December 1, 2009

Win with Holey Donuts

I have talked to you all about my quest to lose weight and how I'm following the Weight Watchers plan. Through the Weight Watchers community, I heard about a company called Holey Donuts. They make low fat donuts and cinnamon rolls. Donuts such as: Coconut Cream Pie, Lemon Graham Cracker, Vanilla Coconut, Chocolate Fudge Empties, Vanilla Frosted Boston Cream, Strawberry Shortcake, Toasted Coconut, Raspberry Fudge, Fudge Crumb Boston Cream, Caramel Apple and many other flavors.


1- Full box of Jumbo Low Fat Cinnamon Buns (4)
1- Full box of Our Awesome Jumbo Low Fat Blueberry Vanilla Buns (4)
1- Full box of Holey Donuts! Low Fat Cinnamon Bun Middles (16)

+$150 Holiday spending cash!

Enter to win by emailing; You will need to put the name of my other blog, Front Porch Reviews, in the subject line in order to enter. Please only enter once. They will announce the winner on December 15th.

October 20, 2009

Food getting stuck and Pbing

Instead of typing up a whole blog post - I am just going to paste the email I sent to my local support group.

Here is what happened during my lunch date today with an old high school friend. By the way - PBing =Productive burping, which is sort of like a "sour" burp but there is no sour to it.

Well, I had my first major episode today with food getting stuck and sliming (or at least what I think sliming is). I met a male high school friend for lunch today at Moe's Southwest Grill. I ordered from the kids menu and got the Moo Moo Mr. Cow - it's a 4" x 2" burrito - filled with chicken, rice, black beans, salsa and cheese. It also comes with tortilla chips, but I didn't eat them.

I cut the burrito with a knife and ate it with a fork - taking very small bites and chewing, chewing, chewing. After my last bite I started getting the "stuck" feeling and knew that I had to start spitting my saliva or it was going to hurt more. I went into the bathroom for a couple of minutes and then came out. I told my friend that we needed to go sit in my car and talk for the rest of our lunch date because I needed to be near a cup to spit in. I was so embarrassed but luckily he knew I had the lap band and is very supportive (Diane - it was Dennis DePaul).
Normally things clear up within a few minutes when I have this feeling. This time around it hurt like hell for 55 minutes. We just sat in my car for the whole time because I was too weak and light headed from the pain to drive. I filled a medium size fast food cup half way with my saliva during that hour. He kept asking me what he could do to help and I said that I didn't know - that I thought time was the only thing that would help. So we sat it out. He was ready to bring me to the ER or to the doctors. I couldn't believe how long it went on. I did some pbing and they hurt so much. I also was getting the hiccups and they hurt also. It seemed like just when things were getting better, I would burp or hiccup and the shooting pain would start all over again.

So - my question is - is there anything but time that will make things better? Does walking around help? He suggested it but I knew that I needed to be near a cup to spit and I didn't want to do that in public.

I've been trying to figure out what caused it. I did get a fill two weeks ago and have noticed a considerable difference in this fill. I am finally feeling like I have the restrictions that I have been wanting. My portion sizes have shrunk a lot. I didn't feel full or that I was eating too much at the time. Do you think that the chicken, black beans or rice caused this? I'm thinking that I should start "testing" those food items individually to see if they might be the issue. I know that there are some lap banders that have a problem with rice and pasta.

If you have pbing and have had it go on for an hour - can you tell me what tips you might have used to lesson the amount of pain, if there is any. I really couldn't believe how long it lasted. I hope to never deal with something like that again.

October 9, 2009

Roasted Pumpkin Soup

I have been on this cooking kick lately. I absolutely love trying new recipes and last week I had some pumpkin soup that a friend of mine made. I used his recipe last night and made my own, very close to his, version of the soup. It was delicious!

Perfect recipe for when you are on a blended or full liquid diet.

Roasted Pumpkin Soup
(photo courtesy of Better Health)
Prep Time: 5 min. Total Time: 40 min.
Serves 4 - Weight Watcher Points 4 per serving
2 3/4 pounds sugar pumpkin, halved and seeded
1 leek, sliced and rinsed
2 shitake mushrooms, steemed, caps wiped clean
1 garlic clove, peeled
2 T olive oil
5 cups fat-free chicken broth (or vegetable broth)
2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 T fat-free sour cream
Preheat oven to 450. Cut pumpkin into 2" pieces. Place on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and 2 tsp salt; toss to coat, then spread in a single layer on baking sheet. Roast pumpkin until it is tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 30 minutes. Let cool, then remove skins.
Saute the onions, mushroom and garlic in a stock pot until softened.Pour in 2 cups stock; puree with an imersion blender until smooth. With the blender running, slowly add remaining 3 cups stock, and puree until smooth. Bring soup just to a simmer. Remove from heat, and seasonwih cayenne pepper, salt and pepper. Cover to keep warm.Serve with a 1T of fat free sour cream.

