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full liquids

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Fill My Little World

Phew! What an eventful day! Had my 2nd fill with Dr Bishop this morning. Total band contents is now a whopping 5ccs and I can definitely feel it now.

Seriously, I love that guy. He’s super knowledgeable and actually speaks to me like I’m a person. All too often in my past doctors have dismissed my comments and concerns out of hand and oversimplified my situation. But Dr Bishop actually seems to want to help me to achieve my goals. It’s monstrously motivating!

Especially when he gets as enlivened by my losses as I do. Since the last time I saw him (May 26th) I’ve lost nearly 5lbs. This brings my total losses to 18.2lbs in a little over 11 weeks. I’m pretty pleased with my progress since it’s right at the expected rate of 1-2lbs per week.

To top it all off, things are feeling pretty tight in the tummy. I can most certainly feel the restriction in my stomach. I’m on clear liquids/full liquids for the next 24-48hrs (thank goodness Canada Day is 3 day away!). Last time, I could chow down on the day of my fill but this time, I’m terrified to try! It’s tight and I know it.

It makes me a little nervous cause I really don’t want to get too restricted. I’d like to get to the point where it’s tight enough that I’ll get a subtle hint to stop stuffing my face but not enough to make me barf. I mentioned as much to Dr Bishop and he shared my sentiments. He told me about some fantastic research from the very same conference he attended at Harvard Medical School in May.

He said that by keeping my lap-band ever so slightly under restricted and concentrating on stopping when I’m supposed to, I’m actually working at training my brain to react the way it should without actually needing the physical response triggered by the band. This is where I want to be when all of this is said and done – Dr Bishop agrees.

I do so wish I could read these reports but I’m also happy to take his word for it. I quite like that he actually has these tales to tell me. I really hope the Slimband nurse is as informed as Dr B!! We’ll have to see next time…if there is one!

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Fill ‘er Up!

Needle TipWell, today’s the day. I get to have my very first fill! After bombarding Dr Bishop’s office with phone calls I finally got through to a person and scheduled my appointment for today at 2pm.

I’m super excited but I’m totally nervous. I’ve gotten pretty used to how to eat with this thing and I really don’t want to learn how to eat all over again. But I’ve gotta do it. It’s all part of the process. I’ll be one clear liquids for the first 24 hours and full liquids/mushies for the next 24 hrs.

This is certainly going to make the DMB gig a bit of a challenge. I’m off to TO tomorrow morning until Wednesday. Can’t wait!! I’m a little sad I won’t be drinking a beer in one of those shiny red plastic cups but I’m sure they’ll have SOMETHING I can eat at the Amphitheatre. I hope…

Hungry Like The Wolf

The past couple of weeks have certainly been strange. I’ve eaten less in the last two weeks than I would have eaten in a weekend in the past. With the exception of Temper Tantrum Tuesday, I haven’t really felt particularly hungry. Until today. At around 3pm, a little over three hours after my last mushy meal, I was stricken with the most intolerable hunger I may have ever felt.

All at once I had terrible hunger pains, I was lightheaded, felt panicky, got a headache and was super thirsty. It was like nothing I’ve ever felt before. It’s what I imagine happens when one’s blood sugar drops (AKA hypoglycemia). Since I’ve been getting very minimal levels of both sugar and protein, it seems a likely diagnosis. But, a doctor I am not.

Chili ingredients

Thankfully I had some Peach Medley in my purse so I scoffed it down as quickly/slowly as was physically possible (ie in about 15 mins). I felt okay for another 30 minutes when the hunger returned like it never left in the first place. I managed to find the deli counter in hopes of snapping up some soup but the only choice that even remotely resembled something I’m allowed to eat was chilli. I was certainly concerned.

I’m supposed to be strictly on mushies but since I was starving and didn’t happen to have any food left in my bag, I listened to what I felt my body was telling me and started eating the chilli as slowly as possible. I followed the bandsters’ mantra of taking small bites, very slowly and remembered to chew, chew, chew and chew again. I managed to eat about 1/4-1/3 of a cup and felt MUCH better within a few minutes.

