Tuesday, December 29, 2009

New Years Week~ 1st Post-op Visit with Surgeon

I feel like I am eating like a human once again. I am not sure if this is good or bad because I am reverting to some of my old eating habits, although I did eat a small chopped salad (mostly lettuce) yesterday which was refreshing and crunchy. My portion sizes are much larger now too as is my appetite! So I need to remain diligent until my first fill.

I see my surgeon for my first post op visit tomorrow. I will be exactly 18 days post op and I am wondering if he will give me a small fill. I think he normally waits until 6 weeks post op, but since I am tolerating food well, and eating more, and hungry every two hours, perhaps he will get me started. I will let you know what happens. I will weigh in tomorrow too. I don’t feel like I have lost any more weight since surgery which is about 12 pounds down total since the pre-op diet.

The things I am having a hard time with at the moment are (1) drinking enough liquid. I am lucky if I can get in 32 oz a day. I have never been a big water drinker, and 64 ounces seems like more than I can handle. (2) My protein is coming in around 40 grams a day. Need to keep working on that too to get to 60. I also see the dietitian tomorrow. My other issue (3) is writing everything down in a food journal.

In the back of my head, I keep thinking like I have every other holiday season in the past, I will start my diet after the New Year! Some habits are hard to break.

Good luck and Happy New Year to all of you this week and I will let you know if anything happens at the surgeon’s office.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas Week and 11 Days Post-op

I am about 11 days out and finally starting to feel “normal” again. The last two weeks have been kind of uneasy and strange for me. I guess it is my mind and body reacting to life with the band. I had a major meltdown one night last week with my husband…big crying spell. I think it may have actually done me some good to release it and get it out. I was crying for lots of reasons. I cried about being banded and told him I regretted it and was sorry I did it. That I hated my life and missed my best friend “food”. Are you all rolling your eyes right now and saying, WOW what a baby and a “drama-queen”? But hey, that is how I was feeling. I was also crying for my Dad, because he is ill and I see him changing day by day. I know there will be more of the emotional stuff to come, so I am going to try and prepare for it by making sure I go to the support group meetings and keep up with everyone’s blogs. My husband made me feel better and said “hey if it doesn’t work, you can have it taken out”. Not that it is an option or even a thought in my head right now, because I haven’t really even started with this journey. But just knowing I have that option makes me feel a bit better. Choices right? Since then, my mood and spirits have been getting better, Thank God! Even I didn’t want to be with me!

So I am still eating pureed mushies and really getting tired of it! My diet mostly consists of cottage cheese, crushed lentil soup, ricotta with marinara, cream of wheat, Greek yogurt. I also roasted some eggplant, onion, and marinara and then pureed it and that was really good. I’m still supplementing with protein shakes too. BORING!! And the worse part is I AM  GETTING REALLY HUNGRY ABOUT EVERY 2 HOURS! Who has the time to eat every two hours??? Is this is what is meant by Bandster Hell? It should be called Banster pain in the ass.

I have been working at my day job every day since last Tuesday for a few hours a day but tonight I go back to my part time job at Saks and I am really excited. I have been there part time since 1991, so I cannot imagine not being there during the holidays. I am really looking forward to it. I don’t make much money, but it is worth it for the discount and I love the people I work with.

I hope everyone has a great Christmas this year and I also hope we all have a very healthy, prosperous 2010 with great weight loss results for all of us!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 3 and more questions for you professionals out there!

Thanks for all the great advice ladies. Much appreciated. I got in about 30 oz of liquid yesterday and only about 10 grams of protein. Today I expect to do better. I am moving around the house a bit more, doing some light laundry, but not lifting anything. I am also doing my breathing contraption thing. Did you guys go home with one of those too? To help expand your lungs? I can only get up to 2000 ml, but I will keep at it. The pain today is tolerable. I have not taken anything today except a .25 Xanax and my Prozac. I more than anything don’t want to let myself fall into a depression, especially since I am feeling a bit remorseful at the moment. The Lortab Elixor tends to be a depressant too. So I am only going to take it as I need it. Now I am starting to feel very bloated and gassy. So, I am letting it rip girls! Warning: Funny but gross: when I had gas the first day I came home, well, let’s just say it was a PF (like a PB…if you catch my drift) Sorry had to share. Anyway, since then nothing. Must have been all the IV fluids in my body. OK, so I have one really weird thing that I am noticing. My tongue is kind of coated and white. Like it has a film on it. And whether I brush or not, it is still there. Does anyone know what this is and what I can do to get my normal pink tongue back? I also feel like my stomach is very distended and bloated and sticking out as if it is being pushed from the inside…is this gas? Not in my shoulder, but in my upper stomach. Also burping a lot. Normal?

