Monday, June 28, 2010

216? Um, N-O!

I saw this article on Melting Mama's website---some interesting stuff pops up on her site and this is one of those times, so might want to check her site out.

Anyhoo, when I got the band nearly 5 years ago, I knew there wasn't a lot of data about long term results. At the time, it was hard to find more than a handful of people that even had it for more than a couple of years and even fewer that had been at goal for more than a minute (just sayin'). It bugged me for about 2 minutes because other options were not viable for me (the personal choice thing), so I was going with the band anyway.

This article has some data from the Netherlands. I have selected a few of the points here. I personally found them a bit SCARY when they are measuring success at 25% of "excess weight"! (Just being honest!)

Five years after surgery, about two thirds of patients maintained 25% excess weight loss. At 10 years the success rate dropped to less than a third (31%).

Using 40% excess weight loss as the standard resulted in a five-year success rate of about 50%, which declined to 20% at 10 years, Edo Aarts, MD, reported at the American Society of Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery meeting.

"Action Points":
  • Explain to patients that this study showed that weight loss achieved with adjustable gastric banding was not maintained over time in most cases.
  • The findings were based on a retrospective review of medival records at a single hospital in The Netherlands. The findings' applicability to use of adjustable gastric banding in the United States is unclear.
  • Note that this study was published as an abstract and presented at a conference. These data and conclusions should be considered to be preliminary until published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Source of text

My first question is how the heck is "excess weight" defined? I tried to figure it out - and to find the original abstract - but I got tired and gave up. So if anyone knows, can you please fill me in?

For now, I am going to say that "success" is a normal BMI rating (and yes - there is a whole new hoopla around whether or not BMI is worth a crap, but I'm going to leave that out for now) - so a BMI of 24.9 is a weight of 163 lbs for my height (5'8"). So, with a starting weight of 234 lbs - 163 lbs = 71 lbs. Twenty-five percent of 71 lbs is 17.75 lbs??? Hello, so essentially 216 lbs would make me a band success story??!!! Not in my book baby puppy!

And, if I get over that and just accept that is a success rating, then the numbers in this article are FRICKIN' SCARY! At FIVE years only 50% kept this amount off and this went down to 20% at TEN years???

November 2010, I will be 5 years out. I can, and will, guarantee you that at FIVE and TEN years out, I will not be TWO HUNDRED FRICKIN' SIXTEEN POUNDS!!!! I just don't know what to think of this article. Don't get me wrong, I'm all about data. I think that data is important, but this lack of defined "excess weight" that is being thrown around and what makes or does not make the band a success is quite troubling. The success numbers from this place in the Netherlands were this low for such a small percentage??? What else was going on at this clinic? What about aftercare? Etc. I'll be honest - SHOCKING!

But ya know what - it's information. It's data. I have a band and I am going to do what I am going to do with it regardless of articles and statistics. So anyone that is reading (and trying to understand my gobbledygook) please keep that in mind. Bottom line - it really doesn't matter which surgery you had - it's all what you do with it. *end of rant*

....And hopefully I haven't started a $hit storm with this, but I decided to risk it. Comments welcome...

Friday, June 25, 2010


This week I have eaten too much crap. Seriously. desserts, chocolate, chips, etc. Food wise NOT a stellar week. And it's not that I ate those things either, it's that in reflection on the week I just had too much overall. It's a fact. Period. Recognize and move on.

If I'm really honest about it, I think at least half of it was emotional and a bit unconscious. NOT GOOD! Meaning that I wasn't thinking about the "why" I was eating it, it was mindless, I was eating, etc. And don't get me wrong, this makes me sound like I do this all the time. The "why" crap. Believe me I don't. Because the "crap" I ate at restaurants I am 100% OK with. It's the "crap" that I ate at home that is a watch out for me. Anyway, I'm not even sure any of this makes sense, but I wanted to get it down here so that I could work through it a bit.

