Tuesday, January 11, 2011

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!


  1. Are you tall? I am 5'10" and I was 292 in a size 24, but I tend to carry my weight in my butt and hips...haha. I am also young and I never had any health problems either. I knew that it wouldn't be that way forever though. I got my band just a few weeks after you did. Good luck on your weight loss journey!

  2. I'm taller than most of my friends but I'm 5'7. It's crazy to me how sizes and weight work. Most of my weight I carry in my midsection, belly, gut, butt, love handles, etc. lol That's so great that you got your band! I'm sure you're much stronger than me (I'm a wimp when it comes to pain lol) but don't get too frustrated! The journey gets better once you get energy back and can finally start eating real food again. Good luck to you!!

  3. My hips push up my pant size too..then they're swimming on me everywhere else! You are doing so good...when I was doing my teaching practicums, I found it hard to eat healthy with everyone bringing stuff in all the time. I had my surgery a couple weeks after you too...it's nice to follow along other 'newbies' journey! Great job!!!