Wednesday, December 30, 2009

My Good Nothing Has Gone Bad

Life with the new Wii software has taken a nasty turn. Grace has spent several hours outside running in the snow and playing with the kids who always turn out for sledding on the hill right behind our house. This is a good thing. She is getting fresh air and exercise but after the outside play she (as well as others including myself) have spent the afternoon playing and ultimately getting frustrated with the Wii. I have just told her that if I hear one more complaint about the little guy falling off a cliff (apparently she is doing everything right!) I am going to kick her off the Wii for good. What happened to passive cartoon laden TV?

:)

I have spent another day with all good intentions to start back to my job and get something accomplished but alas have spent time babysitting my grandson, napping, playing the @#$#$# Wii and mooching around on the computer getting nothing useful accomplished. My nothing is becoming the negative kind I am afraid. I wish someone would share some work motivation with me...Anyone???

Monday, December 28, 2009

The Joys of Nothing

Nothing...it can be very bad when associated with money, food or water but today it was sheer pleasure. I had a little sleep in and then woke up and read some of the book I received for Christmas (Sue Grafton's U is for undertow).

I crawled out of bed around 10am when my oldest daughter came in with my grandson for a visit. We lounged around until noon while Grace and Grant played with a remote controlled spider (Christmas loot), stickle bricks and climbed on furniture. At lunchtime we went for a trip to the grocery store together.

I mentally planned a weeks worth of meals and commenced the grocery stocking. Fish and chips, steak, spaghetti, chicken stir fry, home-made pizzas, split pea soup, and chili. I have no order in mind but have the goods to complete each of these. I had the stir-fry fixins at home but with all the rest I got out of the store for $61.50. wooohoo gotta love a bargain day.

On our way home we stopped off at Starbucks for coffees and a nearby park for Grace to play while Grant napped in the car and Nichole (oldest daughter) and I drank our coffees and talked about our eternal life challenges :).

After a brief stop at the bank for Nichole to finish an errand we were back home for some late lunch and a chill. Nichole left to head home ahead of the traffic and Grace watched an old Shirley temple movie while i dozed under a snuggie with my feet tucked under her for warmth....another ahhhhhhh worthy afternoon.

I did get on the scale today and I gained 2 pounds over the last couple of weeks. I am still quite poofy from the travel, hard eating and drinking so I am not too concerned. I am ready to get this show on the road however and shake the remaining pounds to the 100 pounds loss mark quickly followed by the onederland goal. Today was a beautiful eating day as I wasn't hungry. I had a small cracker this morning two bits of laughing cow cheese with 4 crackers this afternoon and my starbucks coffee. We have left things late this evening and so I am about to shift myself into the kitchen to scrounge up some dinner (not sure which it will be) but i better hop to it before Grace turns into a beastly monster from food deprivation.

I hope you all are also getting some tranquility before the new year begins!

Home ...Ahhhh

After a rushed run up to Christmas and an indulgent (lots of food and drink) and exhaustive trip to my parents we drove home today. In the end I had enough pajamas for the little kids and girls in the family. I ran out of fabric for the guys. From comments made I do not think they would have been too thrilled with them anyway so it was for the best. Once at my parents I made pumpkin pies and finished up measuring waists for elastic to finish off the bottoms.

We arrived on Wednesday on the late side as we stopped off at my cousins along the way for dinner. We had a good visit with my aunt and my cousin's family. We then finished the 5 hour drive to my parents. On Christmas Eve we did a bit of shopping to Walmart, the local farm supply store (I do love a good farm store!) and finished up buying stocking stuffers and last minute presents. We also stocked up on groceries for the next few days. The rest of my family left for Christmas Eve services while David and I took a much needed nap and chill out of a bit of peace and quiet before the hub bub began again for the evening and Christmas day (we are not church-goers and I will leave it at that).

Christmas day was good. Santa was good to Grace with a full library of horse related books (a great gently used find on Craigs list), half chaps, a western snap shirt and a horse-head book end. Her granny found her a non-apple mp3 player and big-ear headphones (saving her from a deaf adult life). Her other grandma provided a Wii game and her aunts and uncles gave her a game for her DS.

Granny, Grace and I went together and got my husband a Wii fit (he is, as I type, doing step aerobics on the thing). He has been gagging for the thing for over a year and even tried to wangle one by saying we should get it for Grace. He was kind of surprised when he opened it and found he got it. He also got a load of cooking gadgets and the Julia Childs cookbooks.

David and Grace bought me a bamboo gadget for my computer. It is an attachment that will let me write on the computer screen with a pen stylus. I will be able to draw or work math problems right onto the computer instead of typing or trying to do so with a mouse. I haven't tried it out yet but I am kind of excited to give it a try. I also got a lovely tapestry from Wales from my Mother in law (granny). A lovely coffee table book with short biographies of different mathematicians and moccasin patterns from a Cherokee artist that I was wanting to try out from my three older daughters. My mother gave me a cool lamp to hook onto my sewing machine to make it easier to thread the needle and see my work. This will come in handy for the quilt i have promised to make this year.

All of my daughters, spouses and my grandson were at my parents. My sister and brother in law were there with their two children. My brother, his wife and their three children came for Christmas day. In total this was 19 people.

I had pretty good restriction although not as good as at Thanksgiving. Grazing was still a huge issue and I am frankly a tad scared to get on the scale. I am under no illusions that I will have finally gotten to the 100 pound mark this week that is for sure. I will be lucky to save myself from a three pound gain. I am fine with it though. The visit was at times pretty stressful and each holiday and eating struggle teaches me a little more about my eating issues, causes and triggers. Every blip has changed from a swan dive back into bad habits to a controllable learning experience that I will conquer. That was never the case before the band!

We stayed through Sunday and drove home this afternoon and evening. We hit a bit of snow and Ice along the way but David's truck did well getting us back to our much appreciated coastal weather! I am sitting in front of my warm and toasty gas stove on my comfy couch watching David's backside move up and down on his wii board. I am not sure how long this will be amusing!! but just now it is pure relaxation and contentment.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Freaky Deaky

My restriction has slipped and I am craving food. I actually, on my drive from work today, had an out of body hamburger eating fantasy. It was the weirdest thing on the freaking planet. I started salivating and actually CHEWING!!! I could taste the hamburger. Do ya think im a recovering addict? I have not had a hamburger in ages. I know I cannot eat them..so what the Heck? What is odd is that I felt no compulsion to swing into McDonalds. It happened after I was past the place and headed towards the highway. It was almost like my brain taking the piss!

My written down plan yesterday has perhaps helped. I have the presents purchased except for bits and bobs for stockings. I have the kids pajama bottoms made but not the adults (6 down 5 or 6 to go as it depends on how long the fabric holds out). Baking started with just pumpkin pies left. David kicked in and made a few different cookies tonight bless him. Tomorrow we leave for my parents house and I will take the inhgredients for the pies with me and at least the remaining pajamas cut. I skipped the document but attended the work meeting today...so progress but not completion as of yet.

I have not had much chance to sew in the last few years and It has been fun to get back and do a bit. I will commit to working on a quilt or two in the new year (funny..my first New Year's resolution that does not involve dieting!!!)

If I do not manage to post a Merry Christmas to you all later this week Here it is!!!

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!!! I Will raise a toast to you and think of you all as I eat my tiny tiny dinner serving at Christmas.

Monday, December 21, 2009

When Will I Learn

As I always do I have planned way too much into much to short a time. In addition to the work stuff I have have baking to do, a bunch of pajamas I decided to add to the list, presents to wrap, presents still to buy, a meeting at work tomorrow, no cards out......arghghghg I think I will need to cut out sleep.

My oldest daughter has started scheduling her day writing out what needs to be done. She knows when my grandson sleeps and schedules blocks of time and exactly what she will do during those blocks of time. I think I need to take the time to plan..what is that they say? fail to plan, plan to fail?

Today: Cards out the door, pajamas started, prepare report for meeting tomorrow. Tuesday: Meeting, Pajamas, last present purchases, wrapping.
Wednesday: Traveling to Grandmas and some baking
Thursday: More baking.

hopefully I can do it.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Exercise-o-rama

My band tightness has eased off a little but I am definitely on the edge of it. I am going to stick it out and forgo any of the foods that are risky (pasta, ground meats, Prunes :)). Operation exercise is still underway. On Tuesday and Wednesday I rode my bike. Wednesday was a shorter ride but up two nasty hills. I did have to walk one. my backside and legs were really sore Wednesday night. They were so bad that I woke up several times in the middle of the nice with pain spasms. I decided that on Thursday I would walk instead. I got an invitation from a couple of friends who walk everyday and tagged along. They go 3 miles...should be no problem. Directly after this I went shopping all day. Well today I can barely walk!! I think it is a combination of the three days catching up with me. I have taken an Aleve and am hoping that it will help.

Today is Grace's school play and celebration dinner. She got the lead as Anansi the spider. The feast, plays and songs are arranged around and international theme. I think this year is Africa but I'm not entirely sure because I have been told we are eating pasta?...well I'm not eating it as this is off my eating menu for a while. After the play we are having some family friends over for dinner and gift exchange. The house is not very clean and I have lots to do (including chase down one last gift).

The scale was my friend this morning and finally dropped down by another pound! Now 4 pounds to go until 100 pounds lost. I might just have to bring my scale to my parents house for Christmas. I don't want to miss it when I finally get there.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Band Barometer?

