Monday, April 30, 2012

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Gerber Stage 2 Apples and Cherries, Please....

That's right folks, I am moving right up that nutrition ladder and am at the same level as a 6 month old!!!  Let's all be glad that at least I can walk and I am NOT still in diapers....

But this week does mean that I get to switch to foods that are mushy, applesauce-like, and not of much more flavor than last week...but little by little, we will get there.  Tonight I had a 1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese...and 2 hours later I AM STILL FULL!  Shut the front door, I know!

Also on the menu this week are insta-spuds (fortified with unflavored protein powder), the above mentioned Gerber Stage 2 fruits (which also include mangos, apples and blueberries, and peaches), a new protein shake that does not require pre-mix or the fridge to keep in my car (see the post about the bad hospital choices)....and I can bring back my beloved (honestly) Greek Yogurt.  I am going to try it with some cinnamon as recommended to me by a friend.....Oh my gosh...and I almost forgot!  I can have blended tuna or chicken salad!  (Insert gag or yum here, whichever you feel is more fitting.)

I am now down what I feel is an impressive 23 pounds since the day after Easter...12 of them in just the past week.....I was told that the first 50-60 would come off fast and then the real work will begin...and I will take those easy pounds any way I can!  If only we could choose the LOCATION that the fat comes tends to come off my upper half much faster than my lower half, much to the sadness of my husband....

I hope you all had an awesome weekend...and are looking forward to a great week!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Frustrated, Friggin' Hungry and Fistulas...

Ok, really...this post has nothing to do with fistulas except that I was looking for another F word and I like how Miranda Bailey on Grey's says "Fistulas."  I don't even really know what word means...

But, I can talk a LOT about the other two topics....

1.  Frustrated.  Day 5.  Pain should be gone, right?  Not.  I totally overdid this AM, and am feeling it big time, even after taking a close to three hour nap.  I am trying to hold off on taking my pain medicine until a little closer to bed so that I am not totally thrown off on sleep for the night.  But here are several reasons I am frustrated.

      A.  I made waffles this morning for Austin and wanted to eat them all.  And we are not talking just plain everyday waffles, but good Eggo Cinnamon Toast break-into-4-pieces-covered-in-Country-Crock waffles.

     2. I was at an appointment at the hospital when I realized I had not grabbed a second shake for the morning and thought surely it's a hospital, the cafeteria must have something that I can have, a protein shake, Boost, Ensure, something.  Zip.  Zilch.  Nada.  Big Zero on that.  The closest that I could find was a Naked brand protein shake that was filled with fruit, which I cannot add back in until week 4.  So, bad move on my part for not planning better, but bad move on the hospital's part.  Perhaps I will write them a letter.

   III.  My husband is now totally enjoying a bowl of Hamburger Helper (normally not my food group of choice), but our house smells like Italian heaven right now.  So, I am rummentating in self-pity and anger (but at least I am using an appropriate outlet, right?)

2.  Friggin' Hungry.   Today I am.  I am hungry.  Or at least my mind tells me so.  Physically, not so much, my stomach can handle about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup at a time...but if I have to see one more add for Culver's and their made to order butterburgers, there could be a riot up in Mount Prospect....

Ok....that's all I needed to vent....down 2 more pounds today....that's 18 in total since I started the pre-op diet, 6 since Monday....not that I am checking the scale every day because that would be bad and I always follow my doctor's advice.   :)


Thursday, April 26, 2012

Call the government....I have a solution for the Gas Crisis...

Geesh...fellow could have warned me a bit more about this stage...

So, apparently, when you go in for surgery they use gas to help inflate your stomach to do the work, and at some point it's gotta come out, and there are really only 2 "ends" for that to happen.....and when it starts to happen, watch out!  I have been popping and fizzing all day like a great package of PopRocks....or perhaps one of the commercials you see where the scientist puts a Mento into a bottle of soda.....good time, good times....'s 10 Things Thursday!!!!

1.  Unflavored Protein Powder is just that....(Someone had asked and I don't remember who).  I added it to my strained and blended cream of chicken and mushroom soup tonight and could not tell a difference.

2.  There is a viral epidemic in my house...Abigail is winning with a fever of 102.8 and Austin is in second place with 101.7.  This could potentially ruin all weekend plans.

3.  While I a am struggling to get all my water in each day, I am enjoying the challenge!  At what stage did you add Crystal Lite back in?