What autumn favorites do you enjoy?

September 25, 2009

Pulled Chicken and Chili Spiced Fries

Here's another review from the Comfort Classics cookbook from Weight Watchers. This time around we have the Pulled Chicken Sandwiches and the Chili-Spiced Thick Oven "Fries".

I didn't really care for the pulled chicken. It needed more of a kick to it. I would have preferred bottled bbq sauce over making my own. The oven fries, were delish. Definitely something I'll be making again. Especially since it's only 2 points per serving.

Pulled Chicken Sandwiches

Prep-10 min * Cook-25 min * Serves 4

1/2 cup ketchup
2 T packed dark brown sugar
1 T yellow mustard
1 T apple-cider vinegar
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground allspice
1/8 tsp ground ginger
4 (1/4 lb) skinless, boneless chicken things (I used chicken breast), trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
8 slices whole wheat bread, toasted (I used hamburger rolls)
12 bread and butter pickle slices (I didn't use these)

Stir the ketchup, sugar, mustard, vinegar, chili powder, cumin, allspice, and ginger together in a medium skillet; add the chicken and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is tender, 20-25 minutes.

Remove from the heat and shred the chicken with 2 forks. Serve the chicken mixture between the bread slices with the pickles on the side.

7 points per serving * 2/5 Rating

Chili-Spiced Thick Oven "Fries"

Prep-10 min * Bake-25 min * Serves 4

3 large (8oz) russet potatoes, scrubbed (I peeled mine)
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Preheat the oven to 450. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Halve the potatoes and cut each piece lengthwise into quarters; place on the baking sheet. Drizzle with the oil and toss to coat. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer and bake until the bottoms are deep golden and crisp, about 15 minutes. Turn the potatoes onto the opposite cut side and bake until crisp, 10-15 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, combine the sugar, cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the fries and toss to coat.

2 Points per Serving * 5/5 Rating

Caribbean Beef Stew with Coconut Basmati Rice

You know, I've never really tried a sweet potato. I think I may have had a bite of one baked in the oven, one Thanksgiving. I would always choose white potatoes over sweet potatoes even though the sweet are much better for you. When I spotted this stew recipe I debated on substituting the sweet potatoes with white ones. I'm glad that I didn't - the lightbulb finally went off and I am now a "liker" of sweet potatoes. They fit very well with this stew recipe.

I made this recipe as suggested but next time I'll save some time by cooking it in a crockpot. Plus, I'll add more coconut milk to the rice - I was disappointed that I couldn't taste the coconut at all.

Caribbean Beef Stew with Coconut Basmati Rice

Prep-15 min * Cook 1 HR 15 Min * Serves 6 * 7 Points

page 74 from the Comfort Classics cookbook by Weight Watchers

3/5 Rating

1 lb lean boneless beef bottom round, cut into 1" chunks
1 T jerk seasoning (I used cajun)
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1 (14.5 oz) reduced-sodium beef broth
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
1/2 lb fresh green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (I used 1 can instead)
2 cups water
1 cup brown basmati rice
1/2 cup (reduced-fat) coconut milk

Sprinkle the beef with seasoning. Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the beef and cook, stirring occasionally, until broned, 4 minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is softened, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the beef is almost tender, 45 minutes. Add the potatoes and simmer, covered, until almost tender, 15 minutes. Add the beans and simmer, covered until tender, about 6 minutes longer.

Meanwhile, to make the rice, bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the rice and coconut milk; return to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the rice is tender, about 40 minutes. Serve the stew with the rice.

Mexican Night Weight Watcher Way

Mexican Food - I hear those two words and my mouth starts to water. One of the things I start to miss while watching my weight is mexican food. When I go out to eat at a restaurant, the food is covered in ooey, gooey, cheesy goodness. Which also equals high fat and calories.

I was so excited to see a couple of Mexican recipes in the new Comfort Classics cookbook from Weight Watchers. BBQ Turkey, Corn and Mango Quesadillas and Crunchy Bean-and-Cheese Nacho Cups; I decided to pair these two recipes together for a night of Mexican Fiesta. The mango added a fresh new taste that has now become one of my favorites.

BBQ Turkey, Corn and Mango Quesadillas

Prep-15 min * Cook-15 min * Serves 6

1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced

1/2 cup fresh or thawed frozen corn kernels (I used canned)

6 oz thin-sliced deli turkey breast, cut into thin strips

2 T bbq sauce

3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat pepperjack

4 (8 inch) whole-wheat tortillas

1 mango, peeled, pitted and sliced

2 T chopped cilantro

Spray a large nonstick skillet with nonstick spray and set over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionaly, until softened, 5 minutes. Stir in the corn and cook 2 minutes.

Place the turkey and bbq sauce in a medium bowl and toss to coat.

