a year-round charter right now and they had a 2 week fall break, plus Columbus Day, which threw everything for a loop as far as my school schedule went. The first Monday was wrangled OK as my kids were visiting my parents, but the other two involved some variation of childcare fail. Next semester I'm taking Tuesday/Thursday classes instead of Monday/Wednesday ones in an effort to hopefully avoid some of the Monday-holiday issues we've had this semester.

My unfill has definitely helped in the pain department, but oddly enough, now I think my band is too loose. I guess this thing really does have some serious fine-tuning needs. On my next appointment, I'll be having Dr. Ganta put back in .25cc, as my portions are still kind of out of whack. I get stuck every once in while, but if I chew and take my time, I can now usually down a couple of cups of food at a sitting again. hrm. :

The scale moved the right direction again last week, and I think it will again this week, though I've been trying to stay off the scale. There's definitely a pattern to my weight loss (and gains), it seems. I should graph it at some point. :)

Today was Week 2, Day 1 of C25K for me. I completely kicked its ass today for some reason. Maybe because I wasn't actually at the "couch" setting, physically, to start, but I'm finding it not too hard to do 3-4 minute runs broken up with 60-90 second walks. I think whenever I officially get to the 4th or 5th week, I'm going to try to start doing it on a trail near my house instead of at the gym, at least once or twice a week. Hopefully by then it will be cooler here, and the terrain running will be better training for the Warrior Dash than treadmill running.

I should be working on my Chem lab right now, but I left my syllabus at home, so I have no idea which lab to start working on. So, it's email, FB, and blog catchup time for a few minutes, woohoo! :D

Hope everyone is doing great!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Wherein I bite off more than I can chew....

Or at least, I'm thinking real hard about it.

My spouse and a couple of other (male) friends are doing this upcoming race at the end of November.

The Warrior Dash is a 6K race full of obstacles, mud, fire, and chaos!

On one hand, it sounds right up my alley.

On the other, I am no longer the 24-year-old Burner chick that ran through magnesium-fueled bonfires and went 4-wheeling through the Hualapai Playa.

Now, I'm a 37-year-old, kind of flabby, overtired mother of two. ;)

It *would* be good impetus to really get crackin' at the gym, both on my running endurance and on my upper body weight training. I definitely would need to work on both, as I'd like to not end up walking more than running. And I need some more upper body strength if I anticipate being able to haul myself over the climbing wall and over the rusted junker cars.

The idea is really intimidating, especially as I don't think I could get any of my female friends to do it with me. The only one I know who would be all over it is due to give birth right around then, so it's definitely not going to be happening for her. *laugh*

But it's also really inspiring. I've been thinking of trying to C25K anyways to do maybe the Thanksgiving Bun Run or somesuch, but this sounds WAY more interesting than your typical 5K. heheh

I'm a little put off by the fact that in all the videos I've watched so far, there has been a real variety in the shapes, ages, and sizes of the male participants. But the women all seem to be in their mid-20s and fit. Now, probably that just reflects the typical predelictions of the videographers, but it would be nice to see some other women participating that don't reflect that demographic.

Hrmmmmm...... I should decide sort of soon, and then see which of my girl friends I can browbeat into accompanying me if I do register. ;)


Cons : No beer for this banded girl, I'd have to wear contact lenses, I might be doing this by myself

Pros : Good incentive to train, It would probably be a lot of fun, I would get a Really Awesome Furry Horned HAT

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Food - pain = YES!

I did decide to go get unfilled a little bit today. Dr. Ganta agreed that things sounded a little snug, and suggested that he unfill .5 cc , which is what I was thinking too.

No liquids/mushies after an unfill, so I ate regular dinner. The meal was still on the soft side, but it went down without pain! YAY!!!! I've been so hungry that I probably ate a bit more than I should have, but I'll test things with something less mushy tomorrow.

I was right about my slider foods of the last week backfiring on me, but not as bad as I had feared. 0.6 pounds up today. Boo. Better next week, I hope.

My exercise regimen has been a lost cause this week. Haven't been to the gym since last Thursday, and as much as I want to go this weekend, I am probably going to have to use the gym's childcare time to catch up on homework. I have no idea why all three of my instructors thought that making a paper due on Monday was a good idea, but it is what it is. On the upside, I'm pretty sure I did well on my first Chem exam. I went over to the campus after my unfill appointment and took it so I wouldn't have to deal with it tomorrow. Aside from one really ridiculous error, I think the rest of the test was well in hand.

So, yep. Today was a melieu of appointments and school stuff (my older kiddo had an ortho appt too). Tomorrow I'll attempt to get some school work done, go with my spouse to check out the YMCA as a potential replacement for our gym, and try to get work under control.

Oh yeah ---- I also had a complete meltdown of one of my servers yesterday and it won't be back up until who-knows-when. So I'm frantically trying to get the most important domains on that one redirected and uploaded to my other server ASAP. I'm still going to lose at least 2-3 days of revenue from this mess, though, and who knows how much in affiliate revenue. bleh.
(yeah, I know that is all just blahblahblah to most everyone, but I'm noting it here for myself mostly, hehe)

While I should be doing the aforementioned papers for school right now, I think I'm going to play blog catchup instead. ;)

I see I have a few new followers --- comment with your blogs so I can follow you too? :D

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Still waffling on this unfill business...

.... but I think I am going to do it. I keep reading and it sounds like a lot of folks are looking for as much restriction as possible, basically as tight as they can get without losing the ability to drink -- which is close to where I am, I think. I just don't think that's for me.

I'm still getting stuck and sliming on almost every meal that isn't warm and mushy or pure liquid (or melt-able to liquid). Occasionally I can wait a bit and then take another couple of bites (which also get stuck-y) and thus work my way through my 1/2 cup meal. But that HURTS, and I've found myself making less-than-ideal choices just because I don't want to deal with being in pain. Frozen yogurt isn't as bad a choice as ice cream, but it certainly doesn't keep me satisfied and it's still more empty calories than not, and I'm getting pretty tired of bean soup and greek yogurt. The silly thing is that I wouldn't even be looking much at slider foods if I could get my normal healthy fare down without distress.

So yeah, I'm looking at keeping tomorrow's unfill appointment and discussing with Dr. Ganta what he thinks about it. I'd rather have to keep more of the 'control' on my willpower than live in fear of food. I don't have the best willpower all the time, of course (otherwise why would I have gotten the band to begin with?). But maybe I can scare myself with the thought that if I can't keep myself in line better then I'll have to get filled again, instead of scaring myself with the idea of eating. LOL!

I think I may have gained a pound or so back with my slider eating over the last few days, but I'll wait and see what tomorrow's weigh-in brings. Only getting to the gym 2 days last week and 1 day this week probably didn't work in my favor either. hrm. ;)

Saturday, September 25, 2010

NSV = wardrobe fail. ack!

For once I had my outfit all ready to rock for tonight's party.

A short chinese black and gold brocade cheongsam with black capri leggings underneath.

Sexy, comfortable, and interesting.

The only problem seems to be that I sort of missed my window of wearability for the dress. I put it on just a bit ago and, well, I have at least 4-6 inches of excess material around my waist and bust.

Damn? Yay? Argh!!! Now I have to try to figure out something else to wear. ;)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

To unfill or not..... and a pic!

Today marks 2 weeks since my second fill, and while the results are good, the process is not.

Only in the last 24 hours or so has eating become less than painful every single time.

I'm not sure what I'm looking for as far as restriction goes, but it does not involve being afraid to eat. Last night's dinner was the first one I had since the fill where I did not end up in the bathroom sliming like crazy. I haven't even attempted to eat breakfast in days -- I've been sticking with protein shakes.

