Monday 26 April 2010

There's a First Time for Everything, Twice

I had my first PB!
And about 12 hours later I had my second one!
Crikey heck they hurt!
I always wondered what it would feel like, and now I know - for me it's a pain between my shoulder blades, really low down, which is odd as I always thought I would feel it more in my chest - the sort of feeling when you get the urge to whack yourself in the sternum with a clenched fist.
I've had food get a 'bit' stuck before, and once I had something (bread, white) get really, painfully stuck before passing on through, but yesterday evening something (belly of pork) got stuck and it just didn't want to move on. And it became progressively more uncomfortable despite my best efforts to jiggle it on through; after about 5 minutes of walking around the living room, waving my arms like a windmill, leaning this way, leaning that way, it finally occured to me that if this piece of food wasn't going down, it was going to have to come up. And once it was up, I felt fine again - fine enough to carry on eating, albeit this time more slowly and with much smaller, more well-chewed mouthfuls. And then it happened again this morning, this time with porridge (knew I shouldn't have bought the giant oats!) Something tells me I might have restriction... I just wish that restriction applied as well to chocolate and bisuits as it does to giant oats and pork belly!

Saturday 24 April 2010

SV on the one hand, NSD on the other

It seems that the Gods of the Gastric Band and the Goddesses of the Scales heard my pleas yesterday, for today finds me at:

16st 10lb - 234lbs - BMI 38.9

Finally, one more pound making a total loss of 28lbs, or two stone!
And that's my SV for today.
Admittedly, it nearly wasn't an SV but my perserverance with the scales paid off. As is my way, I jumped on the scales first thing this morning and I saw 16st 10lb looking back at me - YAY, at last! And then, stupidly, I got back on the scales. Why? I have no idea. Usually I only get back on the scales when the first weight I see isn't what I want it to be, not when it IS what I want. So, second time round, what did I see? 16st 12lb. Oh great, 2lbs up in one easy move. So I got on again, and again, and still 16st 12lb blinked back at me. But, you know what, I just didn't believe it. So, I went downstairs for about an hour or so, had a coffee and generally faffed around, then went back upstairs for a shower. And then I hopped on the scales again, and what did I see? 16st 10lb - YAY! So, I got on the scales again, and again to be doubly and trebly sure and they stayed at 16st 10lb, so finally I decided to take it and move quickly on!
Little boy and I then went in to town to do a spot of shopping while hubby dearest went to a football match in London. And this is where my NSD (Non-Scale Defeat, as opposed to Non-Scale Victory!) occured. I bought myself a couple of pairs of trousers because the ones I'm currently wearing are too big and the pairs that Tina has sent me all the way from Oregon have yet to arrive (probably stuck in the cargo hold of a plane diverted through a volcanic ash cloud.) The trousers that are too big for me are a US size 22W, which I think is the equivalent to a UK size 24. So, I picked up a pair of UK size 22 trousers and, in a huge case of wishful thinking, a pair of UK size 20. Ha. Well, that told me, didn't it? Talk about bringing me back down to earth with a bump - I couldn't get the size 20s past my hips and, although I could do up the size 22s, it looked like I was squeezed into a sausage skin - not pleasant! Still, as hubby said: at least the bump with which I came back down to earth was a 2 stone lighter bump...
But, do I mind? No, not really because I AM 2 stone lighter and lots of my other clothes fit better than before and this was just one pair of trousers and I will not let them get me down!

Friday 23 April 2010

Happy St George's Day!

It's St George's Day here in England; so St George is our patron saint but we don't celebrate at all, despite the annual call for it to be a public holiday - if only it were. Totally the opposite to St
Patrick's Day which seems to be celebrated worldwide whether you are Irish or not!

On the eating front, I'm definitely noticing more restriction now that I'm back to more solid (but still soft) food, but I can still eat a good amount, which sort of feels like it might be too much. I'm slightly concerned that I'm already at 6mls without getting the amount of restriction I probably should but I know that 0.5mls can make a huge difference, so I still have a few mls to play with. Anyone else out there with 6mls (or more) who doesn't feel like they are at their sweet spot yet?

At least when I weighed in this morning I was back to my lowest weight of 16st 11lb (235lbs), but I reached that on Thursday 25 March and that was FOUR WEEKS and ONE DAY ago, for heaven's sake! I've not lost one single pound in all that time. Jeepers. Ok, admittedly I've only gone up by a maximum of 3lbs in that time, and mostly it's been bouncing around the 1lb or 2lbs up mark but, honestly, no loss in 29 days?! ARRRGGHHHHH.

And now onto the questions that Jennifer and Sandy Lee (I didn't get to ask any of the questions from Miss Tori as the only attendees at the support group this month were post-band [or bypass in two cases]).

Jennifer asked: why is it we get stuck after only a few bites? I asked my surgeon this, and guess what he said? The answer-that's-not-an-answer: "No one really knows" - helpful, eh? He said something about the lining of the stomach being corrugated, not smooth so that food can get caught in it on the way through, and also that it is puckered up where the band goes round (I imagine he means a little like the bottom section of a party balloon just near where the knot has been tied), but that was about it. Sorry, Jennifer - I've not really done very well for you, have I? It seems that, even for the surgeons, the gastric band is not an exact science!

