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 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 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 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 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 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. 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.