Our weather just shifted rapidly from cold to warm and rainy. My already tight band tightened up even more. I was really hungry this morning and somewhat on the loose side of this fill. Tonight for dinner...yeowzaaa I am super tight. Difficulty drinking water tight. This is a first. I said to my husband as I leaned over the sink hoping that the cheese I had just eaten would choose to go down instead of up (it finally went down). He said the barametric pressure has increased dramatically throughout the day...wellll so I don't feel the damp in my bones like my mother does but my band has turned me into a weather station haha

Wohooooooooooooooo

Ok i got out and rode my bike.

I took it in the rain about 1.5 miles each way to my local grocery store with a Starbucks stand by the front door. I layered up with my diaper pants, my nicely fitting workout pants, A tank top and a long sleeved t-shirt, a great big rain jacket, gloves, socks and tennis shoes and my helmet. I got out side and almost gave up when I found that I needed to pump up my tires and my back tire was being difficult (it always is for some reason). Finally after mucking about for 20 minutes I got on my bike and took off. I rode the back way so as to avoid the busy roads. I got wet but not uncomfortably so. Once I got to the grocery store I parked my bike to the side (I don't have a lock) and risked theft to run in after my coffee. Then I brought my coffee out to my bike. They have picnic tables in front of the store so I sat in the rain with my coffee. My glasses got wet and people looked at me like I was one of those really crazy bike people but it was still fun.

I hope I remember the fun tomorrow when it is time to go again.

Like a Spring

The scale launched back up to 211 today. Damned thing. How am I ever going to get that 100 pound thing if it refuses to cooperate like that :)

So in examining my behaviors (don't we all do this over and over again). I again need to confess that my liquid intake is appalling, my vitamins are not being taken and my protein levels just plain suck. I have not been on my bicycle since i went to San Francisco (the weather has been horrible and I have been LAZY!

Today-I will drink and I will get on the bike no matter how much rain is pouring down and ride the stinking thing. It has fenders so I do not have to fear a dirt bacon strip up my back.

Now having said that it is 9am, the family room is still dark because of the overcast weather. I have my gas fireplace on and the Christmas tree is lit. sigh..the picture of coziness and I really desire a nap.

so shall i shift or stay in my cozy cocoon of warmth and dim light. I will keep you updated.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Five Pounds Left

After 12 days of only up and down movement on the scale it finally shifted today. I am down to 209. I hope this is a decent run as I am only 5 pounds from my 100 pound loss.

It is laundry day and I dug to the bottom of my slacks drawer to find something to wear while the rest went into the washing machine. I pulled out a pair of slacks I bought to take to Germany with me back in October. They are 18W and they are way too big. I think it is time to cull my wardrobe again :) Christmas time is not really a good time of year to spend money on myself but I smell a good shopping spree in my future...woohooo.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Verizon is Evil!!!!

We have fiber optics to our house and have had (until last night) Verizon cable television and telephone service. David (hubby) has a separate commercial business account for our internet so he can run his server and other sorts of high powered networking stuff. The internet costs us 99.00 per month. The TV and telephone were bundled together and cost (or at least that is what I thought) about the same amount. This was fine although we had gotten into the bad habit of watching TV too much. As we do when money gets a little tight around here we took an examine of our bank statement (yes were are poor money managers and do not pay close enough attention on a regular basis). Well the television and phone account tripled this fall for no apparent reason. When I called to find out what was going on I was told that all bundled accounts expire every year and it is up to the customer to pay attention and renegotiate their contract so that they can rebundle the service. I had according to the Verizon people been switched, without consulting me, into an ala carte plan. As my
Aussie friends say...FARK that!!! You know darn good and well that the system is set up for the many people like me who are too busy making the money to pay attention and remember every year to renegotiate!!!

I canceled my service immediately and told them they were dishonest and I would no longer do business with them. We cut the phone back to minimum service (there is no other land line game in town but also not regulated-thank you Ronald Reagan). When David got home from work I told him what I had done and he was also appalled by their business practices. He said the commercial internet had not changed since we got it (perhaps they take better care of their business customers than they do their residential??). David also had some ideas as to how we could cut out our land line. I suggested going cell only but instead he has found Vonage and we are dumping Verizon for their internet based system. We are not sure if we will be able to access a new internet provider (the only other company is comcast who is equally evil and will not do static IP addresses).

I hate companies (and we have run across a few lately). Who take advantage of people with hidden fees and expiration dates. We recently paid off a couple of no interest (yeah right!!!) loans that we took out as we were working on the house.
One was for carpeting the company said no interest but did not say you had to pay 39 dollars a month to keep the 0% rate and that it would go to 39% interest if you did not. They also did not say that you would never be able to get anyone on a phone. The other was also a 0% interest loan that supposedly was no pay and went to 25% interest if it was not paid off in a year. What these people did not tell you was that you would also be charged a pay off fee of 50.00 per month. Well guess what that amount worked out to?? about the same as the 25% interest!! Jerks. So we paid both of these loans off and are wiser consumers.

I never was much of a loan user until this money pit of home fix it began. I now realize that I was better off avoiding it. David and I after these eye opening experiences have learned that if we want a loan there is no free ride. If we get a loan it will be through our credit union and nowhere else.

Hope you all have a debt free Christmas :) and watch your bank statements. Apparently there are no honest non-loophole businesses out there anymore.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

I Hate Cold Weather!!!

We are still under a freezing front. The temperatures have been moving up and down from the single digits to low 20's all week. Our cars are suffering. I woke up today on a mad and disorganized dash to travel back over the pass to Eastern Oregon and found that my tires were flat. Apparently cold weather causes them to deflate. I did not know that!!

Yesterday our truck (used by Cinda to go back and forth between university and home) started with plumes of white smoke and spewed liquid all over the ground. We think it is a radiator problem that was also caused by the cold.

I am thinner and have lost my one cozy parka of fat. I have been cold inside and outside. Right now my toes are freeeezzzing. Although I like the thinness the cold annoys me. I want to wear shorts and sandals all year long :) Does anyone have a spare room they can lend in a nice warm weather location????

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

I Now Eat Less Than My 20 Month Old Grandson

Update:
Well the great prune removal did the trick and by dinner I was feeling OK. David (hubby) and I in a rare moment of collaboration cooked dinner together. He was the fry guy and I prepared beer batter and the fish. After he finished the fries I dropped in my fish. It was yummy and I managed to eat 1 3 inch by 1 inch by 1 inch strip of fish and 3 french fries. The best part is there was very little pain involved in eating it...phew..I have to say over the last couple of days I was beginnig to worry that I had done some damage.

Now don't think that I am a regular fry-up kind of girl. This was only the second time in my life I have attempted deep far frying. I do love fish and chips though (ever since my band this love has increased dramatically). I decided that since we were not eating out anymore that I might as well make them in. They did turn out well if I do say so myself.

Original Post

I have my grandson over today for a visit. My oldest daughter is taking her finals for school. For lunch I made a grilled cheese sandwich and split it. I put a prune on the side for me and about 6 corn chips. My grandson had the same only he also had a few segments of satsuma orange. Before starting I cut both of our half sandwiches into quarters. So I ate 1/4 of my sandwich and then ate about 3 corn chips and my prune. that was it. Done.....My grandson then proceeded to eat the rest of my corn chips, his corn chips, his half a sandwich and orange. He did not like the prune so I threw it away after he spent some time sliming it all over his plate.

I don't know if i would have been able to eat the remaining 1/4 sandwich if I had taken a pass on the cornchips but geeezzz this tight band of mine is really cutting into my eating portions again. I am sitting here after my measly lunch and feeling like I am going to need to PB. I have once already relieving myself of a little spit. Ok...just did it again. Hmm I am wondering if corn chips are not going to stay on my eating list! I have been super tight for the past few days and it is beginning to worry me. Now I have not made the best choices of food in the world given my tight state but I am going to report them regardless:

Sunday: Breakfast: no breakfast, lunch: 1/2 grilled cheese, snack-1 1/2 cup protein shake,1 cupcake. Dinner-1 cup chicken tortilla soup, 1/4 grilled cheese (part of my daughters meal ordered out). 1 small slice of french bread 2 Tbls. egg salad.

felt like nothing-seems like quite a lot looking at it all together.

Monday: Breakfast: 1/4 c egg salad. Lunch: nothing, Snack: skim mint mocha from Starbucks Dinner: 3.5 chicken nuggets. Evening snack: 100 calorie yogurt thingy.

Tuesday: Breakfast: nothing, Lunch: 1/4 grilled cheese sandwich, 1 prune, 3 cornchips. I have home made fish and chips on the menu for dinner but I am not sure I am going to be able to eat any fish as my tummy hurts right now big time.

.......................A brief station break............
ahh so yes in real time typing I got to the root of the problem-stuck prune. finally a forceful and not to pleasant vomit and the offending prune revealed itself. In my quest to eat I have again slipped into shoveling food in without chewing enough. arghghghghghghg

The worst of it all is (visualize a whiny voice here) that since I feel like I have not eaten much of anything (or as my friends says: I do not eat anymore). I should still be losing weight. Nope..I am up 1 pound! @#$%@$%@#$# scale.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Catching Up

I came home from my business trip and immediately went back to work on grouting the bathroom we have been remodeling. Last year at this time I would not have been able to do observations all day, drive 4 hours home and then go right back to work doing home-fix it. I would have come home. Crashed on the couch and probably taken a nap! This time I had energy to spare. I do not think there is a better feeling on this earth than that!

