Friday, April 29, 2011

Stool Revision

Justawallflower (who by the way, is far from "just a wallflower" in my opinion!) made a very good point on my original stool post. She mentioned that I was missing support. Since support really is a foundation item, I added a rug!
(Why yes, that is a berber rug!)

Then I started to wonder why I didn't have support in there originally and the truth is because I didn't have much throughout most of my journey outside of myself. I don't think this is a good or a bad thing for me, it just is. There are some reasons for it:

I'm estranged from my family. Isn't that a nice way to say it when you just don't have anything to do with them? I'm serious. It is - "I'm estranged." Anyway, I am. So, no support there.

I told 5 people. To this day they are the only people that know. Of those 5, I would say two just ignored everything that was going on. Never said a word and haven't really to this day said anything even though I'm 105 lbs less than I was. A bit strange, but OK. Two others would make nice comments about my progress along the way. And the last, my bff, is the one that took me to surgery and stayed with me after. She listened to me moan and complain. She's my rug.

My issues were inside me. I had to reach deep inside myself and figure things out and honestly there wasn't anyone that was going to be able to help me with this. I needed to figure out how to help myself.

Lack of trust and fear. I just don't trust people as a rule. Too many things have happened that have made trust a very big issue for me. The good news is that I recognize it which makes me aware and more open to trusting someone than I used to. But the thought of trusting someone with such personal information, when frankly it's no ones business, just didn't work for me.

Blogging and other online avenues were not what they are today. Six years ago there were only a handful of blogs and online communities just didn't "do it" for me. I think where things have evolved to is amazing and great for everyone!

This post is a perfect example of the support from blogging. Thanks Justawallflower for pointing my oversight out and giving me something to think about! And, thanks to all of you that comment and follow my blog. I find it very humbling and you are all now part of my rug!

Royal Comment
I watched the wedding of Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, to Catherine Middleton. Loved it! I just thought it was great. So different from the wedding of Prince Charles to Princess Diana (um, yah, I watched that one too). This one just seemed more real and authentic to me. They just seem perfect together! (Well, as perfect as you can get anyway, they are married after all!)

Alabama and other Southern States
Unbelievable. There are no words to describe the destruction and the nearly 300 people killed. Want to help? You can make a donation to the Red Cross.  It seems like there is also a blood shortage, so check out where your closest donation station and consider going.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

My Stool

Ewwww, not THAT kind! The 3-legged kind of stool. I was chatting with a friend that has the band that unfortunately hasn't had the best results. For some time, I've been dreading wondering if he would ask me the million dollar question. Essentially, why have our journeys been so different.

While I have some suspicions of things that are going on with him that might be effecting his success, I didn't want to potentially be viewed as picking on him or throwing stones. Thankfully I had been thinking about this some just in case. I needed a way to frame up my journey that would possibly give him a tool to use to reflect on his journey.

Here enters THE STOOL:
Hey, I never said I was an artist! A 3-legged stool has to have balance. If the legs aren't balanced the stool teeters all over the place or may even fall over. This analogy works for my journey as well. For my band to work, I have to have equal balance of diet and exercise. The balance of the 3 allows my weight (the stool) to stay stable.

His response was that I made it sound "easy". I told him thanks and he looked at me strangely. Then I laughed and said, the thanks was for being able to explain it in such a way that it was easy to understand! Doing it is a different story, it took me a lot of practice and perseverance with some stumbles along the way as an added bonus!

It may not seem like it on here, but there are plenty of days that I want to eat crap and/or not exercise, but I usually just get over myself and do it. I tend to be more successful with exercise over my desire to eat crap, but still maintain decent balance on my stool overall. I reminded him that it's not "one" lapse, but multiple lapses that add up and lead to imbalance.

Ah, this brings to mind GUILT, but I'll leave that for another day and leave you to think about your stool.

