Monday, January 31, 2011

MSG-Free Cream of Chicken Soup?

I have a fill scheduled for next Monday. And good lord do I need it. I won't tell you what I've eaten. I just won't. Ok. I will. I had a plate of dry chicken with brown rice and black beans. I had stir fry with loads of veggies and buckwheat noodles. I had a large jerk chicken salad and ate almost all the lettuce. And I ate nearly an entire pizza. Ok, so it was individual-sized and I didn't REALLY eat the whole thing, but I supposedly have a band around my stomach and should barely be able to even eat a slice!

Ahem. Anyway. After fills, my go-to food has been the little red cans of sippable cream of chicken soup. That's my favorite. I learned that stuff has MSG in it, to which I seem to have developed an allergy. Does anyone know of an organic or MSG-free cream of chicken soup? Or a recipe so I can make it myself? I figure I'll go scout out Whole Foods this weekend, but if anyone has a particular brand you like, that would be great if you could let me know.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Wonderful Weekend

I had such a fun weekend. I went to Universal Studios in Orlando with my parents, uncle, aunt, and cousins. The weather was spectacular and we had a great time.

The best part: I rode every single ride and had no problems whatsoever with the harnesses fitting. My cousin Sarah, who is 11 years old, is as much of a roller coaster junkie as I am, and we had a blast riding the new Rip Ride Rockit coaster together a bunch of times. When I had to pull the harness closed, for just a moment, I had that old moment of panic that it wouldn't close and I'd have to get up and leave the ride. But, NOPE, it was no problem whatsoever. My dad even rode with us once. It was great!

The second best part: I walked around ALL day without a hint of foot, leg, or back pain. I was perfectly comfortable walking and going up and down the stairs to get on the rides. No pain. At all. My feet used to feel like they were broken after a few hours of walking around an amusement park. That's gone.

Here are a few pictures from our trip. For the first time, I feel like I look small/normal in pictures and I love it!

Me and my parents on the boat ride:

Dad and me outside of dinner (we ate at the Bob Marley restaurant - the food was just meh):

With my adorable cousins:

We got home last night. Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with Shrinking Mommy Heidi, her daughter, and a new friend from my band doc's support group, Kristy. We had a nice meal at Stir Crazy, walked around the mall a bit, and got some tea.

The only bad part is that my band seems to have evaporated and I've been hungry. I can and want to eat everything. I had a chicken and veggie stir fry with buckwheat noodles and ate nearly the whole thing. Thankfully I have a fill scheduled for a week from tomorrow, and it can't come soon enough at this point.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


Frustrated. That's what I am right now.

I weighed 211.8 on January 19, exactly 1 week ago. I recommitted to busting ass and doing EVERYTHING that I need to do to get under 200 by March 1. I have logged every morsel that has passed my lips on Daily Plate and have stayed within my calorie budget EVERY day. I've been working out. I've been drinking water like crazy. I have eaten 75-100 grams of protein every day.

This morning I weighed at 212.2. Are you [bleep]-ing kidding me? That doesn't even make sense.

So, here's what I'm going to do. I'm going away for the weekend with my parents. We're going to Orlando to spend time with my aunt, uncle, and cousins. I won't have access to a scale or my usual foods. I am going to relax a bit, ride a LOT of roller coasters, eat what I want (within reason), and then get right back on plan on Monday morning. Time to shake things up a little.

Also, I have a new blogger alert. Undercover Banded just started following me and I noticed she only had a couple of followers. She's getting banded in 2 weeks - so exciting!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Go Away, Girl Scouts

Ugh. The little green bitches are back. All I wanted at the grocery store was some chai tea and some baby carrots, but those horrible little girls were outside of Publix begging people to buy their cookies. I sure do love those coconut caramel ones and could easily eat a whole box in one sitting and was tempted. Very tempted. So I punched one and kicked another out of the way and ran for my car before I could buy any. (Ok, not really, but the thought did cross my mind. And I didn't buy any, but I did give one little blond drug pusher a dirty look.)

