Monday, January 24, 2011

Like a bull in a china shop...

True story, I have an E.D. I think a few of us do who are overweight. I binge. No purge, just binge. This is one of the reasons why I go to a therapist!

She has a great analogy for talking about binging and how to stop it before it gets full-blown. She says that it's like I'm in a china shop and when I start my binge it's like I've dropped a tea cup. Instead of getting down in the dumps depressed about it and spiraling out of control into a full-blown binge I should stop with breaking the tea cup and not break all the china in the shop. It's like, okay. You effed up, you ate a pint of ice cream...but stop with that. Don't go for the package of cookies and bag of chips, too. Then, she says, we give ourselves hugs and kisses and move on.

This is so great, in theory. Only, when I start a binge and think of that saying I think to myself, "ahhh, eff it!" and continue shoving food in my mouth.

True story: the band does not cure binging. You can still do it, oh yes you can.

Another thing I've been thinking about when I binge (and I can honestly say I've never thought of it like this before) is why I do it. Yes, I have emotional hunger, but that hunger stems from sadness. The truth is that I'm incredibly unhappy with my life right now. All my unhappiness can, in one way or another, be attributed to my job. I travel 5 days a week and cannot get into a food / exercise routine, invest in my new friendships, sleep in my own bed, start dating, etc. I enjoy the actual work I do and the clients I work with, I just wish it wasn't in another state.

Things to think about...

Also, has anyone attended or know someone who has attended at OA meeting? What was it like? Positive / negative reviews?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I've been thinking of abandoning this blog for a few months. It seems like no one reads it and sometimes that makes me sad. However, I came to my senses and finally thought, "I'm not writing this for anyone else, anyway! So, what do I care if others read / comment on my blog?" And it's true. This is for me, not you. If it helps you in any way, shape, or form - fabulous, but that's not the intent behind it.

Today is weigh in day for WW! I was super successful most of my week, but ended it on a sour note...or a few sour notes, I should say. No binges, so that's great, but I have been eating many foods that are high fat. Ugh. Carbs used to be my weakness, now it seems it's fat! Which, if you think about it, is truly disgusting. So, I'm interested to see what happens when I weigh in tonight.

One of the things I need to lay off of is the $t@rbuck$. If I just drank the coffee I'd be swell, but no. I like lattes and mochas. I prefer the 2% milk versions with whipped cream, but know that is no good for me (see, fat!!!). I have not had one this week which is a total feat for me! I'm giving myself a pat on the back at this very moment.

Thursday, January 13, 2011


I am currently stuck. Stuck, stuck, stuck.

Ate a grilled chicken salad with corn & black beans. Yeah, it's not going down so well. I had the same yesterday and it was okay. Right now I'm just waiting for that wonderful feeling when it finally passes. I'm sure most of you know just what I'm talking about! It's a strange sensation, but really provides relief.

Yesterday was my first WW meeting since I enrolled a week ago and did my weigh in. Only about 1.5lb lost. It kind of bummed me out because I went in feeling like I'd lost a lot more! **side note, food just went down!!!** I felt lighter, but I guess I felt a lot better than I actually was. And, I'm not trying to really complain because, after all, I am now 1.5 lb lighter than I was last week.

I'm really enjoying going to meetings and getting gadgets and things. Also, my meetings are massive and also feel like I'm in AA. We celebrate scale & non-scale victories and I honestly feel like I should stand up and say, "Hi, My name is Cody and I'm an alcoholic." (I'm not an alcoholic, btw, or even close to becoming one).

The highlight of the night was a girl celebrating losing 5lb in one week even though she went to the National Championship. She then ended with a "WAR EAGLE!" and I was shocked! Instinctively, I yelled out "WAR EAGLE!!!!!!" Ha! I'm in MD and there is an Auburn alum in my WW meeting! Happy day.

Speaking alma mater won the BCS National Championship! I flipped my shit watching the game. It's so amazing and I tear up every time I think about it. I love Auburn so much and it's so wonderful to win such a great title! WOOT WOOT!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Words of Wisdom

"If you bite it, your write it!"

-Leader @ Weight Watchers meeting referring to journaling your food

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone!

