Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year!

Well, I have been looking at this blank post page for the last two hours trying to come up with a post of resolutions. I think fear has me stuck. I mean really, how many years have we resolved to lose weight only to fail? NOT. ANY. MORE.

I've always loved when the calendar turns. It feels new, clean and optimistic (at least in the beginning, lol) I like to fill in all the important dates on a fresh calendar. Look for what day my b/d falls on and even though nothing but the date has changed there is a feeling that we can let go of the past years failures whatever they might be.

Am I in a better place than this time last year? YES! I am more healthy at nearly 60 lbs. lighter. I have dealt with some demons that had a hand in me being unhealthy (mind, body & spirit) and I have for the first time in my life put myself first, made my happiness, health and dreams a priority. This is huge people!
But I can't help but want more and this scares me! Now that I have had a taste it has made me want more, feel entitled to more, deserving of more....but more what? I have not figured that out yet.

So here goes the short list
I resolve to:

Follow the bandster rules (water, vitamins, protein first, work out)

Live more simply, with less STUFF.

And lastly, curb my co-dependent habits

I wish you all happiness, luck and good health in the new year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

better get it in gear Jen

Just wanted to say Merry Christmas All! Hope Santa is good to each and every one of you!

I'm going to try to kick it into high gear today and finish my shopping and gather up the groceries for our Christmas meal. I'm going to take the mother-in-law and make a day of it.

It will be fun, It will be fun, It will be fun.....that's my mantra for the day!

I'm not without motivation, my Old Navy pj's, a couple Ativan and an ipod loaded with Martin Sexton will be waiting for me at the end of the day.

xoxo - Jen

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Breathe in, Breathe out....move on

Sometimes I just need to chill.
I haven't quite learned how to let go of all the things that really and truly are out of my control.
But I am working on it,
I am a work in progress.

Yes, I have been a little overwhelmed lately.
Possible reasons:
Not sleeping well
kid/school issue
traffic tickets
being laid off
missing my friends & family
dark short days....

Can I control any of this? Not really.... Breathe in, Breath out....move on (Jimmy Buffett)

So, how am I dealing since I can't, scratch that WON'T hide under the covers with a bag of cheetos and a kit kat chaser?

I drag my ass out of bed
face the day
go through the motions
try to smile
blast some ani difranco (or any other angry chick music as my DH calls it)

I sure hope this funk passes soon because I can barely stand

and I will leave you with this:

And the Grinch, with his Grinch-feet ice cold in the snow, stood puzzling and puzzling, how could it be so? It came without ribbons. It came without tags. It came without packages, boxes or bags. And he puzzled and puzzled 'till his puzzler was sore. Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before. What if Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store. What if Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more.
~ Dr. Seuss

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

No title, just feeling sorry for myself

I'm unmotivated, uninterested, unimpressed and unhappy!

Nothing to do with my band or this process mind you, in fact, that is my only happy spot :)

I'm just so tired of being the only one to keep it together...Sometimes I just want to fuck up royally and see how they would all react! Do something, you know? Like get in a bar fight (but I don't drink) or get a traffic ticket (but I don't speed) Or actually throw all the dishes they left in the sink out in the freaking yard. (but, nope...I wash them)

It is my own fault really...well, the things I allow. The rest of it is just me, I follow rules, I am not a thrill seeker and I like order. They know it and abuse it.
With every single layer that is removed from me... the more pissed off I get.

I deserve more, at least as much as I give....

I see some big changes coming in 2010 and I am freaked the hell out!

That's enough for now. Going to go find my Ativan and calm the "F" down.

Friday, December 11, 2009

No one tells you.....

No one tells you how much colder you'll get after WLS and weight loss in general. I have found that I am not alone with this. I AM SO COLD! All the time, even back in Sept. when it was still quite warm.
We here in Southern Oregon have been in a cold snap and on the mountain where I live it has been 12-14 degrees overnight and has warmed to a high of 24! (I think today is supposed to be a heat wave - 30's) I live on a small ranch and our heat source is wood. If the fire dies down the temp drops fast in this house! Brrrr...
Remember me bitching about our well drying up in the summer....well yesterday we had pipes freeze and burst and hubby has them nearly fixed. I've been hauling 5 gallon buckets of water to my horse as all of those pipes froze up too (good work out at least)
Had my 6th fill on Wednesday. I got .3 cc's This puts me at 8.4 roughly in my realize band.(this is half of my un-fill back) I am losing slowly but steady, gaining muscle and losing fat! I feel I have great restriction (today) and I am rarely hungry. I need to work on increasing my water intake but it is so cold I am drinking tea & coffee mostly.
Something I have found much easier is going out to a meal. I can pretty much order from any menu without a lot of special requests. I find I can make 2 meals out of pretty much any order. I have become a fan of the roasted chicken from the grocery store. I drain all the drippings and throw the skin away when I get it home, then baggie it up for a few servings. It seems to stay moist even with reheating so I like that!
Better get moving, I have heaps of laundry piled up from the busted pipe situation.
Just thought I would post SOMETHING, even if it is a bunch of bitching. :)

Here are a couple pictures of one of our frozen ponds...

Monday, December 7, 2009

Alright, I've had it!

Enough with the 220's already! I'm just saying!

mood = discouraged!!!!!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


50 lbs down! It feels awesome.
I am a week away from being banded 4 months and I am just so thankful for this tool!

