Monday, August 31, 2009

Weight Loss Fairness Scale and More DIY

I lost one more pounds today. I think I hit a bit of a plateau as I had a really good week but the scale did not budge. I was finally getting a little mad at the scale. There is in my brain scheme a fairness scale and this week was off that scale. There is a rate of suffering food-wise with which I am wiling to put up with as long as the scale moves ever slowly down.

This week the scale was wayyyyy out of balance. Thank goodness my family is no longer enabling my food pitty parties as on about Saturday I started asking for an ice cream run. In the not to distant past my husband would have either gone and gotten the requested food item or taken me through the McDonalds or Dairy Queen drive up for an ice creamy treat. Well apparently since he sees my success at the end of this thing and is trying to catch up to my weight (he now weighs a whopping 4 more pounds than I do) he said, "no we dont want to do that". A compromise was a trip to Jamba Juice where I had a Mango Mantra smoothie with a scoop of granola and a scoop of whey protein. Less calories than the ice cream and a good 22ish grams of protein.

I think I need all of the protein I can get as my hair is falling out in clumps. next to 'my spot' on the couch there is hair all over the back of the couch, on the floor in clumps on the passenger seat of my car (I drive and pull hair on my way to and from work). Now I do not yet have scalp showing on my head as I had a ton of hair to start with but it is definitely thinner and has stopped growing. I can loop my ponytail four times instead of the two i started with.

On the Home fix it front I managed to tile my hearth this weekend but need to grout. We went and bought carpet and are having it installed in the bedrooms (the rest of the house is bamboo and tile now).

We have played this indecisive game between sell or don't sell for two years now. I have to say that now that everything is getting fixed up I kind of like my new house and want to stay but on the other hand we are torn between finding someplace in the country with space or an apartment where all of our weekends would be ours to spend at our leisure with no home fix it.

David's argument is to take a break of sorts by selling the house, reinvesting the money for a year while we decide on and look for exactly what we want and moving into an apartment. I lean towards agreement with him but after a look at one of the better apartments I find it hard to imagine giving up my brand new granite countertops and spare office that holds all of our plethora of crap to putting that in storage and downsizing.

Time is on my indecisive side as we have two gates to make, the laundry room to fix (floor problem, cabinets and paint), a small bathroom to fix (sheetrock, floor and paint), Trim to reinstall, the hallway to paint, the guestroom to finish (idea pic below), Kitchen trim to install, and a hardwood floor booboo to fix. That list is considerably smaller than it was at the beginning of summer but our bank account is considerably smaller as well :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Fills Beautiful Fillssssssss

It has been busy busy around here. I have a list of tasks to get done for work. We are working on getting our hearth tiled (finally!). Cinda is getting ready to move back to college. I have a tight fill. and I had bad news from my gynecologist.

Work-The boss has been out of the country and my work-mate has had well problems so it has been difficult to keep focused on the tasks at hand. I have some articles to round up, an annual report to work on, a human subjects form to submit, and already written article to submit and another article to write. This will all be done before I leave for Germany on September 9. In a week I have managed to get the article submitted and that is it. I will be down at work tomorrow and plan on wrapping up the annual report and hopefully human subjects form.

The hearth-Back at the first of July I bought a gas fireplace insert to install in my family room. IN order to complete the task we needed to get an electrical outlet installed (done the same week I bought the thing) and then we discovered that our floor needed to be installed before we could do the hearth. Well that has been done since July 4. Since then the tiles have been sitting around waiting for us to get to them. WE have come up with a multitude of reasons (Including work) to avoid the task. Well last weekend we installed the foundation material and tonight as I type, David is cutting tiles. When he is done I will crack out the thinset and go to work on setting the tiles. It is looking good!

Cinda's move-Last year Cinda lived in the dorms at her university. Grace felt to insecure to move into Cinda's room and Cinda came home on most weekends so I pretty much left her room alone (The older two had their rooms turned into offices the day after they left!). This year my mother-in-law is coming for a visit on the 7th and Grace is adamant that she will be moving into Cinda's room. Right now both rooms are a mess. We need to change the carpets in both rooms and need to paint Graces old room (it is still the color I painted when she was born). It currently has a bright purple ceiling and lime green walls. This room will become the guest room and I think needs a good calm down. I am planning on installing wainscoting painted white and a paper bag color at the top-something like this picture.

I found this on a web search for ideas

Cinda has rented an apartment this year with a friend from school.She is in the process of scrounging all of the stuff she can get from me. I have a plan to give away a lot of my furniture so I can get new :).

