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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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

update!

hey y’all! i wont continue to apologize for sucking at posting. you get it at this point.  not sure if anyone even actually reads this thing, but i figure i’ll post an update, anyways.

so! lap-band!  i’m about 2.5 months post-op at this point.  everything is going good, for the most part.  i’ve had one fill so far (which is where the add restriction to the band, so it takes longer for food to pass through, making me fuller, longer).  i had a check-up with my nurse practitioner a month later, July 14th, and she said i’ve been making such good progress, that i don’t need another fill for awhile.  here’s the thing, while i’m happy that she’s happy with my progress, i feel like i’m struggling on a diet.  i still dont feel much restriction as far as the band goes, but she assured me successful band patients don’t rely on the band to lose weight.  but, wait?  didn’t i have weight loss surgery to get HELP losing the weight?  anyways..

oh, and weight loss?  i’ve lost 48 pounds since my highest.  is it bad i’m not completely happy with this number?  i weighed in at 284 day of surgery and was 255, today. i’m losing more than 2 lbs a week, which is great!  but i want it to be more!  i know, i sound bratty, so i’ll just stop.  i just think of how much farther i have to go, instead of looking as how far i’ve come.

gym is going great! seriously!  i dont hate working out, which says a lot for the girl who skipped the gym for a pint of ben and jerry’s alllllll last summer.  barbara and i are good at pushing one another when one doesn’t feel like going.  i’ve been trying to get up at 4:15am to knock out workouts in the morning, but that doesnt always happen, and we end up in a gym packed full of meatheads.  seriously, we switched to a more affordable gym (we weren’t using the amenities at the more expensive one and their weight section sucked), and 5pm week days, you can’t move even though there’s so much equipment.  plus, i love being able to get off work and if i want to go home and veg on the couch, i can without feeling guilty if i worked out at 5am.

my eating has been going pretty good.  i’ve had 3 ‘cheat meals’ since surgery.  i hate to call them cheats, because this is a lifestyle change, but my doctor has recommended i keep things low-carb, so i still feel like i’m on a ‘diet’ at this point.  i went to a cook-out and grazed all day, ate buffalo wild wings, and had a piece of pizza w. some chips and dip.  nothing too crazy, but i did feel guilt after all 3 occasions.  for the most part, i don’t mind eating low-carb.  i like a chipotle burrito bowl without the rice or a cheeseburger without the bun, but sometimes, i do miss bread or ice cream or cookies.  ok, i’ll stop now, cause i’m making myself hungry.  i have found that quest cookies & cream bars curb my sweet tooth, when i’m really craving something sweet.  i cut down my intake of them, though, because it seemed to slow my weight loss for awhile, so now they are just a treat every once in awhile, instead of dessert every night.

other noteworthy items, lap-band related?  i did experience my first real ‘stuck’ episode and it. was. horrible.  getting ‘stuck’ with lap-band basically means food is stuck right at the stoma (where the band is placed/restricting) and it wont go up or down.  this usually causes ‘sliming’ which is basically just excess saliva produced.  the best way i can describe sliming is that feeling after taking one shot of alcohol too many and the back of your throat starts watering.  well, for a second, i forgot i had the band and ate 2 small pieces of chicken too quick.  and it happened. it got stuck.  i was driving in the car and had to pull over to spit out the saliva i had in the back of my throat.  then, i got to the destination, a car dealership, and ended up having to excuse myself in the middle of talking to the salesman, because i felt like i was going to throw up everywhere.  i got to the bathroom and spit up some more saliva, and then all of a sudden, it went away.  the chicken must have gone down, because i didn’t spit it back up.  this may be wayyyy TMI, but it was an experience i don’t think i can forget for awhile.  it reminded me to eat slow and CHEW.  i’ve felt an uncomfortable tight feeling a few times, which i THOUGHT was being ‘stuck’, but i was SO wrong!  moving on, i’m sure you know way more than you wanted to about that situation.

life outside of lap-band and exercising?  is there one?  just kidding, i’ve been enjoying life!  hanging out with family and friends and feel like summer is just going WAY TO FAST!  i’ve only had 1 weekend this summer where i had absolutely nothing to do, but i’m not complaining! plus, I GOT A PROMOTION!  i went from general accounting to my agency’s budget accountant.  yay, sounds so fun, right?! haha  our current budget accountant is retiring, so for the next 6 months, i will be training with him, continuing my daily duties, and training my replacement.  horray for 60-80 hour work weeks for the next few months.  hopefully this will all be worth it in the end!  luckily, i get my pay raise immediately, since i’ll be taking on so much more.

so, that’s my life lately.  i’ll leave you with a before and after i put together yesterday:

Capture

 

 

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!!

 

 

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