Wacky Weather

This winter in Middle Tennessee had been a very odd one.  In a week, there might be two cold days, three warm ones and to moderate ones.  This week alone, we’ve had snow & freezing rain on Sunday, cloudy but warmer on Monday; intense thunderstorms and high winds with hail on Tuesday; Wednesday & Thursday has had warmer weather but then a cold front moved in overnight and Friday was filled with blustery, cold wind. We’re expecting cooler weather for the weekend too.

You just never know what to expect.

Well, just like the weather, day-to-day life can in an instant.  One day its smooth sailing. The next day you’re fighting your way through the high winds of a storm.  I know because my life is like that.  And I used to worry over every miniscule detail of those tumultuous times.  However, I’m learning that no matter what the “weather” is like in my life, Jesus is always with me.  When its good, He’s beside me, rejoicing with me.  When its stormy, He’s holding my hand, calming the storm and allowing His Light to shine so I can start to see where the storm ends.  I’m still learning to rejoice and praise Him during the storms (I still worry some), but it’s becoming easier and easier with every trial I go through.  I emphasize the word “through” because I’m NOT staying in the storm!  Just like when there’s a rainstorm outside, I’m going to run to shelter.  I just so happens that Jesus is my shelter in the storms of life.

He is your shelter (and comfort) too!

Philippians 4:7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6:25 “Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?

Jeremiah 29:11 New King James Version (NKJV) 11 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

Romans 8:28-31 (NKJV) 28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. 30 Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. 31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

God cares for you.  That’s why He sent Jesus to save you and me. Trust Him and He won’t let you drown in the storm.

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NSV?? oh….non-scale victory. now I got it.

I was reading some posts the other day on a lap-band forum and someone mentioned NSV’s.  I’m a newbie so I asked what it meant. Then the big “duh” landed on my forehead when I read that its a “non-scale victory”.

Whew…I’m glad it wasn’t some horrific side-effect of this lap-band thing.

So, now that NSV is a part of my vocabulary…I want to count some.

Last week I wore a pair of slacks that were a size smaller than my usual size.

I went shopping in my closet and found a blouse that I haven’t worn in two years because it had been too small. I love this blouse. My cousin Katie gave it to me and she had found the perfect shade of blue.

My rings are nowswirlingaround my fingers.

I’ve started cleaning out my closet of things I know I will never wear again.

And just five minutes ago…okay…maybe ten…I was able to take a pair of jeans (that were too tight just a month ago) and pull them down, over my hips, without unbuttoning or unzipping them. (Was that TMI?)

But even with all these NSV’s, I still am proud to say that, as of this morning, I’m down a total of 23 pounds in just 5 1/2 weeks!

I am so thankful that the Lord made a way for me to have this procedure done and that its working!

Trust me, this is no easy-way-out or a get-thin-quick scheme. However, it does force me to eat better things and forces me to eat smaller portions.  I still have to make the choices though. I still have to make myself stop eating at the right time.  I have to choose to take smaller bites and put my fork down between them.  I still have to get myself outta bed at 4AM to go to the gym. The lap-band surely does not do that for me!

So…no matter what…I will celebrate the victories, whether they are “scale” or not. 🙂

And when the trials and mistakes come along, I’ll learn from those and do better next time.  Isn’t that one of the things that life is about anyway?

LAP-band-1st fill yesterday, liquids today

Good afternoon Peeps!

As you know, yesterday was the first fill on my band. Therefore, I am on liquids all day today, returning to “mushies” tomorrow.

Let me preface what I’m about to write with…”I’m not complaining…just stating fact.”  🙂

My “meals” today have consisted of a protein shake made with unsweetened almond milk; a bottle of water; alargecup of beef broth; a half-bottle of water mixed with sugar-free Hawaiian punch mix; and 2 cups of sugar-free jello.

I’m hungry.

Again…not complaining. Just stating facts.

However, as I walked down the hallway just now, someone was heating left-over Chinese food in the microwave.  Oh my word! Who knew left-over Chinese food could smell so good?  PF Chang’s lettuce wraps….wait for me my friends!!  Hopefully I’ll be there soon!

I told one of friends here at work how beautiful her salad was.  What?    I’m an obsessed crazy, hungry lady today.  Is it weird to dream of 16 hours from now when I can have (maybe) a 1/2 cup of scrambled egg?

I think I’ll go get my protein shake out of the fridge, throw the mini-blender to it and pretend I’m making tomato bisque or something like that. Yeah…chocolate protein can taste like tomato bisque, right?

