Sunday, 28 February 2010

Cleanin' Out My Closet, as Eminem Once Said

This morning I had 10 minutes spare while small boy was having an early lunch with Granny and hubby, so I tried on all the skirts in my wardrobe, of which there are nine. Four of those no longer fit, because they are
This is well and truly a momentous occasion. When else have I ever had clothes that have gotten too big? When else have I ever had clothes that don't need to be packed away "just in case"? What a wonderful feeling to know that these skirts are too big, and will ALWAYS be too big. They are in fact too big to the point that I can take them off without having to undo the buttons/zips; clearly it would be dangerous to wear such an item of clothing for fear that the hem might get caught in something or trodden on by someone, and lo and behold, slip right off, leaving me displaying my undergarments to all and sundry. Not a pretty sight.

The other five skirts fit nicely (for the time being!) having previously been somewhere on the scale of snug to tight.

Next time I have a few minutes to spare, I'll be trying on my tops. Watch this space...

Friday, 26 February 2010


I lost another pound, at long last, making a total of 21lbs (or one-and-a-half stone.) Jeepers, it's taken two weeks! I think it came off at a rate of an ounce a day! Still, it's gone and good riddance.
17st 3lb - 241lbs - BMI 40.1 (just 1lb standing between me and 'Obese Class II'!)

This morning I had my second appointment with the dietitian; she seems pleased with my progress with the mushy to soft foods. Now it's time for me to progress from soft to normal foods, just in time for my first fill next Friday, at which point I have to regress to the purees for a few days, then mushies, then softies, then normal food. Admittedly this will be condensed into the space of a week, rather than the 5-6 weeks it's taken to get from liquids to normal food post-surgery, but it hardly seems worth me getting used to the taste/texture of 'real' food again this week only for it to be snatched away on Friday!
A question for those of you who have had fills - do you have to be nil-by-mouth for a certain length of time prior to the fill? My appointment is 10am - should I skip breakfast and my usual morning coffee, or is it ok to eat and drink as normal?
I'm hoping that the fill plus the return to purees for a few days will kick start the weightloss again. My aim is to be to be "16 stone something" by 19th March as we are having some professional family photos taken that day; it's the day before small boy's 1st birthday and I want to look as "slender" as possible. I've avoided having my photo taken with him as much as I can, which is a shame, so I really want to look my best in these shots - if they're professional perhaps the photographer can airbrush out my lumps and bumps and make me into a yummy mummy!

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

All Quiet on the Diet Front

Nothing to report. Nada. Zip. Niet. Zero. With 'zero' being the operative word, as that pretty much sums up my weightloss for the last two weeks. Gahh! But I have still lost 20lbs and (with a little bit of up and down here and there) not put anything on. And it is only nine more days til my first fill...

Clearly, though, I do need that fill to kick-start the weightloss again. My appetite has come back, and I imagine I can now eat pretty much anything. I say 'imagine' as I don't want to push things, so I've still been sticking to softer foods - mashed potato, soup, soft bread, tuna, Ready Brek, chips, chocolate, sponge cakes... - oops, did I say chips, chocolate and cake? See, that's why I need the fill!

I have an appointment with the dietitian on Friday so I'm going to see whether I can move to 'normal' foods for the final week before my first fill. I really fancy some Chinese food and would love to be able to eat some and enjoy it!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Wow! I got a blog award!

Warning: My, oh my, this is a loooooooooooong post. Read it at your peril.

This blog about my journey with the lap band is actually my third blog; one of those blogs is now defunct since it chronicled the trip hubby and I took in 2008 ; the other blog which runs alongside this one, is about all things non-banded. Despite having blogged now for quite some time, and in various guises, this is the first time I have ever been nominated for an award, so a big shout out and 'thank you' to Tina who was kind enough to think of me.

