Tuesday, July 27, 2010

"The road to success...

...is dotted with many tempting parking places." I knew that coming out of the 270's would be a big moment for me, because I hit my 20% total loss goal AND exited the "morbid obesity" category of the BMI index. I'm proud to welcome the 269.8 weight on the scale this morning, because that means I've conquered both of those goals! And, let me tell ya...it feels AWESOME to finally see a number out of the 270's! I was stoked when I entered the 270's, but...seriously? That was June 6th! My weight loss rate is still pretty good/average, but it can be very frustrating to see the same decade for over a month and a half! Hello 260's...please don't keep me as long as your neighbor did!

As thrilling as it was to lose 4.8 in this last week, I know that this isn't a "parking place," as the quote I started my blog today with mentions. I've had a great week of weight loss, hit two big goals...but there's still much work to do! "The difference between perseverance and obstinacy is that one comes from a strong will, and the other from a strong won't." - Henry Ward Beecher I choose NOT to have a strong won't. I credit my big weight loss this past week to two things: starting C25K last week and finally getting a restrictive fill (that doesn't kill me to eat) last week. I feel like I'm finally empowered to do this the RIGHT way, and I look forward to W2D2 of my C25K training later today! I CAN do this, and the reaffirming numbers on the scale only serve to increase the pride I have inside.

250 by my 30th birthday on August 28th? Always been a lofty goal...but I know that whether or not I hit it, life is good and will continue to be so! Just gotta keep my head in the clouds :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Finally, a picture with clothes that fit!

The only time I've posted pictures thus far was a comparison of a year ago to now, but the "now" clothes I were wearing were quite large on me! Thought I'd share a picture of me taken today, after I'd been in an almost 2 hour interview, lunch with a friend and in the car for two hours...lol (gotta have an excuse, right?!)!


20% GONE!

That's right...because of the 4 pounds I've lost in the last 6 days I finally hit 270.6 pounds this morning, bringing my total percentage of weight loss to 20%! WOW! I've lost a fifth of the person I used to be (and shall be ne'er again)! I love having weight loss weeks like this - it's truly been awhile. But, with my band properly adjusted now, I'm enjoying the scale again! Bring on the 260's!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

I'm the champion!!!

Okay, maybe not quite yet...but I just finished Week 2 Day 1 of C25K and I feel so energized! I kicked that run's ASS, and still have two more to go (Tues and Thurs) before progressing to Week 3...which, admittedly, scares me a little. I'm glad to have a buddy like The Shrinking Rini who's also doing C25K...she's a week ahead of me in the workout regimen, but it's nice to save someone ahead of me who's ALSO kicking C25K's ass! Gives me motivation to keep it up! Nothing like a stranger from the internet as your motivation, right? Hell...that's why we're all friends - reading each others' blogs, learning tips and tricks to the LapBand and healthy living. Whenever I find myself lacking motivation or just have an overall "this sucks" moment, I definitely turn to your blogs to read for my own inspiration and courage to continue!

I've been blessed to have so many supportive people in my life. I am very open about the fact that I've had surgery, and yet no one questions why I haven't lost more (to fulfill some weird perception that people may have due to gastric bypass patients losing so much, so quickly). When I choose healthier foods, reduce portion sizes, pass on the carbonated drinks, opt to do a C25K training when I've been the proverbial couch potato my entire life...NO ONE in my life questions me. Instead, I've found motivation in every corner of my life - fellow bloggers, my boyfriend, my bestie/roommate, my friends, family...everyone is 100% supportive. I read stories of those of you who don't have the amazing support that I do - what a shame that is! Surely there are people behind my back criticizing me, right? Yeah...I don't care so much. I know what I'm doing is right for me, and the result I'm seeing so far - not only in weight loss, but in the HEALTHIER LIFE I'm living - is the greatest gift I could give myself as I approach age 30 in just over a month.

So for now? I'm a bona fide champion! I've had the LapBand about 6 and a half months, am just fractions of a pound away from losing 20% of my original body weight and leaving the "Morbidly Obese" BMI category, I drink more water than ever before, my Diet Coke addiction has been gone since 2010 began, my ideal snack nowadays is some crackers and salsa, I'm officially 1/3 of the way through Week 2 of C25K...seriously, this is the healthiest I've been in my adulthood - and it feels SO GOOD!

