Friday, April 30, 2010

Another BYOC for Drazil

Bring Your Own Crazy day...

Copy, paste and answer in your blog if you so desire. Share with anyone else who you want to get to know more!

1. What’s your favorite smell?

My parrot, Liberty, smells so delicious. I don't know what it is about the feathers on the back of her neck, but I just love to bury my nose in them. A close second is bread baking.

2. What is your all-time favorite movie and why?

Shrek. I saw it several times in the theater and I still watch it a few times a year. The message is so perfect, the animation and music are wonderful, and it just makes me feel good. My Kumba parrot even whistles the "exploding bird" song.

3. What’s your trigger food?

Cupcakes. Good lord, I can't resist a really good cupcake.

4. When someone you love is going through a difficult time – what are your go-to words to make them feel better – in just a sentence or two?

I have a hard time with this, but, "I'm here for you," seems to be the best I can come up with.

5. This one is always the same. Who is your nominee for the blog of the week for YOU? Which blog OR comment touched your heart, spoke to you, stuck with you all week?

Sherry's post about eye-bow wah made me laugh so hard I almost wet myself.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Gainfully Employed

I didn't want to say anything too soon because I didn't want to jinx it, but last week I interviewed for a job that I REALLY wanted, and then got called in for a second interview, and then...

I got the job!

I am very excited. It's a fabulous company that is making a real difference. The CEO is the guy who originally started the company I just left, after 12 years of working there, and he has a wonderful track record of being a very successful entrepreneur, as well as being exceptionally generous when things go well. My direct manager will be a man who I have worked with before, and I truly have the utmost respect for him. I'll be doing tech support, which I haven't done in a decade, but that's ok...with how tight the job market is, I am very pleased to have gotten a job so quickly.

And...this means I get to go to Chicago! I have already started shopping for a plane ticket and I will snap it up as soon as the price is right.

Due to the new job, I needed some new clothes that are not falling off. I'm at a weird in-between pants size right now, a 22 is a smidge too tight but it would be ridiculous to buy much in a 24. I did get one pair of really nice dark jeans that are a bit stretchy so they should fit for a little while, and I also got several tops. The office is business casual, and jeans and polos or blouses are allowed, so I'll just have to do a rotation of the few pairs of pants I have that still fit.

I had a nice NSV today. When I started going to the gym after surgery, my "normal" treadmill speed was 2.7 and I was "sprinting" up to 3.5 MPH. Today I did a half hour on the treadmill and my normal speed was 3.2 and my sprint speed was 5.5 MPH. That's not going to win me any speed records anytime soon, but it's definitely a personal best and it's fun to see an honest-to-goodness improvement.

Monday, April 26, 2010

First Fill Today

I feel like I am a real bandster now. I had my first fill today. Yay!

It was really easy. They had me lay down on the table with my jeans unbuttoned and my shirt pulled up. The doc poked around my stomach and said, "Oh yeah, that port is in a good spot. This will be a snap." He had me put my left arm over my head and lift my legs up to tighten my muscles, then he poked me with the needle (it didn't hurt AT ALL and I didn't even know the needle was in). He put 5 cc's in. He had me put my legs down and the nurse handed me some water to drink. I could feel it gurgling in the back of my throat (weird!) and he took out a little bit. The water was still gurgling, so he took out a little more and the water went down.

Long story short, I am the proud owner of 3 cc's in my 11 cc Realize band.

I have to stick to liquids for the rest of today, then slowly add some soft foods tomorrow.

They almost didn't want to give me a fill because I've lost 6 pounds since I was there last month (well within the 1-2 pounds per week average), but once I explained how the last week or so I am up 2 pounds from being able to and wanting to eat everything including bread, hot dogs, and fried clams (definitely not slider foods) the doc said that I know my body better than he does and if I was that sure I needed a fill he would do it.

I'm supposed to go back in a month for another checkup.

I have the bariatric support group tonight and I'm going to go, but I honestly feel that I get more support and good, solid information from everyone's blogs. I am so appreciative of all of my band blog sisters!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Fill Time

I do believe I am definitely going to ask (beg) for my first fill at my doctor appointment on Monday. I had dinner with my parents and some friends tonight and I ate:

Small handful of fried clams
5-6 onion rings
7 grilled shrimp
2 fried shrimp
1/2 of a hot dog with sauerkraut (including most of the bun)
probably 1/2 cup of cole slaw

Good lord.