Sandy Lee asked: what's the difference in the hole when the band is filled between 5ml and 6ml, for example. And again, no real answer to this question. I asked what sort of diameter I had in my band at 4mls and he said about 3/4 of an inch, which I must admit was much bigger than I tought it would be, and that was about it.

I'm really sorry not to have done any better for you both; I may ask these questions again some time and see if what sort of answer I get. Or maybe someone else out there in The Wonderful World of Blogland knows the answer?

Thursday 22 April 2010

All the Threes

Firstly, I totally missed the fact that it was my THREE MONTH bandiversary on Tuesday. Weirdly, it actually feels much longer than three months ago that I became a bandit, but not at all in a bad way.

So, what has happened in three months? Well, I've lost 27lbs and a total of 12 inches from various parts of my generous anatomy, my clothes fit better (some don't fit anymore because they are too big and some that were too small now fit well) and I've scored one NSV of someone who didn't know about the band actually commenting on my weightloss. I feel fitter, healthier, lighter and altogether much more confident; and it feels great to know that this is just the beginning.

Secondly, yesterday I had my THIRD, long-awaited and very much needed, fill. The surgeon took me up from 4mls to 6mls in one fell swoop because, as he said, "I think you can handle it" - should I take that as a compliment? Makes me sound like a seasoned bandit or something, doesn't it? Not that I would claim to be one! Does a 2ml fill sound like a lot in one go? I sooooo hope it will make a difference - so far I've been sticking to the liquids so it's difficult to tell (I'm not [yet] one of those bandits who can barely get their morning coffee down), but as soon as I'm back on the solids I really hope I'll notice a difference and that the pounds start dropping off. Pretty please?!

I notice I now have fifty-TWO (which is only one short of fifty-THREE!) followers - thank you all for taking the time to join me on this journey; I do my utmost to read as many blogs as I can each day and to comment if time permits, but please don't think badly of me if you notice that I haven't commented at all or for a while, somehow time seems to slip through my fingers in between working, looking after my darling small boy (often simultaneously, but don't tell the boss!) and doing all those other day-to-day things that everyone has to do.

I have some answers to the questions some of you left for me to ask at the Q&A session; I'll post them next time.

Tuesday 20 April 2010

Support Group/Surgeon Q&A

Tonight I'm going to my first GB support group meeting. It's being held at the hospital where I was banded and the reason I'm going along to this particular meeting when I've not been to any of the previous ones (apart from the fact that I always forget they are on) is that tonight my surgeon and the other surgeon who performs the GB ops at this particular hospital, plus a representative from the maker of the band (not sure who that is, looking forward to finding out later!) will be holding a Q&A session. And can I think of one single solitary question I want to ask? Pah, of course I can't! And so, that's why I thought I'd post this (of course, I should have done it days ago to give you all a fighting chance) and ask:

Does anyone out there have a band-related question they would like answered?
Bear in mind that band-stuff seems to be slightly different over here in the UK than it is in other parts of the world, so the answer may not be what you were looking for/hoping for/expecting, but I'm more than happy to ask it on your behalf (if I get the chance.) I'll be leaving home about 6.30pm, which is about 1.30pm on the east coast in the USA (I think), so that gives you some idea of the time by which you need to get your questions to me.

Sunday 18 April 2010

I'm Still Here!

Hello all; just wanted to reassure you that I'm still here despite the hiatus in blog posts. Nothing much to report on the (non) weightloss front. Still bouncing around in the 25-27lbs down region. Luckily I have my third fill on Wednesday which I REALLY hope is going to make some difference. It can't be right that I can eat a restaurant serving of fish and chips with pureed peas, followed by a cream cake and a mug of hot chocolate, can it?! Not only that, to then return to my hotel room and contemplate eating a Cadbury's Creme Egg? You'll be relieved to hear that I managed to hold off from that particular temptation.

Restaurant? Hotel room? What is this, I hear you ask? Well, I went on a little jolly with a friend to Harrogate (N. Yorkshire), leaving the small boy and Hubby with Grandma & Grandad in Wigan. This was the first ever time I've been away without both my boys and, dare I say it, what a treat it was! My friend (let's call her Rachel, for that is her name) and I ate and shopped and ate some more, and then a little more. There was absolutely no indication on my part that I had had a GB fitted less than three months ago; indeed, it seemed that Rachel (who is not a Bandit) ate less than I did; I SOOOOO need this fill!

The main reason for our visit to Harrogate was to attend the British Craft Trade Fair so that Rachel could source some lovely lovely lovely handmade items for the new shop she is opening at the end of May. Oh My! Over 500 stands of the most scrum-tiddly-umptious items - ceramics, textiles, greetings cards, jewellery, mirrors, toys, knitwear, paintings, prints - all handmade in the UK. Best of all, because it was a trade fair, there was no fighting with stinky old Joe Public to get our hands on all the loveliness.

