Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Topping Out

I think that's a made-up phrase, or at least it is in this context. Today I weighed in at

13st 11lbs - 193lbs - BMI 32.1
(a total loss so far of 69lbs - 25lbs to go)

Which pleases me no end and makes me hope that the figure I saw yesterday of 194lbs was my 'topping out' level, ie the highest I'll be getting to before plummeting back down to the safe haven of 12st-something in the near future.

Having said that, Christmas is looming very close on the horizon, my mum is arriving this afternoon for the holidays and there is an awful lot of food and drink in the fridge, the cupboards and even in the garage, and there are only four of us to eat/drink it all...

I need to talk to hubby about when I can scoot up to High Wycombe to see my surgeon for that extra tweek of a fill!

And just in case I don't post again before the weekend, I'd like to wish you all a very healthy and


May the scales be kind to you all.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Refill Shmifill

I finally got round to having a top-up last Wednesday, nearly three months after my much-needed unfill in time for the B00BS meet-up in Chicago (which seems an age away now.) That unfill was a whopping 2mls, taking me down to 7mls in a 10ml band. I was so tight just prior to that unfil that I was suffering from heartburn almost constantly and was surviving on coffee and crackers (or at least it felt that way at the time!)

Obviously I was nervous of ending up back in that position by having too many mls put back in at this top-up, but I was also nervous of having too little put back in since I've been eating like a horse ever since the unfill and have managed to gain A LOT of weight. Should I play safe and ask for 0.5ml or go for broke and have 1ml? Well, the surgeon asked me that self same question and in the end we settled on 0.5ml to be on the safe side. I'll point out here that I actaully asked for 0.75mls but my surgeon only works in halves and wholes - a bit frustrating when I see so many other bandsters having tiny tweeks of as little as 0.1mls added/taken away. Anyway, there's not much I can do about it since I'm not really up to arguing with him. And he did say that if this 0.5mls turned out to be not enough, that he would waive his fee for my next appointment.

Anyway, it looks like my dear surgeon will be wielding his trusty syringe free and gratis next time as this top-up hasn't made much difference. I can definitely feel a little more restriction on certain things like bread, and I am getting fuller more quickly, however that feeling of fullness isn't lasting very long and I'm finding myself snacking between meals just as much as before. According to my surgeon, the buzzword in the banding world these days is: SATIETY, whereas previously it was RESTRICTION. This means that we should be concentrating not on how much/little we eat, but on how long we maintain the feeling of fullness after eating. Has anyone else been told this by their surgeon (or whoever it is who waves the syringe in your direction?) I know that the feeling of fullness can depend a lot on what you've eaten (bread, protein, etc versus crisps, chocolate, etc) but I'm just wondering what other bandsters think of this.

And, because I have to remain accountable, here are the (awful) numbers

13st 12lbs - 194lbs - BMI 32.3

(a total loss so far of 68lbs - 26lbs to go)

That's a gain of 6lbs in less than a week. How is that possible?! I know it's the run up to Christmas and there are an awful lot of chocolates, biscuits and alcohol knocking around, but REALLY?! 6lbs in 6 days?!

Although, I would like to point out that my surgeon is still incredibly pleased with how much weight I've lost and was eager to point out that some of us are just genetically designed to be larger. He even went as far as to say that the last time he'd seen me (just before Chicago and weighing in at 12st 6lbs/174lbs) he thought I was looking a little drawn - does this mean I have permission to eat another biscuit?

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Re-fill on the Horizon

Thank goodness! Only two days to go til I see my surgeon and beg for a refill. Can't come soon enough, what with all the glorious Christmas food that's around, and will be around for a good couple of weeks more. I simply have no willpower, so I need the band to help where my brain fails. It's going to be odd going back to actually having 'proper' restriction. I do still have some - for instance, I struggle with sandwiches/bread, and I definitely can't eat as much as I could pre-band, but there's no doubting that I'm eating too much and getting hungry more quickly after I've eaten.

