Weight Loss Tracker

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

3rd Fill

So...yesterday I had my third fill.  I had it in my mind that I really wanted as much restriction as possible so I almost turned on the crocodile tears so that they would give me a more aggressive fill than previous times. It worked :)  They were only going to give me 1 cc and I talked them into giving me 2cc's, so after my 3rd fill I now have 5.5 cc's in a 10 cc band. I really hope that this time I feel SOME sort of restriction because to-date I have felt no difference at all.  I also talked to the person that administered the fill and she had just returned from a lap-band conference where she heard that some doctor's put 4cc in the band during surgery, so she was going to bring that info back to my doctor and hope that he becomes a little less conservative. I have to tell you that it is extremely difficult relying on sheer willpower to do this. I know that the band is supposed to be a tool and you aren't supposed to rely on it, but at some point I have to think that it will work; otherwise, why did I get this surgery to begin with?  I probably won't be able to tell if I have any restriction at all, until I am able to take solid foods, which isn't until Saturday.  I surely hope I at least have some. I know I probably won't be in the "green zone", but even if I have a little restriction I will be happy to have some assistance. Hope all of you banders are doing well!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Walking Weekend

So, I decided to take advantage of some beautiful weather we are having, and me and Hubby went to the Boardwalk to get our walk on! WOW...my foot now hurts, but we did get 6 miles in. I wasn't sure I was going to make it, but I did.  I was very happy to get it out of the way.  Hope everyone else is doing well on their journey. On another note, I wasn't the greatest on the alocoholic beverage front. I really need to get those Mike's Hard Lemonades out of my house before I drink them all! They are so tasty, but seriously are like 180 calories or some crazy #.  I had a sweet slip last night too, but have recovered and am planning a Weight Watcher Turkey Meatloaf and Green Beans for dinner. It is sooooo good, but is much healthier than regular. I checked the scale and it looks like the walk may have helped to offset some of those snacks/drinks, so time to focus as I know I am the only one that can help this band to work!

Friday, April 13, 2012

WOO HOO - Down 3.5

OK, so this is a pretty big accomplishment for me since it was my birthday last Friday and I made some poor food choices and as well as had some yummy alcoholic concoctions!  I had a Dirty Martini, a Mojito, Wine, Champagne Punch, and some Mike's Hard Limeade.  Not too mention I did allow my self, not 1 but 2 cupcakes over the weekend...now because of all these things I knew I had to get my butt back in gear on Sunday, so I started pounding the water and upping my exercise, and guess what??? It really does work...lol..who knew that they were telling the truth the whole time. If you get moving and begin to watch what you eat, the scale does move. Mind you, its moving because of me keeping on track for the last 5 recovery days, otherwise I know it would probably have gone in the opposite direction. I really can't wait to have a restriction though because willpower is a a hard thing to use to lose the weight. If I had the willpower, I probably wouldn't have needed this band to begin with!! I go for my 3rd fill on 4/23..and really can't wait because right now I have 3.5cc's in a 10cc band and I feel no restriction at all.  Well..I'm going to go plan some healthy dinner and snack options for the week, which is something I never do...uhhhh plan? Really?  Maybe that is the key too...we shall see.  Good luck with the weekend everyone!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Great Water Bottle w/ Tracking

So, I figured I'd let you guys know of a really cool water bottle that tracks how much water you get in.  It holds 24oz, but only has a line up to 20oz, but the cool thing is that there is a counter that you slide over when you finish drinking one. It counts up to 6.  Comes in a lot of colors too and is pretty cheap on Amazon.

