Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Five days since I last posted, and only down 0.4 pounds. Bleh. I know it's a combo of starving over the weekend (kept taking bigger bites than I should and throwing it up) and not working out. I can't wait for the summer - lots of free time to myself to really establish an exercise HABIT and ROUTINE. I find every excuse in the book NOT to work out now, even though I know it's slowing down my weight loss. Ugh. Perhaps the next week off to relax at my boyfriend's house will do me some good? I definitely need a recharge of the ol' batteries.

Friday, March 19, 2010

So close!

Weighed in at 301.4 today...been a slower week, but I suppose that's what happens now that I'm semi-restricted and over the initial "omg I lost 10 pounds this week!" phase. What I'm stoked about, though, is the thought that the 300's are only a pound a half away from never being seen again on my scale! WOW! Today's weight puts me at 36.8 pounds of weight loss since I started on December 31, 2009 with pre-op dieting, and I'm quite happy with that result!

I went for fill #4 yesterday and saw the original doctor I've been using for fills (even though I loved the doctor (Dr. G) I got last time)...he was a bit miffed that the doctor last time didn't agree with how he'd done my fills, nor at the amount of fill that he had given me last time he saw me...haha! I was amused. At any rate, I supposedly now have 8cc in my 14cc band. I say "supposedly" because I liked Dr. G and trusted his expertise when he said I only had 5cc in my band prior to his 2cc fill, even though the original doctor swears I had 6cc. I got 1cc yesterday, long as lame, original doctor didn't REMOVE anything by accident, I'm up to 8cc. I've been on liquids since then (in fact, the only non-liquid I've had since Wednesday night was a protein bar), so I have no idea how restriction is now. I had really good restriction with that 7cc fill last time, but after about a week I could tell that I was able to eat bigger portions again. I vomited a couple of times, but that was user brain was telling my mouth to take bigger bites when I wasn't looking, and out the food came. Even since the 7cc fill I was able to get down any food (bread, eggs, etc.) as long as I took smaller bites.

So...we'll see how far this 8cc fill will take me, and how long it takes me to break the last pound and a half of the 300's! YAY!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The scale moves - Stuck vs. Full - Losing my Pants

Yup! Down to 303.6 today, the scale is finally moving again...and I'm SO CLOSE to never seeing a "3" start my weight again! Yippee!! I've got two stories to share...

(Just posted this on the LapBandTalk website as a response to a thread asking what the difference between "stuck" and "full" was...)

What I've learned about stuck v. full...

FULL - You feel full, just like you did before the LAP-BAND®. Not like when you were "overfull" from eating far too much in one sitting (double quarter pounder with cheese, supersize fry, 2 apple pies, etc.)...but just full like you know you've had enough to eat. It's not uncomfortable, and if you eat your meals slowly (as we're instructed to do), you'll notice that you get to that "full" state in about 15 minutes of eating. Once the food is cold? Stop're probably full.

STUCK - HELL ON WHEELS! Imagine're a high school teacher and have a 40 minute lunch before your last class of the day (sophomores - Biology), and you're planning to give a lecture for the period which requires you walking around the room and talking about biogeochemical cycles. You didn't bring a lunch, because your restriction from the fill you had two days prior has been pretty awesome...but you find that you're a little hungry. So, you grab the only thing in your classroom to eat - a snack sized bag of Doritos leftover from a BBQ you hosted recently. You eat them, being sure to chew and take small bites...but then you get lost in entering daily attendance and checking e-mail and subconsciously shove a whole chip in your mouth and chewing it up a little before swallowing. Then? The hell comes. You feel like the bony edges of the chip are poking out of your esophagus, causing SHARP pains in your sternum area. You head outside the back door of your classroom to dry/slime vomit three times...eyes watering, you walk around the "back yard," massaging your chest, trying to alleviate the pain. You're 29 years old - this can't be a heart attack. You look at the clock...only a few minutes left before the sophomores come scrambling into the classroom. You tear up, cry, agonize over the pain you're in...the sophomores come in, you can barely speak as the pain continues to subside over the next half an hour. You're done dry/slime vomiting, but the pain is still in control.

