Thursday, November 21, 2013

"Respect My Authorita!" -- Frito Bandito


I have not been treating my band very well. I admitted to this in my previous post. This caused a lot of PB'ing that I'm sure is not good for me. I'm frankly scared to have any imaging done to see if there is any damage. As of today, I can say that I do not experience reflux (except on days when I overeat), and I can still get band-friendly foods down in 1/2-1 cup portions, and I'm not limited to only slider foods...so I am going to continue to believe that I don't need imaging for a little while.

Since my previous post, I have been doing much better (not great, just better) about tracking my calories, eating fewer calories, and once again picking up the exercise. It's working. My weight is slowly coming down again. Along with the calorie tracking I am also trying to follow some important band rules. Most notably, I'm trying to eat more filling, protein rich foods to keep me full. So to that end, my menu Monday and Tuesday looked a lot like this: 

Breakfast: Protein shake (I still can't do solids first thing in the a.m.)
Snack 1: pulled bbq chicken
Lunch: Trader Joes reduced guilt mac n cheese
Snack 2:  Teriyaki chicken
Dinner: Chilli
Snack: Cheese stick

For a total of 1400 calories and about 130 grams of protein.

Not too bad....except Frito Bandito is NOT happy with chicken sometimes, and definitely doesn't like pasta, much to my chagrin....so after two days of a similar, chicken-heavy menu, and two days of getting a little stuckish on my chicken, my pouch rebelled. I've been on liquids and mushies since. :(  Tuesday night after my snack number two of teriyaki chicken my pouch just plain hurt. I didn't even bother having dinner that night I felt so rotten. So the next morning I went soft. Shake for breakfast, shake for lunch, potato soup for dinner. Today I had a shake for breakfast, refried beans for mid-day snack, and then chili for my mid-afternoon snack. The chili was the most dense food I'd had since Tuesday afternoon...and it didn't hurt. I think I'm getting better. (Chili has always fallen into a late-stage mushie category for me because I don't put veggies in it and I use ground meat and black beans, and chew it well enough that it's like it was blended anyway.)

What's nice to realize through this process is that my band is a) still there (that has been made abundantly clear) and b) it  will actually work at keeping me satiated if I let it instead of eating chocolate or other things that contain mucho-calories but not so mucho-protein. Damn thing will work if I let it. I'm trying to not eat chocolate...or deserts in general...at all, for a while. I can't go on forever like this (I mean c'mon...TG is next week!)...but I was eating something sugar-laden EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. That had to stop. 

I need to respect the band's authority...or I'm at risk of injuring myself or having to have it removed. I don't want that. I really, really don't. 

Exercise so far for November...pink indicates days I worked out.
Not back to 6 days a week yet, but I will get there.


Some of this general awful feeling I've been experiencing was potassium related...I'm convinced of that. I've been better about taking my supplements and yesterday, for the first time in a LONG time, felt pretty great. Today, while not as great as yesterday...still feel pretty darn good, all things considered. 



Seems like a stupid note, right? But I tend to not remember that this is my problem until it is too late and I've been feeling like hell for a few days. You would think I would learn my lesson...but I don't.

Weight is down to 192...I think. My scale gives a different reading every time I get on it. And by every time, I mean I can try 15 times in a ROW and not get the same number twice. So...yeah...I think she is dying. Yes...I did change the batteries. Since doing that I will occasionally get a repeat number somewhere in the 192 range, so I think that's what I weigh.

I kinda want one of those wi-fi scales that will send your weight to an app. I wonder how those work for people. 

Some things of note. Yesterday I took possession of my dad's dog...but only so that I could put him on a plane to Texas tomorrow morning. My heart ACHES to think about doing this. I want to keep him so bad. I can't for two reasons...well, 4 reasons really...I have three dogs. Taking on a 4th is just insane. Also, he has 5 dogs worth of hair...I really can't do this with 3 other dogs even though one of mine is hairless. It's just impossible. The 4th reason is that someone in Texas is actually expecting him...and as much as I want to keep him, it would be wrong for me to do that to the person who is awaiting his arrival. But this is KILLING me...I don't know how I'm going to manage putting him on a plane tomorrow. I hope I survive this.

Dad's very hairy dog

Such a sweet, beautiful boy. Can I keep him? Please?