You can look here: Thermos Water Bottle

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

OK...I need help. I know that every person is different and every doctor is different with their fills, but I am going on my 3rd fill and I don't really feel anything at all...at least I don't think so. I believe I am still in Bandster Hell and would really like to have some sort of restriction. I am so jealous of those of you that have had a fill during the initial placement of the band! I have 3.5cc's in a 10cc band.  Does anyone know when the majority of the people feel a restriction? I am not hungry right now and have been very good all day, including getting my exercise in, but right now its sheer willpower getting me through this, not any help from my little band friend...lol.  Can anyone give me any advice or info? I really thought I did my homework, but somehow I never had heard anything about how long it takes to get the right restriction...
I actually made it through a day doing everything right!!! WOO HOO! It's the little things that excite me.  I drank all my water, ate well and did exercise. Hoping to have many more days like that and then see the fruits of my labor.  Yesterday, I went for a walk with my coworkers and we normally walk for about 1/2 hour at a nice pace, but for some reason they switched it up on me last minute...no time to back out...lol..  We wound up walking a trail through the woods for 40 minutes...might not sound like much to you, but when you are going through different terrain versus walking on flat pavement...its like WHOA!  So, I made it through, breathing heavier than normal of course, and when I finally made my way back to my desk, I was comatose for a bit. :)  Anyway, I felt really good afterword. Who would have thought?  But, for some reason by later that evening I felt like I got run over by a mac truck..I guess it was using a bunch of muscles that I didn't even know I had. I wasn't sure how I would feel when I woke up this morning, but today I feel fine, so I will be walking again today...hopefully not through the woods though!!! LOL Good luck everyone!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sooooo...what started out as great day and where I was all gung ho...went downhill quickly.  I did, however, get the dreaded exercise in, so hopefully that helps to offset some of the things I did.  Someone had given me a gift certificate to a fabulous local restaurant, so me and my hubby decided to go out and eat. I picked a semi-healthy dish of fish (albeit francaise style) and green beans and mashed potatoes, along with a salad. I didn't eat nearly any of it, but turns out one of my girlfriends is a bartender there!!! So, needless to say, one dirty martini and Mojito later, we left. I guess it could have been worse, but here's the kicker...I went home and decided to have a large glass of champagne leftover from my birthday and some cookies (which were horrible by the way). Why does this have to be such a struggle? Well..anyway, I'm back on it today and am getting my walk in and being very good. Hopefully, I can remain strong this evening because that is when my evil twin comes out and takes over :)

Monday, April 9, 2012

Well..I have my first follower..YAY! LapBandGirl..thanks for joining! 

OK...so my birthday weekend is over, Easter is over, no more excuses. Time for me to get out there and start moving. Does anyone else think that Exercise was created by the Devil? Maybe it is some sort of purgatory for some unknown thing that I've done!  I hate to exercise. I mean really hate to exercise!! However, I know if I get my butt up and start moving then it will help dramatically during my "Bandster Hell".  So, I have told some people at work to force me to go on a walk with them every day, no excuses! Let's see how that works out. I'll let you know if any of them have black eyes when they try to force me ;)

One other thing I am now going to try to be diligent with is drinking my water. I absolutely know, from Weight Watcher days, that if you drink your water, you lose! Plain..simple. Why, then, is it so hard to get all that dreaded water in?  I just read somewhere...possibly in another blog...that I am supposed to drink .5 ounces of water for every lb...what the?  I will need to drink like 151.5 ounces!!! I am struggling with 64, so I think I will work the 64 and increase as much as I can, but 151.5??? Really?? OK, someone please tell me if that is wrong because I really would like to know.

Good luck with your journeys!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Soooooo...don't know how to design a blog...

Well...I've been working on this blog for a few hours now, and I've come to the understanding that I am definitely NOT a computer programmer! I'm not sure if I've done anything correctly and don't even know if people can see it! :)  I would really appreciate if someone would leave me a comment just to let me know if they actually see this thing. If not, I guess the blog will have to serve as a place for me to come talk to myself ;)

1st Post - 2 1/2 Months Post Op

So, let me start by introducing myself and taking you back to when I first had surgery. My name is Nikki and I live in South Jersey near Atlantic City in the USA.  I started pre-op on 1/12/12 and lost 15 lbs before my surgery on 1/26/12.  I have recently started reading other blogs and realize so many more things now than before I had the surgery. I was a planner and thought that I knew everything that was going to happen as I went into the surgery and post-op, but I now realize just how much I didn't know.  Let me be clear about one thing, and that is that each and every bander is completely different, along with their doctors.  My doctor didn't put any type of fill in my band during surgery, as he stated that the stomach area would already be swollen from the surgery so it would be difficult to eat regardless.  OK..I wish I had started this blog a many others which is pre-op, but since I didn't I will try to give you my best recollection of how it went down and also give you an introduction to me and my life.

