Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Where Oh Where Has CathyB Been?

Nope, I didn't fall off the face of the earth, though at times it feels like I'm living on another planet.  The weight loss has met with some real challenges, and I've creeped back up 8 lbs.  HORRORS!  I'm about to regain control of the craziness, though.  If anybody is interested, you can read about it here.  And if you look back a couple of posts, yes it is this person!  Don't give up on me.  I'm coming back!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Seven Things About Me


What Fun!  My first-ever blog award!  Thank you Melissa TFM !!!  By accepting the reward, I agree to tell you seven things about myself, and then pass the award along to 15 other bloggers.  I'm not sure I have 15, so like Melissa, I may have to bend the rules a little on that one.  :-)  Some of the awesome bloggers on my blogroll have already received this award, but I suppose there's always room on the shelf for another one, right???

1.  I work from home in my PJs and socks.
2.  My two grandchildren are rays of sunshine that brighten my day.
3.  I am currently writing a fiction novel, based on a (for-real) family heirloom that I inherited. 
4.  Scrapbooking is my favorite hobby. 
5.  My current addiction: Facebook (especially Frontierville).
6.  My best friend (since childhood) is DJ, and we live on the same street. 
7.  I have never lived more than 25 miles from where I live right now.  

And now to pass it forward!  I haven't been blogging as long a many of you have, and you probably don't even know that I follow you.  But the blogs that inspire me on a regular basis are:

Monday, October 25, 2010

He Called Me Tiny!!

I love Facebook.  It has been such fun reconnecting with old school friends and former coworkers.  My daughter fusses about all the old geezers on there.  :-)   I'm personally having a ball with my old geezer friends!  After a couple of FB chats with one guy from the past (on whom I had a GIGANTIC crush as a young teen), we talked about weight issues, and it seems that he is struggling with it as well.  Lo and behold, I bumped into him over the weekend, and he actually called me TINY!  He said "You are so TINY.  You said you had gained weight, but you are TINY."

I think I have just found My Next Husband.

Out Of The Closet

On my to-do list for this weekend was the dreaded chore of cleaning out my closet.  I'm not one of the fortunate women with a closet big enough to hold my entire wardrobe (small that it is), so each summer and winter finds me sorting through clothes, and exchanging out warm items for cooler items.  This year, however, there were no bags and boxes of clothing in my attic to unpack for fall/winter.  When I packed up the winter duds at the beginning of summer, I took the boxes straight down to the local Goodwill store, and got rid of them forever.  Fat clothes. How come that is such a difficult thing to do?  For years and years, I have held on to favorite items, resolving to "one day wear this again".  Buried underneath five years of cramming stuff in my attic, I know there are boxes of tiny little jeans that have probably dry rotted by now.  At the beginning of this summer, I was a newly banded patient, full of hope and optimism about getting the weight off, and finally truly believed that it would happen.  My band gave me the confidence I needed to be brave and... get rid of those size 22 clothes.  The summer clothing that I replaced them with were also of the larger size, and throughout the summer they became looser and looser on my shrinking body, until I finally had to break down and buy a few things to get me through.    What a shock to realize, now that it's time to once again drag out the winter clothes, that I have NOTHING TO WEAR!!!   I work from home, (in my size 3X jammies that are falling off of me, but are oh-so-comfy!) so business casual clothing isn't an issue for me.  Well, except for the rare time when I must go into the office, then I must adhere to a fairly rigid dress code, but thankfully that's not very often.

I'm afraid I didn't get to check off every item on my to-do list for the weekend.  But I did get my closet cleaned out.  And now I have even more boxes for Goodwill.  My closet is looking very bare these days.  But even without my band in place, I still have the resolve that I won't be needing those clothes any more.  Yes, indeed.  It is time they come Out Of The Closet!!!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Happy Friday

On the weight-loss front, it was a good results week.  I'm down 6 lb from last weekend!!!  I believe the Mega T has helped with the appetite suppression.  So for the first time in weeks, my ticker numbers have changed... and in the right direction!  Gotta love that!!  Hope everyone has a great weekend.    CathyB

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Blown

Greetings, blogger friends!  Nope, I didn't sail away to parts unknown while I was at the beach, though sometimes I think it would be a grand adventure!  I did have internet issues though, and was unable to do any blogging while I was gone.  I bought one of those thingies that you plug into the laptop for wireless service, then purchased a card to use with it.  Sometimes it would work, and sometimes it wouldn't.  Never would let me access my blogs.  Fortunately, I was able to get to Facebook.  I would probably have packed it up and come home early had I not been able to keep up with my FB friends, and tend my homestead in Frontierville.  Yes, I am that pathetic.  Ha!

I'm pretty bummed to admit that I have totally blown the Hot 100 Challenge.  I wasn't able to post an update (though it would have been sad).  I'm still going to hang out with the other Hotties, though, checking on blogs and posting encouragement.  It's not about the prizes for me, it's about the companionship along the journey.  So I'll start posting my updates, sad as they may be, in the hopes of gaining encouragement as I begin the battle anew each week.

I am happy to report that while at the beach, I walked several miles, several times.  When I was there last year, I was barely able to walk 100 yards without being out of breath and my feet hurting something awful.  My 70-year-old mom could walk circles around me!  Not so, this year.  I enjoyed my walks more than I have in years.  Eating wasn't too bad either.  We did do buffet dinners a couple of times, but for the most part I made good food choices.  I gained 1 lb for the 9-day trip.  That's a record for me!  (A happy record!)

I know it might be a cop-out, but I bought myself some Mega-T green tea dietary supplement pills at the Walgreen store the other day.  It's a crutch, I know, but I'm really struggling with my appetite since having the band removed in July.  I just need a little something to get me jump started to get the pounds and inches headed in the DOWNward direction instead of upward.  I've used it for two days, and doggone it, I believe it is actually helping, and I haven't been hungry between meals.  And my food choices have been PERFECT!!  So... I'm going to keep using them to see how it goes.  I know there are pros and cons, and many different opinions. I've been on this journey for over 20 years, so I've heard it all, read it all, and tried most of it all.  Blogging and reading blogs is an amazing tool that helps probably more than anything else, but a little boost with the green tea pills might be just what I need to complete the picture.  At least for a little while.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Coast Is Calling!

Umm Ummm.  Just enjoyed a fabulous salad... and I didn't even have to work the street corner for it!  :-)

The next 24 hours will rank as some of the craziest i've had lately.  I'm headed for the coast early tomorrow afternoon, and in the meantime there's about four days' worth of stuff I need to take care of.  We've had a wonky thing happen at work requiring extra attention and hours of (extra) work.  I'm doing some p.r.n. work for a friend tonight.  I'm not finished packing.  My house is a disaster.  No way i could face all of this without the prospect of a 6-hour nap on the road tomorrow, as this looks like this will be an all-nighter for me, straight on through working for four hours minimum tomorrow.

Ahhh but the seagulls are calling my name, and the ocean waves are rolling in to take away my stress....

*See* ya'll tomorrow evening, with sand between my toes!!!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Hooked on Salad

How horrible it must be to not like salad!  I know a few folks who don't like green things, and wouldn't touch a cucumber if it was plated in gold.  Chocolate, maybe.. ha!  I remember the first time I ever tried salad dressing.  I used to eat my salad without any kind of dressing at all.  One year while on vacation at a table full of relatives, I decided to live dangerously and add a little dressing to my salad.  Oh. My.  I thought I had died and gone to salad heaven.  Since then, of course, I have learned all about the Evil Salad Dressings chock-full of nasty fat grams and calories.  For years I wouldn't budge, and couldn't stand the taste of light or fat-free dressing.  I'm still not crazy about it, especially the Ranch variety.  I'd rather have less volume, and still enjoy the full-fledged Ranch rather than not enjoy my salad.  Thankfully I have discovered a new flavor that I do like in the lite version, and that's Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette.  Yum Yum.  I also like the Salad Spritzer dressings.  At one calorie a squirt, you can't really go wrong there.  I don't think I've ever squirted over four or five times.