I do want restriction, but I don't want to be in discomfort every time I eat. Even cottage cheese has been making me feel all tight and ouchie, and that's just ridiculous.

So, yeah. I moved my appointment from October 14 to September 30, but I am not 100% sure what I'm going to do. Obviously I won't be getting any more put in my band. But, if things continue to ease up over the next few days, I may decide not to unfill a bit quite yet.

My fear of food over the last week or so has shown some progress scale-wise, though. heheh!

Another 3 down for the week, even though I only managed to hit the gym twice.

A friend of mine found some old pics of me and I thought I'd share one with y'all here. This was taken at a New Year's Eve party in 1997(to 1998). I think I weighed about 170 at the time, give or take 5 pounds. Wow! And to think that my goal would put me at 20-25 LESS than I was in this pic. Hrmmm.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Hello again, Onederland!

I'm a bit late to post, as my weigh day was Thursday, but life keeps getting all busy and stuff. ;)

Hello again, Onederland!

So nice to see you. Every time we meet again, I tell you we will never part. I know you probably don't believe me, but this time, I mean it!

While I wandered from you last, I missed you so. And even though, once again, I have a beautiful baby (now little girl) to show for my philandering ways up the scale, I swear I never want to leave you again.

You see, while I was gone, I discovered that perhaps getting some help in cementing our relationship was in order. So I went out and got an 'aid' to make our relationship stronger and more lasting.
Before you start blushing, it's not that sort of aid. No, no... it's just a little piece of silicone to help keep my naughty urges in check. Be fair, Onederland, give it a chance.... You see, it brought us back together again!

Onederland, let's grow old together. You and me, me and you.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Holy fill, Batman!

Ok, so I guess all the time leading up to this point has been to teach my stubborn self to take SMALL bites and CHEW.

Yes, yes, I know.... This is Band 101. I thought I was chewing well, most of the time. I knew my bites could be smaller, but I thought I was managing OK. An erratic stuck episode here and there, but nothing too major.


I had my normal egg-white omelette for breakfast yesterday. Two bites in, and I am experiencing the worst stuck episode to date. I'm sliming like crazy and I just package up the rest and put it in the fridge. I whip up a quick protein shake and take it with me in the car on the way to take my daughter to school. All along the drive, the stuck feeling in my chest does not go away, but the sliming eases up some. After I drop her off, I start to head towards the gym, and the pain increases. I keep feeling little burps and then I'm hit with nausea. I start sliming like crazy and have nowhere to spit.

I frantically park in the lot of the snooty-snooty shopping center/condo mecca/pseudo-village place that's on my right, open my door and offload what seems like a cup of saliva onto the pavement. I'm not vomiting, but things are SO wrong in my chest. I'm sure their security guys are wondering what the heck I'm doing.

What's that you say?? There's NOT a xenomorph about to erupt from my chest??
Sure, right.

Eventually, something happens.... I *think* I can actually feel this little bite of EVIL EGG pop its way past my band.

And all is right with the world once more. Just like that, it's OK.

So, obviously this grashopper still has much to learn about the basics of kung fu.
Or eating in my post-band world.

Last night's soft-cooked chicken curry and this morning's yogurt with soft muesli in it both yielded uncomfortable results, though not as bad as the EGG. (the EGG did go down fine once I'd chewed it into oblivion for lunch yesterday, btw). Black beans and cottage cheese were fine.
VERY well-masticated almonds sent me to slime-ville after the gym today.

I'm thinking that this stage of being banded may yield decent weightloss results simply because I'm terrified to eat. Negative reinforcement has its place, I suppose. ;-)

Ah well, I'll keep practicing (and CHEWING) and hopefully not cause myself too much agony. My banded best girl said her first week post-fill #2 was pretty darn miserable too. She's a couple of weeks ahead of me fill-wise as I had to postpone my first one due to travel.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Weigh-in, 2nd fill, and the pouch test

My laptop power adapter finally gave up the ghost, so I managed to change my tickers on Thursday before the battery died, but didn't have time to post or catch up on most of y'all's blogs. I'm borrowing my dad's computer while I visit, and hopefully when I get back home my new adapter will have arrived from Amazon.

As of Thursday morning, I'd lost the .4 I'd gained the previous week. The pound that left after my binge-y days came back for a bit, it seemed. No worries, it's better than gaining, and things are back on track regardless (though unofficially via the scale).

I had my second fill Thursday afternoon, and Dr. Ganta, for all his conservativeness surgery-wise, is not so conservative with fills, it seems. YAY!

Another 1.5cc, bringing me to 5.5cc in my 10cc band. I decided to start the 5-Day Pouch Test coinciding with my fill, so I'm finishing up day 2 this afternoon. Going back on liquids has been rough, but the scale is already showing the results.

I weighed yesterday morning at 200.0 (SO close!!!) and it wouldn't budge even though I tried it 5 or 6 times, LOL! I'm at my folks' place with my kids for the weekend, and my mom's scale at 2:00 AM showed the same stubborn 200.0. ARGH!!! heheh

By 8:30 AM, I'd apparently peed away the rest of the day's "food", and her scale shows a wonderful 198.6 !!!!

We'll see if it sticks officially by Thursday, but it was SO nice to see a glimpse of Onederland - finally!

Thursday evening, I also went to the bariatric support group meeting at the hospital for the first time. This month's topic was skin changes, which have been becoming an issue for me, so I was definitely curious about how people have been dealing with it. The group was by far composed of mostly people who are new to their surgery (within 2 months), though there were a few folks who are several months to a year out from their surgery date.

The skin discussion was interesting, but the group director separated us into men and women, so that limited the experienced folks to two in the women group, so it wasn't as informative as it could have been, IMO.

Then we were broken into groups based on type of surgery, so then of course I was over to the bandster table. At that table, there was one woman who'd gotten her band almost a year ago, a guy who got his in January, a woman who was considering it, and several women who were banded in July. And me. :)

Everyone was sort of befuddled by my stats, because of how I approached things before surgery, but that was OK once I sorted out the numbers. It was kind of weird, though, because from the perspective of food intake, journalling, exercise, etc., I definitely ended up falling into the 'experienced' category, but from the perspective of dealing with the band itself, I'm still a newbie too.

I was really hoping to pick up some new ideas for lunches to take to school and for some thoughts on restriction in general, but I really didn't come away with anything useful at all.

The woman next to me at the table went off on all her candy and dessert making recipes (NOT band or diet -friendly in any way, but apparently of much interest to the rest of the table -- huh?!?). And then folks started trading potato soup, pasta casserole, home made ice cream, and peanut butter cup recipes.

Now, I can appreciate recipes and lust for home-cooked comfort food and decadent desserts as much as the next fat girl. I can wax poetic about my favorite foods with the best of them. ;)

But this was a BARIATRIC WEIGHT LOSS support group. The suggestions I got for packed lunches included quesadillas, wraps, tomato soup, and sandwiches. SO not helpful for someone who is struggling with keeping complex carbs to a minimum, who wants to avoid slider foods, and who trying to keep to her surgeon's recommendations for protein intake. *sigh*

Maybe next month will be more useful.

But based on this month's experience, the support network of you bloggers and the rare people I know who have lost large amounts of weight (and kept it off) via surgery or other methods is probably going to be more effective for me than this group.

I'll give it another shot or two and then make a final call. I really want to see if there are members who are long-term band success stories that might have something more pertinent to contribute.

