Monday, December 1, 2014

Post Endoscopy Update

Special thanks to Amy for reminding me that there may be some people who think of me from time to time and wonder how I am.  I can't begin to tell you how much I needed that.

So...the endoscopy.  The band has completely eroded into my stomach and must be removed.  Despite how that sounds, it's not posing any significant health risks at the moment and since I'm asymptomatic, there's not rush to have it removed.  That being the case, we're going to wait until the new year so that the new insurance can kick in.

I'm not particularly surprised by the results.  I applaud my new lapband doc for testing for this scenario despite no symptoms outside of the rapid weight gain after having been so successful.  Emotionally, I'm a bit of a wreck.  I can't seem to get over this feeling of failure or hopelessness in regards to my weight loss journey.  I'm trying to just push past it and not think of that too much.

What I found particularly interesting is that the endoscopy doc (endoscopist? lol) says they can remove the band via endoscopy.  I had never heard of this and just assumed that it would be removed the same way it was put in.  I have a follow up appointment with the lapband doc December 11th to discuss further and find out what my removal options are.  I'm also going to inquire as to revision options.  I had such a hard time getting the lapband originally approved through insurance that I don't have much hope that a revision would be approved.  I suppose I could start looking into it.  My husband is considering a revision to a gastric sleeve.  His band is fine but he's been unsuccessful with it to date.  SIGH.  We all had such high hopes when we were banded.   It's disheartening to see so many of us back at square one.

After my follow up, I may be back in research mode and looking for blogs of others in my same scenario.  In the meantime, I'm enjoying the holidays with my family.  I got all my Christmas lights up over the weekend and I've got them all set to music which is pretty cool.  It was also my youngest daughter's birthday over the weekend.  It's so hard to believe my baby is 7!  Some pics...

Monday, November 10, 2014

Band Erosion

I disappeared again.  The No Eating Out Challenge went fairly well although I did not succeed.  It did get me back into a better groove and only eating out once or twice a week so that's better.

I met the lapband doc. He gave me a small fill and ordered an esophagram.  I had the esophogram last week and the doc's office just called.  The images look "odd."  It looks as though the barium is outside of the band which would indicate an erosion.  He wants to do an endoscopy to be sure.  His office is emailing a couple GI docs that he prefers to use and they're going to call me to make an appointment.  I'm not sure how I feel about all this.  I'm scared and not sure if this is all my fault.  Did I do something to cause it?  I know I haven't been a good patient the last year or so.  I need to do more research about causes but if has eroded, it will need to come out.  I'm not sure how I feel about that part either.

For whatever reason, I'm really upset.  I'm sitting here crying...but I don't really know why.  I'm scared to lose the band.  Angry at myself for letting this happen.  Just needed to get this out there.  Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Band Appt - 10/30/14

I bit the bullet.  I scheduled an appointment with a new band doctor for 10/30/14.

I have been putting this off for quite some time and the reasons are entirely mental. So let's break these down.

  • My band was working fine 18 months ago.  It's not the restriction level, it's me.  Yes and No.  My restriction wasn't ideal when I left Phoenix either.  It was OK but not ideal.  I still had to white knuckle more than I should've had to.  I got lazy and tired of the band upkeep and it was easier to blame me than the band because obviously it's all my fault. *note the sarcasm...I realize how insane it sounds*
  • I don't want to be judged by the doctor and nurses about how much weight I've regained. I've heard some docs judge or use fills as reward/punishment.  My doctor never did that so I was scared to go find a new one that maybe would.  Hubby went to this new doc 6 months ago and told me how great he was.  I just didn't believe him.  So we'll see.
  • The lapband has failed.  I have failed.  There's not point in messing with it anymore. Did the lapband fail?  No.  I just stopped using it.  Have I failed?  Not yet.
  • What is there is something wrong with the band?  I don't want to face that. Best to face it head on than ignore it if there's a problem.  Logically, I know this but I just couldn't deal with more stress if that's the case.
So I made the appointment.  He's on vacation until October and then I'm travelling for work the week he has an open appt at the location I want so that pushed us into the end of October which is OK.  It gives me time to get all my records sent over.

