Saturday, December 31, 2011

2012...My Year!

  Sorry....long post. Goals for 2012!

  I am confident that 2012 will be my year! Its all or nothing people. I am going to give this journey the attention it I deserve. I have carefully set forward a list of goals to get me to where I want to be. The past 7 1/2 months since being banded have been about me adjusting, learning, and more importantly realizing that unless I put forth the effort, I will be one of those outlandish statistics that say LapBand patients only lose around 30% of their excess weight. I REFUSE to be a statistic! More than not wanting to be a statistic though, I want to prove to myself that I can do this. I will lose this weight once and for all. I will make exercise a part of my life. I will choose healthy foods. I will cross off every single one of the items listed under my "wishes do come true" tab. And I will see the joy in my moms eyes when she will no longer have to worry and pray about her daughters health/weight. And as a bonus I will have that "told you so" moment when I see my grandmother for the first time at goal (she is a skeptic and VERY judgemental). So, without further goals for 2012:
  1. Weight
    • Goal 1-209 lbs by 8/9/2012 (Star Trek convention-Las Vegas)
    • Stretch Goal-200
      • To meet Goal I will have to lose 1.5 per week; stretch goal is 1.8 per week
    • Goal 2-194 lbs by 10/18/2012 (Hawaii trip)
      • Continuing to lose at 1.5 per week
    • Goal 3-179 lbs by 12/31/2012 (End of the Year)
    • Stretch Goal-170
      • To meet Goal I will be continuing to lose at 1.5 per week; stretch goal is my original when I started this journey. This would be a weight I would be comfortable at to start a family which was my main purpose for the band. My next goal weight will be after pregnancy and the ultimate I would like to be at (probably somewhere between 140-150). This would be a total of 78 lbs lost in the year 2012; total of 86 if I reach my stretch goal. I am so excited as I feel these numbers are totally doable. The goal numbers aren't nice round numbers as I  based them off of 1.5 lbs lost per week. I would LOVE to set higher gaols, but I want to be realistic. I tend to lose a little slower and don't want to set myself up for disappointment. I will be a happy girl if when I meet these weight goals!
  2. Scale
    • I will weigh in only once per week. The scale will not be the deciding factor in my overall progress!
  3. Exercise
    • I will set an exercise goal every month. This will be a minute based goal per month. Exercise has not been a part of my journey thus far and I feel it would be too difficult for me mentally to say I need to go to the gym x times per week. As long as meet the total minutes every month, I am a happy girl. I plan on calculating the minutes as if I were supposed to do 30min. 4x per week with 60min on a weekend day. This would come to 180min. per week. If I want to break it up as shown above, great, if not, I don't worry about it as long as I get those minutes in at the end of the month.
    • I plan on incorporating a ton of different activities into my exercise plan. I do have a gym membership that I will use often. I also have a treadmill at home. For Christmas I got a Wii and the Wii Fit with balance board that I plan on breaking in. I also purchased Wii games like Walk It Out and Active Life:Explorer. All of which make you move around and complete tasks while walking, jumping, and doing tons of different exercise type moves. Oh, I almost forgot, I also go The Biggest Loser Wii game. My mother-n-law loves to bike ride, so hopefully I can incorporate this as well. I would love to find a boot camp style class as well once I am in a little better shape. With all of these activities, plus so many more, I am sure I will be able to achieve my exercise goal each month!
    • Check out the Exercise tracker at the top right side of my page. Hold me accountable!
  4. Measure all meals at home-1-1 1/2 cups
    • I have seriously lacked in this department. I know I am eating much less than prior to surgery, but can almost guarantee I am eating more than the 1-1 1/2 cup standard.
  5. Consistently follow 80/20 rule
    • This to me means if I follow the rules and eat healthy and make good choices 80% of the time, I will call it a success. Face it, we aren't perfect. If anyone says they are, they are lying. If I deny myself something I want (really want, not just emotionally want) then it turns into overeating later. If I allow myself the room to have something that may not be the best choice, in a moderate portion, and stick to healthy choices the other 80% of the time, then I will succeed. "Allowing" myself this 20% will mentally help me make better choices overall. I will have to pick and choose what I want to use this on, which will lead to less bad food choices overall. (I have no clue if this makes sense to anyone else, but it does to me!)
  6. NO SODA AT ALL (no further explanation needed)
  7. Run a 5K
    • I would love to do more than this, but this is the goal. I have those 2 big trips this year as well as going back to school. I wanted to run a Mud Run (5K with obstacles) in October, however, it is the day after I come back from Hawaii. So the plan is to look for another race. Stay tuned!
  8. Blog regularly/@ least 5 days a week