The last couple weeks have been rough living with this band but I wouldn't change a thing. The real stress of my lay off started to sink in and then the loss of my Brother-in-law, travel...ugggh! It really impacted my restriction. I've been better since my slight un-fill and decided not to get any more at my appointment last Monday. Currently I am at 7.8cc's in my Realize band.
 Thank you everyone for your honest blogs and for posting the good and the bad of this journey we are all on!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Picasa 3 and progress

I was bored and was messing around with my new version of Picasa and found some pictures from this year.
The top picture was taken most recently, the others have dates. I see a slight change in my face...but they are all different sizes and angles, hard telling

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Time to hunker down

I believe my travel has come to an end for a while. It is time to hunker down and stay warm and go into winter mode. I returned home to Oregon from California last night. My husband and I drove down leaving on Wednesday afternoon. We attended the service for my Brother-in-law Thursday and returned home yesterday. It was a quick trip for sure and I have realized that travel with Claire (band) not so easy. I think with a little more planning I could do much better but the last two weeks have been so up in the air I never really had time.
I am ready to stay put for a long while. Not working and having made two unplanned trips have us in a tighter spot than normal money wise so after having the "What's the plan for Thanksgiving talk" I've decided to stay home and cook for the family. We usually are not all together on Thanksgiving. My husband, Gene, has stayed home the last 5 years since we moved away from our families so I could spend it with mine. (We have too many animals)
I had expected some backlash from the kids...but I didn't get any, in fact my daughter said she wanted to help! WTF? So, I put her in charge of doing all the sweets since I don't want to be around fudge (hub's request)
I live at about 3,500 ft (Mt. Sexton/ London Peak) so we tend to get more weather than the folks on the valley floor. We also live in the middle of the forest and learned quickly that you need to be prepared come about October for the weather and elements can get ugly. Don't know if any of you recall the James Kim story? His family had become stranded and his wife and children rescued, sadly, he did not survive. That happened very close, a few miles, of where I live and has made us more careful as the season is changing.

I plan on digging out some of the 1000 piece puzzles I picked up just for this time of year.  We set up our table under the light and near the wood stove and it helps to pass the time when the snow fills up the TV dish and we lose our signal . I can't wait for the first heavy snow! I feel like I could keep up with the kids for the first time. They like to sled and snowboard . Our backyard has three good runs where you can ski/sled/board down and then we use the quads to go back up to start over. What am I thankful for? besides my band....That I got my kids the heck out of the city!!!!

I have two appointments Monday. I am meeting the doctor who did my band for another procedure that I am soooo excited about. It is for laser treatment on my varicose veins. Mine are U-G-L-Y! I have not worn shorts in public...well, never. They hurt and ache and are just unsightly. I am hopeful to get it one before the end of the year as I have no more copays due this year.
My second appointment is to get about half of my un-fill back. I think I had just irritated it so bad with getting stuck over and over due in part to the stress of losing my job, then travel and grief. I did 72 hrs of liquids then started slow and have not had any trouble since. I feel restriction but I can still consume more than I think is okay at this stage. I'm making small progress on the scale but I think that will increase the longer I stay home and get back on my eating and workout schedule.

Wow, this post was a whole lot of nothing :) sorry for the ramble! Had too much coffee today!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Good one gone....

Thank you to all who responded to my last couple posts. I'm sorry to say my Brother-in-law passed away last night. He was determined to be brain dead from the stroke and all machines were removed at 6pm last night. Please keep my sister in your prayers. She has a struggle ahead as does the small community where she lives. He was a part of many, many lives.
So, travel is again in my future for a service which I am guessing will be early next week. I had an .6cc removed from my band on Tuesday and was told to do 72 hrs. of liquids and am taking prilosec for two weeks to keep any acids from irritating the band. Tomorrow I will try some middle ground foods and see how it goes. I think after all the travel & things settle down I will worry about getting the fill was working well for keeping the hunger under control and I still have quite a bit of restriction (even with liquids/soft foods) I had a one pound loss and a gain of lean muscle since my visit a week and a half prior so I was told I was getting enough protein. good to know :)
I abused my Old Navy card in a bad, bad way today. I shouldn't have, you know being unemployed and all...but it has turned cold here in Oregon so I had to get me some new PJ bottoms because mine kept falling off...I kept them longer than I should have because, well...I liked it when they fell off! I was using hair clips to twist the waistbands to hold them up. Get this, Old Navy PJ bottoms...a large, L (notice the absent X)  Thank you Claire (band)
Well internet, need to go update my resume...yuck

~Jen from Oregon

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

My turn... passing the time

- Age: 40
- Annoyance: flaky people
- Animal: Must have them...three cats, one dog, one horse
- Actor: Adam Beach, Hugh laurie

- Beer: can"t drink
- Birthday/Birthplace: June 2, Bay Area, CA
- Body Part on opposite sex: eyes, hands
- Been in Love: Yes!
- Been bitched at: Yes, more often than I would like
- Believe in yourself?: I have too!
- Believe in God: Yes I do.
-Before weight: 272

- Car: 2008 FJ Cruiser
- Candy: yes please, sees carmels
- Color: Green
- Cried in school: yes
- Chocolate/Vanilla: Chocolate
- Chinese/Mexican: chinese
- Cake or pie: Turtle Pie from the powderhorn in Grants Pass, OR
- Country to visit: OZ

- Day or Night: night
- Danced: gots two left feet
- Do the splits?: nope
- Eggs: learning to love them
- Eyes: Green/gold

- First crush: in elementary school, teddy anderson
- First thoughts waking up: coffee, and there better be creamer
- Food: before the band: bread!