Oh right...I have these three already. What a motley crew. 


Finally, I'm having a dinner party on Saturday. I'm so excited about this! The theme is an "Upside Down Dinner Party" where I've told my guests to wear their favorite comfy pajamas, and I will be serving breakfast for dinner along with mimosa's and bellinis. I am making cereal bar treat bags to take home and my girls helped me make fruitloop necklaces! We are having all the usual breakfast things, eggs, bacon, hash browns, sausage, biscuits, gravy, a waffle bar, and a couple guests are bringing a breakfast casserole. From a band perspective, this is a HORRIBLE plan...but from a hostess perspective...I CAN'T WAIT! I've wanted to do this theme FOREVER. Someday I will repeat the theme with breakfast themed appetizer/finger foods (I have MANY ideas), but I don't have the space or time to do that one this time around. I wish I did. I will try to get pictures of the spread for this though...so excited! I probably won't get to eat much, of course...but I love playing hostess!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

A Scary Story for Halloween

Imagine there is this major company, who in addition to selling awesome seasonal items, housewares and tools, also sells a lot of yummy food, often in large packages, but sometimes just a family portion in their fresh foods area, all for very reasonable prices. Imagine that you LOVE this company and most of their yummy food products so much that your friends don't even bother asking where you get anything anymore, because they know the answer.

And then imagine that you accept a job with said company's home office...and said office has a cafeteria. And said cafeteria serves pretty much all the food they sell in their stores...at cost.

...and the employees of said company put out bowls of delicious candy bought from that same store on their desks...

And then imagine that the new commute sucks (additional 2 hours in the car each day, for a total of 3 to 3.5 hours), and you can't move any time soon. And imagine that your husband who unexpectedly lost his job in December is struggling to find gainful employment. And then your dad (who lives 90 miles away) is diagnosed with late stage terminal cancer. 

This has been my life since March 12th...the last time I posted a blog. 

I have gained weight. I have gained a lot of weight. Monday I was at 199.6 lbs.

I have stress-eaten my way to oblivion, which is very easy to do when the yummy food is constantly available for almost nothing. I have stopped exercising because my new routine allotted only 30 minutes between arriving home from work and having to go to bed on weekdays. On weekends I was driving to my dad's house, eating fast food most of the time, and of course not exercising. I pretty much opted out of all forms of actual MOVEMENT. 

My father passed away on September 13th. I managed (with LOTS of help) to get his house cleaned out and up for sale by October 15. Now I need to focus on me...I'm trying to get my life back now. My body feels horrible. I'm eating horrible. I've been treating myself horrible.

Boo. That is my scary Halloween story. A story about how the band will not save you from yourself.

I feel ashamed.

I'm here to start over. I'm here to fix this.
  • I rehired the personal trainer. I've worked out 3 days a week for the last 2 weeks. I will build it back up to six days a week with time. I've had to forgo van-pooling  on Tuesdays and Thursdays to make this work for now. 
  • Starting next Monday I have new commute hours that SHOULD give me an extra 2 hours (this is the current working theory) every night to make the exercise thing more palatable. I might ACTUALLY get to see my husband for a few minutes each day, too...which would be nice.
  • Yes, the company cafeteria does sell healthy options. I just have a bad habit of not PICKING the healthy options. I need to stop that. Or I need to avoid the cafeteria. It can be done.
  • My husband is working again. He makes $16k less than he did at his previous job, but he is happy (he temporarily took another position where he was VERY unhappy. The stories I've heard...oy...that place is high on the list of candidates for a serious workplace violence incident. The people there are shockingly miserable and their behavior is unbelievable). We are getting by...but we can't move for now. I want to....believe me, I want to.
  • I need to utilize my blog again (starting with this post). I stopped reading all the bandster blogs because I felt like such a failure. I need to get out of that mindset and get BACK into reading all the blogs I used to read. This used to be my "support group" of sorts.
  • Oddly enough, I do NOT need a fill. I'm pretty full. I just don't treat it right. I need to listen to my band. I've been eating when I'm not hungry, eating foods that make me stuck, continuing to eat when I'm satisfied just because I want more food, and eating foods that go down easy...and sugar...lots of sugar. All this needs to stop. It's ridiculous. Why did I get the band if I'm not going to use it right?
  • I need a session of power cooking. My old diet worked for me. And that diet included having correct portions of good food available to me in my freezer. I need a day to get that lined up again.