Ewwww and you're welcome. : )

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Five W's

 I was thinking how the Five W's pretty much fit my journey - ("Who" doesn't fit). These habits definitely didn't happen over night, and even after nearly six years now and then I stumble, but that's life, right?

What I eat. I focus on making healthy choices most of the time. But I give myself permission, don't beat myself up, etc. to have what I want that I used to tag as "bad" when I want it (Like those PB eggs on Easter). I guess it closely resembles intuitive eating. Whatever it's labeled, it has worked at leveling out for me the eat crap / eat nothing but healthy roller coaster I had been on.

Where I eat. Unless it's a special occasion, I eat at the table with little distraction. I used to always eat in the living room with the TV on. Breaking this habit definitely made me more conscious of what I was eating and how fast I was eating.

When I eat. I do eat on a schedule, but if I'm not hungry at that time, I just don't eat. Um, then I guess you could say I'm not really on a schedule then, couldn't you? : )  but I "check in" with myself at the scheduled times to make sure that I don't get too hungry. "Meals" only last for 20 minutes...well, unless I'm hanging out with friends, etc.

Why I eat. I eat when I'm hungry. I no longer eat just because it's meal time or to stuff my feelings.

How I eat and how much. (I swear there is also a "sometimes 'how'" in this 5 W's wasn't there? )I eat slower, chew more, and don't drink while I'm eating. I also try to stick to my bandster portions at all times. As time goes on, I think it's easy for portion sizes to begin creeping up and I have to stay conscious of this because of my "portion distortion".

So that's my 5 W's...Yep, I'm counting the one in ho"w". : )

Monday, April 25, 2011

I ate an egg and I liked it...

**singing title to Katy Perry's - I kissed a girl**...OK, it was more like a dozen, but who's counting?!

AND I liked LOVED EVERY SINGLE ONE!!!...*SIGH* only 364 days until I see you again.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Date Night!

So, I had a really cute date, blah blah blah....but let's talk about the food! (HA!) We had wanted to go to Seasons 52 for some time. The restaurant changes part of its menu seasonally and all dishes are under 475 calories. Oh, but rest assured, it sounds impressive stat wise, but you can easily eat a lot of calories --- it's under 475 per entree. So, appetizer, main, and dessertS later, the calories can add up. Foreshadowing???? Yep, but I thought I'd provide an example of a "splurge" meal for me.

My husband and I split the appetizers. A steak flatbread and crab/shrimp stuffed mushrooms. Then we had an entree --- he had lamb and I had filet. What did I really eat? Two triangles of the very thin yummy flatbread, two of crab/shrimp stuffed mushrooms, about 1/4 of the filet and some of the mashed potatoes.

DESSERT! Love the little servings. Um, but I (yes, me!) selected 4 of the shots. I just couldn't decide and man was it worth it! We split them and they were worth every single calorie. I'd estimate everything I ate that night at about 1000 calories, but no worries. This was a splurge meal.

Weekly Round Up
  • 5 bootcamps
  • 0 runs
  • Calories: 3043
And a NSV - White capris!!!

To those that celebrate - Happy Easter!

Thursday, April 21, 2011


Um, that's a chicken saying "what". I received this today:
We regret to inform you that CAD Inc. has had to cancel the Texas Chicken Run. You will receive a full refund by mail. Please except our most sincere apology for any inconvenience this may have caused.
BIG SAD FACE! Soooo, I am now registered for Jailbreak DFW. The fun:
Break Free from the ordinary. Test yourself over 3.1 miles and 16 muddy, wet, challenging and fun filled obstacles and then kick back and reward yourself with great Texas BBQ and an ice cold cerveza.
So no feathering or neat chicken hat, but this one normally has an orange shirt and is pretty cool. Hopefully this year's shirt will be as well.

FitBy40 - Stephanie left in for you in the Comments, but in case you didn't see it or others want it, here's a link: boobs.

**UPDATED** I was just over visiting FitBy40 - she's a really cool banded chick. She's getting after it and I think many people aren't keeping up with her journey. I encourage you to go check out her blog and follow her! She can be found here.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Will I see you there?