So, this is what I have to do:

• Thank the person who nominated you for this award (Check)
• Copy the award and post it in your blog (Check)
• Link to the blog of the person who nominated you (Check)
• Tell seven interesting things about yourself (Check - took a while!)
• Nominate seven bloggers (Check)
• Post links to the blogs of your nominees (Check)

Seven interesting things about me? Hmm, let me think... Seven? Really? I'm not sure there are that many...

1) As per Tina's request, here's a little bit about our chickens. We have two chooks living in an Eglu at the bottom of the garden - Gail and Sarah-luv (names after characters from mine and hubby's favourite TV show, Coronation Street.) We did have three chooks, but had to give Audrey back when 'she' turned out to be a 'he'. These are the second lot of chooks we've owned; we had to re-home the first lot (Rita, Mavis, Deirdre and Blanche) when we went travelling. Which leads me neatly on to interesting point no.2

2) I love, love, love to travel (although I don't really like flying) and have so far visited 59 countries. In January 2008 hubby and I set off on a seven-month trip (if you've got too much time on your hands you can read all about it here) which took us to North and Central America. We had a month in California/Arizona/Nevada, then flew to Mexico City and travelled overland through Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Honduras, Belize, back to Mexico then flew to New York where we rented an apartment for a month before driving through New England and into Canada to stay with my aunt. Then we flew back to England (at which point I discovered I was pregnant) and then drove through Europe for three weeks.

3) I love, love, love NYC! I've been there 14 times so far. Hubby & I got married there (in Tavern on the Green) on 10 December 2005. We had the most wonderful time. We took the small boy on his first ever overseas trip to NYC last December; hopefully he'll grow to love the city as much as we do.

4) I work for a publishing company, indexing the business news section of The Times newspaper. Luckily I work part-time, extremely flexible hours and from home, which means I get to spend lots of time with the small boy.

5) The house we live in now is the house I owned when hubby and I first met back in 2003. I sold it in 2005 when hubby and I bought a house together, but when we came back from travelling and knew there was going to be another addition to the W family, we realised the house we were living in was going to be too small (it's not that it was a small house, it's just that we [mainly me] own a lot of 'stuff'.) So we started looking for somewhere new to buy, and it just so happened that my old house was on the market, so we bought it back.

6) I studied Ancient History at university and have an MA in Ancient Social and Cultural History, specialising in Roman architecture. I really wanted to do a PhD, but couldn't get the funding. Who knows, maybe one day...

7) I love, love, love to read. I hate to go anywhere without a book in my bag, even if it means my handbag weighs half a ton with all the other 'stuff' that I seem to keep in there. I'm starting to remind myself of an old teacher of mine who amazed us all by once pulling a screwdriver out of her handbag, but I digress... There are 128 unread books on my bookshelves (I've just got up and counted them especially) but I still find it hard not to go into a secondhand bookshop when I see one (I find it hard to pay full price for a book as most paperbacks seem to retail for at least £6.99 (and more often that not, £7.99) these days.)

And now for seven bloggers to nominate for this award. Just seven? From the gazillions that I read? Ouch, this is a tall order. Luckily, quite a few of you have already received the award, so I'm going to find seven bloggers who haven't. As Tina said, we should all get the award eventually!

1) Dawn who, like me, was very recently banded. Hers was the first blog I ever commented on. She lives in Reading, like me. Although her Reading is in the USA, while mine is in the UK. She's plateauing at the moment and needs our support!

2) Athena. Another recent bandster, banded just one day before me and she's already lost 30lbs!
3) Sandy Lee Just banded a couple of weeks ago and doing brilliantly - a big shout out to Sandy Lee!

4) Bianca Banded the week before me - can you see a theme developing here?

5) Jess Banded two days after me...

6) Pie Despite the name, Pie is not someone who needs to lose weight, nor is she someone who blogs about life with the gastric band. She is someone I met while hubby and I were on our travels in Maine; she discovered my travel blog, emailed me over our shared love of Agatha Raisin and we got the chance to meet up. How cool is that?