I said that I would report on the muscle milk I bought during my trip...Sorry I do not know what flavor my fellow bandsters are drinking but the vanilla flavor I was able to buy at Walmart was the most vile tasting stuff on the planet! It tasted like mold. I checked the date thinking it had gone bad but no it was a year in range. I tried to pass it off to one of my daughters thinking that my taste buds were just too sensitive but she agreed with me that the drink was not good.

This is a problem as the Jamba juice that was once located right near my office at the university went out of business. My office-mate and I decided to cut out for a little protein drink and walk the other day and it was just gone..no sign in the window no warning ahead. Very strange and difficult as I had begun to rely on the Jamba juice to get me through my work days without reverting back to my old McDonalds habit.


We spent most of the weekend working on the little bathroom and attempting a clean out in the garage (not much success as we missed the dump hours). I am hoping to get the plumber in tomorrow to install a small pedestal sink and toilet. As I have finally figured out how to install my own pictures from the camera I will for sure be sharing pictures when it is done. While I am at it I will throw in some more ones of the house as it is looking very good if I do say so myself.

Finally I am adding a poll. Our house in for sale right now and we are in a quandary. Do we decorate the house for Christmas or not? We live in a mixed area with several populations that do not celebrate Christmas. If we decide to decorate how much? How little? It would be easier not too but quite boring I think.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Just when I Was Getting Cocky!

Ok just to knock me down a peg or two. I bought clothes without trying them on.

I am away on a two day business trip to the other side of Oregon again. On my way over I stopped off at a Walmart store for a little shopping. While there picking up the food to eat while I am over here (no thoughts of it as I left the house today) I took a circle through the regular sized department (i refused to look at the large size department). Walmart had a ton of cute t-shirts and a pair of shorts made by Danskin. Well being the cocky 'skinny' girl that I am I picked up two sized extra large tshirts and a pair of sized extra large shorts without trying them on. Welll...I know..stupid duhhhh.

The shorts fit fine around me but they are soooo short that my poor saggy legs sticking out the bottom looked like those of an elephant...pay special attention to the really wrinkly bit up by where the elephant leg meets up with his body..you know that upper thigh area...


yep..the elephant leg looks less wrinkly and saggy.



One layered look shirt was so tight that my arms had rolls and it dug into my side fat. The second shirt was thinner and with medium length short sleeves. It fits on the tight side but is not a total write off like the shorts and other shirt are.

Back to the the other purposes for my stop-

I get wicked neck aches when I drive for long periods back to back. Yesterday my 30 minute commute to Grace's school plus some shopping turned my driving and shopping combination to 2 hours. On Monday I drove my 1.5 hour each way commute to my university and then today it was 3.5 hours to my hotel and tomorrow will be driving around the region from school to school. Needless to say I needed drugs to combat the neck pain. I have found that Alieve helps with this problem. My band poses a problem, however. I am now tight enough that I worry about pills getting stuck in my pouch. Last week when I had this neck pain problem I chewed the pills I took from my dad in my mouth but the taste is not very good and the medicine got caught in my teeth. So I stopped and got some of my own tonight and a pill crusher to save my poor teeth the aftertaste. I talked to the pharmacist about the problem and asked her if the gel caps would help me. She said that I was probably much better using a crushed pill than gelcaps because the coating would take a while to dissolve.

While at Walmart I also got a few protein bars. Every so often I try out some new brands because I have gotten tired of my twisted protein bars. I like them but they get boring after a while. I picked up a couple of other brands and will let you know if they are any good. I also bought a 4-pack of muscle milk. I think one of you said you among the blogs I read or who follow me said they liked them. I am giving them a try and will keep you posted if I can choke them down.


Finally I bought some of my baby belle cheeses a small baguette a box of prunes (a girl has to get fiber sometimes), some Diet Coke, OK and you got me..a box of red vines out of naughtiness. I have not opened the box yet. My dinner consisted of two cheeses and a small ripped off piece of bread. I am still full and I ate them at 8pm. I chased the cheese and bread with a prune about 30 min. ago. I think that will be it for me tonight.

Another pound...I Love This Band!!!

I am down at the top edge of 211 today (211.8) but as you may or may not recall I round down for each pound I lose. I wait until the scale ticks below the next marker. The consequence of this is that I might have a wait a while to count the next pound gone but on the good side this method minimizes some of the up and down angst I have always had with the scale.

I have said this before but will share it again as I really feel it has contributed to my sanity this time around. I weigh every day right after I wake up and just after I do my morning bladder empty (if i can empty more I do but that is not so common first thing). I then walk back in my birthday suit to the scale and get on. If I am down I count it if I am the same or up I ignore it (ok I try to ignore it). When I am down I get my morning caffeine (either tea or diet coke) and sit down at my computer and update my ticker. It is a new post-band brain groove I have gotten into and I like it. The band of course makes the down days much more frequent than they have ever been in the past. I have had almost 2 months with no movement even post band though so there has to be something more to this numbers game than just the band. Whatever the cause I am happy to have finally after more than 30 years of dieting figured out a system that is working and can't wait to see what the next months bring. Success is just at the end of my fingertips and I am reaching for all I am worth at this point.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Scale Is Back Where It Should Be

phew-After one very tight day back home the scale is back down to 213 exactly. I am hoping that after today I will at least drop a few ounces and launch into 212. I am so excited to be approaching the 100 mark but at the same time afraid that it will take forever and I do not want to get my hopes up too high in fear of the disappointment.

Yesterday was crazy. We had an open house at 1:00pm on Sunday so spent late Saturday night after we drove the 5 hours home from my parents making progress on unfinished touches to the house. We stayed up until 3am and then got up again early to work some more and clean up after ourselves. I have to say we did a really good job and the house is almost completely finished (small bathroom to finish, garage to really clean out and some gravel laid on the side of the house. Now that it is done I am going to miss the place :)

Anyway in the midst of all of this I also promised to help Cinda (daughter number 3) with an essay for her history class at college. All of this hustle and bustle caused me to skip breakfast and miss out on lunch. On our way to the library I decided to pop into a nearby cafe for soup. Well the cafe was closed and I was reduced to going to the local pharmacy (located next door to the cafe) to look for something. I ended up with a lunchable. I ate 1 turkey round (nasty tasting), 4 slices of plastic cheese and 4 crackers of this horrible abomination. I did not eat anything else until dinner when I had 1/2 a piece of pineapple and olive pizza and the rest of the piece later in the evening. I don't know how many calories this would represent but I am sure well under 1000.

Today was similarly busy as it was my meeting day down at the university. I managed to sneak in more calories with a piece of pizza (1/2 for breakfast and 1/2 for lunch), two skim mocha lattes, a piece of gingerbread 1/2 for a snack in the afternoon and the other 1/2 this evening. For dinner I attempted a very tasty strogonoff recipe i concocted but which refused to stay down. I think i got something stuck. I am feeling hungry right now but at 11:30 I am not going to risk a stomach ache all night so will deal with it. Sot that is it for calories today.

I have not thus far been very good at exercise but had a conversation with my office mate about his diet and exercise slow down. I have thus far saved exercise for when my weight loss really stalls. I am probably way off base here but feel that I need to save stuff to do as my body figures out that this weight is coming off and starts to compensate with low metabolism, conservation of energy etc. My office mate is going through what I call conservation of energy. He has already dropped his food intake down and rides his bike many miles a week. My suggestion to him was that he needs to cross train and mix up his exercise routine with something new. We discussed walking, running, stairs or rowing.

Well all of that exercise talk motivated me so we left the coffee shop we had popped into and took a 1/2 mile or so walk around campus and then decided (at my prompting) to climb a few flights of stairs on our way back to our office. My office mate pounded up the stairs with me in chase. I made 4 flights in good form and felt the need to stop. My office mate coaxed me up a fifth and then we clomped back down to the second floor to our office racing a bit on the stairs and doing a quick race down the hall to our office. It was all good fun and provided us with a bit of a workout (more me than him I am sure).

I loveeeeee it that the effort of movement is soooooooo much easier now!!!

Thanksgiving Looseness

I am back from Thanksgiving at my parents house. It was a good time with lots of food and political disagreement (with minimal blows given and received-haha). My parents house was filled with crazy amounts of food that I had no business being exposed to including the naughty items David and I contributed to the mix.

one 24 pound Turkey, a gallon of mashed potatoes, 3 cups of gravy, a liter of stuffing, one can of cranberry jelly, sliced artisan beer/vinegar bread, butter, two pumpkin pies, one apple pie, one cheesecake, home-made grape juice with diet 7-up. This pile of food was shared by 6 full-sized adults stomachs, one teenage boys stomach, one teenage girls stomach, one child and one banded adult stomach. I did fine with dinner but lost the plot at dessert where I stretched one piece of pumpkin pie and one of cheesecake over the course of the evening. I paid the price with intense indigestion throughout the night.

I had this indigestion for two nights because of my stupid nighttime eating. I saved myself the agony on the third night not because i did any better on the third day but because i finally caught a clue and stopped the food train after dinner. I also drank more water on the third day.

For some reason my band decided to open up fairly wide and plague me with hunger for all three days. I tried to temper my hunger with popcorn but I still ate jelly beans, pies, and way too much carbohydrate laden foods. I gained two pounds over the 3 days and have been tight again ever since i returned home. Who knows why i have tightened up...is it the humidity? elevation? my weight? mental imbalance? who knows. I am glad I am tight again now and can rest easy that the two pounds will soon come off again.

