Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Before Pictures

I had to put some "before" pictures together for a project I'm working on, and I'm still amazed at how much my life has changed. Just thought I'd share...

BOOBs 2011 Fun Facts!

1.How did you pick your blog name?
It comes from a Jimi Hendrix album called Electric LadyLAND.

2.When did you start blogging?
March 2010.

3.Theme of blog.
Gastric banding/weight loss.

4.Did you go to BOOBs 2010?
Yes I did. And I had an amazing time!

5.When were you banded?
March 1, 2010.

6.How much have you lost?
90-ish pounds.

7.What are you most looking forward to at BOOBs?
Seeing all my old friends and meeting new ones. Second City comedy. Meeting and greeting. And Chicago deep dish pizza. (Am I not supposed to say that?)

8.What/who do you hope to find/see/accomplish at BOOBs 2011?
I just want to have a good time.

9.Children? Pets?
No human children. Two parrots - Liberty is a Severe Macaw and Kumba is an African Grey.

10.Who is your roomie?
The amazing Lap Band Gal a.k.a. Karin. I hadn't really read her blog when I went to BOOBS last year. I had no idea who she was. But for some reason, the second we met, I felt like we'd been friends for years. We did the 5K together and then spent the rest of the day hanging out, shopping, and having a blast. She came and visited Florida and we had a fun slumber party. She was even there when I found out my baby sister was pregnant. She is in the top 5 people I text with most often. I adore Karin and if it wasn't for BOOBS 2010, I wouldn't have made such an incredible friend and I am thrilled to be sharing a room with her. The day the hotel was announced and plans were made, we decided to be roomies.

11.What day do you arrive?
Friday morning.

12.What airport/flight/time?
Not sayin' here. I'm afraid of stalkers.

13.What events are you signed up for?
Second City comedy show on Friday night (I am the organizer/point of contact) and the formal dinner on Saturday night. Other than that, I'm playing it by ear.

Knitting, reading, riding roller coasters, shooting.

I want to do something with nutrition/bariatrics. Right now I am a technical support rep for a medical monitoring company.

16.Single? Married? In a relationship?
Married to Scott for almost 9 years. We've been together for 13 years.

17.Your birthday month?

18.What do you want other BOOBs to know about you?
Um. Just ask and I'll tell you. :-)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Back From the Sea

I'm back from my cruise and it was great! We had a very fun time. There was drinking, eating, swimming, sunning...here, I'll show you...

When we got on to the ship and arrived in our room, Jen and I were a little concerned about the size. It was TINY. We weren't sure if we would both fit in the room at the same time.

Thankfully, we did both fit. Even though the room was small, they are very creative in their use of space on the cruise ship - tons of hidden storage. If I cruise again, however, I will splurge on the balcony because it would have been nice to have some room to spread out and have a place to relax/read/watch the view.

The waves the first night were crazy - 10 to 12 foot seas - and I am very thankful I did not get seasick. The rocking and rolling on the boat made for great sleeping. I slept like a baby.

There was drinking. Not a LOT of drinking, but some. I'm not much of a drinker, but it was nice to have a few.

The food wasn't all that great and for some reason I was SUPER tight, especially early in the day, and got stuck pretty badly a few times and had to give up on a few meals. Sweets, alcohol, and junk food went down fine (of course) but thankfully (?) Jen is a bit claustrophobic and does not use elevators except for the open glass kind. We were on the third floor, the glass elevator went to the seventh floor, and there were lots of fun things to do on the 11th and 12th floors, which we were up and down a bunch of times per day. That was a LOT of stairs. We also took advantage of the ship's gym, which was really nice. Huge windows overlooking the water all around. Here we are on the treadmills...

Due to Hurricane Irene, we missed one of our ports, CocoCay, Royal Caribbean's private island. That meant an extra day docked in Nassau. We walked around the town for a good part of the first day (sadly, the Straw Market was destroyed in the hurricane), took the ferry over to Paradise Island (where the Atlantis resort is located) but we only got as far as the ferry terminal because it started storming as we arrived and the path we needed to take was completely flooded, and we didn't want to wade through shin-deep water to get to the casino, so we headed back to Nassau.

We did a little shopping in Nassau (I bought a very cute purse) and napped for a bit, then got ready for the formal night. It was fun to dress up and put makeup on.

