Jenny's Weight Loss Progress

Maree's Weight Loss Progress

31 December 2009

Festive Fun and Food....!

It has been noisy, emotional and fun here in my house with 17 of us filling our home for Christmas celebrations and family time. As always in our family get togethers, food has been a part of the days but perhaps not as much as in the past for me... which I have found quite interesting. Of course, I have over eaten or over indulged in treats most days since the family started arriving on 21st Dec but as I seem to have a reasonable level of restriction after my fill 2 weeks ago, I have still managed to lose some weight over the last 10 days - definitely a first for me at any Christmas time!
We do a family "thanksgiving" style around the table on Christmas day with everyone talking about the highlights of their year.... One of mine was my band - and the support of my "boys" for allowing me to spend the money and for supporting me on the journey. There are always tears when we do this (we get the "boo hoos" as my brothers call it) we are an emotional family and there has been a very serious health issue in the family this year - but it is a great way to reflect on what we have achieved and on the support of our loved ones.
It's the last day of 2009 and it has undoubtedly been a life changing year in many ways. I intend to welcome in 2010 with friends and family at a 50th birthday/new year's eve party. Bring it on!

30 December 2009

Christmas treats

This Christmas I have learned that alcohol, chocolate, ice cream and potato chips are all slider foods - unfortunately they all slide past the band with no problem - that would be the reason I've stayed at about the same weight for the last 10 days,but that's better than a gain. Time to stop the treats now! Portions have been fine (still small) but the treats have been a little out of control.

Jenny and I have been to the gym a couple of times to an RPM class - ouch! Hard work but I felt very virtuous afterwards.

18 December 2009

Filled and Full!

My first fill was an almost painless experience - I think I was lucky to have the surgeon do it himself and not the new nurse... judging by Maree's experience. I had 1ml added so now have 4mls in my band and it does feel different. David, the surgeon was happy with how I was doing - 12.7kgs since pre-op and 4.3kg since surgey. I am thrilled!

Had a drink of water in the surgeons room to make sure it went straight through and he told me to try some thicker liquid in the afternoon to make sure it was all OK before I travelled home later - didn't want to have a "stuck" experience and be 350km away. I had a smoothie - very slowly.... and I mean very slowly. I am certainly feeling full with very little food or drink. Long may it last.

The surgeon shared his "Christmas Story" with me and Julie the dietitian, which was basically that we should re-frame our thinking about Christmas (and other big occasions) as a time to get together and enjoy each others company rather than a time to be focused on what foods we can treat ourselves with. I think I am already in that space... especially given that there will be 17 of us in my house for the festive season and so far I have absolutely nothing organised in the way of food! Seriously... I am not normally this slow in preparing the menu and food lists and shopping lists but it just hasn't been a priority so far this year. As a family we have always said it is about us all being together and having fun. Given my current state of preparation, I hope they all still feel the same way!!

First fill - ouch!

Yesterday was my first fill (and Jenny's but she can tell you about her experience). First the surgeon, David, was happy with my weight loss - 9 kg on their scales (10kg on mine) - 7kg since surgery 5 weeks ago. He had told me after surgery that I had 4 mls in the band, but after the fill he told me it was only 3mls so with the 1ml fill yesterday I'm up to 4 mls. He said it can be hard to be sure exactly what the fill amount is during surgery.

Anyway, the fill itself - my port was easy to find (just above my tummy button) so he said he'd get the new nurse to do the fill. She had a feel around for the port and then had a poke around with the needle (eek!!). but couldn't find the base plate (the bottom of the port) and it was hurting quite a lot. I felt sorry for her and I know she has to train but in the end I said "ow!" and David took over - thank goodness! My next fill is in 4 weeks with the other (experienced!) nurse - hopefully if I need another fill wih the new nurse after that she'll have done a few more fills!

Anyway I think I may be closer to the green zone - haven't eaten much today (a flat white, half a cup of yoghurt, a couple of crackers with cottage cheese and tuna) and I'm not very hungry. We'll see. And I'm down more than 10kg! Very excited. And I finished work today for 3 weeks holiday! Even more excited!