I got a fill on Monday and wowee it is tight. I have had to really think about what I can eat and when I can eat it. My calories have gone way down again but I am tight enough that I could easily slip into sticking to soft stuff. I am really fighting against doing that and hope that I will loosen up with another 10 pound drop (hopefully before my trip).

I went into the Gyno for an ultrasound. Apparently my uterus is messed up from the four children and four c-sections I had in order to birth them. A D & C and all of its more modern types are out. I now need to schedule an MRI to see more clearly the lay of the uterine land and will decide whether I have to live with my current complaints for another 5 years (until menopause), have a hysterectomy or if there is some other option available.

I was very upset at first but there is nothing like a good fill and some more weight-loss to make a girl feel better :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Geocaching for exercise

Last night we went with some friends on a geocaching walk. There is this website ( that lists clues and GPS coordinates for thousands of good old fashioned treasure hunts. Some are difficult to find while others provide the coordinates and a simple clue.

The four treasures we hunted out were all located less than a mile from our house. one was along the side of a busy street in a magnetic key box hooked up on a communications box and was just a log book for us to write down our name on a scroll of paper.

The second was in a nearby cemetery (with quite old headstones for Oregon dating back to Oregon trail travelers). Again this was a log book only treasure.

The remaining two treasures we went after we did not find!! Both were in a park. One might have been disturbed by construction. By the time we got to the 4th it was too dark to see anything. We will go back as I did not even know this park was there-Imagine that and so close to my house!-and Grace thought the toys looked like fun!

In the end we wandered around for about an hour and had a good time doing it!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

One Year, Seventy Five Pounds

Today is my one year banding anniversary. It is my 9 year wedding anniversary as well! I asked David to take some pictures to mark this milestone and although I am attempting a movie (but it is not working!!) I will upload the picture here-I will get back to you with the movie.
August 2008

June 2009 Down 54 Pounds

August 2009 Down 75 pounds

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

One Year Doctors Visit

Grace and I went in to provide the research faculty with my data today. I am down 74 pounds, lost 2 inches in my neck and 16 inches in my waist. my resting heart rate is down to 58 and my walking recovery rate was spectacular as well. My fat percentage was well in the 60% range and now it if 46%. I answered a bunch of questions that were not valid to a band situation (and I told the researcher so). They had a whole slew of questions that were intended to rate my depression but they did not give me any place to say I feel better than I did before about various topics. It was a lame survey.

After this appointment Grace and I went downstairs so I could have my morning Diet Coke (I was dying by 9:00 am for the caffeine) and 3/4 oz. of cheese they gave me at the researchers office. I was allowed no food after 10pm last night so they could do a blood draw.

At 10:30 I saw the nurse practitioner. We discussed whether I should have a fill or not and she concluded that although I have lost a whopping 35 pounds off this fill since the end of May I have probably lost some of the fat around my stoma and a smal fill would not hurt. She gave me another .25 ccs. I am tight..I was scared to eat and just had a bottle of water and a mango protein smoothie at my local Jamba Juice until around 5pm. My stomach at that point got a clue it had not had any solids since 9am and started killing me. It was very sharp pains. At first I though to myself-Oh carp now you have done it. You got all gluttonous with the fills and have done some serious tummy damage. I tried a small saltine cracker and the stomach ache stopped. I went and added 1oz of cheese to my meal. It went O.K. apparently I am OK and although I can feel my stomach right now solid food will go through still.

wooooooooohoooooooooooooo 35 more pounds here I come!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Captain Gynecologist...Away

So I went and saw this woman of wonder. She talked (in a very too much information kind of way). She observed (in almost a very invasive under a microscope way). and although it was exceedingly uncomfortable when she gave me a thorough (and I do really mean thorough) digit exam. I now have started the wheels of a solution for my problem.

so now the dilemma-do I remain cryptic or do I just launch into the dirty details of the whole thing. I tend towards honesty and details but when I was faced today with a gynecologist who does the same I was exceedingly uncomfortable. I am going to leave this here and if you, my readers want more information just ask and I shall provide. I have managed to purge via verbal communication with my husband who definitely thought it was all too much information for him and do not really need to type it all up for my sanity :)...I will however provide the details to you, Andrea, on the phone if you want them as I have recommended this woman to you.

Cutting the the chase I am getting old. I am not unusual. Either my birth control device is no longer working to control my out of control hormones or there is something further wrong that she will find in an ultrasound scheduled for Thursday. In either case, after the ultra sound, I will schedule day surgery at my local hospital for either an ablation or surgery to fix the problem. I got the dirty details on how this surgery would go..but I will also save that unless requests are provided.