- Greatest Fear: bats and clowns
- Goals: weight wise: 185
- Get along with your parents?: my mom, yes.. dad died years ago
- Good luck charm: a little silver turtle
- Hair Colour: Brown.
- Height: 5'10
- Happy: most days
- Holiday: Thanksgiving
- Health freak?: not so much, learning to make good choices
- Hate: slow internet

- Ice Cream: not a fan
- Instrument: song flute

- Jewelry: big chunky organic necklaces
- Job: wife, mother, unemployed ... however my work experience is construction/ estimating/ erosion control

- Kids: 4, Kayla is 20, Zack 18 & Eli 17 and my stepson Jeremy 36
- Kickboxing or karate:  Kickboxing.
- Keep a journal? a few blogs
- Longest Car Ride: from CA to Texas.
- Love: is hard work
- Laughed so hard you cried: Yes.
- Love at first sight: I believe it happened to me 25 years ago

- Milk flavour: hate milk
- Movie: smoke signals
- Mooned anyone?: prolly
- Marriage: 17 years, together 25
- Motion sickness? somewhat
- McD’s or BK: southwest grilled chicken salad w/ basalmic dressing from McD.

- Number of Siblings: 4 sisters and a  brother who died in a car accident
- Number of Piercings: 6, not saying where
- Number: 3
- One wish: that my kids will be happy and healthy...and outlive me

- Place you’d like to live: South Carolina
-Perfect pizza: ham & pineapple
- Pepsi/Coke: gave it up cold turkey...was pepsi

- Questionaires: pass the time while waiting for an update from the hospital

- Reason to cry: hurtful people
- Reality T.V.: biggest loser, survivor
- Roll your tongue in a circle? one of my many tongue talents
- Song: right this second...need you now by Lady A
- Shoe size: 9.5
- Salad Dressing: low fat anything
- Skipped school: more than I should have
- Smoking: I have
- Sing well?: I wish..... and so do those around me.
- Strawberries/Blueberries:strawberries
- Time for bed: 7:30 - 8:00 pm, sad I know but it is cold and dark and I get up early
- Thunderstorms: scare me
- TV: Days of our lives...

- Unpredictable: my mood
- Vegetable you hate: none really
- Vegetable you love: yams, squash
- Vacation spot: Las Vegas, I play in Blackjack tourneys
- Weakness: a man with an accent
- When you grow up: undecided
- Which one of your friends acts the most like you: I have no friends... I live deep in the forest, my friends are from grade school, but none act like me
- Wanted to be a model?:That's a stretch.

-X-Rays: Surprised I don't glow in the dark I have had so many.

-Year it is now: 2009
-Yellow: my pee when I take my vitamins everyday

- Zoo: A four hour drive to Portland, OR
- Zodiac sign:Gemini

Monday, November 9, 2009

Travel & Stress = STUCK

I've scheduled a small un-fill for tomorrow morning. I've known that I needed to consider it even prior to my travel last week but there was no time. I tried to be real careful but nothing worked in my favor.
I think the travel (8 followed by days waiting in the hospital and nights in a hotel and eating out...ugggh Every time I put anything in my mouth...STUCK!
I don't have a lot of hunger so I hope just a small adjustment will help so I can get some protein down. I've been trying to get a shake in daily to help but I would sure rather eat my protein.
My hair is falling out like crazy... not sure if it is a normal Fall shed or if it is due to the surgery....time will tell! I have super thick hair and it is hat season at least. Actually, it is freaking me out a bit but with all the other stuff going on I have just tried to ignore it the best I can.
I haven't been on the scale since I left last week and I think I will wait for the doctors office tomorrow. I am sure there will be a gain, but that is okay. It's temporary!

now an update on my brother-in-law and the stroke....It is not good.
He suffered a stroke to the frontal lobe of the brain, both sides. He has been in a coma since it happened a week ago. His body is shutting down, kidneys are failing and his pupils are fixed. They said from the location he would most likely not have memory, thinking, personality....that the damage is like a lobotomy. It is just not fair. I say that knowing everyone has some experience with a situation like this. I know it is not unique. Life sucks sometimes. But that said, he is one of the good ones. A grandfather of six who fixes them breakfast everyday (my nieces live in homes on the same property) He worked as a firefighter until retirement. He takes care of his disabled sister and is the first person people call on to help at the church. They have had too much heartache already. My niece (his daughter) was killed by a drunk driver along with her best friend at age 18, just a few days prior to leaving for college. During that time I saw first hand how having a strong faith can get you through the worst....and I saw them smile again after living through the worst possible nightmare as a parent. It just doesn't add up sometimes.
I really didn't mean to put all that out there but it is so fresh right now I just wanted to share what a great person he is and the love of my sisters life.
Life is short, hold your family close.....

Friday, November 6, 2009

Absent....with reason

Hello all,
Quick post to say sorry for being absent...but I am reading all your posts from my cell phone.
I have had to make an unexpected trip to San Francisco as my Brother in law suffered a major stroke.
It is a stressful time for my family and all prayers welcomed!

