Saturday, December 31, 2011

Closing Out Wellness Goals 2011

I. RAN. A. HALF. MARATHON. TODAY! Yippeeeeeee!!!

Right after I finished the race today, I had a bit of a revelation. While I don't recommend it, I did this race with little running training and a not so good running base (I was running some outside of camp and still doing camps). I had some fear this morning prior to the race about my ability, but finishing the race triggered a bigger feeling in me. While I'm embarrassed to say this, I am truly amazed and proud of my fitness level and where I am today. I'm ending the year happy and healthy, which makes me smile. Wishing everyone a happy and healthy 2012!

Wellness Goals - Year End Results

1. Boot camps. Goal: 200 camps. Stretch Goal: 240.
  • 240 camps! Achieved stretch goal.
  • There were a couple days that I didn't want to go, but this goal got me out of bed and to camp. I just couldn't miss it by only a couple! I was just too dang close!
2. Training/Race Total Miles. Goal: 416 miles. Stretch Goal: 520 miles. Revised: 208 miles.
  • 229.12 miles. Achieved revised goal.
  • My lack of summer running definitely hurt my base. I had to kick it up to be able to make it through the half and didn't know where I was going to land against this goal until I created this post. I'm very happy!
3. Half Marathon(s). Goal: 1. Stretch Goal: 2.
  • 2! Achieved stretch goal.
4. 5K or other races such as obstacle races. Goal: 3. Stretch Goal: 5.
  • 4. Achieved mid goal/stretch goal.
5. Calorie Burn. Goal: 130,000 Stretch Goal: 150,000 (note: this is only "dedicated" exercise)
  • 158,596! Achieved stretch goal.
3rd Quarter Results
2nd Quarter Results
1st Quarter Results
2011 Wellness Goals

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Wellness Goals – 2012 Plan is Drafted!

I talked about Wellness Goals early in 2011, but then I didn't actually draft them until sometime in March. Procrastination, I'm good at it, don't be jealous. So, this post is already a win for me! ::cabbage patch::

I'm looking for some year-end entertainment and excitement which will be at your expense. Well, really no expense to you, it will be expense to me, but it will hopefully provide the winner with a little fitness motivation.

So what is it? A copy of Jil1ian Michae1s' 3O Day Shred. All you have to do is leave a comment and state for everyone to see that if you win it you will take on the challenge! I'll let people comment here or on my upcoming 2011 Wellness Goal post and pick a winner on the 2nd.

Disclaimer: While Ji11ian is my bff in my head. She sadly does not know me and did not provide me with the prize. It will come from the "fluffy's husband is outta town and I was told to do something fun" fund (I think this counts).  

Excited????? I know I am. 

2012 Wellness Goals

1. Boot camps. Goal: 200 camps. Stretch Goal: 240.
  • Keeping this one the same as 2011. It's a lot of camps!
2. Training/Race Total Miles. Goal: 225 miles. Stretch Goal: 250 miles.
  • Going with my revised 2011 goal.
3. Half Marathons. Goal: 2. Stretch Goal: 3.
  • Increasing by 1. Scary.
4. 5K, 10K, 15K or other races such as obstacle races. Goal: 5. Stretch Goal: 7.
  • Increasing 2011 goal by 2!
5. Calorie Burn. Goal: 150,000 Stretch Goal: 170,000 (note: this is only "dedicated" exercise)
  • I don't really know how meaningful this one is as it seriously seems like a lot, but I'm going to keep it again at least initially in 2012.
3rd Quarter Results **warning: this one is the one with the creepy bunny!
2nd Quarter Results
1st Quarter Results
2011 Wellness Goals 
(Nothing to do with post, but I couldn't pass up a bunny with pancakes on its head!)

Thursday, December 22, 2011


This time of year always makes me think about the year before. Last year our house was all decked out and we had a big holiday party. This year the holidays didn't turn out as we hoped and my husband left early in December to go overseas and won't return until mid-January. Our separation and limited contact has definitely put a damper on my holiday spirit, but compared to so many others we are extremely fortunate. So not to sound trite, I have been focusing on my blessings.

One thing I have noticed year after year on this journey is that I no longer look back on the prior year with regret. 7ish years ago that was not the case. I'd find myself wishing:
  • I had started eating better, exercising, or losing weight the prior year.
  • I had continued on some progress that I had made the year before.
While the band is a tool that helped me get to where I am today, it is by no means the sole reason for my success. When I made the decision to get banded, I was at a crossroads. I was done. My life had to change and it was the first step of many in making permanent changes. The band was definitely a catalyst, but eating well most of the time and exercising are also required. I think that's the key to my success. Amy wrote a really good post that I totally agree with. Go check it out here.

I am currently drafting my wellness goals ƒor 2012 and will close 2011's wellness goals around the new year. I am finishing the year strong and am excited about it!

So, I challenge anyone that happens to read this post: What will you find yourself thinking at this time next year? What will you do to ensure your success in 2012?

Thanks for reading and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Worth the Read

Please consider going and reading this article:

Weight: Why One Size Doesn't Fit All

The author of the article and her mindset on where she is does a great job of describing where I am trying to be in my personal journey at this point, but I think there are nuggets in there for anyone! I loved this:
Just remember that weight is subjective. One person's idea of overweight is another's person's idea of just right. You decide what is good for you. I've always been happy with my body and never wanted to weigh a number that I have to constantly struggle to maintain. Life is for enjoying. I'm happy with me. No one should set rules for how I should feel. 
This is exactly where I am striving to be: "Life is for enjoying. I'm happy with me."

Thursday, December 08, 2011

It's Started!