I did notice the extreme eating my family is capable of doing when holiday revelry is in full swing. This band has provided some great opportunity to watching eaters. Because I fill up so fast or have to force myself to eat slowly that I watch those around me eat. Now don't get me wrong there is no subversive food eating in my family. They are all really normal with no corn in teeth or chew and show or other obnoxious eating habits. But what they do as most people in this world is revel in good holiday food. Almost everyone ate huge plates of turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy. Most also proceeded to complain about how overfilled they were for the rest of the evening.

At the end of this extravaganza despite my overeating. I can say I am very pleased that I have this band to at least tempter my overzealous appetite and limit the extent to which I can undo so much hard work.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Another Day and By Gum Another Pound

Well I have hit a weightloss vein and I am going to mine it for all I am worth. I got on the scale and I will be darned if I did not lose yet another pound. Believe me I am not going to complain. These easy drops do not come along that often and I hope this one lasts for a good long while. I just wish I could figure out exactly what the formula is and keep doing it but I really don't think I am doing anything that different. I have had a bit of a burst of energy in the last few days and have been buzzing about the house cleaning, cooking and decorating. Perhaps that has something to do with it. I sure hope so because with the house on the market it is not going to end anytime soon.

Today in preparation for a four day stay at my parents house for Thanksgiving I baked my brains out. I made two kinds of cookies, an apple pie and two pumpkin pies. My husband made four loaves of his yummy beer and vinegar artisan bread and dough for pizzas.

In the morning I took a master base dough recipe I developed from a chocolate chip cookie recipe my husband imported from the UK. With this I made two kinds of cookies. I took his base dough recipe and added peanut butter to part of the batter and raisin bran cereal to the other.

Tonight I threw together an apple pie and two pumpkin pies (I love pumpkin pie and you non USA citizens do not know what you are missing!!). I was deprived of it last Christmas as Tesco's did not have canned pumpkin in Wales...Believe me the next time we spend Christmas at Granny's I will be carrying mine with me!! I have to say my pie baking has improved of late and I do not know why.

I had to duke it out for access to the oven with my husband after dinner as he made four loaves of beer and vinegar batter artisan bread (it is delicious and I can actually eat a small piece of it with cheese for a meal). While my final pies got their turn after his loaves he made several balls of pizza dough to make pizzas during the weekend.

Now before you start thinking ...Wow that Tina must be some kind of a cook and that must be why she was fat in the first place. Well here is the weirdest thing. I HATED TO COOK for years and years. We ate out all the time. I don't know if is part of my desire to make the most of my tiny pouch of food space or if the fat is melting out of my brain too but I really have started to be interested in cooking again. I know..quick someone get me some aspirin. I must be ill.

My mother in the last few years has introduced a tradition to the family that I think is brilliant. When we are all at her house for extended periods of time (this year 4 days). Each family is in charge of a meal one evening. I volunteered us for Saturday night as we figure Friday will be fine with leftovers bursting forth from the fridge. David (my husband) has developed a pizza that is just delicious. The dough he found in the Peter Reinhart book The Bread-baker's apprentice, pg. 207. The pizza has the most brilliant thin crust and his margarita pizza toppings are yumminy. I can eat it without a problem and it is scrumpdiliscious. ok after wiping away my drool....I think I am hitting another deprivation stage....so let me collect myself here :) yeah well he is taking 9 balls of dough (makes about a 10 inch pizza each) and cheeses, tomato and basil with us on the 5 hour drive to central Washington State tomorrow.

So that is a huge food laden post. I am sure there is some deeper psychological statement to be made but I am just going to stop now :)

Monday, November 23, 2009

woohoooo Just 10 pounds away from 100

I cannot believe it but I hit 90 pounds lost today. woohoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo... SO exciting. Not exactly the best time of year to shoot for the 10 pounds I have left until 100. but if this does not light a fire under me nothing will.

I went into the band doctor's office today. It has been three weeks since my last fill and of course I did a big tighten up yesterday. He discussed my tightness. I told him that yogurt and smooth foods like protein smoothies seem to be more difficult to get down than bread these days-I can eat 1/2 a sandwich. He said that time of day probably had something to do with the difference but also they do not know how long it takes for my upper stomach to completely empty and putting the yogurt or smoothie on top of food still in my band might be part of the reason I have more trouble with yogurts than other foods. He also informed me that I should expect my food to pass through my band in about 1/2 an hour (I think he meant begin to empty).

After this information and the fact I have lost about 6 pounds in the last 3 weeks made me agree with him about not getting another fill. I made another appointment for the first part of Jan.. Hopefully this fill will last until then and get me the last 10 pounds to the 100 pound mark.

In light of this new milestone I am going to take this space to write my top tips for working your band:

Be patient-the weight does not always come off fast. Your scale may go up and down but focusing on the down and ignoring upward wiggles helps.

Stay on top of your fills-I took a look at my weightloss record today and you can tell when I get a fill (I think you can see it if you click on my ticker above). The little downward moving bubbles show up right after a fill and then nothing until I make another appointment for a fill.

Do not drink while you eat!!-I cannot really do this without barfing these days (just flat out not enough room) but if you are not completely tight yet it will just wash your food more quickly.

Eat pouch sticking foods-Figure out what types of foods last the longest in your pouch and help you stay full feeling longer. Mine are carbs (bread, crackers). I make sure and eat them with protein. When your fill is waning these can help you wring a little more weight loss out of it.

ZIPLOCK BAGS-Carry them!! Even if you do not live in the USA there are ziptop bags in your country. They are worth the purchase and the damage to our environment. You can PB in your car, a toilet stall, or with spousal cover but you will not have spit dribble down on your shoes (as when you use a napkin) or have to run for a toilette back and forth until a stuck item is released. These come in handy for car or air sickness in children too!

Build in walking breaks- AS my weight has shifted so has my butt. I have now boniness in places where a person should not have it. My butt has a bone that sticks out like a tail. I cannot sit through a 2 hour meeting at work or even on the couch like I once could. This is good. Get up and take a walk to give your new bony butt a break. I now also need a fluffy blanket to tuck between my knees (bony knees too).

Protein-your little stomach is not very big anymore. My blood work came back and all of my stats were great except for protein. I am not a big shake drinker but I am a big cheese eater. I do not think the cheese provides enough protein and I have gotten a little skittish with chicken and beef. Keep trying to eat meat. Fish is fine....eat it. I hated fish before my band. Now I love it. Try new things as your taste buds might change. My doctor suggested sprinkling powdered milk or protein powder on my food..sounds disgusting but I might be forced to.

Take pictures-When you are in the middle of this whole weight loss thing you do not feel like you are making progress. It is only after you take pics wearing similar clothes and in similar positions that you can see your progress. I took them at 25 pounds lost, 50, and 75. I will get another set at 100 pounds lost. I did not always like what I saw but I did see progress.


Rethink how you think about dieting-I used to ride the roller coaster weight loss train. I would diet, then when the scale didn't provide the feedback I wanted I would go off on a bender and undo any gain I had made. Well duh...90 pounds into this I have finally figured out that it is the turtle that wins the race. The weight does not come off (like I said above) fast or even only downward but if you only pay attention to the good news and ignore the rest you can weigh everyday and keep your sanity. If you develop new dieting grooves (I do not treat my day of hard work by stopping at McDonalds for a treat on my way home anymore) the race can be won.

You can cheat your band, Don't!-Ice cream slips through. You can snack your evening away by putting high calorie tidbits next to your chair and eating them over time. You can eat chocolate or drink your calories in wine or booze. I am by no means perfect at this game. I fail sometimes I stop for an ice cream when I am feeling sorry for myself or I drink at parties and snack off the snacky table. Be aware of this slippery slope and avoid it.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Not Much To Talk About

I have another fill appointment tomorrow. I am not fully confident that I need one but I am going to risk being miserable over Thanksgiving and do it anyway. I hit an all time low of 215 and then bounced back up to 219. Since then I have been working my way back down to the 215 again. If all goes according to plan tomorrow should be that day I regain the 215 mark. Of course-that is why I think I am going to go for the fill as it was at this weight I rebounded back up the scale again.

My sense of restriction has been up and down. When I drink and eat a yogurt things go down fairly slowly but other food slip right down just fine. sandwiches, fruit, cheese, crackers are not a problem. It is an odd thing and again a reason to question the wisdom of increasing my fill. I will let you know how the appointment goes and how my holiday eating plays out.

Last week I ran around another part of the state doing classroom observations. I wrote a long post about it but after reading the thing I thought better (I was in a bad and hopeless mood about our educational system) and deleted it. I have observed over 100 classrooms teach math over the past 10 years and sometimes the lack of interesting and innovative instruction gets to me. Don't get me wrong I saw several good lessons. I think it is more like the saying..when she was good she was very very good and when she was bad she was rotten. The bad sometimes overpower my feelings of hopefulness.

I am still in a career crisis zone..no decisions or actions made but lots of thinking.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Crazy Days

So our house is listed and we had a boat-load of real estate agents go through it on an agent open house tour on Tuesday. I cannot believe how many real estate agents are at one company in my part of town! We had almost 20 business cards sitting on our entry hall table when I got home at 1:30 (I left at 10:30 am!). If the market is as bad as they say It is a wonder that many real estate agents are not starving to death! I don't know how they are making a living.