Eff you, Girl Scouts, and eff your cookies. Why can't you sell apples or something instead?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


Recently I stated that I wanted to be under 200 pounds by the anniversary of my surgery on March 31.

I, um, kinda got the dates mixed up. March 1 was the day of my surgery. March 31 was the day I was laid off from my job of 13 years. It was an eventful month.

I weighed 211.8 this morning. That gives me 5 weeks and 6 days to lose 12 pounds to get me under 200. 41 days for 12 pounds.

Can I do it? That's a huge goal. I'm going for it. I'll either achieve it or not. I'll be nearly as thrilled if I make it by March 31, which will be my safety net date.

When I am under 200, my husband says he doesn't care how long it takes, but he promised that when we see 199 on that scale, he's buying me a new dress and taking me out somewhere special. I'm excited!

Article About My Surgeon's Practice (And Me!)

I told you about this when I was interviewed in October, but it was finally printed in the Palm Beach Post yesterday. The only thing wrong is my current of this morning, it was 211.8. :-)



Bariatric surgeries: Why they went under the knife to find a new life
By Steve Dorfman Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 6:55 p.m. Friday, Jan. 14, 2011

Carnie Wilson is almost as famous for her yo-yoing weight as for her singing career.

She once tipped the scales at 300, got gastric-bypass surgery in 1999 - and famously dropped 150 pounds.

However, she gradually resumed her poor eating habits and her body told the story: In 2010, she was back up to 218.

The Today show's Al Roker got the same surgery in 2002 and has kept 115 pounds off so far - but he's the first to say bariatric surgery is not an easy fix for obesity.

"For anybody who thinks that this is a magic bullet ... that you do this and it's done - you're making a mistake. It's not," he told Dateline NBC in 2004.

Bariatric surgery is a last resort - but it has become safer, and more morbidly obese people are choosing it.

Surgeons have become more proficient with the two most popular procedures - gastric bypass and gastric banding - and the newer "gastric-sleeve" procedure is gaining acceptance.

"When these procedures first became widespread in the mid-1990s, there was a learning curve for all surgeons," says Dr. Paul Wizman, head of bariatric surgery at Wellington Regional Medical Center. "Since then, we've developed a mainstream, more uniformed approach for all bariatric
surgeons to follow."

Wizman notes that the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS) recognizes providers that deliver top-notch care: "To be designated an ASMBS Bariatric Surgery Center of Excellence (BSCOE) is like having the Good Housekeeping seal of approval in our industry."

The center that Wizman heads at Wellington Regional earned that rating.

And what has all this self-regulation meant for bariatric patients?

"We've minimized post-surgical complications to the point that they happen less than 1 percent of the time," Wizman explains. "I won't go so far as to say that bariatric procedures are now outpatient surgery - but they're darned close."

Facing your food demons

Carnie Wilson's journey is now a cautionary tale. Last February, she had a sobering, on-air, heart-to-heart with Dr. Mehmet Oz on his talk show about her excess weight.

Oz's tough love on that show inspired Wilson, and she lost a few pounds. But by November, she was fired as spokesperson for the diet company The Fresh Diet, and in December, she told the PopEater website: "I'm fat, what can I say?"

As every person with a lifelong weight problem will attest, the real battle is emotional - and surgery doesn't address that.

As Lake Worth dieter Stephanie Martin says of the mental challenges to losing weight: "The Lap-Band only goes around my stomach - not my brain."

Martin has lost about 60 pounds in nine months after her surgery, and she's now down to about 220. "I had been on every diet imaginable before then, and the thought of being on another one literally made me sick."

Keith Sims, 43, a former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman and current broadcaster on the team's flagship radio station, also found success with the Lap-Band procedure, which restricts the size of a person's stomach. Sims weighed 350 pounds when he had his Lap-Band procedure in August, and he's now down 60 pounds.

