Monday, January 24, 2011

5 weeks today

It's hard to believe that five weeks ago today this little plastic and silicone band was put inside of me. I thought I was going to be the only person in the world that hated it and wanted it out the next day lol. So, what have I been up to for the last five weeks?

I have lost 21.8 pounds bringing mento a new weight of 276.6! That number is still so big but it will come down.

My family and friends and coworkers are noticing. Another teacher said to me today, "I can really tell you're losing!". That makes me feel so good! My cousin noticed yesterday and if course gave me the 21 questions. But that's to be expected. My mom saw me today for the first time in a couple of weeks and could tell too!

I wore a pair of kakhis to work today that were snug in November and today they were falling off of me! That's a great feeling in itself.

I'm eating a little more and getting braver back into the food world. I went to outback this weekend and had Alice springs chicken. It was good to have dinner in a restaurant with "normal" people.

I'm doing Zumba and not getting tired as quickly!

I don't get tired as much at work. I have much more energy.

I'm just overall happier and can't wait to lose more! I'm down 21.8 pounds that unwound have never lost before on my own.

I've been taking pictures of myself every Monday from week one post op to now. I plan to do that every week until I get to goal. I want to put them on here but I'm nervous. Oh well I may anyway. I need some pics of me and my life on here. I'm posting from my iPhone so excuse any spelling errors. Whenever I get my laptop back I will post some pics! I hope y'all had a great Monday!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Hi my name is Amber and I'm crazy

Hello! I haven't posted in a few days and needed to update. In my last post I told y'all that TOM decided to show up and rain on my weight loss parade. You see, TOM and I do not get along! He makes me grouchy, sleepy, emotional, and worst of all snack! I've been doing great this week until last night. I decided I would make meatloaf last night. Inwas good and used ground turkey. I also had butter beans. Ok, what's so bad about that you ask? Nothing really. But, yes there's a but, I ate THREE pieces of it! Three without even thinking! Then when I was in the store, my favorite chips were on sale for a one day sale. Ruffles brand cheddar and sour cream. Yea, my favorite chips on sale for 99 cents staring me in the face. I said, "amber, don't do it.". Then the fatter menaaid, "girl you can eat crackers no problem. If you chew them really well they'll go right down. Besides, you'll only eat a couple and that's nothing compared to what you've been eating." So there I was having a staredown with the chips. TOM whispered in my ear, "you know it's ok, just a little treat and you haven't cheated yet" so I grabbed those damn chips and checked out. I was ashamed about it but didn't care. I got in the car and ate one and it did go down no trouble. I had a total of five which is nothing but still, I cheated. I went to bed, without exercising mind you, and lied there in bed pisses off. Oh I was pissed! I watched tv and I cried at everything that came on. I felt like a psycho! I've been so grouchy and cry baby like this whole period. I don't know what's going on bc I've never been like this. Oh well. I woke up today and said I'm not going to cheat again. It was my one downfall and I'm not doing it again. I'm going to start exercising again bc TOM should be getting the heck out of here any minute now. I'm also up 0.6 pounds this week and I blame it on TOM and my shameless chips. I hope the rest of you are doing good. I go in for my first fill Thursday. I'm really nervous. I've lost good but I can still eat anything I want (clearly) and the reason I'm not overdoing it is simply bc I'm stopping myself. I read of people whose band won't even let them eat certain foods. I just wonder what mine will be like. Hmm, oh well. I'm still down 20.2 pounds so I'm ok with that. I blame it on TOM. Eff off Tom! Have a great weekend everyone!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Back to School..Back to School

Hello!  Well, today it was back to work for me and back to school for my students.  Here in small town Alabama, the town SHUTS DOWN (literally, Wal-Mart closed) when it snows/ices.  We were out EVERYDAY last week!  We were out for our two weeks for Christmas, came back for a week, then were out all next week so my kids are pretty crazy!  They were actually pretty good for me today.  I don't know if I mentioned it or not but I am a 5th grade Language Arts teacher.  I LOVE my job!  I would rather teach lower grades, but with proration like it is, I jumped on the first job I could get! 

