life, lately.

hey guys!  hopefully you remember me!  i would say sorry for not posting so often, but i’m not.  i’m living my life and enjoying every second of it.  i’ll give you a quick recap of how life has been the last couple of weeks!

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30 lbs down!

life with my LAP-BAND has been great, so far!  i have no complaints and my doctor thinks i’m doing very well!  at this point, i’ve lost 34 lbs, and i’m sure plenty of inches (i need to measure myself, soon!).  clothes are getting looser and i don’t feel awful in my skin anymore.  it’s hard to keep perspective, sometimes, since i still have about 95 lbs until my first ‘goal’ weight, but the other day, when i was using 2, 15 lb dumbbells, i realized that was how much i lost so far. i really need to appreciate every pound i lose, as i lose it!

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284 vs 272

i’ve been working out 5 days a week!  i really don’t know who i am anymore!  i had zero motivation to go to the gym for the last year and half or so, but i really have this spark right now and i’m pushing it as far as it will go!  my workouts consist of lifting 5x/week  (arms+shoulders, chest+back, and legs alternating throughout the week) and cardio 3x/week.  i like to keep cardio short and sweet, so i’ve been trying my best to incorporate Body-for-Life HIIT routines in there.  i can feel gains in my strength AND endurance, so it’s a nice feeling.

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my go-to pre-workout

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barbell chest press

i’ve also been trying to get my 10,000 steps in a day, with my FitBit, but it’s HARD!  i walk a mile at 10am with a co-worker, but even with those steps, on days where i don’t do cardio, i’m only getting 6-7,000 steps.  i need to get better at walking around the office.  i get so busy, sometimes, i’ll only get up twice to use the bathroom and fill up my water!

food intake has been good, as well!  i’m getting my proteins in first, then veggies.  i haven’t been consuming many carbs because 1.  i don’t really have room and 2.  they seem to be a problem with most banders, so i’m holding off on them for awhile.  i’d like to get closer to goal before i start introducing them back into my diet.

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chipotle bowl (just barbacoa, sour cream, cheese & lettuce)

the hardest part of this journey so far, is LISTENING TO MY BODY.  some days i feel SO HUNGRY, and after 4 bites, i feel full.  i want to continue to eat, because i convince myself that there is NO WAY those little bites of food have made me full, but they do!  if i feel hungry at work, i’ll pop in a piece of gum, and if i’m still hungry after 20 minutes, i’ll let myself eat a snack, if i’m not, i’ll continue chewing my gum and drinking my water.  i had my first fill wednesday and know that now it’s more important than ever that i start measuring my food to 1/2 cup portions.  i don’t want to risk stretching my pouch and ruining everything i’ve gone through over the last year because i was being mindless.

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snack: 1/4 cup of mixed nuts

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tuna salad + pork rinds

and yes, i had my first fill!  and it wasn’t that bad! so, i’m a really big baby when it comes to needles.  why i decided to get the weight loss surgery that included needles is beyond me, but i did good!  i went into the hospital and checked-in.  about an hour of waiting later, they were ready for my fill.  my doctor does all fills under fluoroscopy, which is basically just a real-time x-ray.  they insert the needle into the port, remove all the fluid, then insert however many CCs of saline they decide on, depending on how much restriction you need.  this is followed by a barium solution (to show contrast) to see how much restriction there really is.  well, while this was going on, they realized the needle they had inserted had a crack in it, so they had to insert another needle.  after that, everything went fine, and i now have 4.4cc’s in my band.

after a fill, your stomach can swell where the band is attached, so my doctor put me on 2 days of full liquids, 2 days of soft foods, then back to solid food again, being careful to not get anything stuck!  today was day 1 of soft foods and my 1 egg + 1 egg white, which i could only eat 4 bites of, has already kept me full for 2 hours at this point, so i’d like to think i can feel the restriction from the fill.

photo16post fill, liquid phase:  cream of chicken soup mixed + broth + unjury chicken soup protein

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post fill, soft food phase:  scrambled egg w. cheese & ketchup

so, i’m sure i’ve bored you enough by now!  this has been my life, lately.  wake-up, work, workout, cook dinner (& lunch for tomorrow), watch a show or two on tv, then pass out.  i don’t hate it.  i feel great and my attitude has been amazing, so no complaints here 🙂



Q: what have you been up to lately?