Now, it is TOTM, but I weighed a couple of days ago and had put on ANOTHER 1lb:

13st 6lbs - 188lbs - BMI 31.3
(a total loss so far of 74lbs - 20lbs to go)

The last time I weighed this much was in May - so my unfill at the end of September has undone four months of hard work prior to that - what a bummer.

Dear band, I'm really looking forward to feeling you again!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Reality in numbers

After getting back on the blog wagon I bit the bullet this morning and jumped back on the scales. You know, for that bit of "accountability". Things weren't quite as bad as I thought they might be, considering how tight my trousers feel and how the lardy tyre round my middle section seems to be growing at an alarming rate. I held my breath while the numbers flashed, all the while thinking "I reckon it'll be 13st 10lbs"; turns out it was

13st 5lbs - 187lbs - BMI 31.1

(a total loss so far of 75lbs - 19lbs to go)

Obviously that's not good at all - it's a gain of 13lbs since I had my unfill on 28 September, which means I've managed to gain more than 1lb a week - impressive, non?! My BMI has jumped back over that magic '30' barrier, and from being within 6lbs of my first gial, I'm now 19lbs away from it. Uh-oh. But, salvation in the form of a top-up fill is on the horizon and with that will hopefully come a change in my attitude too. Well, I can hope, can't I?!

And while we're on the subject of numbers - I turned 40 last week. Ouch!

Monday, 5 December 2011

Blog Apathy?

Hmm, I've not blogged for a while. Well, that's not strictly true, I'm keeping my other blog vaguely up-to-date, but this one seems to have fallen by the wayside.

Is it coincidence that I stopped blogging just after I had an unfill? Is it coincidence that I've not blogged about how, since then, my weight has crept up and up and up? In fact I've not even got on the scales for a couple of weeks as I'm too nervous to see what sort of number is going to be looking back at me. I've definitely put on 10lbs, it make even be more like 15lbs now. The unfill has almost taken me back to the olden days of horrendous eating habits, although there is still some restriction - thank goodness. It's like I'm on holiday from the band and, knowing that it will be refilled soon (in 9 days and counting), my head and stomach are in cahoots to eat as much as possible while they still can. And it seems that there's nothing I can do to stop them. It doesn't help that all the lovely Christmas food and drink is surrounding me, and it also doesn't help that while the band may sort me out physically, it has done nothing whatsoever to make an impact on my brain! But I'm not complaining - I absolutely HAD to have an unfill due to the heartburn and the miniscule amounts of food I was just about able to eat beforehand. My surgeon took out 2mls and it was instant relief. In 9 days time I'm going to ask him to put 1ml back in - here's hoping half way between what I can eat now and what I could eat then will be my sweet spot!

Sunday, 6 November 2011

Resuming the Chicago Story...

Friday morning I awoke bright and early and snuck out without waking my two roomies. I headed out in the direction of the Mag. Mile once more, but ostensibly not for shopping; this time it was sightseeing. There are fabulous buildings a-plenty in Chicago, apparently due to the fact that the city all but burnt down in the late nineteenth century. One of the most famous is the Chicago Tribune building that has stones embedded in its walls from many monuments around the world - apparently the owner of the Tribune newspaper instructed his reporters to bring/send them back when they were overseas (not sure if this was done legally or whether they snuck up to edificies such as the Great Pyramid at Giza under cover of darkness with a chisel and mallet?!)
There's also an enormous and, dare I say, tacky statue of Marilyn Monroe in that 'infamous' pose which gives lots and lots and lots of people the chance to have their photo taken looking up her skirt. I'm not sure why it's there since she was born and died in LA. Does anyone know the Chicago-Marilyn connection? Am I missing something really obvious?
My sightseeing continued over the other side of the river as I walked through the Loop district, heading for Macy's - a girl has to shop in between all the sightseeing. I was very excited to see the El trains trundling round the overhead tracks, it was just like a scene from ER! My Macy's pitstop lasted longer than I expected due, in most part, to the fact their Christmas Dept had just opened, and I LOVE me some Christmas. Obviously I had to buy a few deccies, including this mega tasteful one. After Macy's I headed for the Chicago Cultural Center to check out the world's largest Tiffany glass dome; it was lovely to see, but actually I thought some of the other parts of the building were just as stunning, if not more so.
After a quick stop to use the free internet in the center, it was over the road and into Millennium Park to see "The Bean" (aka the Cloud Gate sculpture by Anish Kapoor.) Apparently when first suggested, the idea wasn't very popular but since it was unveiled it has been admired and visited by tourists and locals alike. It makes for some great photos, with the city's buildings reflected and distorted in its surface. And you can take self portraits - look, there's me with the Macy's bag!