During the summer (that never seemed to end!), I can remember thinking at camp (1) it was hot; (2) I'll be glad when it is cold (I prefer cold over the brutal heat & humidity personally) and (3) the whinefest would shortly switch gears from hot to cold. Thursday:

And, yes, it's started! It was mild whining early in the week, but it increased as the week progressed. It got a bit on my nerves *sigh*, but I think the holiday season is contributing to that. It's early in the morning and dark, I'd rather be snuggled in my bed and warm too. We all know it's cold and I don't think there is one of us that is really *glad* to be there. (Just glad when we're done!) So, put a sock in it!
In other news, I recently had a birthday...and need to update my sidebar to 43!!!! Not that I know what 43 is *supposed* to feel like, but I just don't feel 43. I got a few new clothes and had mentioned to my husband that I wanted a ceramic watch, and tada:

Instead of cake on my birthday, I decided I wanted an ENTIRE bag of D0ve milk chocolate squares. I divided them into 7 bags and ate a bag for 7 days straight.

I'm guessing there's someone that might be thinking something along the line of that's a lot of calories, she's gaining weight, that's maintenance? an entire bag? etc. While the chocolate isn't necessarily quality calories, it was less than an extra 200 calories per day. Hell, the slice of carrot cake I like from ch33secake factory has more calories than the entire bag of chocolates anyway! So, as an isolated week it may seem like a lot--or potentially a slippery slope, but in the big picture it's not. And, I also don't plan to make it a regular occurrence!....until my next birthday! : )

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Unplanned Race!

In discussing the NYE/NY double with a friend a few weeks ago, I mentioned that I was going to stretch myself and do the half vs. the relay. Which led to this conversation on Thursday:

Friend: Hey, you've been training for the half at the end of the year, right?

Fluffy: *Snort* "Training" is probably a big stretch of the word for what I have been doing, but I have set my race goals accordingly...low and slow.

Friend: Well, we just had someone drop out of our relay team. Can you fill in and do the 6.5 leg?

Fluffy: Uh, you mean as in this Sunday?

Friend: Yep.

Fluffy:  If you can live with me wrecking the team's time, then sure.

Friend: The team doesn't care.

Fluffy: OK, but you need to let them know that I'm a turtle.

Friend: *laughing* Ya whatever.

So, on Sunday, I joined 25,000 of my closest friends at the:
We decided to take the transit down to the race site to avoid the traffic. We got down there, used the portas and then I went to my bus to get to my leg. I got on the bus and since I can get lost pretty much anywhere, I got on and asked if it was for my mile distance. Some people looked at me like I'm an idiot, but oh well. I wanted to be sure. Then off we went to the transition point.

Everyone started getting off the bus. I said to the dude next to me, you getting off? He says to me, aren't you? I said, ya, when they kick me off! It's cold and wet. Where they going anyway? It wasn't an issue and we stayed nice and warm...and most importantly dry! The temp was somewhere in the very low 40's, but it was raining big time!

The two gals before me are fast. So, I did some calculations and knew I needed to get my butt outside at a certain point. I went out and my teeth seriously were chattering. I couldn't get them to stop. This guy next to me said that I could sit on the bus and I said believe me I would but my team will be here soon. He looked at me like I was crazy and he said is your team that fast? I said yep and no sooner had I said it that I said oh there she is now. His face was priceless!

I got the ankle thingy on and took off for my 6.5 mile leg. To give you an idea of just how fast the previous two girls were I was constantly being passed (I'm a turtle and proud of it!). Eventually the 3:05 marathon pace group passed me to give you an idea!

I just kept going. My pace was much faster than I planned, but I felt good and honestly energized by all these speedies around me. I just kept repeating in my head a story my husband told me about a Navy Sea1 (NS). When asked about the training and the speed you have to run, the NS was asked what if you can't run that fast, the response was "you just run faster". Well what if you can't, "you just do". Then when the NS was asked about distance, the response was "you just keep running". So, that's exactly what I did. I just kept running.

The 6.5 mile leg turned out to be SEVEN! But I felt good and still had plenty of gas in the tank! I was seriously proud of myself since my base is far from what it was. It was also a great confidence builder for half at the end of the month. I'd love to post a bunch of pics, but I don't have any! I wanted to be sure I had battery charge the entire time and the camera sucks it up, but I can share a pic of the medal.

Our team did great. We were shocked to find out that we placed 18th! Cracks me up even now and my buddy pointed out that I held onto 4th place throughout my leg. I wasn't a turtle, but a rurtle!

I liked this race, but I don't think I'd do the relay again. There was too much waiting before and after my leg. I'd rather just do the half next time (get there, do it, and done). Uh, did I just say that?!?

Monday, November 21, 2011

Six Years, Six Posts: Post 6 - Year End Plans

As long as I have goals in mind, I'll strive to meet them. I created my wellness goals this year to ensure my focus. I set goals I could achieve with some work and stretch goals that would require more effort. You can see all the scoop on these posts:

3rd Quarter Results
2nd Quarter Results
1st Quarter Results
2011 Wellness Goals

I realized earlier this year that I h.a.t.e.d running in the Texas heat. It was huge for me to admit it and revise my goals, but  running was a beating and I just didn't enjoy it. Problem is that in my 3rd quarter results I talked about how my revised mileage goal may be a stretch. Honestly, it has been bugging me ever since! So recently I decided to go for it, kick it into gear, and end the year strong.

The holidays are tough though. Surrounded by food, family stress, my own personal family baggage, holiday stress, etc. it can make keeping an exercise routine and mainly healthy choices rough for pretty much everyone. My husband is also going to be out of the country for a military detachment for over 4 weeks that includes Christmas/Eve and NYE/NY which leaves me more vulnerable than normal. So, I needed a plan and some focus that would help me with preventing excuses. Enter:
That's right a double race! It will be the first time for this race and seemed like a good way to end the year and start the next. So, what's a double? These were the options:
Essentially you can pick anything from a 5K on NYE and a 5K on NY to TWO marathons. I originally thought I'd do a half relay on each day. I ended up registering for:
That's right a HALF on NYE and a 5K on NY. Since my base is definitely not what it was, I will not focus at all on time for the half (hear that Fluffy?). My focus is "fun & finish". I went back and forth on whether or not to do the half, but if I did a relay, I knew that I could just go run the 6.5 miles which wouldn't help me with preventing holiday excuses. And, while the bling always attracts me to the race originally, this one is no exception. Check this out:
You get a half medal for each race (reflects the race you ran), but upon completing the 2nd, you also get the magnetic back plate. And look at the size! (That's right, everything is bigger in TX!). What's your plan for making it through the holiday season on track with your personal goals?