Dr. David Adler, 45, an OB-GYN in Wellington, opted for gastric bypass (performed by Wizman) because, at more than 400 pounds, he says, "I had so much weight to lose."

However, Adler correctly recognizes that his bariatric procedure is "just a tool to help me live a more healthful lifestyle. Yes, my body will 'punish' me if I eat too much, or eat the wrong kinds of foods. But it's still up to me to properly plan my meals and to make the right choices."

Thus far, Adler has dropped nearly 200 pounds in a year-and-a-half.

The potentially dire consequences of morbid obesity are why Adler says, "Whenever I see people out in public who look the way I used to, I want to say to them, 'You don't have to live like this. There's a better way. Let me tell you what has saved me'"

Lake Worth
Age: 34
Surgery: Lap-Band procedure at Wellington Regional Medical Center in March 2010
Weight before surgery: 280
Current weight: 223
Goal weight: 140

Bariatric surgery success stories


Background: This married, tech-support professional and student at Palm Beach State College describes herself as having been a "chubby kid." But, she says, weight was never an issue until she went away to college as a teen. "You've heard of the 'freshman 15'? Well, I gained the 'freshman 50'!" Since then, she's been on "every diet imaginable, and it always went the same way: I'd lose 30 pounds - but then gain back 40 or 50."

Why she chose gastric banding: "The thought of going on another diet literally made me sick. My mom suggested the Lap-Band procedure. I did some research, learned more, and something about it just clicked. It's less extreme than the bypass, and my insurance covered 80 percent of it."

Biggest post-surgical challenges: "Dealing with food on a daily basis can be a nuisance - especially when certain people in your life are 'food-pushers.' Sometimes I wish I could just take a pill. Also, my husband, who has been so supportive during this whole process, still eats a normal diet. So I have to make sure he enjoys his meals."

Best post-surgical benefits: "Seeing my body change has been amazing! I can shop for clothes. I can fit into an airplane seat and a restaurant booth. I have much more energy and even ride the roller-coasters at Universal Studios. But perhaps best of all have been the connections I've
made with other Lap-Band patients on my blog at"


Background: A successful OB-GYN, Adler, a married father of two sons, says, "I've always been overweight, but, growing up, I was also pretty athletic. The bottom line is, I loved to eat! And I was pretty undisciplined about it, making horrible choices with fast food and other high-caloric junk. Every year, I seemed to gain 15 to 20 pounds."

Why he chose gastric bypass: "I'd been thinking about it for a few years and had seen the success that some of my own patients had with it. Considering how much weight I needed to lose - around 200 pounds - gastric bypass made the most sense to me. I'm a surgeon myself, so I did a lot of research and listened to one of Dr. Paul Wizman's lectures about bariatric surgery at Wellington Regional Medical Center."

Biggest post-surgical challenges: "The first couple of months back at work were an adjustment, because I had to get used to consuming only a few hundred calories a day. Even though I wasn't hungry, the calorie reduction left me without energy. I also had a brief 'mourning' for the
cheeseburgers and fries I'd no longer be eating."

Best post-surgical benefits: "I feel so much more energetic and am so much more active than before. I can play sports again! Heck, we're planning a ski trip for this winter; I haven't been able to ski in I don't know how long. There was a time when I worried that I might not be around that long for my wife and sons, but now I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be here for a while."

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Shopping Woes

I am so annoyed with shopping right now. I seem to be smack dab in the middle of plus sizes and regular sizes. Size 18 jeans are too small but 18W are too big. 16W doesn't seem to exist...not at Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls, or KMart anyway, all the places I tried today. Plus, I'm short, so I need petite lengths on top of it. I just need some form of pants to cover my butt until I can get down into the regular sizes. I don't want to spend a lot because I will hopefully not be in them for long. I know Old Navy 16's fit me perfectly, but there weren't a single pair of 16 short jeans on the clearance racks. Any hints for buying jeans when you're in an in-between size?