Here are 2 pics at what I believe was my highest weight of 345, but not exactly sure...couldn't find too many...

The below is a pic from September 2010...not exactly sure of the weight in that one, but was smaller than above.

About me....I have been pretty big for most of my life, including childhood. I always say that I was born at 9.2 lbs and never stopped getting bigger!  I have tried multiple diets/lifestyle changes, what have you...and none lasted for a long period of time.  I have always been a fun and outgoing person and have lots of very good friends. I have never had a problem with having a boyfriend, albeit the wrong ones, until recently.  I found my soulmate on Valentine's Day 2009 and we were recently married on 11/11/11.  Everyone asks me why I didn't wait to have my wedding until after I lost the weight, and I think..what for?  I know that he loves me for me and I know I don't look absolutely horrible, so it wasn't really something I thought needed to happen. Here is a picture of me and my husband on our wedding day.

My main reason for losing the weight is to be healthier and able to do more sports that I like to do without feeling like an elephant is standing on my lungs after 5 minutes!  I am very fortunate that I don't have any co-morbid health issues. My cholesterol is 154, my blood sugar is great and my blood pressure is 112/71.  I mainly want to feel better about myself, fit in a plane seat/amusement park ride, without the thought that someone is pissed because they have to sit next to the big person. I really like softball/volleyball, but get too out of breath, so can't really play. I do, however, when on vacation go snorkeling/scuba diving. I grew up in the water and continue to swim like a fish!

This is a photo of me and my friend Jamie at my Bachelorette party in October 2011.

I started this journey 8/31/11 and due to insurance constraints had to wait several months before being approved to have the surgery.  My highest weight was 345, not sure exactly when, but I had taken some weight off with Weight Watchers.  At one point, I had lost 80 lbs and was down to 265, but like so many other times, I gained most of it back.

Pre-Op 01/12/12: Weight 327
So on 1/12 of this year I began this process.  My doctor had me on a 1000 calorie diet that consisted mainly of high protein drinks and threw in the occasional lean cuisine for something to chew. Honestly, the first few days were the hardest, but after that, it wasn't that bad.  They say if your liver is enlarged when the doc goes to have the surgery, that the doctor may not operate, and for me that wasn't an option so I followed the diet strictly.

01/26/12: Weight 312
OK..lets talk about the day of surgery itself. I have to tell you that so many people on here say that there surgery was relatively painless and they felt pretty good. I, however, did not have the same luck. I was supposed to have surgery at around 10:30 in the morning, so did not have anything to eat/drink since the evening before. I wound up not going back for surgery until approximately 1:30pm and was a bit hungry, but when they brought me back to the surgery area, they started talking to me, put some stuff in my catheter in my hand and then I was out.  I woke up a few hours later, with not too much pain at all.  I was in Post-Op and they had me pretty well drugged.  I knew that they told me that I woud need to get up and walk within 4 hours of surgery and I made them get me up and start walking within 2 hours....no problems at all.  So, I sent my husband and mother home at approximately 8pm since I knew there was nothing they could do for me. I was still in Post-Op and was supposed to be moved to a room on the Bariatric floor, but the hospital was overcrowded that evening and I got to spend the lovely evening in Post-Op the entire night...I was the only one in there.  Approximately 10pm I started having gas pains, not pains from the incision.  I knew about the gas pains, as I had gallbladder surgery previously, but I had no idea how many and how often they would happen.  My gas pains were awful, and I can usually handle pain really well.  I think that since the Post-Op people weren't as familiar with my type of surgery as the Bariatric Unit, they didn't realize just how often I should have been up and walking, so needless to say the pain got progressively worse.  They got me up and walking, but the pains were so bad and they would shoot from my stomach to my chest (felt like bricks on my chest) and then they would expel through my shoulder (felt like what I assume someone feels like if they are bludgeoned...lol)...well...maybe not that bad, but pretty awful.  So, the team was really great with me and gave me lots of drugs, however, the drugs only helped the incision pains and not the gas pains, so I never slept the entire night.  Do not let this discourage you though, as I am apparently one of few that had the gas pains so severely. If asked would I do it again, yes i would..in a heartbeat. The next day the pains subsided more and more because I made sure to walk as much as possible. At 1pm the next day, they moved me into the Bariatric Unit and I guess they felt bad for everything I went through because they gave me a lovely end suite, with a beautiful view of the courtyard :)  I went home that evening, with lots of drugs and prescriptions in hand.