After all that walking (and shopping) it was time to head back to the hotel for a little bit of R&R, before I headed out to dinner at Pizzeria Uno, one of several pizzerias in the city that claims to have invented the Chicago pizza pie. I had a mushroom and spinach version(please excuse dreadful photo - no flash on my iPhone) which I would probably have enjoyed a whole lot more if I hadn't eaten an entire side order of mozarella sticks before the pizza arrived... So I had them box it for me and I enjoyed the leftovers later! Can you tell I was making the most of that unfill I'd had just a couple of days before?!

And then it was time for the part we'd all be waiting for - the formal get-together! I must admit to being a little overwhelmed with the hugs and tears that were going on around me, but it was great to see so many blog faces in one room and to finally get to meet so many of the ladies about whose weightloss journey I have read/am still reading. Here are our fabulous B00B organisers talking us through the weekend plans and what-not.We were all presented with a fantastic B00Bs-branded tote bag, filled with great gifts from sponsors (apologies for photos being on their sides, I just can't get them to flip round - grr!) I'm still making my way through the protein bars, but finished off the Pirate's Booty and Jenny Craig 'crisps' while in NYC - they were good. I was also lucky enough to win a Hydros bottle and a few extras as part of a raffle.

Afterwards we headed out to a karaoke bar which was VERY popular and busy; some of us left after one drink in order to find somewhere quieter where we could sit and chat over a Baileys and ice. And that was the end of Friday.
Saturday I wasn't up quite so early, but still early enough as I'd arranged to meet Tina in Starbucks at 9.30am so we could enjoy a day of shopping and sightseeing together. We pretty much followed the same route I'd taken on the Friday, with a walk along the Mag. Mile, over the river and into Millennium Park, where this time I got my photo snapped in front of The Bean.

This time I also got to see the Crown Fountain which I'd missed the day before; this installation features two 50-foot high towers which project video images of Chicago citizens with water spouting from their "mouths".After that it was across the road to the Art Institute of Chicago shop (not cultured enough to do the Institue itself!) and then on to the Chicago Artchitecture Foundation shop, is there a theme developing here? Then finally we found the place we had been headed for all along - a knitting shop - Loopy Yarns. I bought a great pattern book for knitting an Afghan blanket, which I might get round to opening one day...
After all that walking and shopping it was time for lunch - pulled pork sandwich with onion rings and fries (I couldn't/didn't eat the bun, nor many of the fries, so I knew my band was still in there somewhere!)Shopping and eating, eating and shopping. Seems about all I did when I was in Chicago...

Oh, and then there was time for just one last shop which combined those twin loves of eating and shopping - the Hershey store; not for the Hershey chocolate which I think is foul, but for the Reeses's peanut butter confections. OMG, I LOVE LOVE LOVE Reese's peanut butter cups, and even more than that I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE Reese's peanut butter chocolate bars. I bought three and I've got half of one left, even though I've tried to ration it. I really need to get back to the USA soon!

In the evening it was time to head out for dinner to Texas de Brazil, a Churrascaria (Brazilian steakhouse). I'm not a big meat-eater, so I went for the all-you-can-eat salad bar option. (Did anyone else see the irony in a group of bandsters going to an all-you-can-eat restaurant?!) There was sooooo much to choose from (50+ dishes, apparently) and I'm kind of sad that I only visited the salad bar once. Look at my plate: there was chicken salad, bacon, artichoke hearts, potato salad, mozarella balls, asparagus spears, haloumi, sushi, prawns.

Here's Tina and I looking happy about the food (although our mojitos were a bit ropey).