I'm so depressed today. 1. It's my first day back at work after being off for TEN days 2. Yesterday I left my family in ATL. While I know ATL is not where I'm meant to be, it still makes me so sad to leave my parents. Sometimes, I second guess myself and wonder if I could be happy being back in ATL. I know that moving back would make many things in my life so much easier, but the reality is that I probably would not be as happy. I'm sure I'll have these thoughts for many years to come as I come back to ATL for visits.

A quick run down of my holidays: had my debit card information stolen and $600 worth of charges at Target were made until my bank flagged it, went to the family beach house for a few days where it was def. too cold for beach weather, went back up to my parents house for a few days and was super busy, and drove 40 hours in 7 days...that is not fun, my friends!!! While in ATL I did get a fill...not as much as was taken out just before Thanksgiving. I'm now at 7cc in a 10cc band.

The nurse practitioner seems to think I've developed a hiatal hernia since my surgery due to the problems I've been having and my reflux. Good news is that if I do have the hernia, the corrective surgery would be covered by insurance (I'm currently self-pay for all things bariatric). Bad news is that it would take many many tests to see if I do in fact have it and hurdles to submit to insurance. I just don't have the time to explore this right now considering I work in another state M-F. On top of that, I now have an HMO so would have to go to a PCP whom I've never been to just to get the upper GI series ordered. Ew.

This morning, in an effort to jump start my weight loss for the year, I signed up for Weight Watchers. This time, I'm going to go to meetings! I truly hope I can stay motivated and record my food whether I eat good or bad. My downfall in the past has always been my reluctance to journal my food when I binge. The new program seems pretty different and when I first saw how many points I get, I was a little shocked, but then learned that something that was 4 points a year ago may be more now, so I guess it all comes out in the wash!

Also, just wanted to mention that my therapist is amazing! I haven't seen her in about 2 weeks due to my traveling for work and the holidays, but she really makes me feel validated in many of my thoughts and is incredibly supportive. I can't believe I waited so long to go to her!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

I'm going to be published...

Not really, but that sounds nice, huh?

I ended up doing the article for the magazine. I really felt compelled to discuss what my experience has been like and they told me they could give me anonymity, which was nice.

Basically, the magazine is only for NJ doctors and the article is geared toward encouraging doctors who have patients who were banded elsewhere to use the place I go to in NJ. Me being one of those people who was banded elsewhere, they felt I would be a good resource for the article.

The interviewer asked me if I would be willing to speak to her daughter. She's one month out of surgery and is around my age and is having a hard time finding bandsters around her age. This surprised me. Many of you are within 5 years of me! However, I have noticed that support groups are generally older people. And that's no fun when you really want to get a younger person's perspective on how to deal with this life-changing decision.

On the personal band front, it's amazing what .6ccs will do to you. When I had .6cc more in my band the day before Thanksgiving, eating was very difficult and I ate many slider foods. Now having .6 cc taken out, I can eat just about anything (not that I should). When I go home to ATL, I'm going to have .1 or .2 put back in just to give me a bit of restriction. I mean, geez, I even ate sticky rice last night and that's no good!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Has it seriously been 3 weeks??

I'm so sorry. I keep thinking of things I want to write but don't because I'm at a client.

However, I'm doing it anyway today.

Something happened several weeks ago that made me realize I need help. It was an anger issue and it made me realize just how out of control I can be. Don't worry, I didn't hit anyone or anything like that, but the feeling inside me was so horrible and I knew it wasn't right.

So, I started seeing a therapist. I've only seen her twice, but she specializes in patients who have eating disorders and those who've had or are planning to have some sort of weight loss surgery.

So far, so good. I wish I would have done this sooner and I can't really describe how nice it is just to TALK to someone and they be supportive. She is candid, uses foul language, and is really helpful. She helps me with my anger and helps me to embrace it and use it in a positive way. I'm really excited to see where this goes.

She recommended a book for me, Shrink Yourself. It focuses on emotional eating. I'm looking forward to getting it and working through it.