Man, writing 6 posts in 6 days seemed like such a good idea at first! Then I realized, heck I'm lucky if I post 6 times in a month!!! Thank you to each and every one of you that have read through these posts and for all the very kind comments. I truly appreciate it.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Six Years, Six Posts: Post 5 - Uhhhhh...

Man, I made it all the way to post 5, but I can't really think of anything *aaaaarrrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhh*. So, I bring to you bullets of random nuggets, which unfortunately seem to me to be a bit repetitive to the other posts in the series (oops!)...
  • The band is only a tool. I can remember when I was just starting out that one of the things I read on one of the boards somewhere was "unfortunately it doesn't band your head". This is so true. So for those of us that struggle with disordered eating, the band may not help you in that regard. If you want to, you can "eat around the band". For me, I took the cliche route to addressing this challenge - shrink, books, and a helluva lot of practice that still continues to this day, but that path worked for me.

  • Healthy choices and exercise will lead to loss. The scale may not reflect hard work/healthy choices immediately, but it eventually will. It's science, there is just no way eating well and exercising will not lead to loss. Unfortunately, our bodies can kinda suck at times and seem to fight back. If this happens, while it's frustrating, hang in there. Perseverance is your friend. There were plenty of times that I was questioning the process and wondering if it was going to work for me, but I just pushed my way through and hung in there. I should also mention that there was also a time that it turned out that I wasn't eating enough! Go figure, my body actually needed more food (healthy stuff) and weight loss started again.

  • Exercise is key in my book. Without exercising, I believe that maintenance would be a cycle of gaining/losing/gaining/losing and for me, this cycle was one of the main things I was trying to leave behind! I'm sure there are people that get to goal without exercising, but for me I want to be thin and fit. Read this post skinny fat for more.  

  • Eat your meals, don't drink them. I think I should and like to be able to eat most foods. If you look back through my blog you will see that there were times that I wasn't doing this, but in hindsight I was too tight.When I eat non soft food, I get full and stay full for a pretty decent amount of time even now. Soft food (sliders) / liquids don't do that for me. Also, I generally eat at least some of my protein first, but I love me some veggies! The million dollar question is what is the right restriction? Check out this post that contains an article that I think does an excellent job of covering restriction.

  • Practice has led to improvement on not eating for the sake of eating. I've beaten the emotional part to death, this is really about is the food good? I have really grown in this area. If food isn't good, I don't eat it and while it can be wastefule, I've gotten over that. Food snob? Foodie? Whatever label that goes with this, this was a definite growth item for me.

  • One bad day does not wreck the journey. It's one day, seriously get over it and don't beat yourself up. What purpose does that really serve other than making yourself feel bad and at times leading to thoughts of giving up? And no, I'm not saying to deny what happened or not analyze why it happened. I think that's important. It's the mean negative self talk that which I think can actually lead to another bad day. For those old enough to have VCRs, it's kinda like that slogan, be kind rewind. Be kind to yourself and yes rewind, review, and try to learn from it. Then move on. 

  • As a bandster, I think everyone starts out with this hope and excitement to get going on this journey and motivation is 110%. Many people lose initially (some the entire time - lucky!) without a lot of effort. Then there are others that have to work hard to get every stinking pound off---I fell into this category, but now I think it was good. It allowed me to slowly work on myself and the things I needed to address to ensure my personal success. Regardless of whether the journey is "easy" or "hard", changes have to be made. You can't (and shouldn't) eat the amount you used to, are encouraged to change your eating habits, and encouraged to exercise.
If you are at a point that your are hitting a rough patch in your journey (been there on multiple times myself!), then I encourage you to not look at how far you have to go, but how far you have come. Consider making a list of all the positive changes that have occurred. I think you'll be amazed at how many you come up with. Consider posting that list on your bathroom mirror. Read it every morning and add to it as it grows. Avoid falling into the trap of: "but", "shoulda", "coulda", etc. What you list are accomplishments and you should be dang proud!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Six Years, Six Posts: Post 4 - Band Secrets Revealed!

Dear Bandster,

Please find below the secrets to band success...

Oh fine, these are just the things I'd recommend considering for a successful journey, but I thought you might read it with the "secrets to success". Ultimately your journey is your journey. You need to figure out what works for you and go with it. As much as I wish there was a magic band fairy, I've spent 6 years looking and darn it, there just isn't one!!

Portion size = bandster portions. Bottom line for me eating the right band size portions was and still remains a "must do". I had a dilated pouch at one point and I also self-diagnosed myself with portion distortion (ya, I coined the term too, but it has a ring to it). While I think I'm better at visualizing portions than I used to be,  I do tend to measure while I'm at home. (I have these serving spoons that my best friend got from WW and they are 1/2 cup, 1 cup, etc., so while I'm measuring it isn't get the measuring cups out, etc.) While there is hardly any fluid in my band, the band is still there and I believe that my pouch can be stretched by eating too much or too quickly. So, if I don't get full before finishing, I just eat what I'm supposed to and I'm done. If/when I get hungry again. I just eat again.

Eat healthier. While the band doesn't have any mal absorption concerns, I owe it to myself to eat a well balanced diet that includes fruits and vegetables. I find that a balanced diet makes me have more energy and reduces my cravings as an added bonus!

Exercise. I'm sure there's someone with a band somewhere that didn't and doesn't exercise and made it to goal, but I've exercised throughout my entire journey. My exercise has evolved and continues to evolve with my fitness improving. I encourage everyone to make exercise part of the journey if you haven't already. It's good for you!

Find an exercise you enjoy and works with your schedule and commitments. It's important because consistency is key . If you hate your exercise you aren't going to do it long term. But also remember, when you start something new, it will likely be hard. Don't think hard = hate. Give a new exercise a chance, you might find that you love it.