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Home and Banded

Greetings fellow lap-banders. Ugg. Surgery and hospital part of this thing simply sucked for me. I woke up thinking, what the hell did I do with my body and WHY? Surgery was at 3:00 on Friday and I finally came home last night (Sat) around 9 pm. It is good to be home, that is for sure. I do not understand how some people do this as an outpatient. The pain at this point isn’t too bad other than in the port site where it feels really tight and sore. They sent me home with liquid vicodin and even at half dose it makes me want to sleep. So, I am trying to stay off it as long as I can.

I just spoke to my sister who is the queen of elective surgery (literally) and she said that every time she did a new procedure she felt the same way. Then once she started to recover she felt better about her decision.

My goal today is to drink liquids to keep hydrated and to try to get 20 grams of protein in the form of protein shakes, Greek yogurt or HMR soup. Wish me luck! Any advise you guys have for me this first week is really appreciated….so please write and add your 2 cents!! Thanks

Thursday, December 10, 2009


Just got the call from the hospital telling me to be there at 10:00 tomorrow morning. Surgery is at noon and they have the operating room for 90 minutes. So this is it guys, it is finally time! I called a good friend who is a big shot Dr. in Chicago HERE and he said it is an easy case and I shouldn’t be worried. He also said one of his co-workers at the hospital had the surgery and is doing well and has lost about 80 pounds. I felt a bit better talking to him.
I want to send out many thanks to all of you for all of your encouragement and support through the process of getting ready. Your thoughts, inspirations, stories, successes, humor, openness, and the many pictures you have posted are the reason I got this far. I don’t think I could have done it otherwise. Thank you for welcoming me into your blogs and I only hope I am as successful as all of you are.
So, with that being said, wish me luck, say a prayer and I will be back on-line as soon as I can.

Much love,

Linda O

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

My Big Fat Greek Drama and Bangladesh

You tell one person and the rest eventually find out. I haven’t exactly been quiet about my upcoming surgery, but I’m also not broadcasting it from the hill tops or on facebook, if you know what I mean. So, my darling nephew (he is 40) ran into an old “friend” from our church and “Greek” social circle the other night and decided to tell her about my surgery! Did I also mention that she is 5’8”, maybe 120 lbs, stunning for her age, used to model, a size 2 or 4 and one of the biggest gossips on the Eastside??? Let’s call her Cinderella for the hell of it. So, I get a call from one of my very close  friends "E" yesterday, who I told about the surgery, telling me she got a call from Cinderella, saying…"Did you hear about Linda???...did you know she is having WLS? OMG, What kind, where, why? what hospital etc..." Well, my dear friend "E" had to confirm it but without any details,  because if she hadn’t Cinderella would have know she was lying to her.

The only way I could have kept this on the QT is if I only told my husband. But even then, he would have told someone, like his sister, and then the cat would have been out of the bag. I guess I am just wondering what the fall out will be from this in the future. For the most part I am pretty quiet about my private life. I know some of you have only told your husbands or close family members while others have told a handful and others are completely open and honest about their Lap Bands and tell all. In a way, we all are "out" just by writing these blogs and attaching our faces to them. So I was really a bit pissed about this for a little while, texted my nephew a nasty note and then poured myself a glass of my favorite wine from Trader Joes to calm my ass down.

So I start watching the evening news and they are doing a broadcast about the people of Bangladesh who are being forced to move from their villages to the north because of massive flooding. Close to 1 million people will be displaced by the floods and become refugees. These people are so poor, and are mostly farmers and villagers. It was so sad and really put it things back into perspective for me. Like.....Linda, get over it! Who cares what some gossip says about you. It also made me realize how fortunate we are to live in a county where we have choices like the ones we do.  To have a choice to have a surgery to aid in weight loss seems so frivolous and unimportant compared to what these people in Bangladesh are doing to just survive.  So I am going to count my blessings, keep focused, be thankful for what I have, be compassionate for those who have less and NOT give a damn about what others think. Life is too short..

Friday, December 4, 2009

Time Off? & "pre" Buyers Remorse Anyone?

I am curious how much time off work everyone took after surgery? One gal, Tracy is going on 3 weeks! My surgery is on a Friday and I am hoping to be back in the office for a few hours by the following Tuesday.  It is a family business, so it is flexible, but I need to be there. Nothing heavy duty, just a few hours at my desk, and if I am tired, head home...or take a cat nap in my Dad's office. I am sure it will all depend on how things go, I know everyone is different.
Also wondering if any of you got really scared before surgery? I am really freaking out about the surgery itself and the lifestyle changes ahead of me. OMG...sliming and PB ing! The thought of a foreign object inside my body! The only thing that keeps me on track is when I look at the pictures I posted last post. Especially the side view...A picture is worth a thousand words. When I look at that picture, the word that comes to mind is "rotund".

