Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Willpower? Que?

No, no, no, I didn't sign up for this! Willpower, you say? No, no, no, you must have mistaken me for someone who can diet. Isn't that what willpower is for?!

So, here's the deal. I don't think the fill I had last week (my second) has made any difference to the amount I can eat; if anything, I feel like I can eat/am eating more than pre-fill (is it physical or psychosomatic?) So, I called to make an appointment for another one; my surgeon asks for a two-week gap between fills, which I fully appreciate. That would mean 8th April as the soonest I can get another; but my surgeon is on holiday then and the earliest I can get an appointment is 21st April - aarrrgggghh. That's three weeks tomorrow. At the rate I'm eating I'll have put all my weight back on by then! So, I emailed his office to see if the other surgeon could perhaps give me a fill before then, but it doesn't work like that, except in emergencies, apparently. Also, my surgeon wants me to wait until the 21st as he doesn't like to give too many fills too close together in the early days as it can lead to band slippage later on. Anyone else heard that? Anyhoo, the lady I spoke to who co-ordinates these things, said I should try experimenting with different foods to see if I can find some that fill me up for longer and that, also, I may have to rely on willpower for a bit. AYYYEEEEE! Clearly willpower is not one of my strong points or I would never have got to the position of needing a band in the first place. However, maybe since it's only willpower in the short term, perhaps I can manage it. Hubby suggested we both go on the pre-op diet for the next 2-3 weeks since it was so successful last time (7lbs lost in 10 days) and since it actually isn't too bad (ie, you get to eat a fair amount of real food!), and that sounds like a (fairly) good idea, so that's probably what we'll do (give or take the two days we're in Bristol, the three I'm in Harrogate, and the two we're in Wigan between now and fill day...)

Saturday, 27 March 2010

Not Very Filling

Three days after my second fill and I'm debating whether it's worked. I seem to be eating more than I did/could before the fill. That's a bit odd, isn't it? Admittedly, this second fill only took me back to what the first fill should have given me, but you'd think I wouldn't be able to eat as much, wouldn't you? Unfortunately, that doesn't seem to be the case on my first day back to "proper" food following a couple of days of liquids/mushies. This is what I've eaten (so far; there are still 2 hours til bed time...) today:

Breakfast: nearly two slices of toast (this is the first time I've been able to eat this much bread in one sitting - how can that be?!); coffee (I've not yet mastered the bandster art of not eating and drinking at the same time...)

Snack: seven, yes you read that right, SEVEN biscuits: 2 choc digestives, 2 bourbons, 2 viennese fingers and 1 custard cream. These biscuits have been in the house since Christmas, so why did I decide I wanted to eat them today? Yes, I've eaten biscuits since being banded, but never more than two in one sitting. So, that's more toast than usual and, on top of that, seven biscuits.

Lunch: 8 chunks of mango (very proud of myself; seems to me like the sort of thing a 'proper' bandster might list as their lunch)

Snack: chocolate tiffin cake; vanilla latte (you won't know this because I've not listed my daily intake before, but I do tend to have a coffee and a cake most afternoons; so far it's not affected my weightloss [although if I didn't eat a cake-a-day it's quite possible that I would have lost more weight by now, but I'm fine with that, I like my cake and at the moment I don't want to give it up])

Another snack: 1/2 slice of toast (which the small boy didn't eat for his dinner); three teaspoons of egg mayonnaise sandwich filling

Dinner: two-thirds of a chicken korma; half a naan bread

Who knows what more food I might be able to consume before bed time?! If you didn't know me from this blog, would you think I had a gastric band?! Do I need another fill, or has today just been one of those days? Only time (and the scales) will tell...

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Oh My, I've Lost My Baby!

Last week I took the small boy to be weighed and he clocked in at a hefty 26.5lbs. When I got on the scales this morning, I'd lost another 1lb, taking me to a total of 27lbs - ie pretty much what the small boy weighs when he's fully clothed. Wow-a-rama! It's so amazing to be able to quantify it in this way; each time I pick him up it's a wonderful reminder of how much less I now weigh. I can't imagine having to carry him 24-7 - I would be so exhausted and aching all over, and yet 10 weeks ago I was carrying him round all of the time. So, thank you band for helping me to lose my baby!