Stop the diet mentality / step away from the scale. I think regardless of what you eat, do, etc., you are "on a diet". It's just what makes up your diet. For me what this meant was to stop looking at food based on calories and can I or should I eat this. This was part of my personal retraining and changing my relationship with food. I look at the quality of the food and do I want it. Because if I really want to eat crap, and it's not for emotional reasons, then I do. Ironically, giving myself permission was empowering. Food lost its power and more often than not I gravitate toward healthy food.

The number on the scale is only one measurement, yet it's one that seems to consume most of us and I think it is a key measurement while losing (me = guilty). Personally, I recommend once a week, but there are many successful bandsters that weigh every day. It's whatever works for you. I would strongly encourage body measurements as well though. It is something that I wish I would have done and likely would have helped me through the tough times with the scale---when the *(#&$#* wasn't moving, which I'm sure plenty of people can relate to!

Figure out what makes you feel good. What makes me feel good isn't going to necessarily make someone else feel good, but what I figured out is that I need to exercise during the week and first thing in the morning. It helps me manage a stressful job and just makes me feel good! And honestly, I eat better without even thinking about it on the days I have exercised. Go figure!
Continue to assess and re-assess. I check in with myself periodically. It may sound stupid, but I find that if I don't consciously check in (self talk) that I just keep going on auto pilot and then I project something is wrong some other way. For example, I realized at one point I was returning home from morning camp grumpy. Unfortunately, I was taking it out on my husband now and then (boo me). I sat myself down and had a talk with myself (funny picture, huh?). I realized that my trainer's style was no longer meeting my needs. So I switched to another camp.

Blogging. The intent of my blog was to document my journey as I was asked to "journal" by my shrink, but I had also hoped that it might be helpful to others from a long-term historical perspective as I had wanted to find such people in the beginning and couldn't. This many years later my blog may not be specifically "all about the band", but I'd be a freak if at this point day in and day out it was about it, right?! I've also found it helpful at times to be able to go back and look at past posts. Plus there's nothing like some perspective or opinion from another bandster and opportunity to connect and make friends. I highly recommend blogging about your journey....and please don't blog and then disappear leaving everyone wondering!

In summary, it's a personal journey. Just like the decision to get a band, it's very personal and you have to figure out what works for you. Try not to compare yourself to others, but do try to learn from others or appreciate what they are doing as you might find little nuggets that may also work for you!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Six Years, Six Posts: Post 3 - What's it like now?

Well, when I hit my goal weight, it was a sunny day with two rainbows, all my problems were solved, I was instantly popular, more successful, met prince charming and was pretty much PERFECT.
Um, ya, if you believe that...Maintenance is hard work, but it’s different. At times it's harder than losing, but at other times it isn't. I can recall being way more stressed about "insta gain" and other such nonsense (yep, I said nonsense, cause it really is - so remember that!) than I am now. Does this mean that I've been perfect? Nope.

I initially freaked out more often than I'd like to admit. For me, maintaining my weight was my true test. I had to figure maintenance out. Having lived so focused on the scale, my weight, losing, etc. to now find myself "at goal" and that I had made it ---pretty much scared the crap out of me.

As with losing, maintenance has had it's up's and downs. I've had slumps where my eating has been more unhealthy than healthy and/or exercise has been more none than some. But that's life. And, one off day does not wreck the journey. It's one day, get over it. The challenge is not to let one day lead to multiple. And I can recall myself having multiple off days in a row as well at times, but ultimately what's important is to put on those big girl panties, pull on those boot straps, and get to gettin'!

I'm sitting here trying to think of some magical OMG it's amazing positive thing to say at this point and what I don't come up with much. I guess I just don't feel as excited as I used to. I don't view that as negative either. I think it's the solidification of this life journey. I'm pretty sure I said elsewhere on my blog, and I'm sure it's no revelation to anyone, but there is no finish line. This journey continues for the rest of my life and it is what I make of it.

But this journey has gotten easier over time. Exercise is just part of my routine and I find myself seeking out new activities and challenges, eating (other than sporadic emotional flare ups that I continue to work on) is really just eating---I eat when I'm hungry and don't sweat it, and thoughts about gaining weight or what I weigh are no longer at the forefront of my mind. It's a relief really and I guess I've reached a sense of peace as cliche as that is to put.

My final thought: Weight follows behavior. Your behavior ultimately is in your control. Your control is all about choices and the ones you make. As much as WLS critics like to say we took the easy way out, it's just not true. Success takes effort. There is no free ride. It's been hard work (physically and mentally) the entire way, but it's also been worth it and I wouldn't change a bit of it.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Six Years, Six Posts: Post 2 - Goal Weight

Goal weight, some background: My original goal was set by my surgeon. Honestly, it was only discussed because I specifically asked him what he thought it should be and what he would consider "successful". Without much thought, he responded with 149 and that's what I went with. And, yes, I was happy when I got there and stayed there for some period of time.

(Sidebar: It may go a bit unnoticed in reading my posts at this point, getting to my original goal was a looooong journey. 20 months for 85 lbs...for a whopping average of 4.25 per month! I point this out for anyone that may have any perception of an easy or perfect journey to provide encouragement.)

But as I focused more on health and fitness, I just felt *fluffy* in my skin. I'm small boned and knew there was fluff to lose. That being said, I recall not wanting weight loss to be the focus that it was during my losing phase, but more seeing where my body settled and seeing how I felt, etc. Anyway, that happened a couple times and I settled in.

What I realized though is that for me the scale was not working. In reality, I was quite thin and fit, but when I weighed in that stupid a$$ thing was stealing something from me at times. It was my happiness and positivity. So, I divorced the scale. Sure, sometimes I think "OMG, I need to weigh myself". But I don't. I'm at a point that I can tell if I've been overindulging a bit and I pull back. I don't need the scale to tell me that and if I continue to be the size and fitness level I am currently, but weigh a bit more than the 130lbs that I was when I weighed at the doctor's office (fully clothed!!!), then that's fine --- when I divorced the scale I was 129 nekkid. The scale is no longer the boss of me!

