Thursday, December 27, 2012

Post Holiday Jumble (and a "Wednesday" Weigh In)

Today's weigh in is a day late because I was nowhere near a scale yesterday. Which is probably a good thing.

Last Week: 255.0
This Week: 254.2
Loss: 0.8 lb

I am actually AMAZED at the loss. I can (and have) eaten pretty much anything I want, so I am totally going to take that 0.8 lbs and run with it. That's 9.6 pounds in 9 weeks, which doesn't sound like a lot, but averages out to a little more than a pound per week. And, hell, it's a loss! Anything is better than what I have been doing up until this point, which is gaining weight every single year. Even if it's slow, and even if it jumps around and I (temporarily) gain some back, it averages out to a loss. In the end that's all that matters to me.

And dear Jeebus, I need a fill. I had one scheduled for 12/22, but we couldn't part with the money so close to Christmas. It's rescheduled for 01/05, so only a week and a half away.

Other things: Christmas was good. We've technically had 5 Christmases so far, with one more to come on Saturday. Plus, Logan is getting birthday gifts mixed in with the Christmas ones, so the kid is making out like a bandit. He's having a ton of fun this year being Santa's helper and handing out gifts to each person, then once he delivers the gift, he starts opening it for them. Handler's fee, I suppose.

This is my Bonus Mom's Christmas tree. It is gorgeous every single year, and it takes her an entire weekend to do. Every single ornament is perfectly placed, and she even "hides" ornaments inside the tree toward the center to add dimension and a little surprise while you're looking. There are so many ornaments - every year I see new ones I didn't know she had.


Oh, and see that highly fragile, ceramic nativity on the floor? Thanks to my two year old, one of the shepherds is now decapitated (the piece second from the left, behind the laying ox). Logan accidentally knocked the shepherd over and he hit the ox right between the horns, and seriously, it was like a slow motion nativity guillotine...the shepherd's head just made a clean break and rolled across the floor. There was a gasp through the room and then a huge roar of laughter, and poor Bubbers had no idea what had happened! Julie (my bonus mom) says the break was clean and that she can glue it back on, and that the 25 year old nativity has had many repairs throughout the years, so I guess it's no harm no foul, unless you're an unlucky shepherd whose ox turns on you.

The Hubs' big Christmas gift this year was tickets to see Jeff Dunham. I bought the tickets back in October and have been itching to tell him since. It was priceless to see him take them out of the bottom of his stocking on Christmas morning and realize that we were going to see him the next day! It worked out really well that Jeff was doing a show close to us, and so close to Christmas, so I didn't have to give him a Christmas present he couldn't use until June or something.

Of course, we got a "blizzard" yesterday, too. So there was a whole anxiety thing about whether or not they were going to cancel the show, and if they didn't, whether the roads would be good enough for us to get there. In the end, we decided that we didn't want to waste our 7th row tickets and would brave the roads. We left 3 hours early for a trip that would normally take 40 minutes. The roads were fine, and we ended up where we needed to be early enough to enjoy a yummy steak dinner at Longhorn.

7th row, baby!
Breakin' the law and sneaking a pic.
The show was great. The Hubs told me later that he hasn't laughed that hard in a long time and that it was totally worth the expense. One thousand Awesome Wife Points for me! Huzzah!

We had such a good time and laughed so hard, and then when we were walking back to our car last night, I saw that I had two missed calls from The Hubs' mom. The mood instantly changed and we both knew it wasn't good that his mom had called twice after 10 pm. Jack's Great Grandma (Bubbers' Great, Great Grandma) had recently been sent home from the hospital after doctors told her there wasn't anything else they could do to treat her Stage 4 cancer. We knew she didn't have long, and on Christmas Eve, the doctors said she had about 48 hours to live. I guess they knew what they were talking about, because she passed sometime in the evening yesterday.

We're all very sad since we had just seen her this summer at her 90th birthday party looking sharp as ever. She was doing well at that point and responding to therapy. And we were able to get one more Five Generations picture with her then:

Five Generations: Logan, The Hubs, Grandma, Great Grandpa, and Great Great Grandma
Rest in peace, Grandma Mays. We love you.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In

Last Week: 256.6 lb
This Week: 255.0 lb
Total Loss: 1.6 lb

Now that's more like it!

You should have seen the comedy in my bathroom this morning as I was weighing, though. Normally, I'm a "one and done" weigher. Whatever I see on the scale the first time is what I take. But this morning, when I stepped up, the first reading was 253.8. Now, while that's a totally awesome number and I would TOTALLY take it, I just had a feeling that it wasn't right, so I hopped back on. This is how that process went:

Step on. 255.0. Hmmm, I think I preferred the first one. Step off. Step on. 255.0, Okay, at least we got a double confirmation, guess we'll go with that. Let's brush our teeth and get on with the day. Step off. Teeth and hair brushed, and the scale is RIGHT THERE. Let's just check one more time. Step on. 253.0. WHAT THE CRAP?! Step off. Ok, last time, and then we're hopping off this crazy roller coaster, dude. Step on. 253.0. *facepalm*

Since I know that I didn't do two pounds worth of teeth and hair brushing exercise, I decided just to go with the 255. And this morning when I got to work, I hopped on the doctor scale in our fitness center and weighed 256 with light clothes on, so I'm thinking the 255 was the closest. Whatevs, a loss is a loss is a loss, and I'll so take it. I am accutely aware of my desperate need for a fill, and that is scheduled for bright and early Saturday morning. Hopefully we'll really start seeing those numbers move after that.

In other news:

We finally received our Thomas Kinkade last night. To refresh your memory, we bought it along with another painting back during our anniversary trip to Gatlinburg in October, but it stayed in Tennessee so that we could have it professionally highlighted at the gallery. Our gallery rep sent us pictures of our painting getting highlighted at the event, which I think is really kind of cool to have photo proof and to see it happening.



She did a great job with the highlighting, and it was fun for The Hubs and I to look over the painting last night and try to spot all the areas she did. It really adds some dimension to the canvas, not to mention value, too.

The only bummer is that our frame has 3 pretty noticeable dings on the left side. I have to email our rep the pictures today and see what she says. It's a bummer to have your pretty (and expensive) painting finally home, but not be able to hang it and enjoy! Blargh.

Also in other news: I hate dish cloths with a passion. I have seven more to make, and no time to make them. I have resorted to eating lunch at my desk and then using my full lunch hour to crochet like a madwoman in the break area. Which happens to be directly across from the glass doors to our fitness center, so I'm pretty sure people think I'm some crazy crocheting stalker lady with a fitness fetish. Fun times.