Air Tickets to Chicago? - Check (Arriving Thursday evening / Leaving Sunday afternoon)

Roommate? - Check -> click here. Angela is awesome!

Excited? - CHECK!

Meeting you? Hope so!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Wind, Hail, OH MY!

It's probably just a typical April weather wise, but it seems like every year it just seems "bad". It was really windy all weekend during the day with storms at night. I got the first indication when I found this:

That's one of our zero gravity chairs enjoying a dip in our pool! And, since I don't "do" the pool (husband job), but the chore owner was out of town for the weekend, I had to get it out myself. Thankfully I was able to get it to the edge with the skimmer without having to get in the pool which is still too cold...well, unless you are a polar bear or a penguin.

I am hoping that hail will hit my house. I know strange, but roofs are expensive and don't last as long as they do in other climates! We need a new roof, we pay a lot for insurance, so a bit of hail damage would really help out. (This really isn't a strange wish to have here, really!). Anyway, some of my friends. who unfortunately did not want or need a new roof got MY hail. But check this out:

And those sat around the house for 30 minutes while they were doing a bit more important stuff than taking pictures of the hail! Thankfully while there was damage, none of my friends were hurt.

Weekly Round Up
  • 6 bootcamps
  • 0 runs (0 miles) --- (I just didn't feel like it so I didn't.)
  • Calories: 3561

Friday, April 15, 2011

Good Enough

I can remember at different times throughout this journey wondering "am I doing good enough?" There were two things that I was doing that were setting me up to think that I wasn't.
  1. Setting unrealistic goals.
  2. Comparing myself to others.
Unrealistic goals came in different forms for me. I used things like "you should" lose this much per week to calculate dates that I should be at X weight. Or setting workout goals that I didn't really like or just didn't work with my schedule. As the saying goes, failure was not an option. So I ended up feeling bad about myself. Thinking I wasn't doing good enough and beating myself up. Let's be real, that's just not healthy for me or anyone.

I think it is a natural tendency for me to veer toward an all or nothing mentality. I have found that in my professional life as well and have been working on balance in all aspects.

Don't get me wrong, I am in no way saying that goals are not imporant. Hell, I have them. It's that I have learned that goals need to be realistic, or even more so for me, that it is OK to say that goal sucks and I'm changing it or kicking it to the curb. It doesn't mean I'm a failure, not good enough, or not trying hard enough.  It means the goal was unrealistic from the get go, I decided I wasn't enjoying the journey to achieve that goal, or I needed more time to get there. Bottom line, I need to be kinder to myself and acknowledge that I am good enough regardless of achieving a goal or not. Tough lesson and one that after years of thinking otherwise is still pretty hard.

When I was banded nearly 6 years ago, there was only a handful of blogs and most people were not much further along on their journey than me. In hindsight maybe this actually was a good thing for me. I think women naturally compare themselves to other women. Genetics? Environment? Who knows, but what I do know is that it seems to be a "woman thang".

What's funny about it though is that we do it with this bad intent. At least for me, I don't walk into a room and go --- ha ha, I am now thinner than her, her, her---it's this weirdo, OMG, I look horrible compared to her, fatter, whatever. It's almost a way we have of beating ourselves up and again, not being good enough. To get to my point, this journey is about each of us individually. The band is different for everyone. It's a tool that is the same, but our bodies are different and unique. There are variations everywhere, fill level, amount of exercise performed/needed, rate of loss, overall weight loss, etc. But bottom line, don't compare, set realistic goals, be kind to yourself, and remember ultimately that we ARE all "good enough". (In fact, were not good, we're grrreeeattttt!)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

C-a-n-d-y has entered the house!

And that isn't a lady named Candy. It's candy. MMM, sugar, fat, chewy, chocolate goooooddddnnneeeesssss. It wasn't a first. But when it's in the house it TALKS to me. Seriously: "hey, over here", "yoooo hoooo", "I know you know I'm here"; "Come on! Come EAT ME!".

