Sunday, January 31, 2010

Getting "stuck" vs "sweet spot"

above is an illustrated photo of a Realize band in place, the upper pouch is what makes my new stomach, the food is then processed there and continues into the rest of the stomach, with a lapband there is no alteration in the digestive process as would be with a gastric bypass. the access port in which they adjust the tightness of the band is to the right of my abdomen just below my ribs. this is where they inject fluid to tighten the band. ... so when i go for "an adjustment" this is what i am getting done.
For reasons beyond my surgeon's office control, (two Physician assistants leaving, and one in a terrible car accident.) it has been about 6 months since my last adjustment. there are different kinds and makes of lapbands available. some hold as little as 4 cc's of fluid, these bands are tighter in the beginning, and people usually experience the "sweet spot" ( which in Lapband pt terms, means the point in which you are able to drink fluids with ease, and eat about a cup of food and then you get the full feeling) after the first or second adjustment. With the Realize band that I have, it holds 11 cc's of fluids. which is good that i have much more room for adjustment. However they told me on friday, it also takes several adjustments to find that "sweet spot". all these months when i'd eat and get that "stuck" feeling. I just assumed it was the "sweet spot". and i have decreased the amount of food i've drastically ingested. We went over what i am eating, and it is a really healthy balanced diet. and when i go on maintenance, it will be the perfect amount of calories ( 1600 -1700). However it was explained that the lapband isn't doing it's job if I can eat 6-8 oz of baked fish, 4-6 oz of veggies, and 4 oz of potato or rice, and 4 oz of sugar free pudding that ='s almost 22 oz of food which is about 3 cups of food......... seems like a lot when i look at it that way. The doctor that did my adjustment on Friday explained to me, that getting stuck does not mean finding the sweet spot. i can get the first bite stuck if i don't chew well. which makes sense. it will be one year in March. and I just found my sweet spot this weekend.
and it is amazing to finally understand what that means.
i can drink fine, i can chug 12 oz of water with no problem (sometimes a too tight band, and you cannot drink) HOWEVER to my surprise, i can eat only 6 to 8 oz of food at a meal. today we took the kids to get clothes and take them out for lunch, i ate chopped chicken and veggies that equaled about 6 oz's of food. I didn't experience pain or a stuck feeling, it just felt like i just enjoyed a thanksgiving dinner, and i could NOT take another bite. Supper today i ate 60z of greek yogurt but i could only eat less than 2oz of my grilled turkey burger. today was the first day i could eat something other than soft foods. and it worked fine. I ate dinner at 6pm, it is almost 10 pm and i am full, and i have no desire to eat before bed. I haven't had the stuck pain, or throw up urge. I must admit i had a miserable day yesterday..... my chest hurt from back to front... the doc said there are alot of nerves surrounding my stomach area, so when she deflated my band completely to check the fluid level, then she filled it back up aggressively (cc when they usually fill 1 cc at a time) that i may feel sore, but as long as fluids where going down, and if i did not throw up i would prob be okay. Because of her aggressive adjustment she told me if i threw up even once, i was to go directly to the ER. {{ yeah, didn't happen}}.
AND bottom line ... i've dropped 7 lbs since i weighed myself Friday morning before my appointment. :)
I KNOW that my calories are low, I know Vitamins are a must right now, and I know i must eat 4oz of protein before i eat the other food..... BUT i did get the lapband to help me lose weight. If i drop weight too quickly they will remove a little fluid, if i start to maintain again or even gain, they still have room to add more......... I love this decision i've made, and i am doing well.
I know this blog entry is quite boring, so hang in there. i had a couple people ask exactly what is the lapband, and what is an adjustment......... so i thought i'd just explain it here.
Love and Blessings, Think i'll drink a few more cups of water before i go to bed. Good Night

