5 months later..

oh hi! remember me? (i feel like i always start blog posts like this because i’m awful at checking in)

lets catch up, shall we?

work: work has been k i l l i n g me, lately.  i knew my promotion to budget accountant was going to be a big step, but i didn’t realize QUITE how much more work was going to involved.  in the last 4 months, i’ve been working weekends, anywhere from 6am-6/7pm, coming home, eating dinner, then working some more.  its been stressful, but the brunt of the work is over, for awhile at least, so i’m breathing easy and trying to take some days off for mental health.

personal life: did i mention i’m gonna be a momma?  EEEEEEEK!  i want to scream i’m so happy! barbara was officially 15 weeks pregnant this past saturday! she has a little bump and its the cutest thing i’ve ever seen.  i even got to feel a few flutters saturday night!  her first trimester was KILLER.  she had all-day sickness (not just morning) and had tons of food aversions.  no weird cravings as of yet, really.  the second trimester has been going good, so far!  shes tired a lot, but i don’t blame her, SHE’S GROWING A HUMAN.  she said the baby hates showers (he/she starts to kick and move around a lot as soon as the water hits her belly) and LOVES dessert 🙂 we already have names picked out, the initials will be T K M regardless of gender, and we’re using the same first name either way, just the middle name will change.  our next appointment is august 10th, so hopefully we will find out the sex of the baby then!  her due date is january 16, 2016 which is only a few days before her birthday on the 22nd!

also, i always thought it was so annoying when people would say they were “however many weeks pregnant” because then i would have to sit there and figure out how many months, but so much changes week to week, i get it now!  whoops!

baby! baby

 

weight loss/banded life:  weight loss has been sloooooow, which i’m totally OK with since work has been SUPER stressful.  i’d rather maintain than gain, obviously, so the fact that my weight hasn’t changed much is fine with me.  with long work hours, i used the excuse that i was too tired or didn’t have time to workout.. i’m not mad at myself, i just know my body could have been a lot farther than it is right now if i had stuck with it.  my weight fluctuates anywhere from 226-231 depending on the time of day and time of month, currently. but, i have lost a pant size and now wear a size 14! i haven’t been able to say that since high school!  my eating has been less than stellar, but as soon as i ‘slip up’ or let myself indulge, i try to get back on track and start fresh.  i have to say, i’m in SUCH an AMAZING place mentally these days.  my urges to binge have been non-existent lately, even with the life stresses and i think that speaks volumes.  i’m excited at how much progress i’ve made mentally over the last few months, which i think, is even better than the physical.

i had a few issues with my band, which i talked about on instagram a little.  my band was getting to be SO TIGHT that i couldn’t eat real food, only soft food like applesauce and soups/protein shakes. i went to my doctor and had everything checked out.  come to find out, it was just stress that was causing the issues and there was nothing wrong with my actual band placement or anything.  she did take the little-est bit of liquid out just to help with getting food down and i already feel ten times better!

here is an updated before and during:

before and after

 

i’m happy with where i’m at, but i would also like to see what else i can accomplish.  i’m currently considering a whole30 in september just to see how my body reacts without dairy and added/fake sugars, since that’s the only thing that keeps the majority of my diet from being strict paleo/whole30 compliant!  i know quite a few people who have done amazing with the program and seem to really enjoy it, so its a serious possibility.. but… i love cheese. haha

anyways, sorry for being so off and on with this blogging thing!  i’m going to truly make a point to blog at least weekly, even if its just saying hi and sharing some pictures from my day!  i’ll be stopping back in tonight or tomorrow to share a recipe that i plan on making tonight!  so stay tuned!

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life update

GUYS! its been too long!

life has been chugging along, some good, some bad, but i’m still focusing on me to make sure i don’t let all of this hard work slip down the drain.

LIFE:

my last post was in NOVEMBER?!  man, the holidays got the best of me.  barbara and i got married, went to mexico, and are now in the process of trying to start our family.  we’ve had some hiccups happen, but its nothing that is going to stop us from bringing a child into this world.

i’m still incredibly terrified of small, ‘fresh’, babies but i know that will change once it is my own child in my hands.

in january, i finally transitioned to my new role as budget accountant.  this transition has been the main reason i’ve been so distant from my blog.  instagramming little bits and pieces of my day is easy, but sitting down and writing a post takes a little more time and effort.  this position definitely has its peaks and valleys as far as work load go, but i love the new work.  i was SO BORED in my other position with all the repetitiveness, and this position switches it up perfectly.

i’m going to chicago next week! its for business (boo), but it’ll be nice to get out and travel some.  hopefully i don’t freeze to death up there!  i think virginia weather has been cold enough it wont be too much of a shock to my system.