16st 11lb - 235lbs - BMI 39.1 (just 1lb short of losing 2 stone!)
I'm so pleased to be this close to losing two stone. I was wondering what I might do to treat myself, but then I remembered I'm off to a pampering evening tonight, so what better way to celebrate (very, very nearly) losing two stone?

I had a little shufty through my wardrobe this morning; it was only a little look as I was trying to keep the small boy entertained at the same time and his attention span is not what one might want it to be when sorting through acres of clothes that don't fit for one reason or another. I tried to sort my clothes into three piles:

1) items that fit
2) items that are too small (for now)
3) items that are too large

It was great to be able to add a few items to pile 1 that had previously been consigned to pile 2, and I even went out this afternoon wearing two of those items (a hoody top and my mac - thank goodness, as it's getting a little warm for the winter coat) and felt very pleased with myself.

At some point I may get round to offering up some of pile 3 to the sisterhood but, for now, I have to keep wearing the clothes from pile 3 until pile 1 becomes larger as a result of items migrating from pile 2. If you get what I mean. Also, I am a little concerned that any of my clothes that are too large have been so well worn due to being grateful to actually find something that fits, that they may not be fit for the sisterhood.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Fill No.2

So, here I am about to go for my second fill in less than 20 days due the fact that last week I was eating for Britain and what happened when I jumped on the scales this morning? I'd only gone and lost another 1lb! Down to my lowest weight, with 26lbs gone:

16st 12lb - 236lbs - BMI 39.3 (just 2lbs short of losing 2 stone!)
YEEHAW, WHOOP WHOOP! But, does it pose a dilemma? Do I need another fill? If you are starting to lose weight again and feel like restriction has come back, does that mean things are in a good place? But where did the restriction go last week? Questions, questions. But that's what I paid the money for and, since the appointment was made, I decided to go to the surgeon and ask him, he's the expert after all.
So, that's what I did. I told him that last week I ate like a horse and this week I'm eating like a mouse; last week I was up to 17st 2lbs, today I'm down to my lowest weight of 16st 12lbs. And he asked me if he gave me a sandwich, how much could I eat? [answer = half] And the same with a jacket potato [answer = small potato, most of the skin but not all]. He also asked whether the smaller amount of food I was eating this week felt like I was on a diet or felt like it was the amount of food that I wanted/needed [answer = the latter]. So, Mr Surgeon Expert, should I have a fill or not? And the answer was yes, a little one. The surgeon explained that while he put 4mls of saline in the band at my first fill it can happen that not all the 4mls actually gets to the band (apparently some can stay in the tube and then evaporate), so he aspirated the band (ie sucked all the saline out - 'aspirate' was his fancy word, not mine!) and found that there were only 3mls in the band rather than the 4mls that there should have been. So he topped me back up to 4mls (hopefully), and we'll see how it goes. And now I'm back to the liquid/softy/mushy diet for a couple of days. Here's to losing another 2lbs so I reach 2 stone down.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

We Apologise for the Interruption

Sorry it's been a while since my last posting but I've had a bit of a hectic week meeting a work deadline and, more importantly, celebrating the small boy's 1st birthday! I can hardly believe it's been a whole year since he arrived; he is just the loveliest, happiest, cutest, most wonderful little boy ever (I'm his Mummy, I'm allowed to be biased!) and I absolutely wouldn't be without him (99.9999% of the time...)
Here he is, on his birthday trike:
News from Bandland:
I really wanted to be down to '16 stone something' in time for the small boy's first birthday but because there were no scales at hubby's parents' house, I don't actually know whether I made it; in the few days before we left I was hovering around 17st 0lbs and 17st 1lb and putting that together with the amount I ate over the weekend - it was party fare galore:Cake handmade by hubby - impressive, eh?!I get the feeling I didn't quite make my goal. When we got back yesterday I weighed myself and I was up to 17st 2lbs/240lbs (ouch) but today I was back to 16st 13lbs/237lbs - yay!