Liking my new fill...

So I'm at 8.5cc now...and loving it! Over the past few days I've enjoyed eating small quantities of food (bread and crackers included!), not getting stuck, not having chest pains and...best of all...NOT HUNGRY! I've actually had to go off of the doctor's advice of "don't eat if you're not hungry" because I'm barely getting in 1,000 calories a day...and I know my body won't function/lose weight off of so few calories. But seriously? I feel like I'm at the proverbial "sweet spot" because I'm losing weight, eating less (ALL healthy foods, btw), not hungry.

I just...love it. :)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Update: No Job in KY...

Yup, I heard from the lady and it's a no go on the KY job. Bummer! I still have other irons in the fire, but I had hyped myself up for that one after having such a great phone interview on Tuesday. Bottom line? My training here in California doesn't really apply to a state where they have no collective bargaining law...here in my state, each district bargains their own contracts with the teachers who work in them. Much different process for handling issues, violations, etc. While I "show a lot of potential," she's afraid my problem solving skills for their state wouldn't really apply...makes sense.

New layout!

While reading your blogs, I've found some amazing designs, picture usage, etc. that just make my eyes bulge open in awe! I've changed my design again today and added another list to the right - I've been asked recently how many fills I've had and I actually had to read through my blog to find out...figured it might just be easier to keep a running list :).

Couch to 5K week one is complete - week two starts tomorrow! Week two doesn't scare me, but looking at how much I'll be running in week three sure does! I know I can do this, and I'm happy with myself for sticking to the workouts just far. Okay, okay - it's only been three workouts...but, HEY! I haven't quit so far!!

Today I hope to find out that I'm a finalist for the job in Kentucky...she had told me she'd be making calls today, and I sincerely hope that happens! I don't know if I can stand the whole weekend without knowing!!!

Ooo - one more thing? My weight loss today takes me down to a total of 66.6 pounds. SKEERY! For one, it's just an evil number. Two - I'm a huge General Hospital fan, and the evil psycho serial killer has been using "66" as his signature number for the past two weeks...skeery!

Okay. /random blogging.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Thanks everyone!

Thanks to everyone who offered advice yesterday about my doctor and bite sizes...although I've heard the "bites the size of a pencil eraser" before, I'm surely not inclined to live my life that way. I was brought to 8.5cc yesterday (in a 14cc band) and I'm eager to try some solid food here in a couple of hours to see how I handle it. I DO trust the doctor I saw, but if I'm not ready to progress to 9cc when I see him again in 2 weeks, I won't. I got more of a "he believes I can do this" feeling when he said that's what he wanted to do...but the agony of being that tight still lives fresh in my mind. We shall see!

In other news? I added two new lists to my blog page (someday I'll figure out how Joey and others do all the really cool things!): my 10% weight loss goals and my BMI index. I'm excited for a couple of milestones coming very soon to a Joia near you - once I hit 270.6 pounds, I will have dropped 20 freaking percent of the total weight I started with! And once I hit 270? I will no longer be morbidly obese! It's insane to think of myself out of the 270's, but I know they're coming so soon! Honestly, the lowest weight I can remember in my adult years is 274, and that was back in 2008. I'm already below that! This process has absolutely been amazing, and while I read others' blogs and can find myself getting jealous of the weight loss they've had in either a shorter or longer amount of time, I know that the 65.4 pounds I've lost since starting on 12-31-09 is quite a feat! I'm proud of myself, and I know my mommy is too :)

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Is my doctor a quack?

For any newcomers, when I go get a fill, I'm heading to a satellite office in my town. Various doctors come on Wed, Thurs and Sat to do fills and check-ups with other LapBand patients. Today I finally saw a doctor I'd seen several times before, whereas the last two times I went I saw newbie doctors. The conversation today started like this...

Doc: So why did you get an unfill?

Me: Because I was too tight and couldn't get any food down.

Doc: Why did you think you were too tight?

Me: Because at 9cc, I was throwing up everything I ate.

Doc: Were you able to get liquids down?

Me: Yeah - beverages, smoothies, etc. no problem - food was the problem.

Doc: Then you weren't too tight - you just weren't taking small bites.