My husband doesn't eat it, so there is no reason for it to be in the house. When I want some, I get a small pack or bar or whatever and that's it. It's OK for me to eat crap now and then, but a bag in my house once opened will slowly disappear over time.


And yes, my husband thinks I'm nuts. He just doesn't get it. He says, "just go have some and be done with it." Oh sure, if it was only so easy. Side bar: how the hell is it that he just doesn't really like candy???? THAT is not normal! tee hee

Anyway, I was obsessing and denying myself which doesn't work for me. If I want it, then have it. I measured out a serving and that's what I had to eat. I remembered that I had seen some snippet of the skinny chick's (the housewife chick) book that said that after the first couple of bites you don't really taste it anymore. And somewhere else I had read or heard (in my own words) that if you are in the zone of eating you need to break the cycle by disruption; like having a glass of water. Hell, all this probably came to mind because I had been obsessing so long.

I decided I'd have half of what was there and then some hot tea that I enjoy. If I wanted more fine, if not, then also fine. And, SHOCKER, I had my tea and was done. I put the rest back in the bag and threw it in the freezer where it remains. It's now "hey, over here", "yoooo hoooo", "I know you know I'm here"; "Come on! Come EAT ME!". I have no problem at all throwing away crap, so if the talking continues, to the trash it goes.

HEAR THAT CANDY? Shut up or I'm throwing you OUT!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Too Thin vs. Too Fat

Sometimes I watch Ruby while I am doing something else like folding clothes. In a recent episode, she had an interesting point. Ruby talked about the two extremes - fat vs. anorexia. Using my words to paraphrase what I took away, anoxerics are viewed with pity and concern where fat people are viewed with hatred and disgust. This stayed with me and in general I think that "just eat" isn't really said about anorexics, but "just stop eating" is said like a simple fix to extreme obesity. Made me go "hmmm" anyway.

**Updated** Excellent point by Island Bandit in the Comments regarding insurance mandating "diets" prior to approval. Good for her for calling her insurance company on the double standard! I didn't even think about that until she mentioned it as I was self pay.
Weekly Round Up
  • 5 bootcamps
  • 1 runs (4mi) --- (I just didn't feel like doing my other run, so I didn't.)
  • Calories: 3396

Friday, April 08, 2011

Dr. Oz & the Band

OK, I didn't see the show, but I've seen the show mentioned on multiple blogs, so I checked out what I could find.

Video Part 1

Meet two women who have had lap-band surgery. Hear about how their relationship with food has changed. Dr. Oz discusses the pros and the cons of life...

Video Part 2

Meet two women who have had lap-band surgery. Hear about how their relationship with food has changed. Dr. Oz discusses the pros and the cons of...

My thoughts:
The amount of food they are eating: The one in the black, I never ate that little. The one in the yellow, that might be more accurate of what I ate when I was too tight.

I think that what has been portrayed for food by these two examples is not reflective of an "average" banded person at 6 months or 6 years. For sake of argument, I am close to 6 years out as well. Here's what I ate yesterday: a blueberry greek yogurt, bagel thin with peanut butter and banana, chicken, an orange, serving mixed steamed veggies, and a homemade fish corn tortilla taco "thing" with fixings. Does this mean that what I eat is "right"? Nope, but it is for me. Maybe what is more accurate is somewhere more in the middle? But I do not think what was shown for the person in yellow is "average".  And, I will say that the one in the black, no way is that reflective of what "should" be eaten 6 months out.

The lady in the audience that said she's addicted to food, it seemed to me that she thinks the band is going to address this addiction. I think that if you are addicted to food that unless the real issues are addressed you will eat around the band to get your "fix". Which Dr. Oz essentially said - it's a tool, minimally invasive, but it doesn't cure the emotional connection to food. He goes on to state that no WLS is going to address the food relationship. Personally, I agree.