I don't just love salads, I actually crave salads.  My idea of winning the lottery would be to have a handsome young chef prepare my salads for me twice daily.  It's the washing, slicing, dicing, chopping and tossing that I'm not so crazy about.  Eating it is my favorite part.  I have a tough time keeping "salad stuff" in the fridge.

Today at lunch I was headed for the fridge and was telling my daughter how much I was enjoying having salads again.  I wanted to say "I'm hooked on salads."  Instead it came out "I'm hooking for salads."  She just died laughing.  I guess I can see myself on the street corner with a sign... "Will work for salad."

It was pretty funny.  I guess you had to be there.   :-]

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Discrepancy

 Do you see it?  Look at my two tickers.  One says I have lost 52 pounds, one says I have lost 43 pounds.  UNfortunately, the one that says 43 pounds is the correct one.  I'm still battling with those 9 pounds that separate me from Ground Zero (my weight on the day of band removal). So, I'll be working very hard to get the numbers UP.  Not the numbers on the scale, oh no, those have gone up far ENOUGH.  I want to get those numbers UP on the My Fitness Pall ticker.  So, for my own motivation, I'm going to leave both tickers up.  I think the embarrassment factor will help.  :-]

Yesterday was my granddaughter's Minnie Mouse birthday party.  My daughter and I made an awesome cake for the occasion.  [That is not intended to be a boastful statement.  If you could see some of the cakes we have made in the past, you would definitely agree that this cake is awesome.  Most of our efforts result in throwing the whole mess in the garbage can... haha...]  For some crazy reason we decided to do a fondant cake.  We watched some videos on You Tube and decided we could do it.  We were happy with our first attempt at a prototype a week before the party.  Closer to the weekend we began to worry that it was just a fluke, and hoped that the *real* cake would turn out as well.  We were happy.  :-)

The first photo is our first attempt.... the prototype.  We switched colors on the second one, the *real* one. 




Okay, so a weight-loss blog is probably not the best place to be posting pictures of such sugary sweetness, but since I totally sucked at my Hot 100 Challenge last week, I thought I would post something that doesn't suck so much.  :-)   I haven't started off so Hot this week either, as I indulged in some pizza and birthday cake yesterday, and I had birthday cake for breakfast today.  

All is not lost, however... (no pun intended...) I just had a delightful salad and a Smart Ones dinner, and I'm feeling very satisfied at the moment.  I walked on the treadmill last night (check!) and I'll be doing that again today.  I'm keeping up with my food intake,(check!) and I've avoided butter-pecan ice cream (check!).  So that's three checks out of four so far within 24 hours.  Best stats I've had all week.  ha!  Totally sucking on the drinking-8-glasses-of-water-a-day goal, though.  :-[    Will have to work harder on that. 

I hope everyone is having a great Sunday afternoon!  (I'm supposed to be working.... but here I am, reading blogs!!)

Friday, October 1, 2010

Hot 100 - Gremlin Repellent

Shoot.  How sad that my first update post can't be full of fireworks and high-fives, shouts of "Well Done", and "Way to Go!!"  Pretty darn sad.  It's almost like the FAIL gremlins are out to get me.  You know the ones... no matter what you make up your mind to do, those little gremlins will appear from nowhere and make sure you do not succeed.

I haven't checked out update posts of the other Hotties, but I'm quite sure that I'll find most everyone had a great  start to the challenge (high fives to ya'll!!!), but I'm that old horse just barely limping out of the gate.  Slow to get my groove on, but I know it's in me... I just gotta get those FAIL gremlins out of the way.

Steve said:   Have you had a less than great start?  Don’t worry about it.  You can pick up right here and make the upcoming week great.  There is no need in letting a bad week ruin the rest of the year.  You can do it!
Thanks for that, Steve.  It would be really easy to just forget it.  But I've come too far to just forget it, and I am over halfway to goal, so I must continue to go forward. 


All is not a total loss (no pun intended), though.  
~I did not walk this week. FAIL  Bought myself a pedometer today, though... getting ready for it!!!
~I did not drink enough water.  FAIL
~I did not purchase (or consume) any butter pecan ice cream  YAY ME!!!  A+
*I did purchase a package of Skinny Cow ice cream sandwiches three days ago, and was able to limit myself to eating only ONE.  Normally I would have eaten two at a time and the entire package would be gone by now. So far, only one is gone.  So that's an A+++!!
~I did not WRITE DOWN calories consumed, but on two days, I did look them up, and keep a running total in my head.  This a START.  B


So now I have 92 days of 2010 rather than 100.  I'm still way better off than I was January 1 of this year, and I'm not as *good* as I'll be on January 1 of 2011.


This coming Thursday I'm headed to the coast for a long overdue week of rest and relaxation.  My parents will be going with me, and my mom will be my encourager.  I'll be doing lots of walking every day.  We stay at my aunt's condo, so we have a kitchen and prepare our own food.  My mom is watching her weight as well, so there won't be the usual junk-food orgies or binge eating at restaurants usually associated with vacations.  It will likely be much easier than if I were at home.  


So, week one was pretty much FAIL, but I have limped out of the gate, gremlin repellent in both hands, and I'm ready to rev it up and make the best of the remaining 92 days of 2010. Hope everyone has a great week!!!!



Monday, September 27, 2010

Hot 100 Goals Revisited

Okay, so I've decided that having one of my three goals as "Stop with the butter pecan ice cream" is a wimp out.  That only challenges me when I go to the grocery store.  If I can make it out of the grocery store without the aforementioned creamy deliciousness in my bag, then I have tackled the challenge until my next trip.  Yes, it is a big thing, but it is not a daily thing.  It's as simple as this.  If I don't bring it home, I won't be tempted to eat it.  No matter how I may THINK that I can't live without it.... if it's not in my freezer, there is nothing to do but wait it out and see if I live or die without it.  Ha.  I'm going to keep it on my list of goals, because it truly IS a challenge when I'm shopping.  But, I'm going to add another goal, so that I am working on the goals every day.  Now to decide.  What will my goal be?  I'm pondering it.  I'm thinking of doing the calorie-counting thing.  This would entail keeping up with what I eat, which is a HUGE challenge for me.  I'm just lazy about it.  That's what I hated about WW, was journaling everything.  Up to this point on the journey, my day has looked like this:  Protein drink for breakfast, protein drink for lunch, then a "healthy, sensible" dinner.  I do love the protein shakes, and they pretty much fill me up and keep me full for a good four hours.  I'm finding now, though, that I want something to crunch on for lunch.  Just a few minutes ago I enjoyed a large salad of greens (spinach and spring mix), chopped baby carrots, 1/2 cucumber, one green onion, and about 4 oz of cheese.  Would have added a boiled egg, but we're out of eggs.  About 80 calories' worth of salad dressing (Lite Raspberry Walnut Vinaigrette).  A lovely, delicious, and satisfying lunch.  In order to avoid overdoing it at dinner, I might allow myself a protein drink (110 calories) later on this evening.  Mondays are crazy for me, with a 12-hour work day from 11a to 11p, so it's not the normal routine.  Anyway, I'm seriously considering adding the goal of counting calories/logging my food.  THAT will be challenge that will keep me honest, keep me humble, and keep me aware of what I'm doing.  And if the calorie-counting goes well, perhaps I can incorporate some of the pre-measured portions of ice cream like Skinny Cow, or some of the WW varieties.  I don't know, though.  I may not be strong enough to limit myself to just one.  How about you?  Are there any Hot 100 folks out there who are revisiting your goals?