WHAT?! Seriously?! I lived through hell for over a month of barely being able to eat anything with more substance than yogurt because my bites were too big? I swear - I took small bites and chewed, chewed, chewed. I lost virtually no weight in that time frame and instantly went to the office when I got back for an unfill back to 8cc. This doctor today assured me that it was LapBand user error (me) and that 9cc sounds like where I should be at. Ugh.

THE PLAN: Today I was filled up to 8.5cc. He advised the 24 hours of liquids post-fill (normal), and then rescheduled me for two weeks from now (he is in the office every other Wednesday). He says he's taking me back to 9cc at that visit.

I'm skeered. How small are these freakin' bites of food supposed to be?!? Is my doctor crazy?! Veteran bandsters unite...and give me some advice!

C25K...and moving?

Yesterday was quite the interesting day - I've been applying to jobs on the East Coast (ish) in the hope of being hired to work as a staff member for an education association, and to move closer to my boyfriend in West Virginia! While it's a tough decision to leave behind my teaching career, the FFA program and students I've built and become close with, the colleagues I have here throughout California in our teachers association...I know that if I can continue to advance my career AND be with the one I love, that has to take priority in life.

After waiting over a week to hear from Kentucky, where I applied for two jobs, I finally decide to e-mail the two contacts to see what was going on. Lo and behold, one wanted to schedule a phone interview immediately (haven't heard from the other one)! I rocked an hour phone interview yesterday and am now anxiously awaiting Friday to arrive to find out if I'm a finalist for the job...which would lead to an interview next Tuesday with a group of decision makers...keep your fingers crossed for me!

On the weight loss front, I've been sincerely frustrated for two months. Since being at 9cc on May 29th made my weight loss stall due to not eating, the unfill I got a couple of weeks ago when I got home back to 8cc has allowed me to eat like a horse...and, on occasion, I have. As a result, my weight loss is...ugh...less than desirable. I'll be heading to my doctor's office in a hour for another fill - I'm thinking 8.5cc? I just want to be at that "sweet spot," and knowing that I've been there and beyond is torturous because I KNOW I'm close! Here's hoping that 8.5cc will give me the relief and weight loss I've been trying to find for two months!

In other news, yesterday was TUESDAY - if you read the last blog, you know that I had picked Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays for my C25K (Couch to 5K) workout days. I lacked all motivation for this yesterday, as the phone interview and prospect of actually picking up all of my stuff within a few weeks and hauling across country, leaving everything familiar and stable behind, loomed in my brain. BUT, I finally got off my ass and went to the gym to do my W1D2 (Week 1, Day 2) workout on the treadmill. My mind wasn't in the game, but I had downloaded a neat podcast to help me keep track of the walking/jogging intervals - and I did it! The first few jogging intervals seemed to pass quickly, but I sure was ready to be done when my workout ended! I look forward to continuing with this - I quit too easily on myself when it comes to working out, and I tend to make excuses that, in hindsight, make no sense. Day 3 is tomorrow - let's do this!

OH - and I really am amazed at how the body works. After my workout last night I came home to take a shower...even after toweling off, I still felt beads of sweat dripping down my forehead (it wasn't water from the shower, I know). My boyfriend was explaining that, even though I cooled down with a nice shower, my body's core temperature was still pumping...enough to make me continue sweating. I just find that so WEIRD.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Couch to 5K?

Anyone out there tried this? I've never been one for running, but lately I have an urge to become one...can't define it. Perhaps it's hearing about my sister's running club she's in (Army captains are in good shape), or hearing former Biggest Loser winners Michael and Helen talk about how their emotional eating has been replaced with running? Either way, I thought I'd look into this Couch to 5K thing. I've seen it around the LapBand site, on various blogs, etc., but I never knew there was an actual PLAN involved. I just assumed it was a bunch of people conditioning themselves, on their own schedules, to eventually run a 5K (roughly 3 miles).

Well...TONIGHT...while watching TV and contemplating eating even more food today, and realizing I was just bored and was going to subconsciously use food as a substitute for something to do...I found this:

The Couch to 5K Running Plan

WHAT?!? There's a PLAN?!? I could run three miles in six weeks (incidentally, the exact date of my 30th birthday). Ya kidding me? I do really well with plans - when/if I stick to them! This doesn't look too bad...three times a week?! I can swing it. Who doesn't have time for that?