In true Grinchy spirit, I abandoned ship on Christmas cards this year, too. I just had to give SOMETHING up, and cards got the ax. I haven't wrapped a single thing. The Hubs hasn't shopped for me, and can't until we get paid on Friday. Nothing like waiting until the last minute. I have to make birthday cupcakes for Sunday (Logan turns the big TWO!), and a pumpkin pie with whipped cream for Tuesday. I have to pack and ship Grandparents gifts, like, yesterday. And we haven't even started the thirty-something ornaments that we're making as part of our gifts this year. Oh, and did I mention that Bubbers got the flu last week and has been miserably and pitifully sick since Thursday? And my MIL, who is our daycare provider, got the flu too, and has not been able to watch the kiddo, so The Hubs has had to take two days off work without pay this week?

I don't know why people keep complaining that the holidays are so stressful.  Pffft.

But we will survive. We will put on happy faces. We will be those parents who are up until 4 am on Christmas Eve putting together the comically large train table for the kiddo. And we will enjoy every. single. minute. of it. Because I have the luxury and gift of being able to watch my child wake up on Christmas morning. And that is a gift that I am so much more aware of and thankful for this year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

There are no words.


Charlotte Bacon, 6
Daniel Barden, 7
Rachel Davino, 29
Olivia Engel, 6
Josephine Gay, 7
Ana Marquez-Greene, 6
Dylan Hockley, 6
Dawn Hochsprung, 47
Madeline Hsu, 6
Catherine Hubbard, 6
Chase Kowalski, 7
Jesse Lewis, 6
James Mattioli, 6
Grace McDonnell, 7
Anne Marie Murphy, 52
Emilie Parker, 6
Jack Pinto, 6
Noah Pozner, 6
Caroline Previdi, 6
Jessica Rekos, 6
Avielle Richman, 6
Lauren Rousseau, 30
Mary Sherlach, 56
Victoria Soto, 27
Benjamin Wheeler, 6
Allison Wyatt, 6

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Roller Coaster

Last week: 256.4
This week: 256.6
Gain: 0.2


Blah. I know it's only a small gain, but it's totally disheartening after getting a fill. For the first couple days, I could feel some restriction. I guess it's restriction, anyway - I started feeling that pressure in my chest after eating a bit. But now, it's completely gone. Blah. Blah, blah, blah.

The Hubs and I agreed that since I have to pay for my fills, I can't go back for another one until I get paid again (which is every two weeks), so I'm going to call and try to get a fill appointment for next Saturday. Let's get this baby jacked up!

On another note, and an NSV at that, I've had two people notice and comment on my weight loss this past week. Both were co-workers who don't see me that often, so I guess my almost 30 pounds lost is more noticeable to them. I was super happy to FINALLY have someone notice something.

I've been concerned about going to all the family Christmases in the next couple of weeks. They all know that I've had the band and I'm worried that they're all expecting me to show up looking like a supermodel or something. The one side of the family hasn't seen me in several months, so maybe they will notice something, but the other side sees me pretty frequently and the loss has been so slow...

Oh well. It's my journey and I'm holding steady in the hope that in a couple more months (and with the right fills) they won't have any choice but to notice! Right? Right.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Goal Oriented and other things.

Hello all!

This past weekend was fun - we had our first Christmas party of the season on Saturday. Fun (and dish cloths) was/were had by all. Sunday was our second Christmas party, wherein Logan met Santa for the first time since he could actually acknowledge who he is. He was enthralled by the man in the big red suit! Lots of fun.

I can definitely tell a difference since having my fill on Friday. I don't think that I'm where I need to be, but things are moving in the right direction. I am learning first-hand about how fickle Tim Gunn is, though. At times, I feel full on practically nothing, and at other times, I could (theoretically, of course, because there's no way that this actually happened, *ahem*) eat two whole hot dogs with buns and a couple cookies, and still feel like going back for more. It's a balancing act, and it will take a while to get everything there, I know.

I was thinking earlier today about my goals with this whole weight loss thingy. I really didn't have a set weight goal in mind when I started out. That's mostly because I have steadily gained weight every year of my existence, and it feels impossible for me to say, "Oh, yeah, I'll look and feel great at XXX number." How the heck do I know? I've never been one of those people who dieted and lost a huge amount and was really happy there, but then gained it all back. My yo-yo doesn't yo, yo. So it was really difficult for me to just pick a number out of thin air as a real goal. I mean, I have all these little obvious goals in my head, like, to get to Onederland, and such, but a something-to-strive-to number was rough.

I have since ended up sitting on 175 as a strive-to goal. It's a nice, pretty number, and it's well under 200. We'll see how it feels when we get there, I guess.

I also have a bunch of teeny tiny little mini goals coming up soon (hopefully). The first one I'll hit is at 253.8, which will be 10 pounds down from the start of my pre-op diet. Then 251.0 will be 30 pounds down for the year. Then 249 will be a victory that I can't wait to write a post about, but am keeping it a secret for now. And finally, 246.3 will be the start of all brand new territory for me, as earlier in my weight loss blogging journey, I hit 246.4, and that's as low as she goes went.

I think focusing on these little mini goals that are soclose will hopefully help me stay motivated and feel less bogged down by the impossible-ness that 81.4 pounds to "goal" sounds like. Bit by bit, we'll get there.

What about you? Any mini goals coming up? Or do you stay laser focused on the "big one"?

Friday, December 7, 2012

First Fill - Full of Surprises

Today was the day! I finally got me some fill. (Thank you Jeebus).

The whole experience was full of lots of (mostly pleasant) little surprises...

{1} My nurse read through my surgery report and found where it said my hiatal hernia was larger than 4 centimeters in diameter. Apparently in hiatal hernia world, that's "a biggie", as my nurse put it. I am so glad it's gone! I haven't had one acid reflux-y episode or taken a single Tums since surgery day, and that's totally saying something for the girl who would go through the big container of Tums in 2 weeks.

{2} I don't have to pay for un-fills within a week. This is so awesome, since I'm self pay. Each adjustment is $75 out-of-pocket for me, so the thought of spending the money for a fill and coming back the next day for an unfill and having to shell out ANOTHER 75 big ones? That sucks big ol' sweaty donkey balls. (Pardon the mental image.) So I asked her (Kim is her name, and she's full of awesomesauce) and she said that there's a seven day grace period on fills. If I feel too tight after an adjustment and need to come back to get some taken out, as long as I do it within seven days, it's free! Woot!

{3} I don't have to do full liquids after fills! Kim told me to do soft and mushies today and to be careful tomorrow, but that's it! I stuck to a protein shake on my way into work, just to be sure, but it's awesome to know that I can chew foods today. LOL

{4} Kim let me pick the amount of fill I wanted. She told me that for my first fill in a 14 cc band, she would give me up to 5 cc's. We talked over the pros and cons of going "all out", and I ended up deciding on 4.5 cc's for this one.

