Monday, November 30, 2009

Clam Chowder

Where there's a will, there's a way. Today is day five post op and I decided to have something a little more tasty than the mostly bland liquids I have been having. Now it could be because I was watching the food network last night and everything looked amazing, but I decided to have some clam chowder soup. Of course not being allowed yet to have anything with "bits" in it, I devised a crafty plan to blender the padoodle out of it and then strain it to remove any fibrous stuff. And guess worked! The only "problem" (actually, this makes me's the kind of problem I have always wanted) was that I couldn't eat anymore after about five tablespoonfuls. It is so crazy that one can actually feel satisfied with such small portions. I am loving this! I wish I had invented the band.

That's it for now but I do NEED HELP. If anyone knows how to get things to list in a column instead of running together where I have my goals section on my blog, I would really appreciate the help. I typed everything in a list, but when I save it, it goes into that format.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Cookies for Santa

Ahoy mates! Just thought that was a good way to start today's post. I missed yesterday because I was busy getting ready for Christmas. Yes, after a lovely protein shake, I felt very energized and decided to go grocery shopping with my family to get all the baking things I need for the different squars and cookies I am making this year. Is it sacrilegious to talk about Christmas baking here...I think not. The best thing about the band is you can have a Greek Christmas cookie without worrying you'll end up devouring the whole lot, pan and all, after everyone has gone to bed Christmas Eve.

I love it! I have never been so excited about Christmas. I am not at all worried about gaining weight and how another New Year's resolution will eventually fall by the wayside. For the first time in a very long time, I am focused on enjoying a little of everything, feeling satisfied and most of all being able to focus on the fun with my family. I'll give you an example of some of the sabotage that goes on. Some years at my office, it has been an absolute chocolate orgy...there are chocolates, cakes, and nuts everywhere. It's actually disgusting how much people (myself included) consume on the guise that it's okay because it's the holidays. I am going to be very happy not missing any of this.

Even at the grocery store yesterday, there were samples abound. I couldn't have even one, but I didn't care. I was more excited to feel great, look good and be healthy than miss some taco chips in a paper cup were hardly a worthy trade. Electing to take this very significant step in my life has already started to change my perspective. I find myself thinking and behaving a little like I once did (before I had a weight concern). In fact, the memories have started flooding back and I am really aware that I had a different outlook when I wasn't overweight. I behaved differently. I acted like a fit person acts. It had been so long, I had almost forgotten but these days of rest have given me time to really think about these things. Shifting one's perspective makes all the difference in one's success. Being able to visualize yourself as the person you want to be makes everything come together so that can happen. The band acts as a reminder to stay the course and focus on your vision.

I had a major NSV yesterday. I hopped on the scale and I am now in the 200s. Woo hoo! I did a little happy dance before jumping back on just to make sure I read it correctly. I haven't been in the 200s since a year ago (before baby). I never dreamt in my life that I would get to the 300s mind you but it honestly just crept closer and closer until the pregnancy put me over the top. I was very fortunate though to have lived a whole life time of regular exercise and to have been a former athlete. This was my saving grace during pregnancy as I sailed through with no complications working right up to the two days before and going back to work six weeks later. I knew though, in my heart that this would be my only golden ticket and the likelihood of fairing so well a second time wouldn't be as great. This was a major motivating factor in my decision to take control of my destiny and get to a healthy weight. For different people, it will be different things that motivate them to make these life changes. For me, it was the realization that I wanted to live the life I had imagined, full of love, laughter and happiness.

I am going to go wrap some presents now. I think I'll put some Christmas music on and dance around a bit see...the real me is back already ;-)

Friday, November 27, 2009

Friday fun night...let's get the party started...

Okay, the title is a teaser. There's no party at our house tonight, other than say my hubby renting some movies to watch after our little demolition man has gone to bed. I am feeling quite good today. Still a bit sore on and off but nothing too remarkable. I have been a bit tired though. I am wondering if it's from the lack of calories or just the natural aftermath of having surgery. It's all a bit weird. I am not hungry but I wonder whether I should be eating something anyway. I am still on the clear fluids, but I wonder if I should make more of an effort. I feel full even just drinking a cup of tea. Very, very strange. Is this what it feels like later on? The restriction? I have also had the urge to burp a few times but sometimes nothing comes up. I guess there is still a lot of the carbon dioxide gas left that they use to inflate the abdomen. Nice thought, it's kind of like hooking your belly up with a garden hose to the exhaust of a pickup truck...I think I saw that in a