Sorry I missed your Birthday Cara...and Robyn, I"ve been thinking of you!  There is more I am missing....but you all are doing great!

Please hold my sister and brother in law in your thoughts....

XOXO, Jennifer

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Three months banded (+ a couple days)

As of October 30th I have been banded three months. It is starting to become a lifestyle as opposed to a temporary fix/way to lose weight. My vitamins have become routine, moving my body each day in some form, choosing protein first and it doesn't feel like I am fighting for every pound or that I am deprived to the point where I am a raving bitch. (need to find something else to blame that on now I guess)
I am half way to my own goal, a weight where if I think about was very healthy and I looked pretty good. It is funny though because I had zero confidence then. I was much more uncomfortable in my skin than I have been as a plus size (16-22) person the last 20 years. Maybe I have just been too busy to give it a thought as I have been doing for others and neglecting my own needs and dreams.
Just a few random thoughts on this anniversary.....

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Fill #5 and short lived restriction

Yesterday I had fill #5 and this came one week after fill #4. After fill #4 I had my first feeling of restriction and reduced hunger. It was very short lived however! :(   I seem like I can go much longer between meals than pre-banding and it takes way less volume of food to satisfy me, but I knew I was still consuming too much, too fast without any "hang ups" so I did another fill. I think I am very very close.

Being recently laid off (one week) I have been trying to be very aware of grazing or depression eating and have been doing well. I will give myself a B+  I started the couch to 5k training program. I never, ever, ever, ever thought about running. EVER!  But on one of my power walks a week or so ago I just broke out into a run, like out of nowhere, like for no bear was chasing me, no cougar in sight, I hadn't left the kettle on.... I just started running. Okay, to be honest it was for maybe, maybe 2 minutes and I was gasping for air and felt like my legs would fall off... but there was something very empowering about it and I have kept it up since, increasing my time and distance each attempt. WTF? running?

Not much of a blog today...just trying to settle in to a new groove with the whole being home thing. Think I will put a pot of soup on and watch the rain fall.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

If I can't eat....I might as well shop!

Yes, check out these bad boys! My first unemployment check....gone baby gone. I am kidding about that. I haven't received one yet, I just felt the need to spoil myself....and to be fair, they were on sale at zappos and the dirty bastards kept telling me there was only one left in my I clicked on purchase and haven't looked back.

As I mentioned in my last post where I was being a big baby....I had my 4th fill last Wednesday and have a scheduled appointment on Tuesday in case I need a wee bit more or perhaps an unfill. My insurance covers 90 days of fills and Oct 30th will be the cut off.
I now have 6.5 cc and feel restricted but I do not think too much. I will share what I was able to eat today...

One egg - 7g
well toasted english muffin (bran) dry - 5g
one vanillia yogurt - 7g

about 1.5 cups of iceburg
one can of drained tuna - (26g) mixed with an avacado and a couple of tablespoons of basalmic
got about 3/4 of it eaten

whole wheat toast...darn near burnt - 5g
lowfat chunky peanut butter 7g

coffee & water

I never felt any hunger...I just looked at the clock and thought...oh, I should eat something. What a strange feeling, one I could get used to.

Thank you to all who responded to my last post (any of my posts while I am at it) I will be fine and it sure helps to keep the spirits up when I am reminded that opportunity will again come my way.....I just need to be open to it!

Goodnight - Jen

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I hereby join the ranks of the unemployed!

yep, got laid off today, sucks for sure
also got another 1cc fill today so I can't wallow in a large pizza with a chaser of ice

I'm a half-full kind of girl so here are my mantras for the day,

it is not the worst thing that could happen
I am luckier than most in this situation (hubby is a retired 100% disabled veteran and this can support my family, I worked for the extras)
I have my health care through the VA
I can spend more time on "me"
I was just saying how I wish I could simplify I will have to

Well, all that said...I am still sad :( this company has been great and very supportive. We just hit a downturn like so many others....I will miss the peeps ALOT (((Rick))) - my office bud.

Maybe I will post a little more often now! Well, going to sign off and get a good nights sleep. Tomorrow is my last day and I have got so much crap to clean out of that on my puter, pics all while trying not to look at Rick or I will cry, I am such a baby.


Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Swimming in a sea of blue post-it-notes....

Just wanted to post a quick hello :)

I am so busy at work and my hours have changed.. it has me a bit sluggish!

Per the title: there is 11 blue post-its on my desk reminding me to complete even a few simple tasks. When I get real tired/stressed I get very forgetful... so I write myself notes.

I've been keeping up on all your blogs via my I don't comment often cause it is a pain in the butt on my phone. Keep up the great work everyone :)

OH, had a cool NSV on Sat. My horseshoer had been out a week after my surgery and I wouldn't have told him about it but he was ready to belt my horse as he thought she bit me... What did happen is she was rubbing her head on me and nudged my port site HARD! I started crying (wtg Jen, cry in front of the wayyyy handsome horseshoer) So I spilled all about it....embarrassing!

Anyway, he came again on sat. and the first thing he said was "I can see that band thing is working for you" instead of being all " the band is working cause I'm making it work" I said thanks!

and another cool NSV is that I can shop at old navy like an average sized person. Took me home a pair of long jeans, flair in a 16.. a freaking 16 Holy Hell it felt good!