{5} 4.5 cc's looks like A LOT of fluid! I saw it in the syringe after she loaded it up and I was totally surprised at how much fluid that is! It seems impossible that there would even be room for 14 cc's around the stomach. But Kim had 12 cc's in her 14 cc band at one time, so I guess people really do get that high.

{6} The needle stick was nothing. Like, the least painful needle-to-the-stomach I've ever had, and I've had a lot of needles to the stomach. Even when I could feel her moving the needle around, it didn't hurt at all. SCORE!

{7} It is much harder than I thought it would be to lift and hold both legs a couple inches in the air. (Outta shape, much?!) I'm not sure if that's what other offices have you do to find the port, but that's what Kim does. I laid down on the table thingy and she asked me to lift and hold both feet up a couple inches. Then she found the port and did the fill, all while my legs were lifted. Man, that was the hardest part of the whole ordeal!

{8} The surgeon DID put some fill in during surgery. I was told that he hadn't, and that I had nothing in there. But when Kim checked, there was 0.9 cc's chilling out in my band. So my 4.5 cc's takes me up to 5.4 cc's total.

{9} The biggest surprise of all - feeling the saline go into the band. I don't know why this was just such a shock to me. Maybe because I've been feeling for a month like I paid $10,000 for nothing but a bunch of scars and a sore port site? As soon as she pushed the saline in, I could feel it restricting in my chest. It was like the first affirmation that, yes, there really IS something in there, and it really DOES something. Kim kept telling me beforehand that you can't really explain it, but it's just a "weird" feeling, and she was so right.

I think that was the most psychologically helpful part of the whole thing - proving to myself that there IS something in there and that it WILL do something. I am so excited about that.

Kim also said that my incisions look great and that my port felt perfect - no twisting or anything.

Super excited to be on the road to the green zone! Of course, I got to work today and my boss a Cookie Elf dropped off a little surprise...a box of Cheryl's cookies and chocolate covered pretzel clusters. I think I'm just going to take these to our first Christmas party tomorrow and pretend like they don't exist. Meh.

DEVIL.
Oh, and I can't leave you today without showing you this ridiculously cute picture from our photo shoot this weekend. If you're in the Cincinnati area - go see Tricia McClure and get your own amazing pictures!

Lady Killer, party of one. 
Have a great weekend, all!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Wednesday Weigh-In

Last week: 257.2
This week: 256.4
Loss: 0.8 lb

Huzzah! Good riddance, 257.2. I hope to never see your stinkin' face numbers again!

It's not a big loss, but for Bandster Hell, I'll totally take it. And (say it with me now...) my first fill is Friday!

I'm super curious about how much they'll give me for a first fill. I have the 14cc APL Lap-Band with nothing in it right now. I'm guessing around 4 cc's would be the jumping off point, but we'll just have to wait and see. I really want to make the most out of my fill visits because I'm paying $75 for each one, but at the same time, I don't want to rush anything either. Meh.

In other news, today's a big-ish day for me at work. I've been co-facilitating a Leadership Series for the past six months, which has really meant me just kind of sitting back and chiming in every once in a while while the other two facilitators do the work. Well, today I'm taking the reins and facilitating the class by myself. Eek and ugh. I just want it to be over with.

Hugs all!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Busy Weekend

December is always a nutso month for us, and lo and behold, it has started.

Just after Logan was born, a friend of mine recommended to us a photographer that she knew. After our first visit for Logan's 3 month pictures, we ended up going back to her for 6, 9, 12/Christmas, 16, and 20-month pictures as well. So Saturday, it was time for 24-month/Christmas/Family Portraits. I'll share when I get them back (copyright is included in the fee we pay), but WOW, was it like herding cats. This was really the first time that Bubs has just really been all over the place and not wanted to sit for ANY pictures. He would sit for one, proclaim that he was "all done!", and run away. I ended up bribing him with blocks for most of the pictures...we'll see how they turn out.

Saturday evening, I attended the Dayton Gay Men's Chorus' Christmas concert at a beautiful church in Downtown Dayton. I won a pair of tickets through a contest, and am so glad I did!
DGMC at Westminster Presbyterian. Check out those organ pipes!
Fuzzy (and covert!) picture of the Men of DGMC.
I took my work colleague (the one who contracts for our company and knows about my band) as my date, and we had a wonderful time. I brought her Christmas gifts (which I don't have pictures of right now, but will post some soon), so she was the first lucky recipient of my crocheted dish cloths. I think they were a hit!

Sunday, Bubs mercifully slept in, so I made us a super yummy scramble for breakfast. It's just simply cooking up a pound of sausage, crumbled, and scrambling it into eggs (I used 7 extra large eggs and it's enough to feed an army), and melting in some shredded cheddar cheese. So good!

Once we had breakfast, we were off to the National Air Force Museum because the Budweiser Clydesdales were visiting. We waited in line for a very long time for the chance to pet one of the beautiful monsters and have our picture taken. Have you ever been near a Clydesdale? They are like the Great Dane's of the horse world. H-U-G-E. And breathtaking. And graceful.
Clydesdales and a Dalmatian. Does it get more Budweiser than that?!
And yes, in that photo, there is one man running THREE horses. 3600 pounds of horse. Amazing. Later, we walked the pens where all the other horses were chilling out, and the saddle section of EVERY horse was taller than my husband!

After we played with the horsies (which Logan loved, by the way), we toured the Air Force museum. I had never been, so that was an interesting (and LONG) trip. In the end, we only made it through two of the three HUGE hangars before my feet and knees were screaming. Luckily, the museum is free, so we can go back some other time to see the third hangar and the fourth one that they will soon be building. All in all, it was a pretty fun trip, even if the weather was dreary.

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In other news, my eating has been ok for the past few days. I'm still firmly in Bandster Hell, but my first fill is Friday, so I'm hoping for a little relief then. Also, I'm on my third week back on my Bydureon injection, and I remember from last time that three weeks is about when I started feeling the non-hunger from it. So hopefully that will start kicking in soon, too. 

I had my regular every-three-months appointment with my family doctor on Friday. Her scale was evil and showed 8 pounds up from my scale at home, which is just ridiculous. But, she had the results of my A1c bloodwork (which, if you don't know, an A1c is a measurement for Diabetics. It measures the average sugar level in your blood over the past three months. A non-diabetic "normal" A1c is between 4.5-6.0, and they can go as high as 14, which basically means you're in a coma). My A1c back in March was 8.3, the highest it has ever been. Also, not-so-coincidentally, that was when we recorded my highest weight ever, too. My A1c on Friday was 6.9!!! I was so excited, I made my doctor give me a high five, and she's not a high-fiving kind of person. LOL. I can't wait to get some more of this weight off and see that A1c drop into the normal range. I so want to be off all these meds! 