Today I am out of town doing teacher observations and getting paperwork put together for some other teachers we are adding to the study. As a result i am enjoying a quiet evening in solitude at a hotel....I seriously nodded off while reading some facebook entries a while ago. I woke up and noticed my computer had fallen asleep (not sure how long I had been out!). I will be here until Friday and then go home again to more home fix it and cleaning out. Hopefully someone will have had a look at the house and at least made some sort of an offer..fingers crossed.

My band thoughts for the day are this: I used to love to eat out. Scarily enough I am feeling like it is too much work to do anymore. I have gotten tired of ordering something and being unable to eat it. I either take a couple of bites and am done or get a bit more but still have to take the enormous portions home and then end up throwing them away two days later. It is just easier to cook at home or bring my own food and eat in my hotel room. I talked this over with my oldest daughter earlier this evening and she said...wow mom this band thing is finally changing you. Scary isn't it!! I did find a good meal choice out on Tuesday. the grocery store near the deli department had a small plastic cup with cubed cheeses and fruit. It was just the right size and provided me with fruits and cheese types I don't normally buy. A treat in a boring kind of bandy way :)

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Working Like Crazy

Today was a full on mad day of house prep. While David cut up some landscape timbers so we could take them to the dump (yes he is much better), I cleaned out the shed. Between the two of use we completely filled the back end of his very large truck. It amazes me how much crap one can store in a tiny garden shed.

This evening we finished ripping up the now gutted bathroom floor in preparation for a reinstall of sub-floor and tiles tomorrow.

Hopefully we will also fit in some painting as in the afternoon I have promised to load up an extra fridge we have in the garage and take it to a friends house in Central Oregon because her fridge broke. If anyone has any fridge strapping advice I want to hear it. I am nervous of keeping the fridge in the back of the truck.

Monday is a work day (I will limit it to the drive down, meeting, drive home scenario. I need to get back and do more painting.

On a good note this working is great for exercise. I lifted more 'weights' today than I have in a lifetime.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Stay on Top of Your Fills Girls

Last night I dreamed up a post where I listed all of the ways I could cheat my band. I have lapsed once and 'gone there.' I have been somewhat hungry this week and stressed over my husband's hospitalization. All in all it has been a great week for weight loss and leads me to the above title for your reading pleasure.

Stay on Top of Your Fills. Up until a couple of weeks ago I had been complacent. Did I need a fill? Did I not need a fill? My stomach and mouth and fallen back on some old ways that were not healthy and definitely did not help with weight loss. I still had decent restriction but not that magic amount to make me step back when eating and say say..woahh slow down with the chewing Tina and woahh your going to try to eat what??? I should know better than that. I tested my way through this and my consequences were that I stuck from 219-222 for about 3 months.

Since my last fill those feelings are back. I cannot sit down to pasta for example and let it slip down unchewed. I cannot eat mashed potatoes without great care (oh and I do mean great!!). Fruit has to be eaten slowly and with serious mastication. A yogurt takes 20 minutes to eat.

So much of this band thing is a careful dance between the physical and the mental. The physical-if the fill is good the food stays with you a long time and only that small space above your band gets filled. The mental-if you choose slippery foods and take your time they will slide down. Ice cream slides and I have found that I can eat mass quantities on an empty stomach to the tune of 800 calories!!! Naughty Naughty. I cannot chew properly, get stuck and painfully hurl my meals back up. I can eat more than my upper stomach can hold and face discomfort for about a half hour and portentially several 'productive burp filled spit episodes.'

Alternatively I can comply. I can eat slowly, I can cook healthy meals with vegetables hidden in them for roughage and nutrition. I can use my quick measure coffee mug to make sure I am serving myself the correct amount (1/2 cup). I can take as much time as it takes my slug, slow daughter to eat her full serving to eat my little tiny serving of food. I can stop when my stomach says it might be full.

This week has been mostly compliance. I have been cooking in more (mostly because David's illness has scared me into thinking he needs to improve his eating habits as much as I do). Plus we are broke from all of the home fix it. Of those cooked meals I take and eat my half cup serving size (if not it has been to my peril). I have chewed!! I had peaches one evening with a low fat vanilla yogurt and took my sweet time chewing and resting for almost an hour (fudging on the 30 minute meal rule but I need roughage!!).

How to cheat the band. We all know it. I am pretty sure we all do it sometimes. Ice cream...It is good, it gets you through the pity party, I am feeling empty feelings that sometimes creep up from behind. I used to fill these feelings with food. Now that food sticks I turn to ice cream. This fill slows me down but I have to avoid the darned ice cream. I have gone to my local fruit smoothie store instead for a low-cal option with a boost of whey and it seems to help. I have even ungrooved my 8 year old's daily request to get an ice cream on our way home. She has now begun to ask for Jamba Juice. My drink is 180 calories plus whatever the whey scoop is (usually 120). It holds me until dinner and beyond. I hope this good behavior holds. The empties are like a monkey on my back sometimes!

There are other ways to cheat. Ice cream is my cheat of choice but I can also eat potato chips quite easily (pringles especially). Instead of chips I have found that 95% fat free microwave popcorn hits the spot. I had some last night when I was feeling hungry and wanted to get a sense of volume but not make myself sick.

Booze-I can drink it like a fish still. Right now I barely get enough water in so it has been fairly easy to limit the booze. The party season is looming and this might prove more difficult. I have not yet done this but am going to vow to drink two cups of water before and after each alcoholic beverage. I imagine that this liquid front load will have me in the bathroom so much that I wont have time to get drunk on liquid calories :) haha.

Sooooo....post your problems and solutions. Maybe we can compile a list of band diversions for naughty foods and how to fill the empties when they creep up on us.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Time to Simplify

David was released from the hospital yesterday. In the end he did not have H1N1 but instead a nasty case of E Coli that had settled up in his kidneys. In the hospital he was loaded up with IV antibiotics and he has now been sent home with 11 days worth of more antibiotics in pill form.

Directly after David got home we had to do a quick clean in preparation for the real estate agent who we listed our house with last night. Since David was hauled off to the hospital I spent my days trying to get into visit him. As a result all of the last minute preparations for listing the house did not get done-such as trim paint, the bathroom rebuild, and de-clutter didn't get done. It now needs to be done in the next few days in preparation for and agent open house next Tuesday.

The purpose of all of this is to simplify our lives. I work too hard, David works too hard, We have Grace to care for (and try and spend quality time with). The older kids are gone from home and we no longer need a 5 bedroom house to house them in. We are planning on renting for 6 months to see if small space living is for us. If we like the apartment life we will put our house money into a condo. If it drives us crazy we will fall back on our original plan of property and go the rural route.

The condo route means that potentially we can buy a place with no loan and never have a house payment again, never have yard work again, clean a much smaller place and use our paycheck for retirement savings, travel, boarding a horse for Grace and overall have more leisure time. Best of all..and Im not totally sure I am ready for this but I kind of want to try it. I can quit my job and stay home again :)

Weight-wise I am down one more pound but amazingly I think this fill is loosening up already!!! I must be at some pivotal fat amount around my stomach and the one pound of blubber loosened the band already. For once I have preplanned things and have an appointment already arranged in two weeks. I will try and behave myself and keep the band as loose as possible this time so I can get a bit more fill and possibly get a better weight loss run with the next fill.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hospital Fun

Last night ad midnight I had to pack my husband into the car and take him to the emergency room. He started feeling a bit off at 2 in the afternoon (and I was thinking he was trying to shirk working on the torn up bathroom). He went to bed with a temp of 99. I took Grace to a sleep over and popped into Home-Depot for supplies. When I got home at 6pm his temp was up over 100. By midnight it was 105. The doctor on call said to take him in and I did.

At first they thought he had the flu but when his heart rate stayed at 130bpm and his blood pressure stayed low even though his temperature was finally controlled (5 hours of Tylenol and ibuprofen) They admitted him to the hospital. They now think he had a urinary tract infection that went sepsis and the flu or just the infection (they are not sure). He did not have any symptoms at all before the fever set in. His door is still posted with an infectious disease poster and the pile of disposable gear in the garbage is huge. They took an H1N1 flu swab from his nose this morning and we will know this evening whether it is flu and infection of just infection.

Off the sick husband topic-the band is extraordinarily weird when you skip sleeping. It now makes sense that I tighten up when I travel to different time zones. As I sat in the ER from midnight to 5am my band tightened and loosened a few times. Once water even got stuck for a few minutes and I had to slow it down. I am having to drink cautiously today but the foods I have tried so far have been fine. I had two small rounds of baby bell cheese at 5am and another two a few minutes ago. I also had 6 small wheat thins. I am hungry today with a gumbly stomach! Probably from the lack of sleep.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Holy Moly This Fill IS A Beauty

I cannot believe how quickly you up the food amounts when a fill loosens over time. I went back and forth many times about whether I needed a fill. Well now that I have a tight band back I can tell you that I NEEDED A FILL! My food intake has dropped dramatically. For example, on Saturdays David and I take a statistics class at my local community college. Every morning before we leave I make a big mug of tea and either 1/2 a sandwich or and 2 ounces of cheese and 3 or 4 crackers.Well post fill (today) we ran out of the house before I had a chance to pack anything but we stopped at Starbucks and I bought a tall Skim latte (with mint and mocha dropped in) and a cranberry scone. In class it took a full hour to drink the coffee (went really slowly through the band) and I managed about a 1x1 inch of the scone. David ate the rest. That was it for all of class. Usually by the end of class I am dying for lunch. Today I wasn't hungry until 2pm. The other meals have been the same..Less quantity and much longer period before I am searching for a snack (or the next meal now!).

