Friday, September 26, 2008

200 pounds on Christmas

I must say I was a bit disappointed that I only lost 1.5 pounds on the scale this morning. When I told Vince he reminded me that is a half a can of Crisco and that made me laugh. I have said all along that I want to weigh 200 pounds on Christmas morning. I can do it. That is exactly twelve weeks away. I need to remember what they said was realistic and stick to the program. I went with Allison to buy some clothes tonight as I purchased a pair of size 18 slacks. Whoopee! Those will have to get me by for the fall as I refuse to buy clothes that will be too big next season. I just have to shop right. It was a great day. We went out on Lake Waconia in the Alstrin's new boat and I actually was able to climb in and out of the boat without any trouble.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I've Done My Best

Tomorrow morning I will meet Thomas with the scale. It will be 8 days since my last weigh in. I have done my best to prepare for it. I have exercised twice every day and I have eaten what I am supposed to and the right amounts. I really don't know what to expect. Will it be stuck again or will it move (hopefully down)? I must admit it is easier to bike thirty minutes if I can watch the Twins play!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Now I Know

Went to lunch with Sara today while we were doing a data retreat. I gave the group an hour to eat and I figured we would have plenty of time. We went to the HyVee grocery that has a broad selection of meal items with a cafe where you can relax and enjoy lunch. I looked at all the choices and decided to try eating broccoli chicken from the Chinese cusine. It looked so good and I thought it would be good for me. They served it with noodles or rice and I selected the noodles as we are not supposed to eat rice. I should have stopped and ordered just one thing but no, I selected the two entree meal. The other choice was sesame chicken. I figured the chicken picked out of the breading would be OK. What a fool I am. I did ask for a "to go" container thinking I could eat some at dinner tonight. I tried to eat slowly and I tried to chew! I now know what happens when you eat too fast, too much, and . . . I quickly left the table knowing that I had to do something. What a panicky feeling. I am not certain what it is called but if it won't go down, it has to come up.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Self Control

Today was a test. It is my first day on the road since my surgery. I started the day by biking for 20 minutes. I must admit I am getting addicted to waking up, working out and feeling energized when I am done. I ate breakfast before driving to Sioux Falls to check in with the doctor who did my rotator cuff surgery six months ago. To quote him, "he cut me loose". Then after driving an hour I visited a school and then it was time for lunch. I ate yogurt and applesauce while I drove to another school. The real test came tonight after I checked into the hotel. I searched main drag for a restaurant and then decided to go to Kentucky Fried Chicken. I prayed for self control before I entered the restaurant at 5:30. I must admit I was getting hungry and I knew I needed to practice self control while ordering. Of course I selected mashed potatoes, green beans, and then I decided to order three chicken strips. The meal came with a bisquit and I wished Dillon had been with me because he loves those. I picked the breading off the chicken. That helped take me longer to eat. I ate slowly and really tried to concentrate on when I started to feel full. I ate about 3 ounces of chicken. I felt so good about being able to throw away food and leave satisfied. I can do this. I came back to the hotel and rode the bike in the fitness center for 30 minutes. So it was a great day overall. I absolutely love Dancing With the Stars and the season starts tonight. Too bad watching the program does not burn the calories the dancers are burning. Who knows I may be able to dance a wedding in the future!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

24 Consecutive Days

The days just keep adding up and the miles at the bottom of my blog page do too. It is beginning to seem right to exercise first thing in the morning and then again late afternoon. Diane called me Friday night on her drive home from Mayo Clinic where she had workshops. She commented on hearing a doctor discuss a three year study about diet and exercise that Mayo is just completing. She shared that when you exercise for 20 minutes, the body continues to burn fat for two hours. If you exercise an hour, the body continues to burn fat for two hours. So, the advice is exercise two or three times a day and you will increase your fat burning time. Makes sense! I was going to go to the grocery store and stack up eight cans of Crisco and take a picture but my camera battery is depleted. I am going to do that but hopefully on Friday when Thomas weighs me, it will be nine cans of Crisco instead.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Weighing In With Thomas

I know you probably think the weight progress column is crazy. Thomas and I had agreed that we would weigh every Friday but tomorrow I have to leave town at 6:00 am to drive to a school 200 miles away. So Thomas weighed me this morning. Remember my goal was four pounds, but after only six days, I lost 3.5 pounds. Another 14 sticks of butter. By the way, I stopped in the baking isle today at the grocery store and examined a can of Crisco. Each can weighs 3 pounds. Now that conjures up another image for me. I have lost almost 8 cans of Crisco. The nifty part is that I can tell!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Three Weeks Past Surgery