LAP-band Faux Pas—REMEDIED!

Ah!  My 3-week, post-op check-up is in the books!  I was so worried about how it would turn out. I mean…I messed up two weeks ago with that whole “do-an-adjustment-and-didn’t-really-need-one” thing. I have struggled for two weeks to eat only 1 cup of food at each meal, make sure I get all my protein (at least 60g a day) in and no more that 25g of carbs (yeah…didn’t do so well with that one). I’ve been hungry 2 hours after I eat…on the dot. No lie.  If I finished eating at 1:15p.m., by 3:15p.m, my stomach was screaming at me!

So…do you want to know what happened today?  You do? Good…because I was going to tell you anyway. LOL.   First, the nurse weighed me.  Down 2 pounds. Yay! I worried about gaining because I had been “eating too much”.  That puts me at an even 20 pounds (by the doctor’s scales) in just 5 weeks. Yep, on average, 4 pounds a week.

Then the doctor comes in. Of course, I have to relay and remind him of what has happened since January 25th, but that’s okay. My surgeon is a popular doctor and he can’t possibly remember all the details of all his patients.

For those of you who don’t know, the LAP-band reminds me of the zip ties I used to used to hang banners at radio events. It is attached around the top portion of the stomach to make a smaller pouch, thereby making one feel more full for a longer period of time, on a smaller amount of food. The restriction is controlled by adding or removing saline from the ring around the stomach or “the band”.  There’s a port placed just underneath my skin for the saline to be injected (to tighten) or removed (to loosen).

So, Doc numbs the area around the port and then grabs his syringe with the saline it. He starts with adding back 1 cc (which is what was removed at the time of my faux pas). I drank some water and it went down fine.  He added another .5 cc. Again, no problem with the water.  Might I remind you that the slightest bit of too much restriction will definitely be obvious very quickly?  Doc tried 2 cc of saline. I took a sip of water. Keep in mind that I am in no way ill at this juncture of my life. However, after about 10 seconds of sipping that water…oh! Doc must’ve seen the look on my face because he asked, “Is it coming back up?” I replied, “It might!”. He took the saline down by .5 cc. Within less than a minute, that “toss-my-cookies- feeling” left and I was fine.

Its a stranged sensation to know that you are well, have been sipping water fine and then all of a sudden…BAM!  It might not stay there.  It was also a weird sensation to feel the band tightening around the “stoma” as the saline was being added.

I’m just glad its over and I can move on. I’m on liquids today and tomorrow. So that will be fun. not.  On Friday, I’m going to try “mushies”.  I’ve been at my job for over 5 years and our Service Awards are Friday. I wonder what they are serving for lunch?  I wonder if I’ll be able to have any of it?  Maybe someone on the committee will share the menu with me so I can plan for a possible alternative. 🙂

Did I tell you?  I joined a weight loss challenge tonight at Snap Fitness!  I’m very excited about this. There are cash prizes! woo-hoo!

Ooops! Just drank my broth too fast…I now have the hiccups. Somebody scare me….quick!

LAP-band–2 weeks and 6 days post-op

Well Peeps….tomorrow is the day!  Its my 3-week post-op check-up. I cannot wait for 2:30p to get here tomorrow! Why?  Have you read my “LAP-band Faux Pas” post?  LOL!

I can get re-adjusted tomorrow…also known as a “fill”.  Even though I’ve only been eating a cup of food at a meal (WAAAAY less than I used to eat), I am already in the mindset that that is too much food!  I never thought I’d ever say that. ahh…ch-ch-ch-changes. 🙂

I have no idea if I’ve lost any weight these past two weeks.  Every scale I’ve stepped on has given me a different number. Therefore, I shall only “officially” go by the doctor’s digital scales. I’m praying I’ve lost, but either way I will report the results tomorrow…good or bad.  I mean, you guys are with me either way, right? RIGHT?!?  😉

Sorry…just a little anxious, excited, concerned, all of the above for this appointment tomorrow.  I will say, though, that even though I really can’t see much of a difference in the mirror, I get comments every day from my friends that they can already see a difference. Well…I’ll take it then!  I need every ounce of confidence boost I can get!

So, thanks again for letting me rant a little about this journey I’m taking. Thanks for making the journey with me.  I’ll let you know tomorrow how the check-up turns out.

Muah!

My first LAP-band faux pas

I took this six days after the surgery. I'll try to keep the progress photos updated.

Well peeps…its 2 weeks and 2 days since my LAP-band procedure.

I wish I could give you an update on my weight loss..but, to be honest, I cannot.  I messed up.