My weight is shifting again (I am almost afraid to type that because I will jinx it or something). When I went into the doctors office I was back up to 222 and 4 days later I am back at 219.0. When I weigh and mark my weight I round down. If I am anywhere in the 219's I call it. One day I hit 219.8 and I took it. So technically I am down to an all time low but my rules say I cannot claim it until I hit 218.9. If all goes well I should be down into the 218 range tomorrow.

Some fallout from the drastic decrease in food and frankly liquids because i just don't think about putting much in my mouth-liquid or otherwise. Well when you don't eat much roughage or drink enough fluids things tend to ...hmm solidify in an uncomfortable fashion. I have heard about it from many bandsters. I have always considered myself lucky to have avoided that particular band side-effect. Well no more. That side affect has arrived and I am going to have to think about how I can get more fluids and perhaps other ways of getting in roughage. I will not be adding the poop report to my blog but bandster beware :)

Friday, November 6, 2009

Stress Induced Illness

I woke up with a headache today plus other symptoms of stress. For some reason whenever I get stressed out my ankles swell and my gums recede and hurt. I also break out in itchy rashes. It is the wackiest thing on the planet but it is. I still want to quit my job and spent most of yesterday trying to figure out ways to keep some money coming in but reduce the work stress.

I came up with tutoring. I live in an area where parents pay for people to tutor their kids. They do this so they can get the kids ahead and get them into gifted programs and advanced math classes. I don't really support the idea (I think schools should give all of kids a great education not just a select few) but it is something that happens and a potential job opportunity. I decided to put out an ad in my neighborhood paper just to put out feelers.

I have a book I want to write but of course never take/have the time to work on it. You also have to work on the book with no pay and hope to heck that some publisher is interested in it and might not be after all of your hard work.

Last year I worked on a grant proposal that would have changed my job (I don't know if it would have helped the stress though). It would have made most of my job closer to home. We did not get the grant but I could try that again.

I could apply for university jobs around the country. If i get one it would mean moving out of state and leaving my husband here. Keeping two apartments, commuting on weekends and pulling Grace out of her school and trying to find a new one that I could tolerate. Definitely not less stress!

Just thinking about it makes me want to take a vacation :)

Thursday, November 5, 2009

A Band New Renewal

It is amazing how much a fill can spur on my motivation. The fill forces me to stop resting on my laurels and pay attention (again) to how much I should be eating and increases my need to be careful about what I am eating. Carbohydrates have to get shoved off my lazy menu and I have to think craftily about how I am going to insure that I eat enough fruits and vegetables along with enough grams of protein everyday. I have not been particularly good at staying hydrated. I am also going to have to work on more water and less tea and Diet Coke.

I have gone all domestic today and done a bit of cleaning and laundry. Additionally I pulled all of the wilting vegetables out of the fridge and threw together a beef stew that is simmering on the stove slowly all day. I made an apple pie to take over to a neighbors Guy Faulkes party tonight.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

My New Band AKA Filled and Bruised

Yesterday I went in and talked to the Nurse Practitioner who attempted a fill but failed. She went and got my surgeon who tried and succeeded. He put in .6 cc's of additional fluid. I drank one small glass of water...went down fine. The second backed up. It was the strangest and pretty darned scary experience I have had yet with this band. The surgeon came back in and decided to try a poke while I was standing up (Oh did I say it hurt like hell when he jabbed the needle off my port over and over while trying to tense up my stomach laying down). Standing up was great! No pain and the needle went straight in this time. He decided to try it standing up because I was sure I could not manage to lay down in my panic to get the water down a hole that was closed tight! I asked him to leave the needle in after he deflated the band and put a little back in. I drank a cup of water with a needle sticking out of my side! This worked realllllllly well!! In the end I left the office with just .2ccs of additional fluid (something like 6.7cc's in all I think they said.

So I can definitely tell I am tighter. I am back to making mistakes in my food again (even though it is the same food I could eat two days ago). The grilled cheese is back to less than 1/2. I ate ice cream too fast (and yes I know I shouldn't even eat it)and barfed it all back up (this is something brand new for me!!). Fluids must be drunk slowly. A diet coke must be drunk verrrrrrrrry slowly. Tea on the tighter band feels niceeeeeee..

Between the port jabs and a year end blood draw I am bruised quite a bit and my side is killing me.

Today I had to drive to the other side of the state for meetings and observations and then home with swollen ankles and had to have more Skyped in meetings and disagreements between bosses and office mates and I have come to the conclusion that it is time for me to change what I am doing. I have worked in my current job on various grants for 10 years. This has been the longest term job I have ever held and I think, really think, it is time for me to change. Anyone have any good ideas? I like the idea of retirement. How about Italy in the Winter and hmm...I don't know where to go for Summer. I will write when I want. Quilt again, Home School Grace again, Cook only when I want to. Paint...Garden....Sleep.

Monday, November 2, 2009

San Francisco and Crazy Band Antics Du Jour

I'm back from San Francisco. It was a great time in which I took no pictures but will eventually get some from others who did. As usual I forgot my camera. The drive down was lovely. I checked out three book on CD from the library and listened to them.

On the way down was one written by a food critic living in France. I do not know why but since banding I care a whole lot more about listening to tales about food, food quality, and looking at food. I am sure my brain is fighting back in some way.

About two hours from my hotel I put in some romance-like Fern Michaels book. It was sappy but got me through the miles. I finished listening to the Fern Michaels book up on the first part of my drive home. Finally at about the Oregon border on my trip home I started the Alchemist's Daughter-It is pretty good. I have two CD's left to listen to and want to take a long drive so I can finish the darn thing.

Both going to and from California at the border was a demarcation line of sunshine that was very surreal. The sunshine and warmth was wonderful and I spent as much time as i could being out in in to chase away my early SADD feelings. Coming home the rain buckets started dumping again at the Oregon border and i was back to dismal old Oregon. California is looking great for a potential new home location as far as I am concerned after this trip.

While in San Francisco I took some of my colleagues up to Napa for the day and had a luxurious lunch at a 'French' restaurant at the Chandon winery. We had Sparkling wine (apparently they aren't allowed to call it champagne). It was yummyyyyyyyyy. I tried my first Oyster on a half shell. I chewed of course because i was scared to death I would have to hurl the thing back up again. It tasted like the sea smells and I will not eat another but it stayed down just fine. After tgat I had a cream soup and a small amount of strawberry tart for dessert. Both very delicious.

On day two we added another colleague and his 16 year old son from Ireland. We drove out to the coast and took a 4 or 5 mile walk up the beach collecting shells and sea glass and talked (I would say the best time I have ever had walking the beach). We finished our beach day with fish and chips and salads at a beach side cafe. In the evenings we went to the Italian restaurant and had lots of vodka and orange for me :) and wine and beer for the others.

The rest of the week we spent in conference sessions by day and dinner and socializing by night. I managed to get in one bike ride during the week but it was a great one. Right in front of the hotel where I stayed is a nature reserve that has paved trails for bikers and walkers. I rode as far as I could go and then turned around and came back but the weather, flat ground and lack of cars was wonderful. I envy them that trail.

I got home Thursday night and Grace waited up for me. She was happy to have me home. On Friday she had no school so she and I lounged around the house watching the 70's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Enchanted. She was tired because of her snuffly cold (thank goodness not the flu) and I was just tired. We had a good day. Later in the afternoon we went out for a protein smoothie and groceries so we had some dinner in the house.

Over the weekend we had workmen in to install all of the trim we have taken down during our never-ending remodel and began ripping out the final bathroom that needs a spruce up. We are hoping to list the house on the market next week (I am keeping the pressure on because if we don't get it up soon we can't put it on until after Winter).

Finally to my hurling story of the week-

I attended a state level meeting today for the grant program I am working on. I had no barf problems in San Francisco and have not really had one in more than a month. I might have had the need to spit a time or two because i overate but today was an oddity.

They served burrito fixings for lunch. I skipped the tortilla and selected one small chicken tender (it was not dry and came with plenty of liquid), 1/3 cup of refried beans and a scoop of sour cream. I cut and chewed the heck out of the chicken, ate the beans and thought I had done fine. After a little while I decided that I had perhaps eaten too much (although i had not eaten anywhere close to a full 1/2 cup of food). I had my office mate go with me to my car to feed the parking meter hoping that a good walk would dislodge whatever needed movement and get my stomach to empty a bit quicker. Well by the time I had fed the meter I knew I was not going to keep the lunch fully down. The parking garage was empty and my office mate said there is a garbage can if you need it (I needed it and thank goodness he is aware of my sometimes problems). I did a quick PB into the Garbage can and walked back with him to the office. I gave him a hard time that he was becoming my hurling demon as the last time i had a problem was on a road trip with him. I went back to the meeting and gradually knew i needed to go to the bathroom as I was not done being sick. Again thank goodness everyone was listening to a presentation and I had the bathroom to myself because i launched the lunch right on back up.

Well now after waiting for a fill for a month and being faffed about by the staff at the doctors office I am now hurling the day before a fill!! ON beans the consistency of pudding no less. I am going to talk it over with the nurse practitioner and see what she says but I think I am going to tough it out with another small fill and see how I go.

Sometimes things are a tad maddening with this band. No further weight loss and I am tightening up and loosening like crazy.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Biking and San Francisco

Riding my Bike

My neighborhood is build around a big 2.2 mile loop. I ride around Oak Hills Drive, which turns into 144th ghd Perimeter and then back into Oak Hills Drive. you will have to click the x in the corner of the speech bubble, the center the loop in the frame. Finally hit zoom in once and you will see the map with streets.


