Wednesday, September 30, 2009

My first Sisterhood Package!

I just got my first Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants package. As many of you know, there's a community of bandsters out there that shares clothes once they no longer fit. You just have to agree to keep sending them along once you're done with them.

I got four great tops including a lovely blue button-down from Talbots and a red and white striped sweater than I just love!

Thank you Sarah!

See more about the sisterhood on Sarah's blog, Losing Weight, Gaining Tons.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Percentage of Weight Lost

Sarah's post on her 20% weight loss on Losing Weight Gaining Tons inspired me to think about my own weight loss in regard to percentages... Here are a few stats.

I've lost 25% of the weight I want to lose. So I'm a quarter of the way there, yay! AND...I've already lost more than 10% of my starting weight.

I think I'll be super psyched when I hit the 1/3 of the way there mark. That'll be 9 more pounds from now.

Make your next fill more successful

Just read a really great post on Who Hid the Donuts. She provides a number of really excellent tips on how to make your next fill more successful.

There's lots of new info here I hadn't read previously, so definitely check it out!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Woke up this morning to find I'm two pounds down!

Yay! I was actually a bit hesistant to weigh myself this morning since I wasn't very good last week or this weekend. So I was shocked to see I'm two pounds down.

I did miss my most recent goal, to have lost 35 pounds by the shower, but I've lost 33 pounds, so I'm only two away!

My next goal is 40 pounds by my 35th birthday party/bachelorette party the weekend of Oct 16th. Super excited about that. I'll have to wrap those 2 lonely pounds into the next goal. So 7 pounds in 18 days.

I'm revisiting the protein shakes today to help make that happen because I realllly want to make that goal!

My bridal shower

So I had my bridal shower this past weekend. Thanks to all of my bridesmaids and my mom for hosting!

Thought I'd share a few pics. Me with my bow bouquet for the rehearsal above. Opening gifts below, and the last one is me in one of the the toilet paper wedding dresses we made. That one was made to look like my dress!

Although I'm not where I want to be weight-wise, at least I didn't cringe at any of the photos of myself. Especially seeing people I hadn't seen in so many years. I could not have said that 2 months ago!

If anything, this process has been enlightening about just how much weight I had gained this past year that I hadn't realized! In my head, I was 30 pounds lighter.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

New Pics! 30 Pounds Down (Going to see Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig!)

Here are my most recent pics. I got dressed up last night to go see A Steady Rain on Broadway, with Hugh Jackman and Daniel Craig. Had to be looking good in case we met them! More on what happened here...

However, I asked Alex to take a pic of me before I left. I forgot to change into my other shoes, but you get the idea.

I was really excited by this outfit because it represented several non-scale victories. This is my favorite blouse and I haven't been able to wear it in a few years. I never wear skirts. This is the first time in a LONG time, AND it's the skirt I wore on the night I first met Alex.

I do have to fess up and admit I'm wearing Spanx. So is that cheating?
Whatever the case, I got tons of compliments yesterday and felt really great!

My wedding dress fits!

On a whim I tried my dress on again today. I was inspired by the couple of pounds I lost.

That plus a better foundation garment made all the difference. It zips up now! I'd still like to lose more weight before the wedding, but worse case scenario I wear it as is, and it'd be perfectly fine.

I was getting a bit worried about having bought a dress that was too small! So now i can rest assured it fits.

Friday, September 18, 2009

My wedding dress arrived! Now I just need to lose 20 more pounds!

My wedding dress came in a few weeks early, so I was able to try it on. I ordered it a size too small knowing I'm losing weight post-surgery, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that it went on and looked great!

Mostly... Okay, so the top of the zipper wouldn't quite close! But I love it. I think if I even lost 5 pounds it'd zip. 10 pounds it'd really fit, but 20 might mean no spanx!! :)

The good news is that I have 50 days or 7 weeks to lose it!

I'm 30 pounds down!

I'm finally really moving in the right direction. Today I'm another pound down, so I've officially lost 30 lbs! Yay! My next goal isn't for another 5, but I'm happy.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Finally heading in the right direction!