I am very, very happy that I chose this for myself. I keep imagining what it will be like to walk into the boot camp class at the gym and be able to keep up with the group. That's a little ways out from here, maybe at 40lbs down, but I can hardly wait. There are a lot of things I am looking forward to being able to do again, including running. One of the ladies (Jenny) suggested getting a group together to run a half marathon at Disneyland and ever since I have been thinking about all the possibilities this journey will present me. It feels so good to truly believe that yes, I will lose weight and I will attain my goals. I imagine it must be the best feeling in the world to try on clothes that haven't fit for years and to find that they now do. Amazing...this journey is going to be truly amazing. I am so psyched! I would love to hear what some of the most amazing moments were for some as they progressed along their path.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Day 2

I am doing quite well today. I am feeling a bit more sore at my port site which is to be expected but I haven't really felt the need to take pain medication for it. It just feels like a runner's side stitch. I'm not really loving the clear liquid part of things. Everything is just a little blah with it. I spoke with the nurse today and she said I could add a protein shake tomorrow so that's good. Then I'll be able to have a little more energy. I didn't do a lot today other than write Christmas cards. I'm not the best at lazing around and resting. I like to be up and doing things but I tried to listen to my body and give it a chance to rest and heal. Still, I wouldn't make a great patient but then that's partly why I am doing this, so I don't have to be a patient (diabetes, heart disease) in the future. Okay, now I feel a bit better about this. I just have to be patient (now that's a pun) and things will settle and I'll be on my way.

We didn't make Thanksgiving dinner this year. My husband wasn't even unhappy about it just as long as he got to watch football all day. Next year, I'll raise my own organic turkey and cook it for him...okay, maybe not raise it, but I'll make up for this

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


No one is going to believe this but I feel AMAZING! Twelve hours ago I was still in surgery and now I am sitting here at home enjoying a cup of pomegranate tea and writing this. I am convinced that it's because of my parents. They are both very strong people. I think "of good stock" and "hardy" would describe them. I am truly grateful to have inherited some of these genes because I've had very little discomfort today. I filled the prescription for the Tylenol 3s but didn't need them. I took two ibuprofen earlier and feel amazingly good. Did they actually do the surgery or was this a placebo trial? (Laughing) See, I even have my sense of humour intact...

So here's how things went today. I got up at 5:10 am to head to the hospital. My husband wanted to ensure we weren't delayed in rush hour traffic. Personally, I was hoping for a few extra zzz's. When you've been sleep deprived for over a year with a baby, even pending surgery doesn't keep you from sleeping like a log. I was a little worried I wouldn't sleep last night but alas, my head his the pillow and it was lights out. Funny, I would repeat the scenario later in the morning.

At the hospital everything went as scheduled. One of my surgeons (two must be present for this type of surgery) was about 10 minutes late, but once I ascertained it was because she was coming from another hospital and not just rolling in from a all night party, I felt better. She was really sweet actually and so was her partner in crime.

The care I got was fantastic. I even got to wear peep toe botties on my feet that showcased my pedicure from last night (they weren't supposed to rip so easily but they just don't make things like they used to).

The actual surgery part only took an hour and a half but with all the pictures (yes, I let them take pictures...what else am I going to show at the next family I didn't get to the recovery room until 11:30 am. My first impression was that someone had stuffed a softball under my left breast and squished it to fit in beside my stomach. That's where my port site is and it's the only spot that was uncomfortable. The nurse asked my if I would like something for my pain, and since they didn't offer online shopping, I decided to take the two Tylenol 3s. Now, I rarely have occasion to indulge in such opioids, but let me tell you, they made me loopy! I had to fight the urge to sing "driving around town all whacked on the Scooby snacks" (I don't know why at times like these, our brain dredges up the most bizarre song lyrics).

So after my drug induced haze subsided, I was allowed to go home. A nice man picked me up in a two wheel chariot and whisked me to the secret elevator where only movie stars must be allowed access. It led to the loading bay where my husband was waiting with the car. The ride home was really fun. I started having a back spasm (or what I thought was a back spasm, now I think it was gas pain) and I had to recline the seat all the way back to find some relief. It went away though and after that, I really didn't have any more great discomfort. I had some sips of water (okay, lots of sips of mouth felt like a wind storm had gone through) and then graduated to some chicken broth and apple juice this evening. The cup of tea was great. Hot liquids seem to feel better.

All in all, today went even better than I could have imagined. I want to say a very special thank you to those who sent me well wishes. I read them on my husband's Blackberry minutes before they took me in to the O.R. and they touched my heart. They also gave me another little boost of courage to go through with this. I am very grateful for your kindness.

I will leave it at that for today. I am going to rest now. It has been a day like no other in my life. A turning point that I will never forget. Onwards and upwards...

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


...and all through the house, not a creature was stirring not even a mouse. The children were sleeping, all tucked in their bed when there arose such a clatter on the roof overhead. I leapt out of bed and ran to the window and with my blurry eyes, I saw Chris Cringle. "I have your Lap Band all ready and raring to go. I'll place your port in a place where no one will know. You'll awaken from your sleep all happy and relieved, your journey has begun and you'll be so pleased."