Another development today: the floroscopy place called today and ask if I would be willing to b e interviewed for a NJ publication about them and their services. I'm more than happy to do it, but ONLY if my name is nowhere near it. :)

Anyway, Christmas shopping & wrapping is done. I'm leaving to drive to ATL on the 24th and will be there until the 2nd with a slight detour to our beach house. Can't wait!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

One Year Post Follow Up

I realize that last post was a little discouraging regarding the band. However, I feel like it is important to document my journey. My story goes to show you that it's not all rainbows & flowers. This is not a smooth road for every patient.

I went to my first support group last night. There weren't any in Atlanta and since I've been in NJ, I've been out of town for each meeting. Well, I made it last night. The actual group was a little pathetic. There were three of us there: a 60 year old man one month out, a bypass patient 6 months out, me, a dietician, and the guy who runs the floro. I told my story and mentioned the pain I experience when eating. The obvious follow up question is why don't I get it checked out? Well, in order to get it checked out up here in NJ (remember, I'm self pay), I have to pay the surgeon $400 and go across the hall to the adjustment center and pay them $200 for the floro and the surgeon tell me what he thinks. I don't have $600 lying around just asking to be spent.

So, the floro guy came to me and offered to do a free floro that night just to get an idea of what was going on. How cool is that? Obviously it was very hush hush. I couldn't tell anyone we did it. So, after the meeting, we went down and he did it. It wasn't good. Now, I understand he's not a bariatric surgeon, but he does run the floro several times a day and knows what the images should look like. I was tight. Super tight. You know how you can see your underwire from your bra when you get a floro? Well, the barium stream going through my band was about 1/3 of the width of my underwire. He was also concerned about the placement and thought there might be a possibility of slippage. He pretty much said I needed to get an emergency unfill asap and that an unfill could not wait until I went home to ATL for Christmas.

It concerned me. I didn't lose sleep over it because I knew I couldn't do anything about it until this morning, but I was def. worried. I don't really have the money to get this done. So, this morning the floro guy called me and said he spoke to one of the surgeons and he'd see me at 12:30 if I wanted. The floro guy also said he would work with me on the money situation and we could set up a payment plan. How awesome is that?!?!

So, I went in and this is probably the top bariatric surgeon in NJ. We did the floro and he said I def. was over restricted but that the band had perfect placement. In terms of restriction, I just get so frustrated because I feel like I'm either over or under restricted. I have no idea what a sweet spot is!! He said I may never get to a sweet spot, but should strive for a spot I can live with. This made me feel better. Anyway, fluid came out and I'm feeling better.

I'm also going to start tracking my weight via spreadsheet. I think this might be a useful tool. I'm treating today as a new start. I should be at optimum restriction and will strive to stop eating my slider foods and eat those that will satisfy me and will continue to help me drop the weight...but at a healthy pace :)

Monday, November 22, 2010

One Year Bandiversary

I'm two days late. I have a good excuse...I have come down with the plague. I've been absolutely miserable, but I'm starting to come out of it.

So! Onto the show!

Saturday was my one year bandiversary.

Looking back, this process has not been what I had expected. It's been MUCH more difficult. If I could go back knowing what I know now would I still have the surgery? YES, but with a few tweeks.

My story in a nutshell:
In summary: Girl is self-pay, girl gets banded, girl gets fill, girl gets another fill, girl finds out job is transferring her 1000 miles away, girl gets another fill, girl moves, girl is stressed and sad, girl can't eat, girl pays $1200 for an unfill, girl can eat, girl STUPIDLY decides to get a $600 fill, girl can't even drink water, girl gets $400 unfill, girl flies back to surgeon to get EVERYTHING taken out, girl gains almost 30 lb, girl gets small fill, girl gets another fill, girl starts slowly losing again.

A Year Ago I...
I would have thought that on my one year bandiversary I would be at or very close to goal. I would have thought I would have had no problems with my band. And I would have thought I'd still be in Atlanta.

Oh how different reality is. Before my pre-op I was at 264. On Saturday I weighed in at 215. That's a loss of 49 lb in one year. I'm happy because that's 49 lb. that I probably could not have lost on my own OR if I did lose the weight, it's 49 lb for me to regain. The disappointing part in all of this is that on July 1 of this year I was down 69 lb. To tell you the truth, I'd be much happier writing this year-in-review post if I were down 69 lb. However, I'm not. I've lost 49 lb and I pretty much have 49 lb to go. So, I'm halfway there.