And here's a few shots of some general mingling and chatting that was going on before we sat down to eat.

Check out Draz's shoes!!

After dinner we headed back to the hotel lounge for a pyjama party - there are a lot more flavours of Ben & Jerry's available in the USA! And that was pretty much the end of my trip to Chicago.
And when I checked my bag in at the airport for my flight to NYC, look what got attached to it.
I wonder why??!!

Thursday, 20 October 2011

Chicago Post I - At Long Last, eh?

It's taken a while, hasn't it? The time has flown by and since I got back from the US we've moved house, (which entailed having no internet for 5 days, of course) and have been trying to get ourselves straight in the new place, so my blogging has taken a bit of a back seat. But I'm trying to get back into it now, so here's Part I of my Chicago B00Bs post - finally. Oh, but before I start can I just apologise for the lack of B00B-related photos, I totally forgot to get my camera out at most B00B gatherings, so some of the photos you'll see on here have been 'borrowed' from other blogs/FBook, etc.

As you probably know, my darling hubby and dearest mum surprised me with a flight to Chicago (and New York) for my 40th birthday. I flew out from Heathrow early on Thursday morning and arrived at O'Hare about 10.15am (US time). Here's the skyline of Chicago as we came in to land:
And that was very nearly the start and end of my trip all in one. Now, this is what could be considered to be a HEEE-OOOGE NSV, but at the time I didn't see it quite that way. When I got to passport control I presented my passport to the border control chap and he looked and it, then looked at me, then looked at the passport, then looked at me and then asked if I had any other photo ID. And then it dawned on me that I really don't look like my passport photo anymore (but that could be down to a whole host of things other than weight loss - change of hair colour, or - gasp -the ageing process, for eg!)Which in one way is reallllly cool, and in another is a bit scary and not very useful when you're trying to get into another country and have no other photo ID with you. The border control chap then asked for my airline ticket, and after scrabbling through my bag I finally found the stub and that appeared to be enough, and I was allowed in - phew!

I was at the hotel by about 11.30am and straight away met up with Stephanie, Gilly, Linda, Angie, Jacquie and Camela and we headed out for lunch at Chilis. My lovely unfill allowed me to eat potato skins with cheese and bacon (I managed 4 out of the 5!), and they were yummy. It was great to finally meet in person this first group of B00Bs, they were all super-friendly and made me feel very relaxed and welcome. After lunch I decided to head off to the shops on the Magnificent Mile; would you believe it rained? And this while the UK was enjoying an autumn heatwave - what a cheek! My first purchase was in Crate & Barrel - a really useful kitchen gadget for hubby, a pumpkin scoop - just what every home needs!And that was it, the floodgates were opened and I didn't stop shopping til I got on the plane out of NYC 4 days later.

I got back to the hotel for 4pm and met up with lots more B00Bs at the 'unofficial' meet and greet - Jessica, Maria, Krystal (one of my roomies), Theresa, Kristin, to name but a few. I started flagging about 5pm and headed back to the room for a bit of a rest; I thought I might sleep having been up since about 4.30am UK time, but I was obviously too excited, so I unpacked instead and then headed out to Portillos for a hotdog and fries for my dinner - the lack of band restriction had clearly led to a decision to eat as much 'bad' food as possible while I had/have the chance!

Then it was back to the room and time to get ready to head out to the Baton Lounge drag show with about 35 other B00Bs. Here I am with Draz and my roomie Krystal.I've never been to a drag show before so didn't really know what to expect; at first I wasn't overly impressed, but then things picked up and it was really good fun. One of the performers had most of us wishing we had a body (and face?!) like his/hers - Mimi really was quite something to behold! And at the end someone, who remained anonymous, picked up the tab for all of us - whoever that was, thank you, it was very, very kind of you. After that I really did have to head back to bed and I slept the sleep of the righteous (or extremely knackered) right through til the next morning. And I think Friday can be another post.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Unfill Update

I know I said the previous post would be my last before B00Bs, but I just wanted to give you an update on my unfill this afternoon. After some discussion with my surgeon (I'll tell you the details some other time) we decided on a 2ml unfill. All I can say is that the relief was almost immediate, I could literally feel my body untighten and relax. This evening I went out for dinner with friends and I ate 'normally' and drank lots of water. I enjoyed myself so much, it was such a pleasure to be able to relax around food again. No discomfort, no stuck episodes, no stress, no walking away after two mouthfuls, no PBing. Bliss. I'm so looking forward to being able to eat regular meals with my family again.