7) Steph And on a totally different note; Steph is not a bandster but she has a lovely blog with photos of the English countryside, vintage finds, etc, etc.

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Slowly. Softly.

Slowly = my weightloss at the moment. Actually, it's worse than slow, it's ground to a halt. However, I'm not going to worry about it too much because I know it's just a temporary thing for a number of reasons:

1) that old devil TOTM is just around the corner and we all know what effect those hormones can have on the scales
2) I'm definitely eating more than I was in the first couple of weeks post-op (although nowhere near as much as a normal day pre-op), and I'm not necessarily eating 'good' stuff, so how on earth can I expect to lose weight? I'm guessing this is Bandster Hell.
3) it's still another 2 weeks and 2 days (who's counting?!) til I get my first fill

And, looking on the very positive side, I'm still 20lbs lighter than I was 5.5 weeks ago; the last time I had such a dramatic weightloss was the day I gave birth to my 8lb 11oz darling boy!

Softly = today, according to my dietician, I can officially move on to 'soft' foods, instead of purees. I say 'officially' because I've actually been eating some soft/mushy foods for the past ten days or so, but it's mostly been in the form of mashed potato, swede, carrot and other soft veggies. Now I can start to re-introduce pasta and rice to my diet, which I'm definitely looking forward to as I do love me some pasta.

Today is exactly four weeks since I was banded and I can honestly say I've not had a single regret (so far; except when the painkillers wore off the first few hours post-surgery!) All is going well; long may it continue.

Today is also the start of Lent when it's traditional to give something up for the next forty days. Hubby is giving up cheese; I've not decided what to give up yet - overeating, perhaps?!

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Thou Shall Not Covet...

The small boy and I popped over to Henley on Thursday morning for a quick doctor's appointment, a not-so-quick look round the shops, and a not-very-quick-at-all stopp off in Maison Blanc for a delicious mocha (I had the mocha, he had some pieces of toast leftover from his breakfast.)

While we were on our not-so-quick look around the shops, we popped in to Laura Ashley. Now, Laura Ashley stock lovely clothes in the 'English country casual' sort of style, but I never bother to look at them as the largest size they go up to is a UK 20, and I'm a UK 22 (and sometimes it's a bit of a squeeze even to get into a 22 depending on the cut/store). I suppose at some point in the not too distant future I will be a size 20, but I'm not sure I want to buy too many/any new clothes in that size because I'm guessing I'll be moving on down to an 18 a little while later. Anyway, I digress. The point of all this was that as we walked in to the shop I spied this gorgeous pair of pony skin (not real, I hasten to add) shoes:

I don't wear heels, ever. Well, I used to wear a pair of boots with a 3 inch chunky heel until I fell over one night about six years ago when very drunk and broke my ankle in them. That was pretty much the last time I've worn heels of any kind; the closest I get to it now is standing on tiptoe to reach something from a high shelf.

But, for these little beauties, perhaps I could make an exception... Trouble is, they're an eye-watering £125 which is more than I ever ever paid for a pair of shoes in my life (I did pay more than that for the boots which broke my ankle, and look where that got me.) And, putting aside the price, if I do buy a pair, I wonder if by the time I get up the courage/ability to wear them, might my feet have lost weight like the rest of me, and shrunk?!

Friday, 12 February 2010


(all credit to Catherine for the photo idea)

After last week's little game of taunting me with "ping pong pounds", this week the scales are mostly being my BFF. Another 1lb loss this morning, bringing my total since I started the pre-op diet on 10th January to 20lbs. That's 20lbs in just under five weeks, which I think is absolutely amazing. Not in a boastful 'look at me, aren't I amazing' kind of way, but in a 'wow, I can't believe I've lost this much weight, this band is amazing' kind of way.