    • I admit it....I am not the best blogger. I read so many inspiring and fun blogs, and then I look at mine and cry. No, but really. I appreciate each and every one of you that takes the time to read and comment. I want my blog in the New Year to hold me accountable. I want to track things more consistently so I can reflect on where I once was. It is an important journal for me about my journey. Blogging more will keep me motivated. I plan on giving weekly weigh in updates on my blog, exercise progress, and overall updates on my progress.
  9. No Computer/TV one day per week
    • I have to use the computer at work, but I won't be using it for anything other than work one day per week. With no computer or TV once per week I believe it will lead to me doing other 'active' activities. Essentially it leads to me not sitting on my A$$. At work during my breaks and lunch period I am always on the internet. Whether reading blogs, on Facebook, or buying something online, I am always sitting at my desk. I use to love walking around the building on breaks and lunch, and this will help get me back in that habit!
  10. Read 6 books
    • I love to read and don't give myself enough time to enjoy this. While reading is a sedentary activity I wanted to include not only weight/exercise related goals, but goals that played a part into my emotional well-being also. It is something I enjoy, and being happy is a big part of 2012 for me. Hmmmm...I think I just came up with my word for the year...Happiness! Anyways, back on topic. I have always wanted a nice place that is quiet where I can read and not be distracted. I have recently cleared a space in the office for an overstuffed "comfy" chair that I will be in the market for. I also want to enjoy the fresh air outside and plan on getting a nice space cleared in the backyard for reading as well. (now if I can just get the next door neighbors dog to stop barking EVERY TIME we are in our yard!)
  11. Housework
    • I know...I know...who would make Housework a goal for 2012. As I eluded to in the last goal 2012 is more than just weight/exercise for me. It is a balance of my whole life. Lets face it, I am not the best house cleaner. And unless I win the lotto soon, I cannot afford a housekeeper. So, to get the house tidy, and more importantly stay that way, I will dedicate at least 30min every day and 1 hr one weekend day to housework. Whether it is actually cleaning, or organizing, or doing laundry, I will dedicate this time to keeping our home nice.
  12. Prepare meals at home
    • This is a big one for me. I don't cook. Not that I'm not good at it, or don't know how, I just don't do it. I have a few recipe books and actually enjoy looking up recipes online, but I never get to trying them out. I believe eating at home is a major factor in losing weight and just knowing what is in your food. You can calculate your calories easier and you control your portions. This goal will include eating out only once per week. I know this still may seem high to most, but for someone that eats out at least 4-5 times a week, this will be a huge improvement. It doesn't mean that we will allow ourselves to eat out once a week, hopefully it will be less than this, but it is the maximum I will allow. This is also a good way to control what I eat at work for lunches as I will have plenty of healthy leftovers.
  13. Track calories/Use BodyBugg program
    • At this point I do not track what I eat. I do it in my head, and quite frankly, that doesn't work as I have not lost nearly the amount of weight I could have up to now. I spent a ridiculous amount of money on a BodyBugg (the same device used by the Biggest Loser contestants) about 2 years ago. I used it pretty regularly at first, then the subscription ran out and I let it go. I got back into it about 3 months ago and purchased a year subscription and then stopped wearing the damn thing after only a month. I love this device. It is accurate and is great for recording how many calories you burn and then you enter what you eat in the program and you can see the deficit of what you burned to what you ate. I don't know why it is so hard for me to stick with. I guess the armband gets a little annoying and that is probably why I am not consistent. It is kind of large and shows when you wear short sleeves so it is not easy to hide. Had I been an exercise buff and researched other options beforehand I probably would have gone with a good Polar or Garmin, but I spent good money on the thing and I plan on using it. I will use it until the subscription runs out again and then decide if I want to renew it or switch over to something like the Polar or Garmin.
So there you have it! My goals for 2012. I know it may seem like a lot, and maybe too overwhelming for a lot of people. As I stated at the beginning though, I truly feel this year is all or nothing. I and my husband have decided that at the beginning of next year we will try to start a family. I can no longer let my weight issues control my whole life. But it is such a important factor for me, that I want to give it 100% once and for all to set myself up for a healthy pregnancy. I want to have a balance in my life that I have never had and I think all of these goals play just as an important part as the other. Here's to the new year, and all of us achieving what it is we seek!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Christmas...bah humbug