13 December 2009

Why are we waiting?

I haven't posted this week as there's really not much to post. Have been hungry soon after eating so definitely need to start getting some fills and see if I can hit the "green zone" - but have been to the gym this week (again) and worked hard (only got there twice with lots of Christmas things and work but that's better than nothing). Am also being careful with my eating - not drinking with or soon after meals and although I don't seem to have any restriction (or have very little) I'm eating as if I've have - small bites and sloooooow. Tonight we got pizza and I ate one slice (one!) - and some wedges - not a great choice but it was a treat for the kids and I was happy with myself that I only had a slice. My theory on eating after the band is that I don't want to count calories or obsess over every bite - I'm about eating a normal diet in small quantities - let's see how that works for me (as Dr Phil would say!!).

10 December 2009

1 week till first fill...

It's an odd sort of limbo land at the moment.... in the morning the band is doing it's job and I am not very hungry when I wake... A flat white and half a piece of my beloved vogels toast and vegemite for breakfast can have me feeling full for hours. But by afternoon all hell breaks loose and I am really hungry with seemingly no restriction. I am having to be very disciplined to make sure I don't overdo it at night, especially since I have been out at rehearsal every night this week till late and am feeling hungry when I get home at 10.30 or 11pm. Don't want to end up eating a lot just before bed... want to avoid heartburn and weight gain!! I'm just staying the same weight wise this week which is OK I guess but I am really looking forward to our first fill next week and getting my band working for me again - all day!
In case you're wondering - we love to sing and have been involved in musical theatre all our lives so my rehearsals are for a Christmas dinner show called "80's Rewind". I'm doing backing vocals and a cameo appearance near the end singing a very appropriate song "Sisters Are Doing It For Themselves"!! There are some tragic 80's songs but it should be lots of fun for audience and us - hopefully! Officially opens tonight so I'd better get ready.

06 December 2009

Still ticking along

Nothing too exciting to post - still getting hungry but keeping portions small and eating small bites veeeerry slowly - taking 15 minutes to eat 3 litebread crackers with tuna and cottage cheese at lunchtime. Will be interesting to see if the first fill on Thursday 17th makes any difference. Will also be good to know where my port is - I think it's just above my tummy button but I'm not sure. Still having small losses and no major gains so all good so far.

03 December 2009

Exercising Self Control

This feels a little more like diet days from the past than I would like but it is only for another 2 weeks until our first fill. I cannot eat the amount of food I would have for a meal before banding but I am having to consciously restrict myself to 3 small healthy meals. I could eat more and I feel hungry only a couple of hours after a meal but it is manageable. My weight loss is painfully slow this week but the net result is down a little so that's good. I went to my husband's work Christmas dinner in the weekend and enjoyed my first champagne and wine since surgery - it was definitely a celebration although I didn't tell anyone there just why! I was dreaming about how much I might have changed by the next Christmas party.... bring it on!

It is my work Christmas lunch tomorrow and as I generally work from home in a different city from the rest of my colleagues it will be the first time most of the people there will have seen me since I started this journey - it will be interesting to see if anyone notices. I'll keep you posted...

29 November 2009

Joining you in bandster hell

I'm getting hungry - clearly the honeymoon is over. As warned by our surgeon, after a couple of weeks of no appetite, I am now hungry again. Trying to rely on willpower to lose some more (or at least not gain anything) until 17 December when we get our first fill - although I know that may not do the trick either. It's a journey and I know I shouldn't be impatient...

26 November 2009

Is this Bandster Hell?

OK - so almost 2 weeks since surgery and I am definitely hungry again now....! I wasn't sure if it was just that I was interested in food since we can expand our diet that made me think about it a lot but it sure feels like hunger! Not as bad as the pre-op diet days when I almost ate small children and pets in a 10 metre radius of me but definitely thinking about what to eat next. I guess this is the infamous Bandster Hell I have read about! And so I need to be careful because it would be easy to consume the wrong things. Well - it would be easy to get them in - not sure if they would stay down. I haven't tried anything too adveturous yet but I did have one of my favourite foods for breakfast today - vogels toast with vegemite - it was heaven! It is still another 3 weeks till our post-op consult and the first fill so I will need to turn to will power to get me there and to keep up the awesome progress I've made so far.