 

 

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life with lap-band

hey guys!  long time no talk!  i’m 3 weeks post-op tomorrow and feeling great!  i’ll give you a quick update, because i’m sure you don’t want to read over 3 weeks of details about my life.

so, surgery.. surgery went well thursday morning (may 8th).  i’m not going to lie though, i was HURTING afterwords. i had read a lot about gas pains and discomfort from the gas they pump into you during surgery, but i didn’t have any of that.  what i did have was some serious discomfort on my right side from my port.  since they stitch your port (to fill the lap-band with saline) to your muscle wall, it can become pretty sore after surgery.  getting in and out of bed and on and off the couch was excruciating the first 4 days.  i also had a hiatal hernia repair, which could have contributed to the pain.

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after a few days, i was feeling back to normal.  i was thankful to have my sister there with me, even though i hate having people take care of me.  as much as i want to get up and get myself every drink and protein shake, it was too unbearable, and she was there to help me out.

my post-op diet was full liquids once i left the hospital friday morning.  while i was in the hospital, i sipped on little cups of water or broth, but wasn’t able to drink much at a time, because i was still pretty swollen from the surgery.  my full liquid diet included 2 – 8oz protein shakes, i used protizyme peanut butter cookie (SO good), and 1 – 8oz creamy soup, mixed with protein.  for the protein, instead of doing unflavored, i tried unjury chicken soup flavor and was pleasantly surprised!  it had a really great flavor and didn’t get lumpy.  i mixed it with both cream of chicken soup and golden mushroom.  i stuck with the mushroom, because the cream of chicken hurt my stomach.

within the first week, i lost 7 lbs!  i know, i was only drinking liquids, and had a very low calorie diet, but i was still excited with this loss.  i had a one week follow-up appointment with my nurse practitioner and she was very happy with my results up until then.  at that appointment she moved my diet from full liquid to stage 2 and 3 ‘mushy’ food.  which is just easily chewed foods that aren’t dry. she recommended eggs, chicken/egg salad, steamed veggies, yogurt, and things like that, making sure i was still getting 60 g of protein in daily.

she also cleared me to exercise!  well, not the fun kind of exercise, like lifting, she said i was allowed to swim and try out cardio.  no heavy lifting or ab workouts. if you know me, you know i hate cardio, but i know i need to get active, so i’ve been in the gym every weekday for the last 2 weeks getting my sweat on.  i started out with steady state elliptical and treadmill routines, but then tried some HIITs to change it up.  i like HIITs a lot better because i don’t have time to watch the minutes drag by, i’m too busy changing the speed up.

here’s a comparison picture of the day of surgery and then 1 1/2 weeks later:

photo 1

its not a huge transformation, but i was wearing the same outfit and wanted to see if there was difference.  i can tell in my stomach area, some.  also my work pants are fitting looser already, so its helping me remain positive.

as far as the band goes,  i feel some restriction in the mornings, especially when i’m eating food, not drinking a shake, but as the day goes on, food doesn’t satisfy me as long.  i’m trying to keep my portion around 1/2 to 3/4 cup, but sometimes, i’m hungry with an hour or two.  i’ve heard some people refer to this as ‘bandster hell’ because you have the band inserted with no restriction, so you’re still doing all the work, eating very little, without feeling fuller longer.  i’m determined to breeze right through this phase until my first fill in 3 more weeks.

all-in-all, everything is going REALLY good.  i’m SO happy with my decision.  this wasn’t an easy one for me to make.  i was SURE i could do this on my own, but i just couldn’t make it work.  i have my 3 week follow-up appointment tomorrow morning, so i’m hoping i will get moved to light lifting and a few less food restrictions.

and because i was feeling really good this morning, i took a picture to document my mood.  30 lbs down and feeling great!

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  • highest weight: 303 lbs
  • current weight: 273 lbs
  • weight loss: 30 lbs
  • 1st goal weight: 175 lbs

 

hope y’all are having a great week!!