Sprinkle half of the cheese on 2 of the tortillas, then top evenly with all of the turkey mixture, onion mixture, mango, cilantro and the remaining half of the cheese. Top with the remaining 2 tortillas, lightly pressing down on each stack.

Wipe the skillet clean, spray with nonstick spray, and set over medium heat. Add one of the tortilla stacks and cook until lightly browned and heated through, 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer the quesadilla to a cutting board and keep warm. Repeat with the remaining tortilla stack. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges.

3 Points * 5/5 rating

Crunchy Bean-and-Cheese Nacho Cups

Prep-25 min * Bake-10 min * Serves 10

1 plum tomato, seeded and finely chopped
1/4 cup salsa
3 T fat-free sour cream
1 T chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp lime juice
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1 cup fat-free spicy refried beans (my store didn't have spicy beans so I used regular fat-free and added chili powder)
40 baked cup-shaped tortilla chips (I used Tostidos baked cups)
1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend (I used Weight Watchers brand)

2 scallions, chopped (I omitted these since I didn't have any on hand)

Preheat oven to 400. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Stir together the tomato and the salsa in a small bowl. Stir together the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice and cumin in another bowl.

Place the beans in a microwavable bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and prick a few holes in the plastic. Microwave on high until hot, 2 minutes, stirring once halfway through cooking. Spoon about 1 teaspoon of the beans into each tortilla cup; sprinkle evenly with the cheese and scallions. (I used a cookie dough scooper to fill the cups - it made it very easy and less messy)

Place the tortilla cups on the baking sheet and bake until the cheese is melted, 5 minutes. Top each cup evenly with the tomato mixture, then with the sour cream mixture.

2 Points per serving (4 nacho cups) * 4.5/5 rating

September 23, 2009

Asian Kebabs

Last month I grabbed my Grill It! Weight Watchers cookbook and planned out my meals for the week. One of the dishes I made that week was a dish called Asian Beef Kebabs (pg. 40). My husband, who is a huge meat eater said it was some of the best meat he's ever eaten. That's a huge compliment in my household. Since he is also a hunter, he asked that I make that same recipe utilizing venison.

Here's the recipe for you to enjoy. Try it with beef, venison or even chicken.

Asian Kebabs

Makes 4 servings, 3 points each (utilizing beef)

1/4 C chopped scallions (we used some from our garden)

2 T reduced-sodium soy sauce

1 T minced peeled fresh ginger (I used 2 tsp dry)

1 T rice-wine vinegar

2 tsp canola oil

1 tsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper

1 garlic clove, minced (I use 1 tsp of the pre-minced garlic)

3/4 pound lean beef tenderloin, cut into 16 strips (I used venison tenderloin instead)

1/4 cup Chinese mustard (optional)

Combine everything, excluding the mustard and put into a ziplock bag to marinate for at least 15 minutes or refrigerate overnight.

Remove the meat from the marinade and place on skewers. Discard remaining marinade. Place kebabs on grill and grill 5 minutes. Turn and grill an additional 5 minutes. Serve the kebabs with the mustard on the side.


Scallions from my garden


Finished Kebab - Yummy!

September 17, 2009

Brunswick Stew Review

I am feeling right at home now back with the Weight Watchers program. I'm on week 5 and I've lost 7 pounds. There was a tough week during the county fair and I actually skipped my weight in. I knew the scale wasn't going to be very friendly.

Last week I picked up the new Weight Watchers cookbook, Comfort Classics. I planned out the next two weeks of meals and they all consist of meals from this cookbook. I'll be posting reviews for them all here. So make sure you stop back by to see what rating I give them.

A couple of nights ago we tried the Brunswick Stew (Weight Watchers Comfort Classics, p. 79)

Prep: 15 min. Cook: 40 min. Serves 4. Points 5

1 T flour
1/4 tsp cayenne
4 skinless, boneless chicken breasts, each cut into 4 pieces
2 slices center-cut bacon
2 stalks celery, cut into 1/2" pieces (I didn't have any on hand so I skipped this)
1 onion, cut into 1" slices
1 med. red pepper, cut into thick strips
1 (14.5oz) can diced tomatoes (I used a quart of canned tomatoes from my garden)
1 cup thawed frozen mixed veggies (corn, carrots, peas and green beans) (I used a can of each as I didn't have any frozen)
1 T apple-cider vinegar (I used Pomegrante Basalmic Vinegar)
1/2 tsp Worcester sauce
1/8 tsp hot pepper sauce

1. Combine the flour and cayenne in a medium bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat.

2. Cook the bacon in a large saucepan until crisp. (one tip which I use, thanks to the Food Network - I cut two "strips" from a package of frozen bacon. Cut so you're cutting a strip across the whole package. That way your getting pieces instead of a strip. Then you can put the other bacon back in the frezzer for future use)
Drain on a paper towel - crumble if needed (you won't need to if you use my tip above). Add the chicken to the saucepan and cook until lightly browned, 2-3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the celery, onion, and bell pepper to the saucepan; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened, 4-5 minutes. Stir in the chicken, bacon, tomatoes, mixed vegetables, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper sauce; bring to a boil.

4. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, until the vegetables are very tender and the stew is thickened, 20-25 minutes.

Our rating - 3.5/5 stars.

July 27, 2009

I'm feeling SOOO much better

Yesterday morning I met my doctor at the hospital and he withdrew some fluid out of my band. Immediately I felt relief when he gave me some water to drink. It was so nice to drink something. I'm not much of a water drinker but it actually tasted very good yesterday.

Today, I'm back to my normal eating. Now I'm excited to see if this will still give me restriction - or if i'll need to try and get "some" of that fill back.

July 25, 2009


Yesterday morning I tried eating some yogurt for breakfast. I had very good restrictions. This was the first time after a fill that I actually felt like I had restriction. The feelings reminded me of my first few days post-op. It took me about an hour to eat 4oz of yogurt. Later in the day I started having some pain when I was sipping water. I held off eating anything else until dinner time. At that point I tried to eat some soup. The liquid was very hard to get down and immediately I felt pain. The night before I had no problems eating and was surprised that I was having difficulties. I couldn't even handle eating a sugar free popsicle.
This morning I woke up to the same problem. Everytime I attempt to sip any water, I get pain immediately. I spend the next 15 minutes spitting my own saliva in a cup because swallowing that is painful.
I broke down and called the doctor tonight. I'll be meeting him in the ER tomorrow morning to get some taken out. I'll make sure I update you all on how I'm doing after the fill. I'm really looking forward to drinking water again!

July 23, 2009

Seventh Month Post-Op Update

I received another fill today. I think I'm now at 5cc. Dr. F put in 1/2 cc in today. I was so happy he was able to give me my fill in the office. This was his first attempt in the office, for me. Today was a lucky day he said - he got it right away. Yippee for me!

I'm really hoping this helps give me the restriction I so need. I'm 7 months post-op and feel like it's been a very long journey and still no restriction. I haven't lost any weight since January - actually since my two week post op.

Since my weight has been at a stand still, I decided to go back to Weight Watchers. I have always had success following their plan. My challenge has been keeping the weight off after I lose it. I'm hoping that with the aide of the band, that won't happen. So why Weight Watchers? Well, I need that weekly accountability and support that the weekly meetings give me. Since I don't have a job currently and can't really afford to "waste" money - I am giving myself two months to be successful with WW. I am feeling very confident and motivated today to get moving towards my goals. I'm about 25 pounds behind the goal I had set for myself last fall. Time to kick it up a notch and get moving!

May 14, 2009

Post-Op 5 Month Update

Wow, I can't believe that it's been five months since I had the lap band. Time has flown by quickly, although sometimes not quick enough. It has been a long process so far. Last month it was one year since I applied for the surgery. When we go through this process all we focus on is the light at the end of the rainbow. The day that we can feel fit, healthy and not fat!
Although I am so happy with the lap band so far, I definitely wish the weight was coming off faster. I still haven't lost any weight since the beginning of January. My pants are bigger and I can now fit into some clothes that were too tight for me but I want to see the scale go down.
Last week I had my third fill. I have 5cc in my 10cc band right now. I had been on the fence about getting another fill as I was feeling some good restriction with my last fill but the last month my hunger and the amount of food I could eat had increased. I'm feel very good, and hopeful about my latest fill. Hopefully this time next month I'm bragging about a 6 pound weight loss. Wouldn't that be nice? :)

April 30, 2009

Enter to Win a $500 or $100 Visa Gift Card

How would you like to win a $500 or $100 Visa Gift Card? I am 1 in 1000 of the house party hosts for the American Idol and Ford House. What I need is your help in making me the ultimate winner. The more votes I get, the more entries I have to win a 2010 Ford Fusion and trip to the American Idol Finale.
What's in it for you, besides helping me? You'll be entered to win either a $500 or $100 Visa Gift Card.
Just visit my house party page at Once there you'll need to fill out the form. You do not need to fill out the section about buying a vehicle. You only need to fill out the info with an *.
If you have any questions on the contest, please let me know. Thanks so much for voting for me!

April 15, 2009

Show me some Bloggy Love

I am in a contest to win a $200 Gift Certificate to The Children's Place. The one with the most comments on their "Children's Style" post will win.
I'd love it if you could stop by and leave a comment on my post about Kendra's style. It's on my other blog, Front Porch Reviews.
If I win the $200 GC, I will be giving it away on my blog. So help me out and maybe you'll be the lucky one who wins the Gift Certificate in the long run. :)

April 9, 2009

Twitter Moms: The Influential Moms Network

Necklace Giveaway

Through my networking on Artfire, I ran into a wonderful woman, Desiree. She sells beautiful jewelry and more. She has graciously offered a custom created necklace for my giveaway. It's a 3-strand necklace made out of acrylic beads that are lapis lazuli colored with silver nugget beads. It's 18" long with a 3.5" extender clasp. Retail value $25. If you're the lucky winner, you'll be able to own this beautiful piece.
You can find her other items at Jewelry by Desiree.