Safe travel to all the B00B-ettes. See you tomorrow or Friday.

Watch out Chicago, I'm coming to eat you!!!

Countdown is Progressing, 5...4...3

Well, this is it, my final post before B00Bs! My suitcase is packed, my hand luggage is packed (lots of copies of Hello, a book, a bar of chocolate and a packet of shortbread biscuits - well, I'd hate to starve before I meet the B00B ladies!) and I am good to go.

This time tomorrow (if all goes to plan) I should be halfway across the Atlantic, either deeply asleep, deeply engrossed in Hello or deeply engrossed in a movie (let's hope American Airlines are showing some good ones because I don't enjoy flying and I find it really helps if I have something to keep me occupied other than thinking about the fact that I'm 36,000 feet above the ocean deep...)

This afternoon I have my long-awaited appointment for an unfill, hooray hooray. I'm going to ask for a biggy as I'm fed up of surviving on Gaviscon alone!

Anyhooozles, this is me signing off. Looking forward to a few days of R&R with the B00Bs (is that likely, do you think?!), some shopping in Chicago and NYC, and then coming home to see lovely hubby and my little boy (before we move house two days later - oh yes, it's all go around here!)

Friday, 23 September 2011

Travelling Light(er)

I'm pleased to report that, physically, I will be travelling light(er) to Chicago. The same can probably not be said of my suitcase... This morning the scales greeted me with the cheery news that I've lost another 2lbs!!! I typed 1lb at first, because I'm pretty sure I've already seen 12st 7lbs on the scale, but when I looked back through my blog I've not recorded that weight. Seems very odd that I would have missed reporting it, but sometimes life gets in the way of blogging, so I guess it may have just got overlooked.

12st 6lbs - 174lbs - BMI 29.0
(a total loss so far of 88lbs - 6lbs to go!)

Wow - those numbers are looking good! Just 2lbs more and I'll have lost 90lbs; 6lbs more and I'll be at my (inital) goal (wonder if I can get there before my 40th birthday?) Yee haw.

The acid reflux/heartburn is still lingering (although I did finally get round to buying some heartburn relief medication which seems to be helping) and my band is still sooooooooooooper tight, so I'm not really surprised that I've dropped a couple more pounds. I'm really looking forward to getting an unfill next Wednesday - just 5 more days. I'm sure the pounds won't be dropping off after that!

And then, it's CHICAGO time!!!! I started my packing yesterday (without the boy child getting in the suitcase this time); here we have a bundle of clothes for the sisterhood exchange

and here we have some Booty for the B00Bs - I see Cadbury Flake bars, I see magazines, I see Fruit & Nut, I see M&S chiplets... If any other of you B00B ladies want me to bring anything over, please let me know - I've got plenty of room (at the moment!)

Tuesday, 20 September 2011

Today's Malady: Migraine

I'm a walking bundle of poorliness at the moment. Blurgghh. Today I've been in the grips of a migraine; luckily, not one of those 'please remove my head with a blunt instrument and kick it as far away from me as you possibly can because I never want to see it again' migraines, but nonetheless an annoying niggly one that took two migraine tablets to shift.

I do wonder if the tightness of the band, and thus my inability to consume enough liquids, could be to blame? Or am I clutching at straws here?! Neverthless, I have made a concerted effort to increase my liquid intake today (and I don't mean by drinking more coffee!)

Many thanks to everyone who commented on my previous post about acid reflux; I don't get it REALLY bad, I don't get it everyday, and funnily enough, I don't get it at night, so I'm not overly concerned at having to rush to get an un-fill sooner than next week; it's just that when I get it, it is fairly uncomfortable/annoying.