 

 

head hunger

hey guys!  happy friday! got any big plans for the weekend? none here.. sadly.

i started my liver shrinking diet yesterday!  but first, i’ll show you my last meal:

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mmm sushi.  i ate until i was stuffed, but this place has the BEST sushi in town for a great price.

the point of the liver shrinking diet is to reduce the size of your liver by up to 40% so it is easier to perform the bariatric operation.  in completely non-technical terms, the liver sort of sits on top of your stomach, and to attach the band, they need to lift the liver out of the way.  if the liver is too big, the surgeon can make the executive call to stop the surgery and wait until the liver has shrunk enough.

the diet is a lower carb, low calorie, high protein diet.  the surgeon gave me a list of what is acceptable and not, so this is what i’m currently doing:

  • breakfast:  Ensure high protein shake
  • snack:  diabetic friendly yogurt
  • lunch: Ensure high protein shake
  • snack:  cucumber with 2 T greek yogurt mixed w. ranch seasoning
  • dinner:  4 ounces of lean protein + unlimited veggies

yesterday, since i was at the hospital, i didn’t get very hungry, but i’m feeling the effects today.  as i type this on my lunch break, i’ve had all but the yogurt, and i’m pretty hungry.  i’ve been trying not to think about it, but its happened more than i like.  i know i have a food addiction, and i’m going to have to work on this habit, because after i’m banded, i will need to control myself.  the band wont stop what i’m putting in my mouth.  it will just help me feel fuller, quicker.

so anyway, i had 3 appointments at the hospital yesterday to get ready for surgery may 8th.  first i had the pre-admittance testing which included blood work, an EKG, and a chest xray.  they all went fine and after about an hour and a half, i was finally able to drink some water.  you cant eat or drink anything before the apt, so i was THIRSTY by the time i was done.

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next, was the physical with the nurse practitioner.  she was super nice and answered all my questions.  she told me what to expect and all that other jazz.  it was a fairly quick appointment, then i had to wait around for another 2 hours for the next appointment, with the doctor.  that appointment was simply going over the surgery one last time and signing all the consent forms.

all in all, it was a good day, i’m more excited than ever to get to this surgery over and done with and get to the good part.

i think i’m going to start tracking my weight at the end of each post, like highest, current, goal, total lost.  just for myself so see how far i’ve come.

hope you all have a great weekend!!

 

  • highest weight:    303
  • current weight:    295
  • goal weight:        170
  • weight lost:            8

 

i got my date!

guys, apparently i’m only good at posting once a month these days?  life has been SO busy lately!  i’m not complaining, but i’ve barely had a free minute to do anything.  my days lately have been filled with work, family, house projects, enjoying spring, and other fun events with friends.

so on to lap-band stuff (sorry if this is boring for some), after 5 WEEKS of waiting to hear from insurance, i took it upon myself to call the company and found out i was approved for surgery march 23.  i called my doctors office the next week, thinking they would have received that information by that point, to find out they didn’t have anything.  after almost a full day on the phone and playing phone tag with insurance and my surgeon’s office, i got all the answers i needed.

i’m scheduled for surgery may 8th!  i have 2 more full days worth of appointments which include a seminar tomorrow and pre-surgery testing/questions/consent next thursday.  i should learn more about my pre-op, liver shrinking diet at the seminar and should be put on that either this friday or next friday.  i’m not sure if my surgeon requires 2 weeks or 3 weeks of the pre-op diet.

as exciting as all of this is to me, i’m still getting negative feedback from some people.  i received a voicemail from my mom about a week ago, telling me if i adopted a plant based, vegan diet i wouldn’t need “to be cut open”.  i’ve also gotten my fair share of snark comments from co-workers.  this may be the most frustrating aspect of the surgery.  i almost wish i would have kept this process to myself because people can be hurtful, whether they know it or not.   this has been something i’ve thought about since i was 18.  for almost 20 years i’ve had to be mindful of what i put in my mouth, and when i’ve failed at doing that, my weight showed that.  i know i’ve said it before, but i don’t want to be 50 and still waiting to experience life.  as much as i loved costa rica last february, my experience would have been 100x better had i weighed 100 lbs less.