I had my three week follow-up with Dr. Glatt, my surgeon today. It was great to see Nurse Tammy who had been so very helpful while I was trying to get things set up. She is most competent and was very enthusiastic about my progress. Then CNP Tracy came in to talk. It is so obvious that she loves her work. She was pleased with my progress as well. 226 pounds on their scale which is 17 pounds from the August 6. I know their scale is different from Thomas' scale and so I am more interested in the results on Friday when it comes to attention to scale. They asked questions about swallowing (no problem), reflux (no problem) and then she asked about how long after meals did I start to get hungry. I really haven't been hungry is I eat at 7:30 am, 11:30 am, and then by 5:30 pm. Last night my schedule was packed and I didn't get to eat until about 6:45 and I did want something to eat. I also noticed that when I had finished about 2/3 of what I prepared that I was full and I didn't venture the next bite. Tammy helped me find the port. It is above the center incision. I will go back in four weeks and probably will have a fill. It depends on my eating habits and how long I can go between meals. I really hope I have dropped 8 pounds when I go back. Oh, and I finally asked what my ultimate goal is. They would like me to have a BMI of 25. That would mean I should weigh 133 pounds. A total of 110 pounds from the get go. Tracy said that most patients lose between 50 and 70 percent of their excess weight with lapband surgery. 70% of 110 pounds is 77 pounds. 243 pounds minus 77 pounds is 166. That is just not good enough. Does anyone sense "compulsivity" in the air? I am in this for the long haul. I know I can lose 100 pounds I just have to set small goals and keep the faith. I really cannot express how thankful I am for the care, compassion, and competence of the staff working with Dr. Glatt and Sanford Hospital.

Monday, September 15, 2008

The Easy Way Out

Something has been on my mind and I guess I should write about it. I wonder when I tell people that I have been banded if they think that might be an easy way out. This came to my mind when I recently asked someone about their significant weight loss and the person replied, "just good diet and exercise". Now don't get me wrong, I believe that is a good answer but it didn't work for me.
Should I feel like a failure because "good diet and exercise" didn't work for me? Did I honestly engage in good diet and exercise? Vince and I have had long conversations about this topic because quite frankly, this surgery was not appealing to me when Diane first brought it up. I really questioned why I couldn't conquer this weight issue like the majority of the population can. There are factors that are beyond my control: genes, early life hysterectomy, Hashimoto's Disease. There are also factors I could control like regular exercise, elimination of caffeine, and making good food choices. So why couldn't I conquer this?
Then today, at the Rec, I met some close friends and one of them shared that they knew two ladies who had been banded but didn't exercise and they couldn't figure out what wasn't working for them. Also, I think about what Georgia told me this summer when we met regarding nutrition. Georgia continued to say "the band is a tool you can use to be successful". In my head I have to remember that the way out of this, for me, is not going to be easy. No matter what! Exercising twice a day and making wise food choices from here on out will take every bit of will power I have. Those who know me and love me will know what the struggle means and how hard I will work to succeed.
By the way, the insurance statement for the hospital bill came today. This surgery cost $26,000!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Michael Phelps, I'm Not

It is 2:22 pm on a Sunday and I have already exercised twice today. I believe this is the 17th consecutive day that I have exercised twice in a day. I got up before church and biked. I decided to take a break from the treadmill this afternoon and instead I went to the Rec and swam. It takes 88 lengths of the pool to swim a mile, so I decided to tackle 1/2 a mile today. I did it in less than 45 minutes. It felt so good to just stretch out and kick and move my arms. I didn't have any pain in my shoulder that had rotator cuff repair just six months ago. I also ate some canned chicken today for lunch. Chew, chew, chew and it tasted so good. I didn't have any trouble with it. 1/2 cup of mashed potatoes and 1/3 cup chicken and it seemed just right. I am anxious to see Dr. Glatt on Wednesday and see what he thinks of my progress. I know what I think. I feel great.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Second Friday

I reported to the Rec at 7:00 am for my weigh in. I must say we were a bit informed because yesterday I found the scale (wasn't looking) and stepped on. When I went to exercise with Thomas he said OK get on this one. So we had a bit of a sneak peak. Well, our goal was 4-6 pounds. I weighed 223.5 this morning. Yup, your math is correct, 16 more sticks of butter. I am so happy. It is hard to believe that it just keeps going down.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Two weeks into this

It hardly seems possible that two weeks have passed since my surgery. I rode to work yesterday with two of my colleagues and was wasted by the time the afternoon rolled around. I am still trying to get enough protein grams each day. I think that bears on how much energy I have. I have exercised twice a day now for thirteen days. I am trying to do one time before work in the morning and then I do one more time at night. It has to be a priority. I must say it is good to be ingesting "mushy" foods. I fixed tofu for the first time yesterday. Vince has eaten it before, just plain and cold, etc. I seasoned it and roasted it in a frying pan with EVO and it was great. Loaded with protein and very tastey. Can't believe it! I found a tub of shorts that are all too big in the closet so I will be adding those to the garage sale on Friday. Life is good. I plan to buy one pair of dress slacks in Minneapolis when I visit Allison in two weeks. That will have to do for fall. I have plenty of sweaters and those can be a little baggy for awhile. I have always bought clothes on clearance with the anticipation they will fit next season. Now I don't know what size will fit next season. A great dilemma!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