I’ve been hungry before, but never quite like this. It was such an overwhelming feeling. My entire body was swooning, I needed something and I HAD to have it. Not like a craving where it was something I’m not supposed to have, but like my body telling me I was missing something and I had to get ASAP.

On the plus side, this prompted me to finally pick up my multivitamin. I’ve been meaning to do it since I moved on to full liquids. Since I’ve still got to crush any medications, I went out in search of a chewable. I ended up settling on Quest‘s Her Daily One Chewable Multivitamin on Slimband‘s unofficial recommendation. I picked them up for $14.99 CAD at my local Superstore. I looked for them online but couldn’t find them anywhere so was pleasantly surprised to see them in the specialty food section.

SweeTarts

They taste okay. A bit earthy both in taste and texture. I was told they tasted like SweeTarts but that was a bit misleading. I mean, they’re no Flintstones Vitamins and I didn’t spit them out. But they weren’t entirely easy to swallow.

Peachy Keen

I had a pretty fun-filled Friday this week. Babysat my little cuz when he was home sick from school. That kid’s always a delight even when he’s barfing. The day was a bit of a challenge though because my auntie’s house is quite rarely the home of healthy food. So, I did myself a favour and packed a can of Baxter’s Lentil & Bacon, some Mott’s Peach Medley and a tiny bit of the good stuff and went on my way.

I did quite well with the food and had no trouble at all getting any of it down. In fact the Peach Medley was an absolutely delight. I’m really not a big fan of applesauce or apple flavoured things so I pleasantly surprised to find such a tasty treat that was actually good for me and pretty-much Slimband approved (it’s applesauce so it’s approved right??).

Went out in the evening with some lovely ladies from back East.

Normally, it would have been quite a challenge for me to pace myself to ensure I didn’t eat myself out of my pants but we decided to go out AFTER dinner which worked out great for me. I had some green puree and headed down town.

I wasn’t sure how I’d cope with the consumption of alcohol what with my new tiny tummy and my complete lack of a carbohydrate cushion to absorb the copious amounts of alcohol I would normally consume on such an evening. But I did just fine. I opted for martinis (which I LOVE) to keep the volume low and since I don’t want encourage the vomiting I should be experiencing at this point in my lap-band journey, I took things very slow.

I was thoroughly enjoying my evening with my chums with it dawned on me that I’d actually eaten the cherries in the bottom of my cocktails. I honestly couldn’t believe I’d done it. It was so automatic to finish my drink and chomp down the cherry. I was pretty scared I’d be sick until I realised I’d eaten them more than a half an hour before.

So, for the first time in 14 days I ate something. And it felt pretty normal. Granted, I chewed it pretty thoroughly, I didn’t choke and I didn’t have any tummy trouble. What a relief! I guess I can add cherries to the list of foods I’m allowed to eat when I’m actually supposed to be eating! Until then, it’s back to mushy meals.

Chew Chew Training

It’s been 14 days since my lap-band surgery. It’s also been 14 days since I chewed anything. Everything I’ve put in my mouth since the day before surgery has been liquid, puree or mush. None of which requires the use of my teeth or my jaw to get it down my gob.

When I put a piece of my favourite gum in my mouth while rushing to catch my chariot I’m pretty sure I had a taste of  trismus. More commonly known as lockjaw, the muscles just weren’t prepared for any kind of movement. There was pain and cracking and lots of things that just shouldn’t happen when I’m chewing.

So, I had to slow things down. I had to teach myself to chew without causing myself any pain. Needless to say, I couldn’t chew it long and got rid of it in minutes. Considering I’m not even supposed to be chewing gum (or anything else), I pretty much got off easy.

Oh! Oh! It’s Magic!

Hooray for mushies!! Seriously, what a pleasure eating has been today. Started the day with a tasty treat: some instant oatmeal made with skimmed milk.  For lunch/late supper I puréed some of Mom’s chicken stew and although it was pretty good, I’m fairly certain she used chicken stock as the base and right now I’m over chicken stock in a way only my fellow bandsters could understand! It was pretty good though.mushrooms

So, I took it slow while eating both and kept them down with ease. I’m hoping it stays that way. According to my reading materials, physically I should be feeling pretty close to normal by now and that’s a pretty fair assumption.