You see, my brain caused me to make a mistake which has hindered me these first two weeks. I suppose I should back up for a minute (or two or three).  The procedure was on January 25th.  I was on liquids for two days, “mushies” for two days, and then I could start incorporating whole foods as tolerated.

My guidelines are:  1/2 cup -1 cup of food, small bites, chew slowly, chew at least 27 times, nothing to drink at least 20 minutes prior to a meal, nothing to drink for at least an hour after a meal.

So, during “mushies” time, I was only eating about 1-2 ounces of food. I thought, “Man, this LAP-band thing is great!”  I felt full and satisfied, wasn’t hungry and could go at least four hours without eating anything. (oh yeah…that’s another guideline…I should be able to go that long in between meals. Remember that people.)  As I started incorporating regular-texture food though, I could tell a difference.  I was more uncomfortable and was having various abdominal pains. The pains were normal. As my nurse stated, “Its like you’ve been stabbed a few times. Those muscles have to have time to heal.”  duh me.  That’s what I get for not thinking.  Anyway, we decided I should go in for an adjustment to loosen the band a bit.  I don’t know how much my doctor removed, but I could immediately breathe easier.  And (so I thought) I was on the right track.

That was on Wednesday, exactly one week after my surgery.  On Thursday night, I was measuring out some grilled chicken. Now, keep in mind my guidelines: 1/2 cup to 1 cup of food. In my head, I was thinking, “A cup is 8 ounces. Half a cup is 4 ounces. I can have up to 4 ounces of chicken.”  So, as I weighed out my chicken on my kitchen scale (you can see where this is going, right?), the pile of chicken got larger & larger and finally hit 4 ounces. I’m thinking “geez, that’s a lot of chicken. there’s no way I can eat all of that!”  Then the light bulb cam on. “Chrissy, you dummy!  You were measuring your food wrong!”  So I put some of the chicken in my 1/2-cup size measuring cup.

People, can I tell you (in case you have already figured it out)…a 1/2 cup of chicken by volume is a LOT less chicken than 4 ounces by weight?!?!

That realization of my stupidity almost caused me to have a panic attack and pass out in the floor!  Ugh!  I hadn’t needed the adjustment after all!    Well, I decided I was just going to muddle through the weekend because my doctor isn’t in on Fridays.  And besides, I would just call on Monday, tell them what happened and go in to get “refilled”. Right?

WRONG.

They told me I had to wait for my 3-week check-up…on the 15th!  What?  A week and a half of eating more than I expected at this stage of the journey?  What am I going to do?

Well, I prayed. I prayed for calm and clarity. I prayed for strength to get through this self-induced bump in the road. And…I have made a plan.  I have my 1/2 cup and 1-cup measuring cups always ready.  My meats are grilled or baked OR they are easily-measured deli meats.  When I get hungry two (yes I said two) hours after I eat, I drink a protein shake or a lot of water to get me through until food time. Beef broth or the aforementioned deli meats help too. However, I try not to food-snack between meals. Why?  Because I have to wait an hour before I can drink anything and that makes it so much harder to get in all my water for the day.

I started this journed on my parents’ 44th anniversary, January 11th.  Two weeks later I had my surgery, on January 25th.  A week later, at my adjustment appointment, I had already lost 18 pounds! That’s 6 pounds per week! Wow!

I don’t know if my little faux pas is going to mess me up or not on “pounds lost”. However, I remind myself of something I learned from Weight WatchersWe don’t always measure success by the scale.

So help me celebrate because, in addition to the at least 18 pounds lost, this week I’ve:

-started going back to the gym

-lost an inch in my waist

-wore a pair of slacks yesterday that were a size smaller than my usual size

zipped up a leather jacket that I could not zip up a month ago.

Its the little things, People!  🙂

Mostly though, I’m turning this journey over to God. I believe He made this tool available to me and led me to a wonderful doctor with a caring team of people.  I believe He made it possible for my insurance to be approved and cover most of the cost.    I know I am blessed beyond measure and more than I deserve to be.

So…as I kick my faith back into gear and take the next step on the road to the true me, won’t you join me?  I am using some tracking tools on LAPband.com. One of those tools is motivation from, and sharing with, my support group.  If you would like to be part of my support group, please e-mail me at c.chrissy1@hotmail.com. I’ll add you to my support group and you’ll receive periodic e-mails from LAP-band & me. You may also be asked to send notes, encouragement, etc.  I thank you all so much for your encouragement, support and for following my story. God bless you all.