Did you see the show or watch the videos here? What do you think?

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Thank Me?

I really like the show Army Wives. It's a military drama on Lifetime. On the episode the other week, there was a flashback where the shrink said to a soldier that was thanking him for "saving" him. In response to the soldier, the shrink said, "You drove the car, I just helped you navigate." Man, that sure struck a chord with me!

I can picture my band saying it to me: "you drove the car, I just helped you navigate". [What you don't have a talking band? : ) ] Because that really is the truth isn't it? The band is a tool. It helps us navigate our eating, but ultimately we must use (drive) the band to make it work.

You can work your way (ha - pun, weigh) around the band if you choose to with "sliders". And back in 2008 this happened to me. Stress, eating poorly (honestly a boat load of crap), and not exercising at all led me to a weight gain (10-15 lbs I think).

The band is not magic. It is a tool. A tool that must be used to get where you want and stay where you want. It does not do it on its own or for you and it requires effort - both in exercise and also in food choices (well, for most people anyway). I knew this going in and knew it all throughout the weight gain. I just chose to ignore it.

I think this weight gain though was important for me. It served a purpose which might sound really weird, but it helped me to *see* all the changes in behavior that I had made on this journey that was so much more than eating or "working the band". I saw not only the progress on the scale, all those wonderful NSVs, but the behaviors that I had adopted (dare I say needed?) that really got me to goal....and, just made me feel so much better about myself and how I felt physically. These changes included things in my personal life, my professional life, and just day-to-day behaviors.

I guess the best way to say it is that I lost focus during this time period, but that makes it sound too much like thinking about this journey all the time. And, while that may seem like the case on this blog, that isn't my reality. At the time, I just chose to go back to what was a previous comfort zone. But when I had my "aha" moment, I just felt gross and sad again.

Since this time, I have stayed on course. And, in many ways progressed leaps and bounds from where I was even prior to hitting goal. While I am glad to have my band, I really need to give myself credit. I made a lot of choices and changes that ultimately got me to where I am today. So, while the band --- and the whole heck of a lot of money I spent on it --- were likely the impetus for permanent change, ultimately I had to embrace the changes and make them just a part of me. So, that's why I am taking a timeout to "thank me".

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Wellness Goals - 1st Quarter Results

I think the easiest way to track against my 2011 Wellness Goals I set here, is to update them every quarter. So the next update will be sometime in early July.

1. Boot camps. Goal: 200 camps. Stretch Goal: 240.
  • So far: 58
  • At the rate I am currently trending, I *should* hit my goal number. I am thinking that the weeks that there isn't camp that if I take a group exercise class at the gym, I will just add it here as well.
2. Training/Race Total Miles. Goal: 416 miles. Stretch Goal: 520 miles.
  • So far: 91.92 miles
  • I'm trending a bit short here for the year as this only has "running" miles included, but I think I should hit my goal.
3. Half Marathon(s). Goal: 1. Stretch Goal: 2.
  • So far: 1 - Goal completed. : ) ... considering another one
4. 5K or other races such as obstacle races. Goal: 3. Stretch Goal: 5.
  • So far: 1 5K completed; Signed up for: 1 obstacle
  • There are 3 other 5Ks I am considering and possibly a 15K that is supposed to have a cool shirt. It's likely that I'll hit my strech goal on this one.
5. Calorie Burn. Goal: 130,000 Stretch Goal: 150,000
  • So far: 50,900
  • This goal might be set too low. At the current rate, it's possible that I would kill my stretch goal. I'll see where it is at the end of the 2nd quarter and may need to adjust it a little.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