What did you do to calm the nerves? Did you have pre-buyers-remorse?

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

BEFORE PICS-Thanksgiving Day 2009

These pictures were taken on Thanksgiving ....at 265 pounds!....OMG. I haven't had any pictures taken in so long, so these are really eye opening. Notice how I wear all black to make myself look slimmer....hahahahahah! Who am I kidding? Just me! 

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Questions for my Lap Band Buddies out there....

I am starting to freak out a bit. I start pre-op on Friday. So it is count down time and all these doubts are starting to surface. Is this normal? Did you guys go through this? Questions:

  1. ANY REGRETS? Are you happy with your decision and would you do it again?
  7. Are you still able to party a little? (I am a wine drinker...can't imagine giving it up completely) and are you a party pooper now cause you can't party as much?
  8. HOW MUCH HAPPIER ARE YOU WITH YOUR BODY? I am wondering what I will look like 50-80 lbs thinner. I am 47 and will have a "lose skin" issue.
  9. HAVE YOUR RELATIONSHIPS WITH OTHERS CHANGED? Spouses? Family? Friends? Strangers?
I hope to hear back from some of you...or maybe you can direct me to some of your past posts where I can get some of your wisdom and answers to these questions.


Monday, November 16, 2009


I guess I need to take some before pictures right? I was just looking at Amy's recent pics of her bare back, and in her shirt with no pants....I love that girl! So it made me start to think about what I should wear for my before picture. Like maybe some tight sweats and a tank shirt? That way you get to see the bumps, lumbs, and flab. Or should I remain clothed in just some normal sweats that just show my size. Or, do the dignified, more ladylike thing and just wear normal clothes?  I am not sure, but need to figure it out pretty soon. . .

I am really starting to think about the surgery a lot now. (less than a month away) I am a bit scarred and worried and really freaked out about the lifestyle change this is going to be for me. My food life as I know it, will soon be very different.  As David Bowie said...Ch ch ch chaaanges! LISTEN  Maybe that can be my theme song when I am down? 

Also not looking forward to the pre-diet or liquid phase. It will be tough not being able to eat over the holidays. Christmas is only 14 days post-op, so I guess I will still be on liquids, or mushies, right? Not fun. Hopefully, I will have no appetite so it won't be a big deal. HOPEFULLY!!! But geeze, what is one holiday? I have treated my whole life like it was a holiday and ate everything is sight...

I am trying to read as much as I can to prepare myself for what is ahead. And will spend some time going back over some of your blogs, to see what you went through...

Friday, November 6, 2009

I GOT A DATE!!!!! (no, not with a guy, I am married!)

Finally got approval from insurance and have a tentative date of December 11, 2009....WOW!!!!

More to follow, been busy with other stuff life has thrown at me so I have neglected my Lap Band world...but will be back on the band-wagon soon and bugging you guys cause I am sure I will be a basket case in the weeks to come....WOW....can't believe it! Happy and a bit FREAKED OUT at the same time.

Love and hope you are all well,


Monday, October 19, 2009

Still Waiting!!!!

Greetings all,
It has been a while since my last post and I am still waiting to hear back from the Surgeons office. I met with him on 9/23 and they said we wouldn't know anyting until around mid October, so I am waiting. I called the office on Thursday but have not heard back from them yet...which is pissing me off a bit. I mean talk about bad manners! But don't worry, I will call again. I have an appointment with the regular weight loss MD at the hospital today and I will ask her to get on the phone and find out what the heck is going on.  More news soon, hopefully!!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Don't want to jinx myself, but I was putting some summer clothes in storage today and I had this realization that if all goes according to plan I will not be wearing them next summer...and I got really excited! The thought of getting rid of all these 22-24-26 2x 3x clothes sounds great! But then, I stopped myself short and thought....one step at a time, that is what got me this far, don't jump the gun, etc. So with that said, I won't get rid of anything until it is time to, and they actually don't fit anymore, and I figure that way, I will reverse any jinx that I may have created by thinking too far ahead :-)

Friday, September 25, 2009

Band Size?