While we were away for the weekend I ate, and ate, and ate, and ate. Or at least it felt that way. I didn't eat as much as I would have/could have pre-band but I definitely ate more than I feel I should be able to. As a result, I've made an appointment for another fill tomorrow. But, you know what? Since we've been back home and I'm back to my routine, I've not eaten much nor have I had the inclination/appetite. So, do I still have a fill? Perhaps just a little one? I can always have an un-fill, can't I? Well, I'll go along anyway and talk to the surgeon, I'm sure he'll know the answer.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

A Belated Thank You and a Shout Out to Mums Everywhere

I'm sorry it's taken me so long to say thank you to LDSwims and Sandy Lee for nominating me for the Sunshine Blog Award. If anyone else nominated me and I missed it or, even worse, forgot, I'm really sorry and I hope you don't think I'm rude because that's not me at all.

Dicky tummy is on the mend, thank goodness, although I'm not so pleased at what the scales did to me this morning - 1lb back on, taking me out of the magic '16 stone something' bracket and back into the nasty '17 stone' bracket. Grrrrr to you Mr 17 Stone; hopefully I'll see the back of you again real soon.

Tomorrow is Mother's Day here in the UK, so to all the Mums, Grannies, Grandmas, Great-Grandmas and beyond:


Because of the way it has fallen this year, I'm getting my second Mother's Day before the small boy has even turned one - last year he was two days old and yet still managed to get me a card and present, what a superstar he is; clearly inherited my 'love to shop' genes...

Friday, 12 March 2010

The Benefits of a Dicky Tummy, Ramblings and a Request

I reaped the rewards of my tummy upset (still on-going, but not as achey) with this morning's visit to the scales. Yes sirreee, ladies and gents, I've lost 25lbs and am down into the next stone:

16st 13lb - 237lbs - BMI 39.4

Yes, I know it's mostly going to be due to dehydration but, what the heck, I'll take it! It means I've met the mini goal I'd set myself of being '16 stone something' in time for the small boy's 1st birthday next Saturday; in fact I've still got eight days to get some more of the weight off. Three more lbs and I'll have lost two stone; should I set that as the 'birthday boy goal', or is it asking too much?

Clearly this weight loss is a major cause of celebration, but it has left me in a clothes quandry. I feel like I have nothing to wear, even though that's not actually the case. My only trousers (I have two pairs of the same style/size) are getting too big; I tried them on with a belt today and although it means they fit better round my derriere, it also means the fabric bunches up under the belt and looks pretty awful. For years and years I was a skirt girl; I only wore skirts because I could never find trousers or jeans that fitted properly as I have very large thighs - any trousers that fitted in the waist would be horribly tight in the leg, and any that fitted in the leg would be gaping at the waist. Until one day in May 2008 I discovered the plus size department in Macy's, NYC. Despite numerous previous visits to NYC, I'd steered clear of Macy's as it was always so busy and touristy (yes, even though when in NYC I'm a tourist myself - just call me a tourist snob!) Anyhoo, this time hubby and I were in NYC for an entire month so there was plenty of time to hit Macy's when it wasn't so full of dozy holidaymakers wandering round with their mouths and wallets wide open and generally getting in my way and on my nerves.
To cut a long story short (or not), I found lots of clothes I liked and that fitted, including two pairs of black capri pants (Amy will shoot me, but it was summer time and they fitted.) I was so happy to find some trousers to wear as it gave my poor thighs a break from rubbing together enough to start fires and so, those two pairs of capris saw me through summer, autumn, winter, spring, summer, autumn, etc, through the majority of my pregnancy, and I even fitted back into them ten days after giving birth - it's not just celebrities that 'ping' back into their pre-pregnancy clothes and yet I didn't have any gossip magazines beating down my door for an interview on 'How she got her amazing pre-pregnancy figure back in JUST TEN DAYS' (for a fat girl, I actually didn't put on much weight when pregnant, even though it would have been an ideal opportunity!) Anyway, anyway, I've gone majorly off course here. The capris fitted beautifully until I wore them through (in the thighs, natch), but luckily hubby and I made a return trip to NYC in December last year and I made a beeline for Macy's. This time I got the same size/make of trousers (two pairs) but in a longer length. And now, just three months later, they're too big. And so here comes the request part of this long and rambling post... is there anyone out there who could go to Macy's and have a look for these trousers in the next size down? If they do still have them, would you be able to buy them for me and post them to the UK? I could send you the money via PayPal, or any other way that suits. I checked the Macy's website and 1) they don't have them on there and 2) they don't ship internationally. So, fellow bloggers, can you help me? If anyone can help then I'll let you know the size/make/style/price etc, but this post has gone on long enough already without me launching into an in-depth description of trousers...