Although this was the main reason for our visit, had you seen us you may have thought that the main reason was so that we could go to Betty's Tearooms. We went four times in the space of the two-and-a-half days that we were in Harrogate: dinner Sunday evening (fish and chips, lemonade, cream cake, hot chocolate), dinner Monday evening (cheese and bacon rosti, lemonade, ice cream sundae), breakfast Tuesday morning (full English, coffee) and back Tuesday afternoon to buy cakes (rhubarb, Yorkshire tea loaf, fondant fancies, caramel shortbread), biscuits (Yorkshire shortbread), teas (two varieties) and coffees (2 varieties) to take home. By the way, did I tell you I've had a GB fitted? Exactly; you wouldn't know it, would you? Did I say I NEED the next fill? Yes, I really, really do - three days and counting...

Thursday 8 April 2010

The NSV I've Been Waiting For! + Stats for Gen

Finally! Finally! Finally!
The NSV I've been waiting for for ages happened today.

The first person to comment that I've lost weight who didn't know I've had the band fitted. Made me feel really chuffed! Up til now the only people who have commented on my weightloss are those who know about the band - hubby, mum, the in-laws and two of my very good friends. Obviously, that's really nice and much appreciated, but they're almost bound to say something, aren't they? But this person didn't have to say anything, however what he did say was "I hardly recognised you then; you've lost some weight, haven't you?" Yeee-haaaa!

And, as requested by Gen, here are the monthly stats on my weightloss so far:
January (including pre-op diet): -15lbs

February: -6lbs

March: -6lbs

If you take away the fact that I lost 7lbs on the pre-op diet, that would give me a banded weightloss for January of 8lbs, which makes the month-by-month losses fairly even. It was good looking at it this way as I was starting to feel that I hadn't done very well recently, but clearly things aren't so bad after all!

Monday 5 April 2010


Not pounds, but followers, which is just as good (albeit a different kind of good) in my book! So a big 'thank you' to Jen for becoming my latest follower - it's reassuring to know there are lots of 'us' out there in the same boat, at different stages along the course, offering support and encouragement to each other. Although, having written that, I suppose it would actually be much better if there were none of 'us' out there at all since that would mean no-one suffering with weight issues, but that's not the real world, is it?!

Talking of the real world, I am currently inhabiting 'Non Weight Loss Land', in the town known as 'Actually, I've Put on a Pound or Two', suburb 'Due to Feeding My Face With Cake, Biscuits and Chocolate'. Ho hum. Yesterday (and today) I was back up to 17stone (238lbs) - yuck. Still, only 16 days til my next fill...

I expect you've all seen that Catherine has met her goal. How amazing is that? Hers was the first blog I ever found about life with the GB; I read it from start to finish in the space of a couple of days and I was soooo inspired. She is a fantastic role model for us all. Well done Catherine!

Thursday 1 April 2010

Keeping Positive

I don't want to write another whingey post about the lack of restriction, so (as Bing Crosby sang) I am going to accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, and latch on to the affirmative...

1) I'm going to ignore the fact that the scale had bounced back up to 16st 13lbs (a 2lb gain on my lowest weight), because the scale has done this to me plenty of times before. Lots of boinging around before heading, once more, in the right direction.

2) It's now less than three weeks til I get my fill.

3) I have an appointment with the dietician next Friday.

4) Here are my measurements which, along with the scale overall, show that things are all good!

Tuesday 19 Jan (day before surgery) :: Tuesday 16 March (8 weeks later)
Neck- 37.5cm :: 35.5cm (-2)
Upper arm right- 39cm :: 37cm (-2)
Upper arm left- 37.5cm :: 35.5cm (-2)
Wrist right- 17cm :: 16.5cm (-0.5)
Wrist left- 17cm :: 16.5cm (-0.5)
Bust- 122cm :: 115cm (-7) - typical!
Waist- 114.5cm :: 110cm (-4)
Hips- 133cm :: 132cm (-1) - also typical!
Thighs- 132cm :: 126cm (-6)
Upper thigh right- 80.5cm :: 79cm (-1.5)
Upper thigh left- 79.5cm :: 77cm (-2.5)
Knee right- 43cm :: 41.5cm (-1.5)
Knee left- 45cm :: 42.5cm (-2.5)
Calf right- 46cm :: 44.5cm (-1.5)
Calf left- 45cm :: 44.5cm (-0.5)
Ankle right- 26.5cm :: 26cm (-0.5)
Ankle left- 26cm :: 25.5cm (-0.5)

If my maths is correct, that's a loss of 32cm (or something like that - I remembered not to include the overall thigh measurement on top of the two individual measurements.) Apologies to those of you who work in feet and inches (as I usually do), but the only tape measure I could find when I took the first set of measurements was in cms, so I've had to stick with it as I can't be bothered to convert them all. I've converted the total though: 32cm is approx 12-and-a-half inches, which is just over one foot - coolio!