Hope to post again soon... I'm trying :)
Threw in a pic from the zipline adventure...I'd be the tall one, lol

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Two month Bandiversary

Just posting a milestone....
Two Months banded
41lbs lost
increased energy.....

Life is good!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Be the change

There has been quite a few posts that I have come across lately that have asked the question...How did I get here? What was the catalyst to the weight gain, if known? These questions have prompted me to share my nexus to weight gain.

I think I may have posted before that I really never made any real attempt to lose weight prior to my band. Maybe twice in 20 years and my two successes had other factors....stress and the moving and uprooting of my family to another state....and a cancer scare which resulted in a hysterectomy, both of which resulted in weight loss, albeit short lived. (both turned out okay too) When I got serious this time I knew enough to know I would never be successful if I didn't deal with some things from my past. So, I made a deal to myself to get healthy....Mind, Body & Spirit.

Finding a therapist...not always an easy task. I do suggest that if you seek the help of a therapist that you give it at least 5 sessions to know if they are a good fit or not. Some of the questions and topics may not seem like they have any relevance....but Everything is Relative!
I went through two before I found the one person who put it all together with a nice big bow on top and handed it back to me and said "it is yours, take it and deal with it" and so we did.

Everybody has things that are unprocessed and events that shape them, shape them right into a 20W!
My nexus: alcoholic father who died when I was young, he treated my older siblings (not his children) abusively for 10 years before I was born...however I was not treated that way....I ate that guilt
My brother was killed in a car accident on a night that we were supposed to go horseback riding. I had the hoses ready, he just wanted to go after his paycheck if I remember correctly...If I had just insisted... I ate that guilt. The rape...I ate that guilt too, even if it was not in my control...any of it

I guess my point is unless you deal with the issues that have stuffed full to shut them the hell up nothing will be successful...even the band will fail.

I put everyone else first, I felt unworthy. I did not treasure the body that helped create and nourish my babies, I did not listen when it gave me subtle hints that it was sick and suffering. I am so tuned in now it freaks me out a little bit. I have put myself at the top of the list and you know what? The whole world didn't end. My kids are surviving just fine, hubby too. One advantage of the band is that it makes you focus on you and your body. You have to know when you are full. You plan your meals, you take your vitamins (mostly) get your protein...It forces you to tune in and be aware. Thank you Claire (my band)

I struggle with this one. I have no true faith...scratch that, I have faith, it is just not defined. I feel like I have to let go of the things that are out of my hands and trust that I will know the difference between those things and the things I ultimately have total control over. I believe, I am listening, I am being guided....and on occasion the dark side grabs'hold and leads me right to the chocolate.
I occasionally print out quotes or clip a passage or paragraph that moves me in some way. I guess at the moment this is a way of feeding my spirit. Recently I was listening to a CD on my way to work and found the message inspiring, thought I would share....
(side note: the music may not be for everyone...I am a fan of folk/rock...but the lyrics got to me today.. BE the change)

BE THE CHANGE you wish to see

Be the peace that sets you free
Be the love you want to feel
Be the cure that helps you heal
Be the dreams that you desire
Be the spark of your own fire
Be the future you inspire
Be the wings that take you higher

This journey is just that...a journey! There will be twists and turns and bumps and flats....and more importantly beautiful vistas, memories and shared experiences. Glad to be on it in such good company :)
I'm outta here for the weekend, headed to stay in a treehouse resort! Gonna zipline too, unless I chicken out. Have a good weekend everyone.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The weekend Pitfall

The weekends seem to be my pitfall. No routine, sleep in, drink lots of coffee, eat off schedule and make poor choices and let us not forget that I routinely forget to take my vitamins too :x
I need to figure out a way to get through them without going so far off track! Ideas people?

On the flip side I tend to get quite a bit more exercise on the weekends vs. weekdays I guess I should focus on the positives, right? I got about 99% of the things I had on my "to do" list completed this weekend and a few bonus items that I had not planned on. example: took the pool down, no small task.

I've been taking advantage of my new work hours as I get off at 4pm now and that gives me a little more daylight to get in a few hikes around my ranch. We have been climbing to our water holding tank to check the water level as we had a bit of a scare this summer...the well seems to be producing now but we are still being careful.

I have my third fill scheduled for this Wednesday and I am thinking I am getting close to a good spot with my band...I don't feel a lot of hunger, in fact sometimes eating is a chore and I have to set aside time to get it done. However, I can eat quite a bit and rarely get stuck or PB. I have avoided a few things that I though would give me trouble and am now trying them one by one. I can't do bread, not even toasted....but today I was able to eat a pita half w/o any trouble.

Well, sorry for the boring post. You all are very creative and I enjoy reading your blogs :) I will leave you with a couple pictures of the trail to my water tank that I've been hiking. and a gift left by our resident black bear after eating quite a few blackberries!
Happy Monday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

On being married....and a few other random things

Today is my 17th wedding anniversary. I know what you all are thinking…but you have kids who are 17, 18 & 20 (Hubby has a 36 y/o too) and you would be correct.We did have all three children prior to getting married. I’ve always said that and then followed up with all the reasons (valid ones) as to why it played out that way but today I am not going to explain…it just worked out that way and I am okay with it :)

We would normally celebrate by going out to dinner and having cake (I plan to make him a blackberry pie because I picked another gallon of blackberries this weekend) Seems like a waste to go out for a meal. Guess we could always share.