Saturday, September 25, 2010

25 or 6 to 4

What in the world did that mean?  I have been a Chicago fan for over 30 years.  Never did quite get the meaning of that song.  What does it have to do with my health?  Nothing, really.  I was just contemplating the title for this post, and initially I was going to call it "6 to 10", and that made me think of the song.  What does 6 to 10 mean? Well, unfortunately, it means that the 6 lbs I have been battling with since my band removal has turned into 10 lbs.  YIKES.  Time to wake up and smell some calories, people!!  One of my goals for the Hot 100 was to stop with the butter pecan ice cream.  In MY mind, the best way to alleviate the temptation was to rid my house of the sweet, creamy deliciousness of it.  Sad to report that my method entailed NOT washing it down the sink, but washing it down my esophagus, into my tummy.  Very Poor Decision.  BUT... alas, the creamy deliciousness is gone, and I have vowed that AT LEAST for the duration of the challenge, I shall bring NO MORE ice cream into this house.  Butter pecan or otherwise.  I had hoped to obtain Ground Zero weight (my weight on the day of band removal) before leaving for the beach, but that would mean losing 10 lbs in 13 days.  I'm not sure how realistic that would be.  I'll be vacationing with my mom and dad, and she'll encourage me as much as possible, and under her watchful eye, I won't be tempted to continuously stuff myself with junk like I normally do on vacation.  And since I'm 52 lb lighter than I was this time last year at the beach (oh shoot.... 42 lbs, NOT 52 lbs), and can tolerate walking further distances, I am determined to do some serious beach walking this year.  I do plan to enjoy myself, and have some treats... after all it is vacation... but my goal is to watch portions and make much wiser food decisions than I have made on previous years' trips to the beach.   And until the day of departure, I will continue working my goals of
1) Walking on the treadmill or outside at least five days a week
2) Stop with the butter pecan ice cream
3) Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day

Day of departure?  Shoot, those goals will actually be easier to attain while I'm at the beach than when I'm at home, so I don't mean for it to sound like I'm going to stop while I'm gone.  I'm just sayin...

Yesterday I enjoyed some retail therapy.  One of my purchases was a sports bra thingy like they wear on Biggest Loser.  I have lost enough weight now that I thought I might enjoy one of those.  Until now, I could never have squeezed myself into an XL.  And I couldn't find any 3X ones.  Anyhow... I tried it on last night, and had Whitney take my photo in just the bra thing and some jeans.  Ewww.  Let me just say that "My cups STILL runneth over."  Even though it is way better than it was before my journey began, there is still such a long way to go.  A fellow blogger has posted pics of herself from the beginning of her journey to the end, and the results are amazing.  (Click the video to be amazed!  Then scroll down her blog, looking on the right side bar, for a series of photos that will equally amaze and motivate you.  266, You Rock!!!) .  I thought it might help motivate me to do kind of the same thing.  I do have some really disgusting photos of me in my underwear before band surgery.  I dare not post those "before" pics until I am satisfied with my "after" pics... if EVER!  At any rate, I'm going to continue the sports-bra-photo thing throughout the Hot 100 Challenge to 'document' the changes.

Gee, I'm rambling a lot today.  Perhaps it's because I know when I finish this post, it's back to housework.  That does not excite me.  ....sigh.... but perhaps I can burn a few calories and ramp up my metabolism.  But truthfully, I'd rather just sit here all afternoon and read your blogs that so inspire me.  So go ahead now, and write something profound, because (in my best Arnold accent)  "Ah'll be baaack".

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hot 100

Challenge me, baby!  I'm about to embark upon my first blog-oriented challenge.  Lanie posted about this challenge, and I am intrigued.

As of today, September 23, there are exactly 100 days remaining in 2010.  We all know that New Year's Resolutions are easily forgotten, and somehow we just never seem to make it happen.  I'm no exception, and December 31st usually finds me resolving to lose the same 50 lb (60, 70, 80, 90+, each year the number climbs ever higher.)  Normally I'm good for a week or two, sometimes a day or two, and then something delicious passes my way and I find myself reaching for it.

December 31 of 2009 found me anticipating lap band surgery in early 2010.  After jumping through all the hoops, I underwent surgery in May, and (repeating info from previous posts ad nauseam, sorry) and because of complications, had it removed nine weeks later.  However, I am still in a much better place 265 days later than I was New Year's Eve of 2009, and for that I am very thankful.  As noted in recent posts, I seem to have lost my oomph, and have fallen back into old habits, resulting in battling with 5-6 lb that I have regained since band removal. A challenge is exactly what I need.

From Steve's challenge:  What is the Hot 100?  The Hot 100 is a challenge focused on the last 100 days of 2010.  September 23, 2010 starts the clock.  From that day forward there are exactly 100 days left in 2010.  One hundred days to make this your year.  One hundred days to achieve your goals.  One hundred days, each and every one of which can be a great day!


One of the main focuses of the challenge is to set goals.  To be accountable, we are asked to list at least three goals.  Here's my list:
1. Walk on the treadmill (or outside) at least five days a week.
2. Stop with the butter pecan ice cream.  Seriously. 
3. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.


The old me would have made my #1 goal "Lose ___ lbs by New Year's Eve."  The new me truly understands that it's not about the numbers.  It's about changing my priorities and my habits.  When I do that, the numbers will change.  And, as I eluded to in a previous post, so WHAT if the numbers on the scale change.  If I'm not changing my priorities and habits, the numbers will just go back up, once the "diet" is over with.  Although I will say that I'm excited to see what the scale will report on December 31, 2010, when the above goals are met.  


Thanks, Lanie, for posting about the challenge, and thanks to Steve for making it.  I look forward to exciting things in the next 100 days!!!  

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Dem Bones, Dem Bones

One of the joys of losing weight has been the rediscovery of my bones.  They have been buried so deeply under the surface of my skin (and fat!) that I forgot all about them.  Oh, occasionally they would ache a bit, or protest if I tried to be too active, but for the most part they went about their job of supporting the rest of me without complaint.  Here in the south, we like to bless things.  We're always saying "Bless your heart", or "Bless your bones".  Well, bless MY bones for putting up with all the abuse I have given them over the past 20 or so years.  If you handed me a bag weighing 100 pounds and asked me to carry it around with me 24/7, there's no way I could do it.  And I'd probably tell you all about it, griping and complaining the entire time.  No doubt I wouldn't even be able to stand erect, but would fall to the ground underneath the staggering weight.

Yet my bones, my sweet faithful bones, have done just that.... and more.  They have born the burden of my extra weight through pregnancy and childbirth, through multiple moves, through band-mom chores and trips.  They have carried me through the streets of Boston on the Freedom Trail Tour.  They have walked many miles up and down the beaches of the gulf and the Atlantic Ocean. And let's not forget After-Thanksgiving-Black-Friday shopping marathons! They faithfully carry me through the aisles of Wal Mart and the grocery store several times a week.  And they hold me steady as I sit in my chair and work for hours and hours each day.  All this weight, mostly supported by two tiny ankles, and two knocked knees.

If my bones could talk, they would probably be singing my praises now, thanking me for relieving them of 50-something pounds.  It's still asking a lot to expect them to be patient as I strive to rid them of another 50-something pounds.

It's pretty amazing, feeling and seeing my bones again.  I can feel my radial bones where they join into my shoulder.  I can feel my pelvic bones when I lay on my stomach.  Most amazing of all is being able to feel my femurs, or thigh bones, when I lay on my side.  At first I thought there was something wrong with me, that I had some kind of bone tumor or something.  Then I turned over on my other side and I could feel it on the other side as well.

Now my butt bones.... they are presenting me with a little challenge.  The ischial tuberosities.  Seems like I've lost quite a few inches in my buttOCKS (a little Forest Gump humor there).  My days and evenings are spent mostly in front of a computer, either working at my job, or tending my little homestead in Frontierville (Facebook application).  Every hour or so, I'm noticing that my right buttOCK and thigh are going to sleep.  Hmmm.  I guess those ischial tuberosities are making their presence known just like the rest of my bones!

I'm not complaining. I guess it's just my bones' revenge for my prolonged abuse of them.  One of the remedies will be more walking and less sitting!  Perhaps with some butt-toning, the ischial tuberosities won't be demanding so much attention.