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

a calorie is NOT a calorie~a fat is NOT a fat

one of the main things i've been doing to prepare for the next leg of my weightloss journey is focusing and becoming more "mindful" on what i am eating again. so i started writing everything down, keeping track of calories, fat, protein, fiber and carbs. Now understand this is my opinion, and i am not a registered dietitian. But Calories in = Calories out (exercise, metabolism, activity level) is a crock of crap. 1000 calories worth of Twinkies is not the same as 1000 calories worth Salmon and steam veggies. By body will metabolize each meal totally differently, my glucose levels, pancreas, liver, kidneys and endocrine system will respond in different ways. many weightloss and diet websites use the percentage way of measuring just can't be accurate. In the morning when i take one tablespoon of cold packed Flaxseed oil that equals 11 grams of fat. will immediately throw my "balanced percentages" off not to mention the 1/4 cup of roasted organic sunflower seeds I have as an afternoon snack at 14 grams of fat. so with two small additions to my daily intake, i've already ingested 25 grams of fat. AGAIN 25 grams of this type of fat is NOT the same as 25 grams of fat coming from bacon, pastries, crackers and such. A "lowfat" diet is lost before my day even begins. Yesterday was a great day. my calories ended up 1700, and my protein intake ended up 100 grams, had 5+ servings of fruits and veggies ( need to increase that just a little, ) had 3 servings of the heart healthy fats, 4 servings of lowfat dairy. My 100 g of Protein came mainly from grilled fish, turkey breast, nuts. my Carbohydrates came from 100% whole wheat bread, and Light wraps, fruit and veggies. all good sources of fiber too :0).
Friday is my 3rd adjustment to the lapband, i haven't had an adjustment in 6 months, and i haven't even hit what they call the "sweet" spot yet. the adjustment i was supposed to have at the end of October, was supposed to help get to that spot. Dr. Mike left, and then the other doctor who does adjustments was in an accident....... and the waiting list for an adjustment was long..... So my goal is to eat the same foods. but instead of 1/4th cup of seeds, i'll eat an 1/8 cup . instead of 4 to 6 oz of salmon or tilapia, i'll eat 3 to 4 oz of tilapia. I had an extra meal last night which i did not need which gave me another 400 calories. I should realistically with the lapband stick to 4 meals a day. So my calories should decrease to about 1200 after the adjustment, and protein may go down to about 80 grams a day. a little low. but very dense in nutrition. and don't forget. Next year at this time i'd like to drop a good 50 to 75lbs more.
well enough of this chit chat.... looking forward to Friday. Christina, Megan and Paige are going to escort me to Pittsburgh. we will meet up with Jeanine and i am hoping to stop at Trader Joe's. a great day in Pittsburgh. even though "trader Joe's" isn't Katie's cup of tea, i wish she wasn't in school 5 days a week, cause she'd have fun too........ then it would be ALL the girls. not only is she in school full time, her work doesn't seem to understand she wanted to cut back on hours.. so friday she goes from school to work......... what a good girl

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Christina Said....................

okay Christina, the woman that last wrote on her blog LAST YEAR just told me i needed to change my blog, she doesn't like clicking and seeing herself working out.......... So i guess i will :0).
I have been doing really well doing 4 meals daily....... i eat slowly, and i eat until i am full one meal is my protein shake with berries, two are my meals, and the fourth can be Greek yogurt, lowfat cheese, sugar free pudding... or something like that. in the 3-4 hours between meals i make sure to drink 3 glasses of Water.
Our big screen TV in the living room died this weekend, my brother Johnny gave it to Us about 7 years ago, and he had it a few years before that....... i didn't even skip a beat. for some reason it didn't bother me much. I brought the television out from my bedroom to the living room. and for the first time since i can remember, i do not have the TV in my bedroom. and i can't say that i am missing it....... I am a reader, so when i go to bed, i read a while, and then fall quickly asleep... and i've slept quiet well for two days in a row. I am not sure why I've been having really vivid funky Dreams that i have NO idea why i am dreaming them, and wonder even more why i remember them when i wake up. Last night i dreamt , i was raising my kids in my childhood home, and in the dream we had a GIANT cat living in our basement.......... and when i say giant, i mean Clifford the big red dog size Giant...... 30 feet long..... and every time my boys and i had to get in the car, the cat would try and smash us............. what is up with that???
Tuesdays are my long days at work, so i'll be getting home later tonight. It is so nice to have a job to go to that i do not mind....... there is NO stress!!!! I love it !!! I don't go until 330, so i'd like to get the house clean and in order. i should get down to CM Gym. and get a shower too......
Oh and one other thing poor Patti is now going to have Verizon........ which means..... i can talk and talk and talk and talk......... poor girl..... Look out
Have a great day... I AM Going down to the gym........... that has to be a priority.
I'll come back and clean..........
see you later

