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Bikini Season or Where I Found the Perfect Plus-Size Bikini

So, summer in O-Town tends to sit at the super sweltering mark for the majority of season. Personally, I love the sun but the heat gets to me so cooling down is essential.

Although I’m not much of a beach babe, I do like to take a dip now and then. And since I’m nearing the 3-month mark, I can soon swim again!!

Like most of us larger ladies, I tend not to focus on finding the perfect two-piece for hitting the beach. So, I thought I’d do a little research and see what I could see for the sea.Plus size two piece bathing suit

Well, I found this fantastic little number by the good people at Alwaysforme.com. I’m a HUGE fan. It’s super flattering with the cinching on the sides, the twist keeps The Girls in place and it’s modest enough to cover some of my flaws. I’m thinking pink this year…and perhaps picking up a black one to mix and match. LOVE it.

Feeling okay lately band-wise. Since the second fill a week ago, I’m not at all afflicted with the ravenous hunger I’ve felt in the past. I simply get hungry when it’s time to eat which is around the 2-3 hour mark. Still able to eat things I shouldn’t and a bit more than I thought I would by now, so thinking I’ll need fill numero trois in a couple weeks. We’ll see though. Gotta wait the specified 2 weeks after fills to see if it works.

Having a bit of port pain lately though. Sleeping on a new mattress now that I’m living with family so gotta get used to the way my body lies on the bed. All part of the process I guess!

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Let Me Clear My Throat

Hmph. Woke up feeling pretty tight this morning. Was difficult to get even water down at first. Not so difficult that I couldn’t swallow it and keep it down but it felt quite similar to the way I felt around Day 4 or 5.

hmph

Since I’d had some real food last night (tried BBQ’d pork tenderloin souvlaki chewed literally hundreds of times and a tiny salad), I figured it’s just all part of the process. I must admit though, that moving on to real food, although super exciting, also makes me live in fear of band slippage due to eating too much or too solid too soon. I’m feeling a lot better now but it’s still a bit more difficult to swallow today than it was two days ago.

I’ve also got that irritating port-site pain again. It’s not as strong as it has been in the past. It’s more like a niggling now but still annoying nonetheless. I guess it’s going to take some getting used to having it near my bra line.

I didn’t have near as much water or eat as often as I should have today either…It’s late in the evening and I’m only now starting to really hydrate again. On top of all that, my (ahem!) monthly visitor came nearly a week late (at 41 days and has definitely overstayed its welcome by nearly an extra week. Apparently, irregularities such as this are directly linked to hormonal imbalances caused by rapid weight loss, poor nutrition and trauma such as surgery.

In other news, I’ve decided to follow the Clean Eating meal plan in their May/June 2010 issue. I went for a shop and found pretty much everything on the list at Costco and Superstore. The only things I couldn’t find were Silken Tofu (Sobey’s carries it though) and dried figs. The whole list for Week 1 cost somewhere in the region of $225 so it really wasn’t cheap. But I’m hoping it will all pay off.

Push the Button

Woke up with a bit of port-site pain today. Made me flinch a bit so I had to hunch over and roll a little to get out of bed. It flared up again a few times throughout the day. It was a pretty active day though and I also drank a lot of liquids. Perhaps it’s my puffed out tummy causing the irritation…Push Button

It just feels so funny. It’s really hard to describe…it’s like there’s a cat between my skin and my stomach muscles that happens to be using said stomach muscles as a scratching post. But very inconsistently. There’s no movement that prompts the sensation more frequently than any other movement. The pain just…is. And it’s not there the whole time. It’s totally intermittent. I imagine it’s still healing as there are still hints of the bruise on my hand from my surgery IV.

I keep poking my protrusion a little hoping I’ll get used to how it feels but I’m not sure I ever really will. It sorta feels like a button on my belly without a hole leading to it. At the very least I hope to build up some scar tissue in the process of my prodding. We’ll see though. Perhaps I’ll check with Slimband about it…

Hangin’ Tough or Where My Bras At?

I miss my bras. It’s crazy to say it but I’ve been sporting nothing other than my Shock Absorbers for the last 11 days. You know the ones I mean. The the sports bra company with the bouncing boobs on their website.