So, today we came back.  I am still on such a high from my 20.6 loss from yesterday that I was on cloud 9!  The other teachers noticed big time and, of course, kept asking me what I'm doing to lose so much.  I just told them that I have been cutting back, eating better, and exercising.  None of that is a lie but it's not also the "full" truth.  I'm not really open about my band.  Not that I'm ashamed of it, but it's still so new to me and I'm still figuring it out, I don't want to answer 21 questions from everyone I meet about it.  My students even noticed.  They were like, "Did you do something different to your hair?  Your head and face looks different."  It was funny.  I also found out today that I am in charge of our school's Spelling Bee and the beauty pageant.  Greeeaaaatttt.  Oh well, I guess that's what happens when you are a first year teacher.  At least I can put "Pageant Director and Spelling Bee Director" on my resume now!

Anyway, at our snack time this morning (8:45) I had some yogurt.  It was really hard for me to eat it.  It made my stomach feel really weird.  I guess my band doesn't like to eat in the morning.  Then at 12:00 we went to lunch.  I brought 5 Special K crackers and some tuna salad.  I was able to eat a little bit of it but not all of it.  I didn't even eat all 5 crackers, and a serving size is 17 crackers!  I just related it to still being "tight" I guess because I wasn't even hungry, I just ate because I needed to and there were no more breaks during the day except for my planning period and I was going to get cranky if I didn't have something.  So I ate a few bites and carried on.  My fellow teachers were like, "No wonder you're losing weight!  You're freaking starving yourself!"  Sometimes I do feel that way because I know I'm not getting in enough calories for the day, but I'm not hungry at all.  (Thank you, God!)  I did manage to sip on water most of the day.  I haven't had nearly as much today as I normally do.  TOM also showed up bright and early this morning!  This should be an interesting week! 

When I came home I fixed me a glass of chocolate milk just to get some calories and protein in me.  We then went over to my grandmother's tax office so my fiance could fix a couple of her computers that have been acting up over the past few days.  We came home and Justin had grilled chicken breast strips on the George Foreman and I had baked chicken breast strips baked in the oven with some Dale's Marinade Sauce!  We also had some baked beans with it.  I cut up my 2 strips in teeny tiny pieces, it looked like I was fixing a plate for a baby.  Then I had 2 tablespoons of baked beans.  That equaled about a 1/2 cup.  I don't know if we're supposed to do this, but y'all I'm so scared of throwing up that I chew my food until it is nothing but mushy liquid that will just slide right on down.  It's kinda gross feeling, and my mouth gets tired of chewing, but I haven't gotten queezy yet or thrown up or pb'd so I guess if that's what I've gotta do then I will deal with it! 

Right now I'm sitting here making more wedding plans (I swear I should have just eloped!), watching tv with my hunnie and my dog.  Once my food settles, which should be here in about another 20 minutes, I'm going to do Zumba on the Kinect for the xbox.  Y'all, it's pure comedy.  If I could upload the video I would probably win a prize!  Anyway, I hope the rest of you had a terrific and skinny Tuesday!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Four Weeks Post Op Today

Hello!  Today I am 4 weeks out from my surgery.  I hated my first week so bad.  I hated this "stupid" band, I wanted to eat "normal" food (i.e. pizza, cheeseburgers, cookies), and I hated the way I felt.  But now, I love this thing!  I did my weekly weigh-in today (my official days are Mondays since that was my surgery day) and I am down 20.6 pounds!  This is all post op weight loss!  I started this journey on December 20, 2010 at a whopping 298.4 (my highest weight EVER) and today, four little weeks later, I weigh 277.8  Y'all, I don't think I've weighed in the 270's in like 2 years.  Gah, it might even be longer than that.  Nonetheless, I have lost this with the help of my band and I don't regret my decision for a minute.  I'm still wearing the same size clothes (boo-hoo, whaa whaa, throwing a temper tantrum in the floor!) but they are getting a little saggy in the lower part of my butt, my gut doesn't look as plump lol, and my shirts fit very loose at my shoulders and arms.  So, no need to complain I suppose. 