I know, I know...I've always said I haven't worked regular exercise into my LapBand journey thus far, and part of it is because I didn't have a regular plan...and absolutely no accountability. When the scale still moves, why wear yourself out? So - YOU ALL OUT THERE - are my accountability, got it?

Yup - Workout 1 complete. I huffed, I puffed, I'm still sweating, but I completed the entire thing - no cheating! In theory, I'm gonna go for Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays...we'll see how that works out. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On track? Sure...

I'm disappointed with my weight loss since the "horrific fill" of May 29th. I recorded weight on May 27th at 282.2 pounds, and am now at 273.8 pounds this morning, a full 7 weeks and 2 days later. That's only a loss of 8.4 pounds. Yes, yes, I know that LapBanders are only expected to lose 1-2 pounds a week. Yes, I realize that losing 8.4 pounds in just a little over 7 weeks falls in that average. But, I know that my weight loss slowed down because of my "horrific fill" and inability to consume food for over a month. Since getting slightly unfilled over a week ago, I've used that as an excuse to chow down - I've had nachos, fast food, etc. - everything that got me into this LapBand fix in the first place. I'm lucky I haven't gained much, but I have been dancing back and forth between the same 2 pounds over the last week. I go back to the doctor on Wednesday to get slightly more fill put in, and I know that will help, but I believe this ultimately needs to come back to me.

Why am I diverting to the foods I shouldn't be eating? Didn't I get enough of those foods in the 29 years of life prior to the LapBand surgery? Just because I know what complete restriction does to my eating ability doesn't mean I need to self-sabotage just because I CAN eat those foods. My goal was to be 250 pounds by my 30th birthday...with 6 weeks to go and 23.8 pounds, I'm going to have to bust ass to lose 4 pounds a week to reach that goal. Yes, I realize it's lofty - but isn't that what goals are for? To be lofty, yet slightly attainable, in order to provide you the motivation to succeed?

Since buying a new laptop in May when my old one went kaput, I've been without my FitDay tracking friend. I tried their free website, but there's something about having the software and data on MY computer that makes me utilize the program more. I buckled down and spent the $29.99 today to get the program back and carefully logged in all of my old weights (thanks to the Ticker Factory site which displays my tickers above, I had a history saved!). I feel better about logging my foods again. It's been cleansing just to really look at what I'm eating. I don't normally make a habit of tracking foods (hasn't been necessary), but I think I really need to refocus myself for a bit. Wish me luck! 24 pounds in 6 weeks is no easy feat!

But if I could be 250 at my 30th birthday? Holy HELL...I don't even remember what that size looks like!

Friday, July 16, 2010

What to do with time off?

After becoming bored of all things Facebook, I needed something to fill my time...other than working on my portfolio for an interview I have in a little over a week. While on the phone with my incredible boyfriend, I exclaimed "I wanna bake!" Baking is a favorite past time of mine, and with a band a little looser than necessary (got the refill appointment scheduled for Wednesday), I knew that baking would only lead to me eating the baked goods incessantly until they were no more.

Solution? I remembered watching "Losing It With Jillian" this week as she helped a family who wanted nothing but to battle her methods (the little girl, Chloe, even CRIED when Jillian threw out her white bread in exchange for whole grain bread). I recalled a fudgy brownie recipe she made with the girls, and remembered that it was available online...ta da! I've got fudge brownies in the oven, can't wait to bite into them...AND they're only 86.2 calories per piece! At that rate? I can eat the whole pan and still not feel too guilty :).

Want the recipe? Click here and bake your own!