Don’t get me wrong, they’re super supportive and suck The Girls tight against your chest dramatically improving ones posture. They’ve also got no underwire so they hold up my hooters and have been doing a great job keeping the pressure off my port-site.

I decided to give one of my favourite underwired undergarments a try this morning and there was way too much pressure coming down on my port-site for me to endure for a full shopping day. That familiar hot pain came back within minutes so I went back to the Shock Absorbers for their support and port-site protection.

Bra with cranes - supportive bra

That’s all well and good but I so wish I could put on a prettier protector for The Girls. Or at least something that both lifts AND separates. I’m so over my uniboob but the underwire is posing a problem.

See, I just got my Spring catalogue from Bravissimo (home of the best bra’s for big-boobed bitches) and I want like, 10 of them. It’s insane. I’ve got some pretty sexy stuff but I guess I’ll just have to hang on a little longer til my tummy’s ready.

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!

I’ve Got You Under My Skin Or How I Found My Port-Site

It’s the strangest thing, stumbling across my port-site. I’d been told where it was when I was in the recovery room at the Slimband clinic but I couldn’t really feel it where I thought they’d said it was. I’d expected them to put it under the incision on my left side but the nurse said it’s under my top incision. Although I’d been experiencing some pain in my top incision and the muscles behind it were stinging, there seemed to be no port in site just yet. I knew it was there, I could feel something on the inside somewhere but I couldn’t quite find it from the outside.

It wasn’t until I removed the steri-strips on Day 8 and was checking out the fantastic healing rate of my incisions that I noticed a small bruise to the left of my top incision (the one between my boobs). I’d been scared to do any real poking around until I could see what I was prodding. I expected to feel something but nothing quite prepared me for the feeling of touching a foreign body (deliberately) positioned beneath my skin.

shockWeird is an understatement. And if I can feel it now before I’ve lost any real amount of weight, I can’t imagine what it’s going to be like when I’ve dropped 100 lbs. I’ll certainly have to warn the next guy that goes to second base with me or he might look like this guy!

Bandying About or What Lap-Band Surgery Looks Like

Since I’m going to be writing a lot about my journey I thought I’d give a bit more detail about what kind of weight-loss surgery (WLS) I’m doing, exactly. There are two major types of WLS for one to choose from: Gastric Bypass and Gastric Banding (or LAP-BAND®). I’ve opted for Gastric Band surgery.

Gastric Band - Lap Band - Surgery

WLS has been popularized in recent years by celebrities such as Carnie Wilson. She had the more invasive gastric bypass surgery back in 1999, which complete rearranged her gastrointestinal tract. There are a number of pros and cons for each surgical path but I’ve opted for the less invasive (and completely reversible) gastric band.

Gastric banding surgery is done laproscopically and the entire surgery takes a little over an hour. The picture above provides a very clear illustration of what my stomach will look like internally after the surgery is completed. The port will be hidden under the skin and a doctor will use this as the entry point to fill and de-fill the hallow band around my stomach to increase or decrease the restriction on my stomach.

What this means is I’ll no longer be able to overeat for fear of choking or being physically sick. It doesn’t affect my digestion or the absorption of nutrients in my body, it simply restricts the amount of food I can eat in one sitting. Since it’s adjustable I have control of how restricted my eating will be. It’s also possible to remove the band entirely without any permanent damage to my stomach.

Although typically bandsters (those who’ve had the surgery) lose an average of 1-2 lbs per week, it’s by no means an EASY solution to weight loss. My diet will definitely change as there are a number of things bandsters  physically can’t eat at first. But once I get used to eating with the band in place, I should be able to eat most foods again.

So, I’m still going to have to focus on a eating healthy diet for the rest of my life like I would if I didn’t have WLS. The surgery is just going to FORCE me to do it.

I did a lot of research on WLS to arrive at my decision. I checked all over Canada and the UK and even considered Mexico at one point (my uncle had his done there in January 2010). But when I spoke to the good people (thanks Niki!) at Slimband I was sure their program was exactly what I was looking for. Slimband offers not only offers a highly skilled surgical team (Dr Patrick Yau is doing mine), they offer an intensive 4-year aftercare program to help their patients along their journey.

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