View Larger Map

This all looks flat on a map...yeah will it is not. There is a pretty decent big hill involved and then sever really small ones. Most serious bikers would call it nothing. It is a thigh burner for me.

I have up to this point been afraid to try it. I was just not prepared for the failure if I could not get around the neighborhood. Well yesterday afternoon I got up the guts and went for it. I included some sanity saving hill skipping measures (like going out my back door and up the hill behind my house (saves me 1/2 the big hill ascent). I then rode halfway around the loop (and my thighs were screaming but my brain said nooo you can go further). I went three quarters of the way and my legs were screaming more loudly and I was cussing back at them (yes it was the 'f' word..over and over). I made it to the bottom of my street (because I still had the hill I skipped at the beginning to come back up. and I couldn't do it anymore. My lungs burned and I was coughing and my legs were getting to the point of collapse. So I walked my bike up the hill to my house.

I made it. I cannot fathom why on the bike I am able to push past exercise pain when walking or God forbid running I would never in a million years do that. My office mate thinks that it is because pushing the bike is just enough of a pain in the butt to make you want to get back on. I don't know but I do know Im OK with my progress and I am going to try it again.

Driving to San Francisco Today


After the dryer is finished and my packing is complete I am leaving by myself for a road trip to San Francisco. It is a 9 hour drive (the longest I have ever taken alone but i'm kind of excited to do it). I am off to another conference but have planned to drive so I can take my bike, pillow, camera, some books I have to return, several pairs of shoes, three books on CD, etc. For some reason knowing I am taking the car has put my packing sense into overdrive. I promise I will get the camera hook-up sorted out and upload from this trip.

Finally to end this thing...I want to give a shout out to Bunny. She is having a bad couple of days and I want to provide her with a virtual vacation:

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Patience is a Virtue

So today I followed my standard morning routine-Get up, pee, weigh. Well lo and behold the scale moved!! I am down not one pound but two pounds! When I went into my weight tracker program to change it I had a look at when I last logged a loss and it was on September 27.

I would have guessed at least a month not 3 weeks.

Being disappointed about weight for so long and so often has turned me into a weight loss pessimist. No matter how many times I go through the cycle of lose, stop losing and then start losing again I still get stressed out when I get into a plateau and the weight won't budge. As much as I know that my behavior (eat junk, eat healthily, exercise or not) is directly related to the weight coming off, when I am in the middle of my body not behaving as science says I get worried. When one week, then two weeks, then three goes by the time stretches in my brain and 3 weeks becomes a month. I eat foods that I know I shouldn't or sit on my rear and wallow in the belief that weigh loss, for me is different. Diets don't work and whether I eat or not isn't helping me lose so why would it make me gain.

Even though I know the pattern, have lived the pattern for over a year, I still can't quite change that mind set.

When I read all of the other blogs and see you struggling with frustrations I can see clearly that it is a bump, a plateau or some skill to be learned. When I struggle with myself it is all so different. Hopefully this post will in some way dislodge a tiny bit of that mindset and I can learn as much real patience in myself as I do with everyone else.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Pics in Denim

I made my husband take some new pictures of me the other night. Even though I think it has only been 5-10 pounds since my last set of pics I can see more of a difference in these than the last ones. My face is finally starting to un-chubbify a little.




These are my sized 16 levi's 560 jeans. They are definitely a good thing if you have small legs but a large and long waist. These hit me right at my belly button but are flared too. The bit of Lycra in them makes them very comfortable. Note that I am standing next to my scale :) She and I have a much better relationship these days!

These Are my new trouser jeans. They look a bit baggier but Grace (aged 8) and my husband say they look good.

This picture is of my trouser jeans. As you can see is from the back. I still say they are a bit baggy but hey who can complain about jeans that are baggy!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wearin Denim while I Face Plant in Pie

Ok Day number two of the great denim search yielded two pairs of decent jeans. One sized 18 trouser jeans. They are kind of dressy and kind of baggy but my 8 year old said they looked good (yes I am reduced to getting an 8 year old's opinion because my older daughters have moved out...good or bad? ;).... The second pair are Levi 560's. Slightly stretchy, slight muffin top but oh so comfortable and a decent sized zipper. They are a size 16.

I got both of these pairs of jeans at the same store I shopped at yesterday but at a different location (Fred Meyer for those who live in the northwest). I went with the intention of getting another pair of yoga pants (because I wore them today and they fit so wonderfully that I could wear them everyday for the rest of my life). This location did not have any of the kind of yoga pants I wanted so I on a lark went over to jeans to see what they had there. I definitely was much happier in the dressing room this time.

Because Fred Meyer has everything I also managed to pick up Halloween candy, some ground beef for dinner and some new clothes off the discount rack for Grace.

Ok now to the not so good part of my story....Apple pie tastes good. My band is behaving like a spazz and I am already on my second 1/2 slice. So my band has been tight then loose then tight then loose-this can change daily and even hourly. I have finally come to the conclusion that I need to go in at least for a consult and maybe for a small fill. It is weird because there are times when I burp and I know I am only burping spit that has built up in my stomach because it is empty and at best there is some liquid in there. At other times I can shovel in a piece of pie, fettuccine Alfredo or some other once taboo food with the greatest of ease.

I have debated whether I have just learned to eat these foods (chewing well and small bites) or if I have really opened back up...

ahh to fill or not to fill that is the question. Whether tis nobler to resist the charms of sweetness and move thy body to the rhythms of life's great speeding path or better to seek outside assistance with a needle and shot of liquid control.

Ok someone can add to that-I am all tapped out with my creative play on Hamlet. I just went at looked at the whole piece and I think it can be done.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Too Big For My Britches-

On Saturday (see the post below) I was high on my new smaller size. Well I think I was a little high on the belief scale. A word or warning or information :) depending on how you look at it is that the Gap makes their clothes large!.

Today I went to our local 'sells everything store' to look for jeans. This store sells Levi's and I have always had good luck with that brand but...I am not the same size and shape as I was before. After trying on 15 pairs of jeans made by 5 different companies and from two different departments I came away with zero pairs of jeans. I am apparently too small for the large sized department but not really in the regular sized department for jeans either. All of the jeans gave me huge muffin top while the jeans in the large sized department floated around me in all areas. When I asked to see jeans with a higher waist they could find exactly one pair and those had granny pant-legs that my daughters have banned from my life (and I admit look horrible). So apparently I need a granny waist without granny pant legs. I cannot be the only person with this problem!

After reaching a point of frustration in the denim department I moved on to the fitness department and tried to find some workout pants (of course less than the $25.00 I was advised against spending). I tried on 9 pairs of yoga pants and found exactly one pair that fit nicely-again either super baggy leg, too short or muffin top. I would have bought 3 pairs of these but the store only had one sized extra large on the rack. I paid a whopping 34 dollars for these yoga pants.

I refuse to give up and will keep looking for jeans. I will go back to Gap and buy the perfectly good yoga pants for $25.00 and never listen to my children again when they suggest I can get the same thing for less money elsewhere.

If anyone is somewhat tall, has skinny legs and in the sized 16 to 18 range has any advice about brands and styles please let me know!!! I need help and patience :)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Clothes Shopping

I went shopping with two of my daughters and grandson yesterday. My daughter without trying has lost weight (definitely NOT from my genetic weight-loss pool). She is also almost 6 feet tall and suffers when looking for slacks for work that are long enough. For her birthday the hunt was on for slacks that were long enough and lunch out. We went to our local fine department store and they do not carry tall slacks. We then went to the Gap who are known for their longer pants length and voila-some tall girl pants.

While on this hunt, on a lark, I tried on some real people clothes (as apposed to the ones from the big girl department). I know I have gotten on the odd sized 18 and a sized 16 that my mother handed down to me but this time, for the first time, in a real department store. I tried on sized extra large yoga pants and a cardigan and had to get a smaller size! I went back and got a large and they fit. My daughters were horrified at the price tag of $25.00 for the pants and I don't really need a cardi. so I did not buy them but I am kicking myself now because I am down to one pair of jeans (ripped the yoga pants my daughter gave me on a nail and it is now too darned cold to wear capris or shorts)...argh. I might have to pop back and buy a pair or two.

I have to say it is kind of overwhelming to think about the whole of a department store as shoppable. I have gotten quite used to (since 1987) going to my small circle of racks and stores to buy sized x clothes. I am sure I will get used to it!! haha

I almost forgot-these size changes have occurred at exactly the same weight I was at 3 weeks ago. By some weird body shifting fate. I have gone down a couple of sizes without shifting a pound (or even gone up one!). Life and bodies are just plain old weird.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cup of Tea?

It is totally amazing to me that my taste-buds have changed so much after banding. I cannot fathom why but food that I used to hate has become tasty and the drinks I used to dislike are now yummy. I am even beginning to dislike things that I used to love (well Ok maybe dislike is a strong word :)).

So I used to be very particular about the meats I would eat. I was a chicken, beef and turkey girl. No pork products of seafood. Over the last year I have begun to eat and even enjoy fish. I have eaten and enjoyed clams a few times but my tummy doesn't like them so I am off them again. I tried pork in Germany and have continued to sample it here and there (and even kind of like it). I still do not like mutton or lamb (poor sheep-bahhhhhhhh).