Some good stuff from the week - I did go to bootcamp every day and I also did a couple short runs. Total time: 5 hours and 42 mins for 3068 calories. (And, if I do crap on Sat/Sun - man, crap is the word of the day, huh? -  it counts toward this total. My workout week is Monday to Monday. Maybe putting that here will motivate me? Um, not thinking so, but worth a try.)

What kinda makes me pissed at myself - OK, what does make me pissed at myself - is that next week is my off week from bootcamp. Group classes work for me. I feel obligated to go and I suck it up and I go. It's a commitment and I don't want to be one of "those" people that seems to come sporadically or have people ask me why I didn't go. Cause let's be real - do the majority of the women really WANT to go and workout outside in this heat at 5:30am??? Um, my bet is NO. So what am I going to say? I didn't wanna. That's just lame. So I go.

So, I'll have to put on my big girl panties and motivate myself to get my exercise in next week. I think it is going to be a bit harder, but I WILL DO much as right at this moment I really really have a bad case of the "I don't wannas". Hmmm, maybe I should consider going to the gym next week? I wish they had classes at better times, but at least I could go there and do the treadmill or stair climber and be in air conditioning. It's worth thinking about.

So next week, here's my "to do" list:
  • Minimum of 15 miles for the week
  • Minimum of 3 times for Jillian's 30-day Shred or Jillian's No More Trouble Zones
  • Water - heat/humidity is brutal - Need to stay hydrated to achieve the first item
  • Pay more attention to "crap" eating.
Thanks again Dinnerland for letting me know you think I'm a "Superstar of the Band". As you can see from this post, I'm not feeling so stellar, but it might be a good exercise for me. And some headless befores and afters might help me as well.

But you know what, we are BOTH going to stick with it. The scale IS going to move for you (I sent you the weight loss fairies) and I will get my a$$ moving next week. HAHAHA - way to go Dinnerland - just saw that your post. Congrats!

Happy weekend everyone!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Bootcamp Round 3 - Fit Test

Today was the fit test for the end of the session. Friday is the last day of Round 3. Overall, I think there was some pretty good improvement!

My observations for this session:
  • Core and arm strength increasing (Yippeee!).
  • Burpees - not much of an improvement, but I am going with the heat. : ) I was feeling it today--no wind whatsoever and very humid. (It was 81 when we started at 5:30 AM.)
  • While squat form has improved, there is still room for further refinement.
  • Boxing kicks ass!!! I wish we did more of it. Man, definitely a workout.

Oh, what's up with the rounds? It's full out as many as you can do for a "round" in 20 seconds. Recover for 10 seconds and repeat. It's tough for sure!

What I liked about this session:
  • It didn't seem like we ever repeated a workout. Even if we did, it was spread out enough that I didn't notice it.
  • Good variety in muscles worked.
  • Loved the advanced plank work which I think pushed me.
What I will do during my week "off" (next week - the week between sessions):
  • Minimum of 15 miles for the week
  • Minimum of 3 times for Jillian's 30-day Shred or Jillian's No More Trouble Zones (I love both of these)
What I plan to work on next session:
  • Continue development of core and arm strength.
  • Further refine squat form.
  • Have the asskicker yell at me if my form is not good as much as it takes. (I am starting to think that my form is sucking again for planks. Without a mirror, I have a hard time judging where my butt is--sounds weird, but true. Is it too high? Too low? Hips in proper position? etc.)

Monday, June 21, 2010

Weekend Recap

Chocolate, cheese fries with ranch, and lots and lots of NOTHING! That's right. I didn't exercise and honestly I just spent a lot of time lying around. I was T-I-R-E-D, but today I woke up feeling more "normal" and somewhat recharged.