In the meantime, I'll just put my arms around my own shoulders, and hug my bones.  (I can do that now!!)

How about you?  What's a change in your body that you have noticed recently?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Confessions Of A Blog Snob

I have to confess.  I am a blog snob.  And I have been humbled.  I find myself gravitating toward the blogs of *successful* people... People who always have positive posts about how they are succeeding with their attempts at healthy living, faithfully following their own personal plan to reach their goals.  I tend to somewhat avoid those bloggers who always whine about how they can't do it, and who never seem willing to make even one little change to facilitate reaching even one goal.  Now, I'm not talking about those who sometimes struggle... we ALL do that from time to time.  Thankfully, we have our respective blogs where we come to document the journey, both the successes, and the not-so-successful times.  We share thoughts, ideas, and encouragement, and hopefully find our way back to our plan.  Our fellow bloggers inspire us with encouraging words, and we are  motivated by reading the blogs of others. 

This blog snob finds herself now in the Whiner's Seat. I've totally blown it.  The appetite monster is riding my back so heavily that I just can't seem to do anything but stumble and fall.  It's not the first time I have fallen since being on this current journey, but it's the first time that I've had trouble getting back up, and getting rid of the monster on my back.  Or, more accurately, in my head.  I'm not on a "diet".  I have embraced the ch-ch-changes necessary to meet my goals.  I know that it's not a four-week-plan and then back to eating as usual.  I know these things.  Yet I find myself sitting at my desk just daydreaming about what I want to eat.  I haven't walked on my treadmill in several days.  (In my defense on that charge, I spent two days this weekend helping to clean out my best friend's mom's house, getting ready for an estate sale, and burned far more calories than I would have on the treadmill.  But still... I should have done it for the sake of continuity.)

So, to those bloggers whose blogs I have avoided because *you didn't inspire me enough*, I offer my sincerest apology.  And to those of you who perhaps read my blog hoping for a morsel of encouragement, I also apologize... because I know you won't be getting it today.  Please don't give up on me.  And please don't avoid me.  I need you.  :-)   (see... it's always about me, me, ME!) 

I have wallowed in Stinkin' Thinkin' for several days now, and I'm desperately trying to claw my way up to the surface, out of the mirey muck that whispers the lie that I'll never make it, Just go ahead and eat whatever I want anyway, and other such negative thoughts as these. 

I'm losing and gaining the same 4-6 lbs week after week, and it's time to plant my stake in the ground, and get back to the business of getting it done.  To heck with "starting on Monday".  Monday needs to start right now. 

And on that happy, positive, note, I'm going to boil myself an egg or two, nuke some frozen Tyson grilled southwest chicken strips, and make myself a delicious grilled chicken salad for dinner.  And I finished up the ice cream last night, so there won't be any of that to tempt me tonight...... 

...and I promise to stop with the blog snob stuff.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

Back in the 70s there was a David Bowie song called “Changes”. Remember it? Catchy little tune, though I could never quite figure out all the words. Back in those days we didn’t have Google to find song lyrics for us, so we just did the best we could. I could tell you some funny examples of lyrics that I *thought* were correct. But I’ll save that for another time. I’ll bet you have some funny ones too.  Here are a few lines from that song:

Still don't know what I was waiting for, and my time was running wild. A million dead-end streets and every time I thought I'd got it made It seemed the taste was not so sweet.  So I turned myself to face me, But I never caught a glimpse of how the others must see the faker.

(Kinda loses some of the ooomph without the music...)
Today I’m thinking about changes. This time two weeks ago I was enjoying my Girls-Only Weekend Getaway. It was a wonderful, relaxing four days away from the everyday hustle and bustle that is my life. Four days of girlfriend time, drinking coffee outside in the mornings, staying up late talking and giggling like schoolgirls, and of course… eating. I had prepared for the trip by losing back down to my Ground Zero weight (the weight I was on the morning of my lap band removal surgery).

A bit of history- the lap band experience, though it netted me a 52 lb weight loss, was pretty much a nine-week disaster. You can read older posts if you’re interested. The last couple of weeks I was barely able to keep anything down, and for the past few days pretty much existed on sips of water. When even that was impossible, the band was removed in a semi-urgent fashion. For a week or so, I was pretty much afraid to eat anything, but slowly added food back into my life. Of course, after hardly any food intake at all, eating even small amounts of food resulted in my gaining about 6 pounds over a couple of weeks. I tried not to panic – but the appetite monster had returned! (That was the ONLY good thing about my personal lap band experience – NO HUNGER whatsoever!)

I knew the girls’ weekend was coming up, and I desperately wanted to lose back down to my Ground Zero weight, so that the anticipated pounds gained wouldn’t just pack on top of the ones I had gained postop. Success!!! I reached the GZ weight two days before we left for the trip.

I allowed myself the choice to partake of the snack foods that we were preparing to take. I told myself that I would eat and enjoy, and not beat myself up. It was my hope that I simply wouldn’t consume said snacks in as large a volume as I once would have. I must say that I did indulge in whatever I wanted, as much as I wanted. I’d like to think that I consumed less than I would have *before*, but I wouldn’t bet the farm on it. But I do think it was less. Because I knew in the back of my mind, even though I was allowing myself to enjoy it without guilt, that when I got home, I’d just have to get rid of whatever poundage I acquired while away.  I knew, though, that it wasn't so much about gaining weight while gone, rather the challenge would be changing my mindset after I got home to once again making better choices.

I waited a couple of days to weigh, and the first day I weighed, I showed a 4 lb gain. Not too bad!!! Especially since my *constitution* had gotten a little out of whack while I was gone. (Sorry, TMI, but it does factor in.) The next day when I weighed it was UP 3 more, and the day after that another 2. WHAT? A 9 pound gain?

Well, let me back up. I had a little trouble getting back on that proverbial wagon once I returned home. That’s always the way it goes with me. I work a program like a mad dog… but once I fall off, that’s usually it for me, and after a few attempts to get back up, I just say screw it, and forget about the whole thing. So the wagon rolled along without me for a week and a half. Ish. Determined not to let it get out of hand, I borrowed a crane and got myself lifted back onto the wagon, and I have strapped myself in with a nice strong safety belt.
So that’s my story. Now here’s the “change” part. I’ve noticed the numbers start to fall again this week, since firmly planting myself back on the wagon. Of course, that is the ultimate goal, to have the pounds come off. However… I am reminded that it doesn’t matter what Mr. Scale says. We all know how to manipulate the numbers. When I was going to WW I could eat what I wanted for three or four days, then a few days before weigh-in, I would get down to business, make sure I visited the bathroom regularly, and on weigh-in day, I wouldn’t drink water all afternoon. And I would usually show a loss. But what had changed? Certainly not me. Yes, I would make good choices three days out of the week, but my mindset was still all about how I could manipulate the system, eat what I wanted, and still show a loss, and get my Bravo Stars.

Until we change our thought patterns to be more about healthy eating/healthy living, it makes no difference what the scale says. We must find a happy medium place with food choices that work for us. Some don’t like to use the word “diet”, because it denotes a temporary thing - changing our eating habits until the magic number is revealed on the scale. Then what? When we go OFF the diet, back to our old way of eating, the weight comes back.

There’s something to be said for programs that kick-start us, different kinds of protein shake meal replacements, prepared foods such as Jenny or Nutrisystems. I am certainly no critic of whatever works, but the bottom line is, when the shakes are gone and the Jenny boxes are empty, if we haven’t made serious changes, then the only thing we’ve lost is a pocket full of money and maybe a little bit of heart muscle tissue. If, however, these programs get us motivated to make healthier choices and continue with healthier living once the program is over, then WOOHOO!!   