One Day at A Time:

Today, I had a shake for breakfast (still pretty tight in the mornings), chili for lunch with 90 calories of sliced apples. I'm satisfied. Now...to avoid all the Halloween candy in the office.

I drove myself in to work today and will be leaving at 3pm to get home to work out with the trainer tonight.


Hello Bandsters. Can I come back?

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Happy birthday to me…


I got the job. J  I start on 3/25. Just signed the official letter yesterday.

For those keeping score, this process started on DECEMBER 17th with my first phone interview…it took THREE months, one phone interview and THREE in person interviews to get through this. In that time I have stress-eaten my way to oblivion as I second guessed myself after seemingly un-ending weeks of no contact. LOL…seriously, this was worse than dating.

But I got it.

I’M SO EXCITED!

Also, I am celebrating my 39th birthday this week.

I have decided that I want to reach my goal weight of 145 by my 40th birthday…so I have some work to do in the next year. I believe it can be done, as long as I get back into a good routine. My new commute is going to SUCK…but it does NOT mean that exercise is not possible…just more important than ever to figure out how to schedule it in. Also…my new company has a gym on site…so it REALLY can be done!

I’m also hoping to move when my 90 day probationary period is over…and if all goes as planned, that move will put us into a MUCH nicer area, instead of the semi-ghetto I live in now. I’m a little jaded right now…the park across the street from my house got tagged with gang-related stuff 2 nights ago…first time it’s been hit in a few years. They also got a corner house of a little old lady…makes me SO MAD! It makes the prospect of moving in 3-4 months SO MUCH MORE enticing!

Thursday, February 28, 2013

What do you know...donuts really ARE the enemy!


Remember all these potty issues I wrote about in 2011? I asked for a bunch of tests at the time, which I was TOLD came back negative. In the meantime, I started taking a probiotic and managing constipation with frequent (almost daily) doses of miralax and just went on with my life as things did seem to improve.
Well…in December I went to my new Primary Care Physician who replaced my previous PCP who retired…and she asks me how I’m managing my CELIAC disease. I said I don’t have Celiac disease…at which point she pulled up my electronic lab results and pointed to a very clear positive result for the antibodies that react to gluten…the test my previous doc ordered in October 2011 but told me was negative. I was a little shocked…and frankly annoyed, and a whole lot skeptical. She continued looking through my records and found where my previous doctor had, in fact, concluded that the test was negative. So I said I wasn’t going to believe it until additional tests were run.

Unfortunately, to test for gluten issues, you have to actually have gluten in your system. At the time of this appointment, I was low-carbing, which is naturally a gluten free way of eating…so there was no point in testing at that time. We agreed to wait until a time I was not only consuming gluten again, but also experiencing symptoms again.

That time came a couple weeks ago. Similar issues to what I had been experiencing in 2011 were starting to emerge…not horrible yet, but definitely noticeable. So I emailed the new PCP and told her I was ready to test. The first test I took (that came back positive) was a “gliadin antibody” test, the next test would be a “transglutaminase tissue” test. The gliadin antibody test indicates that my body is reacting to gluten as a “foreign invader” and produces these antibodies to try to attack it. The Transglutaminase test would indicate that my body was having an auto-immune response to the gluten and attacking itself. Because of how I felt, I was SURE it would come back positive.

But it didn’t.

So this is a good news/bad news thing….the good news is that my body is not destroying itself through villous atrophy in my intestines every time I eat wheat…Which thank goodness, cuz that would be bad! But…my body is still SEVERELY unhappy when I eat wheat…or gluten specificly….so now that can no longer be a part of my diet. RIP wheat and wheat products…I shall miss thee…

This explains why I feel so much better when I’m low-carbing. But it also has caused me to wonder what else I might be intolerant to. So…I did some research, and am now going to a naturopath at IBS Treatment Center in Seattle (which is also the source of a book I’m reading, Healthier Without Wheat), to have some labs done to see if there is anything else I should be avoiding. I have to admit, while I’m CONVINCED that Soy and Potatoes are going to come back as additional issues (I’m ok…I’ve known this about myself for a long time), I’m absolutely TERRIFIED that Cheese and Corn will also come back positive on the test. I will DIE without cheese….no, really…I will. I LOVE my cheese.