Just curious what size band most of you have. The doctor said he either puts a 10cc or a 14cc band in. Most men get the 14cc and he said only about 30% of his female patients get the 14cc and the rest 10cc. Any thoughts or explanations on this would help me out, because I think he said he determines it on a patient by patient basis. But I also thought he said that it was partially up to us. Guess I will have to clarify that with him.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Surgeon Meeting Minutes

Here is a picture of my surgeon, Kevin Krause. He looks nice doesn't he? Well he is nicer than nice. A real gem of a guy and very well respected. The meeting went really well. He told me I was an excellent candidate and considers me low risk. He is very positive about lab-band surgery in general. (He also performs RnY). There were 3 patients in the meeting, where he explained the procedure and answered any questions we had, then he met with us individually. Get this, one of the other patients was an ER Doctor! He was in his scrubs and came up to the meeting directly from the ER. That really put me at ease. I mean, if another MD is considering this, than you know it is a well thought out option. So, I am pretty excited and feeling very positive today! The office manager Sue, calls the shots in the office and seems really nice and very helpful. I told her I need to have this surgery done before year end to save myself $2500, since we have already met our deductible. She doesn't think it will be a problem. My insurance is different that BCBS, who usually approves it pretty quickly, but since I met the requirements, she thinks it will go through. She will be submitting it in about two weeks for approval, then I will hear back from her. And we can proceed from there. If all goes well, I am hoping I can have the surgery sometime in November. Keep your fingers crossed!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Calling Dr. "Surgeon", Calling Dr. "Surgeon"!!!

First meeting with my surgeon this afternoon....pretty excited and also kind of freaked out...I mean look at him, wouldn't you be? (lol) I guess it is a pretty long appointment...first we meet with him in a group setting with other lap band patients, then he meets with us individually. Should know more after this appointment..keep you "posted"!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Lady in line at the Salad Bar...WLS Person?

Just got back from lunch at this really cute place near my office called Insalata...pretty much a Salad Bar, Baked Potatoes, Pannini, place. Easy to get into on your lunch hour, and not too expensive. So I get in line for the salad bar and in front of me I notice this lady who picks up a small container (I got the big one) and proceeds to fill it with Tuna Salad, Cottage Cheese, some Sliced Hard Boiled Egg, and a few strawberry slices. So, immediately I think, OMG, this lady had WLS! She is eating pure protein, and a little fruit for dessert. I wish I would have payed attention to what her salad weighed. (you pay by the lb) Mine was 3/4 of a pound by the way. I really have no idea if this person had wls or not, or if she just prefers to eat this way...maybe she is on the South Beach Diet? But it occurred to me that my future lunches will look something like hers down the road.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Husband, My Behind, and Two Hands...

Went away with my husband this weekend to a wonderful little town on Lake Michigan called Saugatuck. It is close to Chicago, with its harbor filled with Yachts and the city is filled with quaint little bed and breakfasts in old Victorian houses. We has a great time, went boating on Beautiful Lake Michigan and spent the rest of the time exploring the city and its shops and ofcourse restaurants. I really can't imagine what it will be like when I can only eat 1/2 cup of food at a time, instead of swallowing massive amounts of food like I do now...It will be a huge adjustment for me, like I am sure it has been for all of you. But anyway, my husband said something really funny to me as we were walking through town at night and after having a few cocktails, he said..."I can't wait till I'll be able to grab your ass with one hand". I looked at him and said, yeah, cause you need both hands per cheek at the moment right? I wasn't really insulted, because he is really sweet about my body and never says anything negative about my weight. But I think he was just sort of thinking out loud you know? Guys! Hmm..well I guess that will be a NSV right? Being groped by my husband with one hand?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

It is TIME to BUST a MOVE over HERE!!!

Hi all. Well, it is time! It is time to call the surgeon and make the appointment. I have completed the 6 months of pre-conditioning and screening and testing and I got the recommendation from the MD that I more than qualify for Bariatric surgery and that I should proceed. But, but, but I'm not ready!! Mentally that is. So I checked out 8 new books on Bariatric surgery from the Library, and my husband and I have been busy reading them, looking for reasons why as well as reasons why not to have the surgery. Did you guys go through this? Did you have last minute jitters? Were any of you reluctant to make the call? Why am I afraid? Am I afraid of the surgery and potential complications? Yes. Am I afraid that I will be miserable after I have the band because I won't be able to eat anything I want like I do now? Yes. Do I also hate what I see when I look in the mirror? Is it very unhealthy and am I miserable being 265 with a bmi of 42? Yes Yes YES!!! I emailed a Doctor friend of mine who is a department head at Northwestern University and practices as well as lectures all over the world on pain mgt. Anyway, I asked him his opinion and he thinks the Lap Band is great. Knows some people who have been very successful with it and he recommends it more than RnY because he has seen so many complications that can occur with RnY. So what is my problem? Why do I feel like I need a stamp of approval to do this? I have to move fast....need to do this before year end because I have met my ins. deductible. The sooner I meet with the surgeon, the sooner I can get insurance approval. Give me some feedback girls! Did any of you feel this way?