Had a cool NSV this weekend. I have had a goal shirt hanging in my closet since about two weeks before I was banded. It is a western shirt with a Texas Long Horn on the back and it really cute...Got my boots, got my belt...needed the shirt. When it arrived I couldn't move when I got it on my shoulders and I could not snap it closed. I pulled it out on Sunday and thought long and hard about trying it on.....and so I did. Although, still a little tight to wear out anywhere it fit way better than the first try. I snapped the whole thing and it was very exciting. I cried! Hubby tried to make me feel better by telling me that it fit this time because my boobs are gone. Anyway, it is about a month away from fitting perfectly. Did I mention it was a Large marked 12/14 inside... NOT A SINGLE X BY IT!

I don’t have much to post about. Holding steady on the weight loss. I think I am at 41 lbs lost. I am a little over 6 weeks banded. I say I "think" because my scale does not always produce the same number as the one at the doctors. I will be going in for my third fill on Wed. and will get an official weight for my 7th week banded. I have decided to use the number I get there for updating my ticker or my "realize my success" page.

That's all I got :)

PS- Cara, you will be missed! Enjoy your trip.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Second fill today - 1cc

Hello all,
Going to do a short and sweet post!

Had my second fill today. My first was done 4 weeks after surgery, 4cc's (Realize band) and the second at 5 weeks post-op, 1cc (8 days after first)
I'm on liquids for the next 24hrs so not sure if I feel much increased restriction.
Will report on that soon..

I did however lose 5 pounds of body fat (but gained 2 lbs of lean muscle) in the last 8 days! Over all a 3lb loss, I will take it!

Enjoy the long weekend! Be safe!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

the one and only body shot

So, not a great shot....but it is my only beginning picture that I have. I tend to hide from the camera (fat or not) I have very few pictures of myself. I have destroyed plenty of them over the years. I will try to have my daughter take a few soon even if I don't share them.

Tomorrow is my second fill. Today I am 5 weeks banded and I have had one 4cc fill a week ago. I experienced my first "stuck" experience yesterday morning. I was running late so I decided to make a toast w/ peanut butter and without much thought I took a bite without chewing well and it hurt for a good 30 minutes. LESSON LEARNED! chew, chew, chew.

Not much of a post I know but this has been a long week for me. I've been covering for someone out on vacation this week at work and this has added a couple hours to my work day.

Hope to post again soon. Have a safe and fun Holiday Weekend!
I guess I should add.... I am 5'11" and currently a 18W

Sunday, August 30, 2009

One month since surgery

Today marks one month since I was banded. Claire (my band) and I are making fast friends. :)

Claire is there for me, to tell me when enough is enough and I know over time I will learn to trust her more.

I have had a easy recovery and feel lucky to have this opportunity to improve my health.

No Regrets!
Thursday I got the all clear to start riding my horse again. I am a little nervous about it but I think I will try to get a few good rides in before the days (light) get any shorter.
I attended my company picnic yesterday and played volleyball, felt fine. The adults took over the kids slip & slide at one point in the afternoon but I didn't feel like I was ready to dive belly first......yet! However, there is always next year. This was also my first social setting with food involved. I'm happy to report it was fine. I had some watermelon, a bunless hot dog and a small serving of chili beans.
Everyone at my work knows about the band. I didn't plan it that way at all. It sort of snowballed out of my control. I work for a construction company. I am one of two women who work there. The boys (That is what I call our guys) have asked me how it is going and shown a great interest in the process. My boss is a huge support and although he gets a little squeamish when I go into too much detail....he has given me the time off needed and has recently nicknamed me slim. That kinda cracks me up. With none of my support people living nearby it has been nice to know that there are others cheering you on. Now that it is out in the open I can't imagine how hard it would have been to keep it a secret.
again.... NO REGRETS!
Thank you (((Cara))) hugs to you for the anniversary wish!

This is a quick Sunday evening post. Work will come early tomorrow and I am starting an hour earlier than usual this next week. ugh!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

First Fill 4cc's

Just got back from my first fill and I must say... It was not that uncomfortable at all. I was washed with betadine, then numbed up (tiny sting, nothing bad) then the fill needle...which I didn't feel at all other than some pressure.

I received 4cc's in my 10cc realize band and I am scheduled for another (smaller) fill in 10 days.

I took a picture of the process...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

First Fill Tomorrow

I am having my first fill tomorrow! This will be at four weeks post-op. I have been holding steady at 31 lbs. lost from my weight 2 weeks pre-op. I have been on solids for two weeks and am starting to feel hunger more and more each day :/ Hoping the fill will help a little bit with that but I realize it is early.
I also hope to get baseline tests ordered tomorrow so I can see my progress with lowering my LDL over the next few months.
This past weekend was a struggle, the first real struggle since being banded. I got 100% off schedule, slept most of Saturday, didn't drink enough water and ate randomly! Ugghh! To top it all off I woke up Sunday with a raging UTI so, off to the ER...and then the hunt for liquid medicine!
Doing much better today!
I am heading off to school clothes shop with my son...I will post after my fill tomorrow