It's so great to have Maree on this journey with me... we can compare notes, congratulate each other on our success, and offer advice and support when hunger sets in. I think I am going to need it during the next 3 weeks!

I'm doing well - been back to the gym doing RPM/Spin classes since day 5 post-op and my 5 small wounds are healing well. I've been back at work since then as well including some travel for work. I made sure I took some protein shakes with me so I wouldn't have to worry about what to eat. I have lost 10.5kgs since my pre-op consult... it's incredible.

Only 4 weeks today till Christmas - just imagining what weight I might be by then is making me smile. And of course I will have had my fill by then so should be out of Bandster Hell. Can't wait!

24 November 2009

Mushies and more mushies

Trying to work out what day postop I am, 11 I think. Started mushies on the weekend - sooooo good to "eat" something - have been having scrambled eggs, mashed baked beans with cottage cheese, mashed veges and chicken thigh with gravy, weetbix - all good. No problems so far and still losing - down 7.5kg since preop (3 weeks ago) and 4.1kg since surgery day. Had what the other bandits I've been reading call an "NSV" (that's a non scale victory for those of you playing at home) - wore my jeans for the first time since surgery on the weekend and they were loose! Admittedly these are the jeans I had to buy this winter when I put on 5 kg - but yahoo!

Scars/wounds are going well - small and healing well. What else? Went to the gym yesterday - and walked and ran (well jogged slowly - very slowly!) on the treadmill doing day 1 of week1 of the Couch25k programme. Bit sore today but not too bad.

I'm getting some more interest back in food - still happy with fairly small portions but definitely thinking about food a little more than last week - as expected. First fill due on 17 December - may be willpower for part of that time, but that's okay.

20 November 2009

7 Days banded - Yahoo!

Hard to believe that it is a week already since we were banded. It has all gone well for me - operation was uneventful and I felt pretty good after theatre on the day, must be that I am a surgery junkie with this being my 4th anaesthetic in the last 18 months. I flew home the day after surgery once Maree and I had been discharged and had planned a few days at home to "rest". Not a lot of rest was had actually with lots to do as my friend and neighbour died while I was in hospital (cancer beat the 46 year old mother of 8 and 10 year old girls - soooo sad!) and helping out there and doing a reading at the funeral. But I seemed to be able to do everything I needed to in spite of only having a few small protein shakes and soup to eat. I have even been to the gym and done a spin class on day 5 post-op but I'll wait another week before I do a pump class with weights!

It is so odd not to be feeling hungry really.... I am still a bit confused about whether I need to eat or I'm just interested in some texture. I am really sick of the fluid consistency we have been restricted to for the last week and looking forward to some mash. I was going to wait til tomorrow but after a conversation with the dietitian today she says we can start tonight. I don't need to be told twice - scrambled eggs here I come!

I have lost 2.1kgs this week bringing the total so far to 9.4 since my pre-op consult and I am at a low point I haven't been able to get to for 20 years!!! It is amazing and I am so pleased I have done this. Long may it continue....!

19 November 2009

Day 6 and soooooo over liquids

Can't wait to start mushies on Saturday - I'm not 100% sure if week 2 starts tomorrow (a week from the op) or Saturday but I'll err on the side of caution and have another day of liquids tomorrow. Really looking forward to more savoury food - shakes and smoothies are all so sweet. Have had soup every night but that's getting old, too. Made cheesy broccoli soup tonight - thinned with lots of trim milk - was tasty. Feeling full now which seems weird as all I've "eaten" today is 1/2 a sculpt protein shake, a drinking yoghurt, a flat white and the soup.

Wounds are looking good - more like scars now. A few small bruises around the larger one and a couple of random bruises on my stomach - did someone lean on me?!! - but no pain except a few shoulder tip pains every now and then.

Made it under the the milestone 10kg mark - never want to see that number on my scale again!