This weekend I ordered all kinds of wedding stuff!  I got my save the dates ordered (I will post a picture when I get them), my bubbles ordered, my bridesmaid gifts ordered, and cake topper ordered.  I will show pictures of all of these when they come in.  I don't know if I have mentioned that we are getting married at the beach or not?  But, we are.  I'll show you a picture of where we are getting married, my dress, the bridesmaid dresses, and my flowers.  Oh, I ordered flowers today as well!  Justin and I went to our favorite mexican restaurant this weekend.  Since I'm on real food now, I can eat ground meat so I ordered the kids taco salad with no lettuce.  I just didn't know how lettuce would do me right now.  It was fantastic!  It tasted great to finally have real food!  We grocery shopped after that and came home and watched a movie.  I don't know if I mentioned this either or not, but I live in Alabama.  As you can guess, Alabama doesn't get snow.  Well, last week we got a ton of snow and since no one in this state knows how to clean it up nor do they have the equipment to do so, we have been snowed/iced in.  It's ridiculous!  I HATE it!  I am a teacher, and we missed EVERY day of school last week.  One was a weather day so we will have to make up the other 4.  I was hoping we would go back today event though today is MLK Jr. day and I respect the day, but we really need to make these days up.  I don't want to take away Spring Break, and I definitely don't want to go into June because my wedding is that weekend!!  So, it looks like we might do Saturday school.  Those days will just be half days anyway.  So hopefully we will do a Saturday a month until May then we will be all made up!

That was completely non WLS related lol  Sometimes I just go off onto other things.  Anyway, so I'm down 20. pounds so far.  I'm participating in the Spring Break Challenge on LBT and set my goal for 250.  I'm at 277.8 right now.  That gives me 7 weeks to lose 27.8 pounds.  I think I can do that.  That is double the expected 1-2 pounds a week loss, but I think I can manage.  I have upped my exercising and I think I will up it even more.  I was walking a mile a day in my neighborhood and I think I will up that to 2 miles this week.  I've also been playing Dance Central on the Kinect for the XBox 360 and it's pure comedy let me tell ya.  But y'all, it really does work you out.  I got the Zumba for it today and I can't wait to do it tonight.  I LOVE Zumba!  So maybe with more working out, keep limiting my food, I can manage to lose those 27.8 pounds!  Anyway, I will leave you with pictures and a big fat happy Monday!!

This is where we are staying!  We will be getting married
right there on the beach!

These are what my flowers will look like.  This is from
a picture found on google images.  It is not mine!

Here is the link to my dress!

Bridesmaid dresses  You have to click on the right color.  It's the fourth color from the right on the top row.  It's called golden.  They are carrying a pink bouquet as well.  Just not roses.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Surgery Experience

The hospital where I had my surgery is two hours away from my house.  I know, crazy, but I started my journey with them while I was still a student living in that town and then I moved back home after graduation.  My surgery was schedule for 7:30 and I had to be there by 5:30.  My mom and I got up really early and we drove to the hospital.  I was so nervous the whole way there that I almost told her to turn around and go back.  I didn't because I knew she would.  She is very supportive of my decision.  She said she would support me if I got it and support me if I chickened out.  So, we got to the hospital at 5:00.  I checked in and got moved to my room.  They checked my blood pressure which was out the roof because I was SOOO nervous!  I guess I should mention that this was my first ever surgery experience.  I have never had ANY type of surgery.  No tonsils, no wisdom teeth, NOTHING.  I was terrified of that and also scared of being put to sleep.  So, they related it to my nerves and told me that soon enough I would be nervous at all that the anesthesiologist was going to make me feel GOOD!  lol  I peed in a cup to make sure I wasn't pregnant, which I wasn't.  Got into my lovely gown which was about 5 sizes too big and lied in the bed waiting.  My mom finally came in and was waiting with me.  The nurse asked me 21 questions and then gave me a shot in the stomach to make sure I didn't get any blood clots. 