i just need to keep reminding myself that i’m doing this for myself and myself only.  i’m the one that can’t look in the mirror after i get out of the shower, who hates getting dressed in the morning, whose body constantly aches from the excess weight.

i promise i want to get back to updating this blog at least weekly, for no one but myself.  so i can see how far i’ve come and see all the obstacles i faced throughout this journey.  so if you’re still reading, thanks for the support!

ps.  can you just look how little my basset was 3 years ago.  man, as much as i miss that baby face, that first year was a hard one with him!

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change of plans

hey guys! happy wednesday. i officially hate the term ‘hump day’ because the guy at the front desk of my gym repeats the geico commercial word for word EVERY WEDNESDAY i walk into the gym, usually at 5:00am when i have no patience for anyone.  so, needless to say, i no longer enjoy referring to wednesday as hump day. moving on..

this post will probably be mostly words and i apologize for that in advance.

i had my appointment with the surgeon at St. Mary’s hospital at 11:30 friday morning.  i got to the office early, filled out my paperwork and waited until the doctor was ready.  when i was finally called back, they took my weight, blood pressure, temp, etc and then, i was finally placed in the examining room.  the nurse asked what surgery i was considering, and she noted it on my chart.

*i will clarify that when i first saw the nurse practitioner last january, the only surgery we discussed was the lap-band, because that’s the only surgery i was comfortable with.  its the least invasive of the 3, and the one i felt most i could do the best with.*

the doctor walked in and wasn’t even sitting down before he told me that i wasn’t a good candidate for the lap-band.  stating my BMI was WAY TO HIGH to be considered.  he would only give the lap-band to a patient with a BMI of 45 and lower.  NEWS FLASH, doc, my BMI is 46 and i’m only 7 pounds away from 44.9, so you’re being a bit dramatic.  he went on to say, i would only lose 30 pounds, but i’d never be successful like sleeve and gastric bypass patients.  after he was done telling me how bad i was going to fail with the lap-band, he refused to treat me and referred me to his colleague, Dr. Carmody, who i could meet with at 3:00pm that afternoon.

after feeling so defeated, i left the office crying and second guessing everything i was so sure of for the past 13 months.  i KNEW this was the right surgery for me.  i didn’t want 3/4 of my stomach to be removed.  i didn’t want to constantly worry about malnutrition or if i didn’t get the right vitamins in, worry about losing my hair.  then i thought, maybe this guy IS right.  maybe i’m too fat for the lap-band.  maybe the sleeve is the only thing that will help me lose this 130 pounds i want to lose.  maybe i’m being naïve in my decision and should just go ahead and get the sleeve.

by the time i got back to the doctor, i wasn’t sure what i want at this point.  i was scared, nervous, and confused.  when i finally got called back, 50 minutes later, i wasn’t sure what this doctor was going to tell me.  luckily, it was everything i NEEDED to hear.  after a few minutes of talking to me about my past diet attempts and current eating habits, he thought i was a perfect fit for the lap-band.  he said with me being young, active, and a generally clean eater, i would be very successful with the band.  it was like i could finally breath again, and hearing that someone believed in me was the boost i needed.  i should get a surgery date within the next 2 weeks, where i’ll be put on a pre-op diet consisting of not that much.

i’m SO HAPPY the first doctor turned out to be a dick, because i really feel like my current doctor is the perfect fit.  i do understand where the other doctor was coming from, even though i don’t agree with it.  lap-band patients tend to lose less weight at a slower pace than sleeve and bypass patients do.  these numbers reflect poorly on the surgeon and drop his stats.  aftercare cost and time (because of fills) is also a burden on the surgeon has to deal with.  not that i think any surgery is an easy decision or the ‘easy way out’, but i think it takes a little more work throughout the whole process to get good result with lap-band.  just my opinion though.

im using the band as a tool.  i don’t mind working out and i actually love eating clean (with the occasional splurge out to eat), but even with all i did this year to change my diet and exercise, it still wasn’t enough.  i don’t want to feel like the only way i can lose weight is by not eating carbs.  i want to be able to take a bite of bread, but have that be enough to satisfy me.

i’m going to make this work.. and i cant wait to see how far i take it!  then, i can shove my weight loss in the other surgeons face and say F YOU.

that’s enough words for the day.  i hope you all have a great day!