17 November 2009

Liquids, liquids and more liquids

Day 4 postop and all is going well. I started not really wanting to drink anything but felt really weak. Once I made sure I drank something with some calories I felt better. I've lost 2.8kg since the morning of surgery (4 days) - that kind of loss won't last but I'll take it for now! So 6.1kg down so far since the beginning of the preop diet - another 200 grams gets me under a milestone 10kg figure - which I never want to see again!! Lots of exclamation marks in this post - I must be excited...

Today is my last day off work - would enjoy another day at home but as I haven't told work about surgery (yet? - that's another post) - and I've taken annual leave so far, I'll go in tomorrow. I work 8 - 2.30 then pick up the kids from school so hopefully I'll cope okay. Otherwise I'll come home for a rest at lunchtime. I'm dreading my emails when I get in - everyone always seems to need everything urgently when I take a couple of days off work - I don't think I'm that indispensable!! Or maybe I am...

Took my steristrips and dressings off this morning. Tried doing it in the shower but felt a little nauseous at the thought so decided sitting down was better! They all (5 incisions) look great - 4 teeny tiny ones and 1 larger (maybe 2 cm) above my tummy button - I have a band aid on that one and on one on the left which is not quite so closed up.

Had a good day today. Went to the movies, Julie & Julia - loved it and all the food didn't make me hungry. Normally I'd watch a food movie and then want to replicate the great dishes. This time, I wasn't bothered. Got a protein shake on the way out and have taken the afternoon to drink that. Soup for dinner, I think. Looking forward to mushies on Saturday - eggs definitely.

14 November 2009

Banded at last!

Home from the hospital today after being banded yesterday morning. Went in at 6.45, was out of surgery by 8.40am, one of the first things I remember is Jenny being wheeled into recovery. From my notes it looked like I had some pain as I was given morphine but I don't remember any of that. Was soon back in my room (next door to Jenny's) drinking my 30mls of water an hour for the first 4 hours and sucking on ice chips. Was parched - didn't feel too flash the rest of the day - not too much pain but nauseous a couple of time (some drugs fixed that) and just felt better lying down. Talked to the darling husband, Mum and our other sister on the phone. Jenny visited and sat and watched TV in my room while I reclined. A bit of sleep last night and I feel good today - surgeon came and checked on us this morning and we were discharged about 10am - home for the first (small) protein shake (about 1/4 cup) and a trim flat white - couldn't drink all the coffee but infinitely better than the instant coffee we drank at the hospital - only to find out there is plunger coffee but it's hidden!!!

Went to my girls' ballet concert at lunchtime - coped fine and they were gorgeous, of course. Had another half cup of protein shake then a small lie down for about an hour when we got home. Am just making some chicken broth - a bit sick of sweet flavours.

Can't believe I'm actually banded! Was a pretty smooth experience and much better for having Jenny there with me. We are going to work our bands and support each other in this exciting, scary journey.

13 November 2009

The final countdown!

One hour until we leave for the hospital - in 4 hours I'll be a bandit!! Woke at 4.30 am and can't get back to sleep. Very excited and only a little bit nervous. Jenny stayed here last night. A last supper of chicken thighs, broccoli and asparagus and a bowl of weight watchers jelly last night - the preop diet has been all about willpower and boring food but I've lost about 3.5 kilos so that's a great start on this journey - only (!!) 30 kilos to go! In other great news I had a call from my health insurer yesterday and they're going to give me a discretionary payment of $7500 - very pleased as I thought my BMI may be too low (that's very strange to write!) and I may be too healthy to meet their criteria. Result! Better go and have a shower and get ready - will be staying overnight. Means I'm missing the first night of my daughters' first ballet show but my darling husband will be there and I'll get to see them tomorrow if I'm feeling okay. Will post again when I get home....

06 November 2009

Are we there yet?

Day 5 of Optifast and I am so sick of those bars for lunch. Today I had my protein and salad for lunch instead of a bar - I couldn't stand chewing that chemical-tasting horse chaff once more. I've lost 2.5 kg so far which is great - and it's only 7 more days to go until I'm banded! Yay!!!

I'm Hungry!!