Friday, July 17, 2009

A Kick in the Rear, Please!

Thought of all of you yesterday and all the wonderful progresses you have made since being banded. I really find all of your day to day stories so encouraging and can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for me. But I am really having a problem with getting motivated to exercise right now. So often I feel lethargic like all I want to do is just go home after work and lay on the couch. Or any energy I do have, I use for cleaning my house or getting dinner ready etc. My question is when did you all start feeling like you had the energy to start moving? Did it come naturally after you started dropping weight? I long to have that feeling of having tons of energy to accomplish things and be more active. It is really sad that I live in a great urban neighborhood where everyone walks/bikes to everything and I don't utilize it! Grocery stores, library, restaurants, bookstores, bars, shopping, you name it. And I only live 3 blocks from town! I can count the times I have walked or biked into town this summer on one hand. I just have no energy or motivation. I am wondering if this is all physical or partly mental with me. Or both. Of course it is harder to move around and it hurts more when you weigh 265 and 47 year old! But that is a poor excuse, don't you think? Help, I need some motivation and advise if you can give it. Feel free to be blunt even if it hurts to hear it. I think I need a good kick in the derriere!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Something to look forward to?

Went to my second Lap Band Support group meeting last night. Mostly made up of post op patients and just 3 of us who were pre op. One interesting thing that came up at the meeting was of course the subject of productive burps, or sliming, or throwing up. Everyone said, that it happens. One woman says it happens to her at least 5 times a week. They all said, that when they go to a restaurant, the first thing they do is check out where the bathrooms are so that they are prepared, just in case. To someone who eats and rarely throws up anything, it sounds horrific. But what was interesting,even with the PB/Slim is that they are all really happy with the band and would recommend it. Two of the women, who were over a year out of surgery, had only lost about 40 pounds each. The other two who were post op had lost about that much in the last 6 months since surgery. I will definitely keep going to these meetings. It is great to learn from those who have gone through it already.

Friday, June 26, 2009

1/2 way through the Oprah Show on Obese Teens

Oprah's show today is really bugging me. It is about intervention with obese teens and their relationships with food and their families. Blah blah blah OK? Everyone has family issues, some deal with it different than others, some eat, some drink, some cope. But enough of the psychobabble and get to a solution already. Not one mention about surgical options to deal with these obese children and their health. As if screaming at their parents is going to help them not eat as much. IT WON'T WORK OPRAH! Funny thing is that some of the kids they are showing have extremely obese parents too. But also nothing about genetics in this conversation either. I am turning it off now.

Ultrasound and Stress Test...kicked my butt!

One more thing to check off. Had my cardiac ultrasound yesterday as well as the stress test. The stress test started easy, but before I knew it I could hardly breath and was gasping for air. I am not sure if I passed or not because the technicians wouldn't tell me. But I did meet the marks that they were looking for. My heart rate went up to about 167, and the minimum they needed was 145. Other than that I will find out more when I see the doc next. Glad that is over.....next!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

RE: My Last Post. . . a follow up.

Went to the Doc yesterday for consultation #3 of 6 needed for insurance approval. And the first thing she said to me was: "So what did you think of last week's Lap Band support group seminar?" I said, do you want me to be totally honest? So, I told her how obnoxious I thought the LP Rep was and how inappropriate her presentation was and she soooooo totally agreed with me. It was really funny because she totally ripped into the rep, was imitating her and thought she was dressed for a night out at the bar, and not a medical support group meeting. So at least I don't feel like such a #*&@$ for ripping on this woman so much in my last post. Anyway enough about her. I have to schedule my Stress Test for next week and get that done. I am kind of afraid of that test. How did you guys do with it?