4.  America's Next Top Model is a little piece of heaven for me on Wednesday nights.

5.  I am secretly REALLY irritated that Private Practice was moved to Tuesday nights.

6.  Since I had the surgery on Monday, I should be at goal weight in, like, two weeks, right?

7.  I like to pluck the white hairs from my husband's head...since he doesn't have many hairs to begin with this pisses him off but makes me laugh.

8.  If I could have one more baby,  I would.....

9.  Sugar Free Fudgsicles are just not the same.  No matter what the box says.

10.  Happy 2nd Birthday to my niece and nephew, Luke and Lauren!  I can't believe you are so big already!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

And I made it!!!!

Woohooo!   I really am banded now!!!

The day went by super fast....St. Alexius Hospital in Hoffman Estates ROCKS!  We showed up at a little before 11AM, and were taken pretty quickly back to pre-op....some blood draws, the dreaded IV, a few pre-op meds, a few pre-op tears, and we were off!  I tried to keep my sense of humor throughout most of the when I got into the operating room and noticed 5 TV's, I asked if we were going to be taking tips from episodes of Grey's Anatomy...and I asked if they had ever dropped anyone off the tiny table....

Gas Mask on....Good Sleepy drugs in....and I was out like a light.  The next thing I remember is waking up in a significant amount of discomfort and kicking and pushing a lot....I was later told that some people just do not wake up for anesthesia well.  The nurse was AWESOME and stayed right by my side until I calmed down, and since it was taking forever for them to get a room for me, she even let Jim come back (which we had previously been told would not be allowed).

Thankfully, I had a room to myself, which allowed the recovery to be way more comfortable.  Jim stayed until my mom and dad came, and my sister, Julse, too.  At some point a nurse came in and gave me more pain drugs and I drifted in and out most of the time they were there...ahhh...the bliss of pain meds.

Around 1AM (about 12 hours after surgery) I was asked to get up and try to use the restroom, really a ploy to just get to start walking...and it really wasn't THAT bad.  The only part that hurts, and still is uncomfortable, is the port site...where the doctor will fill and unfill the band.  The other 4 holes, I can't even tell they are there.

I was able to go home the next afternoon after Jim received a lesson in how to inject the blood thinning medication, something I think he enjoys a little too much...

TIP FOR BANDERS TO BE:  When I was walking the unit, I noticed a girl sleeping on her side and made a comment to the nurse.  I am a stomach sleeper, and was jealous that that girl was able to sleep on her side.  The Nurse said she was using a Snoogle Pillow....generally sold as pregnancy pillows.  They help to support your stomach....Jim and I stopped on the way home and picked one up from BuyBuyBaby...and I took a WONDERFUL 3 hour nap with it.... totally recommended.  And my sleep with it last night was really good...

As for recovery now, well, it's Day #3, Abigail is home with a fever which is both a good and bad thing....bad that she is sick, but good because it is forcing me to be up and moving around.  I can move back to my protein shakes today, I had 1/2 cup of one at 9am and get another 1/2 cup at's ok....the pain is pretty minimal, and I am biding time until she takes a nap so that I can take another dose of pain meds and put myself down for a nap....good time, good times!

Thanks a million (again) for all the support and positive comments that I have received...even though I was still in self-doubt mode through the 11th hour...I think that this was the best choice that I could have made for me and my family, and am sure that things are only going to look up from here!

Monday, April 23, 2012

The First Day Of The Rest of My Life.....

First and foremost....welcome to all my new readers!  I know that many of your have been following my other blog and I am so happy you came out for the unveiling of my newest adventure!

Today, at 1PM if the doctors are on time, I will have lap-band surgery.  (Insert open mouths and dropped jaws here).  It's a process that I have been working on for almost a year now, and through blood, sweat, and (a lot) of tears, I have finally gotten there.  You can read my blog from the beginning to get the full picture, but here is a nut shell version.

I have almost always been overweight, from grade school through high school, college and the beginning of my adult life.  I was willing to just accept that that is who I was; I was the Fat Friend, the Fat Sister, the Fat Whatever.  Well, I am no longer willing to accept that.  I am no longer willing to accept that I am anything less than what I want to be.  And what I want to be is a strong, confident, exceptional mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, co-worker, etc....

This past year I have gone through medical testing, sleep testing, pee testing and psychological testing; all with the goal of making sure that I am ready to do this.  I hit a few bumps along the way (read posts below), but it has all made me stronger and so much more prepared for my journey and my new life ahead!

I have been fully prepped...I have done a 15 day pre-op diet, my kitchen is stocked with everything that I need to stay on track for the first few weeks, I have bought super comfy pants to wear for after the surgery, (I will have about 5 little holes as the process is laproscopic), and I got a great mani-pedi so I can at least look at cute toes while I am laying in bed.  It's a simple, 1 night stay, and I should be back on my feet and moving and grooving by the end of the week.