Ah, I can't wait to start day 3 of the pouch test. Because I started it at noon on Thursday, it'll be cottage cheese or eggs for dinner tonight -- woohooo!

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Just shy of Onederland... pics!

So, I decided to take pics last night rather than wait for actually getting to Onederland. Mostly because I was wearing something other than my typical oversized t-shirt and too-big jeans. Or jammies. Forgive the weird lighting, I was in the kids' room (my oldest had crashed in my room b/c I was out, and the baby was in bed with my spouse). And my hair. I have to decide whether I want to grow the bangs out or cut them again, so it's in this weird between place that doesn't look right at all.

I LOVE this top. I know eventually it will go the way of so many other favorites I've had, to the consignment shop, but not only is it really flattering (it makes my boobs look WAY bigger than they are, AND conceals the belly pooch -- all without covering up the side curves), but it's looked good all the way down the scale so far.

Today I've been tackling all the bins I brought in from the garage yesterday.

So far, I have one overflowing bin to take to Venus Envy (check it out, I did the site design! *G*), one stuffed full of things that are still too small, and 1.5 bins of things to take to a clothing swap or donate. I did another closet purge too, and put a bunch of 'new' things from the bins into the space that opened up.

Talk about motivation, though. I'd forgotten how much really cute stuff I have in a 13 (and smaller). I WILL be wearing at least SOME of those things later this autumn!!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Um, scale??? We need to have a conversation....

Argh. Blogger lost my post. :(

Basically, the gist of things is this:

  • I hopped on my scale this morning, thinking I'd scare myself into behaving after two days of near-gorging.

  • Scale says I LOST a pound. Huh?

  • I attempt to start 5 Day Pouch Test today.

  • I discover that I only have 3-4 servings of protein powder left.

  • I reschedule start of test to coincide with my fill on Thursday. (also after I get paid and can buy more powder)

  • I worry about party tonight, but not too much, as it's a "second childhood"-themed party and will have lots of candy, but hopefully not a lot of other temptations. Candy is not something that makes me falter.

  • I dig the SEVEN bins of smaller clothing out of my garage and stare at them stacked up in my tiny living room.

  • I decide to go to party naked instead.

  • Just kidding, it's not a costume party, so the appearance of The Saggy Baggy Elephant would probably not be appreciated.

  • I decide to just wear something that's too big instead.

Looking at this, I now think the bulleted version is better anyways.


Hope everyone is having a great weekend! :)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Damn you, carbs!

Earlier today, Grace posted a link to something that sounds like it's perfect for me right now. (thanks, Grace!!)

I had been trying to introduce complex carbs back into my diet in small quantities, but it just triggered my appetite --- not only for MORE CARBS, but in general. The last two days, I have not been able to stop eating, and I have been not only going way overboard on portions, but making some less-than-ideal choices.

Bread, rice, potatoes... check, check, check. Cereal, frozen yogurt, yep got those too. Bratwurst, waffles? 2-4 cups of food at a sitting? Oh yeah... down the hatch!

Band?? What's that?? Ain't nothing standing in the way of the HUNGER, and I haven't felt a smidgen of restriction with anything that's gone in my mouth.

The reason I got banded was because of *this*.

I'm like the little girl with the little curl....

When I'm good, I'm very, VERY good.
And when I'm bad??? Well, you see.

So, this pouch test thing sounds like it might just be what I need to reset me before my fill appointment on Thursday. I just hope I have enough protein to see me through until Tuesday when I can go shopping.

And I hope I can rein myself in to follow the test. Because even though today has been a whirlwind of snacking, I can hear the siren call of the cereal even as I type this. :(

Thursday, September 2, 2010

I think my scale has the hiccups this week.... and a little NSV

Or I have not conquered the social eating demon. Which is probably more likely. Boo. A little bump up this week of .4 lbs.

Not too much damage from the Girls' Night on Friday or from the potluck on Sunday, but it does go to show me that I really need to watch the social nibbling if I want the scale to move the correct direction.

And that I really could probably use fill #2.

I do really pretty well with my eating at home, but socially I have troubles with the munching. I always want to try a little bit of everything that all my talented cookin' friends have made. And all those little bits add up.

I made the gym 3 times this week, and once again missed my Zumba window.

Today, though, I had an NSV that made me laugh. My gym provides towels for showers or swimming. I don't usually shower at the gym, but I did today as I was heading straight to campus to work for a while after my workout.

The last time I tried to wrap a gym towel around me, I had to hold it to me in the front due to the large gap on the side where it wouldn't meet around my hips and lower abdomen.

Today? Well, it wrapped all the way around ALL of me, overlapping on the side instead of gaping! Woohoo for not flashing everyone from the shower to the locker!! :D

Hopefully next week I'll break into Onederland. I was hoping I'd do it this morning so I could post a progess pic. I have several progress photos from my last trip down weightloss lane, but none from this trip. heh

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Ugh. Why does my brain do this?

Having a fat day. Fat and GRUMPY.

I don't understand how one day I can feel pretty good about the way I'm looking (in clothes) and the next just feel like a blob.

Maybe it's because not only is the weight loss showing, but my skin is starting to really show what it is NOT going to do in the process. Namely, tighten up with any sort of uniformity.

So I'm looking OK in clothes, but naked things are just not making me happy. Weird bulges and wrinkles and rolls that aren't really rolls. VERY saggy boobies and strange ripples on my knees. And really? It seems like it's just all sort of started happening in the last couple of weeks.

Now, between 2005 and 2007, I lost about 100 pounds (before I gained it back and then some). That wasn't that long ago... and while things were a little bit flabby, it was nothing like this. Yes, I had another baby in there too, but seriously??? *sigh*

So, yeah. Fat day. Grumpy day. Not hungry at all this morning, so HUNGRY day this afternoon. I guess it's good that we don't have a ton of food in the house right now, because I was limited on binge-able foodstuffs. We don't ever keep junk food around, but usually there's SOMETHING I can over-indulge in. Not so much today.

2.5 cups of lowfat cottage cheese..... LOL

Now I feel all distended and weird (but not stuck, cottage cheese definitely is a slider food), and lame for binging. And oddly, even lamer for not even being able to get a 'real' binge on.

Of course it's also been one of those days where the children blatantly ignore or throw fits at EVERYTHING I ask them to do/not do, so it's been fun all the way around.

And I'm caught in a catch-22 for this evening. I have the opportunity to go to a Girls' Night thing and get some much needed adult socializing in....

However, said Girls' Night is also being billed as an evening of cake, cookies, ice cream, wine, cheese, and other assorted culinary delights evils.


/whiny rant

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Chicken week!

I forgot to mention a couple of things in my last long and drawn-out post. ;)

I think I've mentioned before that we are really trying to start pinching our budget. I have been able to get all our shopping done weekly for under $100/week for a while now, but it's not always easy. That's not just food, it includes household supplies like TP, laundry soap, and toiletries too.

This week, we had to pinch a bit tighter, and I had to try to get it all in under $80. Fortunately, we didn't need any big ticket items this week, so I managed to only go a few dollars over budget.

I went searching for healthy cheap meals, and I ran across this page and decided to give it a shot!

5 dinners (with leftovers), 1 chicken.

We have a family of four to serve instead of two, so I bought one whole chicken and three HUGE breasts that were on sale for $1.00/pound.

First night - roasting the chicken.

My husband roasts a damn fine chicken, so I left this task to him. He was home and I was in class yesterday afternoon, so it worked out well on that front too. However, he completely missed the part where I told him to roast it with potatoes and carrots and onions. He remembered having a conversation about all of that, but apparently thought I'd said NOT to cook them. Spouses (spice?) and their selective hearing, sigh.