Thursday, June 11, 2009

1st Lap Band Support Group Meeting and she wore Fake Louboton's

Went to the first Lap Band support group meeting last night sponsored through the hospital where I am signed up. The have another group called "Club Bariatrix" but that is mostly RNY patients. So I am glad they formed this LB group. The group had both pre and post surgery patients. But unfortunately we didn't have much time to talk because this first meeting was moderated by the region's Alergan-Lap Band Sales Rep. Well let me tell you it was a bit of a turn off. It was basically an hour of this woman selling us on their band. Which really didn't make sense, because we are all getting that brand of band anyway. That is the only one this hospital uses. Then to really ad insult to injury, she was super duper in shape especially for her age. . . her body was amazing, almost like Jillian Michaels if you can picture that. Like a size 2 maybe? She definitely works out which is great. Then someone asked her if she was a Lap Band patient and she said no, that she was clinically obese at one time but lost it on her own through traditional dieting. (Why do I hate hearing that sooo much?) And that she actually put about 10 lbs back on because she was obsessed and got too skinny. (PLEASE) She had really strong cut- up Michelle Obama/or Madonna like arms, and had a very dark tan, rock hard boobies and no forehead movement. She said "OK?" a lot too when she was giving her speech which kind of bugged me. She had gorgeous David Yurman diamond jewelry on, and when I saw her leave she got into her hot little black Mercedes. OK, so I am sounding very bitchy now aren't I? I sound jealous don't I? Well maybe I am just a little. But I really wish they would have sent someone to speak on behalf of the company who knows what the whole lap band experience is like. It would have "sold" me more, if that was what they were trying to do. On a side note she did mention that Alergan also is the seller of Botox and some sort of breast implants....but that she doesn't get those for free just because she works for the company.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Weigh Loss Surgery Channel anyone?

Just ran across this site and although I haven't had a chance to check it out yet I thought I would share it with you.


It is a web based WLS channel with diffenent shows and segments. . . . etc.

Haven't written lately cause I don't have much to write about as I am still in limbo, so to speak, with my plans. We are on Cobra Ins at the moment. . . .but the transfer is taking time. And now we found out that my husband's company is changing insurance starting July 1. So that means I have to start the process rolling with another insurance company and find out what the requirements are for them to approve WLS. I am still going forward with the pre-approval process and meeting with a Doctor every month so I can show that I have had 6 months of medically supervised WL counciling. (Did you all have to do this?) I know every ins company is different. Anyway, in the mean time I am still checking on your blogs to see how everyone is doing and enjoying hearing about everybodys success!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Biggest Loser Bugs Me

This article was on the front page of the Detroit Free Press yesterday. Helen Thomas, the most recent winner of the Biggest Loser is from the Detroit area. For some reason, her weight loss leaves me with an unsettling feeling. I almost feel like she became Anorexic in order to lose the weight. Her average weight loss was about 5-6 pounds a week. Of course she worked out like a crazy person, (6 plus hours a day) but even if I had time to work out like that I don't know if I would. I guess what bugs me is that what she did is next to impossible for most people as we all know, and reading her success, which I think is great, makes me feel like, "well if she can do it with out WLS, so should I". It made me feel a little bit like I'm a "big loser" for giving in to WLS. Anyway, here is the article if you want to read it:

Women and men can lose weight even when they're middle aged is the message and the example coming from Helen Phillips, 48, who beat out contestants half her age on "America's Biggest Loser: Couples," NBC-TV's weight-loss competition.
"No matter how old you are, you can make the change if you have the dedication and the drive," said Phillips of Sterling Heights, who lost 140 pounds since starting the competition in September.
Phillips defeated Mike Morelli, 19, of South Lyon and Tara Costa, 24, of New York to win the $250,000 grand prize.
During a teleconference with reporters, Phillips praised her husband, Russell, a Chrysler autoworker, for his support.
She credited celebrity fitness coach Jillian Michaels for helping her lose the weight during the approximately 18 weeks of the show.
But kudos for helping her continue to lose weight when she went home for 30 days went to Warren Mott High School football coach Shauhen Tahrebandi, formerly a Bally's personal trainer.
"I couldn't have done it without him at home," said Phillips, whose daughter, Shannon Thomas, 29, of Center Line, lost 92 pounds on the show.
Phillips slimmed down to 117 pounds from 257 pounds and went from a size 22 to 2. She lost 32 pounds after returning home to Sterling Heights.
At home, she worked out six hours a day -- two hours in the morning, two hours in the afternoon and two hours in the evening, often at the high school track in Warren.
Phillips, who recently shot a "Got Milk?" ad, offers the following advice for anyone trying to lose weight, but she says her message is aimed especially at the middle-aged crowd:
• Be prepared. Pack your food so you don't fall into bad habits like stopping at fast food restaurant drive-throughs.
• Never make excuses. "It's a priority now to go to the gym or do some kind of physical exercise every day," she said.
• Believe you can do it. "I was tired of doubting myself," she said. "Stop saying you can't and start saying you can."