So I *finally* lost another pound. Seems small but I had been stalled until I got my fill this past Monday. The fill definitely made a difference and I can't eat much at a sitting. Haven't been feeling the need to compulsively eat either (my head doesn't seem to care if I'm full or not!)

So, this last pound finally dropped off. I'm one more away from 30lbs and 6 away from my next goal. My calf is healing. I can walk now, but am taking it easy on stairs etc.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Our surgeon does botox?

I was shocked to see a sign for "a different kind of adjustment" when I was at the doctor's office Monday. It turns out that our surgeon and one other doctor are both doing botox injections! I was actually shocked by this, but Alex didn't seem phased by it.

I guess it just makes me take her a bit less seriously. I'm surprised the NYU Program would go for that in terms of professional reputation. What do you guys think?

My first fill

So yesterday I went to NYU again and had my fill. Our surgeon asked Alex and I to come together, so he was there too for his 7-10 day follow up. Alex is doing well and got an all clear.

The surgeon seemed more hesitant about giving fills this time. She was like, are you sure, not everyone needs one. But I told her I've been hungry, so she gave me one.

I've read that a lot of places put a local anesthetic, but she didn't. She was also pretty rough about putting in the needle and jerking it around to find the port. I asked Alex his take on it and he said she seemed a bit aggressive about it. Basically, for some reason, she put the needle in where my scar is and then tilted it over an inch or two to get the needle into the port. So that was uncomfortable.

She told me originally that it wouldn't hurt and that I'd feel it less than taking blood. Not true at all. I think it might not have been *that* bad if she'd been gentler and more efficient about it.

But it's done. It didn't click beforehand that I'd have two full days of liquid and then two days of soft foods. That'll be a good kick start to losing again I hope!

I thought the band went in with either no fluid or .5cc's (out of a total of 10 cc's i think); however, the doctor wanted to do an unfill (by removing the liquid in there) to see how much I started with. I was thinking, didn't they document how much was in there in my file when they put it in?

So she removed it to measure it, then put it back in plus some. Turns out they put in 2cc's during surgery, plus added another 1.5 yesterday.

When I got home last night, I was starving, but I just tried to refocus myself since I couldn't have any real food beyond liquid. However, given my calf injury, I had a fair amount of distraction, so I just put my leg up and stayed in bed.

Didn't have too much to eat today either. It's hard to get much down. I guess that'll change a bit over the next few days as I adjust.

It'll be interesting to see how what I can eat changes. I'm going to take it easy so i dont gag on anything!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just pulled a calf muscle

I felt/heard a pop in my calf while on the eliptical at the gym today and there went my leg. Ouch! I just looked it up and read that it is likely a sprained calf -- when the muscle pulls away from the tendon.

Having trouble walking, which in NY without a car just suxors, as Alex would say. And the gym is all stairs on three levels, so that was fun getting back to the locker room and then back up and out and over to the office. Walking back to work, I was just reminding myself "never take my health / physical abilities for granted."

I happen to have my first fill today, more on that later, so I'll just mention the sprain to the doctor since it did happen while working out to lose weight. So it's not entirely unrelated!

The surgeon asked Alex and I to come in together as this is his 7-10 day follow up. I'm a bit afraid of the fill, but I'm trying not to think of the big 'ol needle. DON'T LOOK!!!!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

OMG refinishing furniture is hard!

So my to-do list from earlier today was shockingly unrealistic. Actually, had I not attempted to refinish our dining room table, I think it might've all happened. However, I chose to start with the hardest thing not really understanding just how hard it was.

I say attempted, because I completed the first two steps of the base. More work left to do, but that will have to be another day!

Can I just say that if any of you have notions of refinishing a piece of furniture, reconsider.

If it's just a straight flat surface, go for it. But our table has tons of curves and nooks and crannies, and I literally splattered toxic burning remover on myself about 20 times this afternoon. And the mosquitoes came out to play.

I definitely thought about quitting a bunch of times. However, beyond having to pay several hundred dollars to replace the table, I also kept thinking how good it would feel and how much of an accomplishment it would be to do this. At least this once!