We ate all the dark meat and a little of the white meat. Lots and lots of leftover chicken.

Tonight, night 2 - Chicken Picadillo

OMG YUM! I wish I had run across this recipe when I was coming off mushies, it would have been great for a transition food. I was able to eat WAY too much, though. I stopped myself at about 2 cups of food. Oops. The kids and my spouse loved it too. :)

I added a little garam masala to our black beans too. Very tasty.

Tomorrow, White Chicken Chili

I think I will modify it a bit to use green chiles instead of the jalapeƱo so the kids will scarf it down too. Or maybe a bit of both. I forgot to tell the spouse not to eat the cheese in the fridge, so he and the smallest one ate it today. I will have to use a bit of the change in my purse to pick up some more. :|

Maybe tomorrow I'll take a pic of the meal. Maybe not. heh

I am going to be exploring more frugal healthy cooking options like this plan. The key is keeping the spouse out of the leftover chicken. He eats more than I used to, which is saying something. So basically I have to make sure any meal serves a true 4 - 6 people. 1.5 servings for me and the girls combined, and the rest for him. Fortunately he likes healthy food too, so getting him to eat my cooking isn't a hardship. :)

Crazy but manageable, I think...

... my new schedule, that is.

I'm done with the school portion of my week, and it went OK.

Monday I felt very intimidated by setting foot in a classroom again after so long, and a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing.

Wednesday was a little better. Though I have discovered that I have completely forgotten all useful math, which means my Chem work is going to take FOREVER until I de-rust the gears in my head. I am underwhelmed by my Philosophy instructor. What IS it about so many Philosophy/Ethics folks that they have these I-am-SO-much-more-intelligent-than-EVERYONE egos. Socially I know several folks who majored in these studies, and they all have that going on. My instructor is no different. Very condescending to most of the class, and very full of himself. Mildly amusing, though, so I shouldn't be too bored. ;)

I would have taken Ethics instead, but the only instructor who had spaces in her class is someone I see regularly out socially, at parties and such. I felt that perhaps it would defeat the spirit of the class to enroll in it. *laugh*

My younger daughter had her first day at pre-pre-school on Monday, and it was a mixed bag for her. She isn't used to being in childcare for more than a couple of hours at a time (at the gym), so she had some unhappy moments. She does say she wants to go back, which is good.

Older daughter is doing OK at her school. We're still hoping to hear from the other charter school within the next week or so, as I think that environment would be better for her, and her opportunities for being challenged would be better there. I think her teacher at this school doesn't quite know what to do with her. She, like me and like her dad, is already a voracious reader. Her teacher is sending her home with sight words, even though I thought I was clear on what her level was currently. hrm.

She's only a little bit ahead in math, so I have mixed emotions about potentially moving her up a grade. *sigh* I don't know, I guess we'll wait and see how it goes after another week or two.

Ok, ok... on to my banded progress.....

This week's scale reading was a surprising 2.6 lbs down~! YAY!!

I think that reaching Onederland is totally doable by next Thursday (need a 1.6# loss to do it). I really feel that the exercise is making a big difference here.

My restriction has been hit-or-miss. I really have to continue to make an effort to SLOW DOWN and CHEW, especially at dinner time. At least one more fill is definitely in order, but I'm managing OK for the time being.

I played a little catchup on your blogs, but didn't make it through all of the backlog. However, I MUST use some of this time today for work and homework, so off to my inept math for Chem for at least an hour or so for me!! :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Hey, maybe there's something to this exercise thing...

So, two weeks back on track with exercise, and the scale decided to show me some love today! 5 pounds down from last week, which leaves me at a net 2 pounds per week over the last 3 weeks. Yay! Also, it gets me to 20 down since my surgery!

I'm not looking for the huge losses because my body was already well into the slower metabolism before my banding. So 2/week is better than I could expect! And this week was a total shocker considering that this is typically the worst week of the month to weigh, heh.

I did not make the Zumba class on Sunday, due to poor nap timing by my younger daughter. I'll give it a shot this coming Sunday. I did get in 4 days at the gym two weeks in a row, which is great for me. My muscles are starting to remember what weight training is all about. ;)

The first week of school seems to have gone well for my older daughter, and I start my classes on Monday. Hopefully I can keep up the gym plan within our new more rigorous schedule. Tuesdays will be easy, Thursdays I'll have to go before I hit a coffee shop with my laptop to work, Sundays will be Zumba, and then I'll have to pick another day (Friday or Saturday) to get in a fourth day. Probably Friday morning after I drop my girl off at school, but before I pick her up. Fridays are half-days at her school, so I'll have to get it in quick.

Off to play some more blog catch-up and maybe squeeze in a little work before my spouse and the girlie get home from school!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

At the starting line...

... before my household gets turned upside down.

We're getting prepped over here to really shake things up starting tomorrow. My oldest is about to head to school for the first time. She's 6 and a half and was homeschooled for kindergarten, but begged me to go to school this year. So, we put in applications at a few local charter schools, but fell in love with one in particular. Several of our friends have kids in this school, so we know it's good and a great match for our oddball little family.

However, we've been on the waiting list for it all summer long. We got a call from one of the other schools saying she had gotten a place in that school, and she would need to start on August 16th at the latest (it's a year-round school, so their 'year' started in July). I've been holding my breath that our favored school call, but nope. She's up to 3rd on their waiting list, but we can't take a chance that she won't get in and lose the spot in this other school. So, off she goes tomorrow to the school she did get into. For now.

After the preferred school starts classes, there is a pretty good shot that she'll get in within the first two weeks of school. So yeah, then we'll move her - with all the drama and upheaval that will come with that. And a whole round 2 of expensive school supplies (which I just spent my last dime for the week on yesterday).


MY classes start next Monday, the 23rd. I am 37 years old and starting over with college, which is both exciting and nervewracking. I've run my own business from home for about 14 years now, so this is a huge shift. Hopefully the time I have to spend on it will be enough, at least at this point. I've got to really have the grades, or I'm going to be screwed on getting the Nursing classes I need next semester. After this semester, I'll be pretty much out of classes that do not need departmental approval (because I already had most of my core courses from way back when), so this semester's got to rock so I can keep going.

Between my spouse's crazy new schedule -- Sat/Sun/Mon/Tue days -- we aren't going to need much childcare for the little one (who's just shy of 3 years old). Just on Mondays. I'm torn between sending her to the little preschool across the street or having someone come to our home to watch her. Home care would be cheaper, but she might enjoy playing with some other kids. It's going to be a long day for her, though, in school. She's by far my child that does better with some solo play time. She enjoys other kids, but also really enjoys playing on her own. *sigh*
I guess I'll think about it this week and see what I can do.


I REALLY need to stay off the scale between weigh-ins. It's very frustrating to watch the scale bounce around during the week.

No. Scale. Until. Thursday.

So I keep telling myself.

I'm going to give the Zumba class at the gym a try this afternoon. Hopefully it'll be a good workout and I won't fall on my prodigious rear end (more than once or twice, heh).

I may have to cave and pick up a couple more pair of workout capris soon. The few I have are either too big or getting holes in inappropriate places after years of wear (all along the rollercoaster ride of gain-lose). Grrrr, I do hate spending money on clothes mid-loss. ;)

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Two steps forward and one step back...

Well, it appears I'm not past my halfway point anymore. heh

Either my body is hanging on to a lot of liquid (possible, it's Texas and wicked hot, and I haven't been keeping up as I should with my water intake), or I was naughtier than I thought with my food intake while out of town and over my birthday weekend (also possible). Or a combination.