I have joined an online support forum (, and as you can see, I already have several followers who are cheering me on through this new venture.  I have secured a strong support team, and Jim has been more than supportive through this whole long journey.....

I hope you click that little "follow" button and watch me unfold like a butterfly.....(Kinda makes me want to sing the theme song from Reading Rainbow, but I will spare all of you)!

Any and all positive comments are welcome!

Saturday, April 21, 2012


One who is 13 days into the Pre-Op diet should probably NOT make the choice to go to her local city's Irish Fest and be surrounded by beer, corned beef and cabbage, burgers, brats, french fries, and drunk might leave you crabby and hungry and crabby about being hungry...

The End

Friday, April 20, 2012

Dear Lady at GNC

or another name for this blog.....

Why I am not telling people I am having surgery until after the fact....

So, I made my way to GNC today in search of unflavored protein powder to add to soups and liquids after surgery (3 days away now!) and made the mistake of thinking the lady behind the counter would want to help.   The conversation went like this...

Skinny Bitch Behind The Counter (SBBTC) ~  Is there something I can help you find?
Me:  Yes, I am looking for unflavored protein powder.
SBBTC ~ Can I ask who is going to use this?
Me: (Thinking she is going to be helpful)  I am
SBBTC ~ (With a look) And what are you going to use it for.

Brief Intermission....this is EXACTLY why I have such fear of places like this....I felt I was being judged and she doesn't even know me.

Me:  I am have stomach surgery on Monday and I need it for the post-op diet.
SBBTC ~ Stomach surgery?   Have you tried other things first?
Me:  What I wanted to say : No, biotch....I thought, oh, let me get morbidly obese and then just have my body altered to fix it.
What I did say:  Yes, I have tried everything else.  Do you have unflavored protein powder?
SBBTC ~ Have you ever heard of Kevin Trudeau?
Me:  No.
SBBTC ~  He says that there are three types of fat and the reason that you are showing so much fat (yes, she really said that) is your hypothalamus.
Me:  Nope, it's because I love cheeseburgers.  (And, yes, I really said this.)

The conversation continued on until I started to walk-away and then she eventually showed my the dang powder I was looking for and I was on my way....

You know what, are mean and I bet no one loves you...

In other news....I went for my pre-surgery mani-pedi today and it was GLORIOUS!  Really, does it get much better than having someone rub your feet and calves with sandy scrub, cover them in warm towels, and then sooth them with delightful lotion and a foot massage....

The end

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

Ok....I am a I will join in this trend as well....twist my arm...

1.  I only have 3 days left of Pre-Op Diet!!!!!!!!

2.  That means I am 4 days away from the start of my new life!

3.  The weather in Chicago is KILLING me...sun, rain, cold, sun, scalding hot, freezing cold...geesh...

4.  I secretly cannot wait for my kids to go to bed to watch Grey's and last night's Revenge.

5.  I have pants that range from size 18-26 in my drawer....and I cannot wait until I get to the point that I get to buy size 16!

6.  In my basement, somewhat hidden away, I still have my New Kids on The Block action figures.....

7.  I love listening to the Christian radio station in my car.  On some level, I think I will get "extra" God.

8.  I would love to be a stay at home mom, but I am so lazy that I know nothing would get done.  I am much better off when I have structure and a limited time frame to accomplish tasks.

9.  I was not always this smart and intelligent.  (I know, I know, hard to believe).  After my first two years at Illinois State University, I took a year off to get an Associates Degree from Oakton Community College, and then went back to ISU and they wiped my GPA clean.

10.  I am INCREDIBLY grateful for the 22 people who are currently following my blog.  Seeing that number there encourages me every day to keep trying and lets me know there are others who totally get my journey.

There.   Two posts in one lucky readers, you!  

Dark, darker, darkest

Just in one of those places today....and when I find myself there, sometimes dark music is just the thing to pull me here are two that I have on repeat....

and even better

I'm so tired of being here
Suppressed by all my childish fears
And if you have to leave
I wish that you would just leave
'Cause your presence still lingers here
And it won't leave me alone

These wounds won't seem to heal
This pain is just too real
There's just too much that time cannot erase

4 days until surgery.....I can get there...I can get there...I can get there....

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

I'm Stuffed

In going through therapy, I have learned to rate my mood in one of two ways.  The first is the basic number scale, 0 being the worst day of your life and 10 being the best day.  (10 could also mean a manic episode so we don't use that number often)  We also use words, and I learning more and more feelings words to accurately describe my emotions.  I am learning to go beyond happy, sad, tired, awake to mumbled, rejuvenated, and today's word: stuffed.