I post about this because A) it's on my mind, and B) it just goes to show what we can accomplish when we are motivated!

So although it's not completely finished, I detached the base and finished stripping that. It just needs the fine detailing done later, then sanding and staining. But when i look at it outside right now, what I see is a stripped down table. Yay!!

It's kind've like my weight loss mini-goals. I'm getting there!

And Alex certainly did his fair share because he ran to three different stores for me (in the middle of his football no less), and then when he forgot something, went back out again.


As a part of this whole process of weight loss and life revision, I'm trying to be more active. Whether that be getting out of the house more, working out more, walking the dogs longer, or being more active around the house.

I have an ambitious list of things to do around the house today. Strip and refinish our dining room table, sand the coffee table, paint at least one kitchen wall, organize the linen shelving and clean the hell up!

I actually said to myself before I went to sleep last night, I'm going to wake up in the morning and get really active and do all the stuff i want to do. So far so good: dogs walked, laundry taken, shopping x2, grocery shopping, and even a street fair (on the way to the store).

Posting this now to have some accountability. I'm okay if I don't do ALL of that, but i want to get at least some of the first three items done while the weather is good. I'll check in later for an update! Now I just have to get off the computer and get to it!

(It's the first day of football season, so I'm motivated to go do my own things while Alex indulges in all things football!)

Life Coaching 101

Here's a great post from Peace with Cake on small steps you can take to achieve the major changes you want in life. Take a moment to read it, it's worthwhile.

Thinking big, what do I really want in life

So part of this process of weight loss has been a re-evaluation of life. In general, I'm always the type to be thinking what's next. However, losing weight is motivating (even when stuck), and it really gets my mind in gear in regard to what I want out of life and what changes I'd like to see (beyond weight loss).

I've been rather bored lately, but I don't want to change my job, and we're committed to both staying in NYC for the time being and keeping our apartment (we moved to a place further out in NYC to save money). However, I'm definitely in need of some sort of change. I need a bit more creative inspiration, so I took the plunge and signed up for a Professional Photography program at the New York Institute of Photography. I can go at my own pace, but basically, I believe I've committed to 2 years of classes, but I got a phenomenal price and a monthly payment program.

I can't wait until my first set materials come for lesson 1. (It's distance learning). Coincidentally, I just sold my first photo (the one of the Brooklyn Bridge) from my Etsy shop. Hopefully I'll be expanding my Etsy shop with more creative items soon.

More about NYIP on my blog, Dabble.

We ordered out for the first time

So Alex is on to soft foods now. Yay! As of yesterday, he's lost 30 pounds! Major congrats to him. You can really see it in his face especially, and he's been shocked the last few days getting dressed because his shirts are all loose on him now.

So last night, for the first time in months, we ordered delivery. I never ordered delivery before moving to NY. Except pizza of course. But here, anything you want you can get at your door. For us, delivery took the place of fast food. Delivery was a major downfall for us as we ordered out most nights of the week.

For whatever reason, we decided to order out last night. Alex's was psyched to be able to eat again at the end of his liquid diet and this place had refried beans and cheese for his soft food diet. I ordered sopes and chips. Sopes are thick grilled tortillas with beans, sour cream, cheese and veg. Normally I would've ordered something else as well, but I couldn't even eat half my meal and most of the chips are left. Alex felt the same way.

Looking at what we did eat, we were thinking, wow, there must have been a fair number of calories in that, so just imagine how many we were consuming before!

This won't be becoming a habit however but it was nice to order out and be "normal" again.

Friday, September 11, 2009

I joined the gym today!

And I'm super excited about it!

It's a relatively posh gym near work. I worked out for the first time today. I was a bit surprised that I got tired pretty quickly, but I'm planning on going back this weekend.


So I had my hypnosis session yesterday. It wasn't at all like you'd think in regard to a swinging pendulum and anything like "you are feeling sleepy..." It's more like therapy while meditating. We got a bit sidetracked in this session, but even still, it was subtly effective as far as willing me not to eat and highly effective in terms of therapy. The next day I didn't feel the same compulsion to eat, and I felt fuller faster. But it's not a magic fix, just like the band itself isn't.