THAT is the difference :)

FINAL STORY - I had my first NSV (non-scale victory) yesterday! I have a pair of black gym shorts with an elastic band and, being behind on laundry, I threw them on yesterday before I headed to my apartment complex's little gym to get a workout in. These shorts have always slid on me because of the material they're made out of, but I've never had to worry about losing my pants. As I walk the short distance to the complex gym, I'm noticing that between holding my keys, MP3 player and phone, I'm also having to find a free hand to lift up my shorts...not just every few steps, but constantly...they were bonafide sliding off my ass. I hop on the treadmill, set my speed to 3.5mph and start speed walking...and notice that I'm going to lose my shorts. Every step I took, I could see in the full length mirrors that my see-through black panties (yup, I'm a sexy bish) kept popping up as the shorts were constantly sliding...down, down, down my legs. After a good 60 seconds of yanking my shorts up every few seconds, I finally grabbed a fist full of the shorts material in each hand and held on to each side of the shorts so I could walk without exposing my naughty panties. I get about 20 minutes done on the treadmill, and I'm DONE holding up my shorts. I hopped on the bike for about 10 minutes to try to get some cardio in that wouldn't require shorts holding...but even there, I watched my shorts creep down slightly. 10 minutes done there, I decide to cut my workout short and head back home. Bad news? My workout was cut short. Good news? I found the first item of clothing I cannot wear anymore because it's FAR too big for me...YAY! I suppose I could tie a string or wrap a belt around my elastic band gym shorts...but I think I'll pass :).

Friday, March 12, 2010

A week of restriction!

What a week it's been...learning to chew, take small bites, and try to EAT food so that my body has food to burn. As the week is ending, I'm learning that I probably do need one more fill to get to that "sweet spot" I hear everyone talk so wonderfully about. In the last couple of days, I've been able to eat bigger portions than I'd been able to at the beginning of the week and have been getting a little hungrier than I should. I ended Thursday night, for example, by eating a can of tuna because I was STARVING...even though I strive not to eat later in the evenings. more fill is scheduled on the 18th, and I can't imagine I'll need anything more than that!

But the WEIRD, BIZARRE, PISS ME OFF thing for the week has been the scale. Oh yes. My body LOVES weighing 305.2 SO MUCH that it's kept me there all week! WTH!? I've been getting calories in my body, I didn't overdo the workouts, I upped my water intake...why are you so resistant to going below 305.2, body? Ms. LB and I are working very hard to make you go much lower than that...keep up!

It wasn't until this afternoon that I finally had a hypothesis about the plateau that made sense. I take a three-month birth control (Seasonique) and had been off of it for a few months pre-op. I started it again a little over a month ago followed by the worst TOM of my life...which ended a little over three weeks ago. This afternoon, while walking around campus running errands, I felt those lil' uterine cramps I get when a period is coming. Nothing painful, just...felt them. That's normal for me pre-TOM. It dawned on me that my body is readjusting to having my period four times a year - having been off BCP for a few months, I had a normal cycle. Conclusion? Whether or not I get a period soon, my body *thinks* it's time...and, as a result, it's doing all the water retaining and whatnot that comes along with it. Someone tell me I'm making sense...cuz I'd really like to see a huge blast of weight come off any day now. 305.2 was exciting when I hit it, but it's getting old now...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Restriction, my friend? You rock.

KUDOS to Ms. LB! After Saturday's fill, I finally have restriction! It's bizarre...

SUNDAY (breakfast) - couldn't finish the eggs and cheese I made (read last post)
SUNDAY (lunch) - bought a footlong Subway sandwich...took 15 minutes to get a quarter of it down, and it was rough
SUNDAY (dinner) - ate two bites of ravioli (whole ones) and immediately threw them up. Learned the art of "small bites" and "chew chew chew" in order to get dinner down

MONDAY (breakfast) - yogurt & vitamins
MONDAY (lunch) - more Subway...rough going down again
MONDAY (snack) - Chex Mix, eaten VERY slow
MONDAY (dinner) - 2% Fat Free Velveeta Shells & Cheese

The weirdest experience that I've endured over the past couple days...I'M NOT HUNGRY! EVER! I was just telling my boyfriend that I eat because I look at the clock and realize, "Hey, it's lunch time." I realize that I don't have to eat according to a clock, but if I don't eat at given points of the day, I'd never consume anything! As it is, I'm under 1,000 calories today and still not hungry. I'd been eating roughly 1,300-1,400 a day in order to lose weight...and now I can't even get that much in! To Ms. LB (my band) effin' rock for FINALLY doing what the doctors said you would do. I'm okay with you having a hard time with Subway bread, and rejecting the first two, large bites of and I can learn to coexist for the betterment of ME.

I have another fill appointment on the 18th - not sure if I'll get a little, tiny adjustment or not. At only 2 days post-fill, it's too soon to tell if this restriction will stick around...but I'm definitely lovin' it!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

I think I'm full?