A few minutes later, another nurse came in with the rolly bed and asked if I was ready.  I told her no and she said too bad lol.  I got onto the bed and she rolled me to the other side of the hospital.  I was scared to death and started crying which made my mom cry.  She told me I was going to be fine and that she would see me soon.  We came to a stop and the nurse showed my mom the waiting room and my mom told me bye and I started crying again lol.  They rolled me into the pre op/recovery room.  I got in there and another nurse gave me the same 21 questions.  What's your name, why are you here, are you allergic to anything, have you seen this movie, what kind of car do you drive, you know...the usual.  lol  She left and then the CRNA came over and started hooking up my IV.  This is where I got SCARED lol  I was terrified of the IV, mostly just afraid of the pain that came along with it.  Another nurse came over and held my hand while the CRNA gave me a numbing shot.  She said, some shots feel like ant bites and others feel like hornets.  Here comes the hornet.  OUCH STING STING!!  She said, there you go, you just got stung by a hornet.  She then got ready to put the IV in and said you might feel pressure or some stinging.  I said stinging!?  Then why did I just get that shot?!  They laughed and said I shouldn't feel it.  She got up walked away and I said are you done?  She said, yep, I'm done.  The anesthesiologist then came over and gave me the same 21 questions.  I told her that I had never had anesthesia before and to please make sure that she gives me enough to knock me OUT!  She said that she will definitely be making sure that I'm out like a light. 

The CRNA came over and said you are going to just be laying here for a few more minutes then we will wheel you down at 7:30.  I laid there and almost fell asleep.  I hadn't slept any the night before.  They came over at 7:20 and told me that the Dr. was ready for me.  The CRNA said I'm going to give you some of this happy juice for the ride down.  She put it in, and I instantly felt it.  We started rolling down the hall and I was talking to them and I knew I wasn't making any sense.  They started laughing and said I think we've already lost her.  I vaguely remember being rolled into the OR and seeing Dr. Bilton.  He asked if I was ready, and I said no, and he said too late now!  I saw the monitors and then I don't remember anything after that.  I woke up but couldn't keep my eyes open in the recovery room.  I was awake but couldn't open my eyes.  I heard them say, she's awake.  The anesthesiologist was there and she told me that I did great.  All I could say was "I've gotta throw up!!"  They started panicking and rushed over a barf bag and I began to dry heave.  Ughhh I hate that feeling!  I started crying saying nothing would come up.  They felt so bad and started petting my head and put a wet cloth on my forehead.  I remember hearing my Dr. call my mom and tell her that I did fine and that I would be in my room shortly.

They wheeled me back to my room.  All I remember was being in there and them telling me to scoot onto my bed.  OMG it hurt so bad.  I don't do well with pain though.  I scooted onto the bed, they put the pulsating boots on me and I fell asleep.  I woke up around 2 and my mom was laying in the other bed next to me.  She was playing on my iPhone.  I was miserable and couldn't do anything but sleep.  I was okay except for the dry heaving and I asked my mom to call the nurse to get me some nausea medicine.  They came in and told me that it had to be like a shot.  I had been through so much and I just said forget it, I'll be fine.  I really did get fine after that.  Apparently I don't react well to anesthesia but who knew?  I couldn't eat and could barely drink.  I chewed on some ice chips and that helped some.  Throughout the night I was in tons of pain from the gas.  My back was killing me.  I got some pain medicine put into my IV and it knocked me out again.

I had to get up and walk around at about 11 that night.  I made a loop around our area and came back to my room.  I brushed my teeth and hair then lied back down and watched tv.  The next morning I was ready to go HOME!  I brushed my teeth, put on my clothes, and walked around.  The Dr. came in to check on me, told me I did great and that I look great and that he would see me in a week.  I went home, was miserable, took my pain meds which gave me the CRAZIEST dreams.  I hated this freaking band for 4 days.  But, it got better and now I love it!  I'm ready for it to get turned on so I can really lose and then go buy my wedding dress!!!

Let Me Introduce Myself

Hello!!  This is my first post!  First of all, my name is Amber.  I graduated from The University of Alabama (Roll Tide) in May 2010 with my degree in Elementary Education.  I am a teacher and I LOVE my job!  I became engaged to my boyfriend of 6 years on April 29, 2010.  We have been together since I was in 11th grade and he was a Senior in High School.  On February 6 we will have been together for 7 years!  We are high school sweethearts.  Awwee!!  lol  We are getting married on June 4, 2011 at the beach!  Which brings me to the band.

I was never the skinny girl.  I've always been bigger than my friends but I was never noticeably big.  I weighed a lot but I carried my weight very well.  I wasn't huge, but I was by no means small.  In high school I was wearing size 14's and at graduation I was at a 16.  Well, after high school graduation I started gaining weight tremendously.  The freshman 15 was more like the freshman 30 for me.  My pants got tighter and I just started buying bigger.  At the time it wasn't a big deal to me, but after so many times of growing out of pants and buying bigger ones, it starts to get your attention.