The ch-ch-ch-changes that I have made do include a protein drink that I have for breakfast and most days for lunch. I don’t view it as a temporary thing. I see me doing this for… well for as long as the company manufactures the drink. There are many reasons 1) I love the taste, 2) They fill me up and keep me full for a good four hours, 3) They are super convenient – no cooking, no planning, no counting/weighing, 4) They are relatively inexpensive, 5) Packed with protein and vitamins that I’d never get from a bagel or a sandwich, 6) I love the taste. So that’s a win-win for me. Once my goal weight is achieved, I still see me following this routine, because of reasons 1 – 6 above.

The changes that I have made include 1) a food plan that I can live with NOW, as well as AFTER my goal. 2) Move my body. I have a big honkin’ treadmill taking up space in my room. To make the unsightly inconvenience worth it, I’ll be workin’ that baby to MY advantage by logging some serious miles and gaining some serious leg muscles.

With these changes in place, I do not have to worry about the scale. There’s nowhere for it to go but down.

What changes have you made to help you reach your goals?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Walk A Mile In My Shoes

Bought myself a treadmill this past Friday!  Woot!  My daughter, her husband, and two toddlers live in the house with me.  About a year and a half ago, I enclosed my carport to make a large *room* for me.  This room serves as my bedroom, my den, my office, and my craft room.  (Scrapbooking and card-making).  There's hardly any wall-space left, between my bed, recliner, desk, and crafting cabinets, but there's still a large amount of floor space.  I didn't want to clutter it up, so I opted for a medium-sized treadmill.  Most everyone says "Yeah, I have a treadmill.  It makes a great place to hang my clothes."  I SO totally hope I don't go down that road!  My mom has one in her dining room, and of course I am welcome to use it at any time.  However, that would involve putting on clothes (I work from home in my jammies) and driving to her house (less than one mile.... haha...)  That's not much motivation.  Seeing the thing sitting over there, taking up precious space in my room, taunting me, challenging me... now THAT's motivation.  Plus, I can watch TV while I *work out*.  I use the phrase *work out* loosely here.  I bought it Friday night, put it together Saturday night, and used it last night.  Since I've lost 50 lb, I can walk a lot further than I once could, and I've handled hills in my neighborhood quite nicely.  I was very surprised to find that after 10 minutes on the treadmill my legs were hurting, and i had to stop.  It wasn't that I was tired, it's just that my legs hurt!  The model I purchased only changes speed in 0.5 mph increments.  1.5 was too slow, while 2.0 seemed a bit brisk.  That's kind of crazy, since I was doing 2.5 at the Wellness Center about a month ago.  Maybe I really have gotten that badly out of shape in the month since I've done any serious walking. 

Earlier in the summer, I started watching a new show on ABC called The Gates.  I've not been into the whole Twighlight thing, but I do like this tv show.  I had missed the previous two episodes, so I thought I'd take my laptop over to my craft table, hook it up and start catching up on the shows I missed while walking on the treadmill.  Fail.  For some reason it wouldn't buffer.  Now I'm turning over ideas in my mind... I need a taller table that I can bring directly in front of me, and maybe I can sew a mouse pad onto the leg of my shorts, and hold my tiny little wireless mouse and then play Frontierville on Facebook while I walk!!  Ha!! 

I think entertainment while I'm walking will be a key factor for me.  I walked on my mom's several times, but it seemed to take forever with no TV or music or anything to keep me distracted. 

My mom is having some energy issues and needs to drop a few pounds as well.  We're going to the beach in October, and one of our favorite things to do is take long walks on the hard packed sand.  She desperately needs to start walking on her treadmill too, so we have agreed to challenge each other, and keep each other accountable.  This should help as well. 

Since ten minutes seems to be my limit, I'm going over right now and walk so I can log a session.  Our VPN network is down at the office and I can't connect to get my work done, so I might as well burn up 30 calories while I'm unable to work. 

Do you have a treadmill?  Do you use it, or has it become a coat rack?

Friend Makin' Mondays

This is something new that I'm trying from Kenz's blog.  Not sure if I'm *doing* it right, but here goes!

I like... sleeping with the windows open in the spring and the fall.  I love the feel of  the breeze coming in through the window and the fresh smell of the outdoors. 

I don't like.... feeling that I could have done something better.  Except that maybe next time I will try a little harder. 

I love... how my family loves each other. 

I dream of.... finishing my book.

I wonder...if my life will ever slow down.

I know... that I am loved.

I went...to my favorite place this weekend: DJs deck for some relaxtion outside.

I have... two beautiful grandchildren!

I think...that I need to get better organized.

I plan... to walk on my NEW treadmill every day!

I regret...though I try not to focus on regrets, I do regret not teaching my daughter a few lessons/tasks/skills that would serve her well now.

I do...believe in myself.

I drink...sugar-free lemonade instead of plain water.

I wish....that my desktop computer would once again access the internet so i wouldn't have to use this laptop!!  grrrrr!

I am... a stronger person for having gone through the (failed) lap band surgery ordeal.

I am not... giving up!!  I will make the goal even without the band!!

I need... to remember to take my medications faithfully every day.

I graduated... from technical school as a medical assistant.

I hope.... in hope and faith.

I want... to never lose inspiration to become as healthy as i can possibly be.

I sometimes... cry easily.

I always... say "I love you" when saying goodbye on the phone with my family.

I swim... not nearly often enough.

I work ... as a medical transcriptionist.

I cannot... for the life of me understand why anyone would want to be a math teacher.

I avoid... confrontation whenever possible.

I will... continue to be thankful for all of my blessings!!

Wow, Kenz, that was fun.  Thanks for the challenge.


Monday, August 16, 2010

Believe

Winder has the most wonderful Weight Watchers leader I've ever known. (And I have known many!) Though I am not currently a member and don't attend the meetings, if I DID rejoin, it would be as much about her as it is the program. She's a real person who genuinely cares about the men and women who are trying to lose their excess weight. Each week in class, there is a "lesson" that the leader takes you through. Some of them are okay. Some are really very good. Some of them are pretty stupid. One of them spoke to me like no other. The subject that week was regarding one of the tools of the program caled "anchoring". We were encouraged to find something tangible that would remind us throughout our day to stay the course. My anchor was a notecard that I already had sitting on my desk. It was a note of encouragement that I had intended to send to a co-worker going through tough times. It was a water-colorish kind of art that depicted a little train chugging up the side of a mountain. I took my pen and wrote across the top of the card "I Know I Can, I Know I Can". I taped that card to my desk where I would see it all day long. And it helped. For a time. Then some faction of life intervened, and I got derailed, and tumbled down the side of the mountain, bringing all the weight with me... and then some. I stopped going to the meetings, and the old habits took over again. Now rewind and replay this scenario several times, joining, stopping, joining, stopping... too many times to count. During another WW stent, shortly affter Leyland was born, I decided to use the anchoring technique again. Every morning when I got to work, I'd take my pen and draw a tiny little set of baby footprints over the pulse point of my left wrist. I would see those footprints all day long, reminding me of my NEW reason to take back my health. I even considered having the footprints tattooed on my wrist, but I was too chicken. This anchor worked very well for a time, and I used it again when Corey was born. Then I would be busy and forget to draw them, and once again, I eventually lost my focus. Losing weight is doggone hard!!

Fast Forward to now, and here I am again, facing the Demon Hunger Monster head on. It just never gets any easier. However, with a little bit of success under my belt (literally), and with everything invested in the project this year, I am hopeful... no, confident that this time it will happen. Now I believe. I believe that I can do it. And Saturday, I found a new anchor! I've always loved the sterling jewelry pieces that have inspirational engravings... but I would never indulge myself. Imagine my delight to run across some clearance jewelry that AMAZINGLY included some of the pieces that I love. I picked out a very simple band that has one word engraved on the top of it. Believe. On the inside it says ....in the power of believing. How perfect is that! Normally I can't wear rings when I'm working, but this one sits nicely on my finger where I can see it all day, yet doesn't interfere with my work. The perfect anchor. Thank you, Linda, for introducing me to this concept, and for always being a "hero" to those of us who have attended your meetings.