Things I wish I would have known before getting surgery:
-not everyone is the same. Someone with the same number of cc's in their band might be much tighter or much looser than you. Someone's green zone (sweet spot) might be different than yours. Some people may be able to eat things you can't.
-Blogs are great reference tools, but are not the bible. Similar to above, this is YOUR personal journey, you will not have the same experiences as a fellow blogger / bandster. A bandster might be able to eat eggs, rice, and toast, but you may not (I certainly can't).
-it's expensive. I'll be paying for this sucker for another 4 years, not to mention my one year of free aftercare is up so now I have to pay for fills & unfills.
-it's mentally challenging. I have to look up menus online before I go out to eat to see if there are foods I can have. I get a little sad when people tell me what they are eating for a meal and I know I can't.
-everyone says it and it's true: the band is not a solution. you can still eat around it, you can even gain weight.

Happy things:
-blood sugar is normal (I was pre-diabetic prior to surgery).
-triglycerides are now normal. Prior to surgery, they were so high that they couldn't even be measured.
-I have energy. Prior to surgery I was so sleepy all the time, took naps any chance I got, and was really unmotivated to do anything. Now, I can't take a nap even if I wanted to. My body will not let me.
-I look better. Not as good as I looked in July, but that's beside the point.
-I can wear normal clothes. Prior to surgery I was a 18/20 in pants and an XL (maybe bigger, but I wouldn't buy anything larger than XL). Now I'm a 14/16 in pants and a solid L.

Sad things:
-my mental state is not where it needs to be. No, I'm not saying I'm going off the rails of the crazy train or anything. I'm saying I still think like I'm fat. I still think about my next meal before I'm done with my current one. I still think about how much I would LOVE to scarf down a mushroom pizza with extra cheese.
-my eating habits are not wonderful. I still avoid vegetables at all costs. It's almost the same case with fruits.
-Eating is not a pleasurable experience for me. Generally speaking, it hurts to eat anything solid. It feels like a brick is on my chest until the food passes through my band. Yes, I'm chewing well. Yes, I'm taking small bites. No, I don't PB. This is what eating is for me and because it hurts to do it, I try to avoid foods that cause this feeling. Hence, I eat slider foods.
-I don't like that I have this part of me hidden. Aside from 3 friends and a handful of family members, no one knows that I've had this surgery. So, when I sit down for a meal with friends or co-workers, my eating looks kind of suspicious. I've told everyone how much I hate sandwiches when really, all I want to do is scarf down a 6" po' boy! However, I have to suck it up and get over it b/c I'll never be able to do that again.
-Beer = OUT. No more beer. Ever. It hurts to drink it. Therefore, my bar tabs are significantly higher than my friends b/c I drink liquor.

Over all, I'm happy (although this post makes it sound like I'm not) and I'd go through all this again, I'd just think longer and harder about it next time. You have to be completely committed to this band for it to work. You must become one with the band and don't fight it.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

i wasn't joking...

...when I named this blog "it's not a sprint, it's a marathon."

I heard that phrase at a lap-band seminar. You know, the one you have to go to for just about every surgeon? Well, I ended up not using that surgeon, but only because I was self-pay and really didn't want to shell out thousands more for someone who is a really great public speaker.

However! His words still ring true and follow me.

I'm a few days away from my one-year bandiversary so I'll save the long post for then, but I just wanted to say that I'm finally happy with where I'm at and how I'm progressing. Who knew it would take this long? I'm just glad I'm not falling into the "failure" category. It's a scary thought.

I'm down to 214, so I've pretty much lost 8 lb in 2.5 weeks. I attribute it to eating less (and staying satisfied after meals) and exercise! Who would have thought...that's the proper recipe for losing weight?!?! HA!

Like I said, I'll do the year-in-review in 9 days, but for now, just know that it's going well...finally.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Weekend Lessons...

This past weekend was an say the least.

I went to a pub crawl in Hoboken on Saturday. It was my first time in Hoboken and really wanted to go since I've been considering a move to there (I just want to be closer to NYC).

Had a wonderful time, drank drinks, raised money for boobies, and met some fun people. All in all I'd say I drank (liquor only) for about 7 hours...not good.