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Feeling Poorly, But Less Portly

When I went to bed last night I felt a little nauseous but passed it off as perhaps having eaten either a) too much or b) something that disagreed with me/the band. I haven't felt much better today and have just got up from a lovely two-hour nap - just me and the hot water bottle - while hubby took care of the small boy.

When I saw my surgeon for the fill I asked him what would happen if I ever needed to vomit. He basically said it wouldn't happen from my lower stomach as the band acts as a physical barrier, therefore everything that needed to come out would just have to come out the other end. I guess that's what's happening to me now. I think without the band I would have been able to throw up and perhaps would have felt better much more quickly, but such is life!

And on a brighter note - the scale rewarded me again this morning:

17st 1lb - 239lbs - BMI 39.8 (nice to be down into the 230s)
That's 23lbs in total.
It's looking increasingly like I will get my wish of being '16 stone-something' in time for small boy's first birthday on the 20th. And as my tummy upset has left me with no appetite, it could happen sooner than expected.

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Whoop Whoop - I'm Obese!

FINALLY, after 12 days, I've lost another 1lb, making a total of 22lbs. And that means I'm no longer classed as 'morbidly obese' according to my BMI - I'm now just 'Obese Class II'!

17st 2lb - 240lbs - BMI 39.9 (just 30lbs between me and 'Obese Class I'!)

Is it a coincidence that the weight loss has come just one day after I decided to start eating 'normal' foods for the first time post-fill? To tell the truth, with the amount of food I managed to pack away yesterday I really thought I might have actually gained weight. But previously I have found (and I know other bandsters have had the same experience) that upping my calorie intake has actually led to the scales going down. And, even though it felt like I ate A LOT yesterday, when I added up the calories, it was somewhere in the region of 1500. Is that a lot for a bandster? On a standard calorie-controlled diet, that would be the right sort of number, wouldn't it? But something tells me it's too high for a bandster (might have something to do with the piece of peppermint bark that went down rather well after dinner last night...)

Anyhoo, now that I have reached my next 'milestone', I can finally post some photos. This is me at 240lbs. I'm purposely wearing the same clothes as my previous 'photo shoots' as I'm hoping it will help in the comparisons, although I suppose as I get smaller the clothes will just swamp me and not actually help show off the weightloss properly. Still, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it and, as it happens, clothes-talk will be the subject of my next post.

Unfortunately, technology and I are not the greatest of friends so I can't work out how to paste photos side-by-side, so I've had to put them vertically instead. Here's me today (10th March), 240lbs
And here I am 8 and a half weeks ago (two days before starting ten-day pre-surgery diet)weighing in at 262lbs:And again at 240lbs:And 262lbs:Last one at 240lbs (please excuse hair, it's wet from the shower, not greasy...)

And 262lbs (has the fat above my elbows got smaller?!)

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Is This What Restriction Feels Like?

Do all new bandsters ask that question?!

Tomorrow it's seven weeks since I was banded and today it's four days since I had my first fill; I spent the first five weeks or so as a bandit eating pretty much only liquids, purees, mushies and soft food. I then had a week pre-fill of eating the entire contents of our kitchen and then the last four days have been back to purees/mushies. My dietitian was a little sketchy with how long I should stay on purees/softies after the fill so I've just been taking it steady. However this morning I decided to push it a little and see what happened.