I was full after all that, but not even close to uncomfortable.

Granted, I was helping my friends move all day and was feeling very hungry and probably burned off a ton of calories, but seriously...I didn't have weight loss surgery to be able to eat that much in one sitting. I also only lost about 1/2 pound last week.

Put that needle in my belly, doc. I'm ready.

On a good note, and with fingers firmly crossed and knocking on wood, it looks like I am going to probably be able to come to Chicago! I found a wonderful potential roommate in Sarah. We have lots in common, and I think we'll be a good match. I can't wait to meet her...and everyone else too!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Job Interview Today


I got the job! And I am about 98% sure that it was because I was wearing my Sisterhood pants and I had the good energy of all of my band sisters.

To make this band related, my port pain is ALL gone and I was even able to go for a walk with my parents tonight. I called the doctor's office and I'm supposed to take it easy (no weight lifting) and call the doc's cell phone if it gets worse than it was. Otherwise I'll go for a checkup next week to make sure everything is ok.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Port Pain Update and Other Stuff

I am so thankful for my fellow bandster bloggers who told me that this port pain thing was probably nothing. I remember reading somewhere that the newly banded get super paranoid that they're going to hurt their bands. I am guessing I have experienced just that. I slept with one of those ThermaCare heat patch things stuck to my belly last night (since I noticed that a hot shower helped a little) and I woke up feeling a lot better. I'm still babying it and I'll still call the doctor tomorrow, but it's a relief to not be constantly uncomfortable.

I am so thankful for the Sisterhood of the Traveling Clothes. I have a job interview tomorrow and I will be wearing a pair of pants that Nikki sent me. They are really nice and they fit perfectly. I'll try to have my husband take a picture of me in them in the morning. My tops still fit, so all I needed to buy was a pair of shoes.

As for the bandster trip to Chicago, I am bummed that I won't be able to join everyone but I definitely can't make travel plans since I'm not working. Hopefully next year will be in Florida!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Weigh In Day - 4/16/10

I somehow managed to lose 4 pounds this week.

Whoa.

I guess this "not a diet" mentality is going to work for me for now. I'm down to 256.6 - that's 24.4 pounds lost total so far at a month and a half out from surgery.

Also, I don't know what's up, but my stomach has been hurting since last night. The pain is right by my port, and it feels like a cramp like you'd get from running. Perhaps a pulled muscle. I was going to call the doctor's office, but they're closed on Fridays, so if it still hurts on Monday, I'll call then. It's not debilitating, just annoying.

I'm off to have lunch with a friend, and then go fight with the financial aid office at school about loans for the summer semester. Fun.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Foods I Am Loving

Since I don't really have much of anything to say about the scale (moving slowly), a job (still unemployed, but have some possibilities for freelance gigs - fingers crossed!) or any doctor appointments (still figuring out what to do about insurance and don't think I need a fill right now, so keeping the appointments at the bare minimum) I figured I'd talk about food. What I am eating, and what I am loving (I'll talk about what I am missing in another post).



Arnold Sandwich Thins have made me a happy camper. They're whole grain, 100 calories, 6 grams of fiber, and 5 grams of protein. Serious nutrition! This morning I had one toasted, topped with 2 thin slices of ham, and a cut up mini Babybel Light cheese, toasted until the cheese was all melty. YUM. I can eat bread, apparently, but I'm choosing to skip the junky stuff in favor of this. I plan to try my "Little Mac" creation on them one day this week.



Blue Bell No Sugar Added Lowfat Ice Cream. A-maz-ing. It's the creamiest, best tasting lower calorie ice cream I've had. I got a quart carton when I was still on liquids (over a month ago) and I still have half left. It's SO good that a little goes a long way (although I see how that could backfire too). I had 1/2 cup of fresh strawberries topped with 1/4 cup of ice cream for dessert, and it was so decadent and satisfying.