Regardless, this is my weigh-in day, and what I weigh is 3 pounds up from last Thursday. Le sigh. ;)

I'm not as bummed about this as I probably ought to be, mostly because I have a feeling it will peel back off in the next week or two.

I am going to start tracking my food again, though, as I'm actually concerned that my regular daily intake is not getting in enough. Especially enough protein. I probably ate too much during a couple of our restaurant outings, but my day-to-day eating from home food has been really erratic. So, back to logging to see what's up. I've tried re-introducing more whole grain carbs (just a couple of bites with dinners), but maybe I need to rethink that for a while.

I had a couple more stuck episodes this week too, both on chicken. This upsets me because chicken is such a protein staple. I guess I'll just have to make sure I cut it up REALLY small when I eat it, and do more in the way of chicken salads or chicken with black beans.

Oh, I did start back to the gym on Monday -- YAY, it's about time!! 40 min on the elliptical and upper body weights on Monday, 30 min on the elliptical and lower body weights on Tuesday. Yesterday and today? Owch, my body is informing me that it had been too long and now I ache all over. However, it's back to the gym today and I know I'll loosen up after the first 10 min of cardio or so.

I discovered that my gym does offer Zumba classes, so maybe it will work out that I can squeeze in a class regularly after school starts. I'd like to add something different in there to mix things up some. I also found out that a local tribal belly dance group (that's taught by some long-term friends of mine) is taking newbie students again. So I really hope that can work in with my crazy schedule this fall.

Ah, I did say I would try to post some pics from the birthday night, didn't I?

Well, I'm not posting any full body shots, because I somehow managed to wear a top that completely exposed my red bra underneath every time the flash went off on a camera. SeXXXay, right? heheheh Yeah, not so much.

But here is one with my cheesy grin in full effect. The lovely lady with me (in the purple specs - mine are red) is my friend for life who was banded with me. Damn, I love that girl!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Birthday weekend shenanigans

Tomorrow is my 37th birthday, and every year I make a point of doing something big. I'm mostly an extrovert, so my big deal is to get as many of my friends as I can together to do something fun and silly. Because I have young kids and a limited budget, my social life is very erratic usually. On Tuesday, I took my kids up to Dallas to stay with my folks, and I visited there too for a couple of days and came back to Austin solo yesterday afternoon.

My spouse and I got some much needed alone time, and used one of the deep-discount dining certificates he gets at work to go out to eat. My parents like to go out to eat as well, so I've had some practice over the last few days with managing the restaurant scene.

We went to Austin Land and Cattle (which is a local place, not the Texas Land and Cattle chain), and I think I did OK. I still don't have much restriction, so I totally ate more than I should have, but it wasn't too bad. Two little nibbles of their awesome bread before I pushed the basket all the way over to M's side of the table. heheh

We split a seared Ahi tuna appetizer that was absolutely melt-in-your-mouth divine. He ordered the MASSIVE ribeye, and I ordered a grilled chicken breast with poblano cream sauce (on the side). I asked for extra veggies instead of the mashed potatoes, and the server brought me a metric ton of carrots, spinach, and broccoli.
I ate a few bites of M's ribeye (SO good!) and one of my chicken breasts. A bite or two of veggies and I was done. AND I have another whole delicious chicken meal waiting for me in the fridge today!

I did indulge in a cocktail for the first time in months. I think I was able to eat more because I had to sip on that thing through dinner to get it in without it knocking me on my ass. So yummy, though. Maker's Mark bourbon with lime and Grand Marnier does indeed make for a tasty Side Car.

Nominally, that cocktail was a test run so I could get a feel for my tolerance before tonight's festivities. Let's just say I have almost NO tolerance, and I will be VERY cautious about what I imbibe this evening, and how much.

Tonight we'll be heading to Phara's for mediterranean food and to watch belly dancers. Another deep-discount cert will take $100 off our whole party's bill (I think there are about 15 people coming to the dinner part of the evening), so it's well within budget. :D

After Phara's, we'll hit Austin Karaoke! This place is one where you reserve a big-ass room with your own huge screen and karaoke machine - it's pretty affordable when everyone pays for themselves ($5 per person per hour). It's a private room, so it's all us, not shared with the general public. It's BYOB, and we'll have coolers and ice and cups and such. I've done karaoke here for my birthday for the last two years. Before that, I had one regular house party here in Austin, and then had the karaoke thing going in Dallas for a couple of the years that we lived there. Usually about 40-60 people show up over the course of the evening, and it's really a great time. Lots of silly singing, dancing, flirting, kissing, and general mayhem.

Oh yes, I also insist that anyone attending be bedecked in some sort of shiny/sparkly/snazzy/sexy/shimmery attire. Tiaras, boas, sequins, glitter, etc., are all encouraged. I like to see my friends looking spectacular, and they do it so well! *grin*

I'm afraid that my attire this evening may not be up to snuff. I'm in a sort of 'dead zone' in my wardrobe right now. I have a whole lot of stuff in the 18/20 range, and a whole lot of stuff in the 13/14 range. But not a heck of a lot in a size 16. 16s are slightly too big for me right now, but my 13/14 stuff is still at least 10-20 pounds away from fitting comfortably.

So, I'm not sure what to wear, and I'm not buying anything. I'll come up with something.

Hopefully, I can keep my eating to an enjoyable level of moderation, and the alcohol intake to a minimum. I do, however, plan on maximizing my fun! hehehe

Maybe I'll have a few pics to share afterwards.

Hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Stuck, ack!! And halfway there!

Hrm. I'm not sure what to think about the lack of comments on my last post. I know I am coming from a slightly different place than a lot of bandsters are, but I was hoping it wasn't too far out there. Because let me tell ya, the feeling of failure that we've all experienced when falling off the weight-loss wagon REALLY sucks when you've dropped 80-100 pounds - gotten within 15-20 of goal, and then gained it ALL back (and then some). More than once. I think maybe that's why I'm not as excited this time with my loss. Some part my brain is convinced that this is just another trip on the rollercoaster. Bleh.

So, on to the stuck. I think I've had a few almost-stuck feelings before, but this one was really unpleasant. 2 bites of chicken breast yesterday afternoon and OW! OW! OW! And it didn't go away like the almost-stuck feelings. This was the first time I had the sliming too. Eventually it went away, and I didn't bring anything back up, but I probably should have tried to, or at least spit out the slime, because I think swallowing it made things worse. I haven't had a PB yet, and I don't want to do so, but I guess it's in the cards for the future at some point. :\

Weigh-in today put me four pounds down for the week. VERY surprising considering I didn't manage to get in much real exercise at all, despite my best intentions. So, that puts me two pounds below my halfway point. Yay!

Next week I'll be at the gym every day M-F, as my oldest has a week of rock climbing and swimming day camp over there. So hopefully that will get my lazy fanny back on track. And once the work schedule for my spouse's job is finalized, I can plan the fall's gym plan accordingly.

Hope everyone's week has been going well! I've been trying to read and comment every day, but I have to play a little catchup because the girls and I are at my mom's for a couple of days. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

I wasn't fat enough.

.... apparently.

I have been trying to keep my banding on the down-low for a variety of reasons, but one of them is that I didn't want to get grief for getting it done. Specifically, the why would I get it done "at YOUR size?!?"

See, I know a lot of women who are, or have been, much larger than my starting size of 18/20, or my starting weight of 268. Some of them have undergone WLS of their own over the years, others have not. But most of them have expressed envy at one point or another for my size.