This giveaway is open worldwide and will end on April 19, 2009 at midnight EST. To enter, stop by my other blog Front Porch Reviews.

April 1, 2009

NSV = Non Scale Victories

How often do you stand on your scale? Once a week, once a month, daily, maybe never? I step on mine each morning before I jump into the shower. Why do we care so much about the number on a scale? Is that the only thing that shows how successful we are with our healthy eating and exercise? I have been very discouraged lately because the number on my scale doesn't seem to be moving. Since December I have weighed the same amount, give or take 4-6 pounds. I keep bouncing from 252 to 246. It's been very frustrating. I was recently reminded that it's not just the number on the scale that I need to pay attention to.

I have been going to the gym anywhere between 3 - 6 times per week. I have noticed that I can walk two miles alot easier on the treadmill than I did when I first started working out two months ago.

I have also gone from a size 24 down to a size 18, all the while the scale has stayed the same. When I run into family or friends that I haven't seen in a month, they always tell me that I look like I have lost weight. It is nice to hear that and it does help keep me motivated. Especially when I'm stepping on the scale and seeing the same number.

Today I had an appointment at my lap band doctors. We talked alot about the lack of movement on the scale but the other non-scale victories. They reminded me that I really need to stay positive and focus on the other good things that are happening. Since I had lost 40 pounds prior to surgery, I actually may be in plateau stage. I'm going to keep track of everything that I eat. I start off the mornings good journaling but by the end of the day, I forget to write things down.

On February 23rd I had my second fill. About two weeks later I started feeling some restrictions. Enough restrictions for me to pass up my fill that I was scheduled for this month. I normally eat a piece of toast with peanut butter in the morning. For the past couple of weeks I have only been able to eat 1/2 of it. I'm not sure if it's the peanut butter or the toast but it feels like it gets stuck in my pouch. I have changed to eating two Weight Watcher cheesesticks on my way to the gym. After working out I eat another cheese stick and a piece of fruit. That tieds me over until lunch time. Usually for lunch I eat leftovers from the night before. I have tried to cut back the amount of carbs I'm consuming. For supper I usually have a protein (usually chicken) and vegetables. I'll cook myself a 4-5oz piece of chicken and eat 1/2 of it. The other half I'll eat for lunch the next day. Then I usually have 1 cup of vegetables. Occassionally we'll have rice or potatoes but not very often. I find that 2oz of chicken and the 1 cup of veggies fill me up. If I get hungry later in the evening (sometimes around 8pm), I'll grab a handful of almonds and eat them. It's enough to take the edge off the hunger.

So, is your scale hiding from you? Do you stand on it too often trying to see those numbers going down? It's time to step away from the scale and take advantage of those non-scale victories.

Leave a comment here letting me know what your NSV are.

March 23, 2009

Flipped Port

A friend of mine who had the lap band placed in January just found out that her band flipped. After doing some research online I wanted to put together a post about what happens when a port flips. What are some of the causes and how do they fix it.

Remember, I am not a medical professional. I'm just sharing some of the info I found online.

Dislodging or Flipping: The access port is sutured in place on the fascia (gristle) and muscle of the abdominal wall. If the sutures pull out of the muscle, the port can become loose or even flip over. The port then becomes difficult to access. Fixing the problems requires a return to the operating room for minor surgery.

Only 2% of band patients experience flipped ports.

Usually a port flips after a traumatic event. For example, if you were in a car accident and your air bag went off, there is a chance you flipped your port. I read about one person who bent over in the shower and they heard and felt a "pop". That was actually their port unattaching itself and flipping over. Since your port is just held in place with sutures, there is a possibility of it becoming unattached.

If your port does become flipped, you will unfortunately need another operation. They say that the surgery is very quick (10 minutes), is done on an outpatient basis and is alot easier than the actual lap band surgery. They do not enter the abdominal wall nor do they do anything to the band itself.

I read on a lap band forum that one person who had the surgery said that within 8 days she was back to normal and couldn't even feel that she had surgery. That sounds alot better than the original surgery recovery time!

If you have experienced a port issue, please leave a comment and share your story.

March 15, 2009

Lap Band Fill

I found this video on You Tube and it shows how a lap band fill (or adjustment) is performed.