On a more positive note, I started my packing for Chicago yesterday evening (after I managed to get my darling son to vacate the suitcase), and also started reading my guide book (at long last), so I am now getting into MAJORLY excited mode!!!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Heartburn/acid reflux, call it what you will

Has anyone else suffered from heartburn/acid reflux since being banded? Having done a quick search on Google, I'm pretty sure this is what is happening to me and, apparently, it can be caused by the band being too tight.

Well, I know for sure my band is too tight and thank goodness I have an appointment with my surgeon in just 9 days - I'm going to ask for an unfill, quite a big one I think as my stomach really could do with a bit of a break, not to mention the fact that the rest of my body would probably benefit from some 'proper' food. I can't remember the last time I was able to sit down and eat a meal (however small) without having to stop after a couple of mouthfalls to take a walk or a break. The other morning I had a bite of watermelon and a bite of honeydew melon and promptly threw up - not good!

I'm in two minds about the unfill though; while I know I absolutely 100% need one because my eating just isn't right at the moment, I'm also nervous of what might happen to my weight if/when I'm able to eat more. Will I be able to resist the lure of bigger portions?! At the moment I know that the band does all the work for me and because it's so (too) tight I cannot overeat; but once it's loosened I'll actually have to play a part in this weightloss process and, after 20 months of coasting along, what will happen?!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Packing for Chicago...

Yesterday I borrowed a suitcase from my Mum because I'm pretty sure the one I own isn't going to be big enough for all the clothes/shoes/books/general stuff I'm intending to buy while in Chicago and New York. Not to mention the clothes/shoes/books/general stuff I'll be bringing with me as well (Cadbury's Flake bars, Beautiful Homes magazines, M&S chipsticks, clothes for swapping, etc).

There's also one other thing it looks like I'll be bringing along - does anyone mind if a small interloper joins the B00Bs?

Sunday, 11 September 2011

Booty for the B00Bs

I'm still here, which means that poor old John Taylor didn't get his chance to whisk me away on Friday evening - his loss, of course... They put on a great show (albeit short and sweet and just 1 hour 15 mins), even hubby enjoyed it.

Anyhoo, I'm not here to talk about Duran Duran, I'm here with a shout-out to the B00Bs, and more specifically with a once-in-a-lifetime offer:

Do any of you lovely B00B ladies want me to bring over things from the UK that you can't get hold of in the US or Canada? Tina has already requested a bar of Cadbury's Fruit & Nut and a copy of 25 Beautiful Homes magazine (I hope she doesn't mind me telling you that!), and I have those ready and waiting to be packed. So, who else needs some Cadbury chocolate, a copy of Hello magazine, a packet of Bird's Custard, a jar of Colman's mustard, a pair of M&S knickers, a packet of M&S salt & vinegar twists (Gilly?!), or the like?

Just leave me a comment or drop me an email and I'll do my best to get hold of what your heart desires (within reason... and if there's room in my case.)

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

September - Destined To Be a Great Month

For a number of reasons:

1) First and foremost, it's got to be B00Bs!!! Thanks to my wonderful hubby and mum I'm heading to Chicago (and NYC) to meet a whole host of wonderful banded ladies. It's just four weeks (and 2 days) away!

2) On Friday night I'm going to see Duran Duran in concert. And at a small venue (capacity approx 600), which means that John Taylor, my life-long (well, since teenhood) love will have no trouble picking me out in the crowd and announcing his undying love for me. Forget the fact that hubby's coming with me - I've explained the situation with regards me and 'JT' and he understands.

Here's JT, aged approx 12, when Duran Duran were megastars in the 1980s

And here he is now: aged well, don't you think?

And last, but not least, 3) I've lost another 1lb; that's 2lbs already in Sept and it's only the 6th of the month. Don't ask me how I've done it, I'm pretty sure I've done nothing differently this week to any other week of the year. Clearly September is causing me to waste away.

12st 8lbs - 176lbs - BMI 29.3

(a total loss so far of 86lbs - 8lbs to go!)

I 'heart' September.

Just one concern: I hope JT can see me in the crowd now I'm so 'skinny'. Snort.