LAPBAND:

my lapband is still doing its job!  while i haven’t lost much since november, pounds-wise, my clothes have become a little looser, which is all that matters, right?  i’ve never NOT gained during the holidays, so to maintain was a huge accomplishment in my book, because i will admit: i definitely indulged.

between work stress/working long hours/super emotional personal struggle my band got SO TIGHT 2-3 weeks ago that i had to cut it back to liquids for a few days so my band could take a break.  i was on full liquids (cream soups, yogurts, pudding, broths, etc) for 5 or 6 days, then slowly transitioned back into soft foods, then normal solids.  while it wasn’t the most pleasant situation, it was much needed and i feel a lot better now.

i was suppose to have a fill this monday, but i cancelled the appointment since i’ll be busy at work getting ready for chicago.  i’m not sure if my doctor will give me another fill since my episode, but i guess i’ll see when i go back march 17th.  i haven’t had a fill since august, so too much liquid in my band shouldn’t be the case and most of the time, i don’t feel restriction like i think i need, i just think all of life’s stresses caught up to me and it made for a not so fun band experience.

i’ll keep you all updated on that one!

FOOD:

i’m still low carbing it as of right now, but my body is craving changed. i’ve taken some serious thought into how to make this a smooth transition without my triggers coming back full force. i’ve been considering going back to body-for-life eating (i documented it before) which is basically balanced intake: 40% carbs, 40% protein, 20% healthy fats.  i also want to keep the foods i eat as non-processed as possible, sticking to carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, berries, and things like that. breads and other processed carbs are hard on my digestion.

i know its possible to lose weight while eating carbs, they just scare me.  i don’t even mean that in a joking manner.. i’ve never known how to limit myself on carbs/sugars, which is why low carb usually works for me.  i completely restrict them so im not even tempted to eat them.. but then i get bored.. and eat some dessert.. and you know the drill. i can feel little ‘cheats’ creeping in a little too much which is why i know i need a change.

i’m currently doing an advocare cleanse to give my body a little boost, so i’m going to try to make this transition while cleansing/after the cleanse.  again, i’ll keep you updated!

WORKING OUT:

eh. not much to report on here.. i’ve been attempting but getting 2 days, AT BEST, a week.  i definitely want to get back into the gym more because my body is starting to feel soft, which i hate.  i have a great plan to follow so i just need to get on it!  i didn’t lose 75 lbs to stop at this.  i still have my dream body to sculpt here!

PROGRESS PICTURES:

here’s what about 75lbs down looks like:

photo 1 photo 2

 

i’m feeling better about myself every day and want to continue to do so.  this is the longest i’ve stuck with a weight loss journey and i want to make it work.  i’ve had a lot of curve balls thrown my way recently and i haven’t fallen off track like i normally would, so i’m taking that as a good sign.. and honestly, if i stayed at this weight (230 pounds) for the rest of my life, i wouldn’t be mad.  i love my body right now, i just want it to be a little tighter.  i don’t want abs or a thigh gap or whatever, but i want to be able to lift heavy weights and see some muscle definition in my arms and legs.

 

soooo.. that’s all i have for you today, folks!  hope you enjoyed my update and i hope i wont take so long to post next time!

my manifesta

hey y’all!  i have a light post for you today! i wanted to talk about a new brand of workout clothes that i’ve recently been introduced to: my manifesta!

so, i was recently contacted by rachel of my manifesta to see if i wanted to try out of their workout clothes.  initially, i was hesitant because i had recently ordered some clothes from fabletics that were SUPER cute, but just didn’t fit my body well.  the shirt continued to ride up and the pants gave me a muffin top, which is something i’m not used to, since i usually wear old navy fold over pants.

i went onto the my manifesta site and started to do my research and i have to say, i was pleasantly surprised!   rachel was struggling with the same things i had felt when wearing my fabletics outfit in the gym.  clothes just weren’t working with our curves like they were meant to, since most companies design their clothes based on a size 4/6 women and just add fabric for bigger sizes.  she took action and got body measurements from women of all sizes and surveyed what women actually wanted.  she didn’t base her sizes off smaller sizes, and used models sized 2/4 – 22/24 to make adjustments to fit every woman.

after reading that, i was sold.  i also love that i could get the word out about a small business, since i come from a family that owns their own small business.  when i received my outfit, i was ecstatic!  it fit perfectly and emphasized everything i wanted, while camouflaging what i wanted to hide.  the material is super silky, and i also love that the tank i received, the Sweet Angel Tank, had a built in bra.  it gave me a little something extra that sport bras usually flatten out! i also can’t say enough about the Sorry Not Sorry capris.  they fit all my junk in the trunk, perfectly, and i was able to move about during my workout without having to constantly tug at my pants.  i went from rows to push-ups with no backside flashing!

i could probably write 3 more pages about how much i love this outfit, but i will spare you.  if you’re looking for good quality workout clothes, i without a doubt recommend my manifesta!  they’re also made in america, which i love!  so, i’ll finish my rambling and leave you with a few pictures, pre-workout and during my workout!

mm2

mm1

 

 

mm3

 

annnnnddddd!!! my manifesta was kind enough to make a promo code for my readers!  use the code SweatyBetty for 25% off your purchase! you wont regret it! i promise!