17st 4lb - 242lbs - BMI 40.3 (just 2lbs standing between me and 'Obese Class II'!)
On Wednesday afternoon I had my first proper post-op consultation with the dietician. She told me I've moved onto the mushies too quickly - apparently I should still be on purees for another week. So, I've tried (and will continue to try until next Weds) to rein in the mushies a little, but it's hard once you've tasted the goodness of food that hasn't been near a blender! She was also a little concerned that I wasn't getting quite enough nutrients and suggested I drink another glass of milk (she said I could make it into hot chocolate if I liked - yes, I like!) to try and get me up to a pint a day. Do/did all you other bandsters think you get/got all the nutrients you need/needed during this mushy stage? I am taking my multivitamin tablet each day and I thought that with the hummus I eat most days, plus the veggies I tend to have at dinner (mashed swede [that's rutabaga in the USA] and carrot being my favourite), the soup at lunch (usually a veg or chicken variety) and the cereal with milk for breakfast, I wasn't doing too badly on the whole. Ho hum.

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Maybe as a delayed reaction from my tummy upset, or perhaps as a result of upping the calories, who knows? But whatever it was, I've lost another 1lb, making 19lbs in total. I have to say I'm very pleasantly surprised!

17st 5lb - 243lbs - BMI 40.4 (just 3lbs standing between me and 'Obese Class II'!)

Tomorrow I have my first post-op meeting with the dietician (not including the morning after surgery when she visited me in hospital for a brief catch-up.) I'm not sure whether to admit to her that I'm eating more than mushies? I'm supposed to stay on mushies til almost the end of Feb and, while I mostly eat mushies, I don't always eat mushies. I'm probably on about 80% mushies, with the odd not-quite mushy (but still soft) thing thrown into the mix. Also, I've not been drinking the protein shakes... Not because I don't like them, more because I forget, and when I remember, I just don't fancy one.

As I type this, I'm having a lightbulb moment (hope you're impressed by my energy-efficient lightbulb moment):

The chicken filet and breaded prawn I ate at Yo Sushi yesterday were probably the least mushy things that I've had so far; perhaps that's what caused my tummy ache. Maybe it wasn't the fact that I ate too much, it was that I ate the wrong stuff (ie chicken filet/breaded prawn is not a mushy unless you take the blender to it.) I get the feeling that my band journey is going to be full of lightbulb moments.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Ouch - I Ate Too Much

Family W took an overnight trip to Bristol yesterday to visit Granny and because hubby had a business meeting there today. After hubby's meeting we decided to go to Yo Sushi for lunch; Yo Sushi is great because you get to choose from lots of small plates meaning you can eat as much or as little as you like. Guess who ate too much? Yep, that's right, yours truly. I thought I was being good because I avoided the california rolls (actually due to the fact that none came by on the conveyor belt rather than through choice as it happens, but who's counting?!); I went for pumpkin korroke which is my absolute favourite anyway, so I certainly didn't feel like I was missing out, but then decided that the katsu selection and vegetable goyoza would be good options too. In total I ate 3 pumpkin korroke (mashed pumpkin fried in breadcrumbs - healthy, huh?! approx 200 cals), 1 katsu chicken (small chicken filet in breadcrumbs, approx 300 cals), 1 king prawn katsu (approx 70cals), 1 slice of aubergine tempura (approx 40cals), 1 vegetable goyoza (don't know the cals for this one); 7 pieces in total. About 5 minutes after I'd finished, I realised I'd eaten too much - probably 2 or 3 pieces too many I'd say. My tummy felt really uncomfortable for quite a while - probably the next 30mins or so.

Still, I learnt a valuable lesson:

don't overeat!

Durr - who let the genius into the room?! I it sounds simple, but until you've actually done it with the band (even an unfilled one), then I guess you can't learn how much is too much. I know once the band is filled, I will get a much different feeling and I literally won't be able to overeat, but I'm glad that even with an unfilled band I'm getting an achey tummy from eating nowhere near as much as I would have pre-band.