There's a blogger - Tina's of Carrots 'N' Cake. For reasons other than one of my favorite 4-letter words being part of her title - c.a.k.e.! I think she's categorized as a food/health blogger and published a book which I haven't read, but there is one thing that she talks about a lot on her blog which is feel great weight (FGW). This philosophy aligns with where I am at this point in my journey (divorcing the scale, etc.) which is a change in focus to health not weight. Here's an article that she wrote on the topic. I included two paragraphs that really resonated with me, but you might want to check her out as well.
When I am at my FGW, I’m comfortable with how I feel on the inside and outside, and I treat my body as such. My FGW doesn’t dictate my daily activities—I don’t weigh myself, I don’t curse my thighs, and I don’t think twice about enjoying dessert. I consume foods that fuel my body and I don’t overthink my meals or the number of calories I’m consuming. I enjoy a wholesome diet and eat without severe restrictions or overindulgences. I choose workouts that keep me energized and make me feel good. Living at my FGW means that I don’t have to make myself crazy maintaining it. I’m able to experience life and enjoy all the fun things that come along with it.

There’s no magic trick for finding your FGW, and it’s different for everyone. I found my FGW by eating a wholesome, nutritious diet 80% of the time and fun, not-so-nutritious foods 20% of the time. I still enjoy eating healthy foods most of the time, but I don’t feel like I have to turn down dessert or cocktails when they come my way. All I know is that stressing out about what I am eating and how much I am exercising means I’m not at my FGW. When I feel healthy, happy, and energized, I know my body is too.
 Mmmmmmm, cake...sorry, couldn't help it.

Bottom line: While your doctor may or may not give you a target weight, ultimately YOU have to live with it and maintain it. The weight may be too high or it may be too low. Only you can figure this out. And, ultimately, you have to figure out what works for you on all aspects (exercise (do it!), food, weight, etc.) So, while not weighing is the best for me for emotional well being, it may not work at all for you. And ya know what? That's OK!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Six Years, Six Posts: Post 1 - The Basics, My Annual Post

In honor of today being six years since I was banded, I am going to attempt to do six posts! This first one is my standard annual post. I haven't forgotten about the questions/things people suggested either and some of those questions are answered in this one, but please feel free to leave a comment if you have any will make the 6 posts so much easier for me too as right now I pretty much just have this post with 5 to go

Official weigh in stats:
  • Height: 5'8"
  • Starting weight: 234 lbs
  • Original goal weight: 149 lbs (Sat here for a while in maintenance and then decided I was still a bit fluffy)
  • Revised goal weight: 138 - 142 lbs (Stayed within this range for a while and picked up boot camp)
  • Revised goal weight again: 132-136 lbs.
  • Pretty much landed at 129 lbs and then divorced the scale.
  • Overall loss: 105 lbs
  • Lbs to goal: 0 lbs
BMI: 19.6 -  (Normal weight = 18.5-24.9)

How many fills have you had?
  • 1st fill – 1.2c
  • 2nd fill – 1.8cc
  • 3rd unfill - was just too tight - went to 1.4cc
  • 4th unfill - dilated pouch - complete unfill
  • 5th fill - .6cc
  • I think I went up some from here to about .8cc; then unfill to about .4 cc; then another to .2 cc - that's where I remain
Are you going to stay at your current fill level? Yes. I honestly can't even recall how long I've been at this level

What are you going to do next? Keep on going with my wellness goals!

What size clothes are you wearing?
  • Pants: 2/4
  • Dress: 2/4
  • Shirt: S/XS
What do you eat in a typical day? There really isn't typical anymore, but I always eat 3 to as many as 6 meals. I listen to my body and if I'm hungry I eat. I should say though that "meals" is used loosely here. It could be a few nuts, a string cheese, a yogurt, half a bar, etc. - each is a "meal" - and I consciously make it a bandster portion.

Was it worth it? Would you do it again? Yes, it was! It was much more expensive when I got it than it is today (you lucky dogs!), but it was still worth every single self-pay penny!

Have you had any problems? Yes, but not anything horrific in my book. You'll see in the beginning of my blog that shortly after my surgery I swore my stitches in my port popped. Everybody told me at the surgeon's office no way and not to worry about it (there was a huge snow/ice storm when I was supposed to go in for my after surgery follow up). When I went in for my fill, my port was on it's  side. I still have not had it fixed, but you can see lump from it when my shirt is off and FEEL it. Feeling it is the grossest. (I think many people refer to them as port baby or something? Well, mine is more of a tween!) I also had some problems with pouch dilation. Turned out that it was likely a combination of being too tight and eating too much over time. Signs? Eating more than you are supposed to (and also could be in conjunction with eating too fast) and getting heartburn (aka - reflux).

Have you pb'd? Unfortunately, yes. More so when I was too tight. Currently only from stupidity and I can't even remember the last time.

What rules do you follow? Eat slowly. Take small bites. When I feel full - stop. Eat bandster amount. Don't drink with meals. (See the side.)... and: Eat CONSCIOUSLY - am I hungry? Am I full? Does it taste good? etc. Here's a post on my most important rules.

Do you have loose skin? I had said no previously. As I got thinner, my skin is not definitely that of a 20 year old, but I'm not 20 either! I'd have to say that the skin situation has improved more over time though. How is that? Exercise! Boot camp and jogging. The only time you can see a "skin situation" is when I'm in a certain position that I only do when working out. You can also see a bit of loose skin in the tummy area when I'm naked and leaning over (so you won't be seeing it!) which is not noticeable when i am standing up or in a swimsuit. This is the same answer as last year, but I have to tell you that this has continued to improve!

Do you 'diet'? Yes? No? Even if I only ate hamburgers, wouldn't that be a hamburger diet? The bottom line whether you have a lap band or not is you have to make healthy food choices most of the time. For a while, I was roughly following Weight Watchers that my friend gave me all the scoop on---the intent though was to become more in tune with what I was eating (the eating consciously crap). It was successful for me, but with all the exercise it just wasn't feeling right. It was feeling like work, so I just started listening (and trusting!) my body and eating when I am hungry---what you can pretty much think of as intuitive eating. Your call on whether or not it's a "diet", but there isn't anything that is restricted from my eating if I want it. But then again, sometimes I want a bunch of crap and I tell myself no. So you tell me.