Food-wise, I’m feeling almost normal. It’s easy to swallow things, the tiny bubble burps have dramatically decreased and the pulling on my esophagus/diaphragm when I yawn (most likely a side effect of the hernia repair) is minimal. I’ve still got the occasional pain in my port site but other than that I’m feeling good.

I also cooked up one of the mushie recipes provided by Slimband’s own creative Chef John. The vegetable soup is a treat. It’s like minted pea soup only A LOT better. Judging by the meal plan I don’t think I’ll get to eat much of it despite the army-sized pot I’ve produced. If I’d known I definitely would have halved the recipe so I stuck some in the freezer.

Went for a wander to Winner’s with my auntie again today and found myself trolling through the handbags, shoes, sunglasses and hats AGAIN. I didn’t even go near the clothing department. Now, this probably makes sense to most people because I’m supposed to be losing weight and any clothes I do buy probably won’t fit me for long, right? Well, that would be true, if I did’t ALWAYS spend my time looking at handbags, shoes, sunglasses and hats.

Anyone who knows me, knows I love me a gorgeous handbag, some fabulous shoes and sexy pair of shades. But I’m fairly certain nobody’s ever wondered why. Well, it might have crossed their minds…but contrary to popular belief, it’s not because I’m secretly a shopaholic bag lady as well as a foodaholic.

I mean, yes, I do spend a lot of money on them. But it’s a whole lot easier to explain than an addiction. It’s simply because shoes and bags will ALWAYS fit. I’ll never try them on, look in the mirror and frown when the fabric hugs my chub a tad too tightly. They’re never smaller than they were the last time I tried them on. And they don’t fall apart the second time I wear them. In fact, when I pick up a classic bag or a timeless pair of shoes, they pretty much go with everything and can last for years.

I don’t mind spending a pretty penny on something I know is going to bring me joy every time I wear it. But that so rarely happens with clothes when one is a larger lady. I seriously can’t wait until the day I have a beautiful bag in one hand and a huge pile of clothes in the other and I can choose the clothes knowing that each and every item in the pile is on-trend, may or may not have been worn by one of my style icons and will only ever fit me perfectly. Oh, what a day it will be!

PS Weighed myself today and I’ve gained 1 lb back on the ‘full liquids’ stage. Total weight lost to date is 11 lbs. I’m told it’s highly likely I will gain most of my losses back before I get my first fill but things seem to be going well so far so we’ll just have to see about that!

Bad Romance

Love FoodWent without pain meds again last night only this time without the hot water bottle. Not a great idea. Not only is it still chilly in O-Town, I had some mildly annoying gas pain in the neck when I laid down. To top it off, I thought it might be a good time to stop staring at the ceiling and try sleeping on my side again. Yet another BAD IDEA!

I was comfortable and relatively pain free so I thought I’d give a rotation a try. I slowly rolled over to my left side and initially felt fine. Then, seconds later, out of nowhere I felt the familiar tearing sensation of Days 1-5 on the muscle near my port site. It’s painful in such an annoying way that when it happens I just freeze up for fear of making it worse. The only way to stop it is to place my hand flat over my port site and press against my stomach. It’s like when you bump your knee and instead of just walking it off you bend down and rub the pain away. Only NO rubbing.

So, I could just barely roll onto my back without screaming my head off.

But I was being stubborn so I still went without the pain meds. This meant I had to lay there wishing the burning sensation away for some time before I fell asleep. The pain didn’t subside until well into this morning either. I shan’t be rolling over again anytime soon!

On the plus side, today is the last day of the ‘full liquids’ stage of Slimband’s post-op plan so I spent it finishing up some of the great soups I’ve been eating for the last 5 days and ensuring I’ve got all the ingredients I’m going to need for Stage 3: Mushies ie puréed soups and stews, oatmeal, scrambled eggs, applesauce etc.