Have a great week, my lovelies! 

Thursday, November 29, 2012

TTT

It's time for Laura Belle's Ten Things Thursday, and it couldn't have come at a better time. I was staring at a blank Blogger screen until I remembered that it's Thursday, so my blogging is basically done for me!

{1} My weigh in yesterday was 257.2. If you'll recall, that was also my exact weight on 11/07 (Surgery Day), and last week on 11/21. 257.2 likes me and I'm not sure why. The feeling is certainly not mutual.

{2} My very first fill is only 8 days away! I am super excited for this, and only a teensy bit nervous. I gave myself 3-4 insulin shots daily for several months of my pregnancy, and I give myself my Bydureon injection every week, so the needle part isn't totally freaking me out, but I'm not exactly thrilled about the prospect, either. I just want to get on the path to restriction and feel like I'm starting to get my money's worth out of Tim Gunn.

{3} Mission: Christmas Dish Cloths has slowed down a bit. I've lost my motivation at the most unhelpful time. I still have about six sets (12 dish cloths) to go. Blargh.

{4} I bought some Powerball tickets yesterday but refuse to find out if we've won or not. I wanted to go to bed thinking there was still a chance that I could be a bagillionaire. Still to now, I know nothing about the drawing and if anyone won. I'm holding on to the dream a little bit longer - getting the most out of my 12 bucks.

{5} If I won the lottery, the very first thing I'd do (after putting it in an account under a business or different name) would be to build a big ol' custom home. We live in a comically small apartment that is busting at the seams with our junk. Not to mention the fact that there is an entire ROOM full of our junk stored at The Hubs' parents' house. I literally feel like our walls are closing in on us.

{6} Today is my "official" day of starting Phase 4 foods, which in non-surgeon speak, means I'm back to all normal foods. Woo. I pretty much had been eating normal foods (choosing more soft/mushy items when they were available) for about a week now.

{7} My focus this week has been trying not to drink with my meals. I knew going into this that this one bandster rule would be the hardest for me to follow. I have always been a HUGE drinker with meals - I just hate the feeling of leftover food particles in my mouth. I've been focusing on it this week and pushing myself out of my comfort zone to try to get over the mental yuckiness of not being able to "wash" my food down. It's a work in progress, and one which I will really need to get under control once I've got my fills in.

{8} I have been kind of ignoring school for the past month or so. My second term started in October, which means I have until the end of March to finish the 5 classes I'm scheduled. Because it's all online, I don't have to actually attend classes on any sort of schedule, which means that I can just pretend it doesn't exist if I want to. Not good. Finally this week, I got tired of feeling guilty during my weekly mentor call and finished two assignments for my math class. (Math - patooey!). I turned them in on Tuesday and they still haven't been graded, which annoys me. If they pass, I have two more assignments for that class and then it's OVAH. And I will be done with math FOREVAH! (Except for studying for the math portion of the Praxis 1, blargh.)

{9} December's calendar is filling up fast. For us, October and December are the two busiest months of the year, and I almost dread them. As of right now, we have eight events on our calendar and still need to find time to get/decorate our Christmas tree and go see the trains at the Cincinnati Museum Center. Busy busy busy!

{10} My kid is the cutest thing on the planet. He's so much more into Christmas this year since he understands more of it. I don't think he understands the concept that Santa brings gifts on one special day, but he knows what Santa and Rudolph and elves and presents and Christmas trees are. He even "sings" Jingle Bells, which comes out something like "bumble bells, bumble bells, bumble bells, bumble bells, bumble bells..." on repeat. I'll have to try to post some video for y'all.

Aaaand, that's all folks. It was easier to come up with 10 things today! Hope everyone is doing well.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Post Thanksgiving Post

Nothing much to report here, but wanted to check in.

Our Wednesday-before-Thanksgiving tradition lives on. It was wonderful spending time with my Dad, Bonus Mom, and two family friends. Logan was his usual adorable self and the life of the party. I had some turkey (in small bites and covered in gravy), mashed potatoes, and the most amazing cranberry orange relish I've ever tasted in my life. De-lish!

:  :  :

Thanksgiving Thursday was great, too. It was so nice to see my mom and brothers, and my Aunt being back home was the icing on the cake. (Or the {homemade} whipped cream on the {homemade} pumpkin pie?)


I ended up choosing Paula Deen's pumpkin pie recipe. My edges got a little brown because I had to crank up the temperature to get it to cook in time for us to leave the house. The 50 minutes suggested turned into more like 65-70 minutes. The only other thing I changed was to add in about 1/4 tsp of nutmeg and I was generous with my measurements of the cinnamon and ginger. The pie was a HUGE hit - every bit of it was eaten! I didn't even get a bite of it to taste for myself. Womp womp. 

The whipped cream recipe is from Cook's Country. The Hubs and I are slightly obsessed with America's Test Kitchen and Cook's Country, and watch the shows every time they're on PBS. I have made several of their recipes in the past (including this whipped cream for a 4th of July Strawberry Icebox Pie) and they have all turned out really well. 

Unfortunately, CC is stingy with almost all of their recipes and makes you pay for a "subscription" to see them. Lucky for you, I have a trial membership and can pass this recipe for no-fail, absolutely-the-best, you'll-never-go-back-to-the-stuff-in-the-can, homemade whipped cream on to you.  

Cook's Country Homemade Whipped Cream

4 oz. softened cream cheese
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla 
1 cup heavy cream

Directions: On medium speed, beat cream cheese, sugar and vanilla until smooth (approx. 30 seconds). With mixer running, add cream. Whip until stiff peaks form (approx. 2 minutes). Keep refrigerated. 

And that's it! Easy peasy and so worth the extra 5 minutes. The cream cheese really adds a great hint of flavor to the whipped cream and keeps it from being nothing but sweetness. I totally recommend you try it. 

:  :  :

And after all that, I weighed in at 256.0 this morning. Not an official weigh-in, but having no restriction and two Thanksgiving dinners in two days? I am astonished at the loss. I'm trying really hard to keep it that way for next Wednesday's official weigh-in. 

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrated it! Did you make anything that you're particularly proud of? Did you have any unexpected food failures? Let me know! 

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Good, The Bad and The Ugly

The Good:

Traditions. One of my favorite holiday traditions is an annual family Thanksgiving dinner with my Dad and Step Bonus Mom. Usually my Bonus Grandparents or a couple other family friends will join us too. Nice and small, and always on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving (that's tonight, folks!) at a very old and somewhat famous Ohio restaurant/hotel, The Golden Lamb. I love it because I get to see some of the people I love, while not having to frantically squeeze them in on Thanksgiving Day. And bonus, there's absolutely NO cooking or clean up!