Apparently this ablation thing is GP recommends it, and the gyno does too...unless....the other possible complications...shudder ewww shudder :)

On a positive note-I did shed another pound today. I do have two medically related (no doctor involved) appointments tomorrow. One to do my blood work and data providing for the research study I am participating in (band study). After that I then have a fill appointment (no I have not managed to get a fill since the first part of June). I am still not sure if I need one and I guess I will discuss this dilemma with the nurse and also discuss the fact that it took me more than a month to get in to see her and how this makes me afraid not to get a fill because it will be two months waiting if I decide i need one later.

Finally, apparently, I have a mammogram to thoughts are with the Teacher and Helen on this one!! I think a pink mum is a beautiful idea.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Seattle Shopping Spree

So in addition to meeting some of the other banded people I have met online or as my kids call them my 'friends' only where the quotes are they use fingers (who were veyr nice by the way). My middle daughter, Meghan, and I went shopping.

Meghan is very good at pulling clothes off of racks that I would never normally wear. In September I am going to present at a conference in Dresden Germany and found out on Thursday that my Oregon casual clothes are not going to cut the mustard at this week long conference. In addition to professional dressing during the day there are three dinners that I will need smarter clothes for.

We went to Ross (a discount designer outlet store) where I got a white Liz Claiborne blouse and Nordstrom and Macy's both of which were having sales. In addition, Meghan went through her closet and found me a couple of skirts that she never wears to pass down to me. I ended up with two skirts, three t-shirts, two tank-tops, one blouse, one pair of slacks all for about 100 dollars. The slacks were especially a bargain at $7.50 for really nice high quality ones. They actually fit and do not sag in the back like all of my other pants do now.

I will still need to find some combination of black sweater set to go with one of the two skirts (I might have something in my closet but have not looked yet.

It was fun to spend alone time with Meghan and she really helped me to find decent fitting clothes. I told her when we were done that she should think about becoming a clothing advisor (we walked by a bridal store and she looked longingly at the dresses). She would be great at helping people, especially larger sized people, in fitting into wedding dresses that look great on them. I am sure that job would pay no better than the one she has (call center at Virgin America) but She would be good at it. She is the Trinny and Susannah of plus sizes! ;)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Down another pound

Wt. 232 a total of 72 pounds-I really do need to get a ticker on this blog. Last night David took some pictures so that I could update my profile picture. Although I can feel the difference when I touch my face (I can feel a jaw bone etc.) The pictures still show me with my same old fat face.

I am about to head off to Seattle to visit my second oldest daughter (Meghan) and go to a lapbanders bar b que. This weekend is an Obesity Help conference up in Bellevue and some banders from the discussion board have flown up and will be in town. I got an invite from a Seattle area bander and am going up for it. I'm not sure if I will go to the conference on Saturday or not.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hungry or Thirsty?

Today was a work day. I got up and had my daily morning Diet Coke. I packed about 2 oz of cheese and 4 crackers and ate them on my drive south. I made the mistake of stopping into the talk some 'business' with one of the professors. I warned him that I needed to get lunch before my 1pm meeting but in the end I was out of his office at 10 minutes to 1 and therefore did not get my lunch.

My office-mate offered me my pick of his protein bar collection (he stocks them because he is a vegetarian and needs more protein in his day but he knows I use them to supplement my lack of quantity). So I picked out a nutty fruity bar thing because his super dense protein bars are kind of yucky. Well I ate it....then the meeting started......then I remembered that nuts do not sit to well in my stomach anymore. I have to say I almost made it through the meeting but eventually I had to excuse myself and rid my poor stomach of the now peanut-butter blocking my stoma.

After the meeting I was thirsty (nothing besides the diet coke until 3pm) so I went to find some water. a small bottle later and 3 hours of shooting the breeze with my office mate (mostly work related) and I was headed home at 6ish.

Now if you recall from my earlier posts my boyfriend McDonalds has always held an allure. Today even though I was really hungry (I think) I somehow drove past it, saying to myself, If I am really hungry I will stop at A&W before I got on the freeway (20 min down the road). I got there and said..Im OK Ill keep going and go to the next McDonalds down the road and if I am hungry stop...I did this all the way until I was about 30 minutes from home. I cracked but did so by stopping for a mocha frap at Starbucks. I could have turned right and gone for McDonald but I turned left instead...