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

One Year From Surgery Goal

I have a goal that I want to reach by one year from under 200 pounds.

I have been a bit stalled out since my fill and subsequent giant loss in one week, and I've been stuck for almost a month. I weighed in this morning at 215.8. So, I need to lose 16 pounds in 2.5 months to get me under 200 by March 31.

I have seriously stepped up my efforts in the last few days. I have been logging every bite with Daily Plate, staying right around 1300 calories, and drinking water like it's my job. Carbs are at a minimum, protein levels are high, and I am trying to eat mainly whole foods.

I am going to literally work my ass off to get under 200. I was slacking for awhile there but I am back on the "band" wagon. I am still obese, and maintaining isn't good enough for me right now.

Monday, January 3, 2011

From Lap Bands to Lap Bars

I had an amazing weekend in Orlando with Heidi, Amy, and Maria.

Heidi came and picked me up on Saturday afternoon and we headed up to Amy's. We met Amy's adorable children and wonderful husband, and then almost immediately headed out to meet Maria and go to City Walk at Universal Studios for dinner. There was a wait at Margaritaville, so we had a drink. That's something called an "A1A" in my hand. I don't remember what was in it, but it was deeee-licious.

Dinner was so good. We shared fried pickles (I know, I know, awful but so tasty and I blame the drinks) and I had a salad with crab and shrimp on it. I had a very sweet surprise after dinner when I was brought this brownie sundae with a birthday candle in it.

Of course, I shared. What's funny is that we had one dessert between the four of us and we didn't even finish it. Wow.

After dinner, we walked around City Walk and...I'll let Heidi tell you what happened next...abridged a bit...

"from across the crowded a beacon in a long dark cold florida night i see a pair of "Not Your Daughter Jeans". size 14. claim to be "tummy tuck" jeans. i say: "i am going to try them on"....they go on.... i fly out of the dressing room. do a twirl and go get the size 12s. what the hell, right? they go on.... so....a picture taken by maria and $92 later...they are mine. or so i thought..... as we walk away from the store, Electric Band Stephanie announces that the jeans are hers next and it is only "lettuce and chicken, bitch" for me so that i will rapidly shrink out of them and hand them down to her, amy and maria.

Ok, so, first of all, how gorgeous and skinny does Heidi look in these jeans?!?!

I WANT THEM! But it will be awhile before I will fit in them. So I was merely stating that *I* would only be eating chicken and lettuce until I could fit into them too, and that hopefully Heidi will shrink out of them right around the time when I could get my butt in them. So...this was what I bought at Publix tonight:

Chicken and lettuce...bitch.

The next day, we started our morning at Animal Kingdom. Three out of the four of us have not been on roller coasters in quite some time because we didn't exactly think we would fit for awhile there. you can see, we ALL comfortably fit on Expedition Everest with NO problem at all. Those lap bars didn't just fit a little...we had plenty of room. And look at that beautiful look on Maria's face...pure, unadulterated joy.

We had to get off and ride it again right away. Hands up!

It was incredible. We did a couple of other rides at Animal Kingdom and then headed over to Disney Studios to ride Rock 'n' Roller Coaster and Tower of Terror. The lines were crazy long, so we didn't get to do much, but we had a blast. Maria had a lot to do so she took off to get some things taken care of before her trip to Philly so she left us with hugs and promises to see her again soon.

Amy, Heidi and I decided that we didn't want to brave the insanely long lines at Epcot so we walked around Downtown Disney for awhile before heading over to get some Mexican food for dinner (yummy!), pick the dogs up from the Disney kennel, and head back to Amy's to drop her off and say goodbye. She was just so wonderfully hospitable and it was so cool of her and Travis to allow a complete stranger to stay in their lovely home.

As great as the weekend was, it was just about as nice to get home to my sweet husband and sleep in my own bed. Which is exactly what I'm just about to do.

Thanks for a spectacular weekend, ladies, and I can't wait to do it again!