Family. My Aunt Sandy (and her husband) just moved back to Ohio from Mississippi this past weekend, just in time for me to get to see her at my Mom's Thanksgiving tomorrow. Did you ever have a family member that was so fun, loving, and sweet that your face lit up every time you thought about them? That's my Aunt Sandy to me. She left Ohio for Mississippi a few years ago, and for me, it just felt like something was missing from every family get-together. I am grateful that she is back, and grateful that she will be living near my Mama so that they can spend lots of time together.

The Bad:

Time Limitations. While I'm super excited for dinner tonight and Thanksgiving tomorrow, I'm not thrilled that I have committed to make a pumpkin pie and homemade whipped cream for tomorrow's dessert. I haven't even picked a recipe or bought the supplies. Think of me if you're awake at 2 am, because I'll be up to my elbows in pumpkin at about that time. (Um, Anna, I think you're doing it wrong...)

Overestimating My Abilities. Christmas dish cloths will be the death of me. I counted up the list, and while it's not as bad as I thought (Only 15 sets! Only 30 dish cloths! Only!), I am less than half way finished crocheting and have less than a month to go. I will need 4 sets for December 8th, 2 sets for December 23rd, and 9 sets for Christmas day. Not to mention the packaging and wrapping, etc. However, I am excited to give a handmade gift and hope people will like them, even if they kill me.

The Ugly:

257.2. That's a gain of 2.8 pounds, which is exactly what my loss was last week. I am officially back to my surgery day weight, and officially in Bandster Hell.

















I pinned this picture on Pinterest a few weeks ago, and it has been my Bandster Hell mantra for the past couple of days. For too many years, my brain has been a big ol' playground bully to my body, and it needs to stop. Just because I can justify just about anything, just because I can make an excuse appear out of thin air, just because my emotions haven't been managed in healthy ways in the past, just because my bully of a brain wants to focus on past failures and make them seem to be future inevitablities - doesn't mean it has to continue that way.

I am making an effort to no longer be my own bully, and that (maybe plus a fill or two, or three...) will make me successful.

Happy Thanksgiving, my lovelies!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Oh, Hell.

I'm officially 12 days out from surgery, and this weekend, I made it to that lovely milestone called Bandster Hell. And let me tell you - y'all weren't lying.

I. Am. HAUNgry. (That's how my southern Mama pronounces it, all Paula Deen-like.)

This part just seriously sucks. To go from eating whatever you want, to 800 calorie diet, to liquid diet but not really feeling like eating, to soft and mushies, to OHMYGODEATALLTHEFOOD! It's seriously messing with my head.

And I totally admit to "testing" my band and eating some things that are definitely not defined as either soft OR mushy. So far, everything has gone down fine. I am really really working on eating slowly and remembering to chew, chew, chew. If there's something I'm doing well, I think it's that. I am chewing the eff out of this stuff. I do find myself (even with soft and mushies) feeling a sort of pressure in my chest after a bit of eating. Is that a bandster thing? Or a hiatal hernia fix thing? Enlighten me, please.

As of this morning, I have gained weight. And even though they told me that might happen and it's par for the course until you get your fills going, it's completely disheartening. I understand WHY I've gained. I went from eating 350 calories MAX on my liquids week to eating WAY more than 350 calories this weekend. I get the math, but it doesn't make it any easier to accept.

I'm making a seriously concerted effort at work today. I had a protein shake for breakfast, but I'm finding that they only keep me full until about 10 am, so I brought some sugar free Jello to snack on. I brought soft and mushies for lunch, and I'm trying really hard to remember lots of water.

Only 18 days until my first fill. Only 18 days until my first fill. Only 18 days until my first fill.

Ugh.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Wanna See Something?

I couldn't really think of anything interesting (or band related) to post about today, so I thought it might be cool to show you my messy desk!


Some points of interest on my little desk tour:


  • The married stress ball computers that sit on my monitor - one is for the learning management system that I created for our company, which is named after a male founder, and the other is for the learning management system of a company that we share best practices with, which just happens to be named after a female. They sit on my desk all lovey dovey like. 
  • The Dasani bottle with what looks like urine in it. It's actually Crystal Light Peach Mango Green Tea, and it is uber delish. 
  • My son on my computer screen looking super duper cute. 
  • The Michael Buble Christmas CD, which I've been listening to non-stop. 
  • A whole bunch of boring, work-related junk that you don't care about. 
Do you have anything fun or interesting on your desk? Do you even have a desk? I showed you mine, so you show me yours! 

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Back to Life, Back to Reality

(Do you have that song stuck in your head now? I'm sorry...)

Well, as the title implies, it's back to reality (read: work, blah) for me. Which is actually a good thing for the old blog here, because I found it hard to blog while I was at home recovering. I blog a lot from work when I'm procrastinating taking a short break, so being back now should prompt more frequent posts. Yay for you!

Recovery was actually a really nice time off for me, if you forget about the whole surgery and five incisions thing. My in-laws have had my son at their house since election Tuesday so that I could recover in peace, and while I miss the little bugger like crazy, I knew I wouldn't be able to really rest and relax with him in the house. He's 100% adorable, except when he's not. And being an almost 2-year-old, he has his non-adorable moments. So it has been really, really nice to be able to rest and know that he's having a blast at Grandma and Grandpa's house while I recover.

My R&R was spent mostly making Christmas presents. Since I'm a glutton for punishment, poor, and have a VERY large family, each year I try to find an economical way to make it through Christmas without breaking the bank. My parents are divorced and my Dad re-married into a large and lovely family, and then there's my husband's family, my mom and her family, and our friends. I consider myself lucky to be surrounded by so many awesome people, but at Christmas, it kind of makes me want to pull my hair out thinking about gifts.

Last year, I made each family a set of six bottle cap photo magnets with pictures of family/pets and cute scrapbook paper. It was a huge hit, and a relatively inexpensive way to give thoughtful gifts to everyone we love.

This year, I'm tapping into one of my (sort-of) talents and crocheting sets of dish cloths for each family. I am a novice crocheter and stick to simple things that require a short attention span and end up in a square or rectangle, so dish cloths are perfect. The Hubs and I went to Michaels and bought out the yarn section, and I've been a busy little bee ever since.

I actually have a couple skeins not pictured. I may have a problem. 
I've made two more since this picture was taken.
I haven't officially figured out how many sets I need to make (because I'm afraid to see that number) but I'm thinking it's in the 20-25 range. I have 3 sets "officially" done, so I'll be finished crocheting by the 4th of July or so. LOL

See? Glutton for punishment.