By the time I got home I had a pretty horrific headache. I think it was a thirsty or hungry headache but I really do not know for sure because frankly I have never been thirsy or hungry that I know of....I always ate or drank when I wanted to. I always had enough stomach space to load up enough to get through a 2 or 3 hour meeting. I never would have gotten sick on a nut bar. Most importantly-I never would have gone all day without either food or drink like I did.

Ok, so I am well aware that I should have done a better job of planning (not my forte at all when it comes to eating or drinking). This result is a curious one, however. I remember growing up and everyone would say ..oh make sure your sister is fed as she gets grouchy. I know my own daughters' get headaches but I have never had that said about me because I have never, frankly been hungry or thirsty. I have needed a drink sure or felt that it was time for a meal....but never ever to the point that I was grouchy or had a headache or where my stomach growled.....

So finally my dilemma is I am not sure which it really was...hunger or thirst but it was something and at 10pm it finally eased off. I had a bit of cheese after and now I feel perfectly fine...weird but cool in a weird kind of way.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Note The Added Pics in the Busy, Busy, Busy Post Below-

Howdy-i worked at mastering both picture taking last week and picture loading tonight. They don't look half bad if I do say so myself-scroll down and you can see them :)

I will try and be better at the whole pic thing from now on. I do enjoy looking at other's picture posts but have never managed to do it myself.


Never Have Children-

So Today I was giving my kitchen a good scrub. In my absence for two weeks they did a pretty good job of keeping the main rooms tidy but the cabinet fronts were looking dirty so I did the dishes some floor sweeping and began wiping down the dirtiest offenders. The garbage cabinet-this one makes sense and the drawers with saran wrap and foil were the dirtiest (not sure why that one was so dirty). While I was cleaning there were these splashes of red that would not come off. On closer inspection the red splashes went across to another cupboard and a couple on the floor. I asked my oldest daughter (who feeds my grandson pickled beets quote often) if she had recently cut up some beets or spilled beet juice. She said somewhat forcefully that it was not beet juice and then after a few minutes confessed that she had opened a cupboard door (the medicine shelf) and a bottle of fingernail polish had fallen from on high and shattered all over my kitchen. Apparently she and my younger daughter (Cinda) had attempted to clean all of it up but they must have missed the three areas I then discovered today.

While in the cleaning process I also found a big chip out of the cupboard. She is claiming no knowledge and it is likely from some broom accident or something.

Two years ago while I was away teaching on my two week stint the three older girls actually tried to open a large jar of pickles in my once carpeted family room. They opened it it spilled and apparently vinegar launched all over my furniture and carpet!!

arghghghgh if you value you nice things avoid children. My office mate suggests that we should just live in a hovel until the kids leave from home before attempting any home-fix it.


There-two posts in one day.

This Weight It Is A Creepin and Hot Flashes

So much to talk about so little space. Today I am down to 233. Yesterday was a strange and good food day for weight loss. On Sunday I got all cocky and decided I was loose enough to carefully ingest 1/3 of a hotdog from Costco. Yeah well I was wrong. It was strange really because I think my stoma was OK with the thing it was my lower stomach that immediately said-"whooooah you don't eat hotdogs anymore and I will be damned if you are going to start back now". So after about 4 hours of just not feeling right and a couple of spits in the sink the hotdog made a reappearance (just how many euphemisms can I come up with for barf anyway???

This event apparently tightened me back up again and yesterday I was not hungry all day. I had 1 cup of my chocolate caramel protein drink, a slice of cheese and two crackers for lunch, and for dinner 6 slices of cucumber in vinegar, 1oz of teriaki salmon, 1 tempura carrot and one small dumpling (shared a bento box with my daughter at a local Japanese restaurant). Speaking of which-Japanese restaurants are good for bandsters. It was the smallest meal I have had show up on my plate in quite some timed and the meat was clearly separate from the rest so I could eat it first. Now I am not sure how sushimi would go down on a band but my husband raw fished himself for dinner (I took a pass---blech).

My nagging worry now is that if I am not eating a whole lot and I am losing weight what the heck am I going into the docs for a fill for...arghghghghghg They are so hard to get an appointment for and here I am now doubting whether I should get one. The appointment is tomorrow!!!