 

remember me?

so, i realize, i’m just not the best blogger ever.  even when i’m on track with eating and exercising,  i just don’t always find it ‘fun’ to update the blog.  hopefully you guys understand that! i see that some people are still hanging around!

last time i left you, i wasn’t doing too much, just living life.  i did go to new york, which is CRAZY at christmas time.  maybe a little too crazy for me, but i had fun regardless!

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other than that, i’ve been trying to eat fairly clean, with the occasional treats thrown in on the weekends.  i’ve been loving a avocado chicken burger recipe i found on pinterest awhile back.  these things are SO GOOD that they don’t even need a bun, which is saying a LOT coming from me!

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i also made some amazing filet and scallops for valentine’s day!  i don’t love getting all into valentine’s day, because i think if you love someone, you should show them you love them all year long, but those are my thoughts, and i wont go any further into it!

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it’s been a CRAZY winter in richmond!  i had all but given up hope that i’d ever see a decent snow fall again, but last week we got 10 inches at my house.  plus, the temperature has been averaging around 10-15*, which is unheard of in these parts, so i’m dreaming of spring weather, and hope that it makes it here soon!

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and, i couldn’t not mention that someone turned 3 yesterday!  yep, i can’t believe i got this guy a little less than three years ago!  he has pushed my limits more times than i can count, but i wouldn’t trade this guy for anything in the world.  i didn’t make him a pupcake this year, but he did get a few spoons of pb and almond butter! happy birthday, scout!

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as far as weight loss goes, i haven’t been restricting my diet and i’ve been at the same weight since the 24 day challenge.  i know to some people, that may not sound great, but for me to actually maintain my weight, is something i’ve never been able to do.  i’m either gaining or losing, so it feels nice to be in control, a little.

i’ve also been going to the gym 3-5 times a week.  i’ve been drinking this pre-workout and its helped me get motivated after a long day of work.  its so easy to just go home, lay on the couch, and binge watch the following (SO GOOD), but if i drink the pre-workout before i leave work, there’s no way i’m going to waste the product/$$, so i end up in the gym and feel SO much better afterwards! plus, if i go home after the gym and mold into the couch, i don’t feel as bad!

lap-band surgery update:  i successfully completed my 12 month coaching program required by insurance yesterday!  i completed the other required appointments, as well, which included:

  • meeting with a psychiatrist
  • meeting with a nutritionist
  • receiving clearance from my PCP
  • H PYLORI testing

i got a phone call from my surgeons office yesterday morning and i’m scheduled for an appointment feb 28.  i’m not exactly sure what will happen in this appointment, but surgery is not set in stone yet, because i still need to receive insurance approval.  so, lets hope all goes well and i get approved quick!

its been a longgg road, but i still know that in my heart, this is what i want for me and my body.  i remember going on my first diet when i was 6 years old, so i’ve been struggling with this issue for 20 years.  20 YEARS. it’s so hard trying to convince someone this is the right thing for me.  i’ve received many snide remarks from co-workers/others, like “i’d rather be fat” or “can’t you just eat less and not get the surgery?”  not that these have ANY impact on my decision, BUT, its one of the main reasons i’ve kept my surgery to myself and the whole internet.  again, i’ve asked before, but if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all, because i really don’t want any more negativity on this issue.

so, i think that’s enough updating for you guys today!  if you stuck around, thanks! and i promise i wont wait so long to post next time.  i want to keep this thing going, i really do.  i haven’t found a ton of blogs with the same issues as mine, so i’m hoping this can help other people.

xoxo

metabolic testing results

hey guys! happy tuesday!  i mentioned before that i was planning on getting metabolic testing done and last night was the night!