For the last seven weeks the only thing I've eaten for breakfast has been Ready Brek. I don't know if this is only a UK product, so in case it is, I'll try and describe it. Imagine taking some porridge oats and grinding them to within an inch of their lives, so they become like a fairly fine powder. Now mix with milk and heat in the microwave for 1m 30seconds. And there you have my breakfast. Obviously you can vary the consistency by varying the proportions of milk to powder, but I tend to have it like a fairly sloppy soup.
Obviously sloppy, liquid-y foods are going to pass through the band without too much trouble, hence why they are recommended post-operation and post-fill; the trouble with this is that, I'm assuming, they don't fill up the 'new' tummy that sits on top of the band, they just slide on through. So, today I decided to try out something that wouldn't just pass through, something that would, hopefully, sit on top of the band and make me feel full. Something that would reassure me that there is a band in there somewhere. I was going to have toast but we didn't have any bread in; luckily a hunt through the freezer produced some crumpets, so I toasted two and spread them with butter. Boy, did they taste good! My first attempt at 'proper' food, post-fill. I should have taken a photo.

Anyhoo, to get to the point of this posting. I managed to eat two crumpets but even now, an hour or more later, I can feel them just sitting there. It's not uncomfortable, but I know they are there and it's an odd sensation. I sort of feel like I need to thump myself on the breastbone to make them move along a bit. So, is this restriction? And is it enough restriction? Should I really be able to eat two crumpets? Is it the amount of food I can eat in one sitting that I should be looking at to measure my restriction, or is it the time between eating one meal that makes me feel nicely full and the next meal? For instance, if two crumpets keep me nicely full for four hours, is that good? Or should I be aiming for one crumpet to keep me full for four hours? Questions, questions. Perhaps crumpets aren't the best thing to be judging restriction on; perhaps I should wait to see what happens with my next meal.

Which leads me on to another whole set of questions for the experienced bandsters out there. When chosing what to eat, do you make a bee-line for foods that you know will sit on top of your band and thus fill you up more quickly? For instance, when you have lunch, would you choose a sandwich (assuming bread is ok for you) over soup? Is this the right thing to do? Are there foods which you know do this for you?

Sunday, 7 March 2010


Wah, wah, wah. I'm hunuuungreeeeeeeeeeee. The liquids/purees are just not cutting the mustard (where did that saying come from?!) I'm craving food I can get my teeth in to. And it doesn't help that we've been to two birthday parties in two days and there's nothing I like (used to like?) better than some good old party food - sandwiches, cocktail sausages, pork pies, fairy cakes - ayyyeeeee. But not for me.

'Could I have a glass of water, please?' I asked the host yesterday. Yay, check me out, I'm a party animal. Admittedly it was a baby's first birthday party so it wasn't like I was expected to be dancing on the table, but still. I did, however, succumb to an egg mayonnaise sandwich - I surreptitiously sucked the filling out and gave the somewhat sad and deflated looking bread that was left to darling hubby. Nice, eh?! Other than that I've been surviving on Ready Brek, soup, yoghurts, cottage cheese, a small trifle, the inside of a very well cooked jacket potato, and some chocolate (forget I mentioned that last one...). Tomorrow at least I get to move on to the mushy/softy food. Whoop whoop!

Saturday, 6 March 2010

41? Really?

41 people want to read about little ol' me?! Wow, I'm equally amazed and flattered. I noticed a couple of days ago that I had 40 followers and wanted to post about it, but was away from home for a couple of days and had no computer access. And now, just as I come to write, I notice there are 41 little faces peering up at me. No pressure there then! No need to keep coming up with the goods in a witty and well-written way... Eeek. Scared.