Jen and I even made a Vlog after dinner when we were all dressed up...see, I even thought about you all when I was on vacation!

The next morning, Jen and I did what I'd been looking forward to the most - our sea lion encounter! It was so amazing and I fell in love with these adorable creatures. How cute are their little Shrek ears?

This...right here...was the highlight of the whole trip. I wanted to take her home with me.

We went to the beach on Blue Lagoon Island (where the Sea Lion encounter took place). I HATE the beach. With a fiery passion. I can't stand sand touching my feet. Shudder. You know what helps? A frosty frozen fruity drink to sip while floating around in the water. Heaven.

That was the end of our time in Nassau. We got back on the ship and sailed away.

Our trip was over but I have some souvenirs to remember the trip. A cute purse. Lots of photos. Probably a few more pounds. And a hellacious sunburn despite the use of sunscreen. Oops.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Bon Voyage

It looks like everything is a go for my cruise on Friday. I'm torn between being really grateful that my vacation plans aren't being disrupted (and I am - really grateful) and being worried for the people in this monster storm's path. I'm going to keep sending lots of good vibes and I hope everyone stays safe.

Tonight was my first class of my final semester for my Associate's Degree. I'm glad it is almost over. I'm taking Drug Education - hopefully it will be interesting.

Tomorrow I have 2 home installations to do in the morning, which I enjoy. My favorite part of my job is the rare occasion when I get to interact with the customers in person instead of over the phone. After that, I'll go to the office and then head straight down to my parents' house to spend the night, and they're driving Jen and me to the port on Friday. I won't have internet access on the ship (too expensive!) so I'll talk to you when I get back on Monday.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Go Away, Irene!

If you read the other Stephanie's blog, you already know that there's a hurricane out in the Atlantic ocean, threatening us here in Florida. Here's what's going on in my head...

  • I'm very nervous for Island Bandit. I don't know her well, but she's in the Bahamas and the storm is almost certain to hit there.
  • We're not likely to get a direct hit here in Palm Beach, but it is possible...and it's forecasted to be a category 3 by the time it gets here.
  • I'm supposed to be getting on a cruise ship with my friend Jen on Friday afternoon...to head to the Bahamas. I'm trying not to think too much about it until we have a better idea of what will happen. Hence, the Xanax I took. (My doctor prescribed it for travel...I can only assume that this qualifies as travel anxiety.)
  • Jen and I are in a better position than probably 90% of the people on the cruise ship. We don't have to worry about air travel...we can be at the Port of Miami in an hour and a half.
  • No, we don't have travel insurance because we don't have air travel to worry about. If the cruise is canceled, we'll be rescheduled.
  • I hate hurricanes.
  • I'm worried for my friend Judith who lives on an island off the coast of South Carolina. She has more than 30 large parrots and evacuating with them will not be easy.
  • Have I mentioned that I hate hurricanes?
  • I think that large quantities of chocolate and/or ice cream will make me feel better.
  • Just kidding.
  • Kinda.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Crossfit vs. Zumba

This is for Beth Ann and Lap Band Gal, and anyone else who has an interest in the Crossfit vs. Zumba debate. :-)

Monday, August 15, 2011

Vitamin B12

My primary care doctor called me today to go over my lab results from a couple of weeks ago. She's thrilled with most everything (cholesterol, glucose, the improvement in my vitamin D) but the only thing that she was a little concerned with was my vitamin B12 levels. Even though I'm within normal ranges, it's on the very low side of normal (levels should be from 200 to 1100, and mine are about 220) even though I am very good about taking my vitamins.

She prescribed vitamin B12 injections to be given at home. My husband said he will do the injecting since I am a little heebidy-jeebidy about poking myself with a needle. I need to do the injections once every 2 weeks for 2 months and then we'll recheck my levels.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Dress NSV

I had a great NSV yesterday and Karin (a.k.a. Lap Band Gal) said I need to post about it.

My friend Alexandra (the one who I went to visit in the hospital after her gastric bypass - she's doing great, by the way) knew I was getting frustrated with dress shopping and she invited me over to "shop" in her vast closet. She has zillions of clothes in all different sizes because she used to work in an upscale department store. I went over there and she started pulling out all of these incredible dresses that I never would have even looked at. One of them was a black, sleeveless, slinky size 14 Ralph Lauren dress. I put it on and she zipped me up and said, "Wow, you do have a shape! Look at those curves!" I couldn't quite believe it was me in the mirror.