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Three weeks post-op

Today marks three weeks post-op and I believe I have 100% of my energy back (and perhaps a wee bit more) The huge turn around point was that I was allowed to resume real food (with the exception of steak) at two weeks. I was surprised about this as all my notes and classes went over the phases of eating and I went to the check up just begging for permission to eat an egg and is all I wanted during my liquids phase. I was not looking forward to the mushies because there were not very many options that sounded good at all. My Dr. said that the Realize band is not primed at all when it is implanted so after the first couple weeks you can start trying solids, keeping portions small of course. On my way back to work I picked up a small KFC mashed potatoes w/ gravy and it sucked! Things tasted different, sweeter, more salty the first couple days. I was glad to be off the room temperature shakes... I am done with them, the end. period. except before and after fills. My date for a first fill is next Thursday! I am looking forward to getting started with the restriction.
so far some of the things I have tried are:
white fish - talliapa 4-5oz
Ahi 4oz
Tuna salad w/ added black & kidney beans 1/2 cup, no bread
salmon 4 oz
avocado 1/2
salad 1 c
Turkey tacos that I used lettuce to wrap up 3/4 c meat
chicken breast - maybe half of a side breast
eggs w/ cottage cheese 2 eggs max
pinto beans, 1 c
oatmeal, 1/2 c raw - about 1 c cooked sometimes with a little honey or a snack pack of raw almonds and once w/ a tablespoon of peanut butter.
peaches - 3-4 slices canned
tried Greek style....YUCK
and a chicken ranch salad from taco bell which I have been sorry about for the last 4 hours. Claire (my band) is not a taco bell fan!
I have created somewhat of a system that seems to work for now (okay, it has only been a week...) I keep a little notebook that I write everything I consume in a day in + vitamins and water. keeps me accountable so far :) I did not write the one small bag, not king sized bag, of m&m's that I ate over a three day spread. oversight really!
I have held steady at a 21lbs loss pre-op and then 10-12 lb loss post-op (mostly the first 4 days) Not gaining and I have no restriction so it is all will power for now. Will power and no carbs prolly!

The thing I miss so far in this journey....caffeine! I've been told I can try it now, get my coffee buzz on but to be warned it could stimulate hunger so I have been avoiding (mostly) I do love me a Dutch Bros. milky way...the FF/SF version I dunno, not quite the same.

Thank you again for all the strength and education I gained from reading all your blogs!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

How I came to blog...

I just thought I would take a second to explain how I was introduced to the whole blogging process. (and to give Kudos to M.W.)

I believe it was about 2003 and I had been in Oregon just a little over a year. We had moved my three teenagers :/ and left the Bay Area, CA where we had lived forever....I left my family, friends and everything familiar behind to get my kids to a safer place...clean air...wide open space.

I felt very disconnected and lonely. I was not working, hubby is retired so we were both home full time. My kids acted up a bit as a result of the was just a stressful time of change (not unlike now)

Well, it was hard to find little things to hold onto to that made me happy...But I started watching a tv program that was airing on WE tv (Woman's network) It was called McLeod's Daughters and was an Australian drama. I fell in love....I found something in that show (please...I know it is hard to understand and it sounds crazy.....but it sort of saved me and I was able to escape for an hour a week)
The show was filmed on location in South Australia and in a nutshell was about a few strong women who run a farm...and yes, there were a few hunky men in the mix as well. I knew the moment I watched that I MUST GO THERE! I have this desire so strong that I can't even put it into words...I WILL GO THERE...I want to smell the air and touch the dirt and connect with the land in SA more than I have ever wanted anything....perhaps as much as wanting to be healthy!
So, fast forward three seasons of McLeod's daughters...and to my disbelief one of the main actors is killed on the program (can we say major funk!) Not only that....we soon learn that the WE network will no longer be airing the series here in the US!
This news created quite a stir on the WE message boards....there was begging and pleading by other crazy people like me :) to continue the the end they didn't BUT one of those people who were on the boards created a blog about McLeod's Daughters and our loss of not only the show but the main actress (Lisa Chappell) who played Claire McLeod. The site was called even after claire. (no longer exists)
There were so many great people who visited that site for one common reason (not unlike WLS) but in the end we all supported each other on many different issues...It was a feeling of community that I was missing.
The website owner was (still is) a most brilliant blogger and one of the most artistic people I know. She inspired me to start my own site to communicate with friends and family and to write about the move to Oregon. I am sort of hit and miss on the site now as I have made new friends, work now and the kids have eased up some with the drama. I have not decided if I will abandon it completely for my new journey or not ....
if you find yourself with a moment feel free to check it out at

I am so happy to have known in advance of this WLS that I would be able to find an online community that would be helpful, supportive and so very inspiring. You all do not disappoint!
I hope I can do the same in the future as I progress in this journey!

PS - I think I just named my band - Claire

we should make a facebook name generator for lapbands lol -

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Please welcome a new bandsister!

Hello all my peeps,
If you find yourself with a minute or two could you please send a note to a new blogger You guys are all the best and I would love for her to find the same support as I have :)


Monday, August 3, 2009

My surgery story....the good, the bad and the ugly!

I can't believe I have not posted this yet!

I am a week post-op and I am feeling great! I returned to work five days post-op (have a desk job...not too stressful) I think the hardest part of the whole thing was getting comfortable in my own bed. I have had to make a nest of pillows and rolled up blankets to get to sleep with any comfort.