I am so excited about tomorrow. This is going to be truly amazing. I have to say, I haven't been too worried today. I decided a few days ago to leave this in God's hands and everything will go perfectly. He has never let me down and I know in my heart this has all come about for me as a result of His guidance. Faith is truly a powerful thing. It's times like this, that I reaffirm my own beliefs. I am so grateful for this opportunity to live a wonderful, healthy life.

Let the games begin!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Ten goals.

Well...the weekend was very busy and I kept putting off updating my blog in favour of sleep. I love sleep. It however doesn't love me because if it did it wouldn't kick me out of bed before I can get enough of it. Sometimes I miss those lazy days of singledom when I could sleep in on a Sunday. Now I've traded it for getting up when my son wakes up at 6:00 am and getting a start on my Christmas baking. I must say though, I did feel rather proud of myself when I looked up at the clock and it was only 10:30 am and I'd already make 50 appetizer pastries and the filling for about a hundred more.

I wonder if I'll even be able to have appetizers by Christmas. Whose bright idea was it to get banded a month before Christmas? Mine. I figured there was never going to be a perfect time to do this and I just couldn't wait any longer to get my life back. It also gives me a good year to lose all this weight before next Christmas when I plan to look absolutely smashing while eating one appetizer pastry.

I keep wondering what it's going to be like when I've gotten to forty or fifty pounds lost or to (gasp) one hundred pounds lost. It must be truly amazing to achieve something like that. I liken it to winning a medal at the Olympics. It's something you've hoped and dreamed about for years. I really admire all the ladies on here who have reached their personal goals. It has me thinking about what are some of the goals I would like to achieve. Here's a preliminary list of ten:

1. To run a 5K and then a 10K.

2. To hike to the top of a mountain.

3. To buy a stunning, sleeveless summer dress from a "regular" store and wear it to a party.

4. To sit crosslegged on an airplane seat and be quite comfortable.

5. To run and play tirelessly in the park with my son.

6. To build a lean muscular body that moves with ease and grace.

7. To donate all my "generously proportioned" clothes and know that I will never need them.

8. To conquer my poor relationship with food and find peace with it.

9. To allow the real me to come to the surface and be happy there.

10. To wear a red bikini to a beach in the Mediterranean (in the

Now I really can't wait to be banded. One more day and then it's showtime! I really appreciate all the support I've gotten so far and the encouraging words. Thank you ladies.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Last Supper

Tonight was the last Saturday night with my old eating habits. So to celebrate, I decided one Last Supper would be in order. I went to the grocery store and came home with all the fixings for a great last big meal. I know this sounds a bit crazy (particularly since I'm supposed to be depleting my liver of it's glycogen "shrinking it") but I rationalized it by saying that I did start cutting out the carbs one week earlier than the surgeon even recommended.

So I made steak, angel hair pasta (with olive oil and garlic sauce) and caesar salad. It was a feast fit for a king. When I sat down to have it, I found that although it was very savoury, I didn't get the same pleasure from eating it that I would have in the past. It was a very surreal experience. I hadn't eaten much all day and I was hungry but something has changed in my thoughts. I heard myself saying "Is this food so important, you'd be willing to live in the kind of pain you went through this last year for the rest of your life?"

The answer I got was a resounding "No". No, I am not willing to live with the kind of pain and misery I endured this year. I will not go back to that place again. Never in my life had I felt as debilitated as I did this past year. Every day was a struggle. I suffered from one of the worst cases of joint laxity (loosening of joint ligaments) after pregnancy that I have ever heard about. My extra weight made matters worse. There were days that the pain was so great, I couldn't fall asleep. I had to take pain medication just to get some rest. I hit rock bottom when I couldn't sit down on the floor to play with my little boy. I couldn't play with him like a mom should. That...broke my heart... Just when I thought I'd hit the worst low point of my life, somewhere deep inside, a fury arose. It was as if the hand of God picked me up, pulled me out of my desolation and placed me down facing a bright light. That light was the knowledge that I was going to make it. I was going to change my life for good and I would never walk down that path again.

Friday, November 20, 2009

The first 10 pounds.

Wow! I am so amazed. I have lost 10 pounds! I couldn't believe it when I stepped on the scale yesterday. I even got on and off just to be sure. I had thought my clothes and shoes were feeling looser than usual. Even while walking to work the other day, I noticed I seemed to be stepping lighter. This is like some intoxicating bottle of seven year old cabernet sauvignon...I just want to keeping drinking this up. I love how this feels. I had almost forgotten what it felt like to be losing weight. I am so looking forward to this adventure ahead. I have been visualizing different milestones and I can't wait to really get going. Five more days and I am on my way.