Size 14. Designer dress. ME.

When I protested about my arms, she also pulled out a lacy jacket thing to go over it. I am totally psyched to wear the dress on formal night.

Alexandria also gave me a very pretty purple 3/4 length sleeve dress to borrow, as well as a pretty black purse. In addition, Stephanie is sending me another dress that I can't wait to try on. So between the cruise and Chicago, I think I'm set for dresses.

Alexandra made me swear that I wouldn't wear my plastic shoes (Crocs) with the fancy dress. Next up? Shoe shopping with my mom next weekend.

I'm very bad at fashion/shopping. Thank heavens I have friends with good taste. :-)

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Back to Solids

I'm back on solids today and guess what? I feel fine! No pain while eating...

2 hard boiled eggs
Slimfast protein snack bar
The innards of 2 fish tacos (grilled grouper, cabbage, pico de gallo, avocado) - no tortillas, but I did have a few chips
Cup of broccoli soup and innards of 1/2 tuna sandwich (no bread) at Panera

I am so glad that eating didn't hurt today. I have some super smart friends that knew that a couple of days of liquids would do the trick.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Liquids/Mushies, Day 2

I did liquids/mushies for most of today. I had:

Protein iced latte (chocolate Gotein with milk, coffee, and Splenda - yummy)
Vanilla Greek yogurt with mashed raspberries
Homemade taco soup (see yesterday's recipe - it was even better leftover)
Small Tasti-d-Lite, butter pecan flavor (80 calories for a small - delicious)
Small cup of Italian Wedding soup & one ricotta stuffed shell for dinner and it went down FINE. No pain, no discomfort, I feel much better.

I'm going to try some soft protein tomorrow - tuna salad - and see how that goes. I can't imagine it will be a problem. The soup had some mini meatballs in it and I had no issues. But I'll go slow and let you know how it goes. Thanks for all the advice, ladies, it means a lot!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Liquids/Mushies, Day 1

I'm feeling much better on liquids/mushies. Eating hasn't hurt today. I have had:

Atkins protein shake
Greek yogurt
Skyline chili (from the freezer section - so yummy - all meat and no beans and it's very soupy)
Sugar free frozen yogurt
Homemade taco soup (I just threw it together and it was pretty good - recipe below)
Many cups of coffee with lowfat milk and Splenda

I'll probably have some Arctic Zero or a sugar free vanilla pudding later.

I think I'll do another liquid/mushy day tomorrow and then see how I do with real food on Thursday. I didn't have a chance to pick up the Prilosec as Stephanie recommended, but I will do that tomorrow.


Taco Soup

1/4 pound ground beef
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can fat free refried beans
1 can mild enchilada sauce
1 can water
1 packet taco seasoning
Lowfat sour cream

Brown the ground beef and onion. Stir in the beans, sauce, water, and taco seasoning. Simmer until everything is heated through. Serve with a dollop of sour cream. (I would have also added a sprinkle of cheddar cheese, if I had any on hand.)

Monday, August 8, 2011

Aha...Now I Get It

I now understand what everyone talks about when they say they're "too tight" - I may be there. Eating solid food is uncomfortable. I couldn't finish a cup of soup for dinner. Lunch - the same exact thing I have every Monday (a burrito bowl from Moe's with beef, grilled onions, black beans, guacamole, jalapenos, and tomatillo salsa - no rice or tortilla) did not feel too good going down. I didn't eat much. I had a protein shake for breakfast because I couldn't face eating breakfast, even though I don't usually have trouble eating in the morning like so many people do.

If you know me at all, you know I almost NEVER drink protein shakes except after a fill or a very hard workout. I haven't had a fill in a couple of months and I have no idea why I got so tight all of a sudden. The heat, maybe?

I feel like a baby bandster learning about how to work my stomach again.

I'm uncomfortably full from 1/2 cup of bean soup.