When I started my third year of college it really hit me how much weight I had actually gained.  I guess when you live day to day you don't really notice.  I was around 280 and out of my 18's and had to wear 20's.  I really got scared and started trying whatever I could.  I did Weight Watchers with my mom and got back down to about 250 over the course of 6 months.  I was feeling really good about myself.  Well, then vacation came and I cheated.  Then school started and I was too busy to cook so I would just pick myself up something here or there.  Well, as you have already figured out, I gained it ALL back plus some.  This brings me to my final year in college.

When I started my student teaching I was the biggest I have ever been.  Eating in secret didn't help my case.  I would sometimes go eat with my friends and then come home and eat with my boyfriend.  My dress pants wouldn't fit and I actually had to buy a 22 for dress pants.  I could still wear my 20 jeans but they were tight.  I had just gotten back from a cruise with my now fiance for his graduation in December.  I hated the way I looked.  My formal dress for dinner made me look pregnant.  I didn't want to go on any shore excursions bc it required being in your bathing suit and I was too embarrassed.  So, we just shopped and ate and drank of course.  When we got back, I knew I had to do something.  When we got back, I started looking into all kinds of weight loss options for me.  I came across a friend who had the lap band and she looked amazing!  I asked her what she had done and she told me about it.  I looked it up and came across Lap Band Talk and looked at some before and after pictures of people and I was instantly hooked.  I knew this was for me!

I got in touch with the local surgeon's office that performed the surgery and had to get prequalified with them.  I met all qualifications and then I was clear to start the journey.  I went to the seminar in February 2010.  I learned all about the band and the procedure.  I was scared, but I knew I had to do something or eventually it was going to get worse because I couldn't do it on my own.  I found a local care physician in my town and began seeing her for my insurance required 7 weigh ins.  I told her why I was there and she understood and agreed that it would be a great idea, especially considering how young I am.  So, I started those in April and never lost but never gained.  I'm going to be honest, I didn't really try as hard as I could.  I was so overweight I knew I would get approved.  The fat girl in me also just wanted to keep eating the way I was because I knew that in a few months I wouldn't be able to.  October was my very last weigh in.  She told me she would send it off, gave me a hug, and wished me good luck.  She got it sent in and the surgeon's office called me in November and told me they had received it and were sending to insurance for approval.  I anxiously waited for the answer.  I was like, "what if they don't approve me because I didn't lose?  You idiot!  Why didn't you try as hard as you could?"  Well, they called me around Thanksgiving and said, you are approved.  I will be getting in touch with you soon to let you know what all you need to get done.  She called me back and let me know that I was to attend the meeting on December 6th and I also booked my surgery date on the phone with her.  December 20th was the first available day so I took it!  It worked out great because that was the first day of my Christmas Break at work and that gave me 2 weeks to recover.  I went to the meeting on the 6th and did all the ins and outs about the surgery.  I met with the surgeon and he did a check on me, told me I was the healthiest overweight person he has ever seen and that he would see me in two weeks!  I had no pre op diet so I was really excited about that.  I went to my favorite restaurant for my "Last Supper."  lol 

December 20th was my surgery.  I'll make a separate post about my surgery experience.  I went home the next day and started my full liquid diet.  I had to be on full liquids for two weeks.  It was tough, but I eventually got used to it.  I went on the 27th for my one week post op appointment.  He checked out my incisions, told me I looked great and gave me the instructions/dates to move on to other types of foods.  I started my mushy foods on the 3rd and it was great!  It was so nice to be able to eat mashed potatoes, baked potatoes, scrambled eggs, tuna salad, etc.  Miraculous! 

Now here I am three weeks and one day post op.  I feel great.  My incisions are extremely itchy and have formed a rash around them.  I have very sensitive skin so the glue may have had something to do with it.  I started on my surgery date at 298.4 and today I was 283.6.  So, I've lost 15 pounds in three weeks.  I wish it were more, but I'm happy with it because I know I wouldn't have been able to do it without my band, which really isn't even turned on yet.  I'm going to update my blog as much as possible and I look forward to following more!