It is day 11 of the Optifast pre-op diet today and I'm still hungry!! Really really hungry... almost gnawed my arm off while I was working this morning.... I have lost 5kgs on the diet so far which is great but most came off in the first 5 days and it is painfully slow since then. I am comforting myself (No - not with food!) with the thought that this time next week I will be banded! Yippee!! Can't wait. I know I might be hungry again in the first few weeks post-op before my first fill but at least I will be able to eat something other than optifast shakes, bars or green vegetables! I may just have to break out and have a no dressing chicken salad for lunch tomorrow instead of a bar... What a rebel!

02 November 2009

The countdown is on...

11 sleeps to go until surgery! I started Optifast today - not too bad so far (had a coffee shake for breakfast then a choc bar for lunch) - but that is not a lot of food! Got really hungry about 3 but ate a couple of sugar free lollies and a Sprite Zero and seem to have passed hunger now (for a while anyway!). Took my measurements yesterday pre-Optifast - that gave me a fright - I am officially bigger and heavier than I have ever been - even weigh more than 37 weeks pregnant with twins -arrgggghhh!!! But that is in the past and every day now is a day of progress towards my slim self. A card I saw once said "inside every fat person is a thin person waiting to get out - I think my thin person may have suffocated" - hope mine is still alive and kicking!!

I'm looking on this period pre-op and before I have a fill (or fills) to get some restriction as another one of the diets I've been on - with the added bonus that this time when the scale goes down, it won't be going back up!!

30 October 2009

Pre-op diet tales....

So I am on day 4 of my pre-op Optifast diet.... with 14 to go and Yes I am counting! The first day I was so hungry I could have eaten a small child if one had got in my way! Unfortunately I had had a very busy few days prior to D-day and had not done the family shopping so I had to go to the supermarket around 5pm that day. Not recommended when you have had nothing but an Optifast milkshake, a protein bar and 2 litres of water all day. I found myself salivating over a chubby baby in the trolley near me and wondered if the mother would notice if I took a bite!!

The hunger has improved but not entirely abated... however I couldn't resist getting on the scales this morning and was rewarded with a 3.3kg loss in just 3 days. That's a great start and I am determined that I will never need to lose that same weight ever again - I think I have probably passed this point on the scales around 20 times before on the way up and down over the years but this is the last time!

I also had a monster headache on day 3 - something familiar to me when I have done previous low-carb diets. My answer was water and some good drugs. Seems much improved today.

So far my tips for surviving the pre-op diet are: Remind myself it does have an end date; Drink lots of water; Flat whites with trim milk (not quite as good as the real thing but close!); Weight watchers jelly for a "sweet" treat; and Dreaming about the new me!!

Bon Appetit!

29 October 2009

Show me the money!

Today I paid for the surgeon and anaesthetist - ouch!! $11K on the credit card - still more to come for the hospital. I'm trying not to think about the $ and focussing on how much I'm going to gain in health and enjoyment of life - not to mention how much cheaper clothes are in "normal" sizes. I'm looking forward to never shopping in what Jenny and I call the "fat ladies shops" ever again.

23 October 2009

On your marks, Get set, Go!

3 weeks today till surgery and I can't wait! I have to do a few more days of Optifast than Maree due to my higher BMI and apple (I call it barrel) shape so I am due to start after the weekend. Hopefully it will give me a head start on the weight loss I am longing for.

Maree and I had a good meeting with the surgeon yesterday - with both of us in the room at once it was a wonder he could get any time to talk! Anyway, we're now all ready to go... bring it on!

22 October 2009

Pre-op consult - Maree

Today we had a consult with our surgeon. We've both met with the nurse, counsellor and dietitian. Today was the final consult before surgery in 3 weeks. Got our packs from the hospital - and the invoice!! from the surgeon and anaesthetist *gulp*. Here's hoping insurance may pay some of it - if not, I'll just think of it as a trip to Europe!

Surgery is set for Friday 13 (hope that's not a bad omen!) November - we have to be at the hospital at 6.15am. We're going to ask for a shared room - then we can keep each other entertained. One night in hospital is the plan.

I have my Optifast - yum yum! Will start on Monday 2 November. Only 21 sleeps to go now!