Today is my two month bandiversary, and I'm down a total of 32 pounds - yay! Better than that? I'm finally back on track. February was horrible for me weight loss wise - stressed from work, losing motivation when fills weren't taking me to restriction, sick for a few weeks...I definitely had a slow month. But March is here, my outlook is refreshed and I'm back to doing what I'm supposed to do!

Which brings me to yesterday's's now been 24 hours of liquids, so I scrambled up 3 XL eggs and put 28g (1/3c) of my colby jack reduced fat cheese on top...yum! I normally do a protein shake for breakfast, but Sundays allow me some free time to cook up a "feast!" (And, yes, it's funny to consider some eggs and cheese a feast...) After cooking, I began to eat. Since this is the first meal after a fill, I was extra cautious to chew, chew, chew...not knowing how restricted this fill of 7cc made me. I made sure to put my fork down in between bites, and let the food actually go down my esophagus before I picked up the fork again and took another bite. I've eaten just a little over half of the eggs and cheese, and I'm stuffed. That's a great thing! BUT...we'll see how soon it is before I get hungry again. I'm thinking of heading to Subway for lunch today to see if I can handle bread...I was able to handle the eggs and melted cheese with no problem, and I've read that a lot of people have issues with those foods. At this point? I'm just excited I got full and stopped eating before I finished everything I had cooked. I'm excited to see if fill #3 was the magic one, and excited to be only 6.3 pounds away from never having a "3" start my weight again! "Twoderland" - here I come!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

"I doubt you have a leak - I think the other doctor was just doing it wrong."

LOL! Very different experience today for fill #3. I had a no-nonsense doctor who laid it out - I would not be getting a numbing shot to start, and he would only be poking the fill needle in ONE time. I'm used to the numbing shot, and then the doctor poking me with the fill needle a few times before he's satisfied with the location of the needle...since I got this surgery done through a group hospital, the doctor I see for fills varies with whoever's stationed in my town on their open days. So, even though the bedside manner on today's doctor could use some work, I liked him! As soon as my shirt was lifted up for port access, he said, "Oh yeah, somebody's poked you too many times," referencing the healing holes (4 maybe?) from the fill I had a week and a half ago. Today's doctor did what he promised - one hole, some pushing to access the port correctly, and in went the saline.

He had me trace the amounts of saline I'd received thus far - I explained to him that there were 2.5cc in my band put in at surgery, I was brought up to 4.5cc at my first fill and 6cc at my second fill. However, this doctor was only able to pull out 5cc after he decided he'd check what the previous doctor did on my last fill. So, he puts in 2cc more, bringing me now to I start to worry about a possible leak in my band. At my second fill, there should have been 4.5cc in the band, but the doctor at that time was only able to pull out after the 2cc injection, I was up to 6cc instead of 6.5cc as we had planned. Then this time? Thinking I had 6cc in my band? This doctor was only able to pull out 5cc...somewhere I've lost 1.5cc of saline in my body over the last couple of fills?

When I asked the doctor today where the rest of the saline has gone, and if I potentially had a leak, he told me he highly doubted it. I'm losing weight, I haven't gotten sick from saline roaming around my body, etc. Again, I liked this doctor today - very straightforward, talked with me about chewing habits, etc. He promised me that when I came for my next fill, I WOULD have 7cc in my band still. And if I didn't? I might have a tiny, tiny leak in my band...which would NOT be a good thing (would mean another surgery to replace the band). But, his closing words to that conversation were "I doubt you have a leak - I think the other doctor was just doing it wrong." Haha! I could tell immediately that he had no respect for the other doctors, since he had witnessed the many holes in my port area upon first inspection. He had made a comment then that, "it shouldn't be done like that. Doctors should find the port first and THEN put the needle in." I told him that seemed I tend to believe this doctor when he says that I don't have leak - his confidence and assertiveness made me believe him.

Next fill's scheduled for March 18th, so we'll see then! Now up to 7cc in a 14cc band...and on liquids for 24 hours. I'm feeling full off of the Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino I treated myself with after the fill (that took me nearly 3 hours to drink), so let's hope I've got some restriction coming my way once I can start eating food again!

And, if not? Life is still good, the scale is still going down, and I'm happily in control of this journey!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Reasons to avoid exercise:

1) I don't have time.
2) My work day was so long and hectic - I just want to be lazy.
3) I still have work to do and I want to get to bed at a decent hour.
4) There will be more time tomorrow.
5) I'm losing weight without exercise...ish.
6) I am SO behind on the shows I want to DVR is filling up!