Why only somewhat? Cause I am in a work slump. I have fully diagnosed Slumpville. While being worn out and tired was a contributing factor, yesterday I started feeling down. I was trying to figure out why and suddenly - LIGHT BULB - it is because it's work tomorrow. Slumpville = work. Since I can't quit my job unless I win the lottery (or someone wants to give me a portion of his or her winnings - anyone?), I am going to have to figure out another plan to get outta this work slump. I have no idea right now what that plan is, so it's called "soldier on" for now. (AKA - suck it up baby!)

Saturday night while watching a movie (must not have been that great because I can't remember what the heck it was!) I had some chocolate. More than I should have because there was too much available, so I need to figure out how to get what I want, but in a smaller amount. On Sunday, lunch was thin crust pizza (YUM!) and dinner was seriously good - worth every calorie (which is about 10 bazillion trillion) - Snuffer's cheddar fries with Ranch dressing. Yep, that was dinner and YEP - it was YUMBO!

Fun and games over though!!! Monday bootcamp this morning and weekday it Friday yet? ; )

Friday, June 18, 2010

Granting Permission

This weekend I am granting myself permission to do NOTHING. Meaning NO exercise is required or expected AT ALL on Saturday or Sunday. Does this mean I won't? Who knows, but what it does mean is that I am giving myself the weekend off as part of my move out of Slumpville.

What I have found is that when I give myself permission to either not exercise or have something like candy or dessert that often times I find myself exercising or not having the candy/dessert...with no pressure of "I have to exercise!" or "Man, I NEED some candy/dessert. I MUST have it." Other times I do. Regardless of what happens in either scenario, I do it and I feel good about it (no guilt). This is definite progress.

So I will leave the week with the following in no order of importance:
  • Completed 5 bootcamps. Polar info: 5 hours 12 mins for 2880 calories.
  • Weighed within my June revised weight range (132 - 136 lbs) *Note: most weeks I weigh in once a week. Other weeks, I don't weigh at all. Weird, but true.
  • New clothes are definitely looser than when first purchased.
  • Last week of boot camp for this session is next week. Next week I need to figure out my plan for the week between sessions.
Thanks ladies for the comments! Happy weekend!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


There's a Dr. Suess book called, "Oh, the Places You'll Go!" Have you read it? Here's a quote from it:

"You’ll come down from the Lurch with an unpleasant bump. And the chances are, then, that you’ll be in a Slump. And when you’re in a Slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done."

That pretty much describes where I'm at. I am dragging. Feeling tired and worn out. I've come from the Lurch and I'm in a Slump. And ya know what? It's NOT much fun and getting out of it is NOT easily done. Frustrating! I mean let's be real --- quoting from a kids book? I don't have any kids?  It has me a tad bit concerned! : )

So I'm in the process of un-slumping.
  • Step 1: Acknowledge the Slump. (Done - Hi Slump! and this blog post.)
  • Step 2: Figure out what is causing the slump (Done - I think - burned out on work, have not had a vacation in years, needing some time to recharge)
  • Step 3: Ask for help. (Done - Spoke to hubby.)
  • Step 4: Determine plan for un-slumping. (Immediate need: Some downtime. aka ME time. Hubby is also feeling like he's in Slumpville.)
  • Step 5: Execute Plan. (Determined to find ME time this weekend. "Hey, ME time! Wanna do something this weekend?")
  • Step 6: Say good-bye to Slump 'cause there will be NO "waiting" or "staying". (Hopefully quite soon I'll be saying "Bye Slump! Hope not to see you for a while!")
So look out Slump 'cause you've been served and you are on your way out the door!

Fact: "Slumps Happen". What do you do when you're in a Slump?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

My blog...

I took the time this weekend to go back to the beginning of my blog and scan the posts. All I can say is "wow". It really is weird to look back at it 5 years later. I found some information "Golden Rules" as I referred to them that I actually kinda like better (or at least to add) to the stuff I have listed on the sidebar. Check them out:
  • Chew all foods very well and appreciate the taste. Take your time, don't rush
  • Start with a small, planned amount of food. Wait at least 20 minutes before thinking of adding something else to your plate
  • Eat meals and snacks on time. Hunger drives an uncontrolled appetite
  • Don't drink 30 minutes before or after a meal. Never drink during a meal
  • Eat without distraction. Tension or excitement may cause you to eat too fast or forget to chew
I really do think these are golden. Thoughts?