Ya, I had a regain! --- So what is all this about this 15lbs you gained? Well, for about 5 or 6 months sometime in 2008(?), I didn't work out, log my food, or make good choices. Major, major funk city---ironically this is when there was a "break" in my relationship with my now husband. The good news is that I "only" gained 15 lbs. In the past, this would have been much worse. I also avoided the scale, so it was my clothes screaming at me that they were tight that woke me up. I just slapped myself upside the head and said: HELLO, get a grip. You spent a ton of money. You are being an idiot. Get back on track and do it NOW! You will feel better if you do. (I think I was in a bit of a depression.)Well, I did - I'm just stubborn like that. That is what you see referenced in a period of 12 weeks. During that time with a lot of dedication and effort - and following all the rules - I lost 15.5 lbs....and, felt a whole lot better!

Favorite Posts:
If I was going to point out a few posts to go read, it would be:
My thoughts on protein and some other opinions
Golden(?) rules
My Most Important Rules
Why Do You Exercise?
Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3

Accomplishments this past year: Wellness Goals!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Just Stuff...

I have been thinking about a few things:
  • I think I'll do a "Six Years - Six Posts" series around my bandiversary. I've noted down what people have suggested or asked from previous comments, but please feel free to suggest or ask things as your ideas and/or questions will really help me out!
  • I have said running 13.1 is good enough for me---manageable and training doesn't really disrupt or change what I do anyway that "I don't need to run a marathon". I was driving along the other day and saw cars with marathon stickers and started thinking if I were to do a marathon I'd want to run it between December and March and that I'd probably be best finding a training program to have a group to run with for the long runs. ****Screeeechhh*** Excuse me?!? So, I am considering it for a 2012/2013 Wellness Goal...stressing considering.
  • Another wellness goal I am considering for 2012 is 100 consecutive push ups. Here's a link. Seriously, the thought of being able to do 100 consecutive full on push ups for me really seems impossible! Then I think of all you guys that are determined and doing so well on C25K (and other fitness challenges) and felt the exact same way when you started, so it's incentive for me to suck it up and consider adding this to the list. 
  • I am finding that coming up with Wellness Goals for 2012 is more challenging this time. I don't want to just repeat what I have for 2011, but I also need to be realistic. Right now I think my strategy will be to have a big list by January 1 that I will then finalize at the end of the first quarter. I think this helps me not limit myself in coming up with the goals and set my mind from the get go that refinement is OK and needed.
What are you considering for your 2012 Wellness Goals? Have any ideas for me or others?  : )

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

It's not a beating, but it does involve a stickK.

What is stickK?

Aside: Imagine my surprise when I encountered total blog block for a post this evening when I found this post in my drafts! I swear it was sometime last year that I stumbled across this site, but I do think it's pretty cool. That stick picture - that was an add to the draft to take the post up a notch. Gotta love a good picture of a stick.

Need a little incentive? Accountability? Check this out...

Everyone has a goal. For some, it's losing weight, for others it's exercising regularly. Maybe you'd just like to grow a ponytail.

But if it's still just a goal, it means you haven't reached it...yet.

If you're ready to turn that goal into an accomplishment, you're ready for stickK.

stickK was founded on the principle that creating incentives and assigning accountability are the two most important keys to achieving a goal. Thus, the "Commitment Contract" was born.

Entirely unique to each person, a Commitment Contract obliges you to achieve your goal within a particular time-frame. Not only are you challenging yourself by saying "Hey, I can do this," you're also putting your reputation at stake. If you are unsuccessful, we'll let your friends know about it.

Oh but wait, there's more...

Sometimes losing face with your friends might not be enough to keep you on track. So, what is the one thing no one can stand to part with? You guessed it! Cold hard cash.

As a true test of your commitment, stickK will let you put your money on the line for any Commitment Contract. Achieve your goal and you don't pay a thing (and you're much happier than before, aren't you?).

But if you aren't successful, you forfeit your money to a charity, an anti-charity or even that neighbor who keeps stealing your newspaper.

And guess what, stickK is absolutely FREE!....well as long as you hit your goal! 

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Halloweekend!!!

A friend did this pumpkin and it's just too neat not to share. It took her a lot of time to do and required  a lot of rhinestones---approximately 1500!!!!

My best friend is a breast cancer survivor. While cancer is no joking matter, when you have been diagnosed with it, sometimes you have to joke a little. She had hers first and then I was diagnosed with cancer "down there". We had to laugh at the time that we do everything together and that with her having top and me bottom that we're covered! Thankfully we have both had clear checkups since!

I really enjoy candy Halloween and normally I have a costume all planned and places to go for the entire Halloweekend. We have plenty of options for parties, but things have been hectic that I have no idea what we will be doing. (Things are in a state of flux because of some recent changes at the j-o-b. It's just a weird and stressful time, but it will pass.)

Anyway, if I end up needing a costume, I guess I'll dig something out of the attic. I am kicking myself because there was this full zip up chicken costume (white fuzzy, with hood, wings and feet!) that was marked down to 40 - which sounds like a lot, but wasn't compared to full price - and to add insult to injury there were two. Man, do I wish I had those. They were hilarious!

PS - thanks for the comments on ideas for my 6-year post and I'll cover what you suggested Tessie Rose and Manda Panda. Cat - I owe you a reply! : )

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Oh no she didn't!

Having to hit the "mark all as read" button really sucks, but now and then it has to happen. My excuses reasons:
  • I got behind, then more behind, then outta control behind.
  • Work. Nuff said on that. Other than: grrrrrrrr.
  • Rangers. Ya, I'm one of "those" fans. I'm jumping on the band wagon now that they're in the WS. Go Rangers!
  • I've been stressing about a lot of stuff. And, it was getting stupid. Stupid to the point that my unread list was adding stress. Ya, I told you it was stupid. 
So, just not enough time. But I didn't want a big empty spot that in hindsight I might be wondering what was going on with me, so that's the scoop.