The next day, Sunday, I was supposed to meet my friends in the city for brunch then go to a Broadway show. Well, I woke up with a hangover from hell. I needed to puke, and bad. The only thing is, my band wouldn't let me! I would heave and lurch and nothing would come out. Has this happened to anyone else?

What happens to bandsters when we drink too much or get a stomach virus and need to throw up? If Sunday morning is any indication for me, if it passes through the band, it ain't coming back up no matter what.

Am I right?

And in case you were wondering, no, I didn't make brunch (seriously, food was the last thing I wanted), but I DID make the show and it was AMAZINGGGGGGGG!!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Is this what progress is??

Sorry I haven't posted since going to ATL, but I really hate blogging from work and lately, that's all I've been doing!

I went to my surgeon back home to get a second since having almost everything removed. A new NP was in and once I told her the whole history of my band, she decided to see how much was actually in there. If every fill / unfill was done correctly in the past, she would have pulled out 4.9cc. She pulled out around 6! I ended up leaving the office with 6.25...I think.

I'm curious how I ended up with an extra cc! I think it was in there prior to my big unfill and that's one of the reasons I was so tight back in May / June and had to suck on ice chips just to stay hydrated!

Anyway, I'm liking this fill. I'm eating less and eating less often. Here's an example of my lunch yesterday:

Before I started eating (2 grapes are missing, I ate those before taking the picture):

And here is the after picture taken after I was full:

I ended up eating the raspberries about 3 hours later as a snack and drank 1/4 of a protein drink on my 2 hour drive home.

Exercise is still an issue. I did walk / run over 3 miles Monday night. It took me 45 minutes. I think that's pretty good for never running! I plan to do it again tonight. I motivate myself to do it because my poor dog is crated for 11 hours a day so I know she needs to get out and run or speed-walk in her case. I don't run fast enough to keep up with her so she trots while I try and run :)

I'm going to update my ticker this afternoon and show how much I've gained. It's not pretty. When I weighed in at my surgeon's I was up 31lb from end of June. Luckily, I've dropped about 4 of those in a week and a half.

Keep moving forward!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Big (fat) Failure!

OK, not really ;)

I didn't follow day 1 of the pouch test to a T. I tried, really I did, but just drinking protein drinks and other liquids is HARD when you are starving and have a mostly empty band. So, I ate solids, but ate mostly protein! I figured that was a good modification.

Woke up this morning and I'm down 1lb from yesterday. That could be because I'm watching what I'm eating or could just be natural fluctuations.

Weird thing going on with my body, though. I'm on the pill, but I take the kind where you only get your period 4x a year. I still have another month left on my pack before I get my period, but I started spotting last night and I feel very bloated and have cramps. I'm so frustrated. Why am I getting my period if I'm not supposed to get it for another month?!?! Sorry if that's TMI!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day 1 = Fail!!

I failed today :( but I have a good excuse.

I had the opportunity to work from home today and went to lunch with a friend I never get to spend one on one time with. I've stuck pretty close to the all protein just hasn't been all liquid.

I'll just delay it one day and restart tomorrow!

I'll be sure to update on how it goes.

5 Dy Pouch Test

I'm starting the 5 day pouch test today. I think this is a good idea because I'm getting my fill in one week and really want to cut the current sugar / carb / fatty food cravings I've been having. I also need to re-teach myself how to eat properly using the band.

I think today and tomorrow will be the hardest since they are liquids only. I'll try and update each day with how it's going. Honestly, I just want to skip to Wednesday since I know today and tomorrow are going to be the worst.

My scale said 219.0 this morning so we'll see how I end up on Friday!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

I swear I'm not dead...

I'm just super busy! I'm currently working about 2 hours away so I commute 4 hours a day, each day. This is supposed to continue through the end of the year. Can't say I'm super happy about that.

I have some pictures from this past weekend that I need to post. It was super fun. I'll do it later this week, I swear.

Less than two weeks until I fly back to ATL and get my second fill since getting my (mostly) complete unfill. Hopefully this next fill will bring some restriction b/c the scale is not lookin' pretty. I'm up about 25lb since July 1. Yikes!