And this on PB'ing---which is guidance from my doctor:
  • Some degree of vomiting or regurgitation may occur after you eat
  • This may indicate you are: eating too fast, trying to eat too much, not chewing your food adequately, or eating the wrong foods (or potentially too tight)
  • Every person is different and some foods may give you problems and not others. Avoid those foods that give you problems
If you vomit solid food
  • Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for two hours
  • Do not force the issue and try to eat or drink again immediately
  • This may induce more vomiting. The more you vomit the more swelling that may occur across your band. This may lead to further obstruction.
 After two hours try solid food again

  •  If you vomit again:
  •  Stay NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) for four hours
  •  After four hours try water only
  •  If you can tolerate water stay on clear liquids for 12 hours before trying solid food again.
  •  If you can't tolerate clear liquids or water without vomiting notify the doctor immediately
  •  Prolonged vomiting (more than 12 hours) is not normal - Call the doctor immediately 
And this post where I adopted Edgar the purple hedgehog. I was surprised to see he was still around after all the neglect!

I've had stalls, stumbles, and successes. What a journey and honestly an evolution in my mind and well being as much as my physical appearance.

I started this journey being severely depressed, meds, shrink, the whole sha-bang. My weight was definitely contributing. It's funny how I just made the decision to get the band and was off and running. It was a significant investment (self pay), but worth every penny.

During my journey I worked on my inside and outside (inside is not reflected as much in my blog as I keep some things out to retain anonymity). I continued to see a counselor and eventually stopped taking my meds for depression. We reached a point where we agreed that further counseling was not needed - that I had the tools in my toolbox to keep myself mentally and emotionally on track (way more baggage than weight). I know that without this component of my journey that I would not have been as successful.

Things continued to "shape up" on the outside as well. But life is about stalls, stumbles, and successes. I am sure that I will experience stalls and stumbles going forward, but if I do that I am also now prepared to turn them into successes!

What do you do to get or keep your "mind" in shape?

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Ah, my Polar...

Oh how I love you...If I just believed you! You are kinda like a super duper cute boy (prior to me being married of course!), does he really like me? Is he "into me"?

I have been whimping out on my runs this week - just too dang hot - only one this morning and bootcamp all week. According to my new love: 5hrs and 52 mins of exercise for M-S for a whopping 3353 calories! Can this be true? Have I really been burning that many calories with the asskicker???

I doubt you my new love because "WHAT THE HELL?" - that's a lot of f-ing calories! Now, I'm not complaining and I am hoping, wishing, and praying (singing that song) that is indeed the that it offsets the full on fat version of lasagna, some roll with butter, and the 1/2 of a box of Mike N Ikes I ate while watching a movie I had last night. : ) (Dear Mike and Ike, don't feel left out, because I also love you! Which is why we only "see" each other now and then.)

I'm waiting for the maid to show up...Oh wait, that's me. I better get to work!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Weighing and Measuring

My name is Fluffy and I have PORTION DISTORTION. Yep, I admit it, unless I am out to dinner or at some event, I weigh and measure all my food. Do I consider this a "diet"? Not really - there is some distinction between a diet and a lifestyle, but I'm not even going to get into that. It's just what I do.

So why do I do it? Because I HAD to be honest with myself. That's right, you ask me to eyeball some food and it's going one of two ways - too much or too little. So, when I'm at home (or going to work) I portion control to address my portion distortion.