And in other boring news: I am just keeping up with my normal routine.

My buddy Dawyna mentioned to me that her one year bandiversary was coming up on Nov 16 (yipeee!) the date just sounded familiar to me for some reason. Uh, duh. I figured out why and it's pretty cool, we were banded on the same day! Six years for me is almost officially here. Most likely I'll do my normal yearly post (boring in my opinion at this point), so if anyone has questions, ideas, whatever on something for that post that would be great!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Review: Pirate's Booty


I've been a fan of the booty for quite some time. (ba-da bing!) Seriously, this snack is delicious and addictive. So it only enters the house on special occasions or in portion control bags which for me can also be dangerous.

Funny how the pirate just starts to call to me: "Come on! You know you want t' eat more o' this lovely treaaye. Yoo hoo, come eat me!"

So, hooks up on this one!  Nothin' bad t' say. Thanks for t' free swag!

What be you waitin' for? Go get some!

To do my part to ensure that vendors continue to contribute to b00bs, I will now and then be doing some product reviews of the items that we received in the swag bags. We received the product for free and are not being compensated for our reviews---regardless this is a no fluff zone, so my opinion good or bad is also provided free of charge.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Review: Detour Lower Sugar Bar


To do my part to ensure that vendors continue to contribute to b00bs, I will now and then be doing some product reviews of the items that we received in the swag bags. We received the product for free and are not being compensated for our reviews---regardless this is a no fluff zone, so my opinion good or bad is also provided free of charge. :)

What I did like:
  • It is visually appealing (probably cause it looks like a candy bar)
  • It's lower in sugar (than the other bars) and doesn't have any Trans Fats or High Fructose Corn Syrup
  • The chewiness of it was pretty good.
What I didn't like so much:
  • The ingredient list is mind numbingly long. I didn't read them, but anything with a list that long is far from natural.
  • While it looks like a candy bar, I don't expect it to taste like one as it is a protein bar after all, but I didn't like the after taste.
  • It doesn't have Trans Fats, but it does have Saturated Fat (Boo).
  • Looking at the nutrient stats - it's just not very impressive.
Fluff Bottom Line: I'd eat it again if it was free, I was hungry, and there wasn't anything else handy. My guess is that the price point is high enough that I could find an alternate bar that I'd prefer.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Hittin' the TX Wineries

The other weekend we went to Fredericksburg. It's a German town that is surrounded by a number of wineries. We decided to spend a few days there and check it out. By the time we arrived, there wasn't much time until our dinner reservation. The weather was beautiful, so we sat outside on the patio.

There was this big water feature throughout the patio area that had waterfalls and ponds full of fish. I spied what looked like a gumball machine, but when I looked closer it was fish food! Neat!

It was a perfect night and I didn't know that the next day it was supposed to be raining.
And, it did. There was not one person complaining though. The drought, while it should be great for the quality of the Texas wine for this year, hit the area hard. The peach trees didn't look so good and the ranches we passed on the drive down were so dry that they looked like they were clear cut.

I think we went to 7 or 8 wineries. The wine was pretty expensive, so I turned into a bit of wine snob and we held out only getting a few bottles that we could only get there and we both really loved.
I took pity on my husband and while we walked past a lot of shops, I only went into a few. My hunt for boots continues!

While I liked both of these, they are pretty limited use with my wardrobe. So, I passed on both.

It's a long drive, so after sleeping in and a very healthy breakfast, we hit the road back home.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Wellness Goals - 3rd Quarter Results

This sums up the week so far:
Work has been eating my lunch. I had a fun weekend and miraculously took pictures, but I haven't had the time to mess with them. Eh, oh well, right? 

I was curious where I was against my wellness goals before leaving for Chi and since it was essentially the end of the quarter, I went ahead and did them. So, of the 5 major goals I set for myself, I've completed 3 of the 5. I will hit the camp goal, but my revised running target might still be a miss. That's OK though. I'll take 4 of the 5. : )

I can't believe it, but I should start considering my wellness goals for next year! Change them? Keep them the same? I'll just add that to my growing to do list for now.

Wellness Goals - 3rd Quarter Results

1. Boot camps. Goal: 200 camps. Stretch Goal: 240.
  • So far: 176 camps
  • At the rate I am currently trending, I'll hit my goal! And, likely surpass it.
2. Training/Race Total Miles. Goal: 416 miles. Stretch Goal: 520 miles. Revised: 208 miles.
  • So far: 132.02 miles
  • I already knew I wasn't going to hit the original goal since I sidelined running pretty much entirely for the summer. Last quarter I had said I'd be happy if I hit 208 miles "ish" by the end of the year, but my running wasn't much this quarter. At this point, hitting my revised goal might be aggressive, but who knows.
3. Half Marathon(s). Goal: 1. Stretch Goal: 2.
  • So far: 1 - Goal completed. : ) ... stretch goal - remains a maybe, but thinking no.
4. 5K or other races such as obstacle races. Goal: 3. Stretch Goal: 5.
  • So far: 2 5K's  and 1 obstacle - goal completed. : ) A couple maybe 5K's, an obstacle, trot, etc. so it's possible that I might hit my stretch here, but I'm good with just hitting the goal.
5. Calorie Burn. Goal: 130,000 Stretch Goal: 150,000 (note: this is only "dedicated" exercise)
  • So far: 130,036
  • Yep, this goal was set too low. I should easily hit the stretch goal and will need to revisit this one next year if I use it for setting my goals again.
2nd Quarter Results
1st Quarter Results
2011 Wellness Goals