They say you are likely allergic to the things you crave most…hello? Dorritos and Mac and Cheese? UGH!

It takes 4 weeks for the results to come back. Till then, I’m inhaling Tillamook like it’s going out of style. Denial much?

Really officer...I was only puking...


Here are my current updates…or maybe I should do a TTT?

1.       I have a “final interview” with the hiring manager and 1 other person for the position I’ve been in the running for since December 17th. This will mark the FOURTH interview in the process. I’m cautiously optimistic that this is intended to be a session for an offer as they have kindly requested that I visit HR for a drug and background check immediately following my meeting. EEK!!! So excited!

2.       With all this excitement comes the trepidation of having to tell my current employer that I’m leaving. I haven’t said anything to him because it’s all been so uncertain and I didn’t want to freak him out. I know I will likely only be able to give 2 weeks notice and that is simply not enough time for them to get someone in for me to transition my work to, and I feel a lot of guilt about that.

3.       All this guilt for a job I haven’t a) been offered yet or b) not even sure I can accept the offer because I’m unclear of their salary range. *sigh*

4.       The role of “protein” today is being played by Premier Protein shakes. I’m having issues. I HAD learned recently that I am very tight in the mornings…and HAD been good about just having a shake in the morning. But the last few days I was traveling and did not have shakes on hand so ate protein bars in the a.m. instead…which went down fine, no problemo…so then I guess I got comfortable with the fact that I could consume solid food again in the a.m., so I ate 2 pieces of bacon before walking out the door for work this morning. 15 minutes later I’m pulled over on the side of the interstate…not just PBing…but VIOLENTLY vomiting. NOT GOOD! Now I’m wondering if I should call my clinic…PBing because I’m tight is one thing….vomiting though is bad news for the band. I’m not entirely sure what brought this on. I was clearly stuck…and I tried to ride it out (literally, since I was DRIVING on the interstate and didn’t have a lot of options) for a long time by holding my ever-increasing slime in my mouth and not swallowing until I could pull over. I wonder if the long wait/wishing-things-would-go-down caused additional stomach trouble? I’m uncertain….and not sure what to do from here. Clearly I’m on liquids for the next two days. But still wondering if I should call the clinic or not…we are coming up on a weekend.

5.       I guess the good news is that liquids DO in fact go down…so if I have to live the weekend on a liquid diet, it’s not the end of the world, right?

6.       It’s a little awkward to explain to State Patrol that you are pulled over on the freeway because you are vomiting…awesome.

7.       The specific strange pain I wrote about on 1/30 has not recurred. However, I’m having increasing issues with discomfort related to my port in general. I’m starting to worry that I’m going to become an ex-bandster with all these issues. L

8.       So…turns out, I have a gluten intolerance. This is deserving of a whole separate post.

9.       I just took a flight that literally took LONGER to get to the airport, check in, board and rent a car than it would have if we had just driven to the dang destination. The drive from my house is 3 hours. The total flight time (from doors closed to doors open) was 40 minutes. Ridiculous…seriously should have driven.

10.   Scott still has not had any job contacts. L

That’s it. I think that was my first Ten Things Thursday.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Help...strange pain?

Since lunch yesterday I am getting these intermittent flashes of pain from my tummy. The weird thing is, I don't THINK it's my stomach, per se...but I can't say for sure. It almost feels like it is somewhere between the outside of my stomach and the abdominal wall. To give an idea where it's at, it's about 2 inches over from my port and about 1 inch up. The pain (I hesitate to call it that...maybe "flash of discomfort" is more appropriate) happens quick, without warning, and then is gone, lasting maybe 2 seconds. It happened about 15 times yesterday starting after lunch and carrying into the rest of the evening. It just started again just now (it's 5:30pm and my last food was 1 oz of cheese 2 hours ago).

It's not horribly uncomfortable but enough of a "zing" to get your attention and it's starting to worry me. Do you think it's band related? Have you ever felt anything like this?

Could it be port pain that is referrencing a couple inches away from the port? And what could suddenly cause port pain? (Last ab workout was Saturday and nothing unusual for me).



Friday, January 25, 2013

WEEE!!!! Next interview scheduled!