February 16, 2009

I went and worked out again today. It's been a week since I joined the local gym. I'm feeling so good about myself and that I am finally putting myself first. Last week I worked out on Monday for two hours, twice on Tuesday (morning and evening), twice on Wednesday and once on Thursday. I was in a lot of pain so I skipped the gym on Friday. I had a big blister on my heel. The blister is healed up and luckily I found another pair of sneakers in my closet and wore them today.
I took a photo of myself the morning of my first workout. After the work out I came home and took some measurements also. I'm excited to see how many inches I'll lose in a month.

I downloaded a First Day to 5K Podrunner for my MP3 player and I've been utilizing these training sessions. You can download them for yourself at Here is some information on the Podrunner: Intervals.

Series mixed by DJ Beatsmith
If you've never run before, or are returning to running after a long hiatus, this series is designed to take you from your first day to a full 5K (3.2-mile) run in just 9 weeks (plus a bonus "graduation mix").
General Information
Each mix should be used 3 times a week
Weeks 5 and 6 have a different mix for each of your three sessions
Each mix includes a warmup and cool-down period
Tempo changes are indicated by a chime, ascending to accelerate, descending to decelerate
Always stretch thoroughly before and after your session
Always hydrate adequately

If you use these mixes to train for a 5K - I'd love to know about it. Send me a photo of yourself at the 5K event and I'll post your picture here!

February 9, 2009

I'm having a GREAT day today!

I am having a really good day today. My husband and I joined the gym in our local town. We spent two hours there this morning working out. He is an ex-powerlifter so he knows his way around all those machines. He was a great teacher and showed me how to use everything. I hadn't put any regular exercising in place yet so I'm really excited to start this step of my healthier lifestyle.

Also, my mom and dad were here visiting me this past weekend and my mom kept complimenting me on how I look. With us going day by day it's so easy to miss those 1/2 pounds here and there - but to someone who hasn't seen us in awhile, it's noticeable. Although I did see my parents the week of December. I really needed to hear those nice words this weekend. I had been feeling a bit down about the slow progress of the band really working.

I had a fill a few weeks ago and I do notice a small change - but it's very small. I'm looking forward to my next fill to get me closer to where I really feel I need to be.

By the way, I'm loving this nice weather. That always makes me feel better and makes me want to get out and start moving more. :)

February 7, 2009

Smaller Legs, Butt and Breasts

I forgot to mention in my earlier post today that my parents are here visiting. I haven't seen them since the end of December when I was still on a blended diet. My mom said that I looked like I had lost weight. She said my breasts look smaller and my legs looked smaller. My husband said that my butt was smaller.
Although I don't feel like I have lost any weight and the scale shows a smaller number than where I started out at - I still feel like I am very big and that I haven't really lost anything.

Two Weeks Post Fill

It's been a full two weeks since I had my first fill. I didn't think the fill was working but this past week I realized that I lost some weight without really trying. I felt like I ate the same, but then it dawned on me that I actually didn't eat as much as I normally do.
It has been hard trying to figure out when I am really full. I have actually stopped eating many times in the middle of my meal and realized that I really was satisfied. I don't need to wait until I have a stomach ache before knowing that I am full.
I've been using toddler divided plates from Tupperware. It helps me portion out my meals so I can re-evaluate whether I'm really hungry after eating a toddler's size portion. This has worked out really well. Plus, I've been using toddler spoons and forks. I highly recommend trying both of them out if you are struggling with portion sizes.
On Monday my husband and I are going to join a local gym. We don't really have the extra money for this since I am currently unemployed but we've decided we'll just have to make the cuts somewhere in our budget to make up for this new expense. I've been feeling pretty good on my eating the last two weeks, I just need to get moving on the exercise.

February 5, 2009

Enter for a Chance to win an iPod Touch

Mommy Daddy Blog is giving away something you’d love to touch; a shiny spankin’ new 2nd Gen 8GB iPod Touch MP3 player and a $10 iTunes gift card! Click here to enter this sweet giveaway!

January 28, 2009

First Fill and Lapband vs. Gastric Bypass

I had my first fill on Monday. I am so excited to be on the next phase of the band. Since this was my first fill the doctor requested that I have my fill done under fluro. I wasn't exactly sure what to expect and I was a little nervous going into the appointment but more excited than anything else. I laid on the hospital table and the doctor clean the area with some antiseptic cleaner. He then had his assistant turn on the fluro to locate exactly where to insert the needle to find my port. It took him a few attempts until he found just the right spot. All I felt was a tiny prick and a few seconds later I was done. I sipped a little water to make sure I had no problems swallowing, which I didn't. That was it. I'm now on day 3 after my fill and I'm not really feeling anything different. I need to follow a full liquid diet for the rest of today and then soft foods tomorrow. I'm hoping that when I get back to normal foods I will notice a difference.

I also wanted to talk about the difference between the Lap Band and the Gastric Bypass today. I've had quite a few people ask me the difference or automatically assume that the lap band is the Gastric Bypass. The Lap Band is still pretty new to most people that they aren't really sure what it is and what it isn't.