  I wanted to do a post before Christmas to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas, but obviously did not get around to it. I do hope everyone enjoyed their time with family and friends and the general cheerfulness the holidays bring. This year I could not "get into" the season for some reason. I LOVE Christmas and all it entails, but for some reason this year I felt down. I know I am subconsciously thinking of my sister (family drama that I just can't get into right now) and just wishing that things could go back to the way they were before things started going downhill for her. But this is out of my control, so I am just trying to deal.
  I pray the new year brings a year of happiness and big changes for me. I am putting together a list of things I want to accomplish next year. Both healthwise, and some non-health related items. I am optimistic for the new year, and this does bring a smile to my face. We have two big trips planned; Vegas in August and Hawaii in October. Both of which will have weight goals attached. I also plan on running my first 5k next year and committing myself to the gym and other outdoor activities. Cooking at home will be another priority. Reading more and less computer/TV is on the list. These are just a few of the things I have come up with. Stay tuned for my New Years post with the full list of commitments! I know New Years Resolutions are cliche, but it is easier for me to reflect and hold myself accountable if I write it down. And how nice it would be to check each one off as it is accomplished!
  Better get back to work. Work the Tuesday after a 4-day holiday is painful. I will send good vibes out to whoever is enduring this with me!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

What I'm Eating

  I have decided now is the time to change my eating pattern to really get this weight loss going in the right direction; well faster at least. Yes, 7 months after surgery I am taking ownership for my part of this journey. As we all know, the band is just part of the equation.   In the past I didn't really eat breakfast. I just wasn't hungry. And if on the rare occasion I was hungry, it was manageable hunger and I would just wait until lunch. This probably led to part of my weight gain as I would be really hungry later in the day and overeat and lunch and dinner. After reading many blogs, I have seen that those with the most success do eat at least something for breakfast. So, I will give it a try. I seem to be the opposite of most bandsters and am looser in the morning than in the evenings. Getting in a good breakfast shouldn't be a big deal. I don't however believe in eating when not hungry so what I eat will be dependent on this. Yesterday morning I wasn't that hungry so I just did a Slim Fast shake which was more than enough to tide me over until lunch while giving me a good amount of protein. For 190cal, I will take it! This morning I had two scrambled eggs with a sprinkle of cheese and some salsa. We will see how long it lasts and if I get hungry before lunch. For lunch a can of Campbells Chunky Savory Pot Roast soup is on hand.

 It is only 240 cal for the large can and has 14grams of protein and only 1 g fat. Not to mention a whole serving of vegetables. Can't beat that! I am not a huge soup fan but I know it is a healthy option so I will try to incorporate it more. For dinner leftover chicken and a salad is on the menu. Nothing too fancy, but what we have in the fridge and needs to be eaten up. I plan on making a menu for a huge grocery trip this weekend. If you have any suggestions please share! I am not a great cook, so I don't have a lot of recipes. I need to learn though so any help would be appreciated.

Have a great Friday Eve everyone!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Big Trips Next Year

  I think its about time I set some weight related goals for myself. I have 2 big trips next year and want to feel comfortable for both. The first is to Las Vegas in August. I and my husband are going to a Star Trek convention. Yes, you read correctly, a Star Trek convention. I NEVER watched the show before my husband and he got me into it as he has been a HUGE fan since he was a little boy. I must admit, I really like it. Never in a million years did I think I would like Star Trek, but it is pretty addicting. Anyways, August in Vegas=100+ degrees, and at anything over 200 lbs just sounds miserable. Add that with 4,000 attendees crammed into the convention areas, yeah, no thanks. So, my goal is to be at 200 lbs by then. I will have to lose 57 lbs., which comes to 1.7 per week (I will focus on this smaller goal week by week). Totally attainable, but a lot of hard work, at least for me. My weight loss has been on the slow side (totally due to my actions) but hopefully with putting an exercise plan in place, I will be ready to tackle it. And if the Star Trek convention isn't motivation enough; hopefully Hawaii will be!

  Yes, my very generous Mother-in-Law is taking I and my husband to Hawaii in October. I could not be more excited! Well, I could be. Me in a hot bikini at that time vs. a huge wrap feeling totally out of place. Lets face it people, I want to feel sexy in Hawaii. Is that too much to ask? Not only would it be my husbands first time seeing me in a swimsuit ( I wouldn't be too self-conscious in front of him), but I would be in front of my mother-in-law, her boyfriend, and not to mention all of Hawaii! Well, maybe not the whole state, but there will be a lot of people on the beach. So, I am super excited. And I want to look fabulous. Goal to Hawaii is 180 lbs. Its gonna take a lot of work. I am up for the challenge though. After Hawaii I would only be 10 pounds away from goal and ready to start a family which was my main purpose for getting the band to start with. The future is looking bright!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Still Here!