The full liquids stage hasn’t really been all that much of a challenge since the Slimband recipes have been pretty tasty and easy to swallow. I’ve been sticking to their meal plan quite strictly and I’m really pleased with my progress. I’ve only had a few instances where it was difficult to get things down the hatch and they were way back around Day 6. It’s only been easier since then.  I even managed to eat out with my family once this week which really helped with my morale. It gets pretty lonely having to eat only the foods that I’ve prepared every 2-3 hours for days!

That being said, I’m told moving on to mushies can be a bit of a challenge  what with the immanency of yacking around every corner. Apparently, it’s quite difficult to get these foodstuffs down to the old tum via the little one. It’s okay for me to eat just about anything again but it’s got to be puréed. I’m not entirely sure how many blended meals I could tolerate but if I don’t blend them well enough, I could quite literally blow chunks!

I’m thinking it won’t be so bad. I’m hoping it will be a little like Days 1-5. There were times where I couldn’t swallow water without first tipping my head back as far as it would go to ease the liquids down my esophagus. But I got through that just fine.

I picked up some of Mom’s homemade chicken stew to purée for tomorrow’s lunch and I honestly can’t wait. Another nutritious and delicious dish to get down my gob. I feel like instead of hating food like I thought I would, I’ve simply solidified my undying love for new kinds of nourishment. Then again, I suppose I’ll see how I feel if I have to bolt to the bathroom every time I try a new kind of sludge. Which, I gotta say, is another thing -albeit unhealthy- I could have done to lose weight WITHOUT spending $16K!

Soup-er Happy

Wow, what an improvement today has been! Today is Day 6 and officially the day I move on to ‘full liquids’. Full liquids includes things like strained soups, smoothies and my beloved coffee. In other words, I’m allowed to consume cuisine with flavour.strong old woman

So, in celebration of reaching the next stage in this edible adventure I went to Sobey’s and picked up all the ingredients I needed to make the four smoothie recipes and both of the soups provided in my Slimband aftercare binder plus one more I got from the good people and BBC Good Food.

I spent the afternoon remembering the joy of cooking with my Gam and made each and every recipe. They were absolutely AMAZING!! I honestly had no idea how happy eating (drinking) soup could make me. And the smoothies are a such a treat I can’t believe they’re good for me. I’d like to publish one or two here but I’m pretty sure I’m not allowed.

I also picked up a small tub of Half the Fat Coffee Haagen-Dazs.

I know, I should’t be eating it and it goes against everything I’m doing. But I learned that lesson when I could only eat 3 teaspoons of it before I was full. Now I know better. I’m sure I’ll try pushing the boundaries again but not for a while.

On the health side of things, I didn’t eat much throughout the day nor did I drink nearly enough water. I could only get down about 3/4 cup of two of the soups. I was full very quickly but I definitely felt satisfied. In fact, I still do so that’s a good sign. And as a result of the new additions to my seasonal menu, my traffic jam has also cleared up. Yay!

The only negative health issue was how very weak I was all day. Today was my first day out of the house since my surgery and my muscles have been depleting so I had very little strength whilst walking around. And even less trying to move around the kitchen like normal. I actually had to sit on a chair while doing the prep for most of the recipes. My back, stomach and arms just couldn’t take it standing up. But I managed and I’m glad I did.

It’s a pretty strange feeling to need help to lift what are usually the simplest things. I’ve always been the strong one of all my friends and family but today my grandmother had to load the bags in the car cause I almost fainted. AND she had to bring them in the house and unpack them. Not normal. But I’m sure that will improve with my tasty new additions.

So, my future doesn’t feel so bleak anymore. I’m happy to be back to living a semi-normal existence. Seriously, words can’t describe the relief I’m feeling. If I was a church going girl I’d be thanking the big man upstairs for getting me this far. Since I’m not, I’ll just thank all my loved ones for their support and for hanging in there with me. It’s a big help!

PS: Since I had my surgery I’m down an astounding 6 lbs…this makes a total of 12 lbs in two weeks. Shocking but pleasing.

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