The Gastric Bypass:

The Gastric Bypass can be done either through full incision surgery or through laparoscopic surgery. The surgeon makes a small pouch from your stomach and cuts away the rest of the stomach. They then cut away about 6 feet of your intestines and then attach your stomach to the now shorter intestines. The remaining stomach and intestines stay in your body.
Here is a bulleted list of the Gastric Bypass:
  • Time Tested
  • Complex Operation, multiple areas of abdomen involved
  • Cutting and stapling of stomach and bowel are required
  • Rapid weight loss over 3-6 months, settling at final weight 10-16 months after surgery
  • Portion of digestive tract is bypassed, reducing absorption of essential nutrients, requiring long term supplements
  • Dumping syndrome (intolerance to sugars and some carbs)
  • Not reversible
  • No significant hardware in body
  • Mortality rate: 0.5%3
  • Total complications: 23%
  • Major complications: 2%
  • Most common include:
    Standard risks associated with major surgery
    Nausea and vomiting
    Separation of stapled areas (major revisional surgery)
    Leaks from staple lines (major revisional surgery)
    Nutritional deficiencies
  • Higher perioperative mortality rate than LAP-BAND® Adjustable Gastric Banding System

The Lap-Band:

The Lap band is performed by laparoscopic surgery. My surgeon made 5 small incisions. They create a small pouch at the top of your stomach with the band. Attached to the band is a tube that leads to a port. The port is adhered close the outside so the doctor can access it later on. You'll need to have fills or adjustments to make the band tight enough to give you restrictions. It's the fills/adjustments that make the band work correctly. Without the follow up care, your band will not work as designed.

  • New Technology
  • Simpler operation, gives lower risk around surgery (less chance of death or prolonged hospitalization)
  • Lower short-term mortality rate than gastric bypass2
  • Slow and steady weight loss (1-2 pounds per week), settling at final weight around 2 years after surgery
  • No stomach stapling or cutting, or intestinal rerouting
  • Possible deficiencies due to decreased intake, long-term supplements also recommended
  • No dumping syndrome
  • Reversible
  • Long Term plastic material in body
  • The Band must be adjusted for best success
  • Mortality rate: 0.05%3
  • Total complications: 9%5
  • Major complications: 0.2%5
  • Most common include:
    Standard risks associated with major surgery
    Nausea and vomiting
    LAP-BAND® System slippage
    Stoma obstruction

When you decide to go the route of gastric surgery, you need to decide which operation is better for you. I have thought long and hard about this before deciding to go with the Lap Band. I know a few people who had the Gastric Bypass. Some personally and some celebrities. I have watched them lose their weight and most have kept it off. Although there are a few who didn't keep it off and started gaining their weight back. I have also read the stats on deaths and complications. For the past 6 years or so I have asked myself if my weight problem was worth the chance of complications, mainly death. Each time i asked myself that question, I always answered myself with a "Hell No". When the lap band came along, I started doing some reading online about this new procedure. After reading that the risk levels were far less than the Gastric Bypass, I knew that this might be my answer. I thought long and hard about the commitment this new procedure requires; Long term eating healthy, continued care after placement of the band, eating smaller portions and having weight loss fall off slower than the bypass. After al ot of thought, I made the decision to go with the lap band. I am very happy with my decision and know that I made the right one for me.

I have heard stories about people who didn't succeed with the lap band. After listening to their stories, I soon came to realize that it wasn't the lap band that failed them, but themselves. They didn't listen to what their doctor told them. You have to follow up with your doctor, you have to continue getting fills until you reach the point where the band is working correctly. You have to eat correctly. You can always find things to eat that won't bother your band but aren't good for you - like chocolate, ice cream, high calorie drinks. If you don't listen to your body, eat healthy, exercise and follow your doctor's directions - you may not succeed. I know that there are times when you can follow your doctor's orders and do everything you're suppose to and things can still go wrong. Most of the time though, you'll find that it was bad choices made by the individual, rather than the surgery itself.

The Lap Band and Gastric Bypass are not for everyone. Each person needs to weigh their options and then make the best decision for them. What might work for me, might not work for you. Plus, what worked for you, might not work for me. We must all respect each person's decision.

January 26, 2009

Enter some Giveaways

I stumbled upon this website called Bloggy Giveaways. I entered a few of the giveaways and some of them gave away extra entries if you blogged about their giveaway. So here is a link to some of those extra entry giveaways! Be sure to stop by and enter for a chance to win yourself.