Weekly Round Up

Miscellaneous Items from the Weekend:
  • My husband went to bootcamp with me on Saturday. On Sunday, he was complaining about how sore his butt was - HA! I asked him to massage my butt when I first started bootcamp over a year ago and he thought I had lost my mind at the time, not anymore! (Yes, I did giggle just a little itty bit.)
  • Soft white corn tortilla chicken taco with all the fixins from Chipotle = love. Mmmm, Chipotle.
  • I took the entire week off from running. I liked the break.
  • Some buddies are trying to convince me to run another half a week from TODAY! While my training says I can, I'm just not feeling it. Translation - Don't wanna. But I am *thinking* about doing one in May, August, and December. Uh, excuse me, who the hell am I?
  • Chips with a hint of lime with guacamole = dangerous, but super yummy. From where? Chipotle of course! I hadn't been there in a while and I had forgotten how much I liked their food.
  • I received a catalog in the mail from JCP. To save a wasted trip and cause I am just not a huge fan of shopping, I check the inventory at stores near me online for items when I can. Seriously, every single thing I was interested in going to look at was "unavailable" at a store near me. What is up with that?  I went ahead and ordered the items online. Fingers crossed what I ordered works out.
  • The weather has been strange. It was really cold, then nice, and now super windy, but nice. Weird, but typical for Texas.
  • Only 21 days until Easter....I will likely eat an ENTIRE bag of Reese's PB eggs.
  • Starbucks has that new size - Trenta. I didn't think I'd ever order this size, but then Spring came around and I remembered my spring/summer drink -- unsweetened passion iced tea : ) - zero calories.
  • There has been a free weekend of multiple premium channels from my cable provider. We tried to find a movie to watch Friday and Saturday evening and we couldn't find a thing!
  • I did every single bit of laundry...for about 5 minutes. Every piece was also folded (h-a-t-e) and put away (dislike). Why is it that the laundry bin can't stay empty for a period of time to make all the effort worth it????
  • Monday is tomorrow again already???? UGH!
  • Weekly recap: 6 bootcamps - calories: 3656

Friday, April 01, 2011

Comments Settings & Ramblings (serious ramblings, you've been warned)

There have been various mentions of changing the settings on the comments for some reason. Does anyone know what the changes are that were recommended and why? I really couldn't figure it out and now that's bugging me! Thanks in advance for helping me figure out this mystery!

And, while speaking of comments, I read a lot of blogs. I get them in a reader feed and I like to keep up with them as much as I can. Anyway, I used to think well all I really have to say is "congratulations" or "good job" and decided that wasn't valuable or enough. In the past couple of weeks, I changed my thinking on that. I thought back through my journey and realized that one or two words was important to me. In blog land it's also some sign that "hey, look someone IS reading this". So, that's what I do now. Because I really am excited for people---every success makes me smile and I can relate to nearly all of the struggles and stumbles along the way. I hope that when the one or two words are posted  that they take it positively and not that I'm lazy or something. Anyway, not sure where all that came from...

Excess Weight Loss post...Thanks for the comments! I think my intent of the complex math might have gotten a little lost in the shuffle of the complexity. All the articles and studies on lap band make references to results based excess weight loss. Like this:

I hadn't been able to find a definition for how EWL was calculated directly where I would see the references and percentages and I wanted to figure it out. What I find a bit shocking is that based on the calculation that I found results are not as high as I personally perceived them. As you can see above 3 years out is 64% / 73% here. Using the calculation to determine my excess weight loss, my results are 156.7%. While I think I have been successful, I don't think in reality it is 156.7% worth of success.

What concerns me has to do with the averaging that occurs on the data. With results like mine, mixed with others like me, it moves up the average. Just for illustration, if you take a 156.7% and a 10% result, then the average would be roughly 83%. And, when I see just "83%" without the details, my reaction is "hey, that's good. this thing really works". But if I saw the data behind the percent would I still be as impressed? And, yes there's all that highs and lows average out, but what if I saw another cut of the data that really showed I had a 50/50 chance of being a high OR a low and there weren't many inbetween? The scenarios are endless and pretty pointless without the "real" data which I don't have access to - RATS! Bottom line data can be used in such a way to support a desired perspective...and I'm just a data dork. Please disregard. HA!

YA FRIDAY!!!! : )