Anyway, thank you, thank you and thank you again for taking the time to become one of my followers. Does that sound like I'm starting up a cult, or something? Anyhoo, it makes this blogging lark seem all the more worthwhile when it appears there are actually people out there who are (vaguely) interested in what I'm writing. Please do leave me a comment if you get the time - there's nothing that your dear old blogger here likes more than to read what you're all thinking.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Fill Me Up Friday

This morning I got my first fill - and not a moment too soon. My surgeon won't do a first fill any sooner than six weeks after surgery and today was six weeks and two days for me. For those of you who've not yet had a fill, this is what happened:

Firstly, the nurse weighed me. Then I went in to see my surgeon. He asked whether the experience of being banded was better or worse than I had expected. I said that the pain immediately following was much worse but that was probably my fault for not asking for stronger pain killers; but the overall experience of having a band had been much better than expected. Then he asked how things were going on the eating front; I explained that I thought I already had some restriction because I definitely can't eat as much as I used to, I eat more slowly, and I also get a feeling of tightness in my chest when I eat certain things. At that point he asked if I felt whether I actually needed a fill. My first response was - eeeek! Second response was to take him by the throat and shake him and say 'OMG, of course I do!'. Third response, and the one that I actually acted on, was to say 'Oh, yes, definitely. Since I saw the dietician a week ago I've put on 0.8kg.' Being given the green light to eat 'normal' food for a week certainly went to my head - Chinese takeaway, Indian food, roast pork, cream cakes, sandwiches, crisps, you name it, I ate it. And ate it. And then I ate a little bit more. Safe in the knowledge (or so I thought) that I would be getting a fill and that would be the end of me and the overeating (hopefully.)

So, that was him convinced. He got me to hop up on the couch with a pillow in the small of my back so that my tummy was arched. He wiped the port area with an alcohol swab and got the needle ready. He explained that it was standard practice to put 4cc in the 10cc band for a first fill. As he put the needle in there was a bit of a scratch and then it felt like a bit of tugging inside - not painful, just a bit odd, like being at the dentist when you've had the anaesthetic and so can't feel any pain but can feel the sensation of your gums being pulled back. And that was it - all over in a matter of minutes. Although afterwards the 'wound' did bleed quite a bit and I was wearing a white patterned shirt - not a good move. So, note to self and a word of warning: don't wear a lovely white shirt when getting a fill, wear something old that you don't mind getting blood on!

The surgeon then made me sit in his room and drink a glass of water and tell him how it felt. No problems. Then I had to sit in the waiting room and drink two more glasses and wait 10 minutes or so to make sure everything was fine, and it was (except I was desparate for the loo by the end of the third glass.) And that was that, I was free to go.

My surgeon makes people wait a minimum of two weeks between fills so if I don't have restriction, or what I feel is enough restriction, it'll be another couple of weeks before I can get anymore ccs. I'm on purees for the weekend, then mushies/softies for a couple of days before going back to normal food (but hopefully not 'normal' portions!)

Did you notice I said I'd put on 0.8kg in a week?! Ouchy. Not that I'm going to count it. I don't know how you all count your weight losses/gains, but I've decided I'm only going to log my lowest weight. I know that weight goes up and down; it did pre-band, and it will with the band, but at least with the band I feel safe in the knowledge that any weight gain will be small and is unlikely (I hope!) to be permanent, so it's really not worth stressing over. Much better to concentrate on the losses and be positive.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Friday Can't Come Soon Enough

It seems that the demons in my head have really taken on board what the dietitian said about moving on to 'normal' foods this week. Talk about returning to the old, bad habits.

Friday night: had some friends round and we got a Chinese takeaway. Ate plenty, then ate a little bit more and then had dessert and, since I was clearly likely to pass out from lack of calories, I even had a couple of chocolates.

Saturday night: hubby & I took advantage of the fact that Granny was staying and was a willing babysitter, and we took ourselves off to Henley to our favourite Indian restaurant. Ordered and ate a popadom, followed by 2 small onion bhajis for starter, then chicken korma with half rice/half naan bread, and a side order of sag paneer. Admittedly, I brought home more than half of my chicken korma, naan bread and sag paneer, but still!

Sunday night: hubby cooked roast belly of pork, roast potatoes and other veggies, and mashed carrot and turnip. Ate the lot and then managed lemon sponge and cream for dessert, plus a couple more chocolates.

All of the above was in addition to a regular day's food consumption of Ready Brek for breakfast, soup or a sandwich for lunch and a couple of snacks in between (especially on Sunday as hubby baked rock cakes in the afternoon...)

I need Friday to come A.S.A.P. so I can get my first fill; that'll show the food demons who's boss!