In other, actually band-related news:

I had my one week post-op appointment with one of the nurses at the office yesterday. Nothing exciting to report from that, except that she approved soft and mushies! Wahoo! I was so tired of liquids that scrambled eggs and mashed potatoes sounded like a steak dinner to me. Now, two weeks of soft and mushies (straight through Thanksgiving) and then it's on to "normal" foods. Easy peasy mac n' cheesy.

Surgery Day Weight: 257.2
One Week Weigh In: 254.4
Loss: 2.8 lb

I will SO take that!

Friday, November 9, 2012

Meet Tim Gunn...

Hey everyone! I made it through surgery, and have been resting at home for the past two days.

My weight on surgery day was 257.2, which was a loss of 6.6 pounds during my pre-op diet. Over all, I was down 12.8 pounds from my initial consultation weight on September 27th.

Here are some "official" pre-op photos. Nevermind the bathroom - we live in a tiny apartment that gets NO good natural light, so it was our only choice for the photo shoot.





Surgery day was quite an experience. I was scheduled for surgery at 1:00 pm, and we arrived at the hospital at 11 am just like they told us to. We waited in the lobby for about half an hour and then a nurse called me back . She gave me an awesome astronaut suit to put on - seriously, this was the coolest hospital gown I've ever seen. When I sat down, she hooked up a hose to it which blew in heated air to keep me warm.


Then she asked me a zillion questions and got down to business. She gave me a shot in my leg of something to help with anti-coagulation so I didn't develop blood clots, she gave me an anti-nausea pill, and placed an anti-nausea patch on my neck. She also checked my blood sugar, temperature, heart rate and blood pressure, and then attempted my IV. She tried in the back of my left hand first, but was unsuccessful, so she ended up having to do the IV on the inside of my left arm. O.U.C.H.

She was all done with me and the anesthesiologist came in to ask me a million more questions, and by this time it was 12:45. The nurse came back in and told me that my doctor was still performing an operation at the adjacent hospital and would probably be an hour late. Gee, just what I wanted to hear - let me sit here in my astronaut suit with an uncomfortable IV in my arm and just hang. Fun times!

Around 1:45, the nurse anesthetist came in and went through her whole schpeal, so I figured things were about to get moving. The last thing she said to me, though, was that the doctor still had another operation he needed to perform at the adjacent hospital and that it would probably be yet another hour. I was so not a happy camper at this point. I hadn't eaten or drank anything since the night before, and I didn't get a very good night's sleep because I stayed up until 2 am watching the presidential concession and acceptance speeches.

Anna was not happy.

Finally, at 2:56 pm (I remember looking at the computer to see what time it was) my surgeon came in and asked me if I was tired of waiting, to which I replied, "Um, yeah!" In hindsight, it probably would have been more prudent for me to be nicer to the guy who was about to cut me open and gut me, but I was grumpy and he was 2 hours late.

The good news was that once he got there, things moved fast as lightning. I walked myself back to the OR, laid down on the table and had like 5 or 6 different nurses doing stuff to me from every angle. I felt like I was in the Wash 'n Brush Up Company in the Merry Old Land of Oz! Within minutes, they had my arms out, my legs in the massage-y wrap-y thingies, and the anesthetist was saying, "Ok, here we go. Everything's going to be fine..." and I was out.

I woke up in recovery with a wonderful nurse named Martha, whom I remember having a whole conversation with regarding the fact that Logan loves to watch Martha Speaks. Human Martha had never heard of the show, so I had to explain to her that it was a cartoon dog who ate alphabet soup and could now talk. Human Martha wasn't too keen on my comparing her to a dog, but we got through that little bump in the road. I also remember some sort of conversation about Martha not wanting to see me naked, although I can't quite piece together how that came up or why. Must have had something to do with my awesome astronaut gown, though.

She wheeled me back to another recovery room where The Hubs was waiting, and I got some apple juice and put my clothes on, and headed home. We left the hospital at 5:45 pm.

I did not see the doctor after surgery, but The Hubs told me that he said everything went fine, and that they fixed my hiatal hernia, which was "larger than usual". Glad that's taken care of, but I was very surprised to see that it required an additional incision. For some reason, I thought he would be able to do that while he was already in there, but nope.

If you're squeamish, look away, because I'm about to show you a picture of my cottage cheese-y stomach and all five incisions...


Obviously, the one up top is the hiatal hernia fix, the one second from the left is my port, and the others are the instrument incisions. Right now, the only one that hurts is the port, and I can't feel the others at all. I have been taking my liquid narcotics just about every 4 hours, though, so that might be helping.

As far as food goes, I've been eating very little. I have felt hungry, though, which is surprising since so many people say you won't even want to think about eating after the surgery. I'm sticking to the all liquid diet, eating tomato soup, applesauce, pudding, and baby food. (The fruit baby foods are surprisingly not that bad!)

Oh, and the post title? You know how it's kind of a tradition in band land to name your band? I decided weeks ago that mine would be called Tim Gunn. One, because he's an awesome gay guy, and I love me some gay guys, and two, because his signature slogan is "Make it work!", and that's what I fully intend on doing with the help of this little guy!

I'm totally gonna make it work!

Thanks to you all for your thoughts and well wishes! I'm so excited to be on the band wagon! :)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Today!

Hi all!

Just a quick note before we leave for the hospital. I will write a longer, more detailed post after I'm home and feeling better. For now, I'm super excited to finally be at this point. I have been wanting this for more than 2 years, and here it is.

Today's weigh in: 257.2, I'll take it!

I want to say thank you to all of you ladies (and men?) who have hung around my little bloggy home and read about my journey, and offered wonderful words of wisdom and support. I would be infinitely more anxious if it weren't for you. I'm looking forward to sharing my experiences with you all, since this is just the beginning!

Fired up, ready to go! :-)

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Liebsteriffic

The lovely Cheri at Staying In The Pink nominated me for a Liebster Award! Wooty-doo! 



This next paragraph is totally and shamelessly copied from Cheri's post, (1) because she says exactly what I want to say, and (2) because I'm lazy. 


{As mentioned elsewhere, "The Liebster Award is for bloggers with less than 200 followers. Liebster is a German word meaning dearest. The award is given to up-and-coming bloggers who deserve recognition and support to keep on blogging."}  


The rules:
1. Think of 11 facts you'd like to share about yourself.
2. Answer the questions I asked.
3. Think of 11 questions you'd like to ask.
4. Nominate 5 bloggers who have less than 200 followers.*

*I think there's some wiggle room there. I won't tell. 

Okey dokey, Smokey. Eleven facts about little ol' moi. Prepare thyself for a roller coaster ride. 

1) Je parle un peu Francais. 

2) I was in my high school show choir. Yes, just like Glee, and yes, I live in Ohio. 

3) One of my ultimate bucket list items is to sing in a close harmony girl group a la The Andrews Sisters or The Puppini Sisters. Awesomesauce-ness below. 