Just. Believe.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

6 Up, 3 Down

I've been messin around with 5-6 lbs for six weeks now.  I had my lapband removed on July 7th.  It took a few days to feel like eating much, and quite frankly, I was afraid to try anything beyond a few sips of water and protein drinks for several days after surgery.  Over the following week, though, the Hunger Monster reared his ugly head again, and it was official:  My Appetite Had Returned.  When researching the lapband procedure, and talking with other patients, I often heard them say "You will not want to eat."  I looked them in the eye, and in my sweetest, most sincere voice told them they were nuts.  My eating habits have nothing to do with hunger.  It is doubtful I have ever experienced true hunger.  Even when following strict eating plans, and going around saying "I'm starving to death!", I doubt I have ever truly been hungry.  I eat because I love to eat.  Food feels good to me.  It feels good in my mouth, and I love the sensation of chewing, tasting, and then swallowing the food.  To think that the desire to eat would go away was unfathomable to me, and I told my new lapband friends so.  I was TOTALLY amazed that what they told me was true.  The entire time I was banded, I never had the desire to eat.  I was a very disappointed girl when complications necessitated its removal.  I knew the Hunger Monster would return. 

And return he did.  I was not surprised that I gained a few pounds once I was able to eat again.  I mean, seriously, I had been living on probably less than 300 calories for weeks.  Of course when I started to consume food again I would gain.  And gain.  Yikes!  All of the foods prohibited while banded were once again available for the consuming.  I've had a family reunion, homecoming at church, and several dinners out with my best friend DJ.  As a result, a few pounds started creeping up on me.  At first I gained 5 pounds, lost some of that, then ended up 6 pounds over my Ground Zero weight (my weight on the day of band removal).  I've had a couple of good days this week, and now I'm delighted that I've lost 3 of those nasty 6 lbs.  I'm going on a Girls Only Weekend trip beginning Wednesday, and I really want to reach Ground Zero by Wednesday morning.  I am quite sure I'll probably gain those same  6 lbs back again while vacationing with the girls. I'm going to enjoy the weekend.  I hope I can exercise some level of control and not just totally pig out, but by the same token, I'm not going to deny myself and then set myself up for a total pigfest. 

I have a new plan for getting in my water.  Lanie suggested having two glasses of icewater before having my glass of diet A&W.  That is a great idea, and it will be motivation for me to drink the water.  Thanks, Lanie!
We'll probably be doing a good bit of walking on the trip, so that will be an extra bonus.  The next few days will be very busy, as I'm tying up loose ends for work and home before leaving town for four wonderful days.  Maybe I can burn a few extra calories with all the preparation!  

3 down, 3 to go to reach GZ again! 

Happy Monday, ya'll!!
CathyB

A Blog A Day

I am amazed.  I skipped a few days reading blogs.  I had no idea how much difference it would make... until I caught up again last night.  It was so inspiring!  I know there are only a few folks who read my blog, but occasionally I'll get a comment, and it's always so appreciated.  A new blogger friend left a comment on my last post that rocked my world. (Thank you, Lanie Painie!)  Here's what she said: 
Oh boy. You've GOT to stop that nonsense! This week will be better, right? I know it will!
I loved it!!!  The week was better, Lainie, but still not as good as I know it could be.  After catching up on the handful of blogs that I follow, I was reminded that it is a journey that begins anew each day.  A journey that most of the time is difficult.  One blog that spoke to me deeply last night was written by Julie, who was recently diagnosed with diabetes. She shared that she had an e-mail conversation with a friend that went like this: 
Julie:  Regarding the diabetes.. It's up to me. 100% reversible. Or, I can let it kill me slowly. It's up to me.
It's so hard to change."
Her Friend:  "O.k...here comes my tough love on "It's so hard to change." Diabetes is F-ing hard. Being sick is hard. Going to the hospital is hard. Getting and taking medicine all the time is hard. Not playing with your kids because you're sick is hard. (would you like me to keep going?)  Eating well, living healthy and exercise is easy.

Wow.  Julie could have been me.  I, too, was diagnosed with diabetes about a year and a half ago.  Because I had no symptoms, it was easy to bury my head in the sand and ignore it, despite the fact that on a daily basis my work involves patients who have varying degrees of complications from diabetes, the majority of whom end up tethered to a dialysis machine three or four days a week.  Many of them have other problems that seem to go hand in hand with diabetes.  Some of them take as many as 30 prescription medications every day.  Julie's friend is so right.  THAT is hard.  Not being able to play with my grandkids, and the possibility that I might not be around to watch them grow up weighed very heavily in my decision to have the lap band surgery.  Reading Julie's post just brought it all home again, and I was so grateful that she shared.
Catching up with Sean's blog, I discovered another amazing woman who created a slideshow of her amazing journey.  Yes... reading these blogs is a true source of inspiration.  As I was out and about today, running errands, shopping in the grocery store, there was a time or two when I felt like I wanted something to eat.   How easy it would be to make a quick run through the drive-through!  It was pretty strange, though, that I "felt" my blogger friends with me today.  It was almost as if I could feel them encouraging me to make good decisions.  Sounds bizarre, but .... whatever works!!!  I'm happy to report that it was a good day.  Protein drink for breakfast, salad with grilled chicken for lunch, salad and baked potato for dinner. Would have been better with some exercise, but that didn't happen.  And I need to drink water.  While I had the band in place, I couldn't have anything carbonated.  The entire time, I craved root beer.  Soon after the band was removed, I got myself some diet A&W, and I've been hooked ever since.  Unfortunately, I have been drinking more A&W and very little water.  This will change.  Thank you, blogger friends, for your diligence in posting, and
for sharing your journeys that so inspire me. 

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

The Good was that I had a really great weekend.  Got some chores done around the house Friday morning, played with the kids Friday afternoon, and ran a few errands in the evening.  I spent the entire day Saturday with DJ.  Coffee and protein drink on her deck in the morning, floating in the pool Saturday afternoon, and dinner out Saturday evening. 

The Bad was that I overate terribly.  Friday night while out doing errands I went to my new favorite Mexican restaurant and had a fajita quesadilla. Can I just say.... Yummm Meeee.  Saturday morning I did fine with my protein drink. I don't remember what I had for lunch, or even if I ate anything.  For dinner, DJ and I went back to the Mexican restaurant and I had another fajita quesadilla.  Just as yummy as the night before.  Yesterday was Homecoming at church, and though I had tiny portions, I had lots of high-calorie/high-fat casseroles and such on my plate.  I had teeny tiny samples of four different deserts too.  (The Really Bad is that there was a bug among us somewhere... At this point I know of at least nine people who were sick last night/this morning... and I expect the number to grow. Thankfully it was short-lived for me and for my parents as well. I'm so thankful that Whitney and the children didn't go. Corey started to school (daycare) today, and it would have been sad to be out on the first day. I hope none of our school-aged kids at church didn't get it because today is the first day of "real" school as well. I also hope our elderly folk have avoided the bug. I worry it would be really bad for some of them. )

Then last night Whitney whipped up a batch of jerk chicken nachos.  Oh. My.  When I fall off the wagon, I don't do it half-heartedly.  I make it worth the fall. 

The Ugly is this:  186 lbs on the scale this morning.  That was after I had drank my protein drink, one cup of coffee and half a glass of diet A&W, so maybe, just maybe, that's not the true picture. Maybe I didn't REALLY gain 4 lbs!!! 

Oh well.  Time to put it behind me now, and get on with a new week.  Each new day brings with it a fresh, clean opportunity to make better choices.  Just like God, whose grace is new and fresh each morning. 

"But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope:  The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; His mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, therefore I will hope in him." (Lamentations 3:21-24)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Feeling A Little Down Today...