  I can't believe almost 2 weeks have passed since I last posted! I have been a little stressed over this holiday season for some reason. I always want to try to get thoughtful gifts and something everyone will like. It stresses me out more than it should. It has taken a little more effort as well to get into the holiday spirit. Not sure why. I LOVE Christmas and everything it involves. We usually get our tree up the weekend after Thanksgiving and we just got it up and decorated last night. It did help my mood somewhat to see it all lit up and decorated. It is a pretty tree. I have to ship out my nieces gifts on my lunch today so then that will be donw. Still have to get my husbands gift together, stocking stuffers and such. Then I have to get my mother-n-laws gift; this shouldn't be too hard as I know what to get, just have to drive downtown to get it. My husbands grandma's gift is going to take some time to get together. We I am making her a shadow box of memories of my husband of her. I had to purchase a lot of miniatures off of EBAY to find exactly what we wanted. Waiting to pull together a few more things and then we can start putting it together.
  On the band front things are going pretty good. Haven't PB'd since my episode about 2 weeks ago. I am starting to learn and adjust now that I am near restriction. I am eating less, however I am not staying full for as long as I would like. I am scheduled for a fill on 12/26. I think I will ask for a small one; maybe .25. That will put me at 6.25 CC in my 10CC band. I am sure I will then be at my "sweet spot." I am holding steady at 259.5 lbs. My goal is to be at 257 by my appt. That will be a total of 30 lbs down. Totally doable! I just need to focus now on what I am eating. I have doing great with no drinking while eating and pretty good with waiting 30 min after eating to drink. I am noticing that I don't get all of my liquids in now since following these rules, so I will have to work on this. Well,  thats all I have for now. Hope everyone has a great day!

Here is a picture of our Christmas tree. A little hard to see the ornaments, but pretty I think nontheless.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I'm an official bandster...I PB'D!

  I so wish I had someones phone number last night. Now that I think of it, we should have some sort of hotline set up. You know, someone that can answer all the crazy questions that come up: I just had surgery, what can I do about the gas pain? Is it normal to shart? HELP, I'M STUCK, WHAT DO I DO?
  Yeah, that last one, that was me last night. I was banded 6 months ago and had my first stuck/PB incident last night. I had my most recent fill on 11/17 and knew I was close to my "sweet spot." I haven't had any issues with any foods since surgery. I've been able to eat everything and it goes down fine. Some foods I have to go slow with, and if I don't chew well enough, I do feel it go down slowly. Never stuck though; that is until last night!
  We had BBQ steak and I was able to eat about 6 bites with no issues. Then I took a bite that was either too big or I didn't chew well enough, and I was stuck. I jumped up to race to the restroom and hovered above the sink...and nothing happened! It just stayed there! I was running around the house pounding my chest like Tarzan and beating the walls with my fists. It hurt soooo bad! It stayed stuck for 45 min. when I finally decided I needed to try something. It was not coming up or going down on its own. So, I decided to make myself PB. I didn't want to, but I didn't know what other choice I had. After a couple of rounds I felt better. After about an hour I decided to try something to drink. Of course I grabbed some water, right? NOT! I grabbed a nice super bubbly, 7-UP! What was I thinking!!!!! I took 1 sip and immediately knew there was going to be an issue. I threw the soda to my husband and made a mad dash to the bathroom. No assistance needed this time. The soda spewed out of my mouth like a rocket and I felt instantly better. This morning I tried a little sip of water and it went down ok, but didn't feel great. I will stick to liquids today and maybe try a yogurt for lunch and see how it goes.
  I hope I did everything I was supposed to do (besides attempt a drink a 7-up of course!) I was very nervous about making myself PB, but I didn't feel I had any other options. What do you guys do when you are stuck or in a similar situation? I don't plan on letting this happen again, but I am not a silly girl. I am sure at some point in my life I may get stuck again!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Weekly Weigh In and Thanksgiving