Wellness center her next goal:
America's Biggest Loser wants to help metro Detroiters lose big and get healthy, too.
Helen Phillips of Sterling Heights, who won the NBC reality competition Tuesday, and her husband, Russell, plan to open a local spinning and wellness center, Phillips said Wednesday.
The $250,000 prize money comes right on time for the couple, who have two children including daughter Shanon Thomas, who lost 92 pounds on the show.
Russell Phillips is in danger of losing his job at Chrysler LLC if the automaker goes forward with a plan to shut down the Sterling Heights assembly plant, where he works, in 2010.
"This will give us a nice cushion," said Helen Phillips, 48, before hopping a flight for a Wednesday appearance on the "Today" show.
Before joining the competition in September, Phillips -- who went from a size 22 to a size 2 -- worked in retail management at Macy's.
In addition to opening the wellness center, Phillips plans to work as a motivational speaker, especially for older women trying to lose weight.
"Once I ... got on board and realized how important it was, the easier it became," she said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

45 pounds ago. . and now pictures

The above picture of me was taken about 9 years ago at about 220 lbs. I lost a bunch of weight (45 lbs) on a low fat liquid plan through a hospital. It worked, but of course I couldn't keep it off. ( The guy was a friend/boss from work) I think I was looking pretty cute that night!

This is me now:

I just got this picture from my nephew that was taken while we were in Florida this past March. That is my foxy older sister and great niece. There were a few of me in the gulf swimming that I have been wanting to see to help keep myself motivated and realize that this decision to be banded is the right decision.

Monday, May 4, 2009

A link to today's video from CBS


Plus Size Teens Have Rights Too!

OK, I'm a little angry this morning. I happened to catch a national news segment this morning with Emme (Plus Size Model) and this absolute bitch Meme Roth who runs an organization called NAAO or National Action Against Obesity. They were discussing whether or not is is a good thing that Forever 21 and Target are both launching plus size lines this spring geared toward the teen market. Emme's point is that is is good for larger size teens to have a better selection of clothing that will make them feel like they fit in with their peers and will give them a better sense of self esteem. Meme Roth argued that is is a bad idea and that the concentration should be to get younger adults to eat better and lose weight and that by offering these extended sizes to teens will just keep them from trying to lose weight. This I must add is from a women who is maybe a size 2 and I am sure has never struggled with a weight issue. OK, obviously we are all fighting and against obesity here. Otherwise we wouldn't be willing to risk our lives and go to the ultimate drastic measure and have WLS in one form or another. But to have this skinny little bitch make judgements against obese people and say that we basically not worthy of wearing cute clothes really pisses me off. And the fact that she is gearing this attitude toward teen girls specifically is even more outrageous. I am an adult and can stand up for myself. But teen girls are so impressionable and sensitive and even more so if they struggle with weight issues. What I wouldn't have given to have some cute clothing lines to wear when I was younger and moving beyond the size 13 pants in the junior department. Back then, there was NOTHING to wear or buy in the plus department. Plus size back then = matronly and polyester. I am not saying we are not in an obesity epidemic in this country. We are. Everywhere I go I see fellow fatties. But I don't think the way to tackle this is to try to make young heavy-set girls feel worse about themselves than they already do.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Positive Reinforcement and Golf?

John Daly in the swing with his new bod and clothes!

I feel like I am being an approval seeker. But I guess the more positive reinforcement I get about the Lap Band, the better I feel about it. I went to see my beloved Russian PCP yesterday to tell her about my decision to do the Lap Band and she gave me her blessing and thinks it is a good idea. I really respect her and like her so much. She is going to go through my files and try to put together enough documentation in order to move up the surgery so I don't have to wait 6 months. Keep your fingers crossed! Then, my husband went and saw his gastrointestinal doctor this week and mentioned that I am considering the surgery and he too gave his thumbs up about the surgery! He especially likes it because it is helpful with GERD. Last night my total jock brother called me to tell me he saw something on the golf channel about the golfer John Daly having just lost 40 lbs due to recent lap band surgery. So that is all my brother needed to hear...thus another thumbs up!! Check out his outfit? I love it! Maybe this will prompt me to dye my hair blond and wear pink and orange someday? Why not!!

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Saks Fifth Avenue and "Normal Sizes"

I have worked a part time job (in addition to my regular job) at Saks Fifth Ave for about 18 years. It astounds me that I have been there so long. I started as Christmas help one year and never left. The most I ever worked there was about 15-18 hours a week and I am down to one night at the moment. Things are very slow these days, but I am so glad to still be there even the one night. It is a great place to work and the store is like my second home. I work in the Men's department. So, I may not make much money there, especially these days, but I do have a phenomenal discount! Through the years I have collected some great pieces. (although not lately. . . these days I am into T.J. Maxx ) Anyway, I have always shopped in their Salon Z department. (14-24) Last night it was very slow and I was walking around the second floor looking at "regular" size women's clothes. I picked up a few size large tops, and a couple size 14 pants and can't fathom ever being back in those sizes someday. (I was literally standing in the middle of the floor holding up a pair of size 14 white jeans, and trying to picture my huge (ass) derriere in them.) I hate to put the cart before the horse so to speak, but it would be fun for a change, to be able to not exclusively shop in the "big girls" department!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Detroit~Michigan~Layoffs and Cobra Insurance