60 Sticks of Butter!

I believe in football they call them "two a days". Well I have exercised two times a day for ten days. How do I feel? I have to say that when I am done it feels great to have spent the time working up a sweat. I think it might be even better when I am taking in some solid foods. I find I do get tired on this liquid diet.
Dillon, my ten year old grandson, called this morning to give me the details about church and he also announced that he had gotten up early and read my entire blog. I hope he knows that he is one of the most important reasons I want this to work. He is a remarkable young man and I know he is going to grow into a remarkable adult. I am so blessed to have such a remarkable family and so many friends.
It was so much cooler today and I think fall is fast approaching. I do get a renewed energy this time of year. I love the fall sky, the brisk air, and dressing in a cozy sweatshirt and jeans.
Dillon and I were joking in the car this afternoon that I had lost a Dayton. My youngest grandson, two months old, weighed 15 pounds at his two month checkup. I have lost 15 pounds, so we laughed that I had lost a Dayton. I like to think about it as 60 sticks of butter. That really conjures up a picture for me.

Friday, September 5, 2008

First Friday

Yeeeehaaa! I went to exercise with Thomas and we had agreed that this would be the time I would weigh in. He had the scale plugged in and was ready for me. I weighed 228 and the percentage of body fat number had dropped to 53%. Now we know that isn't altogether accurate yet as Thomas says it changes with body trauma and the surgery would cause the numbers to be inflated. He was so happy. Then we set a goal for the week. Exercise twice daily for 27.5 minutes and hopefully the scale will drop 4 more. I sat in a meeting this morning and with my feet together on the floor, my knees touched together. Such silly things make one happy. This is day 8 of consecutive exercising.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Start of Week Two

Exercised two times for the seventh day in a row. Thank goodness Vince hid the scale. I really felt hungry tonight for the first time in a long time. I didn't get enough protein again today. I will make a strong effort to do that tomorrow. I am noticing that my rings are becoming very slippy slidey on my fingers. All the water I am drinking and no fluid retention - could it be that diet coke is gone from the body.
I talked to my sister-in-law and brother again today and I am so thankful they are both going to quit smoking and chewing, respectively. I recognize how difficult that is going to be. I think my addiction has been with food. My sister-in-law is starting to exercise now to become healthier and when the day comes (September 17 according to the Farmer's Almanac) they will both begin to quit. It helps to know that I am not alone in the challenge to change bad habits. Another reason I want to live a long and healthy life - to share time with them.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Closure of Week One

Seven days since surgery, exercised six of the seven! I am thinking about how I can continue to be successful and not lose this battle. I tell district administrators if they fail to plan, they plan to fail. I can't fail so I guess I better spend time planning. Part of this relates to finding time to exercise or I guess a better way of putting it is making time for exercise a priority. I talked to Thomas today about meeting him at the Rec every morning at 7am. That way I could exercise for 40 minutes and come home and be in my office or where ever by 9am. Most mornings that will work. Then I will bike, walk, or swim after work. I know I have to exercise twice a day and I plan to try to exercise seven days a week for now.
I slipped on the scale this morning and it read 229. Now how can losing a pound be defeating. I didn't gain a pound. I have lost 14 pounds in three weeks. But I had to spend breakfast doing self talk about how it is going to be a slow process and I can't let the scale defeat me. In the end, I asked Vince to hide the scale. Thomas agreed that weighing with him each Friday was a better alternative. That way we can celebrate together.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I am just amazed at how I feel. No knee pain! I walked with Thomas today and he kept me at the right gauge so that when I had walked 25 minutes I had completed a mile. I told him I would exercise again today and I did. I biked 3.8 miles in 20 minutes. I had some soreness today in one of the incision areas, the one where they entered the band. It is really bruised so I suppose it makes sense it is sore. Georgia and I played phone tag but she finally nailed my questions. I do need to take in 45 grams of protein a day. More milk and more yogurt!! Exercised 5th day in a row!

Monday, September 1, 2008


Labor Day. I wonder how much I will weigh next Labor Day? I feel better each day. The glue is beginning to come off my incisions. I biked twice today and increased my time to 20 minutes each time instead of 15. I will stay at that for awhile and then increase minutes. The exercise person at the hospital who visited me on the second day stressed that to be really successful, one should exercise 5 - 7 days a week. She also implied that exercising more than once a day is helpful. Boy will I have to modify my priorities to get those times in. I know I can bike for an hour while I watch Greys Anatomy each week. I also plan to put some swimming in the mix with Thomas. I will see him five days a week and then maybe swim on Saturday at the Rec. So with all this thought about exercise I decided to keep track of how many consecutive days I could exercise. My goal is 60 days. That doesn't mean I will stop there, I just know I have to set smaller goals to succeed. The other thing I notice is that my knees aren't aching so much. I climbed the steps today by putting one foot in front of the other instead of stepping up with my good knee and raising my bad knee. I made Zuchini/Tomato soup tonight for supper. I should post the recipe on lapbandtalk it was so good. We had one last yellow zuchini in our garden and a bit of the homemade tomato juice the Kenkels had given me. Added some seasoning and milk and wow, I am a gourmet bandster. I am getting so much encouragement from family and friends and just want you to know how powerful that is.