But that doesn't mean I wasn't fat enough to consider WLS myself. At least I don't think so. My weight has gone up and down and up and down and up and down (etc., you get the picture) over the years, but has only dipped below 200 pounds once since my early 20s.

Yes, I did lose a good bit of the weight before my actual surgery date. I certainly would never have qualified for surgery approval if I had started out at my surgery date weight. But just because I *CAN* lose the weight on my own doesn't mean that the band wasn't for me.

I can lose weight without the band.

I've done it....

over, and over, and over again.

I just can't keep it off, obviously. For me, getting the band was finally saying to myself that I was willing to have help. That a tool to make the yo-yo finally stop was something I wanted. Not only the big rollercoaster ups and downs, but the smaller ones that always happen while I'm losing weight. I want this weight to not only come off this time, but to STAY off for once (and for all).

So the idea that I've just jumped on something popular (WLS in general, I don't know many other bandsters, mostly bypass/sleeve patients) makes me really sad. I'm not just following a trend here, I soul-searched long and hard before deciding to get the band.

Maybe the folks that have been talking about my surgery with disdain really didn't realize that I was as heavy as I was, late last year or at any other point when I've gotten close to that weight. I do tend to become really reclusive when my weight gets past a certain point. Maybe they didn't know that I really was carrying 120 pounds of excess me around, again. Maybe they don't think that my 150 pound goal is a reasonable weight for my height (just a hair over 5'6"), or something.

I don't know, but I do know that I hate feeling like I have to justify myself or my decision. Just because I don't/didn't have two or three hundred pounds to lose doesn't/didn't make me any less a good candidate for WLS, especially this WLS. The band isn't going to do this for me, but I sure hope it will help me do it for the long haul.

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I just commented on a thread about self-image on LBT that's got me thinking on this again. I'm going to cross-post some of it here and then some, to get it all out of my head for a bit.

I remember feeling fat in a size 14, size 12, even though I can't wait to get back in those sizes now.

I look in the mirror and still see the same thing I saw 58 pounds ago. I'm not sure when the difference will click, but it's definitely not yet.

I still hate the way I look in photos, and can't see a difference there either. Fat arms, fat face, etc. Sure, the clothes are getting baggier and the number on the scale is getting smaller. But my brain is still stuck where it was. boo.

Not long ago, I found a Weight Watchers food/weigh-in log from when I was about 19 -- and at my smallest weight ever as an adult. I was 163 pounds, and obviously, those 13 pounds were way too many and I still saw myself as fat then.

I hope that someday I can wrap my brain around myself as a woman who is NOT overweight. That's something I've never been, even though I've been close.

Making the changes in my diet and relationship with food hasn't been TOO rough. Making changes in my relationship with my body may well be the hardest part of this whole thing for the long haul.

I'm one of those weirdos that doesn't like getting the attention from guys. Not at all, unless I am specifically in a setting where that is expected, like a bar or non-family-friendly party. So, the smaller I get, the more likely I am to wear too-big t-shirts and my spouse's button-ups as topshirts. I get more "butch" the slimmer I become, and it's always been like that. I have had people ask me if I have past abuse issues or the like that make me so avoidant of the male attention.

Nope. I just don't know how to say no to it. I went through periods in my past when the way I dealt with male attention was to be more promiscuous. Now, I know that's actually a common thing that happens to some people when they lose a lot of weight. I don't want to go back to that, it was unsatisfying in many ways. But I don't know how to gracefully flirt without the promise of it leading somewhere. So I just try to avoid the situation altogether. Getting dolled up to go to a bar or club with friends or my spouse is one thing, that I can do for some reason without it being a problem. Outside of those scenes, I prefer to NOT have to deal with that kind of attention at all. So yeah, tomboy it is, even if I do end up looking like I'm wearing all my husband's clothes (oh, wait, I am).

I'd like to find a happy medium somewhere. I think I was finding it some the last time I lost weight. I'd managed to be sort of comfortable in more fitted tees and jeans for a brief period before I got pregnant again and gained back all the weight.

Honestly, maybe it will be easier now that my body is shaped a little differently. I definitely have more of a "mom" body now, after 2 kids. My shape is still pretty hourglass-y, but not nearly as extreme as when I was younger, so maybe it won't get the same unwanted attention that it did when I was in my teens and 20s.

Anyways, if you followed this brain dump, sorry for being all over the place with it. I have a lot percolating around in there about body image, and I'm sure this won't be my last post on the topic. I feel like I'm of multiple minds about it all, and none of them agree with each other! grrrrr.

Followers, can I follow you too?

For the life of me, I can't seem to figure out how to follow the folks who are following me.

I mean, if you comment, then I can find your blog, but doesn't bring that same info up when I click on the photo in the widget. I can see the OTHER blogs you're following, but not tell what your blog is. Boo!

I'm sure I'm just missing something. D'oh.

So.... I'd love it if you'd comment here with your blog address so I can be sure I have you added so I can follow your blog too.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

First fill!

Yesterday afternoon I finally made it in for my first fill. The wait this time around wasn't too bad, but I'd been running late, so instead of dropping the kids off at the childcare place, I had to bring them with me. Whee.

My eldest is 6-and-a-half, and is an attention hound. She's also very high energy. I discussed with her before getting there that I really needed her to set a good example for her sister (who's just shy of 3), and went over the general guidelines of how one acts in a doctor's office. She brought a book and I thought all would go OK, at least as long as the wait wasn't too long.

Of course, immediately she's filling up the little water cups that I had previously said she was to leave alone. She's playing in the decorative fountain, climbing all over the furniture, and trying to get her sister to run around the table in the middle of the room.

I try, with mixed results, to keep her under control. The thing is, if she sees her sister get up and walk around (as toddlers are prone to do), she thinks SHE needs to get up and play too. She's still (I think intentionally) unclear on the concept that what a little one does is not neccessarily appropriate for an older child. The funny thing is that my toddler - who is has been ultra-stubborn as of late - was actually trying to behave, even with her older sister attempting to instigate trouble.

Anyways..... the fill. Dr. Ganta checked my incision site, said it had healed quite well. He had me lay down on the table and lift my legs, straight. I guess that made the port easier to feel. My port is a couple of inches above my navel, just to the left a touch. He finds the port, and numbs it with some local anesthetic. Then he gets the big needle ready and asks which one of us this shot is for. He's not a joker, so I got a big kick out of this. He's the father of two young girls himself, so I think the dad in him was coming out. Nice! He had an easy way with them, he could probably make the shift to pediatrics if he was ever so inclined. :)

Of course, my eldest's eyes got really big for a moment as she contemplated that huge needle, and then, of course, she threw me under the bus. *laugh*

"Mommy wants the shot! Mommy wants the shot!!!"

He has me lift my legs again and does the fill. It feels very odd, but doesn't hurt. He pulls out what's in it, about 2cc, and then fills to 4cc. He is pretty conservative, so I didn't expect any more than that.

I'm on liquids again for at least 24 hours, but I'll probably only make 26 or so, as I'll be out all of this afternoon and evening.

I weighed Thursday morning as my regular weigh-in at 210. Yesterday afternoon at the appointment I weighed in at 214.5

I'm taking my Thursday weigh-in, thank you very much - and ignoring the other one. And avoiding late afternoon appointments where they weigh me in jeans, shoes, and when I have to pee. LOL!

Hitting 210 puts me at only 2 pounds away from being halfway to goal.