Stuffed in this sense does not mean that I have eaten to much, but that I have been stuffing emotions for over two weeks now and I am full.  Like a turkey overstuffed on Thanksgiving  (ummmm....turkey and stuffing....bad analogy for someone on day eleventy billion of protein shakes).  I have been stuffing my insecurities of the surgery, of how much the absence of food is really impacting my day to day life, of the depression that still remains from the hell I have been through the past 6 months.  Do you think if I paid the doctor a little extra he could "unstuff" me on Monday when he is in there putting the band on?  Band on, emotions out.   Yeah right.

So, here is my other way to deep thought for 8::30AM after only getting about 3 hours of sleep last night....I have been using this band as an excuse to not do/deal with things.  My therapist and I are on the same wave length where we agree there are just certain topics that are best left to tackle after my surgery.  Umm, hello?!?! That's next week.  And then what excuse do I have?  I don't.  Because I am very well aware that a majority of my eating issues come from the fact that I associate stuffing emotions with stuffing my face.  I eat so as not to feel.  I eat to feel full so that I physically feel sick and don't feel emotional pain.  Kinda backwards, huh?  I am at least coming to terms with it is what it is....but admit that I am dreading sessions after surgery when it is time to do the real work, the hard work, the "unstuffing work".....

Am I alone on this one?  Are there others out there who are also feeling stuffed?

Monday, April 16, 2012

In one week

One week from today

1. I will be sending my kids off to school....after packing lunches, making sure uniforms and hair look just perfect, zipping up backpacks and coats, kissing their little foreheads (before we get to school because it would be embarrassing to do it in front of friends), waving good-bye from the parking-lot

2.  Throwing in a load of laundry to make sure everyone has clean uniforms for school the next day and for gymnastics.

3.  Making sure the dishes are out of the sink since we are having a small ant problem right now...gotta love Midwestern springtime.

4.  Vacuuming dog hair from the carpet like I do every morning....downside of have a Great Pyrenees is a LOT of white hair EVERYWHERE.

5.  Oh, yeah, and then heading off to surgery.

All in a day's work for a mom, right?

I cannot believe that it is just one week away.  One week.  I started this journey a year ago.  It was one of those things that I though was never really going to come true.  And here it is!  Emotions run high, expectations are through the roof, sleep is low, and hunger: well, after 8 days on protein shakes you really start to learn when your body is hungry and when it's not because it's not like they are the best things in the world to eat.  I have so many thoughts right now I don't know how to get them all I will ruminate over them most of today and perhaps you will be treated to a second post by me!  Until then.....Have a great Monday!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

On the 6th days of protein shakes my true love gave to me....

Day 6 of shakes!  I am learning to be's lunch was one scoop of chocolate mix, one a vanilla, blueberries, and strawberries....I on the wild side.  And, hold on to your horses, I have a vanilla mango shakes freezing for a cool treat later on!  I know, I am going crazy!

I have promised myself to not obsess with the scale, and I have my final FINAL appointment with the surgeon on Tuesday, so I will check my weight there....

However....   sad face....  I might have cheated.  Might have.

There is a rumor going around that I gave into to a BK single from the dollar menu.  Now, I am not confirming nor denying this...I believe in a court of law it's called pleading no contest...However, I will say that there MIGHT have been some major stomach pains after the so called consumption of said burger.  Guess my stomach is getting used to shakes and doesn't miss cheeseburgers so much after all...

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Looking forward to...

What are you looking forward to the most after your surgery?  Is it feeling more in control of your life?  Is it a certain weight or dress size that you want to obtain?  Is it feeling that you are not the fattest person in the room anymore?

I am looking for a sense of peace....and now only 11 days from surgery am wondering if I will find it from a piece of plastic around my stomach, or if I need to look somewhere deeper.  I want to be peaceful in my heart, peaceful in my actions.  I want to be peaceful when I leave my house, not in constant fear that people are looking and judging me.  I want to be peaceful with my children, and not have to worry that their classmates will point out to them that they have a fat mother.  I want to be peaceful with my husband, and enjoy (hopefully) a very long life with each other.  I want to be peaceful in knowing that everything in my life has brought me to this place for a reason..... that the sappy stuff is done...what I really want is a McDonald's McDouble.

The End.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

EKG, X-Ray, and GI, oh my!