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I just discovered a friend's blog about him taking his weight loss on (without surgery) - as a cycling enthusiast, his goal is to lose the size of Lance Armstrong...catchy! While reading through his older posts, I discovered his plan of weight loss - he set mini goals, just like the Grand Tour of Tour de France, each tour representing 10% of his weight loss. As rational as that sounds, I hadn't thought of my weight loss at all that way. There were no "mini-goals" when I set out on this path of LapBand living, although I celebrated getting below 300 pounds, hitting the 50 pound loss mark, etc. I decided to apply his approach to my weight loss, calculating the goals in percentage of body weight, all based on my original weight of 338.2:

Starting Weight: 338.2
10% Loss: 304.3 - achieved on March 14, 2010
20% Loss: 270.6 - almost there!
30% Loss: 236.7
40% Loss: 202.9
Goal of 47% Loss: 180

It's surreal to realize two things with this:

(1) My goal is to lose nearly 50% of my starting weight. Yeesh - I was fat!
(2) I've currently lost 19.3% of my starting weight...WOW! Almost a fifth of the person I started out to be is GONE...forever, I might add (and it only took 6 and a half months!!).

When pictured this way, I have to say that I'm pretty impressed with myself...and stoked to see how this journey progresses!


I'm down 65 pounds. While there's still nearly 100 left to go, it's neat to look at pictures of myself "then" and "now" and realize the transformation that's going on with my body. The conference I just went to in New Orleans (National Education Association's Representative Assembly), I also attended last year in San Diego. Here's me in July 2009:


Here's me in July 2010:


So, see? Lots of work still to go...but I can see the difference and KNOW I feel healthier and better than I did a year ago. Bring on the last 90ish pounds!

Friday, July 9, 2010

My Driver's License Lies...

Yeesh, not even 24 hours since the unfill and I already feel a million times better! Granted, I've been staying on liquid/mushies since the fill, but I've been able to eat without ANY chest pain...that's the first time that's happened in WEEKS! I can't even tell you what a relief this is! I'm going to continue the liquid/mushies until Saturday afternoon, as my doctor prescribed, but I'm looking forward to trying some actual substance food for dinner on Saturday! Wow...I'm so happy!

On the other plus side? I lost over 2 pounds since yesterday! I don't know why I wasn't losing weight over the last few weeks of vacation - I hardly ate, PB'd a lot, etc...and I still came home weighing about what I did when I left. Hopped on the scale this morning, though? I'm finally down to 274! That is officially the lowest weight I can remember being in recent years, and it was the lowest I hit when I did the unhealthy Kimkins diet back in 2008. Soon? I'm going to be smaller than I can remember being in my adulthood! Yippeeeeee!

Another bonus (and I kind of stole this idea from another blogger - amandakiska) - I WEIGH LESS THAN IT SAYS ON MY DRIVER'S LICENSE! When I renewed my driver's license a year ago, I listed "275," knowing that even standing naked on the lightest scale wouldn't put me at 275. At that time? I wasn't weighing myself regularly, but I know I was well over 300 pounds then. Today? At 274? I'm THINNER than my license says! How often does THAT happen? I look forward to every pound I lose, but they're a little more sweet now knowing that each pound I lose puts me that much more under my driver's license weight :).

Thursday, July 8, 2010

1cc Gone...

Let me start with the positive - I had a WONDERFUL vacation with my love at his home in West Virginia, and a blast at the National Education Association's Representative Assembly in New Orleans, Louisiana (and down time there with my love, too!). If you want to see the obligatory vacation pictures, you'll have to add me to Facebook - joiajones@gmail.com. I'm finally home and realizing that I haven't had much time for blogging, so here's a quick update....

The negative - foods suck. Seriously. I've been so tight (read last post) that food has been unbearable. I drove straight to the doctor's office when I got back into town today and had a full 1cc removed from the 9cc I had, taking me back to the 8cc I had previous to the last fill. The doctor advised me to stay on liquids for the next two days so that the swelling from all my PBing/vomiting can heal...I just want to be able to EAT after these two days of healing!

I was a little leery of having the full cc taken out that was added a month ago - at 8cc's my portions were controlled and I was losing weight, but I was HUNGRY most of the day. I physically couldn't eat enough to satiate my hunger. But, at 9cc's, which I pushed for at my last visit prior to vacation, my band has been TOO full and I can't even manage a couple of small, well chewed bites without PBing. Ugh. So, I'm back to 8cc. We'll see what that does to/for me...I have another appointment scheduled in 3 weeks, but I may head back quicker if I find that 8cc's still leaves me hungry and able to eat larger portions. I'm a little scared that after not eating for weeks because of a "too tight" band, I'm going to gorge out if this unfill opens me up!

One day at a time...