4) I have an older sister who I (and the rest of my family) do not communicate with. I also have two younger brothers who are almost 17 and almost 18 years old. I can't believe they are soon to graduate from high school. I'm old now.  

5) I met my husband through Yahoo! Personals. Online dating for the win! 

6) I have four (count 'em, four) tattoos. One moon with stars, one tribal sun, one tropical sunset with water and palm trees, and one hummingbird with pink flowers. I would tattoo myself into a carnie if I thought my husband wouldn't leave me. 

7) I am an atheist who grew up in a Southern Baptist family. 

8) I am amazed and surprised at how being a mother has fundamentally changed who I am as a person. And how emotional it has made me. I can't handle seeing sad kids, hurt kids, kids being bullied, or especially babies without coats or shoes with their parents at Walmart at midnight. I still don't know (and don't WANT to know) the details of the story about the toddler who was killed at the zoo recently. Why would I click on that headline?!?!?!

9) My first college major (Go University of Cincinnati!) was Secondary Education - English. My second college major was Communication, and my current college major (Go Western Governor's University!) is Interdisciplinary Studies (which is a fancy term for an Elementary Education degree). 

10) I am an unapologetic grammar Nazi. 

11) I'm having Lap Band surgery tomorrow! Shocker! 

Cheri's 11 questions for me:

1)  You are throwing a dinner party  - what three famous people would you invite? Can they be dead? If so, e.e. Cummings, Edgar Allen Poe, and Janis Joplin. If they have to be alive, I'd go with Ellen Degeneres, JK Rowling and a tie between Warren Buffett/Michelle Obama. 

2)  Who was your first crush? I don't remember my first crush on a "real" person, but my first celebrity crush was probably Johnathan Brandis from Seaquest DSV. 
11-year-old Anna was SO gonna marry you, JB!
3) What would your dream job be? Something that paid excellent money while making people happy all day long. If it paid better, I would totally be a flower delivery person or some such awesomeness. Someone else would deliver for funerals, though. I'd get Valentines Day, birthdays and anniversaries. 

4) Favorite television show? Ever? Gilmore Girls. I own the series and have watched it all the way through at least 10 times. Currently? Modern Family, followed closely by The Neighbors and Dancing With The Stars. It should be noted that I am one of those crazies who does not have cable. I watch a lot of PBS. (And you should too!)

5) You are being served your last meal on earth...what do you want? Oh, holy hell. Seriously, you're going to ask a girl who is on her last day of an 800 calorie pre-op diet this question? E-V-I-L. 

My mom's family recipe for Chicken Casserole, homemade mashed potatoes, corn on the cob and LOTS of yeasty rolls with butter. And some of Vandalia, Ohio's Jim's donuts for dessert. 

It's so not obvious why I'm having Lap Band surgery, is it? 

6) Place you haven't been yet and want to see? So many! New York City, for one.
 
7) Something that annoys the snot out of you? When traffic is backed up on the highway and someone drives on the shoulder to get to an exit. You are NO MORE IMPORTANT than the rest of us, douche canoe! (End rant.)

8) Something that will always make you smile? My son. Totally. Even when he's being a total spaz and Tasmanian Devil-ing all over my house. 

9) Oprah, Dr Phil, Kelly Rippa, and Barbara Walters are on a boat. It's going to sink unless you throw two of them off into shark infested waters. Who are you dumping? Oy. Hard one. Dr. Phil is gone, no problem. Kelly Rippa definitely stays. One because she's tiny, and two because she's hilarious. I think Barbara Walters would stay too. Sorry, Oprah! 

10)You can wave a magic wand and solve ONLY ONE world problem (ie: water for everyone). Which would you solve? Poverty? Is that too broad spectrum? If so, then hunger. 

11) What are three things you most like about who you are?
a) I'm fat girl funny. You know that survival trait? I got it down, man.
b) I am open-minded and accepting. 
c) I am outgoing.


And the nominees are...
(Sorry if you've already been nominated or won. Just ignore me.)


My 11 questions:
1) If you could make one of your significant other's annoying traits disappear, what would it be?
2) If you could have chosen to be born in a different country, would you? And where?
3) What book/tv/theater character is most like you? 
4) Explain one mortifying moment in your life. (Not technically a question, but DEAL.)
5) What exotic animal (not cat/dog/bunny, etc.) would you keep in your backyard if you could get away with it?
6) What article of clothing would you never wear if you could get away with it?
7) Who inspires you?
8) What is your most annoying trait?
9) What is one thing you wish you could do?
10) What did you want to be when you grew up?
11) What is your favorite dessert?


Monday, November 5, 2012

It's Almost Time, a Hodge Podge of Thoughts


  1. Blood work
  2. Fitness Consultation
  3. Nutrition Consultation
  4. Sign Pre-op Paperwork
  5. EKG
  6. Start pre-op diet (10/24)
  7. Pay in full (10/24)
  8. Pre-op physical (10/26)
  9. Stop taking all medications (11/1)
  10. Start Hibiclens (11/4)
  11. Pick up post-op meds (11/5)
  12. SURGERY DAY (11/7)
  13. Post-op Follow-Up (11/14)
  14. First Fill (12/7)
As you can see, we're all caught up on THE LIST up to the big one - surgery day. 

I'm not nervous anymore. I'm not really scared of the surgery. Right now, I really just want to get it over with, because that means my pre-op diet is over. I know, I know, after surgery is when the real diet fun begins. You don't have to tell me that. I'm just looking forward to getting the surgery over with and starting to learn how to live with the band. 

The surgeon's office called in my meds early, so The Hubs picked those up on Friday. They prescribed me Loritab Elixir (which I have heard tastes just lovely!), and Promethazine, which is an anti-nausea medication. What I don't understand is that one is liquid and one is pills, so why couldn't they give me the Loritab in pill form so that I don't have to drink the gross liquid? Meh. 

I also found the Hibiclens at the Wal of Marts, and took my first shower (of three) with it. Now, I graduated from high school. I'm (mostly) college educated...one would think that I'd be able to handle soap and water with no problem, right? DUDE. That stuff is so thin, it might as well BE water. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't get it to lather for shit. But I will try again tomorrow. I will not let showering beat me. LOL

Looking back on THE LIST and the past posts about this surgery, I can't believe my surgery will be happening exactly two months after my first post about the possibility. September 7th, I said, "Hey, this might be happening!" and in 2 days on November 7th, it really will be happening. Sur-real. The quickness of my process is one of the only things I'm grateful about with not being covered by insurance. 

And speaking of cost, I'm not sure I ever really broke it down for you. My self-pay options were: (1) an $11,900 surgery which included two years of aftercare visits, or (2) a $9,900 surgery which included my surgery follow-up, but aftercare visits cost $75 each. 

