Tuesday, May 3, 2011

One year and a little bit

It's been busy, but who's life isn't busy, right? I have one more final to take next week and then it is off to another college in the fall. I will be taking courses from Eastern Illinois University. Something like 25 to 30 more hours and I will have my bachelor's degree.

My one year bandiversary was on April 13th and I am down 90 pounds. I still have a long ways to go, but I feel so much better than I did on April 12, 2010. I have so much more energy and my life just seems even.

I don't obsess over food like I did before getting the band. Food, most times, is not on my mind and I would never have thought that would be possible in my life.

I plan on kicking up the exercise routines after next week too. I won't be busy studying or at class and am looking forward to having some time for me to do the things that I now enjoy. I have several friends who have said that they will play tennis with me. I love playing tennis but when you are living large it is not as much fun. So here is to many tennis games in my future this summer.

As I lose the weight, my body is transforming also. Things are much smaller, except for the girls - who seem to be hanging on; but things are a little looser too. I am hoping that over time they will go back to where they belong but if they don't I will have to think long and hard as to whether I want to surgically correct things. The only body parts that really bother me at this point are my arms. I have the bat wings plus a little more. Would I rather have them filled with fat? No way, it's just paying for the sins of eating.

I have to get ready for work, but just though that I would stop in here for a moment to catch you up.

I hope whoever is also on this same type of journey as me is doing well. We all stumble, just have to pick yourself up and look forward; looking back does nothing to help you.

Have a great spring day.

Until next time.............


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Have not been on here forever!!!

Hi everyone,

I know that it has been ages since I have posted, but life has been great and busy. I am finishing up my degree at Parkland and I took three classes last semester and it really kicked my butt. They were all labor extensive classes and more than I bargained for. However, I only have two more classes to take this semester and then I have my Associates degree and only need about 25 hours to finish up my Bachelor's degree.

So much in my life has changed since I had my surgery and the best part is that I have so much energy now that I am always busy. I exercise every day and sometimes twice a day. I rarely sit down and watch television because there are so many other things I would rather do than sit on my behind and I believe that it is all because of my lap-band. I LOVE IT still.

When I started this journey, my thinking about the band was very different than what it is today. I have had to work hard to lose this weight and would never have been able to without the band taking away the physical hunger. The head hunger was what I have had to deal with. I still love food and that was one thing that I had to work through. I don't need much food for my body and I don't need food for my head either. It has taken me awhile to learn that lesson, but it is one that I have figured out for the most part.

During one of my visits with Dr. Rohrscheib I talked to him about eating three meals a day and thinking that was a lot more food than I needed. He gave me the best advice ever- if I am not hungry, don't eat. It was that simple. I don't have to eat three meals a day if I don't want to. My body will tell me when I need food and it also tells me when I am thirsty; sometimes I have to listen carefully to what my body is telling me.

I have now lost 80 pounds and feel great. The weight comes off more slowly now even though I work out more and move more, but that is okay. I didn't get fat overnight and I won't get thin over night. I will keep plugging along no matter how long it takes. I love how I feel and that is what makes me keep on wanting to continue this journey.

Of course, there are days when I wish that I could eat a big ole' steak or a homemade roll, but those are really few and far between. The foods that I can't have are not really a focus, it is more about getting the best fuel in my body. I can tell energy wise when I have not made the best food choices, and I have to rethink what I will eat next. Everyone has off days, but there are less of those now.

I think part of my motivation is also the fact that many people know about my journey. I have done two radio commercials and now a television commercial and people are very aware of my journey. I want them to say "Wow" she is doing great, not "Poor Deena" still couldn't do it.

I am so appreciative still of winning this contest, that I will NOT GO BACK to where I was. The Illinois Bariatric Center believed in me and I won't let them down.

Talk to you all soon. We are in the midst of a blizzard and the lights keep flickering. Stay safe and I promise I will be back on again soon.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Comments - who knew!!!

Hi everyone.

I just found everyone's comments. Thanks so much Heather for sending everyone over. I am going to have to check all of your blogs out.