DOWN ON THE SCALES, THAT IS!!!  Yay!!! The 5 lbs that I gained since recovery are disappearing!  I've lost 3 lbs this week!  Totally workin' the protein drinks and one sensible meal a day.  I'm posting this tonight, because tomorrow the number may change.  And not for the good.  :-(    I had the day planned down to the minute.  We had a meeting at the office, which meant shedding my jammies and donning real-people clothes, and wearing makeup.  And shoes.  Bleh.  An urgent phone call from Whitney sent my well-laid plans straight to the dumpster. It seems that Mr. Corey, who is entering daycare on Monday, wasn't up to date on his immunizations!  He was lacking the final Prevnar vaccine.  So.... in order for him to be admitted, Greemaw and Mr. Corey made a mad dash for the pediatrician's office, 20 miles away, in order to have him duly stabbed.  Back to GiGi's, where I deposited Mr. Corey (I had tossed Leyland out the window as we drove by on the way...), for their standing play date with GiGi and Pop.  I now had 30 minutes to shampoo/dry/style my hair, find something to wear that doesn't involve PJs, and put a little paint on my face.  I had fully intended to sip on a protein drink while doing all this primping.  I just forgot.  My breakfast drink was hours earlier, and I had no idea how long the meeting would last.  I decided on a quick drive through kids meal at McDonalds, with plans to avoid the fries.  Foiled again.  Too many cars in line.  So over to the Burger King where the line was shorter, and I placed my order for a chicken sandwich (...sigh... no, not the grilled one... see it just gets worse...) and I sat there waiting for far too long.  Thought about driving away, since I had my drink, but dang it, they'd already taken my money!  So, finally I get my bag, and haul it toward the office.  To my dismay, there was no fried chicken sandwich in my bag.  There were onion rings (....yes, I ate them...) and the biggest honkin' hamburger I have ever seen in my life!  I almost couldn't lift it out of the bag with one hand.  It must have weighed 4 lbs.  Well, there's no time to go back, so I peeled back the paper and started eating.  I ate way too much of the stinkin thing, but it was pretty tasty.  I did NOT eat the entire burger, though.  In my "before" life, I would have had no problem scarfing the entire burger, all the rings and still have room for ice cream.  So, even though I was HORRIBLY off plan today, I am claiming a little victory in the fact that I didn't eat it all.  Gotta take my victories wherever I can get them!  For dinner I had a baked potato, a salad with spritzy-spray dressing, and some steamed veggies.  Fridays and Saturdays (my weekend) are sometimes challenging, but I have no plans to be out and about tomorrow.  Maybe I can stay on track with the protein drinks and be sensible.  I'd really love to get those last 2 lbs off  and get back to Ground Zero.  I weighed 180 the day before having the band removed.  So that's what I'm calling Ground Zero. [Edited:  I just looked at my calendar, and the previous sentence is incorrect.  The day before surgery I weighed 183.  I continued to lose after band removal, until such time as I started eating again.  My lowest weight was 180 on 7-19.  Original removal surgery date was 7-20, before it became an emergency, and I failed to remove the word "surgery" from my calendar on the 20th.  So I just got a little mixed up when I was writing the blog, and pulled the wrong figures.  Does that make me feel any better?  No, it doesn't.  But it is what it is.] Sunday is Homecoming at church, and you know what THAT means!!  Happy Weekend ya'll!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Yay, I Did It!!

Protein shake for breakfast 
Protein shake for lunch
Salad for dinner
I didn't cheat or munch!

871.5 calories
Walked 1 mile at the mall.  (Too hot to do it outside!)

Hourly Challenge

I'm hungry.  Well, that's not really true.  I'm really NOT hungry.  I just want something to munch on.  Something to tease the taste buds on my tongue and something to crunch between my teeth.  I had my protein drink at 8:00, and so now the challenge is to make it to 12:00 when I can have another one.  I'm enjoying my coffee on this rainy morning, as well as my diet root beer.  So let the countdown begin.  It is 10:29 a.m.  One hour and 31 minutes til my next protein shake.  Is this pitiful?  Maybe.  But if it works, then I don't care how lame it is.  I said there would be many new beginnings. 

I am encouraged that I lost 1 of the 5 pounds I've gained since the return of The Beast (my appetite). 

The ticker at the top of my blog is incorrect.  I did lose 52 lb, but I gained 5 back.  Just being honest here... but too lazy to change it.  If I don't lose the other 4 lb soon, I promise to change it to reflect the correct numbers.  I'm hoping that soon I'll be needing to change it more often.... taking me further down the road toward the finish line. 

Okay, so this blog took 4 minutes to write.  Now it's only one hour and 27 minutes til time for my drink.  I feel kinda like Rain Man.  On a rainy day.  :-)   I'll post at the end of the day and either confess my shortcoming, or proclaim my success!!
Taking it one hour at a time today...
CathyB

Sunday, August 1, 2010

From This Day Forward

No, I'm not getting married.  Hell is far from freezing over, and the pigs haven't sprouted wings.  But it is a new beginning.  Actually, there will likely be many more new beginnings in the future.  I'm realistic enough to know (and to admit) that life after the band will be filled with ups and downs.  Hopefully more ups than downs.  Each day will be a new beginning. 

As mentioned in a post on my other blog, I'm finally feeling like "me" again.  We had a rough couple of days earlier in the week, but the past three days have been the best I've had in months.  I've been pretty excited about that!!  Rhonda came on Thursday to entertain the munchkins while I worked.  They were extremely well behaved (yay! that means she'll come back!) and I didn't hear a peep out of them.  I got tons of work done, which translates into nice number$ at the end of the day.  Corey pooped his penny Thursday evening, which was a great relief.  Friday morning I did some chores around the house before heading out to pick up a birthday gift for Peyton.  I ran across some fabulous clearance sales, and was able to contribute nicely to Mary's school wardrobe, pick up a few super-cheap items for Leyland for next summer, and get a jump start on Leyland and Corey's fall clothes. 

Some things never change, though.  Successful shopping always makes me hungry.  So for lunch yesterday I enjoyed the heck out of a fajita quesadilla.  Not the best choice for one trying to lose weight.  It was scrumptious, though.  I know I burned a lot of extra calories with all that walking, and all that reaching for my debit card... but... I'm pretty sure calories consumed was greater than calories burned. 

Eating has always been a pure source of pleasure for me.  And remember... since late March, I've gone from "cutting back" to two protein drinks and one meal a day, to liquid-only, then original lap band surgery.  Following that it was two weeks of liquids, two weeks of mushy/pureed foods, followed by adding solid foods back to my diet.  At which point the nightmare spasms began, and I slowly trended backwards to finally existing on sips of water.  When I could no longer tolerate that, the band was removed.  At first I was afraid to eat much of anything.  There were a few episodes of spasm, which totally freaked me out... but thankfully those have completely abated now.  I've had several of my favorite meals now, and it's kind of like an alcoholic falling off the wagon.  Hi, my name is Cathy, and I'm a foodaholic.  The one thing that is different this time around is that I am good with knowing I must tame the monster.  I have my protein drinks chillin' in the fridge this very moment, and I'm prepared to tackle the beast again, avoid weight gain, and ultimately finish what I set out to do... and that is to lose 90 lb.  I did a Google search and found a couple of blogs that inspired me.  And I enjoyed a nice healthy salad for dinner, thank you very much! 

Today was my third good day in a row.  I took my protein bar and diet root beer up to DJs and we sat on the deck and talked about our Girls Only Weekend, and made plans for the beach trip in October. Then I had a nice visit with an old friend (from whom I actually bought my house) who was in the neighborhood.  A little later I worked outside until early afternoon.  It was awful hot, but it felt really good to get myself up and moving.  I love the satisfaction of small projects with quick results.  Such  feeling of accomplishment!!  Whitney and I took the kids to Peyton's birthday party this afternoon, and we enjoyed some wonderful Bennett family time.  I enjoyed some party food, but not to excess, like I would have done in my former life.  It was a great day.