January 25, 2009

My First Fill is Tomorrow

My first fill is tomorrow. I'm so full of emotions, high expectations, low expectations, nervousness and excitment abound. I really hope that this first fill gives me some restriction but after talking and reading about so many other lap banders that take numerous fills, I feel like this won't work. Although deep in my gut I'm hoping that this gives me at least some restrictions compared to what I have now.
Thursday I went to the doctor's office for my pre-fill appointment. Since I had been on full food (no more soft foods, etc.) the doctor wanted to make sure that I wasn't having any problems with eating. I'm sure once he saw that I had gained 2 pounds he knew I wasn't having any problems. I feel like I could eat anything and everything in my path - and unfortunately - I did. I completely threw out all the great coaching I have received along the way about what I should eat and what I shouldn't. I learned that chocolate melts really well in your mouth and that you can eat it without any problems. I also learned that pizza and tortilla chips don't effect me at all. These past two weeks I feel like I did during the pre-band phase - last supper ailments. Wanting to eat everything that I love before I get my fill and find I can't eat it anymore. I had these same feeling before the band. The timeframe between when I was approved and when I started my pre-op diet was very hard for me. I had a list of 100 food items I needed to eat before the band (not literally but close). Now I find myself in that same situation.
Yesterday I started journaling again. I vowed to get back on track. Today, the day before my fill and a week of liquids and soft foods, I find myself thinking about what I should eat today that I might not be able to handle in a week or so. Why would I think like this when I knew exactly what I was getting myself into and I was okay with cutting those food items out of my life for the betterment of my health?

January 11, 2009

My First Post-Op Visit

I had my first post op visit on Thursday. Things seem to be progressing perfectly. Although I do wish I was losing more weight. Starting tomorrow I will be journaling all my meals again. I don't have any restrictions with my band like I did when my stomach was swollen from the surgery. Now that things are healing inside, I can get an adjustment/fill. I have one scheduled for January 27th. I will see the doctor again on the 22nd just to make sure that I am handling solids okay. I received the green light to start eating normally. Although I do need to remember to keep chewing and to eat slowly.

Last night I had a slice of pizza. I know it's not on my new eating plan but I just couldn't resist the temptation. I think that is the biggest thing I struggle with: resisting all the temptations around us. Throughout the day we are introduced to so many things that aren't good for us or our bodies. On your way to work or even the mall, how many fast food restaurants do you drive by? Why does the grocery store spotlight all those processed foods and seasonal candies (Valentine's Candy all over the Hannafords store). I love utilizing my DVR to watch a program because I can fast forward through the commercials. It seems like almost 1/2 of the commercials are based around food - whether it's for a product or restaurant.

I have found since being laid off in August that I spend alot more time watching tv. Now that the winter is here and it's so cold outside, I have found that I get lazy and want to just "veg" on the couch. I really need to find something to do during the day that gets me up and moving. I'd love to start walking at the University Mall in the morning. I'll be putting out an email today on my local lap band group for a walking buddy. I'm hoping that getting up early and getting in some regular exercise will help motivate me to keep moving the rest of the day. If anyone has any ideas on things to do besides watch tv during the day, please let me know. I do not love the cold so outdoor activities when it's 10 degrees out, is out. I also have no money to spend on anything, so it needs to be free. A group of lap banders when snowshoeing last night. I would have loved to have joined them but it was 2 degrees out and I don't have the proper winter clothes. I do have a nice winter coat but no snow pants or good boots for the winter. So - let me have it - send those suggestions to me. I'd love to hear them and hopefully I can find a couple that will help me. If I choose any of your ideas, I'll reward you with a repurposed notebook that I have made and sell in my Etsy store ( I have more on hand that I haven't listed yet - so I'll send you a photo of one to choose from.

If you live in the Burlington area and you'd like to meet me at the UMall at 7:45am each morning for a walk and coffee, let me know.

January 4, 2009

It's a New Year!

Happy New Year to all my readers!

I received an email from a friend today asking me for an update. I'm sorry that I haven't updated this past week. The kids are on vacation and there really isn't alot to report. My weight loss has slowed wayyyy down. Actually, I managed to gain 2 pounds during the Christmas weekend. Last week I lost that 2 pounds but didn't lose anything else.
My appetite is back full force. I'm not feeling much restriction right now. I'm looking forward to my first fill/adjustment. For those of you who don't know what that is - it's when the doctor injects saline into a port that's attached to the band around my stomach. It tightens the band and gives me more restriction. Something I really want! The first week after the surgery I had alot of restriction. I could only eat a small amount before I was really full. Although I'm not sure I want that kind of restriction all the time, it would be nice to have more than I currently have.

This past week I didn't do any "real" exercise but I we cleaned the basement and I did alot of moving, lifting (I know I wasn't suppose to do too much) and I think that helped with my two pound weight loss.

So what is my favorite soft meal right now? Refried beans with low fat cheddar cheese melted on top. I'm also enjoying potatoes and I tried lasagna on New Year's Day (blended in the blender) and it was really good. Tonight for supper I cooked chicken in the crock-pot and it made it really soft and easy to chew/swallow.

I need to search for my appointment card for the doctor's. I think I have an appointment this week or next week for my surgery follow up.