Reasons to exercise:

1) Those 2.05 miles I just did on the treadmill made me feel accomplished and proud.
2) Listening to music on my MP3 player and tuning out the world relieves stress.
3) My boyfriend told me I better work out today - he's proud of me and loves me no matter what I do, but it's good to have the motivator!
4) I lose more weight when I exercise accompanied with a controlled diet.
5) I have DVR for a reason - yes, I miss most of my shows due to a busy career, but I can also delay watching them until after I've exercised! They'll wait...really.
6) The post-workout shower is the best shower of the day.
7) Cold iced tea never tasted so refreshing...
8) Got on the scale pre-shower just to see (although I always weigh myself in the mornings), and was stoked to see half a pound gone since this morning - which means I finally hit the 30 POUND MARK!
9) Gives me something happy to write about on Facebook other than my work or boyfriend!
10) Tuning out the world gives me time to think - for instance, I thought about how much complaining I've been doing about not being at restriction. I've been complaining about how I got this LapBand and it's not doing what it's supposed to be doing...but, isn't it? Aren't I motivated to eat healthy and exercise? Regardless of not being full and eating larger quantities than those Bandsters at restriction, having the band IS motivating me moreso than I was without the band. The added bonus? Those 30 pounds are a result of MY hard work. I'm proud of that.

Hmm...seems like the good outweighs the bad! Must be a reason for that :)

What a difference a day makes!

Strictly logged and counted my calories yesterday...once I hit 1,342 I knew I was done eating for the day, even though I was hungry and wanted nothing more than to hit the Girl Scout Thin Mints in my freezer. I was a good girl, and only drank iced tea the rest of the night. Result? I'm at 308.4 this morning, just .2 pounds shy of the 30 pounds weight loss mark! To continue the good trend, I just took my vitamins, calcium citrate and am finishing up my protein shake (Inspire's Caramel Latte...yum)! So far, it looks to be a better day...I'm off work early today, and I'm starting the day with only 150 calories of intake. Sure beats the Sonic Breakfast Burrito and vitamins I started yesterday with - I had consumed almost 500 calories just at breakfast! Add another 500 for the grilled chicken wrap I got at lunch, and I sure didn't get much "bang" for my calorie buck yesterday! But, with 150 calories down this morning, that leaves me plenty for the rest of the day! Duh. THIS is the program, Joia :).

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Newfound Inspiration.

I can do this, really. I described what not having restriction felt like to a friend today, in trying to describe my current frustration. It feels like I'm dieting and exercising to lose weight - if I was able to do that and maintain that lifestyle, I wouldn't have had a surgery that cost me money and time off of work. I got this LapBand to HELP me do this, and my frustration with not being at restriction is me being frustrated at having to do this work alone. But, my boyfriend is a solid rock of encouragement...him and I had a chat last night after I spent time in the LapBand chat room (meeting some awesome new friends!) and he reminded me that I can do this. I've been lax about counting my daily calories, lax on exercising, and lax about eating the right type of food. I've stopped in for fast food, I've devoured foods faster than I should, and I've grown apathetic to this "lifestyle change" that seems like, for now, is something I could've done without the LapBand.

But the key part in all of this? I did have surgery. I made the choice. It's a constant reminder that choosing the wrong foods and/or watching the scale maintain is a problem - for the first time in my life. I changed my next fill appointment to March 6th (originally scheduled for the 10th), and I know that this tool will eventually do what it's supposed to do. I've noticed some "stuck" feelings this week as I inhaled food instead of chewing it's a sign that restriction is near, I'm sure! In talks again today with my boyfriend, he urged me to work out tonight...I'm blessed to have such a positive force in my life that's behind me no matter what I weigh, and I know I have many other positive forces just like him (I just talk to him most! LOL!).

The frustration kicking in is the old "fat Joia" mentality - I'm hungry, work is overwhelmingly stressful lately, I want five chili dogs, and I want to sit here and be lazy all night. "Fat Joia" would have quit on herself already, because the going is tough. "Fat Joia" only lasted on a diet for a little while, but quickly ate her way back up the scale.

Difference is? "Fat Joia" went through months of tests and pre-op work and dieting to get the surgery, took time off of work and paid for this to happen. "Fat Joia" mentality - go away. Whether or not this fill on Saturday brings me to restriction, I have to remind myself that I'm only 2 months out of surgery and I'm close to having lost 30 pounds - awesome! Counting my calories, drinking water, taking my vitamins and working out is the way to go...and eventually? All that won't be a pain in my behind, it'll be a force of habit!