My grandparents raised sheep for wool only! I was raised to think of them as pets!

Now the biggest change in my drinking habits has been of course the no drinking while eating rule (a life changing event for sure). I used to be that person who got 3 or even 4 refills of Diet Coke at a meal and manage to drink one or two glasses of water besides. I truly think that even the unbanded could learn a thing or two about the drinking and eating combination. I think that water used to wash the vast quantities of food I was eating right on through my stomach and out the other side. I have yet to convince anyone in my family about its virtues though.

In addition to the lack of drink is a change in my choice of cold vs. hot drinks. I have always hated hot drinks and really enjoyed iced cold ones. This has recently begun to change, however. Over the last few months I have begun to like hot drinks. My hot drink of choice...The reading Brits can release a collective whoop of pleasure here...is tea. Not American tea but good old milk in the cup first, P.G. tips tea bag and water second with a spoon of sugar. The warm tea goes down and soothes my band. I have some de-caff tea bags for nighttime and I am trying to start drinking the tea instead of my old Diet Coke for breakfast. Funnily enough after two days off the Diet Coke it isn't tasting very good anymore.

I will miss you old friend


yum...Ok the presentation looks like it needs a scone with cream and jam but keep your focus on the tea pot please...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Much Better

It must have been a small bug as I am feeling much better. After two days of taking it easy on my stomach I have discovered I am quite open. Imanaged to eat almost a whole grilled cheese sandwich with no problems today. Apparently my stomach barometer is officially a grilled cheese sandwich now.

Sick-Kinda

I had some weird stomach thing on Sunday. I was feeling open and decided to test my old stomach again with a small hamburger from Wendy's. I bought, I bit and it went down just fine. a couple of hours later I was drinking the pop from dinner. Watching TV and getting some grading done when my stomach began to hurt...badly. I was moaning and groaning. It was like someone was blowing me up with a bike pump. I tried to burp but with no luck. Finally I was sick (the deep down and painful kind). about 40 minutes later it all built up and came on again. After that I suffered from a bit of heartburn but went to bed because it was late.

Monday I skipped the Diet Coke (ya think??) and carried water and sipped as much as I could all day. I ate a string cheese and 1/2 a cheese sandwich for lunch and then another half as a snack in the afternoon. I had a mocha frapp. (Starbucks frozen coffee thing) at around 2:30 and ended up with another stomach ache (heartburn). Dinner was a bowl of soup and some very soft chicken breast.

Today I am still afraid..so no caffeine at all. I had water, a little popcorn, 2 olives in the morning. For lunch I had 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich and later on lowfat pumpkin ice cream. For dinner 2/3 of a chicken pot pie (mostly the insides and not the crust).

I'm not sure if this deserves a doctors visit or if I should just continue to lay off the pop and caffeine and eat better.

I have gained 3 pounds (I never pay attention but it is bordering on irritating now).

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Pundetta?

I think some one posted about this before and ever since then I have been paying attention to the pass codes we must put in before putting a comment on other peoples blogs...Well tonight I hit the jackpot.

Pundetta? Please post your imagined definitions to my comments page. or better yet take out a pundetta on me :) what would that look like?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Things Are Looking Up

So I'm at work again today. My battle with the bike riding has been because I am trying to save myself 200 dollars a year by parking in the free zone (about a mile from my office) and riding my bike in. I have to say that after Tuesday I was pretty disheartened that I would ever be able to pull it off. My backside was on fire and I couldn't pedal for more than a block. In my poor pity party loving head I decided that life was just not fair and if I could walk for 7 miles I should be able to go more than a block on my bike right?? Wellllllllll silly me.

After a new big butt bike seat (or as the bike store guy called it-grandpa seat) and moving the bike seat up an inch and back and inch plus moving the handlebars up an inch my backside is happy, my legs are happy. I made it to my office and only had to walk twice.

After lunch I went on a short ride with my crazy office mate who has taken up serious biking (and yes I was scared to death he was going to drag my sorry self on some crazy hellish bike ride). I discovered my tires were flat (well really my office mate noticed because I cant see my tires when I am on the bike!). We went to the campus bike shop and he filled them up and viola...I can ride a bike! I can go fast, I can go far and it is sorta easy!!!

Yipppeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee-My stomach has opened way up again and I have been sorta having a bit of a food crisis but wahoo I can ride a bike better than I could 82 pounds ago.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Bad Day Number 2

Still bummed today. I really think it is my head and nothing else. The shift in fall weather I hate! I love summer and do not like other seasons at all. I should really live in Florida or Southern California....hmm maybe the south of France or Spain? My work has tapered off again (can't concentrate). I am eating like crap and having to force myself to get up and move.

My band has definitely reopened again but I am not really attending to anything I should be. I had some mini shredded wheat for breakfast (7 is way more than I have been able to for a couple of months). At mid morning I had some ice cream (a really naughty amount). At two I had 1/2 a grilled cheese sandwich. The bike ride came in right after the ice cream out of guilt! I had soup for dinner (again could get it down quite easily) and had a protein shake later because I felt so bad about the protein value for the day.

Today has not been very much better. a couple of handfuls of candy corn, two string cheeses and finally at 11am I have had a my first Diet Coke.

I have pressing papers to write and online courses to check in on. I am having one heck of a time getting motivated! All right..I am calling the gyno to deal with the hormones. Maybe pulling my sunlight lamp will help as well. arghgh I hate this up and down emotional stuff!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Exercise Rebellion

Summer has turned to rain here in Oregon and so has my gumption to exercise. I am still somewhat tight but my run of weightloss has finished. I gained a pound today (it always happens at the whole 10 pound marks!). I have also been sitting on my backside instead of walking or biking or anything else. I just want to snuggle in a blanket and watch a movie!

Blah.............

Update:

Ok I forced my sorry backside into my new diaper pants (padded bike short underwear things). drug the still unused bike out of my car. Put the illfitting helmet on and coasted down the hill that I live on. The wind felt cool and breezy. A brief flash of..oh this isn't so bad..maybe even nice. Then I got to the bottom of the hill and pedaled the bike. I lasted 1/2 a block. My butt hurt, my thighs hurt so I lowered the gear and tried some more. I finished the block and made a quick decision to turn back up the other side of my loop because there was no way I was going to make it around the neighborhood!. I got halfway up the hill and had to stop and walk. I got back on the bike and managed to ride to the top of the hill and then stopped again for a rest. Finally I coasted back into my own driveway and yard. In all I managed to be out of the house for a @$%@$%$ total of 22 minutes and rode around my short block. arghghghg I need a nap!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Weird Tightening Up? is it Hormones?

So today has been the tightest day I think I have ever had. I am sitting here with my first bout of post-band acid indigestion. As I am feeling a tad PMSy (no hysterectomy yet and avoiding the decision like crazy!). I managed 1/3 of a cheese sandwich today, 1oz of cheese, 1 Mango Mantra protein drink and a cup of clam chowder. I did sneak down 4 small squares of good British cadbury's chocolate.

I have the say the sandwich went down the easiest. The smoothie and soup have been difficult. It took me about an hour to drink the smoothie and the soup is still not down and I ate it 3 hours ago!! I am still afraid to drink some water before bed.

I am going to walk very carefully. Stay hydrated (lesson from Caroline!) and if things persist go in for a visit to my doctor. I have had tightening in previous months but not to this extent.

Hopefully the weight loss will continue....down another 1/2 pound today.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Non-Scale Victories

Life is filled with small victories-or little learning lessons as the case may be. Of late the weight loss seems to have finally gotten to a point that these victories and lessons are hitting me on the back of my head.

1. riding in coach an an airplane is much more comfortable when you weigh less.
2. When you butt disappears from weight loss you cannot sit as much or as long in one place.
3. When you are thinner people look at you and smile (as 0pposed to looking and then looking quickly away when you look them in the eye)
4. Turnstyles (even the skinny ones) can be walked through without sliding in sideways and jumping through. I walked through one yesterday straight on (I do not know why door checkers are such jerks about moving it with their hand and letting bigger people through the gate-it is humiliating).
5. When you are thinner the doctors office gowns do not expose all of your naked flesh but actually can cover it up!!
6. when you are thinner stairs are not nearly as scary.
7. weight loss does not always occur right after you have been on your best behavior-sometimes it takes months to show up!
8. The band gives you the enforced patience to wait the unfair lag time it takes for the good behavior to show up on the scale.
9. Some toilet stalls are still too small to open the door without straddling the toilet!!-it is not just me!
10. when your butt shrinks you actually get shorter while driving a car! My husband and I now have mirror wars because i am not the same height as he is anymore.

Bottom line-The band is great! I never would have accomplished what I have without it. The band takes work but it is mostly wrapping your head around the changes that the band forces that are that work. The band forces me to be patient because I cannot give up and have a burger or doughnut when I do not lose deserved weight. The band forces me to stop eating too much at my meals, too quickly and washed down with copious amounts of fluid.

With the band I eat slowly, I eat sparingly and I eat liquid free. The tiny bit of food I eat sticks with me for long enough. I can stick a stall in weight loss out long enough until my little turtle moves again(see the weight loss ticker above).

Right now my goal weight is at what I weighed in high school (170). After my last weight loss stall I was worried that it was going to be difficult to get to even this goal. This latest burst of weight loss is leading me to believe that I can dare to hope for a real goal--maybe even 150. At 82 pounds lost I am still more than halfway there (This would leave 72 pounds to go. It just blows my mind that this is possible!!!