I was also honest with myself that crap food is crap food regardless of the amount. That being said, I am not saying that I don't eat crap food, because I do! YUM! But my honesty came into play that I cannot control myself around it if it's in the house. Cookies, candy, ice cream - it talks to me. Seriously! And, I am fortunate that my hubby could care less about this stuff (weird, huh?), so I have the luxury of just not having it in the house - period.

Everyone that has WLS has their own personal reasons for having the surgery and what works for them. Success for me at this point is measured (HA!) in my ability to maintain. Maintenance is hard (OK, in a lot of ways it just plain SUCKS!). In fact, I think I have said it's hard a bajillion times. There's this weird no payoff thing. Your goal isn't to lose weight anymore and guess what? You are now this "thin" person. People don't say anything anymore. It's just you. (Compliments again serving as a payoff.)

So, I workout, I measure and weigh, and I generally make healthy choices. M-F I pretty much stick to healthy choices. (Guess what? There are lots of healthy choices that are really satisfying!) Then on the weekends, we'll go out to eat for a meal or two, I'll have some adult bevies, and/or some dessert. Do I feel deprived? Honestly, no. When I do feel deprived and I'm honest with myself - it's an emotional thing and back to my drug of choice: FOOD : )

This is my lifestyle or diet whichever you prefer. ; )

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

OOOOO toys....

I got one of these (Ok - over there)! A Polar FT7 heart rate monitor. Why? Because my breathing sucks when I jog and it is holding back both my endurance and my speed (diagnosis provided by the asskicker). Asskicker said for me to get a heart rate monitor to "know" when my breathing is off. No it doesn't breathe for me silly, but it does let me know when my heart rate has skyrocketed. You don't breathe, your heart rate goes up. So we'll see how it goes....cause first I gotta figure out all the damn settings and buttons - there are TWO more on the other side! I've gotten it going for two days this week, but it is TOO frickin' hot to do any running. Just not gonna do it. With heat index it was 105 yesterday afternoon (remember it's asskicker in the morning), so stay tuned for a really really exciting (ha) update at some point.

Along the same lines, there is discussion of some training involving a half marathon. You may (or may not) remember this post. No marathons for me. A half marathon - OK, I'll consider it. Still thinking on that one as well. Hmmmm, bunch of thinking not so much action!

I also got another toy. Yep, I am a gadget dork. I have the new Sprint droid phone - EVO HTC - something like that anyway. Similiarity to the Polar - well there aren't a lot of buttons, but there is a whole lotta crap on this thing that I don't know how to use yet. (Don't say it....I don't do manuals! ha ha ha)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010


Bootcamp started this week. I wasn't going on Monday. It was Memorial Day. It's a national holiday. I'm off work. I AM SLEEPING IN!...I went to bootcamp.

The asskicker expected that there would be 3 people there, so she had planned not do to the day 1 fit test. Well, there were more like 15 or so, but she decided to not go ahead with it as there would be more people after the holiday. As I figured, it was today.

The fit test happens at the beginning and end of the 4 weeks to give you some sort of measure of progress. She changes it every session (very cool) and this time was no different. I'm not going to get into the boring details other than, remember this post? This is the post that I said my goal for this bootcamp session was to be able to do one full pushup. Uh, um, well, today - I - DID - FIVE!!! Five full on frickin' pushups. I did the first one and seriously thought, "WHAT THE HELL?" and then did four more. Then I knocked out all the rest as 1/2 pushups to retain form. Talk about cool.

Note to self and to anyone reading: Don't try. DO. Don't doubt yourself. YOU CAN DO IT. Honestly, after class I was thinking that I bet I could have done that ONE pushup last session, but I didn't think I could. Get a grip woman - after speaking to the asskicker about how the hell to do a full pushup (yep, I'm a clueless dork and I just felt that my form was off) - you should have TRIED to do one in one in the remaining sessions. Oh well, lesson learned.

Problem is this is day 3 of the 4 week session. Guess I better come up with a new goal or slack the rest of the session (the second being a joke of course!)?