The Hubs and I decided to go with the $9,900 package. I would have to go to aftercare visits more than once a month for the next two years in order to make that $2000 worth it, and I just can't see that happening. I know that I will be going in, but I haven't read anyone's bandster story that mentions going in every 3 weeks for an entire two years. 

Anyhoo...$9,900 is the total cost of my surgery. We paid $350 of that for the Consultation Fee, and then the rest is divided up between financing through Care Credit and our very own cold, hard cash. I will be paying off the financed portion for the next four to five years unless I win the lottery. 

So that's it. Surgery is paid for, I've lost enough weight through my pre-op diet to be cleared to go, and all I have left to do is call the surgery center to answer my pre-op questionnaire. Oh, and I also have to stock up on post-op liquids and take pre-op photos. Once all that is done, it's just show up, get an IV, go to sleep, and wake up to my new life! 

I am SO ready. 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

It's been...

One week since you looked at me,
Cocked your head to the side and said I'm angry...

(Barenaked Ladies, "One Week")

One week since the start of my pre-op diet. One week of emotional ups and downs. One week of good days and not-so-good days. One week and almost 5 pounds.

Start of Pre-Op Diet (10/24): 263.8 lb
One Week In (10/31): 259.2 lb
Loss: 4.6 lb

So I super duper hate the pre-op diet. It sucks. It's not sustainable for me, but then again, I don't guess it was meant to be sustainable anyway. I have had days with "fuck it" moments where I've cheated a bit, (not entire "fuck it" days, mind you) and then days like yesterday, where it was nothing but protein shakes and stick-to-it-iveness. Obviously I need to work on channeling the latter for this last week before surgery.

My goal is to get down to 255 by surgery day, so that's another 5-ish pounds in this last week.  I would appreciate any extra "you can do it" vibes that you've got just laying around. Send them my way, sisters!

As far as THE LIST goes, tomorrow I stop all medications and replace ibuprofen with Tylenol. I still need to get to a drug store to purchase the Hibiclens, but I don't have to start that until Sunday, so there's still a little time there.

In other news...

If the weather isn't too horribly crappy (they're calling for cold and rain, fun!) we're going to take Bubbers to MFN's (My Friend Natalie if you're new 'round these parts) neighborhood to hand out candy. We live in an apartment and haven't gotten one single trick-or-treater in the 5 years we've been here, so I thought it would be fun to go to her house.

The kiddo is not a huge fan of his costume, but I think he's monkeylicious!
"Haven't you always wanted a monkey?!" Oh, BNL...
And also in other news...

Hugs to you if you've been affected by that bitch, Sandy. We have just had some rain and light snow here in Cincinnati/Dayton, so nothing near what has happened in other areas. Hope you're all doing okay if you're in those parts!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Weighty Matters...

  1. Blood work
  2. Fitness Consultation
  3. Nutrition Consultation
  4. Sign Pre-op Paperwork
  5. EKG
  6. Start pre-op diet (10/24)
  7. Pay in full (10/24)
  8. Pre-op physical (10/26)
  9. Stop taking all medications (11/1)
  10. Start Hibiclens (11/4)
  11. Pick up post-op meds (11/5)
  12. SURGERY DAY (11/7)
  13. Post-op Follow-Up (11/14)
  14. First Fill (12/7)
Slowly crossing things off up there. I had my pre-op (read: pointless) physical this morning with my regular doctor. She asked me all the normal questions about my diabetes numbers and my back flare-ups and general health and then she gave me the go-ahead. 

Two awesome things from this appointment, though - 

(1) My blood pressure was AWESOME. Like, awesomer than awesome, for me. 116/74, which is the lowest reading I've ever gotten. I've never been diagnosed as hypertensive, except for when I was pregnant, but my numbers have always fallen in the "pre-hypertensive" range. 116/74 is sitting pretty in the "normal" range, which is totally deserving of a "woot!"

(2) Not so awesome was that I found out my highest weight was actually higher than I thought it was. I had thought my highest weight ever (non-pregnant, of course) was 278, but it turns out that they have my recorded weight back in March at 281. The good news is that when I weighed in today (in jeans, mind you), I weighed 261! Twenty pounds down! Also totally deserving of a "woot!"

As happy as I am with that 20 pounds, it doesn't for one split second make me think that I don't need the surgery to help me lose the rest (and keep it off). I had some help with these 20 pounds that isn't always going to be there. 

First, about 3 months ago, I had my IUD removed. I instantly - and by instantly, I mean, within about a week - lost about 8 pounds from that and have kept it off. LURVE being back on the pill again, and as a bonus, thanks to Mr. Obama, my birth control is free every single month. Whether you like him or not, ya gotta love free medicine! 

Secondly, my primary doctor put me on a diabetes medication called Bydureon around the same time. It is a once weekly injection in the belly, which sucks, but it's nowhere near as bad as the 2-3 times daily insulin injections I was having to do while pregnant. Bydureon helps with all the diabetes related stuff, of course, but has the added bonus of appetite suppression. There have been days where I couldn't eat more than a couple bites at each meal without feeling completely stuffed to the brim. 

The downside to Bydureon is that (1) it's an injection, which is no fun, and (2) unlike my birth control, it is NOWHERE NEAR free. Each injection would cost me more than $100, which is more than $400 per month, out of pocket because of my employer's crappy insurance. 

Luckily, my doctor is awesome and has been giving me samples of the Bydureon for a while so that I don't have to spend the money. Really, if she hadn't been giving me the samples, it wouldn't even be an option because of the cost, so I'm super grateful for her/that. 

And the third thing helping with my weight loss right now is this stupid, horrible, no good, very bad pre-op diet. (Can you tell I'm loving it?!) I made it through the day at work on Wednesday just fine, but had a breakdown that night. No matter how prepared you think you are, you're never going to understand how few 800 calories is, and how limited your food choices are, until you get there. 

I have slightly modified the diet by adding in 2 oz. of lunch meat, which meets all the diet criteria of low cal/low carb/high protein, and as long as I'm staying under 800 calories per day (which I have!), I think I'm doing just fine. According to my home scale, I've lost more than 4 pounds since Wednesday morning. 

My official weight at the surgery center was 270.0, and they want you to lose 10 pounds before surgery, so technically, I'm already there. Not that I'm not going to do the diet, but it's good to know that I don't have to stress about meeting the requirement so they'll approve my surgery. 

So now, it looks like I'm clear on THE LIST until 11/1 when I have to stop all my meds. All of the big requirements have been met, and the surgery is officially paid for (eek!), so now all I have to do is finish out this diet, wash up with the Hibiclens for 3 days, and wait. 

It's getting real up in here, folks. Who's excited?!