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Part 3: Free Time & Events

Just a few highlights of what I did during free time. My main partners in crime - Angela and Island Bandit - this is such a great picture of both of them!
Shopping on Michigan Ave. My purchases - socks and a 20 buck sweater. Ya, not so impressive, but unless it was something I had to have I didn't want to deal with trying to get it home. I always love seeing the city. It's so clean and well maintained. While we were out and about they were working on all the median areas getting them all setup for fall. Love it!
Navy Pier where we rode the Ferris wheel! Thankfully while it was windy, the bucket(?) didn't move much so I was able to pretend it was no big deal. Well, other than cold!
View from the wheel.
China town - which I'm pretty sure all of us thought we could have skipped. But at least we can say we've been there.
 The Bean!
 Passing through the theater district.
Ramblings on planned activities...and the not so planned.
  • The best part of the drag show for me was when the MC wanted to become a B00b. I am so on board with a tranny b00b. I think it's hilarious! Ms Ohio was also a hoot with her glow sticks. **Thanks again, Barbara. You know what for. : )
  • My roomie Angela is a songbird! For real, the girl can sing. She belted it out at karaoke along with others after the drag show. I really got to know Read much better that night. LOVE her! ...might be kidnapping her. Seriously.
  • I went to dinner with Stephanie M, Stacy, LapBandGal, Island Bandit, and Angela. It was great spending time with all of them. The waitress was a bit daft. She kept forgetting orders, but repeatedly it was Stacy's who had Peps1 and pepperoni. I think she returned 4 times. Seriously, how hard is that?
  • I was nervous Friday night! I loved the meet and greet though. Again, the swag bag and the door prizes were awesome. Draz scored a Nan0 as one of the prizes and there was also a body bug!!!! Angela won the Nan0! (Angela also won the challenge! Congrats Angela!). I spent time getting to know Dawnya and more about her family. She is the sweetest. That night we went to the same karaoke bar we had been to on Thursday night, but it was packed. People went to various places, but my feet were killing me and I went back to the hotel. (Gilly - I have not forgotten. I just can't find the stupid thing. For the life of me, I don't know where it is or when I last saw it, but I'm not giving up!)
  • Saturday was shopping and vegging for me. Then getting ready for dinner Saturday night. The restaurant was awesome. Again, the planners hit a home run. I sat at a great table which allowed me to get to know Kristin and Grace. There was talk of going out, but then pretty much everyone ended up back at the hotel in a common area for PJ time. I put in a suggestion to the planners to consider making this an "official" event. For me, everyone just seemed more relaxed at this point and we really got to laugh and share. I think it was Joey who scored WINE as part of the swag. (Thanks Joey!) I brought my bottle down and proceeded to twist Catherine's arm to share it with me. It was great getting to know this banded star and she's a wonderful person and beautiful too! Want to talk about pressure? Imagine sending a sisterhood package to Catherine! : ) Man, there were a lot of clothes people brought! Hat tip to Jen S for all of her hard work on it. Go Jen!
  • Tessie Rose & Miss Vickie gave me one of the nicest (and funny) compliments. They said to me that they thought I was a party crasher and didn't believe that I was ever fat. Here's a link gals to one before pic. Much like Tessie Rose (I just think that's the cutest name and it fits Theresa perfectly that I am sticking with it. Love her hair!), I don't have many before pictures or ones that I do I am conveniently hiding behind people, etc.
  • Sunday Angela and I took off with Jacquie and Miss Vickie to head to the bean. It was a great opportunity for me to get to know both of them. Jacquie's daughter has picked up running and completed her first 10k! She's planning on doing the Princess, so we're all hoping to be able to find one another there. Miss Vickie - she's just a delight! She lights up speaking of her children and especially her grandkids. Um, she does not look like she should have any grandkids! I was relieved to hear that her dad is doing better and hearing about her trips that she has coming up. At the bean we parted ways as we needed to head back to the hotel.
I'm not listing 8 million things that I learned about so many gals! Everyone was absolutely great. If anyone is on the fence about joining in, as someone that was going for the first time this year and anonymous, I encourage you to go. : )

Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Part 2: The Ladies

Wow! That's all I can say. As many have said, it was a bit overwhelming when we all got together, but definitely in a good way. It was so exciting to meet everyone in person! I did my best to at least say hi and identify my real self to everyone as I tend to be on the shy side. It's quite strange really, but being in a group of women makes me more shy(?) shyer(?). Regardless, you get the drift.

It certainly was a pleasure to meet everyone. This truly is a fantastic group. Here's a list to all of the blogs of the lovely ladies! (Thanks to Jenny, I'm even in the group photo. See me in the bottom left corner? Thanks Jenny! That's really awesome. )

  1. Stephanie J., FL          
  2. Justawallflower, OH    
  3. Dawnya, TX               
  4. Joey, CA                    
  5. Deborah, IL               
  6. Gilly, Toronto             
  7. Drazil, WI                  
  8. Jenny, IL                    
  9. Carmen, CT               
  10. Lynda, GA                 
  11. Tina, OR                   
  12. Sandy Lee, Ontario    
  13. Robin, CO                 
  14. LapBandGal, WA      
  15. Stephanie M., FL       
  16. Cindylew, NJ             
  17. Barbara, PA               
  18. Kerri, IL                    
  19. Beth, TX                    
  20. Linda, MD                 
  21. Read, MD                 
  22. Vickie, FL                 
  23. Theresa, LA              
  24. Jacquie, FL               
  25. Jenny S., WA            
  26. Maria, PA                 
  27. Amey, ID                  
  28. Julie, OR                   
  29. Liz, NYC                  
  30. Amanda, NC            
  31. Ronnie, Texas          
  32. Nancy, PA                
  33. Donna, CA               
  34. Jessica, Bahamas     
  35. Stacey, CA               
  36. Paige, Ohio               
  37. Susan, CT                
  38. Deb, MO                
  39. Maria, MI                
  40. Grace, MI                
  41. Camille, TX              
  42. Angela,TX               
  43. Krystal, VA             
  44. Debi                        
  45. Justine, UK             
  46. Shannon, IL            
  47. Becky, IN               
  48. Angie                      
  49. Kristin                    
  50. Nicole, NH             
  51. Catherine, NYC      
  52. Rhonda