Meatloaf - I don't have a picture, and it's not exactly the healthiest thing in the world, but this is worth it for the small amounts we eat. It is by far the best meatloaf I've ever made. I made it tonight for dinner and my husband skipped lunch in anticipation! It's my friend Chrissy's recipe and I give her full credit (although I skip the glaze - too much sugar for me and the loaf is amazing on its own and I don't think it is absolutely necessary).

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Depending on how big you want your meatloaf this is based on a pound of hamburger. [I used 1/2 chuck and 1/2 extra lean meat]

I LOVE vidalia onions. 1/2 of one of those. I coursely chop mine. I like chunks of onions. [I minced mine pretty finely. we love the TASTE of onion but not all the huge chunks]
1 egg
maybe a 1/2 a bag of shredded cheese. I just use whatever I have in the fridge. Usually the mexican blend of stuff [I used sharp cheddar]
About a cup of Stove Top stuffing. [I used the Savory Herb variety]
about a 1/4 c parmissan cheese [I skipped this because I ran out and didn't realize it until right when I was cooking. Turned out fine without it.]
about a 1/2 bottle of Kraft BBQ sauce. usually the brown sugar or honey flavors

[Hint: When cooking meatloaf, line your loaf pan with slices of bread before you put the meat in the pan - I save the end pieces in the freezer that no one likes anyway. It absorbs a ton of grease so your loaf isn't sitting in all that fat.]

I cook this for about 45 minutes on probably 350 or so
[I did an hour, since I was skipping the glazing step]

I take the dish out of the oven and drain as much of the grease off as possible without losing the loaf.

In a saucepan on the stove:
the rest of the bottle of BBQ sauce
about 1/2 C of grape jelly
1/2 brown sugar (I always use dark)
1/2 c ketchup

cook over low-med heat till all mixed together

Then for about 20 to 30 minutes (I don't time it. I just eyeball it) I top it with the glaze until it's bubbly.

*******************

I made a double batch so there are plenty of leftovers.

And there you have it.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

BYOC, Edition 4

My BYOC for the week...

1. If you could have lunch with a famous person who would it be and what would you order?

I would have lunch with Penn Jillette. He is so funny and smart and we share very similar political views. Since he lives in Las Vegas, we'd have to go to my favorite restaurant there, Hugo's Cellar, and order the tableside salad service, chateaubriand and lobster for two, and cherries jubilee. (Hey, it's my fantasy. Calories don't count there.)

2. Where’s the furthest place you’ve traveled to?

Hawaii to the west and London to the east.

3. If you could describe yourself in 4 words – what would they be?

Slightly nutty but nice.

4. What’s one interesting thing about you we don’t know?

When I was 19 years old, I quit a job with one day's notice to follow the Grateful Dead for an entire summer. I got the feeling on the very last day before my friends were leaving that I shouldn't miss it. I don't regret it at all because it turned out to be their last tour before Jerry Garcia died.

5. Finally – whose blog spoke to you, stuck with you, stayed in your mind, resonated with you – this week – and why?

Angie's blog about striving for perfection really hit home. I tend to have the same issues. I used to be a total slacker, but now if I am going to do something, I want to be perfect at it. I am a student, and a "B" isn't good enough - I have to get straight A's. I got a B in a class once and was really upset about it, even though my first time through college (16 years ago) I was just thrilled to end up with a C in a class. I don't know what changed. I need to accept that I will occasionally stumble, as long as I get back up again it's ok.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Twenty!


Woohoo! I made my first goal - lose 20 pounds from my highest weight (281) before my vacation with my mom and sister in May. I weighed in at 260.4 this morning. I am one month, one week, and one day out from surgery. I am a month ahead of the game, so I need to figure out a new goal. I seem to be losing more sloooooowly for the last couple of weeks (the majority of my loss was 13 in the few days of pre-op diet and 10 days after, and about 4 pounds lost the week after I went to solid food), so I'd say 10.4 more pounds, making me an even 250, by the first day of summer, June 21.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Because All the Cool Kids are Doing It...

I have been so enjoying everyone's vlogs and finding out what my fellow bandsters look and sound like that I thought I'd do my own. It's just silly and my hair wasn't even brushed, but what the hell.


video

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

This Week's BYOC

Here's Drazil's BYOC questions. Better late than never, right?