We are all one big happy banded family. Thanks for the encouragement.

Working the band.

I went in for a fill last Thursday and didn't end getting one - Jeanine thinks my weight loss is going fine and we shouldn't mess with a good thing. I was fine with that, I lost 6 pounds in three weeks so I am averaging two pounds a week. I really don't want to lose more than that. Sounds strange, but I am really trying to do the slow and steady thing. Before, I have always wanted to lose as much as possible, but then I would get burnt out and fall off track. Granted, it is not as easy to fall off track with a band, it is still possible.

I have walked every night for at least one hour - sometimes more, but always one hour as a minimum. I can't remember the last time I didn't walk. It has been really hot and humid on those evening walks, sometimes my walking buddies quit on me a little early and I end up finishing the walk alone. That is okay too. I know what it is going to take for me to lose this weight and part of it is moving my butt - daily.

On Tuesday, it was so hot out that I took the dogs home after about 40 minutes, they didn't seem to be enjoying the walk at all. I think that they are getting healthier also since they are my main walking buddies. Even when I am not motivated they are nudging me along to leave the house.

At almost 50 pounds off, people are starting to comment about my weight loss. You know that you were really fat when it takes a 50 pound loss for someone to notice. Oh well, at least they are noticing now. And I appreciate the comments, it just helps keeping me motivated.

I am running out of smaller clothes to wear. I have always had the range of clothes from my previous yo-yo weight loss and gains, except now my low end range clothes are really baggy. I don't want to buy many new clothes since I am just passing through, so I will only buy clearance clothes that are under $10.00 and only enough to get me by. I have plenty of tops in wide ranges, its just that the pants are getting too big. What a great problem to have.

I am so blessed to be on this journey. I who never win anything, really took the mother-lode when I did win something. I am so appreciative of Dr. Rohrscheib and his staff, they are the best and always my biggest cheerleaders. I look forward to my fill dates just so I can visit with them. They are all so kind and caring.

As I am almost at four months with the band, I feel like I have a different perspective than when I first won. I originally thought it would be all band doing the work and me cruising alongside, but that is really so untrue. I have to work everyday to get healthier and thinner. The band is a tool, but I am definitely the carpenter using the tool. I could slack and the band would just be an apparatus in my body and not a weight loss tool. I have to plan my meals, my snacks and my exercise and I have to follow through, if I don't I will not lose a pound. And I WILL lose all my weight and keep it off this time.

So, an example of me using the tool, I journaled what I ate the last couple of weeks and saw that there were some unhealthy foods sneaking in more than they should, so I have eliminated those foods from my house. No more crackers or chips in the house. I never ate many, but I would eat two or three and those two or three will eventually catch up with me - so they are gone. Bob and Neal don't need them either, so it will be a good thing. The other thing that I have to watch is ice cream. I really don't even like ice cream, but since it has been so hot lately, I have had a little here and there, not more than one scoop, but again, I really don't like ice cream so why waste the calories when it is not something that I truly want. I walk too long each night to be eating wasted calories on something that I only sort of like. I know that sounds weird, but I think you get what I mean. It is good that there are really only two things that I need to be more careful with, so most of my food choices are good.

One of my favorite things to eat right now is Orange Jello Salad. I take a large container of low-fat cottage cheese, add a large package of sugar-free gelatin to it, stirring it up good. To that mixture I add one big can of drained crushed pineapple and one big can of mandarin oranges drained. Mix it up and add some low-fat or sugar free cool-whip. I let it set in the refrigerator overnight before I eat it the next day. It takes away any craving I have for something sweet. It also has protein and fruit in it. It is so yummy - and it really fills me up even when I don't eat a lot. You should try it sometime.

Well, I need to think about settling down for the night - busy day tomorrow. Lunch with Dad and all the family and then at 4:00 I have to go help paint the circle drive at the high school. I guess that we are also painting horse prints around town also. Hopefully it won't be too hot.