I still haven't eaten out and I actually came in below allotted calories on My Fitness Pal yesterday.  I'm hitting the gym tonight.  Moving in the right direction.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Old Insecurities and Starting From Scratchs

I went back to the gym last night.  When I say I went back, I don't mean as in "I took a couple months off."  I mean it's been over a year and a half since I've really done the gym and I went back last night.  It was ugly.  I am starting completely over.  A year and a half ago, I was running 3 miles at a turn, weight training, kick boxing, spinning.  You name it.  I was doing two-a-days and I was all over it.  Last night, I walked for 30 minutes and sweat.  I attempted to lift weights and even at the lowest weight level, could barely get through a set.  It sucked.  I felt so defeated.

I found myself looking around at other people, thinking they know I don't belong here.  I become very self conscious of how I looked doing things, how much I sweating, if I was breathing too hard.  I felt like I was being judged.  I haven't felt that way in 3 years.  I came home, ate dinner and mulled over these feelings.

Today I went back and read through some of my own blogs and wouldn't you know it?  There was inspiration there.

This blog post about going back to spin class after a humiliating first impression.

Or this one where I talk about the need to challenge yourself to rise above your mental blocks.  In that post, I remind myself.

I am not too fat or out of shape to work out and push myself physically.
I am not too weak minded or lacking in willpower to say no to the bad food.
I am not too tired to make it to my fitness classes.
I am not so far gone as to give up!

I have to start somewhere.  Just because I'm not in as good as shape as I was 2 years ago doesn't mean I should just give up.

I was being really hard on myself but then I really thought about what has transpired in the last 18 months to get me to backslide so badly.  I have several major life events that not only disrupt routine but also mental states.  I've moved across country, bought a house, a job change and have had 2 surgeries.  The not only wreaks havoc on the mental state but the body as well.  I'm forgiving myself for "letting myself go."  But that being said, it's time to move on and make my health a priority again.  

The to do list:
  1. Back to the gym 3 days a week (1 day down)
  2. Track the food and portions in My Fitness Pal (started yesterday)
  3. Make an appt with a band doc for a fill (I'll have another whole post on this)
3 basic principles but they need to happen.  Still eating-out free as of today. Yay!

Monday, September 22, 2014

Eating Out Challenge Update - 7/30

Hey there.  I have made it one full week without eating out at all...not even coffee.  7/30 days are done!  So far so good and my amazingly my bank account is only $30 lower this week than it was last week.  Amazing how that happens, huh?

I have created a monthly budget that I think we can stick to.  It does involve changing the way we pay our bills.  Hubby and I have managed our finances basically the same way since we combined households.  Our big bills come out of our joint account (rent/now mortgage, car payment, kid expenses, insurance) while things that were considered individual bills (gas, groceries, student loans, cell phone, gym, etc.) were taken out of individual accounts and we just kind of kept it even.  You see, of course, the problem.  The only things in that list that are actually individual at this point are the student loans and the gym.  The new approach will have us paying ALL BILLS out of the joint account and then whatever's left over will go into the individual accounts.  It's actually a pretty big mental shift but I think it's the best path forward for staying on top of everything and not getting into old habits.

I haven't weight myself in a month.  I'm still not going to weigh myself now but I know I should.  Denial is a fabulous place to be.

Hope y'all had a great weekend.  Mine was filled with unpacking stuff.  Oh joy.  Another week descends upon us and as it does, ask yourself...Am I doing everything I can to make this the best week it can be?  Chances are the answer is no.  I'm sure going to work on it though.

Thursday, September 18, 2014


Given the new house and new expenses that come with it along with a few repairs we know we'll have in the future, I decided it was time to create a new household budget.  What better way to start off in our new house but with a new financial plan.  Our old financial plan was centered around saving up a down payment/furniture for the house.  Well, all that money is gone so we need to work on rebuilding our savings, etc.

It's probably a good idea to do this at least once a year anyway.  What did I learn?  How much eating out has really cost us.  The last 30 days have been absolutely crazy.  I traveled for work, we moved into the new house, been working on cleaning out the old house.  It's been a mess so probably not the best 30 days to choose from in terms of how much we spent eating out but what an eye opener.

Just from my account (so not taking into account what my husband paid for), I spent over $800 last month eating out!  That's everything from fast food joints, sit down restaurants, dunkin donuts, starbucks, ice cream (are you seeing why I've gained weight in this mess too?).  EVERYTHING.  I couldn't believe how much it came out to.  Absolutely ridiculous!  I had already known we needed a change.  I started my 30 day no-eating-out challenge prior to doing the math but I didn't realize how bad it had actually gotten.