1. If you could be a Superhero (like Gilly) - what would you be called or what would your powers be?

I'd be Tivo Girl. I'd be able to pause, rewind, and fast forward real life. I know they made an Adam Sandler flick about that, but that was a stupid movie and I'm talking about reality. ;-)

2. Name one physical thing you love about you and one mental thing you love about you.

Physically - I'm pretty vain about my hair. Mentally - I question everything and am not terribly gullible.

3. If you stood in front of God (or whatever Supreme Being you may believe in) - what question would you ask him?

The platypus, really? What were you thinking?

4. Besides yourself - who was/is your biggest enabler in your weight loss journey?

If you mean an enabler in a bad way, no one. I'm my own worst enemy when it comes to food and even I've been treating myself nicely. If you mean, who actually enables my journey in a positive way, I'd have to say first and foremost, my husband. He's been AMAZING. As a close second, my parents and my dear friends J and E. They have been so supportive and kind.

5. What do you do for a living (another reader request question)?

Unfortunately, not applicable. I was laid off last week. In my real life, I'm a system administrator and I talk to computers all day. I prefer to write and talk to people though, so I am in college and working on a degree in Communications. My dream job would be writing and/or editing technical training manuals.

6. Whose blog hit home for you this week or whose blog made you think the most this week?


Honestly? My own. I needed a place to vent and I got lots of wonderful support.

Hanging in There

I'm feeling more positive today. Maybe it was the Xanax...I don't know... :-)

I feel like I want a low stress job. I want to go to a job for 8 hours a day, go to school for a couple of hours and pour my real passion into it, and not have to take work home physically or mentally. I'm thinking maybe doing tech support again might be a nice option. I don't want to be in charge of anything in the computer industry, but it's what I know and what I've been doing forever.

However, if it came with a paycheck, I don't think I'd mind being a housewife. I like working out pretty much every day. I like making dinner, and I don't mean whipping up a frozen thing. I made killer meatloaf tonight, and there are plenty of leftovers for our lunches tomorrow.

Sigh. I can dream. I don't think I could really go back to tech support after all these years and I'd probably lose my mind as a housewife.

My darling mother offered to pay off my car and I can pay her back when I'm working again. Talk about a $433 per month load off!

In band related news, I think I can eat just about anything. I had some pasta today (in the form of a Healthy Choice frozen meal) for lunch and it went down with no problem and no hesitation. I had some salad last night - including the lettuce - and it was so delicious that I nearly wept. I LOVE veggies, and I really missed them. Honestly.

I had one very small (tootsie roll sized) piece of chocolate when I was babysitting the other day and it was really yummy, but I swear, I'd rather have the salad.

I think I might be ready for a fill but I'm still not sure. I can't eat all that much at a time and I'm staying satisfied for awhile, and I AM losing weight slowly, but when I hear other bandsters talking about the teeny tiny amounts of food that they can eat, and PBing on chicken, steak, and lettuce, I feel like maybe I should have the same restriction. I do understand rationally that the band is meant to dim appetite (which it's definitely doing) and not cause restriction, but since this is still so new to me, I'm not sure if what I'm feeling is the "right thing".

Just babbling. Thanks for "listening" if you made it this far.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Jobless

For the first time since I was 22 years old (that's 12 years, but who's counting?) I am unemployed. I was laid off yesterday, along with a bunch of other colleagues.

To say I am freaked out and feel like I have been punched in the gut would be an understatement.

I met my husband at that company. I met some of my best friends at that company. After 12 years I was nothing more than a number on the bottom line.

This means that I am losing my insurance and will need to move to my husband's insurance. I called his insurance company and anything having to do with bariatric/weight loss is SPECIFICALLY excluded. I am one month out from surgery. Happy bandiversary to me.

I hope I'm not totally screwed here.

Fills are $150 and hopefully I won't need them too often. I don't know if that's on top of an office visit or not - the nurse coordinator wasn't sure and she's going to get back to me. What's really scaring me is if something bad happens and I have a complication/slip/erosion and need another surgery. That would be an absolute catastrophe.

Has anyone else been through this?

I can't seem to eat much. My stomach is in knots. I don't want to make myself sick over this but I'm worried that if I force myself to eat that I will throw up.