Friday, January 15, 2010

~country meadows gym~

Well, our very own private "gym" in our back yards. and i must admit, Christina and I worked our A** off. Funny how much learning from Johnny has stuck in our minds. we have a treadmill, and elliptical, and weight machines and benches and free weights, and exercise balls and exercise bands A huge TV and the ability to do many exercise videos, yoga and dance. I think we are set :0).
I think you are going to hear more about my weight loss journey than normal on the blog. just because i am switching gears a little higher, as i am heading into the next "mile" of my journey.
past couple weeks i began to really pay attention to my eating again...... being mindful of how what when and where i eat. Me working at Doctor Chaudhary's office is keeping me an honest girl LOL.
Yesterday's food was the berry shake in the AM
Lunch was grilled turkey burger ( homemade and pre frozen so i just pull out and cook) mixed veggies steamed (cauliflower, pea pods, carrots) light yogurt with mixed berries
Supper was a light wrap 90 calories 9 grams of fiber, turkey breast, 1 slice of bacon, crisp, tomato's, onion, 1 slice of LF Cheddar, and light mayo oh and a few black olives.
I was "allowed one more meal.......... but i didn't get to it........ and i was not hungry.
I made the men...... "oat meal" pancakes. my x mother in law sent me some "powder" made up and i just added eggs, oil and water. a relative of hers has heart disease, and these are what he eats..... they are made with oats, whole wheat flour, Cinnamon, some brown sugar, and some powdered milk..... and maybe cream of tarter, and maybe some soda...... it makes 10 cups of mix. and is stored in an airtight contain, and you use it as you need it. Bill and Drew Loved them. Bill said when he could normally eat 8 pancakes....... he could only do 2. and he wasn't hungry later on in the evening either. the left overs i froze, and i can take one out, warm it up, put some almond butter on it, or some fruit, or some peanut butter and there is a quick high fiber healthy breakfast ( hi Patti, love ya)
Speaking of Patti...... this girl lives so far away and i must say she is one of my dearest and best friends. just knowing her helps me to stay on tract. Thanks Patti.
Well i should get going............ didn't do a thing at home, but hey got my exercise in, that is way more important. have lunch made ( refried bean/ green chile's/chipolte seasons/ shredded cheese baked in oven. i'll then add a dollop of light sour cream and chopped tomato's on it at work. more mixed steamed veggies. and a light yogurt or sugar free chocolate pudding (*the only sugar free thing i eat )
Have a great weekend everyone.......

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Dr. Chaudhary is really looking into the over all health of his patients, mentally, emotionally, physically. He has and is in the process of looking into the decline of nutrition in the human population. He is a psychiatrist, he believes in pharmaceutical medicine BUT he refuses to just throw these medications on his patients, He wants to show them what is out there, he believes in DBT therapy, and yoga, and mindfulness, and exercise, most Americans when given a blood test are deficient in many vitamins and minerals now.. the big study out there now is Vitamin D. which they are saying is almost a hormone in keeping the body working. Well i recently started taking the multi vitamin, vitamin D and the Calcium....... these are all isotonic formulas that work with my lap band ( they quickly bypass my stomach, and go directly to the small intestines where they are processed for the body. With the Lap Band i find that early mornings are harder for me to take food in. So i started doing a protein shake...... (much better than nothing). When i saw the "numbers" on this shake, it shocked me. Surprisingly most shakes have minimal if any dietary fiber in them, and for instance the Slim Fast Optima Powder has 2 grams of protein it.
Here are the numbers for 5 types of powder containers i had in my home... (and yes after i did this i threw them away. except the muscle milk and the transitions. I am just giving my opinion and i am just reading the numbers........ not meaning to offend any company.
Slimfast Optima
calories 110
fat 1.5
carbs 18
fiber 5
sugar 6
protein 2
EAS soy protein
calories 170
fat 1.5
carbs 19
fiber 0
sugar 17
protein 20
Curves Shake
calories 115
fat 1.5
carbs 10
fiber 1
sugar 5
protein 15
Muscle Milk
calories 195
fat 6
carbs 11
fiber 1
sugar 2
protein 25
calories 200
fat 6
carbs 18
fiber 10
sugar 2
protein 18
now i did not include the liquid, (milk, water, soy) and i didn't deduct the fiber from the Carbs. as fiber does Nothing but travel through the body collecting floaty things such as cholesterol and carry them out the body..
In the morning i take this protein shake (chocolate) with 8 oz of skim milk, and 1/2 cup of frozen berries. i put this in my Bullet blender... and it is delicious. i could use ice, frozen 1/3 of a banana, frozen spoon of almond butter. frozen pineapple chunks i can use the vanilla with a frozen apple and dash of Cinnamon.... so many idea's.
This DOES keep the hunger away for a good 3 or 4 hours. , and i must say that my intestines are getting used to starting my morning with such a great fiber number. If you do protein shakes, this is definitely worth investigating. :0).
I so need a lap band adjustment. I CANNOT EAT FAST ANYMORE but i notice i can eat a little more that i used to but slowly... but not nearly like i ate even 3 years ago.
We have Country Meadows Gym up and running.......... i've been there twice. and my body notices it. i miss my woods........ and i am ready for that.
I need to step back, focus..... and tweak myself, cause i would really like to lose as close to the last 75 lbs by New Years Eve 2010, that would mean it took me 4 years to lose the weight that was killing me........ going on 4 years now........ WOW....
well i am heading out the door in a few to head to work....... make it a great day.