One thing my therapist said really stuck with me. Very significant change will take a significant effort on my part. None of this is easy!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

ug! I actually gained a pound back!

Okay, so this hunger is catching up to me. Some of it's hunger, and some of it is just a compulsion to eat. Quite frustrating.

And when I'm tired or don't feel good, I feel compelled to eat even more.

Actually just had an entire slice of pizza for lunch. Last week I couldn't even get down half a slice.

Hoping the hypnosis tonight and Monday's fill do the trick!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Lay Off Me I'm Starving!

I sometimes quote this Saturday Night Live skit when I'm ravenously starving.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009


That's me the last few days.

I've tried to reset my "switch" to being back in diet mode after the Labor Day weekend here in the US, but for whatever reason, I have a serious appetite. At work I find I'm hungry, but by the evening I'm just noshing.

I had the opportunity to talk to my surgeon before Alex's surgery, and she asked me if I'd been in for my first fill yet. I couldn't get an appointment until the 14th however. She said to be careful because 75% of all lap-band patients gain wait between the end of their post-op diet and their fill.

I'm not gaining, but I'm having a hard time losing, and I definitely have a big appetite. I wasn't at all aware of this even with all the research I did. I'm still eating way less than I would on a binge before the band. I'm probably at like 2000 calories a day or just more when I don't at all pay attention. However, that doesn't help me on the weight loss front!

Less than a week until my fill. Also, on Thursday I'm going under hypnosis to help with my urges to eat!

Wish me luck!

Monday, September 7, 2009

I bought a new wedding dress

So as I've mentioned Alex and I are getting married Nov 7th. I'm very excited! However, I was having my wedding dress customized, and when it came in the mail for the first fitting, I just didn't like it! I guess that's the chance you take.

Wedding dress shopping in general was frustrating because of the lack of plus size dresses I could try on. And the general policy is that if you buy it, you can't return it. So I wasn't in a position to even order any of the dresses that weren't in my size to try them on.

So when the dress came in recently, I made an appointment to at least try some options at the new David's Bridal that opened in Manhattan knowing that at least online they have more plus size options.

While they didn't have any of the dresses I had liked online, they did have things in my size I could try on. (yay!)

So on a whim, I got a new dress (shown here). It was a steal of a deal price-wise which made it not as bad that the first one didn't work (that one was a steal too!)

The catch is, I had to take a guess on the size since I'm losing weight. So I ordered one size lower than what I tried on.

So nowwwwww, I better get to losing! The dress arrives early October, and I'll be upset if it doesn't fit. Of course, I've already thought I might be wearing double spanx if it doesn't fit! ha!

The wedding isn't until Nov 7th however, so I have 2 months to lose one dress size. Definitely doable.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

One more pound...

...and I'll be under a 40 bmi.


Now I just have to get there...Labor Day weekend has not been overly kind to my diet. But I can't really overdo it all that much considering!

Almost forgot my band birthday

It's been a month yesterday. Alex and I were banded almost a month apart. The doctor suggested we do it at the same time, but we knew we'd need to be able to help one another.

Mostly I feel very normal, except I can't eat that much.

Curious to see how things change after my fills. I'm guessing I'll be more limited in my food choices.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Alex is out of surgery and all went well!

I'm happy to say Alex is doing well. He was really out of it when I saw him in the anesthesia recovery unit, but he was okay. His biggest complaint was the pain in his shoulder. That hit me when I woke up too, but they've got him on a morphine drip.

I've also already been to the pharmacy to pick up his hydrocodone for tomorrow.

I'll be back to see him later today. I was surprised that visiting hours are only from 2 to 8pm at NYU (Tisch Hospital). Right now, he hasn't been assigned a room yet.

He also had a hiatal hernia repaired in addition to having the lap-band put in.