  I haven't done an official weigh in for quite awhile. Partly because I weigh myself all day every day and know right where I am, and partly because I fluctuate so much that it always seems to stay right around 263 no matter what. I have decided that in order to hold myself accountable and have a reliable record, I must commit to an "official" weekly weigh in. It used to be Thursdays since this was the day of the week I had surgery, so I will keep it on Thursdays. I weighed myself yesterday and was so excited to see 261! Yay...this is a new low for me since surgery.  I am going to try to hold myself to just the one weigh in per week. This is going to be VERY hard for me since I am used to weighing in at least 3 times a day. Unhealthy; yes, I believe so. Mentally that is. It plays games with me, and I only make myself more frustrated. So here is to only weighing in on Thursdays and keeping track of it!
  I hope everyones Thanksgiving went well. I was very proud of myself on the eating front, but at the same time, I didn't feel that it was that hard to hold back. Could this be the band and myself finally working together? I sure hope so! So, here is what was on my dinner plate:
  • About 3oz turkey
  • 3 tbsp. green bean casserole w/1 onion ring on the top
  • 2 tbsp stuffing
  • 2 heaping tbsp. mashed potatoes w/1/2 ladle of gravy
That was it! And I didn't even eat all that was on my plate. I ate all of my turkey, and all of my green bean casserole, and left about a bite each of my mashed potatoes and stuffing. Notice how there was NO DINNER ROLL on my plate. That's right people, I stayed away from the bread basket! This was a huge accomplishment now that I look back on it. During the time though, again, none of these decisions were hard for me. Its just what I wanted on my plate, and I stopped when I was full. Plain and simple. Now, I did have a regular sized slice of pumpkin pie; but this is what I believe any "normal" (meaning non-obese) person would have had. I never set out to get the band to stop eating what I enjoy, just to eat it in moderation and on special occasions/holidays. In the past I never ate more than 1 slice in the first place, but I can tell you that I would have purchased a whole pumpkin pie myself and have finished about 3/4 of it in about a week and a half after Thanksgiving. I did take some leftover pie home with me, about 4 slices, but I fully intend on just having 1 more slice and throwing the rest out. I hate to waste, but for some reason, my mother-n-law purchased 2 of the large pies from Costco and and there was just too much leftover, even after divvying it up. Again, this should not be a hard decision for me. I think I am finally at the point mentally where I am making decisions that while a certain food still sounds good to me, it is not worth it in the end. I am making that choice. Be healthy, or stay fat forever. I'll take the former please!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

  I just wanted to take a moment to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! I know many of you are prepping and preparing to either have a full house or to head out to spend time with your families. I will be snuggling up to watch the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and then preparing a salad and rolls (hard job right?) to take to grandma's house around 3pm. I was going to do the Black Friday thing, but by looking at the lines already on the news there won't be any deals left by the time I am willing to leave my family tonight.
  Have a great holiday everyone and I hope we all remember what we are thankful for; I am sure our bands are at the top of our lists!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Monday Musing..with much more!

  I had an interesting day yesterday.  A sort of revelation I guess you could say. I all of a sudden felt really down; about everything. Particularly my weight, like usual, right? It was one of those moments where I thought about everything I am doing to try to make my band work for me, and realized I'm not doing much at all on my end. I am not stepping up to the plate. Since my fill this past Thursday, I have been eating less, but my food choices have remained the same. Granted, on the weekends I am not nearly as "good" as during the work week, but alas, this should not be an excuse.
  I noticed that I seem to just go through the motions of a bandster. Meaning, I do the research, look at healthy recipes, read other blogs for tips and inspiration, look at my library's catalog for good books to pick up, even purchase a couple of lap-band books, and I can even talk about all of the benefits of the Lap-Band to a co-worker thinking about the procedure. But when it comes to actually "living" this lifestyle, I feel like a failure.
  Yesterday, I just got sick of it. I am TIRED of looking in the mirror and seeing the same body day in and day out looking back at me. I am TIRED of seeing 26_ on the scale every day, 3 times a day (yes, I need help). Most of all, I am just TIRED of not being who I feel I should be. So, today I woke up (still in a funk), and got my Blender Bottle out with my Whey Protein like my PA at my surgeons office politely asked me to do. I made a can of tuna with 1 tbsp mayo for lunch with 5 pieces salami and 1 slice of cheese. I plan will walk during my morning break at work.
  I will again take this journey step by step and follow where my heart leads. Today it was telling me to wake up and start taking responsibility for myself.

  And now (we need a pick me up, yes?) for your Monday Musing....

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Houston...we have RESTRICTION!

  I am sooooo excited! After 6 long months, I am finally at restriction. While I don't like to place blame on anyone or anything but my own actions throughout this process, I do feel that to some degree, if I were able to get to restriction sooner, I would have lost more weight to date. I'm still not quite sure if it is my surgeons policy or insurance, but either way, I have to wait a minimum of 6 weeks between fills. My surgeon doesn't put any CC's in at time of surgery, and the first fill wasn't until 8 weeks after surgery. So, needless to say, it has been a slow process. Slow or fast, I am just glad it is finally here! I am not quite sure if I am at my sweet spot or not yet. I may need to lean on my blog buddies to assist with this in the coming weeks. My next appointment is scheduled for December 26th, and I will have to make my first major decision regarding fills. Up to this point it has been a no brainer that I wasn't at restriction and would be making my next appointment no matter what. But now that I feel restriction, the debating as to whether to get just a touch of a fill begins. We will see how it plays out once I start getting use to this new feeling and how it helps me in the weight loss area. So far, I have been managing well. I have not found anything that I cannot eat yet. I do feel my food go down, but not in an uncomfortable way. At least not if I chew properly and eat slowly. Once while testing the waters I did swallow a bite a little too fast and noticed minimal discomfort. I can't wait to see the results from this new chapter in my journey. To finally feel that my band is there and working for me is such a great feeling!
  In other news, I am still doing great with my goal of not drinking while eating. Tomorrow will be the 7th day of being at this goal and being 100% compliant. So, I will be setting a new goal to go along with it. Without any thought needed, I know my next goal has to be:
Waiting 30min to drink after eating
Now that I am restriction, I have noticed a big change with this. As soon as I was done eating, I would pick up a drink and take a sip and feel almost immediate discomfort. Its exactly as I've read so many of you say, its like the liquid just sits on top of the food. Which isn't fun at all. It just feels, weird. So, as a good bandster is supposed to do anyways, I will be waiting 30min after each meal before drinking starting tomorrow. ( I will most likely start this today anyways though because it doesn't feel that great).
  I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and is hopefully looking forward to a short work next week. I have a ton of housework that needs to be completed today and tomorrow. Just about 5 loads of laundry, unloading the dishwasher, loading it back up, handwashing the larger dishes, cleaning the bathroom (including the tub...boohoo), and overall picking up around the ENTIRE house. Anyone feel sorry for me yet?