let me rewind a bit and take the time to thank janetha for talking me through a nervous breakdown and showing me this post, from ashley. to be honest, after my 24 day challenge, i started to do some research on how many calories i should be consuming a day, there were SO many different  opinions that i just panicked and didn’t know what to do.  i texted janetha and she was more than happy to listen and give advice.  she sent me to ashley’s page, and that’s what made decided i want to get metabolic testing done so i could know my exact numbers and be confident in how i was fueling my body.

so, last night, i had a Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) test done to determine how many calories i burn each day.  during the quick, ten minute test, i was hooked up to a machine, through a breathing tube (nose plugged), which analyzed oxygen levels of air i was breathing.  the results from the test can then help determine how many calories i need to gain or lose weight and reach my weight loss goal.  the test also includes 45 minutes to talk with a Registered Dietitian to set up an individual meal plan.

after the test was done, the RD took my weight, height, goal weight, and also took down notes on an average 24 hour period in my life (she asked for an average gym day).  here’s what i told her:

  • 4:30 a.m. alarm goes off
  • 5:00 a.m. eating half a VO2 bar and drinking spark + arginine extreme pre-workout
  • 5:15 a.m. workout (weight training followed by 20 mins of cardio)
  • 7:15 a.m. protein shake + piece of fruit (watermelon or apples)
  • 9:30 a.m. snack – rice cake + some sunflower seed butter
  • 12:30 p.m. lunch – leftovers – probably a lean protein, complex carb, and some veggies
  • 3:30 p.m. snackquest bar
  • 5:00 p.m. by this time, i usually have about 100-120 oz of water
  • 6:30 p.m. dinner – lean protein (fish, bison, ground turkey) + two servings of veggies
  • 9:00 p.m. snack – protein cake (i used the recipe at the bottom of the post) or protein shake
  • i also explained how i am getting my daily vitamins through MNS 3 packets.

she complimented me on the fact that i balance protein with a carbs pretty well.  i learned that from body-for-life (and janetha) and know that’s the best way to keep myself hungry, without feeling deprived.

my RMR results were as follows:

  • Weight – 287 lbs
  • Goal weight – 170 lbs
  • Height – 5 ft 7 in
  • Resting Energy Expenditure – 2,434 calories
  • Estimated exercise burn – 304 cals (in 30 mins of exercise)
  • Estimated lifestyle & activity burn – 729 cals (a little high, in her thoughts, since i have a desk job)
  • Metabolism – 14% faster, compared to a typical person of similar sex, age, height, and weight. which means i can’t use ‘i have a slow metabolism’ for weight gain.

RMR13,467 calories – my total energy output

RMR2never would have thought my metabolism was faster than average, with all the damage i’ve done to it in the past.

the RD explained to me, that for the most part, overweight people have a higher than normal metabolism because they use more energy doing normal day-to-day activities (like walking to the car or going up the stairs).  this all made a lot of sense to me.

my recent ‘plateau’ made sense, as well.  i was eating/logging about 1,200-1,300 calories a day, thinking i was getting enough food to fuel my body, but not too much to where i wouldn’t lose weight.  turns out, my body was in starvation mode.  i was eating too few calories to properly fuel my body.  everything started to fall into place and i realized i was actually hurting myself, when i thought i was doing the right thing.

RMR3

we went over how many calories she thought i should consume on workout days and non-workout days.  you can see from the photo above, she wants me to keep non-workout days at around 1,400-1,600 calories, and workout days to around 1,600 to 1,800 calories.  these calorie amounts don’t seem extremely high to me, but i’m so used to eating 1,200-1,300, it will take some getting used to.  after logging all my meals for the day, today, i realized that my day is going to be calorie heavy for dinner, which is something i don’t want to happen.  i need to plan my meals better and keep them all about the same amount of calories.  i’m going to try and keep my macros around 45/35/20 (protein/carbs/fat).

all-in-all, i thought this was a very successful experience.  i learned a lot, and i feel confident that i will be able to fuel my body properly with these tools!  i’ll continue to check in with the RD to let her know how my progress is going, whether i’m losing weight or not, and if there are any adjustments in my calories that may need to be made.

have a great day!