 

*disclaimer:  i was sent this outfit free of charge for an honest review on my blog and instagram.  all opinions are my own, i will definitely be purchasing items on my own!*

5 months out

hey there!  worst blogger of the year award goes to me! oh well, just be happy you’re getting a post today, ok 🙂 so! i owe you all a update (if you even care)!

everything is going GREAT!  i honestly have no complaints.  my life has been crazy busy, filled with work, gym, events, weddings, new babies, planning for big thangz in my own life (!!!), so i haven’t had much free time to just hang out and type up a blog post.

so WEIGHT LOSS!  this is a weight loss blog, so i guess i owe you an update on that!  as of the 8th, i’m 5 months post-op from lap-band surgery. i’m currently down 66 lbs and feeling amazing!  for some reason 66 lbs doesn’t feel like a huge loss for me, but i feel so much better physically that it’s crazy!  i can move around so much better, clothes are actually comfortable to wear, and i can actually look at myself in the mirror without being disgusted.

i still want to lose 40-60 more pounds depending on how i look at those 2 stages, and i’ll re-asses my goals when i reach that point.  as i’ve mentioned in the past, i’m not trying to be super skinny, just healthy.  if i get somewhere between 170-200 i’ll be happy.  i still have a stomach pooch, flabby arm skin, and some thigh fat that i’d like to go away, so 40-60 seems like a good number to me.

here is an updated before and after:beforeandafter

lets see, what else.  i’m continuing to use a low carb diet as means of diet.  i’ve incorporated more fats into my diet to help with satiety, and it really seems to be helping.  i’ve done some research on the ketogenic diet and that is basically the plan i am following at this point.  here is the diet explained better than anything i can give you, from this website:

A ketogenic diet is quite simply any diet that forces the body into a process called ketosis, whereby fats are burned instead of carbohydrates for use as energy. A proper ketogenic diet calls for the dieter to consume high amounts of fat, adequate amounts of protein, and very low amounts of carbohydrates. Our bodies are used to turning carbohydrates into glucose to send all over the body as energy. When we enter ketosis by sufficiently limiting our carbohydrate intake, our livers start breaking down fat cells into fatty acids and ketones, to be used as energy.

i enjoy the higher fat aspect, because i can still enjoy some things that i normally wouldn’t on your typical weight loss surgery diet which is low-carb, low fat.  i get to eat avocados, bacon, butter, and all of the macadamia nuts i want (well, within reason) and still lose weight, which is awesome!

i did complete an advocare cleanse, and cut out higher fat foods and dairy for 10 days, which was torture to my cheese loving self, but i did well and lost quite a few inches!  i’m continuing using the MNS products, but it has been a little hard getting the pills in since my last fill. i can take them all, i just have to take them one by one so they don’t get ‘stuck’.  i do find a huge difference in energy when i take them and when i forget to take them, so i’m going to stick with those.

i’ve been really into seafood lately, so tilapia and shrimp have been on the menu quite a few times.  i also found a sweet kale salad at costco that i’m obsessed with, but had to stop using the dressing, because it had too much sugar and kept kicking me out of ketosis.

pistachio crusted tilapia w. sweet kale salad:

tilapia

bbq shrimp & cauliflower ‘grits’:

shrimpngrits

andddd i’ve also had my fair share of ‘treat’ meals.  all along, i’ve mentioned i don’t want this experience to be just like every other attempt at weight loss.  i’m trying to keep myself from binging on everything bad, so when i’m craving something, i’ll let myself have it.  like chips and margaritas!  & ice cream, obviously.

margs

i’m still going to the gym regularly, which is great for me!  i usually go 2-3 months, then get burned out and stop going.  i had a little spout where i didn’t feel motivated, but i pushed through it and i average about 3-4 days in the gym, sometimes 5, but that’s definitely not always the case.  i’m lifting heavy, incorporating a lot of superset/drop sets, and doing SOME cardio. not MUCH, but some!  my workouts have been really intense with the new plan i’m doing, though, so i do keep my heart rate pretty high while lifting, so who needs cardio, right?

i can’t really think of anything else!  fitness and eating, with work, take up a lot of my life right now!  i’ll leave you with a picture of the baby, because i’m sure everyone would like to see his face versus mine any day.

scout

xoxo

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!

photo8

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!

photo10

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.

photo14

my go-to pre-workout

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset

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.

photo11

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.

photo12

snack: 1/4 cup of mixed nuts

photo13

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

photo18

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?

 

 

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.

Capture

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!

photo 2

 

 

 

 

  • 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!!