I'm going to be extra vigilant this week - and perhaps even exercise (I have been REALLY bad about it recently), and see if I can drop two pounds to bring me to the halfway point!!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Back home again

I got back on Thursday evening with the kids from our road travels. Obviously, I had to reschedule my fill appointment that was originally on Wednesday. Now, it's scheduled for July 30.

The trip was a mixed bag, diet-wise. I did manage to keep the surgery on the down-low. It wasn't hard, though, because I can apparently eat just about anything I want to eat. Ack!!

First night there, my MIL orders chinese takeout. I manage OK with a small bowl and some chicken with broccoli and egg foo yung. The chicken was probably the better choice, but egg foo yung is one of my favorites, and it's soft enough that I wasn't too worried. No rice, egg rolls, or crab rangoons. I was still hungry after my little bowl, but I stayed in line.

I eat the middle out of a chicken breast sandwich the next day at the aquarium, and nibble on my youngest's chicken strips a bit. I go for a protein bar while the kids eat ice cream and drink an Atkins shake on the train ride back to the suburb of Chicago where we're staying. All good.

That night starts my downward spiral, though. My husband comes in that night, hungry and cranky, and we end up at a local Indian buffet. Still, I do all right, but I do attempt some naan and it goes down fine. Some of the selections are pretty spicy, and I do end up sipping water here and there. I'm pretty full feeling by the end of the meal, and I definitely ate upwards of a couple of cups of food.

Ups and downs over the rest of the trip. Pizza (but only the toppings), fried chicken without the skin, and ice cream (a few times). *sigh*

The lesson I take from this is that travelling during bandster hell was a BAD idea. I tried to keep myself sane, but it was really hard and got more difficult over the 13 days of travel. And like ever when I diet, when I fall off the wagon, climbing back on is not proving easy. Especially as I'm experiencing no restriction at all anymore.

I guess one good thing about having no spending money at all right now is that I won't be tempted by going out to eat any more, and the good stuff I bought at the store yesterday is what I've got to work with for the next several days. But I'm hungry enough that it's going to be hard work to moderate my portions even with the good food choices available.

My mom's scale put me at 2.2 pounds down before leaving Texas, and at 1 pound up when I got back. My scale is being fritzy again, so I'll try again to get it working by the 29th or just go weigh at the gym.

Welcome to everyone who added me while I was gone! I came back to find I had a whole bunch of new followers -- YAY!!

Now to go catch up on all your recent posts too, and avoid the call of the kitchen. ;)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Guess I'm healed... Good, right??

Inside and out, I think I'm healed up pretty well by now.

The incision finally closed up all the way, so that's good! Now if the weather will clear up, I can take my girls swimming finally. I have two tankinis that I bought last year without trying them on that did not fit at ALL then, but do now, so that'll be great to have something cute to wear instead of my tired old suit that I wore through two pregnancies and then some. :D

Inside, it seems that my stomach is healed up too, because I am HUNGRY. And 1 to 1.5 cups is NOT doing it anymore. I ate way too much yesterday. Nothing I shouldn't have eaten, but way more than I should have. This does not bode well for leaving on a road trip in a couple of days. I have to think of some things to snack on that will help tide me over so I don't cave in to road food temptation. I do OK when I'm at home, I don't keep snack food in the house at all. But on the road, and while we're in Chicago?? I hope I can do this. I don't want to go in for my fill and have completely sabotaged myself out of the 9 pounds I've lost since surgery.

Speaking of that, it seems that I'm going to have to call and reschedule that first fill visit. I just don't see how I'm going to be able to get myself back to Texas in time for a visit on July 21, when I won't be leaving there until July 19. I could do it, but I don't want to put myself or the kids through a super-intense return drive. I don't know.... maybe I'll wait and see how things go by the 19th. I am SO ready to try to get some restriction!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hey, my scale is working again!

For now, at least...

This seems to be a running issue in my house, heh!

Our TV has a problem with the power switch inside, so it doesn't always turn back on once it's been turned off. We'd given up on it, and then my husband randomly decided to give it a shot one day, and it came on. So, we're not turning it off. We just leave it on the DVD screensaver.

Anyways, my scale was having a similar issue. It stopped working, so I replaced the batteries and it worked for about a week. Then it stopped again and wouldn't work even with me trying a variety of things. So I was going to toss it, but hadn't gotten around to it yet. I thought I'd give it one more try this morning before it hit the garbage, as our swimming plans for the day might be shot by unexpected rain (thus keeping me from weighing in at the gym). And lo, it worked!

So, I weighed in at 215.

I admit, I am kind of disappointed. That's only 2 pounds per week, and I've been at 1000 calories or less per day since starting pureed/mushies.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It's actually pretty darn good, especially considering that my metabolism is still trucking right along in diet mode because I've been doing the low-carb, low-calorie thing for months now. I'm just going to have to be realistic.

This is why I don't like weighing in any more frequently than once a week. I know I get my expectations warped, so I do better when I stay off. ;)

It is SO time to get back to the gym. I had every intention of today being the day, but the rain is thwarting those plans. I could go anyways, but then my kids would completely flip out because I told them we'd go swimming while we were there. Here's hoping it clears up sometime today so we can give it a shot! This is Texas and summer --- there is every possibility that by afternoon it will be like the rain never happened!! heheheh

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Oh yeah, I definitely cannot go too long without eating.

I turned into a raging B!#@^ today when the kids and I unexpectedly ended up meeting up with friends for a movie instead of making a quick run to the grocery store and the bank. The plans were there, but I had totally forgotten about them until my friend called me to ask if we were still going.

So..... breakfast (a protein shake because I needed to go grocery shopping) was at 9, and I didn't get back home until 2. The kids had popcorn at the movies, but they needed lunch too. So, it was after 3 by the time I sat down to my lunch, and I'm pretty sure my stomach was attempting to eat itself by that point. ouch.

I had to banish the kids to their room to play so I could eat in peace and get my grouchiness under control.

Yep, definitely gotta eat regularly. I had an Atkins shake in my purse, and I so should have used that to tide me through. *sigh*

Monday, July 5, 2010

Doing better with the social thing

Two parties this weekend, and I managed to keep things sane, yay!!

The one on Saturday was out in the country, but the food was mostly inside, and the people were mostly outside. I ate some scrambled egg whites in the car on the way there, and then stayed outside other than bathroom breaks, so it wasn't a big issue. I should have brought some more water, though, as I ran out and they're on well water, so I wasn't really able to refill. I was getting pretty hungry by the time we finally left, though.

I was even better prepared for the one yesterday. I ate lunch before leaving, and then brought some greek yogurt with me. I also picked up some pre-made protein drinks, but didn't have to dip into those. I ate the yogurt about an hour or so after getting there, as the spread of food was getting VERY tempting. Then I went with another couple of parents that were there to walk all the kids (who were getting wild) down the greenbelt to the playground. It was probably about a mile walk, but leisurely - to keep pace with the 2-year-old. Not what you'd call serious exercise by any means, but definitely better than continuing to be tempted by the food. When we got back, a movie was playing, and I found a spot to watch the movie and chat with a friend a bit.

The key for now, it seems, is going to be bringing something that I can eat to both occupy my hands/mouth, and to take the edge off my hunger/appetite. And if I can engage myself in a non-food room, that will also make things easier. No socializing in the food room. *laugh*

After I'm back on solids instead of mushies, I can probably find foods at many events that I can nibble on without trouble. There were grilled chicken breasts and baked chicken legs at the party yesterday. A tomato/basil/mozzarella tray and plenty of fruit too. So long as I can avoid the chips and dips and desserts, I'll be all good. Eventually, having restriction will hopefully help with that too, allowing me to have a bite or two of some of the more decadent items on occasion without being able to over-indulge. :)

I'm going to be weighing in on the Christmas challenge a week late. Still no scale, and I won't be going to the gym until tomorrow. I am going to weigh tomorrow, though.... so we'll see what progress has been made, if any, over the last 2 weeks!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

My kids are awesome when it comes to food

So my chicken masala experiment was a qualified success. While not as tasty as the full-on version made with a ton of whole-milk yogurt, butter and heavy cream, it was pretty tasty.