The most motivating thing was that they weighed him right before surgery, and he ended up losing 25 pounds in his two week pre-op liquid diet. Shocking and impressive!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Alex's big day tomorrow

So the big news is that I'm not the only lap-band patient in the family. My fiancee Alex is undergoing the procedure tomorrow! He doesn't want me posting pics of him, but he said he was fine with me posting about it.

He's lost 18 pounds in his pre-op diet these past two weeks, although his process at NYU hasn't been anywhere near as positive as mine. Mostly it has to do with the people who handle the booking. It was a bit absurd the mistakes they kept making with his surgery date!

Most recently, he went for pre-admission testing and his bloodwork was off. NYU retested it and it was still off. So this week he rushed, got a hematologist, who took 12 VIALS of blood, and finally said that yes, he is perfectly healthy and fine for surgery. But he only got the okay TODAY, and his surgery is TOMORROW morning! So he was quite anxious not knowing whether or not he'd be having surgery.

I'll post tomorrow with an update on his procedure. His surgery is scheduled for 7.30 a.m.

Today's a hungry day!

Tried to call again to make an appt for a fill, but i swear, they are always closed! It's tricky too because i have to go find a phone in private since i'm in a cube and most people at work don't know.

Feeling pretty hungry today. I think the exercise is catching up with me.

I track my food everyday (mostly) but today I think i'll do it publicly, so here goes.

half a coffee with sweetener & cream
raw cashews
220 calories

remaining raw cashews
protein shake
vegetable soup
iced tea
425 calories

280 calories

SOOOO sleepy

Snack 2
Coffee and piece of dark chocolate
125 calories

Refried beans with cheese and pico de gallo
350 calories

Total (so far)
1400 calories

Exercise (according to gmap pedometer)
[burned - 450 calories]

Commute-burning / dog-walking calories
[-370 calories]

Total minus exercise...
580 calories!

Crunching the numbers

It's a great motivator to think through all my mini-goals and all my numbers and how they come together. Keeps me thinking about my weight loss in new and fresh ways and keeps me on track.

So a few stats...currently, I have lost more than 20% of what I intend to lose.

In 3 pounds I'll be 1/4 of the way to my end goal! So soon! It's amazing.

By my next mini goal, the most exciting, I'll be almost 1/3 of the way complete.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Getting enough calories

Shockingly enough, I have actually had a few days where I have to make sure I get enough calories.

Mostly, that was on the liquid diet right after the surgery, but it's also happened a couple of times since including today!

That's actually why I wanted to have the entire Amy's entree that I posted about last. I was in no way trying to starve myself to lose weight or anything at all like that. In fact, I ate little stuff all day, but the protein sources I chose were very low-calorie, and I exercised a lot. So after work, I was pretty cranky, and I realized I hadn't eaten enough!

This really is a whole new experience for me!

Amy's Tamales

In general, I love Amy's Organic products. Tonight, I had the vegetarian tamale and black beans for dinner.

If I was really cutting calories, I could make do with just half of the frozen dinner, but I have tons of calories left for the day, so I ate the whole thing at only 280 calories! Yum!

Another weight loss marker

So I've been looking at the weight loss calculator I have in the right hand column, and I see that even though I've lost a bunch of weight, my BMI calculator still shows me as above 40 which surprises me.

When I started this, my BMI was over 45. That was one of the major factors in deciding to have the surgery. People can qualify with a BMI of 35 and higher (with other health conditions). And mine was a shocking 45!

Soooo...I'm pleased to see that not only will my next goal be 10 more pounds down, but it'll also put me under a 40 bmi.


It's going well

So all it really took for me to get back on track this week was for me to just mentally "disallow" overeating. It's kind of an "off" switch. It's hard to explain, but I can manage turning off the temptation when I'm motivated, but just for periods of time. The problem is it usually wears off after a while.

That's the thing with the lap-band that makes it SO different from every other diet I've ever been on is that I *can't* quit. I feel so gross when I overeat. So even if that switch resets itself to on, that overindulging can only last so long.

As I've gotten used to it, I'm getting a bit hungrier, but the fill is supposed to take care of that. I tried to schedule one today until I realized the doctor's office closes really early...lame!