Now the house is quiet, and I've had a little time to catch up with Facebook and blogging, and soon I'll be turning in for the night.  But From This Day Forward, I vow to get back on track, taking it One Day At A Time, and get the job done.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

A New Day

Sunday.  The first day of a new week.  A new week that has just GOT to be better than the past few!!  I'm not much about whining, and I really hate it when my glass-half-full attitude turns to glass-half-empty-of-sour-milk attitude.  Thankfully that doesn't happen too terribly often.  I inherited from my dad an optimism that, for me, often belies reality... but if I have to be a little unrealistic at times, I'd far rather it be in the half-full sense rather than the half-empty one.  Know what I mean?  But now that I'm ready to leave this past week behind me... far, far behind me, let me take just a moment to reflect on what I have learned. 
~Trust my instincts.  Nobody knows your body the way you know it.. and when you know that something is amiss, you must investigate it.  The dangerously frustrating thing is that some health care providers simply don't want to be bothered, and want to poo-poo it all away.  "Take an aspirin and call me in the morning" kind of thing.  Or "I'll call you back" and then the call never comes.
~Be proactive in my own care. During this entire ordeal, I have spent many hours waiting for return phone calls.  Having worked for many years on the other end of the phone, I've tried to be very patient, pleasant, and understanding.  I truly know how it works behind the scenes in physicians' offices.  However, the time comes when you must INSIST on getting answers, and DEMAND that someone pay attention to you.  I really don't like doing that (and it really should never be necessary), because I know what it's like dealing with a chronically whining patient who calls 20 times a day.  I never want to be that way.  It was either Whitney or DJ who kept reminding me that in a month these people won't remember me anyway, and to keep calling them.  Haha.
~Do the best you can do with what you have.  My entire week was focused on the fact that I had a postop problem.. and how best to address it.  I saw three different doctors within four days.. one in the ER, one at a walk-in clinic, and finally the surgeon on call for my out-of-town surgeon.  My sweet mama was playing taxi mom, carting me all over town, while often being the recipient of a snappy attitude. By this time I'm dealing with a big ol' case of frustration, and a little bit of self-pity, thinking that nobody (providers) really care, and do these people really know what they are talking about???  But, the best I could do is whatever they told me to do.  Late Friday night and yesterday morning I was feeling pretty low, and quite fearful that I was getting worse.  After a nap yesterday afternoon, I was delightfully surprised to see that the wound looked significantly better, and the soreness had ramped down a notch or two.  Finally!! 
~The saga is not over.  Once the band was removed, the esophageal spasm/swalowing/vomiting issues were gone.  However, over the past few days, I have had episodes (at least once daily) of the same spasmodic symptoms that lead to all kinds of unpleasantness.  This has me pretty bummed.  At the time of band removal, I threatened to "slit my wrists" if this symptom didn't go away.  Of course, I was joking, but.... I really need for this symptom to go away.  Perhaps it is meant to be the thorn in my side, but I am sure praying that with time it will leave never to return.  It is a horrible feeling!!
~I really do have more strength than I ever gave myself credit for.  Hopefully I am not a boastful person, but I am giving myself credit where credit is due this time.  Throughout the entire process, even immediately after the initial surgery, it has been a hard row to hoe, and I worked very diligently to do the right things, to keep the very best attitude, even in the hardest of times.  I look at other people who go through trials and challenges far greater and tragic than anything I've ever experienced, and I just say WOW.  People who suffer and survive, overcome, and flourish should be our true heroes in this world.  It is true.. God will never lead you where His grace will not keep you.  And though at times I tend to try to carry the world on my shoulders instead of letting God shower His mercy and grace on me and let HIM carry it, He is always there, ready to bear the load, and restore me.  Thank you God, for your blessings.
~Sometimes you just gotta let it go.  Blessings can sometimes be found in the most unusual places or circumstances.  My dear friend Danette called yesterday afternoon to discuss business, and during the conversation I pretty much lost my composure and bawled like a baby, trying to tell her what was going on.  Such a sweet, kind, and compassionate woman.  I'm sure my babbling between sobs didn't make much sense to her, but the details didn't matter at the moment, and she was such a blessing to me at the moment I needed it.  I must have continued bawling for another 10-15 minutes after we hung up.  My sweet daughter hugged on me, rubbed my shoulders for a bit, then went straight to my bathroom, got my bottle of Zoloft and said "Take it. NOW."  So I did.  It was a cathartic moment, though, and I felt better after the dam burst.  Sometimes you just gotta let it go.  There's no reward, except maybe a stomach full of ulcers, high blood pressure, etc., for keeping it all bottled up inside.  So, to my dear friend Danette, thank you for being in the right place at just the right moment.  Close enough to me to love me through it, distant enough not to advise me or try to "fix" it.  Just to listen.  Exactly what I needed. 
~Friends and family.  Absolutely the best blessing on earth.

I have no clue what this week will hold.  I'm sure there are more frustrating moments ahead with phone calls (or maybe lack thereof), more sitting in waiting rooms and missing work. Aaargh.  Hopefully, though, the uphill portion of the battle is behind me and soon this will all be just a blip on the radar of a life fully blessed.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Long And Winding Road

Or rather I should say bumpy road.  Waiting for brighter days ahead.  Now I have a seroma the circumference of a grapefruit.  With an infected incision.  After a trip to the ER, multiple phone calls to physician offices, I finally wound up in the Regional FirstCare office in Winder today, where it was determined I have cellulitis in the area, most likely a staph infection.  So now I'm eating antibiotics, hoping to find the area has receded by morning.  I'm certainly looking forward to noneventful days ahead!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Revision Of The Blog

(Also seen on the sidebar)

It's official. I'm an ex-bandit now, which necessitates revision of my blog - again.

Though I have lost the band, the journey continues. Perhaps the road will be easier, since the challenges and complications have been alleviated. The downside, though, puts me right back at square one. Controlling my eating. With the band, there is absolutely no hunger. Though most of my eating has nothing to do with hunger, with the band there is not even the desire to eat, hungry or not.

I have been to such a difficult place throughout this journey, that I believe I have found within myself, and within the grace and help of God, the strength to continue, and the resolve to go the distance, to reach the ultimate goal of health and fitness.

I can't say I regret having the surgery. Though a long, hard-fought battle, it got me this far. I am personifying the complications as The Enemy, and I'm just angry enough at it to want to FIGHT to maintain the weight already lost, and DEFEAT it by completing my goal.

Join me if you will, and keep me in your thoughts and prayers. It will be an uphill battle, but for the first time in... well, ever... I finally have faith and confidence enough in myself that, with God's help, I can do it.

Thank you for reading my blog. Please leave a comment to let me know you were here, but if you don't have a Google ID and must post anonymously, please type your name within your comment, so I'll know who you are. Thanks again!

Banded No More

Frequent esophageal spasms and vomiting even water, escalated my band removal to a rather urgent status, and it was removed on Wednesday, July 7th.  I'm home now, recovering nicely, patiently waiting for the incisional pain to go away.  Soon I'll be re-vamping my blog to reflect the changes.  Thanks for reading, please don't give up on me!  I still have 41 lbs to go!!!  Let's see what the future holds for the next leg of my journey!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Surgery Scheduled For Removal

Looks like I'll be saying goodbye to the band on 7-20-10.  Gotta say that, while I'm terribly upset that the process didn't work for me, I can't get this thing outta me soon enough.  I've been in terrible discomfort for days now, and have problems keeping anything down. The spasms are sometimes excruciating.  For the past three nights, I have been awakened by choking on the reflux, resulting in little mini-vomit sessions, and last night finally fell asleep sitting up in my recliner.  I spoke with the nurse yesterday morning and asked her to see if the doc would take it out today (his regular surgery day), but alas, that was not to be.  He's out of town next week, and the first available surgery appointment is the 20th.  My instructions in the interim?  Just take sips of water.  Okay.  For two weeks.  I'll just take sips of water.  Can't wait to see how that plays out.