Well it has happened to us. My husband was laid off this week. I know everyone is affected by this crappy economy in one way or another, but if you live in Michigan, especially in the Detroit area, you are pretty much #$%&%@!!! Anything and everything we do here in this area is automotive related. So, it looks like we will be going on Cobra starting next month. I am not sure what to do now. Should I continue with the proceedings and try to get banded, while I have insurance? Or hold off until, things are more stable and he is reemployed? I guess my worry is, what if I have complications down the road at some point and we are not insured? My husband thinks we should go for it now and deal with what ever comes up later, then. Not a good time here in Michigan.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

263 ENDS

Well, I started the program at Beaumont Hospital yesterday and met with the physician. They did lots of blood work, like 6 vials and an EKG. My BMI IS 44 and I weighed in at a whopping 263. I have appointments scheduled next month with the dietitian, the exercise psysiologist a psychologist for my psych evaluation, and again with the doc for appt #2. My insurance requires 6 months of documentation in a medically supervised WL program. Unless I get my PCP to sign off. Anyway, the ball is rolling so that is the good part. I made the leap so to speak. That evening I went to the hospital's Club Bariatrix support group meeting where one of the 2 surgeons in the program were speaking. He is an accomplished RnY surgeon but has not started doing the Lap Band in his practice yet. He has assisted the other surgeon with the procedure. He is getting started and needs to set up 3 people in one day to get his certification. Anyway, all the people in this meeting were RnY patients and not one Lab Bander. (just my luck) Everyone there looked like they had lost a lot of weight and I really can't say anyone looked "healthy". Everyone had a drawn out saggy, thinning hair look about them. It was really disheartening. I really need to get intouch with some other Lap Banders. As far as the surgeon goes. . . I am signed up with the other surgeon in the practice who has done about 150 LapBands. But I may end up going with the other surgeon because he happens to be my long lost second cousin, and I figure I can call him up and drive him nuts with any problems or questions I have.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

My Big Fat Greek Easter pig out! Oink Oink Oink

It isn't bad enough that I celebrate traditional Easter Sunday with my husband and his family only to be followed this year, one week later with Greek Easter! For those of you that don't know, it is a day filled with eating literally tons of delicious home made Greek foods. Roasted Lamb, done outside on a spit just like in my Big Fat Greek Wedding, except we do ours in the back yard in stead of on the front lawn like the movie! Our side dishes include: Pastitsio (Greek version of Lasagna made with bechamel cream sauce)Spanakopita (Spinach Pie), garlic lemon roasted potatoes, basmati rice, stewed green beans in tomato sauce, cooked and marinated fresh beets, a huge Greek Salad with feta cheese, dyed red Easter eggs, breads, cheeses, and I am sure other stuff I am forgetting about. And you have to taste it all, because it is all just soooo good. So, this year I am sure I will be stuffing myself silly, cause I still can. But next year if all goes well and I am banded, it will be a whole different story. And I won't be as fat as I am this year either!
By the way, there is no coincidence that I scheduled my initial medical screening for the day after Easter....oh my! I will for sure tip the scales after that meal. Good, maybe they will say, forget the 6 month required waiting period....let's take her straight to surgery!

Monday, April 6, 2009

To Lap Band or Not to Lap Band that is the Question

I started looking into the lap band process about a month ago. I have gone to 3 free seminars at Beaumont Hospital. I took my husband to the second one with me. He is very supportive in this decision and is helping me through the thought process. I am really lucky to have him. I on the other hand am still not 100% convinced. I need to lose 100 pounds. That is a fact. Can I lose it on my own (again) and keep it off? Most likely not. Do I need a tool to help me get the weight off? Yes, for sure. Do I want to go through bariatric surgery and have my insides re-plumbed.? Not really. So, the Lap Band even with its downfalls (nothing is perfect) seems like the best route to go but I am still not sure. So I made my medical exam appointment for April 20, 2009 and I am giving myself til then to make up my mind. I just ordered 3 books from Amazon about the Lap Band which should be a help. That and all the great things I am reading on this very helpful site. I am not hearing a lot of negative, which is a good thing. So that is where I am today.

By the way these are the books I ordered:

"Laparoscopic Adjustable Gastric Banding: Achieving Permanent Weight Loss with Minimally Invasive Surgery" Jessie H. Ahroni Ph.D. A. R. N. P.

"LAP-BAND Companion" Mark J. Watson

"Lap-Band for Life" Ariel Ortiz Lagardere