Ok I have held off on this conversation for a while as I worried that it might be too much information for everyone. I then got to thinking that if this blog is going to accurately document what I am going through during the whole bandy thing I guess I had better include it. I have not been squeamish about barf but apparently I am about the monthly bleeding thing but here goes....Apparently hormonal issues are common when you lose weight. I had my band surgery postponed 4 months because of excess (oh and I am being serious here) bleeding last May. Well this time it is not a bleeding to death scenario just a bleeding long term problem. I have had a slow period since July 4. Yep that is right-one month and one week. Yes it is starting to worry me. I have an appointment next Monday with a gynecologist. I called her receptionist yesterday trying to get in a tad earlier but apparently she is booked solid until then. I told her I had been bleeding since July 4 but she seemed unphased by that statement (do patients use that one to get good appointments? is it no big deal for a gynecologist's receptionist to hear stuff like that? Did she just not listen? hmmmmm).

From what I have read as your fat goes your estrogen goes with it (we apparently store estrogen in fat). I am not sure if that is the case here or if I am having the May problem back. Either way I suspect I am in for the big Menopause. I am up this morning at 7:00 due to the worst hot flash in my life (sweaty and I already had my blankets thrown off). Last May they gyno put me on birth control to help with all of this but apparently that has now stopped working and I am going to have to start looking into a plan two. At the time she talked about ablation (some sort of laser D and C). My General doctor highly recommends it. She says it is God's gift to womanliness :) Ok she didn't really use those words but apparently it takes care of the bleeding problem for good (no more periods)and I would be able to go off the pill.

I will keep you posted....

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Busy Busy Busy

I never did get a chance to post again last week. We finished up a very rewarding week teaching. I survived the second week with my husband and daughter sharing my hotel room. They even cleaned up after themselves twice!

On the weekend we went the county fair. We were going to go to the rodeo but a massive thunder storm came through the fair and trapped us under a tent for 20 minutes. Hunger finally drove us out and we ran to the 4-H building looking for dinner. My anti-fast food 8 year old rejected all the food options in the 4-H building so we ran to the adult competition building but their was no food there. After these two stops the rain finally stopped and we were able to go back outside and Grace finally accepted a hot dog. Grace gets really grouchy (think devil child) so we got her fed first and walked back over to the rodeo grounds. We both found something at that concession stand but before we could take our seats they called the rodeo due to mud.

On Sunday we returned to the rodeo after they completely pulled the top foot of soil off the rodeo grounds and replaced it with dry dirt. David brought his camera and we got some great pictures. Grace who usually has a short attention span wanted to stick it out for the whole thing. David and I were ready to go long before she was. It was very hot and humid but we held on until the end when the girls did barrel-racing.

Tuesday night after work we all went an hour south of where I was working to a observatory where they had about 20 telescopes set up along with the big one that viewed through the move-able roof. We watched a slide show about the planets and space-y stuff we got to see through the telescopes and had a guy show us the various constellations with a very nifty super-powered laser pointer.

This is Grace launching a rocket she made at the conservatory during a day class. We went back later that night for the telescopes and show.

The rest of the week was work, dinner, perhaps a drive around town or paperwork in my room and then bed while Grace and David went fishing, boating, the movies, bowling etc.

We were going to stay over until Saturday but were just plain too tired on Friday evening and I was ready to come home to my own bed. We packed up and got home at about 11. After unloading the car and dropping everything in the front entry we crashed.

Yesterday instead of unpacking and putting away my older daughters (Nichole and Cinda) came over and we went down to the Portland farmers market. It was totally crowded but beautiful and full of awesome fruits and vegetables.

I am in the foreground and my husband, David, is in the background. We just parked and are walking on our way to the farmer's market (photo taken by Cinda)

Grant (my grandson) Smelling the flowers (photo take by Tina)

Some Vegetables (photo taken by Tina)

A really cool house that was in sad shape when it was moved onto the Portland State University (PSU) campus back in the lat 90s. As a graduate student at the 'other' state university I used to sneak into the PSU library to dig out journal articles for my dissertation. The library is just south of this building so over a couple of years I got to see it renovated into the beauty it is today. This is about as old as it gets up here in the northwest. The tomato harvest is in as can be seen in the second picture.

On our way back to the car with our loot. From left to right is Nichole (daughter age 24), Cinda (daughter age 19), Grace (daughter age 8). Grant (Nichole's son is flapping around in Cinda's arms)

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Wohoooooooooooooo I Weigh the Same as my Husband :)

Today I am officially 235-woooooooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo. We did lots of walking yesterday and of course the exercise probably did the trick. I also bought some more protein powder (left mine at home) and a bottle thingy that has a shaker inside (like a wire whisk). I take two scoops of the powder, 2 cups of water and shake-a-shake. It is then drinkable. I have chocolate caramel. 21 grams per scoop and 120 calories per cup. I doubled it because I had such little protein in the last week.

There is more to say but I will try and blog more tomorrow.