Chicken thighs
red onion
big can of diced tomatoes
about 1 tbls of garam masala
about 1 tbls of tikka sauce
about 1/4 c of plain yogurt (lowfat in this case)
chicken broth/stock
cooked in crockpot, topped in bowl with about 1 tbls of light sour cream

My older girl (6) ate one bowl of what turned out to be a soup as-is, and my 2 year old ate a bit of it. Both of them wanted to try my pureed version. My 2 year old had two bowls of this, and my 6 year old had a bowl of it in addition to her non-pureed bowl. Nice!!

I love that my kids don't even blink when I serve them up something new, no matter what color or texture it has. The little one sometimes approaches the new dishes more slowly, but my older one is eager to taste anything. They both adore vegetables and have always had whole grains, lean meats, fish, and tofu, so those ingredients are nothing new.

The 6 year old is really great about limiting her portions on her own, but the 2 year old seems either be on one end of the spectrum or the other -- she's either eating only a tiny bit of her meal for days on end, or wolfing it down -- and it doesn't matter what she's eating. I think she'd be better grazing, so maybe I'll try that this fall when her sister starts school. I know a lot of toddlers prefer the grazing method as their tummies are so tiny. She's my sugar lover too, I know we'll have to watch that as she gets older. Her sister loves treats as well, but usually only has a few bites before becoming disinterested. (well, unless it's ice cream - we're all fiends for the creamy frozen confections)

I just am so pleased and proud of them that they have such adventurous palates. I hope it can only bode well for them and their future abilities to make good choices.

Christmas Challenge

Oh, and I almost forgot!

I joined up on a long-duration challenge on LBT.

Challenge starts today and ends on Christmas.

I'm shooting for 40# down, which will put me at 179 - my lowest weight in over a decade!

I got close the last time I lost weight, down to 183, but I haven't been under 180 in a VERY long time.

Now, I guess I technically started last week, because I don't have a scale to weigh on today, but I'll start using the gym scale for my first weigh-ins on the challenge.

I hope 40# isn't too ambitious, but I'm willing to give it a good shot!!

Port site sore

So far, my port area hadn't been sore at all, but for some reason today it's a bit tender.

I obviously don't have a port incision, my port is located about 2-3 inches above my navel, slightly to the left. I couldn't feel it under my skin at first, but have been able to the last few days as the rest of the swelling has gone.

Today, though, it's definitely a bit tender. Hopefully that doesn't mean anything, just another part of healing.

Dinner has been in the crock pot all day, a healthy chicken masala experiment. It smells wonderful, and hopefully it will be tasty all pureed. hehehe
I hope I can wait until the rice is done cooking for the kiddos, my stomach is getting rumbly!

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Not feeling any different....

This week is coming along nicely, so far.

I don't really feel any sort of restriction at all. I can see how people could be very tempted to push things at this stage. I'm keeping what I'm eating between a cup and a cup and a half per meal, but I feel like I could eat more. So far I have been mostly good about my food choices, except for last night. I ate some leftover fish before heading to our friends' house for dinner, so I wouldn't be ravenous while everyone was eating sliders and chips and corn on the cob. Handled that pretty well, but then it was time for making ice cream in the ice cream balls. By that point I was hungry enough that I caved, and had about a cup, maybe a bit more, of ice cream. It was made with half and half, so it wasn't as bad as say Hagen Daaz or the like. But still, not the choice I would have preferred to make.

Some of the things I've read about "bandster hell" indicate that folks a few weeks out often can eat just like they did before being banded. I have a feeling I fall into that category rather than one of those who PBs and gets stuck early on. At no point have I really felt truly full, though in the first several days of mushies I definitely was feeling satisfied. Not as much now, but I can wing it for another few weeks. It's not like I was satsified in any way from January-May! *laugh*

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ok, I'm getting curious. And hungry.

Well, sort of.

I'm definitely curious about the weight thing. I'm not sure I can resist stepping on the gym scale whenever I make it over there. But, then again, having a full month's losses surprise me all at once is tempting too. ;)

Probably, I will wait until right before the trip to Chicago, which is the week before my next appointment on July 21.

The social thing is proving a bit weird to me. Last night wasn't too bad, though I had to opt out of ordering Chinese takeout, of course. Mind you, my budget is always on the snug side, so folks are used to me choosing not to be included in some things. I had to completely bypass a birthday thing on Friday because it was dinner and margaritas at a Tex-Mex place, and I just think I would have been kind of miserable watching everyone else eat and drink. The birthday girl and her husband know I was just banded, but no one else there did, so I didn't want to have to explain anything or have anyone think it was money-related and try to buy for me. :\

I think that will get easier once I can eat real food. Maybe. I am a social eater (and drinker) and keeping my portions under control will likely sometimes be difficult.

My birthday shindig is coming up in early August. Sushi, sake, singing, and shiny (SSSS) party!
I'm thinking I'll have to totally forgo the sake, but maybe I can sip on something else and get a little tipsy. The sushi portion will be mostly sashimi, which I don't mind at all. No spider rolls this year!

I'll have to dig through the bins of clothes in the garage for something shiny/sparkly/spectacular in a smaller size. Or buy something. I'd prefer to work with what I have, as I'll still have a ways to go, but if I have to get something else, I can always just add it to the costume bins after and it will get love at some future Burn event from someone else. :D

Oh yeah, I am starting to get hungry, sort of. I'm hungriest right after I eat, oddly enough, so I'm thinking this might be some 'head hunger' working on me rather than actual hunger. I'm only managing to get in about 800 calories per day max, so I should work on upping that a bit somehow. The problem is that with mushies it seems like I can either go the really healthy route (which is what I'm doing now), or add all kinds of not-so-great foods or ingredients. I think I may have to start adding a snack or two of yogurt or cottage cheese or something in there to bump my caloric intake a little bit. The thing is, I'm not hungry between meals. In fact, I keep forgetting to eat later in the day and then my shoulder starts hurting again.

Oh well, it's a learning process.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Healing and stuff.

I'm not at all sure how fast my incision is supposed to be healing, but it doesn't seem to be doing much. It's still kind of puffy, and pink, and usually bleeds just a tiny bit when I clean it. My surgeon said to clean it and all inside my navel with alcohol 3-4 times per day.

It's not producing pus, and it's not pink around the incision itself. But it sure hurts like crazy every time I clean it, and it doesn't seem to be looking any better from day to day. It's so difficult to keep it clean and dry, because, like I said, it's between my belly rolls -- and Texas is HOT.

I'll just keep working on it and see how it goes, I guess.

I took the last dose of the Zithromax for my cough yesterday. Still have the cough, though, and it's still productive. Mostly it's only at night and in the mornings, not during the day. So maybe it's just post-nasal drip. I'll keep an eye on that too, of course.

Tried scrambled egg whites for breakfast this morning, plus 1/2 cup of WW vanilla yogurt. Pretty satisfying. I haven't had any trouble with anything I've eaten or had to drink so far. No regurgitation and no "stuck" feelings. Hopefully this will continue to be the case, as it seems pretty common that people have at least one episode within the first couple of weeks.