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Friday...BYOC!

I'm very excited; one because it's Friday, WAHOOOO! Two, I am participating in my first BYOC! I also want to say thank you to everyone leaving comments on my blog and for following me. It means a lot to me to know that someone actually cares about what I have to say (or at least is pretending to). I can't wait to finish reading all of your blogs so I can start commenting as well. Thanks Again!

It’s Friday and that means it’s time for another installment of BYOC! That’s Bring Your Own Crazy!! We answer 5 questions in an effort to get to know each other better and to give our blogging brains a break! Copy and paste to your own blog if you so desire – and ENJOY!

I’m going to do a Thanksgiving themed BYOC this week (it was Jenny’s idea)!

1. What is your FAVORITE part of Thanksgiving?

I feel that Thanksgiving is the official start to the holidays. It is the first family gathering around the table, the holiday movies begin, and there is a general feeling of cheeriness (I may have just made that up) in the air. The house gets decorated, the Christmas tree is purchased, and the shopping begins.
2. How many Thanksgiving family events will you attend?

I will only attend one Thanksgiving this year. In past years I and my husband would typically have Thanksgiving dinner with his family, and then go over to my parents for dessert and to be with my side of the family. This year we are having Thanksgiving dinner at his Grandma's like usual, but my parents will be joining us as well. It will be very nice to have both families together for once!
3. What’s your biggest Thanksgiving tradition?

I don't think I really have a Thanksgiving tradition. Other than Pumpkin Pie; does that count! It is my favorite dessert in the whole world. Over cakes, ice cream, candy, brownies, donuts, any other pies, cookies...anything; I LOVE pumpkin pie. Although I have the band this year, I do plan on indulging. Maybe just one slice on Thanksgiving and one togo for another day rather than in years past where I would purchase a whole pie for myself to eat over a weeks period.

4. Do you Black Friday shop the day after Thanksgiving?

I love Black Friday shopping! Usually I and my husband are selfish and just shop for ourselves though. We save up to buy something big if we need it and wait until Black Friday to get a good deal. Last year was my husbands Christmas present of an IPod, and the year before that was our big screen TV. This year a Wii, and a new camera are on the list. If we find something at the store we are at for others, then we will purchase it there, but we will only usually go to one store. I love the hustle and bustle of the shopping season!
5. Repeat question: Summarize your week in real life and in blog world.

Real life is fantastic right now. I have a newfound positive outlook on things and have a general sense of peace about everything. I am excited to bring good energy to everything I do! And of course a 4 day weekend next week is to absolutely die for!

Blog world is great. I am appreciative for all of my followers and the support I receive. I love getting caught up on all of my followers blogs; just takes awhile because I am anal and like to read from the very beginning of your journeys!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

4th fill and goal update

  Today I had my 4th fill and I can't wait to find out if I am finally at restriction. I am officially at 6cc's in a 10cc band. From what I described to my PA she thinks I should be very close if not a little overfilled after this last 1cc today. We shall see tomorrow! Now for the not so good news...I hadn't lost any weight since my last fill about 7 weeks ago. While I can't say I am surprised, I am disappointed. I am not disappointed in my band, I am disappointed in me. In the fact that I have let 6 months slip by with little effort on my part.
  Drazil's post yesterday really hit home to me. This is not EASY. I didn't think it would be easy per-se; but easier than it has been, yes. I know the process works, if you work the process. I did not lose 24 pounds by miracle or just because I laid on an operating table for 1 1/2hours and now have a plastic device around my stomach. I have worked hard, just not nearly as consistent as I should be. I try to keep the faith in the moments when I really sit down and think about my progress thus far, and these are the moments when reflection sets in and I vow to do better. Whether that lasts only through my next meal, that is one more meal I will be more conscious of. I just pray I will have more of these moments rather than get "lost" in the everyday and act as if I didn't have surgery at all.
  With that, I have been working hard at my daily goal of no drinking while eating. I am proud to say I have been 100% successful at this so far. I have a couple more days to go, and when I reach 7 days in a row without drinking while eating, I will add a new goal. I will keep adding goals every 7 days until I have a stable foundation and can handle more responsibility. I can't say for sure when that will be, but as my new motto goes, I will continue to take it one day at a time.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings

  So....I have noticed on some blogs people like to put in little jokes, and cartoons, and personally, I like reading these. It is something to look forward to each week. And who doesn't like a little laugh every now and then? Hence, I have come up with "Monday Musings." Everyone needs a little pick me up on Mondays as we drag ourselves into work with our Big Gulps of coffee, ready to tackle the week. So here is your fist Monday Musing! Hope you enjoy!

Out There Cartoons - Updates every Thursday

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Daily Goals

  The time has come. I must start setting goals.  I feel I will hold myself much more accountable if I set a goal and post it. I would hate to set a goal and then have to post that I didn't make it. Since I believe in short steps to success, my goal setting will be no different. I will set one goal a day. Once I accomplish that one goal 7 days in a row, then I will add a new goal. I want to make sure that I just focus on that one goal during the day. In the past I would set multiple goals at once and get really overwhelmed. My first goal I am setting for tomorrow is:
No drinking while eating

  This has been very hard for me, and one of the primary "band rules" that I don't follow. I get so thirsty while eating! So, my focus, one day at a time, is not drinking while eating. I haven't decided if this should include not drinking 30 minutes after eating or not. It probably should, but again, it is hard enough for me to not drink while eating, much less having to wait the 30 minutes afterward. I think that may be the next goal since they kind of go hand in hand. 

 In other news, I went to a new dentist yesterday. My current dentist is ok, but my husband needs some major work done and I wanted to find someone I could trust with his front tooth. So, being the wonderful wife I am, I sacrificed myself, and this is who I came up with:

Don't you feel sorry for me ladies?!?!?! He is even more handsome in person! So, I gave the new dentist two thumbs up (really though, great dentist!). Needless to say, all fears of the dentist have gone away.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Potlucks and skinny women

  I recently changed positions in my department at work which relocated my desk to the other side of my building. My new desk is just a few feet away from where I first started 3 years ago, and the same group of women who used to sit there are still there. I must start off by saying that I love this group of aprox. 8 women. They are all very close as they have been with the company for eons and have always sat next each other. They are hilarious, and talk about the most random of things. Most of them are in their 50's and I get a hoot out of the different topics that come up  (I am 29 and the conversations I and my friends have are so different). I was glad I was returning to this section of the department as I could use a little bit of entertainment throughout the day, and they were a shoe in to deliver.
  I have never been a big fan of potlucks. For one, I see how messy and dirty you leave your desk at work, who knows what your home looks like. Secondly, I can't stand the thought of everyone's hands digging into whatever mysterious dish you brought. Or, you know, chip bags, or anything not served with a spoon. Since surgery, I have also noticed that I pay extra attention to whenever said potlucks or occasions come up at work. It fascinates me how people herd around food. They line up like they are never going to eat again. Our phones at work can be going crazy and all you have to do is look for the food to find where everyone went.
   I got settelled into my new desk on Tuesday and the very next day had learned of a potluck these women were going to have. I thought nothing of it, wasn't even interested as I am not usually tempted by these. It hasn't bothered me much watching other people get to enjoy food. Until the other day that is. These women sat and ate A-L-L  D-A-Y  L-O-N-G! Sandwiches, cookies, and too many desserts to name them all. Not to mention that they are all a size 2-4 (ok, maybe not all of them, but you get the picture). Then they would complain while rubbing their non-existent tummy's that they ate too much. Then they would talk about how big their thighs were or some other issue they had with themselves. I could not believe my ears. It was VERY hard to listen to. I know this is something I will have to get used to, but I was almost brought to tears by the time I went home. To know that others can sit there and eat crap all day long and still be so tiny has always been hard for me. It seems like the smallest of things would make me 2 lbs heavier in just one day.
   Man, this is going to be hard. These women have potlucks like they are going out of style. I just have to keep my eye on the prize. One foot in front of the other.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

I ate fish....and I liked it.

  Ok, so I'm gonna let the cat out of the bag. It wasn't what a typical grown adult would consider fish, but we all have to start somewhere, right?

