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.
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!
A few of us over at MySlimband.com were asking our Slimband dietician Arlene, for some recs and advice on healthy bandster-friendly full food meal plans. I was so pleased with her rec that I had to share it here!
Her rec was Clean Eating Magazine and their monthly meal plans of 14-30 days included in each issue. There are meal plans, recipes, shopping lists and plenty of advice on how to live a healthier, cleaner life. They’ve also got mini meal plans that are available for downloading and printing on their website.
The main philosophy behind Clean Eating Mag is to consume foods in as close to their natural state as possible and to steer clear of man-made and processed foods.
It’s very similar to The BodyDoctor philosophy so I know from experience it’s a pretty great way of life.
Clean eating definitely helped my IBS last time I tried it so I’m looking forward to trying it again. It should probably help with the second traffic jam I’ve been experiencing too. Sadly, Slimband bandsters can only use Senokot and we’ve gotta crush it up. WORST. TASTE. EVER. So, I’m struggling a bit.
That being said, I shall indeed be testing out some of the delicious dishes Clean Eating has on offer as soon as possible after I move on to the food stage.
NOTE: Slimband doesn’t officially endorse this magazine. It was just a rec from Arlene. BUT I certainly do! I picked it up today and it’s fantastic!
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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I’m mad. I mean, grinding my teeth, scream at the top of my lungs, throwing myself down and pounding my fists on the floor mad. I’m mad because I let myself get to the point where the only way I can drop the extra person I’ve been carrying around my whole life is to get a band wrapped around my stomach. I mean, seriously! WTF! Who effing does that, right?!
I’m sure it seems drastic to some…like the kind of thing an addict would do. Well, I’ve never felt more like an addict than I do today. Nothing could have prepared me for the impact of realizing the extent of my disordered eating. I literally can’t stop thinking about food. I’m fidgety, I’m clenching my teeth, I’m cold, I’m irritable and I want to scream and cry about everything. I feel pathetic.
Everywhere I look there’s a food ad, or a drive-thru or a major supermarket, or a cupboard full of goodies. It’s unbearable. And I literally CAN’T eat any of it. I’m on a clear liquid diet and I can BARELY get that down. I’m eating what I’m supposed to and I’m full and I’m nourished. So I really shouldn’t want to eat. But I do. More than I’ve ever wanted to eat in my life.
I guess most of all I feel defeated. Like the war that’s been waging in my body has finally ended and I’ve lost. Miserably. And the casualty has been any joy I ever found in food because I’ll probably never feel that same joy again.
Yes, I’ll be able to eat real food again (in about a month apparently) but it’s always going to be a struggle. I’m always going to have to kinda force it down and hope I’ve chewed it properly because if I haven’t, I’ll barf. Oh, and I must never eat more than a cup at a time because if I do, I’ll barf. And I’d better stay away from white bread, pasta and rice because if I don’t, I’ll barf. To top if off I’ve got to make sure it’s correctly proportioned or I won’t get all the nutrients I need. Because if I don’t, then my hair might fall out!!!
But the real kicker in all this is that the Slimband food plan is nothing more than a smaller-portioned version of The Bodydoctor food plan or The Low GI diet. I could and have done both without spending $16,000 on a cable tie!
Hmph. Well, I’m frustrated and I’m exhausted. I guess that’s the mental side of the journey taken care of then.
So, my gastric band surgery went well. All things considered the whole process was pretty fantastic. I arrived at Slimband promptly at 2pm and was outta there by 6:30pm that evening. It was pretty amazing and an incredibly smooth process.
Shortly after I arrived at the incredibly posh Yorkville Prince Arthur Clinic that houses Slimband, I met my consultant Niki very briefly. She helped me through this process from the beginning so it was great to meet her in the flesh. She’s had this surgery before and it was pretty amazing to see how great she looked.
Then a lovely woman named Michelle took some pictures to go in my Slimband folder and mark this very special occasion. I opted for the clothes-on option instead of the top-off Biggest-Loser-style pics. I thought it was best for all of us.
When it was time to prep for surgery a nurse (the lovely Stephanie) came and took me inside to check my stats and to brief me about the process of the day. I met my anesthesiologist (Dr ….) and Dr Yau came to say hello and impart some of his wisdom upon me. After having completed 3500+ gastric band surgeries he’s certainly got information I want to hear!
He told me about the surgery and mentioned the possibility of having to repair a hiatus hernia. Apparently this is quite common for patients that suffer from GERD. It is often what makes GERD symptoms so severe in some patients. Having suffered from some pretty painful heartburn for most of my adult life, I had to wonder why previous doctors had never considered this before.
After our chat I was lead into the operating theatre where I hopped up on a pretty squishy table, got comfortable (they put massagers on my legs to help with circulation), Dr…got my IV in one try and he knocked me out. I’ve never been unconscious before so it was a pretty cool experience to be awake one minute then asleep the next.
I woke up in the recovery room and felt pretty good. Coming out of the anesthetic was such a nice feeling! It was kind of euphoric. I didn’t really feel much pain, just a bit of stiffness all over. Dr Yau was there and explained that I did indeed have a “medium sized hiatus hernia” and he’d repaired it. I was barely conscious but I was definitely grateful!
My recovery nurse was one of the sweetest nurses ever. I don’t remember her name but she was from Argentina and was just lovely. She stayed with me from the time I came out until the time I was allowed to leave about 1.5 hours after the surgery was over. She helped me right out to the car.
The whole process took about 4.5 hours but the surgery itself only took about 20-30 mins. Amazing what can be accomplished in that short timespan!
I felt okay for most of the evening. I still wasn’t allowed to eat but I could drink lots of water so I did. I’d been warned of ‘gas pain’ in my chest, neck and shoulders from the gas they used to fill up my abdominal cavity. I’d started to feel it a bit so had a demerol and enjoyed that for a couple hours before hitting the hay.
Had a rough first night. Woke up half way through in quite a bit of pain in my neck and abdomen and needed help to get up to take more drugs. Had a few tears from pain and frustration. Wasn’t pretty but I survived through the rest of the night.
I’m only allowed clear liquids like herbal tea, apple, grape or cranberry juice and any clear broths for the next 5 days. I’m still pretty weak from the pre-op diet and the surgery so I’m also drinking Pediatric Electrolyte to get my electrolytes up. I was ready to eat just about anything that would fit in my stomach when we travelled back to Ottawa Mom got me some Tim Horton’s chicken soup broth and it never tasted so good!
I took some more drugs and slept a little on the drive back to O-Town. Been resting in bed with a movie for the evening with the occasional Slow Melt Mighty Mini Popsicle. And here I am. Only had medium level gas pain so far.
When I met Dr Yau he spoke about the importance of having a strong support system of family, friends and fellow bandsters. Well, I certainly have that taken care of! I’ve had so many well wishes I’ve lost count (thanks guys!), I’ve got a fellow bandster in the family and I’m already a member of some super helpful forums, so I think I’m on the right track!
He also mentioned one thing that really struck a nerve with me. He said its important to realise that there are two organs involved with this procedure: the brain and the stomach. I think it’s crucial to one’s success to be aware of this when considering gastric band surgery because, as I said, it’s not a cure-all. It’s just another tool to help me along the way. I’ve still got a lot of work to do to get me where I want to be but I’ve got a pretty amazing support system so I’m sure it’ll be great!