Today is a big milestone.....I am going in for all my pre-op testing!  That means that the surgery is just around the corner!  I am not a big fan of needles (nor am I am fan of fasting for about 15 hours) but it's a necessary evil to get me to the pot of gold!  12 days and counting!

And, bonus, I am having a REALLY good hair day...

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Only rainbows after rain.....

This is all I got for today....just what I need to hang on....One day at a time....

Monday, April 9, 2012

And so it begins.....


I might have had a panic attack small melt down last night when it really started to sink in that I am starting my pre-op diet this morning.  It might have kept me up until past midnight, which was just silly on my part because I KNEW my girl (who don't have school today) would be up by 6:30ish and that would leave a not so happy Momma.  I was able to pacify them with TV and waffles and then crawl back into bed until about which point I knew I needed to get up and start my day.

Taking a tip from one of the receptionists at the Dr's office, I decided to make my first shake more of a smoothie and add Black Cherry Greek Yogurt to the Chocolate Mix and skim milk.  The results?'s still sitting next to me and I will admit I have not tried it yet....but I will....hold on a second...'s actually not too bad....very thick...very thick...I could see how 4-5 of these a day could fill you read the paperwork again today and it recommends that you can freeze one for about 6 hours and it makes it like ice cream!  Wooohooo!  Ice Cream!  A few more sips.....yup....I can do this....right?   It's certainly a HUGE change....HUGE change....but it's what I have been working for for such a long time....and I am ready to get there!

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Pre-Op Melt Down

PLEASE tell me that there are other people who freaked out at the thought of a pre-op diet?  I don't know if I missed this somewhere in my materials or if I elected not to remember it, but the closer it gets to Monday and the start of shakes and clear liquids, the more I am panicking.  I know that I have to remember that I chose this, that I am the one asking for this.  I was mentally set for the shakes AFTER not before.  The receptionist at my dr's office was great in going over the process, what you can and cannot eat, and giving tips on ways to "mix things up"  (the Chocolate Peanut Butter sounds AwEsOmE).

I have been successful on shake diets before...does anyone remember Dynaslim?  I lost a ton of weight in the 90's with that.  BUT, and it's a big but, there was always that "option" of cheating.  I always knew, somewhere in my mind, that if I had a really bad day or was really frustrated that I could turn to food for just one night, one meal, one over-sized serving of ice cream to settle myself and then start fresh in the morning.  I can't now.  I know how important it is to do this diet for my liver and a successful surgery, about how it will "re-train" my body and brain for the strict diet that is to follow in the weeks ahead.

So, I will just call a spade a spade:

I am just plain scared.

Friday, April 6, 2012

The date is set!

Hurray!!!!!  The date is set!  April 23rd!!!!!!

I went to the office today and picked up my pre-op diet shake mix, and I have to admit a feeling of total dread set in.  This is it.  This is what I have wanted for so long, and now it's about to come true!  And soon...two weeks...

I am so glad that I have an ubber supportive husband and a wonderful therapist who will help me work through all this...but is there really any good substitute for a Large Diet Coke and a McDouble?

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Stop the Presses!!!

Do people still say that anymore?

I am cleared for surgery!  I met with the psychologist today and he was more than impressed with the changes I have made and the therapy that I have set for the future, so with his thumbs up I can set the date!

Trying to decide if I am more excited about this than I was about my wedding date?  Hmmm....certainly a close 2nd.....

So, what do you wish you had known a few weeks before your "big day?"  What are changes that you wish you would have planned for?

Monday, April 2, 2012

Does anyone else still watch Judging Amy?

Does anyone else out there still watch re-runs of Judging Amy?  I started watching it as a junior in college for a social work project, and was quickly hooked.  I happily found re-runs play on GMC while I was home with Lilli right after her birth, and would tape them to watch during midnight feedings....

On to the point...

Today's episode I watched (which I really think was recorded last week...but anyway) was when Maxine suffers from two heart attacks.  As the family does their drama and "whose fault it is" shpell, the wise Ignacio sits down to talk to Vincent about Maxine and states that she is ashamed of the past and fearful of the future.

Umm.....helllo!  That is so me....ashamed of what I have been in my past and fearful of what is to come in the future.

I don't know about many of you, but I have always been the Fat (insert pronoun here.)  The Fat Sister.  The Fat Friend.  The Fat Mom.  What am I going to be now?  What will my new identity look like?  What will I look like?

I have my final psych appointment tomorrow and after that I should be able to schedule my surgery...and while I am filled with anticipation and excitement, there is a little voice inside that is unsure.  Unsure of what I will look like, what I will feel like, what I will become.

Stick around.....I hope I will find some answers soon....