This is what I had last night. Baby steps people, baby steps. I wanted to start with something not as strong, and fresh I guess you could say. I really liked these, and even though they are breaded, they are still a somewhat healthy option. Here are the nutrition facts (well, the main three I always consider):
Serving Size (2 fillets)
And the best part was that I only used about 2 tablespoons of tartar sauce at 60 calories. Coupled with a small salad, I was proud of myself with my dinner choice.

  I was so excited by my accomplishment last night only to have it deflated this morning with a 1lb gain on the scale. My husband gingerly pointed out that last night before bed I had a small glass of milk and a good sized piece of a brownie/chocolate chip cookie dessert. It is amazing how the little things add up. I don't have desserts too much any more, and I thought with my good dinner option I would have the left over calories. Yeah, not so much when you really write it all out and keep track.
  It has always seemed in the past that the harder I would try to lose weight, the more I failed. Anyone else have this problem? I will try to not get too discouraged though. I know that hard work and persistence will pay off in the long run. And once I track calories for awhile I will become more aware of what I am eating and eventually not have to track any longer. No dessert for me tonight! 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What I'm doing different!

  A lot of things have changed with my mindset in the past couple of weeks regarding my lap-band and what I need to change to be more successful. I have realized that fast food should not be a regular at least once a week, I need to move more, and the drinking while eating definitely needs to stop. These are just a few of the changes I plan on making.
  Yesterday, I am proud to say, I walked during my morning break at work for 15 min. While I realize this is no major feat, it is one small thing I plan on doing daily now to help make progress. My eating habits need major work. I and my husband eat out way too much. I have never been a big cook, but I need to learn. My palate also reminds me of that of a 5 year old. I don't like fish. I can't stand most veggies. Soup is not a  favorite. You can see my dilemma here, right? Another thing that is hard for me is that I am not at restriction yet. I have a 10cc band and am currently at 5cc's. I do notice some discomfort if I don't chew something really well or eat too fast. And I do stay full for aprox. 5 hours. On the other hand I don't have any issues eating any specific food (bread, red meat, etc.). While I still want to enjoy these things, I don't think it should be this easy to enjoy them! I am also able to eat more than I should. To stop at 1 1/2 cups takes a lot of will power on my part. I am looking forward to my next fill on 11/17 when hopefully I will reach my "sweet spot."

p.s. And just for "New Beginnings" sake, I am going to try some fish tonight. I will let you know how it goes!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Faith and the LapBand

  I decided I would take a minute to discuss why I chose my blog title:New Beginnings-Faith and the LapBand. I have never been a very faithful person. I belonged to the Catholic church as a young child, however I and my family stopped going to church when I was about 10 years old. My first year in college I was introduced to a non-denominational church and thought it was interesting, but again, it didn't really stick with me. In the meantime I had introduced my parents to the church and they have been with this same church for aprox. 10 years now. Every now and then I would attend a service here and there with them, but until recently I wasn't that interested. Within in the past month I have been seeking the spiritual side of myself. I am interested in having my questions about faith answered and have been looking for the answers within myself along with some spiritual readings and one trip back to the non-denominational church.
  I believe there are times in our lives when we have to lean more on God (or whatever serenity we believe in, whether it be Buddha, yoga, journaling, etc.) I choose to believe that this is one of those times in my life. I have struggled to lose weight since being banded in May. Struggled may be a term used a little too loosely as I am the first to admit I haven't put in 100%, or maybe not even 50%. I am sure we have all "prayed" at some point to make the fat just disappear. Let the cellulite fade away. Don't let me pick up that piece of cake. You know what I'm saying. While I know that I am going to be the number one factor in my success, I would say that Faith is going to have a strong part as well. I have to believe in myself. Believe that the process will work. Have faith that one day I will be able to cross of each one of my "Wishes Do Come True" items. Without Faith, I think we would all get lost at some point in our lives.
  I am going to rely on me and my own decisions for most of my successes and bumps along my journey. Faith will be the next thing I will seek and hold in my heart to guide me. Oh, and there is one other little thing I will be counting on. That small little friend that will give me a nudge if I've gone off the straight and narrow, that will gently remind me of my faults (lets face it, we all have them), and will prompt me to remember why I chose this path; my Lap-Band!

New Beginnings

  I was banded on 5/12/2011. I have lost 24lbs. to date; not what I would nearly expect at this point, but a number I am grateful for. I am looking for a new beginning to my lap-band life. I need to hold myself more accountable and follow the "rules" more; a lot more!
  This is my second attempt at blogging. My previous blog got a little too personal and ended up not being the blog I wanted it to be. I did want to keep most of my previous posts for reflection purposes, so if you are interested about my journey thus far, they are located under the tab at the top of my blog labeled "previous blog." I enjoy reading so many inspiring blogs and hope I can provide the same support for others. Here's to new beginnings and finishing what I started!