Have a great weekend and I will talk to you later.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Another fill another day.

I have been so busy and felt very guilty that I haven't updated lately. So, here goes.

I had my appointment for a fill on July 8th. I went in thinking that at most I would just get a little fill if at all. I still hadn't been able to eat much food and I got stuck alot. It was not fun. If I wasn't stuck I was sliming all over, which does not make for a good day.

Jeanine and I talked about what we thought should happen and she decided that maybe I should have a little more taken out. I really had not been able to eat any meat - I was living on soft foods and protein shakes. I really want to be able to eat as normal as possible, but much smaller quantities and that just wasn't happening the last time even with all my un-fills.

So, Jeanine took out about .40 cc(which I think brought me down to about 3.80 or 3.90 ccs in my band) and told me to go and eat some protein. Which I did - and then a little more. I felt so much better and I could eat without the terrible side effects of a too tight band. It was very nice, well maybe too nice.

When I was weighed on the 8th I had only lost about 4 more pounds from the last time I had been unfilled(the Monday at the Clinton office). I know that it is a good amount but considering what I had been losing with my first fill I was a little disappointed. And now that I had less restriction, I was eating more than 1/2 to one cup of food. I knew that it would not be good if I didn't get a little more added to my band.

On July 12th I called the office and asked if I could get in for a small fill, they had an opening on Thursday morning so I just had to be careful what I ate between Monday and Thursday. I did not want to gain any of what I had worked so hard to lose. I bumped up my exercise some more and tried to drink liquids when I was hungry. And I was hungry. I hadn't felt hungry since a little after my surgery. It was strange, I really do love my Band. I like the no hunger part the best and feeling hungry in the evenings was not what I wanted.

I made it to the 15th without too much difficulty, although I was a little hesitant to get on the scale. I don't know if I gained or I lost - I don't remember what my weight was when I was there on the 8th.

Jeanine came in and we talked about how much I should get. I really just wanted to get up to where I was after my first fill. I felt that amount of restriction was just right for me. I got .20 cc's put in my band and was hoping it was enough.

I felt good and nothing was getting stuck or I wasn't sliming too much. (I really still need to slow down my eating).

This morning I weighed and I am down 4 pounds from last Thursday's weigh in. I am eating enough protein and veggies and my body is one happy camper. Who would of thought that I may have reached my "sweet spot" on my first fill - and we fiddled with it when it didn't need fiddling with. Karen told me that I just may be one of those people who are sensitive to the band and don't need much added. That would be fine by me.

I am still exercising one half hour in the morning and an hour at night and I feel so good when I do that. Exercise is definitely becoming my friend. My friend Lisa and I walk every evening with the dogs, catching up about our days and enjoying the summer weather. It is very nice to spend that time with her and be outdoors. I would never have thought even six months ago, that I would enjoy walking and exercising as much as I do now.

My clothes are starting to get really baggy and I will probably need to buy some soon, but I hope to wait it out until I need cooler weather clothes. A belt is definitely in order most days now. I just tried on a pair of sweats and they fell down, yeah me.

I am just so happy that I am on this journey. Yes, there are days when it is hard. I wish that I could still eat some foods that I know will no longer work in my life (My sister Mona's homemade rolls), but in the end I have to end my love affair with food. That is part of the reason that I was as heavy as I was. Food means love to me and I always wanted to feel loved. I can live without rolls and other breads and I will live longer because of it.

If you are reading this because you are thinking of the band, then I say "Go For It" life is for living not eating. If you are doing the same journey as me, you understand what I am saying. So, have a great night and tell your family how much you love them. We are not guaranteed tomorrow - so let them know today that they are the loves of your life.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Hello, anybody out there?

I am sorry that I haven't written much lately, life has been a little busy.

I definitely did not feel well after my second fill and it really took me a while to get back in the swing of things. I actually thought that I was going to have to go back and have more taken out. I didn't have too and I am grateful for that.