So it feels like it has taken FOREVER...but I finally got notified that I'm moving on to the next round of this interview process for that job I really want. WOHOO!!!!!! They said I would hear "after the 20th"...and as the days ticked on I was getting more and more nervous that I didn't make the cut. But finally, today, I got notified that I'm scheduled to come in for another panel interview next Friday. YIKES!!! So excited and nervous and stuff!

Does this mean I have to go buy another interview shirt? Hmmmmmm

My new fill is treating me well so far. I am able to drink water again...and after re-reading past posts, now realize that it is common for me to not be able to drink water quickly the first couple days after a fill. I must sound like a broken record to you guys. Sorry about that. The fill is so far doing it's job well. I haven't "searched" for food or even deviated from my eating plan at all for the last few days. I hope this continues. I ate my first really solid food last night, which was some perfectly cooked (i.e., moist) chicken, and the amount I ate was filling and I did not get stuck at all...so doing well so far. I have chicken planned again for lunch today. So far my 1/2 cup of cottage cheese consumed for breakfast is tiding me over well.

Now if I could just get some people to start calling my hubby in for an interview. He doesn't move as fast on applying for positions as I would like, which makes me a little bonkers. I'm perpetually afraid that a position is going to be no longer available if one does not apply ASAP....he does not seem to have this same fear.  Grrrr....he needs a JOB. I mean, it's great that he has all this spare time right now to be lazy...but I can't help but feel a sense of URGENCY about returning to the work force that he doesn't seem to have. Hopefully something will come up soon.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I can no longer chug water


So I got another fill yesterday…and I now have the highest fill amount in my band that I have had to date. You might recall that I had an un-fill due to a band tilt issue back before the wedding. At that time we took 2 cc’s out of my 11cc band. Well…one month after that I put 1cc back. Then 2 months later put another .5cc back in, and as of yesterday, another 1cc adjustment was done. So I’m now .5cc’s above the highest amount I’ve ever had. Yikes! I’m excited and nervous all at the same time.

But now I can’t chug water. I can drink water…2 fair-size gulps at a time…but I can tell chugging is not an option. It doesn’t get stuck…but it does sort of “mosey” on down my esophagus…an interesting feeling.

I’m ok with this…and it might loosen up. It’s just interesting right now. I can’t chug my protein shake, either…which is good. I only used to do it because I don’t totally LOVE the taste…so this makes tasting it  a much more long, drawn out process…but my whole intent with this adjustment was to slow me down. I think I have achieved that goal.

I have NO interest in food today. Usually by the end of the first day after a fill I’m fighting to stay on liquids because I’m dying to chew on something. I’m not there today. I am, however, still fighting the “want” to chew just for stress/emotional reasons. But my complete lack of appetite is making it much easier to ignore these wants. My eating habits of late were just out of bounds...I needed to reign it in by a lot. I'm hoping this does the trick.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Waiting....waiting....



So…here I am on interview day, with hose and a jacket. I spoke with the recruiter who told me that I should wear a jacket even though their environment is business casual. Anyway, the interview went great…but I don’t know anything yet. They said they would let me know if I made it to the next round around January 20th….so I’m sitting on FREAKIN PINS AND NEEDLES waiting. But…I’m happy with how it went…and will be eternally crushed if I don’t move on to the next round.
And for fun…here’s me….ummm…batmanning? Well….that’s what we have been calling it. I’m doing a 60 degree inversion, which I still, gotta say, has absolutely changed my life! I’m so grateful to have found this for my sciatica. I can’t believe the impact it has made.
 
 
Last week my workout schedule was fantabulistic….till I got my period….then I felt like hell, and a little depressed and have not worked out since. I’ll get back on it tomorrow. Last month was another month of really looking like the chance of getting PG was good…really, REALLY good (I actually ovulated with a little help from Clomid, we timed things right, etc.)….but alas, again…not meant to be. I suppose it’s good, since I’m up for a new job and Scott lost his job….but with time running out on my biological clock, it’s a huge disappointment none-the-less.
Even though I’m doing well with my workouts, my food quantity is inching up again, so I requested a fill appointment today. I really do want to win this battle....but I don’t know that I will ever “win”…I’ll always be just trying to stay one step ahead of the enemy.