I have always been honest in this blog and I plan to continue hiding how much I've gained. My thought is that someone who is early in the banding process or is thinking about it might read my blog and see that it's not all roses all the time. Sometimes we struggle with the actual tool and regress a little bit, but (hopefully) we get it fixed and keep moving forward!!!!

Anyway, like I said, I'm not dead...just incredibly busy. I'll give a good update (with pictures!) soon.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You've failed me, fellow bloggers...

Why did no one tell me that Biggest Loser started last night?? I watched Glee, but on the commercial breaks and after Glee was over, I watched Biggest Loser. I'm excited about this season! The one I'm rooting for now is Allie. She had a vertical gastric band put in 8 years ago and it just goes to show you that surgery isn't always the solution to your problems. You can't just get a band and hope that all your problems are solved. You have to change your eating and exercise habits, too!

Anyway, I haven't been blogging much, or even reading many posts because 90% of you are going to Chicago this weekend and you are driving me nuts with your posts!!!! I adore you all and know you are so excited so feel free to keep posting, but I'm probably not reading it ;)

In exactly 30 days I'm going back to Atlanta and in 33 days I get my fillllllll! Oh happy day. This will be my last fill before my 1 year of after-care runs out. Then, I'm going to have to pay for all adjustments, but I think it's only $125 so I can swing that with how infrequently I go back to Atlanta.

I haven't mentioned it because its slightly embarrassing, but I totally had to go buy new pants last weekend. 14s are just too tight. So, back to 16s I go :( I'm miserable, but now see just how helpful my band is and how much I really do need it.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ohh, Dental Woes!!!

The tooth where my filling fell out at is making me miserable. After finishing my blog yesterday I finally got in touch with the dentist and made an appt for next Friday! I thought I would be uncomfortable until then, but could make it. I asked to work from NJ next Friday so I could go out with my girls Thursday night. Well, earlier in the day today my tooth started really hurting. It felt like I had my wisdom tooth removed again. You know that feeling? Where if feels like the actual bone of your jaw has been sawed on? Yep, that's it. So, I called my dentist back and changed the appt. to this Friday then came back and asked my director if it was okay ;) He didn't really have a choice.

I feel better knowing that I have to wait two days instead of 9, but I'm in some serious pain. I know I can physically make it until this Friday, I just hope I mentally can. Popped two Advil earlier and it feels slightly better.

I did, in fact, exercise Monday night. Took my dog on a good, hard walk. However, I did not exercise last night and seriously doubt if I will until Friday. I really just want to curl up in bed and sleep. :(

Wish the pain was affecting my eating, but it's not. Still shoving food in my face like it's going out of style!

Monday, September 13, 2010

This week's resolution..

is to work out every week day this week for at least 30 minutes.

The weather in DC is really great this week. Highs are in the upper and lower 70s through Friday. I think it will be a great week to take my dog on walks around the area and just be outside as much as possible.

Saturday I went to a county fair in NJ and it was freaking amazing. It was free and OK Go, Train and The Bravery (!!!!!) played. The Bravery was so amazing. They weren't the headliners, OK Go and Train were, but The Bravery was the best of them doesn't hurt that they are one of my favorite bands, either.

I think one of my fillings has come out...I'm currently miserable. This is one of the bad things about traveling for work...I can't just run to the dentist!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Traveling Woes

One of the difficult things about working out of town during the week is traveling and trying to cater my diet to my on-the-road lifestyle.

I try and buy a few groceries to keep at the hotel and snacks to bring to work with me. I typically eat oatmeal & a 4oz greek yogurt for breakfast. For lunch, I eat out a lot, but try and make it healthy since I need a fill and can eat normal portions right now. I bring snacks like almonds, luna bars, things like that. Dinner? I usually eat out again. My hotel does have a range and a microwave, but very limited on utensils and pots & pans. I was able to make pan seared scallops last week, but it's very hard. If I do cook, I bring left overs for lunch.

I'm also working long hours at this client. Back in NJ, when I got home from work, I'd go straight to the gym after letting my dog out. Here, I'm 1. exhausted 2. starving and 3. hate the gym (if you can even call it that) at my hotel. Last week I did pilates in my room using videos online, but really that was it.

Hopefully, I'll be back in NJ full-time in a month. This schedule is not conducive to my lifestyle!!!!!