My next fill is next Thursday. I forgot the date and scheduled a Pampered Chef Party for the same night. So, I will be having people over and not eating anything that is fixed. Generally, after a fill I am not hungry for a while so that will take the temptation away. Plus laughing with your friends is just as good as eating.

I think for this next fill I am only going to get a 1/4 cc and see how I do, that is if they let me do that. Then make another appointment for only two weeks out and see if I can handle more.

For the two weeks after my fill, I really had no energy and slacked off on exercising. I know that I shouldn't have, but I just couldn't do it. I am now back to exercising daily and the scale has started moving again. I am down two pounds in the last two days. Let's see if it goes back down tomorrow.

So, the lesson that I have learned is this: If I do not exercise, I will not lose weight. Very simple, but very true. I have to move for at least 60 minutes a day to get the reward of the scale going down. I can do that, just put my mind to it and realize I have to help the band help me.

Friends are asking if I regret the band considering the problems I have had lately. I answer them - it's not easy but it is the best thing I can do for myself. The band is my partner and I have to show it the respect it deserves. And as a partner I have to carry my end of the bargain and that is movement.

That ah-hah moment is very much appreciated. Move your butt, Deena. I got it now.

Walked the dogs for fifty minutes tonight and then took a half hour back ride. I peddled the entire time, no coasting for me. My legs can feel it, too. Mona gave me her bike when she moved and I rode it tonight. It is like "Tubby" from my youth. Big seat for my butt and big tires. It rode so smooth. Thank you Mona.

We have hardly been home these last two weeks. Since Neal dislocated his knee cap, we have been to many doctors appointments and now are going to physical therapy three times a week. His knee is getting better slowly but surely, so that is a good thing. He really wants to play football this fall, I am just not so sure. What's a mom to do?

I am off to bed now, I have tomorrow off and have lots of house chores to do. All bedding is being washed and hung on the line. Nothing smells better than freshly dried sheets. Dogs need baths and I need to weed the garden and water all the plants. Then, I get to clean house. We are having a cook out on Saturday evening and I want the house to look at least a little presentable.

Hopefully, when I get up tomorrow I will have lost a little more weight. It would be a good way to start the holiday weekend, giving me motivation to eat the right foods. I'll let you know.

Have a great Independence Day. God Bless America!!!!!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Second Fill a little bit of a struggle.

Yesterday, I went in for my second fill. I had lost 12 pounds since my first fill, yay!!!!

Jeanine put in 1.5 ccs. I could swallow water and everything seemed fine. I went back to work and could not swallow anything. I was spitting up saliva and anything I tried to drink. It was awful. I hate getting sick even though what I was doing is not really throwing up. I called the doctor's office and they had me come in for a little un-fill. I went down to only having an addition 1 cc put in. I could swallow and felt a little better.

I left there and went home. Again, I tried to drink something and nothing would go down at all. I was feeling miserable. I called the doctor's office back at 3:30 and they said they would wait for me to get there (they close at 4:00). I made it there in pretty good time. I got there before 4:00. This time Dr. R. came in and put me under the fluoroscope and had me drink some barium. Nothing went down at all. So he removed another .5 cc. You could see that the barium went down. I felt so much better. I left and went home.

About 5:30 I tried to drink an Atkins protein shake, just to get some more protein in for the day. Nothing. Not a thing would go down. I kept trying and it kept coming up. I finally admitted defeat for the night. I went to bed, hoping that it would be better in the morning.

This morning I got up and took a little sip of tea and IT WENT DOWN. I was so excited. I took very small sips and it seemed to be okay. I got ready and came in to work. I starting sipping on an Atkins shake and it seems to be going down, slowly, and in very small sips but it is going down. What a great feeling.

I think that I am going to stay on liquids through the weekend, just to make sure that all is okay.

This band is a wonderful thing, but it definitely takes some tweaking for me to figure it all out.

So, I am so happy with how far I have come so far. I have lost 32 pounds since my consultation, they weighted me yesterday. My scale this morning shows another three pounds, but I am not going to count it since it was probably all spit.

On to another great day.

Talk to you later.