I spoke with Lap Band Gal about this earlier and she suggested doing a day of liquids in case my stomach is inflamed. I think that's a good idea - I'm going to do liquids tomorrow and see how I feel.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Healthy Choices are Dangerous

I burned the living heck out of my arm last night trying to get some fish out of the oven. My arm flappages are so out of control that I can't even keep them from getting injured. If I had driven through Taco Bell like I was tempted to do, I would have been safe and uninjured. (We won't talk about the case of Taco Belly I would have developed later.) That's what I get for trying to eat healthy. (The fish was delicious though.)

I would like to proudly announce that I ate lunch at my desk THREE times this week. Today I had a Weight Watchers frozen thing. It was ok. But I made my goal of only having lunch out twice. I'm making the same goal for next week.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bariatric Support Group Photos

A month or so ago, my friend April, the unbelievably talented photographer from CoConut CirCle Photography took some pictures of me when I was giving a speech at my bariatric support group. I am very pleased with how they came out and wanted to share them.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lunch Today

I did not go out for lunch today. I had an "Organic Bistro" frozen meal of lemongrass coconut chicken with veggies and quinoa. This one...it was quite tasty and under 300 calories - and I could only finish about 3/4 of it. I ate at my desk and read blogs while I ate and tried to ignore everyone on the phone. When I was done, I went to Publix to pick up lunch for tomorrow (a Lean Cuisine) and a container of milk for my coffee at work.

I decided to take baby steps and not swear that I will never eat lunch out, but say that I will only eat lunch out twice per week. Tomorrow I am going to eat at my desk and then go check out the library by my office.

Progress. :-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Survey Says...

Stolen from the other Stephanie...

1. What is your occupation right now ?

Technical Support Representative for a medical monitoring company.

2.What color are your socks right now?

I don't wear socks unless I am working out. I wear Birkenstocks approximately 350 days per year.

3. What are you listening to right now?

Scott is watching Avatar.

4. What was the last thing that you ate?

Grilled tilapia and steamed carrots.

5. Can you drive a stick shift?

Not very well at all.

6. Last person you spoke to on the phone?

A customer.

7. Do you like the person you stole this blog from?

She is one of my favorite bloggers!

8. How old are you today?


9. What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?

I like some of the Olympic events. Other than that - not much.

10. What is your favorite drink?

Fresh squeezed grapefruit juice.

11. Have you ever dyed your hair?

Yes, but not in a long time.

12. Favorite food?

Mexican or Thai, depending on the day.

13. What is the last movie you watched?

Avatar is on right now, but the last movie I actually watched was Easy A.

14. Favorite day of the year?

My anniversary.

15. How do you vent anger?

Usually by writing.

16. What was your favorite toy as a child?

Does anyone remember Magic Sand? That was the coolest stuff.

17. What is your favorite season?


18. Cherries or Blueberries?

Cherries. The Rainier cherries have been sooo amazing (and cheap!) lately.

19. Do you want your friends to blog this survey?

Yes indeed!

20. Where is you favorite place to escape?

Roller coasters. They make me feel so good and I love getting "high" on the endorphins and adrenaline.

21. Favorite Tv Show?

Modern Family, Big Bang Theory, Penn & Teller Bullsh*t, and I am really looking forward to the new season of Walking Dead (I'm a zombie junkie, thanks to my husband.) I also just started watching Breaking Bad.

22. Living arrangements?

I own a house and live with my husband and our two parrots, Liberty and Kumba.

23. When was the last time you cried?

Earlier today, reading a book on my lunch break.

24. What is on the floor of your closet?

What closet? We're remodeling and I don't have one at the moment.

25. Who is the friend you have had the longest?

I have been friends with a woman named Vicky since 1979. I was 3 years old. We lost touch for awhile but are now back in touch. My dear friend Jen and I are celebrating 21 years of friendship this year - amazing.

26. What did you do last night?

Bought a bathing suit, blogged, had pizza for dinner, and hung out with the birds and husband before bed.

27. What are you most afraid of?

Never figuring out what my purpose in this life is, and what I am supposed to be when I grow up.

28. Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?

Spicy! Burger topped with grilled onions, buffalo hot sauce, and a drizzle of bleu cheese dressing (no bun).

29. Favorite dog breed?

My friends Dawn and Ian have the world's coolest Chihuahua named Mia. She is AWESOME!

30. Favorite day of the week?


31. How many states have you lived in?

Just two - Connecticut until I was 3 and then Florida from then on.

32. Diamonds or pearls?


33. What is your favorite flower?

Orange blossoms.