Here is a picture of me and my husband in March 2012...I think my face looks thinner at least....

I didn't feel to great the first few days, but it got progressively better and by a week out, I felt pretty good because the gas pains subsided and the only thing you could feel is the incision pains occasionally if you didn't take the drugs on schedule.  I was still very tired, but was starting to walk more. I definitely was unable to eat/drink much during the first 2 weeks following surgery.  I definitely made sure to get all the protein and water in though...even though I felt like I had to drink constantly :)

I followed my doctor's regimen closely for the next 6 weeks...introducing the next step on a bi-weekly basis as instructed. First Full Liquid Diet 2 weeks, then Mushies 2 Weeks, then Soft Food 2 weeks, by then though I could definitely eat whatever I wanted...no restriction at all. This is what I have heard other's refer to as Bandster's Hell. Apparently that is what they call it until you feel your restriction and it is actually helping you with portion control, instead of you relying solely on your own willpower to do it. 

I had my first fill on 3/12.  They put in 2 cc's in a 10 cc band.  A week later, when i reintroduced regular food, I felt no different.  What the? I didn't understand. I thought I was supposed to feel something...receive some sort of help, but No. I didn't.  My doctor is very restrictive with fills, so technically I was supposed to wait another 6 weeks before the next one, but I was able to somehow talk them into a fill 3 weeks later, so I had my second fill on 4/3, and additional 1.5 cc's.  As of today, as I read regular foods, I do not feel much different. I don't know if I feel some difference or not...but I was able to again ask for a fill a bit earlier than usual and I have another one scheduled for 4/23.  I believe I am still in bandster hell because I can technically eat whatever I want and have to rely on myself to make the correct choices.  That is extremely difficult. If it was easy, then I would have done that without having to have the lap band as a tool! 

Anyway, I am currently down 24 lbs, so I am definitely happy about that, but I know it would have been more if I paid closer attention to the types of foods I have been consuming and would have cut out the alcoholic beverages. That is my goal for now...leave the alcohol alone until Memorial Day!  It is wasted calories and does nothing for my weight loss journey and it goes right through the band!  I just celebrated my birthday this past weekend, so I also need to get myself back on track food wise. Nobody said it would be easy, so now it is up to me to do the things I need to do to start losing.  I can't wait until I finally get a restriction and find my green zone.  I must say I am truly inspired by another blogger's journey and read her blog from beginning to end this past weekend, so if you get a chance check out... http://cheeseandsunkist.blogspot.com/  Unbelievable journey and success story!  It is absolutely amazing how much we sound alike. She had her surgery 1/27/09, mine was 1/26/12. She started at 327, and so did I. She is outgoing, as am I and even our Myers Briggs Personality tests are only off by one letter!

Anyway, just wanted to give you a heads up of where I am on this journey. Hope to hear from some of you so that we can support each other. I need all the help I can get! Good luck to all of you whether you are considering surgery or already have had it!