On a funny note. My colleagues keep hinting at wanting to know why I am taking a week off during a very busy time of year. I had told them I was having surgery but that it was no big deal and I would be fine. Recently though, I have been joking that I'm going on a medical vacation and getting breast enlargement at a year end sale price. It's actually quite fascinating how some people just need to know what you are doing.

I am wondering how I am going to handle the two Christmas parties coming up, seeing as I am hosting one and it's an expensive sit down dinner with multiple courses. It's going to be tricky explaining why I am only eating a tiny portion. I will still be eating mostly mushies then. Not sure what to do. Should I phone the chef and have my meal prepared differently or just try and move the food around and possibly hop it over to my husband's plate? I could feign getting over a bout of food poisoning but I think that's a bit too much drama. I feel like a soap opera diva hiding the fact that the baby I'm carrying isn't Luke's.

All in all though, life is good. In fact, it's fantastic. I am happy.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Pursuit of a dream.

Let's many more days of this pre surgery high protein low carb diet to go? One more week...thank God because I am getting a little tired of drinking shakes. Food is such a part of our culture and taking the time to enjoy a meal is more than just about nourishing your body, it has a social and psychological aspect to it. Eating with others is enjoyable and despite trying to drink my shake slowly, it's just not the same as munching on something while chatting. The good thing about the Band is that it encourages you to take time to chew your food. So I will still be able to enjoy the experience of having a meal with someone. I had wondered whether Bandsters feel left out at gatherings involving food but I don't think that has to be the case. Just because one eats less food, doesn't mean they can't enjoy themselves in the company of others who may eat more. I have a feeling I might have to sell this idea to a few well meaning grandmotherly types in my family but once they see how great I look and feel, they'll understand. They'll still try to scoop extra pasta on my plate, but they'll understand when I don't eat it.

I am curious as to how things are going to go in these next few weeks for me. I have a feeling it won't be as difficult as I think. I am just happy to be getting on with doing this for myself. It is the perfect time in my life to do this and I am really ready to meet this challenge head on. I have no doubt that I will be sitting here in a years time smiling at this entry. I will be amazed at the transformation in my body in just a short year, and most of all, I will be proud of myself for having the courage to pursue this dream.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Run girl run!

What a fantastic victory at the gym today. For the first time in almost a year, I was able to run! Not jog slowly, but really run. Yippee!!! I couldn't believe it. It came out of nowhere, like a rogue snowball in a surprise ambush. I was at the gym, walking on the treadmill and feeling pretty good. My goal was to do at least 45 minutes of fast walking. I set the treadmill to a 2% incline (to mimic real road conditions) and chose the 5K course. By the time I got to 45 minutes, I saw that the 5K mark wasn't that far away. Somewhere deep inside, the girl that was once a great athlete, awoke from her long slumber and willed me to go for it. I kicked up the speed and the next thing you know, I was running...really running! I haven't been able to run for many months and today, I finally did it. As I crossed the virtual finish line at a bit under 60 minutes, I was grinning ear to ear and I could barely contain myself. I literally skipped off the machine. I am sure the begrudged woman beside me thought I was a nut. I am so proud of myself. I can see that I am already changing the way I think. It's these little steps that will make all the difference.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

My first confession

I must confess...this is my first time blogging and I am so exicited to be sharing my journey with you.

This day has been some months in the making. I have had my surgical consultation and my meeting with both the dietician and the pyschologist and all went well. I am so excited to be taking this step in my life, I can hardly contain my enthusiasm. Despite my urge to shout from the treetops that I have finally put myself first in my life and have decided to do this, I am for now keeping things quiet. My family knows and that's all the people that really need to know. I did debate whether to be open to all about this but I decided that the challenges ahead would be great enough that I didn't need to don a sandwich board sign and spout the virtues of the Lap Band. Perhaps at a later date, I will share my decision with friends and colleagues, but for now I feel better sharing things with other bloggers who are facing similar journeys.

I have begun my pre-0p Optifast diet of two shakes (I pretend they are chocolate martinis) and one bar (that's the peanut butter brownie that goes with the per day. They actually taste alright and it's only a short two weeks. Knowing how delicate the liver can be and how easily a little bleeding can become a problem, I am more than keen to give my surgeon all the room she needs to work. I am so curious as to what she will see inside. Would it be wrong to ask for the video? If I promised not to show it at the family Christmas party, I think it would be alright. Just kidding.

The anticipation is building and I know that despite all the hours I've spent researching this, this journey will be like no other. I know a lot about what to expect but at the same time I feel like I don't know anything until I've walked in these shoes. I am just going to rely on my faith and on myself to get through these next few weeks. I am also going to continue following all the amazing blogs that have helped me get to this point. I am so impressed by the solidarity and support amongst strangers. It's heartwarming to see this side of humanity.

I am looking forward to unleashing the goddess within...