Morning of the surgery was not too smooth. Hubby and I arrived and I was taken back and they had quite a time finding a vein for my IV. After several attempts they gave up and asked them to do so in the OR.

I was taken to the OR and was wide awake with no calming drugs on board yet. My past operations I only remember a glimpse of the OR....seems like 5 seconds after I arrived I was put out. This time however I was very alert as they were trying to get the IV going...I felt the fear building and building and started crying...this is my stress response (well that and eating, lol) I was looking around the room...I was familiar some as I have some medical training (years ago, EMT, ER Tech, OR Tech and pre-nursing) anyway, I didn't hear any music I jokingly requested some Jimmy Buffett! Not two minutes later it was playing, I relaxed some and the IV site ended up being in my neck which freaked me out a bit but once it was in I was breathing the gas and gave a thumbs I went!

I woke up in recovery very alert, I felt the breathing tube coming out (didn't hurt) just felt strange. I was taken to my room where I slept some, My mom, hubby and daughter were there. I have to say I had very little pain. I was started on water 15ml every15 min then it increased to 30ml then I had to use the restroom..getting up was a bit tender but the bed there helps and they put a hand hook overhead to help move the next morning I had been walking about, using the restroom on my own and I graduated to jello (room temp. yuck) broth and more water.

I was visited by the surgeon the next morning and he shared with me that my heart had stopped for 5 seconds when the retractor touched the Vagus nerve???on the liver. He said it was common for heart rates to drop, but I guess to stop...not so much! Good news is it started up again all on its own and I guess all was okay from there.

I went home on Friday, the next morning, ride home was not to uncomfortable. I slept some, walked some, sipped water and protein drinks throughout the next couple days... I then added some creamed soups with protein powder once a day....and all has been great.

I can say that I feel very very tired! Today was the worst for that...but I am sure it is from the lack of calories as I figure at most I am getting 400 a day + 50-60 oz of water.

I have another week at this stage of full liquid's....I am so looking forward to an egg!

Stats so far: Pre-op two week liquids phase I lost 21.4 lbs and as of today it is 26lbs lost!

Thank you to all who have been through it and have blogged about it. It made it so much easier with the extra knowledge going in :) and those who have not done so yet, I really had an easy go of it (pain wise) the mental part might take a while! You will do just fine!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

And then my ring flew across the room....

I’ll take it! This morning, while at work and two weeks into my liquid pre-op diet… I went to move a paper off my desk and my ring flung off my finger! It was pretty cool, lol

Surgery is tomorrow morning and I’m not really that nervous about it…too much other drama to think about it much. My well may be going dry at the ranch and my husband needs to leave the day after my surgery to move my mother-in-law…I am thankful for the distractions

I will post an update as soon as I can…

Monday, July 27, 2009

Jen is a Lurker!

I’ve been lurking through the blogs that I am following for a month or so now. I can’t tell you how helpful the personal stories have been. Thank you so much peeps…. I am glad to be on this journey with you all!

Will I be happy in the end?

One of the things we ("we" meaning patients of the facility where I am having my surgery) have to complete is a list of goals, three short term and three long term goals. I thought this would be so easy....but I was so wrong. It is easy to focus on number goals 10lbs a month, 50 in a year... just examples but that wasn't the objective of the drill. I believe it was more to identify how you would feel in the moment of your accomplishment. Accomplishments, my friends, is uncharted territory and quite hard to write as a goal.

It took me a few minutes to wrap my head around what I was being asked to put down in black & white. Perhaps I don’t have it correct, but what I did come away with is that I don’t have a clue how I will feel in the moment…um, because I have never been there before. I hope I will be happy, excited, strong, encouraged. I hope, but what if I am not? What if I fail? What if I miss my go-to friend so much that I am depressed and unimpressed when I reach a goal?

I am a glass-half-full person for the most part but the fat girl in me does cast a shadow every now and again. I am wondering if anyone else had a hard time actually believing that this was going to happen and could see them happy and whole on the other end. I guess I may have never given this whole weight loss attempt a full go out of fear that it would not make me happy in the end. I know that sounds dumb but really skinny does not = happy. I wonder to myself…Will my marriage survive? (He is opposed to the surgery) Will my girls’ night out with my daughter be impacted because food is not the focus? Will I still be the “great cook” at the Holiday’s and such….Just some of the questions rolling around in my head with just three days to go until surgery!

Friday, July 24, 2009

A week to go!

I am one week out from my banding date and have just begun my second week of liquids. The liquid part I was really not looking forward to but it has not been so bad. Many doctors have various plans for the pre-op diet. Where I am having my procedure they require one week of a liquid diet and clear liquids only the day prior to surgery. I was told by my Doctor that starting the liquid portion an extra week early helps to jump start the loss and that made sense to me so I did so! I am allowed protein shakes, lowfat yogurt, creamed soups w/protein powder added and 64+ oz of water/ crystal light per day. After one week I had a 7lb loss! Wondering now what my surgery day weight will be?

Friday, July 17, 2009

No going back now....

So, here goes!

In black and white for the whole entire Internet to see.... My name is Jen and I am two weeks away from Lap Band surgery (to be more correct... the Realize band) I am excited, afraid and anxious.