Saturday, January 09, 2010

~ my JEEP ~

This is the first JEEP that i have ever owned, and i don't think I'll drive anything else but a Jeep from now on. This little Jeep Compass does beautifully in the snow, sleet, rain, ice...... haven't even had to use 4 wheel drive yet. It has some kind of electronically computed steering.. so if the steering wheel is steering left........ and my car starts to go right..... it fixes itself. sometimes i can feel the tires do something , i can sorta tell i am sliding on ice, but i haven't fishtailed yet. something about positive traction....... so if one tire starts to slip..... the control is taking away from it and put on the tires that have the traction....... Now how in the heck do they make it do that. :0). Well needless to say for the past 4 evenings, coming home from work, i've experienced lots and lots of snow and ice on the roads. oh an other safety feature that the car has, which by the way Bill hates. Is when you take the foot off the gas, the Jeep automatically begins the stopping process...... so if you want to take your foot off and just coast, it ain't gonna happen. So Thursday night, driving home i realized i was coming down the hill on ice a little too fast... i knew i couldn't put on the breaks without skidding... must admit i was nervous.... but as i started down the hill, the car started to slow down without me putting on the breaks..... it was at that moment... after years of having a van, and missing my mini van........ that a new love was established....... and i realized....... I LOVE MY JEEP!!!
So Bill, Katie, Sam and I went early this morning to get groceries, take care of Bill's mom. and then we went to the Drs. Office to clean that building. Sammy does help speed the cleaning process.... yes he can be a help when he wants too , We made it home at 3pm...... the only place i plan on going in the next day or two is to Johnny's IF he is going to be there. it's been so long since we went there, i do need him there to "remind" me what to do again.
I think i am going to leisurely put my house in order, and put in a movie........ and chill.......
Have a great day folks.....

Friday, January 08, 2010

Who Forgot to tell God!!!

Where does time go? This picture was taken when i was 4 years old, wow that was almost 20 years ago ;0) *wink!!! okay okay, this picture was taken almost 39 years ago this May.
I should give a blog update. I have been happily busy at work. I've been getting home no earlier than 7 pm all week. This was the first week i got to speak with patients as a "future" wellness coach. and i am loving it! The Doctor spoke with me yesterday and he is pleased with how things are working out. I am seeing this direction more clearly...... it was a vague vision 3 years ago when I made a promise to Melody, my angel in Heaven. and it has always been dormant in the deep corners of my mind ever since.
Now, may i please ask? Who forgot to tell God, that our world is supposed to be going through a global warming. I think when it snowed during the Global Warming Summit in Copenhagen, and Obama had to leave early to deal with DC Snow storms........ i should have known then and there that God has a sense of humor, and he isn't afraid to use it. It has been snowing daily for over a week now. the temperature hangs around 20 degrees but doesn't mind dipping in the teens. they are talking about most of US being blanketed in snow and freezing temperatures... and Meteorologist aren't just sure when we are going to get a decent break. I do not mind Winter. And actually i agree 100 % that we need to take care of our beautiful world, The World is and will always be forever changing... that is just how it is!
With me being so busy, I must say Bill has really taken on the home, and he is doing it with a smile, and yes i call him when i leave for work so that he can time me and make sure i don't get stranded in these snowy/icy/blizzardy roads. I walk in the door to a hot cup of coffee and a hot bath ready. gee, we are going on 9 years of marriage, ....... that would have warn off if it was going to right? We do not have a perfect marriage........ But we do have a great marriage. You know my life isn't always easy, and I've been through a lot. Even the crumbling of my first marriage when i was so devastated..... BUT i choose to take what God Gives me...... and i decide to make it a joy and blessing, it is just how i am, and how I always will be...... i got it from my mother. That woman loved life....... and even when God took her best thing in the world early ( my Dad, died when he was 52) She mourned........ and loved.......... and mourned...... and smiled. she never got bitter, or angry or hateful. And she somehow found the blessings that God gave her, and reminded me about them all the time..... Mom followed Dad 6 years later........ I sure do miss her. Christina will verify the joy my mom's face gave, even on her dying days ... as she was able to visit her before she died
Well I am not sure how i got on that subject......... wasn't planning too. but my Dad died on Jan 4, 1994 when the weather was just like it is now.... i had a heck of a time getting to my mom because the roads were so bad... wow 16 years ago,
So my first husband left me when i had 3 children ages 4 to 8, my dad died when he was 52, my mom died when she was 58.... i have a wedding picture of me and my first husband and my mom and dad... i remember looking at it shortly after mom died........ and it hit me..... at that moment, those where the MOST important people in my world...... And I lost them all in a period of 6 years!!! i think that would be enough to make someone pretty depressed. But God Blessed me, and it is only by his Grace..... that i didn't look at life that way..... it was by God's Grace that I got a second Chance for a wonderful marriage...... and it is by God's Grace that I have a Happy Marriage, (* even though my dearest friends know how there i times i want to sew his eyes and mouth shut, lol i am just saying)
Yes it is all by God's Grace.............

