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Gone so long or How Boredom Makes Me Barf

Well, it’s been a very long time since the last time I posted an update on my Slimband journey. I’m afraid this one’s not a good one.

I’ve almost reached the 2 year mark since I had my surgery and I honestly couldn’t regret it more. I’d like to think it does work for some people but what it doesn’t do is anything other than cost me money and sometimes make me barf. I shell out a whopping $389 per month to Slimband and all I’ve lost since the day I started solids is 10lbs. That’s right, 15 lbs in 2 years. How’s that for a disappointment?  But I made a choice. It just happens to have been a bad one. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Some people may be wondering how I went from being a total band evangelist to a cautiously optimistic Slimband story-teller. It’s simple, really. I truly believe (today) that the only reason I lost any weight at all was because I’ve chosen to eat less and I’ve consciously made better food choices. The Slimband nurses would say that’s a good thing. But if I could always make the best food choices I probably wouldn’t need a Slimband in the first place, would I?

I tried though. I tried really hard for a while. Recently, I even went to the trouble of trying to photograph every meal I ate so I could see where I was eating poorly.

But, like I always do, I got bored of the whole thing. I got bored of researching band-friendly recipes, tips on how to get all the nutrients I need and looking forward to next year when I’ll fit into THAT dress again. It’s infuriating, devastating and humiliating. I literally have to consider the impacts of every morsel I put into my mouth. And every time I eat something unhealthy, I’ve made a choice to do so. Sadly, giving a tasty temptation some seriously thought does nothing to stop me from scarfing it down because disappointing myself has never been something I’ve shied away from.

SadI’ve barfed because I didn’t chew properly and I’ve barfed because I ate something I shouldn’t have but  even when I eat a lot of the good stuff like most fruit and vegetables, I barf that up too.  Aside from mixed salad, I can really only eat over-cooked vegetables which can be pretty dismal after a while. On top of that, I’m having some teeth trouble which is make it quite difficult to chew to my food. Thus, further limiting the items on the list of foods that will stop me from getting fatter.

The truth is, it’s never really been entirely about food for me when it comes to losing weight. It’s most certainly the source of consolation, celebration and joy for me but it’s not the only reason I am where I am. I’ve certainly gone through periods of time where I’ve eaten poorly but the fact of the matter is, the key to my weight loss success is physical activity AND diet. My Slimband handles the food consumption but I don’t actually move around a heck of a lot. I’ve always known this. Whenever I decide to be more physically active, I always slim down in a jiffy. Then I get bored of that too and every single sweaty pound I’ve lost goes right back on.

Sadly, I know this post might deter some people from getting a Slimband. I honestly hope it does because a Slimband is not the easy way out that people think it is. Whether it’s working or not, it’s very difficult to live with and you only get out of it what you put into it:

  1. You have to watch what you eat. No matter what. If you think you can’t do it without a Slimband, it’ll be even harder with one because the bad stuff is the easiest to eat.
  2. You have to exercise. If you think you go to food for endorphins now, just wait til you feel the disappointment and frustration that comes when you barf halfway through the nutrient-rich chicken stir-fry you made for dinner.
  3. You have to take multi-vitamins. If you think you don’t get enough nutrients now, wait til you barf up the aforementioned stir-fry (or any other healthy meal with a thicker consistency than the mushies we’re prescribed for 24-48 hrs after a fill) and it happens consistently for days/weeks and you notice your hair is starting to fall out, you’re tired, and your skin is flaking off all around you.

It all happens, it’s all real. I don’t owe a lot of success to my Slimband alone. It’s all down to me and my mental efforts. The Slimband doesn’t solve your weight problems. You have to do it for yourself. And I failed. For nearly two years, I failed.

So, now it’s time for me to create my own fat-loss Kickstart despite the limitations that come with having a Slimband. On Saturday, March 3rd, 2012 I went to Crossfit O-Town for my first WOD.

Watch this space for the rest of the story.

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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…

Droppin’ It Like It’s Hot

When I started this process I decided I’d weigh myself at the start and end of each phase of the Slimband plan. So far, I’ve weighed myself the day I started the pre-op diet, the day of my surgery, the day after I finished the liquids stage (and started full liquids), and the day after I finished the full liquids stage (and started mushies). To date, I’ve lost 11 lbs.Big cheesy grin on napkin

Well, since today is the day after I finished mushies (and the day I start full food again – WOOO EFFING HOO! I HATE MUSHIES!) I weighed myself and…I’ve lost another 7 lbs!! I honestly can’t believe it. Technically I’m not even supposed to be losing weight right now but I must be doing something right.

That being said, I know it’s not healthy to lose weight that fast (I’ve lost weight before and all…) but I’m pretty sure it’s not going to continue at this rate. The Slimband plan tells us to aim for the healthy rate of 1-2 lbs per week and reminders are rife that any weight lost before reaching our band restriction ‘sweet spot‘ are inconsistent.

That brings my total to 18 lbs lost in a little under a month!! That’s pretty staggering. It’s certainly falling off fast. I started real food today so I suspect some of it will be coming back but I’m pleased as punch for now!

Movin’ On Up

Things probably look a little different ‘round these parts. Up until this morning, I’d been using iWeb to build my blog. Although iWeb produces pretty sites, Blogger provides some additional functionality I simply don’t have the experience to implement myself with iWeb. So, I decided to up-sticks and moved on over here.

Moving truck

I’ve stuck some nifty gadgets in the left-hand navigation which means I can spread the word about my Slimband journey a little bit further afield without much effort. And the good people over at Google are going to help me track my progress. I’m pleased as punch.

Sadly, I can’t export any of the comments from the previous version of the blog. So, make sure you click the ‘follow’ in Followers section and feel free to comment anytime and forward my posts to friends and family. I really appreciate all the support!

In other news, I went to my first official family dinner since my surgery.

At first I wasn’t even gonna go. I just didn’t want to sit there and watch everyone eat all of the food I wasn’t allowed to have. But my dearest Gam prepared something even I could enjoy: some Salisbury Steak with mash(ed everything).

I’m not supposed to eat the beef but I took half a pattie, mashed it up with the potatoes, turnip and carrot and armed with my newfound food confidence I sat down and took a full hour to eat it. It was delish! I kept the whole meal around 2/3 cup of food and had no trouble at all.

That being said, it’s back to mushies tomorrow for another three days. Don’t want to do any damage I’ll have to pay for later. I’m pretty hungry now though…Perhaps it’s all this moving around…

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!

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