I am proud to say that I'm day 4 of my 30 day challenge and I have not faltered.  I can do this. I can do this.  The fact is after making the budget, I see that we really have plenty of wiggle room (it's so nice to be able to say this after YEARS of struggling) but that's no excuse to go off the rafters the way we have.  Time to reign it in.  :)

Happy Thursday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

30 Days Eating At Home

I'm failing...still.  Not dwelling on that.

New Challenge.  Since buying a house, we are hemorrhaging money.  Between the new A/C, garage door, furniture, etc.  Money is super tight right now.  Beginning yesterday, no eating out for 30 days.  I can do this, I can do this.  Not only will this help from the healthful eating aspect but it will also help the pocketbook immensely.  This is merely a personal goal as Hubby may still buy breakfast and lunch in his company cafeteria but the beauty of working from home is that I have no such temptations.  Breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks...all at home 24/7/30.  This will be particularly tough on the weekends when we tend to buy bites to eat while we're out and about and running errands.  Not for the next several weekends.

This shouldn't be that difficult.  We have no major events happening in the next 30 days and a great celebratory night out will be October which point...I am seeing Garth Brooks in concert!  :)  Super excited and I think that's a perfect occasion to go out for a nibble and then a concert.  That's how eating out should be.  It should be an event, not a necessity.  So I'm committed.

We are now moved into the new house but most things are still in boxes.  The kitchen and living room are complete but my office (where my treadmill is) is a mess.  Hoping this gets taken care of this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, Hubby signed us up for the Heart Walk.  A 5k.  I haven't done a 5k in over a year.  Yes...I used to do them at least monthly.  I even had a goal once and actually attained it to do 2 5k's in one day.  Alas.  I haven't done any but one since moving here.  Needless to say we'll be walking it but it's a start.

Hope y'all are having a good week.  Will post progress on the eating out goal soon.

Thursday, August 28, 2014


Every now and then you need a kick in the ass to remember why you must always fight for you health and fight for YOU.

My dad has been overweight for as long as I can remember.  I vaguely remember him trying Slimfast and stuff like that when I was in elementary school but I mostly remember his killer spaghetti sauce.  He had a triple bypass surgery when I was in 8th grade and that motivated him to stop smoking.  One more stab a diet but it didn't stick.  Throughout the years, he's had stents put in his legs, his heart, etc.  Throw in a Type II Diabetes diagnosis and almost-sugar coma even after the diagnosis and that gives you an idea of how much my dad has worked to NOT get any better.

Earlier this month, he had a stroke in his right eye.  He's now blind in that eye...buildup of plaque behind the retina.  Did it come from his heart or brain?  They aren't sure yet.

Yesterday had an angiogram to look to see how bad his blockages are at this point.  He had to get 2 stents in his leg and they looked at the heart.  One of the bypasses he had done years ago is blocked beyond repair.  Open heart surgery is not an option, neither is another bypass.  No doctor will put him under because they are certain he would not survive the procedure and no doctor will risk him dying on their table.  So now he's stuck.  The blockages will just get worse and eventually he'll either have a massive stroke and be incapacitated or a massive heart attack and die.  It could be several years down the road or tomorrow.  There's no way to know.

I don't know if this will be the much-too-late wake up call he needs but I can tell you it's

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Any Gardeners?

I'm struggling with my eating.  Some days I'm spot on, others I flail.  I need to get more consistent.

We had the garage door replaced on the new house on Saturday.  Yesterday, the new A/C was put in.  Now I've got an HOA problem.  Apparently, former owners (a bank - it's a foreclosure) have an HOA violations (maybe 2?) where they didn't get the landscaping change approved years ago so now we have to deal with it.  Our options are to remove the privacy hedge and mulch bed and plant sod or apply for approval for these to be there.  We're going the approval route first and if they reject it, then we'll remove them.  The hedge is easy's done.  The mulch bed is dead.  Anything that's been planted there is dead and it looks like crap.  I was going to address this in the Spring when we were planning to resod the yard and plan flowers and all that.  My time table just got moved up.  So I'm scouring the internet trying to figure out what to do with this mulch bed I have.  It's pretty big.  I want pretty flowers but also want some ground cover.  Do any of you have any ideas?  I'm not opposed to planting in both fall and spring so annuals would be fine.  That's where the ground cover comes thought is that the ground cover buys me a couple weeks when the flowers die off to replant.  Then I think perennials may be the way to go but what would look good?  I've never had a garden before so I just don't know where to start!  I was hoping to have more time to plan.