Sunday, January 03, 2010


Pretty good start to a new year, a new decade. it has been a nice and relaxing couple of days. I think i mentioned to Christina, i've had too many nice relaxing days, i am beginning to feel lazy. She reminded me to just enjoy it, cause usually i am so busy i don't have time to just chill!!! Spoke with Johnny, he wants me to just do low impact Cardio this week. and start with him on Sunday, Christina was thrilled with this info, as she just isn't ready this weekend for Johnny. So Cardio it will be..... i will do the eliptical today for 15 minutes. my muscles are not as sore today as they have been the past few days. I think johnny thinks i tried to put to much in ~too quickly, trying to make up for lost time. that is why he told me to just do Cardio this week.
I went back on my blogs from a couple years, it was a reminder on how far i have really come. I haven't made the usual "lose weight" new year resolutions for the past couple of years.... didn't need to since i am just living it every day. two new years ago, my nephew Alex had just died that Thanksgiving, and my nephew Michael was at deaths door.. any new years resolution would have just been trivial, Last new year.... i was well on my way getting ready for the Lapband, i was heading to Pittsburgh on an almost weekly basis participating in the intense program preparing for the Lapband surgery. I also looked back in my ancient journal beside my bed, you know the type that uses pen and paper. it was during this time that i found out who my true friends were...... funny the two i thought would cause problems about my decision (hi Christina and Patti) were the ones that became my greatest supports, and they remain such today. The one Friend who i though would support me, smashed me down immediately... i'll never forget the day i told her.... she yelled at me, and i mean yelled at me telling me that i was taking the easy way out, i was no longer the team player.... and i was leaving her behind. .. I was devastated, and although the friendship tried to survive...... the damage was done... and after much discussion with my Wellness Coach/ Phycologist who was assigned to me through the program in Pittsburgh. i came to realize that all friendships aren't meant to last a life time... and some are here for a short season... it does not diminish the value of that friend... and I learned that all friendships are not healthy.......... there is no blame, some personalities just clash. oh i will not lie and say i don't think about this old friend, or that i don't remember the wonderful times we had. But for me, it was just too much work, and the lapband is a big part of who i am right now........and i can't and would not change my decision for having the Lapband surgery. . . . this journey has been so much fun. . . Christina disagrees with me ALOT, but she will always be my friend no questions asked. and i pretty much think even though Patti lives in Arizona and Kellie lives in Ohio.... they'll always be my friends..... i just know this :0)!!! New friends will come, old friends will go...... that is just life.
So the LapBand was a big thing in 2009, and made many changes in my life. The other BIG thing in 2009 was getting a job at S'eclairer. this too is making drastic changes in my life, and i see God using me for wonderful things....... the Wellness Coach, the Nutrametrics Vitamins and Transition weight loss program, the DBT training....... Dr. Chaudhary.... all awesome things in my life.
I am looking forward to 2010, i think i'll lose the last big chunk of my weight.. this spring i plan on getting a Bike........ and Biking to work several days a week....... i'd like to do more hiking... and more outdoor events.......... it's gonna be a good year.