Saturday, 6 February 2010

We Have Movement (in more ways than one)

Sorry I've not posted for a few days, but I've not really had anything to report. The scales have been stuck on 17st 9lbs (give or take the odd ping-pong) since Sunday and I will admit to being disappointed to say the least. I don't know if not eating enough is the reason for this, or if it's just wishful thinking to allow yourself extra calories so as not to go into 'starvation mode'. I see other bloggers have been going through the same and several seem to have got the scales to start moving again (downwards, of course!) by upping their calorie intake a little. So, on Thursday morning I worked out (approx.) how many calories I've been having, and it's somewhere between 850-1050 a day, depending on how many times I dip into the guacamole and hummus! So, Thurs and Fri I decided to up the calories a little and see what happened. Unfortunately, I'll never know whether the extra calories did the trick as I woke up at 4am today with terrible stomach cramps and spent the next hour and a fair part of today, on the loo (sorry if TMI). So, either as a result of extra calories, or extra time on the loo, or a combination of both I lost 3lbs overnight!

17st 6lb - 244lbs - BMI 40.6 (still morbidly obese, but not for long!)
So, that's a total loss of 18lbs since I started the pre-op diet on 10th January. Not sure whether this latest 3lbs will stay off for long as I suspect a fair portion of it is down to dehydration, but I'll take it for now!

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Spoke too Soon and Jinxed Myself

So, what was it, four days ago that I announced my astonishment with that fact that I was still losing weight on a daily basis? Well, that'll teach me to hush my mouth because ever since I posted about it, I've not lost a single pound. In fact, me and the pounds have been playing a little game of ping-pong. Saturday: 17st 9lbs (247lbs) - lowest weight yet

Sunday: 17st 11lbs (249lbs) - GAIN of 2lbs -YIKES (although I did weigh post-breakfast which I don't usually)

Monday: 17st 9lbs (247lbs) - back to the lowest weight

Tuesday: 17st 10lbs (248lbs) - GAIN of 1lb (although first time I stepped on scales they did register 17st 9lbs, but I just had to get on again to double check, and then look what happened!)

Wednesday: 17st 9lbs (247lbs)- back to lowest weight again

I was interested to read on Tracy's blog about the idea of actually eating a little more in order to get the scales moving again (downwards, that is; I'm sure we're all well aware of how to get them moving upwards!) I've always had a notion (which I'm thinking I must have read somewhere) about the body going into starvation mode when you really cut your calories down for a sustained period. It's like the body hangs on to all the fat it already has and every single calorie it can get its hands on; but then you go and fool it into thinking it doesn't need to panic anymore by having a day where you eat a little more than you have been and then it seems happy to let go of a little more of the fat it has been storing for emergencies. Or something like that.

Monday, 1 February 2010

Stuck in the middle with you

As I type, I'm wondering if I might be experiencing my first 'stuck' episode. I met a friend for coffee (mocha [no cream] for me, in case you were wondering); she ordered a chocolate muffin and offered me some. Just to be polite (I told myself), I took a really small piece that had crumbled off as she cut the muffin in half - it really was a little piece, I'm not trying to kid myself here, but ever since eating it I've had a feeling a little like indigestion. Is this what it feels like when something gets stuck? I don't feel the need to try and bring it back up, and it's not painful at all, more like uncomfortable I guess.

I must admit I'm surprised not to have had anything like this before as I've not stuck (ha) rigidly to the purees I'm supposed to be on for the next 3-4 weeks. I've tended more towards mushy things like well mashed potato/swede/carrot/parsnip, cauliflower cheese, thick soups, guacamole, hummus, trifle (yum!) rather than actual purees and thin soups.

Still weighing in at 17st 9lbs after a bit of a panic yesterday when the scales showed a GAIN of 2lbs! Yowzers. But then I realised I had already drunk my large mug of coffee and eaten breakfast and every other time I've weighed it's been before I've eaten/drunk anything, so I tried not to panic too much. Back to usual weigh-in time today and those 2lbs had magically disappeared. Phew.