Buying a house is seriously stressful.  Between work, the kids, the kids' activities and this house, I'm feeling incredibly overwhelmed.  I'm trying to take deep breaths and keep it together but when the doorknob broke on the door from the house to the garage on Monday, I lost it!  We're going shopping for furniture and appliances this weekend to take advantage of the labor day sales.  I'm hoping I can get past these anxious feeling so I can enjoy it.

We struggled financially for so many years and now that we're finally in a great spot with no debt and now a home and everything, maybe I'm just uneasy about spending this kind of money or worried that every decision will be wrong.

I'm stress eating.  I know I am.  I'm eating my feelings and using food and wine to calm me.  I know that needs to stop.  It seems every time we fall off the healthy wagon, it's harder and harder to get back on.  Why can't we just stay on?  Why do we continuously fall?

I know this post is disjointed and rambly.  I just had to get it out there.  So I implore you...any advice on planting in North Florida in the Fall?

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Lifestyle Change Conundrum

"They" always say that in order to lose weight, it can't just be a diet.  It's got to be a lifestyle change.  I lived healthy for 3 years.  I had one major life event and it was all blown to hell.  21 days to make a habit?  Bullshit.  3 years didn't make a habit.

I moved to FL in December of 2012.  Since that time, I have gained 45 lbs.  It's absurd and ridiculous but there it is.  In AZ, I was working out 5 days a week and enjoying it.  I was eating small portions and pretty healthy food, drinking only on special occasion.  Here, I am sedentary, diet is horrendous and portions are huge.  One seemingly small difference, change in locale, totally screwed with my psyche.

When I moved here, I was worried about the kids, and moving away from their grandparents and school and people they've known their entire lives.  Would my husband like his new job?  Would I like working from home and not knowing anyone?  Turns out the kids are more resilient than I am.

I am an introvert.  I am not that outgoing and will rarely introduce myself to a stranger.  I cannot stand the PTO groups or "Mommy" groups.  They are mostly stay-at-home moms who judge me for putting my children in daycare when they turned 2.  So I suppose when I moved here...I focused on everyone around me and didn't make myself a priority, unlike when I was hitting the gym so often.  I made time for everything else except keeping with the one routine I really needed to.

Excuses?  I've got plenty.  I could blame all kinds of things, but I won't.  Apparently... I opted for a lifestyle change back to the life of a fattie when I moved to FL. more.

Eating has been better this week.  Fresh veggies and lean proteins.  Limited sugar (less than tsp in my coffee just to take the edge off).  I fell off the wagon a little bit yesterday as I was stress eating.  I am back at it today.  What I need to understand is that I cannot let perfection get in the way of really good.  So yesterday wasn't perfection, OK.  No reason to blow today.

We bought a house yesterday!  Our first home purchase was in 2007 and was a nightmare.  We foreclosed and our confidence was shot.  We finally felt ready to try again and we got a house we love that's affordable even if Hubby or I lose our jobs.  Now we're talking.  We've got some work to do.  Pressure washer is over there now.  An A/C guy (A/C needs to be replaced) and the garage door guy is coming over today.  Everything is moving in the right direction.

Thank you for those who stopped by for your support.  I really didn't think we'd all be in this boat.  We had such high hopes a couple years ago.  I know we can get there again.  I know we can.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Ahem...Is This Thing On?

My name is Amanda and I'm a former blogger.  The second I stopped being vigilant in my blogging and vigilant in my work outs and vigilant in my food, it all went downhill ridiculously fast.  I am ashamed to be back and posting my weight.  At my highest, I was 230 lbs.  At my lowest, I was 156.  Monday I weighed in at 199.5.  I'm catching this before I creep above that 200 line.  I'm nipping this in the bud.  I think this was the wake up call I needed.  Isn't that sad?  I can't even say definitively that this ridiculous backslide, erasing a whole year of hard work, is enough to get my ass in gear.  But I'm going to try.  I started Monday...eating right again.  Cutting the portions, cutting out the sugar, getting some activity in.  Next week, I'm back at the gym.  I'm on day 3 and going strong.  I'm ready.  I have to be.  I've got to get back before I become a complete and utter failure.  If anyone is still out there, I can use all the support I can get.  More to come...