Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 254
Today's weight: 251.5
Total loss: 49.5 pounds

Not quite, MyFitnessPal Weight Ticker, not quite. I'm not to 50 just yet. But I will be soon. :)

Getting ready to head out to the Arkansas Sounds Music Festival for a full day of great music by Arkansas artists. My AMAZING husband John is the coordinator of this annual festival, so I will be there showing my support. And trying to turn a deaf ear to the siren song of the funnel cakes, corn dogs, street tacos, etc. I'll be sitting on the beautiful Arkansas river with 10,000 or so fellow music lovers. Should be a fun day! I've got my sunscreen packed. :)
Hope everyone is having a great weekend. Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

This Week's Eats and a Fill Update

Happy Wednesday everyone! I hope you all are having a great first week of Fall. I wanted to pop in with a quick update about the fill that I got today and also show you guys what I've been eating this week. Let's start with the food!

I'm still in the groove of keeping things as simple as possible. For me that means eating the same things multiple days in a row. I never thought I would be a person who could do this. TOTALLY new for me since being banded. For breakfast this week it's been a boiled egg, half of a Oroweat English muffin, and a wedge of Weight Watchers Swiss cheese. I guess this is WW's answer to Laughing Cow. I have to say I prefer the Laughing Cow over this. It's not bad at all, but it does have kind of a strong Swiss flavor, and the Laughing Cow tastes more like cream cheese.
Lunch has been 2 ounces of smoked Sara Lee ham, a tablespoon of roasted red bell pepper hummus, a Kraft jalapeno cheese stick, and five reduced fat Ritz crackers. All packed in my handy-dandy container. I'm so glad I picked this up at Target when I saw it last spring. I carry it almost every day and it's the perfect size.
I've been really good about working out this week, but I've found that eating something beforehand makes all the difference in what I'm able to do. I'm completely digging these South Beach bars. They taste like a candy bar and have 6g protein too. I got the whipped peanut butter flavor this week and they are just as good as the whipped chocolate and almond version I showed you guys a while back.
I've been in a chili mood lately, but haven't really felt like cooking when I get home. I love Wendy's chili and rely on it a lot. There is an eighth cup of shredded cheddar cheese hiding under there too. And of course my five reduced fat Ritz crackers. :)
Nutrition stats for Monday, Tuesday, and half of today.
I had my appointment for my fourth fill today, and all day long I really debated about whether I even needed it. I got to my surgeon's office and told Greg (the incredible nurse from my first and second fills) exactly what I've been eating. In fact, I even showed him the pictures that I took for this blog post! He said that he thought I might need a baby fill. So I got .5 cc., bringing me to 5.7 total. We will see how this goes. I'll be on clear liquids tonight and full liquids tomorrow. You know I don't mind a full liquid day. Because it means I get to eat this delicious soup:
I ran into my surgeon on the way out and he told me a lot of really nice things about how I am doing, and that he could really tell that I have lost weight. The clinic has me at 49 pounds lost. At home I'm still showing 47.5.

Onward and downward! Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 256
Today's weight: 254
Total loss: 47 pounds

Of course when I got on the scale this morning, I did my usual weighing three times thing. Two out of the three times it said 253.5. One time it said 254. So we're going to go with that. :)

I was pretty pleased with that number. Especially considering the birthday shenanigans that went on last Saturday. Oh…it wasn't too bad. Just the petit four I showed you guys and a dinner out with friends Saturday night. But...there was cheese dip. Specifically, a really fancy Queso Fundido with Monterrey Jack, goat cheese, and a "Poblano Pesto Drizzle". I had gone soooooo long without cheese dip. This is major, people. Before being banded, it was one of my main food groups. For those of you non-Arkansans out there, you probably didn't know, but Arkansas is the Cheese Dip Capital of the World. Seriously. We have like a festival and everything. :) More cans of Ro-tel are sold here than any place in the U.S. Is that a weird claim to fame, or what? It's like Utah with Jell-O and Massachusetts with Marshmallow Fluff. Why do I KNOW these things?? Anywho...

Today I am in serious "getting things done" mode. I've had my Unjury coffee, and I'm getting ready to eat my Egg White Delight from McDonald's. Then I'm going to the gym for my fourth workout this week. I'm really digging the elliptical trainer. Maybe that is something else that's helped with the weight-loss? Normally when I start working out harder, I tend to retain water weight.

After I get done at the gym, I've got to make a gargantuan trip to Walmart. After that… I really need to clean up around my house. When school starts back, it's the last thing I want to do when I get home in the evenings. John is off tonight, so I'm hoping to enlist his help. That boy can clean a bathroom like nobody's business. It's just getting him to do it that's the hard part. :)

I hope everyone is doing well and having a great weekend. Special shout out to NJ Lap Band Girl who is having her surgery this Wednesday!

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

PF Update and a Must-Have for H2O

So as you may recall, I've been dealing with Plantar Fasciitis for a little over a month now. I have gotten some great advice from you guys. I've been stretching my foot, icing it, rolling a tennis ball underneath the heel, never going barefoot. Everything. And even though I've been super diligent, nothing really seems to help. What I've discovered is that PF is extremely common, and sometimes the only thing that truly helps is time. I probably don't need to tell you this, but patience is not one of my virtues. So I went to the walking track at my gym last week and walked for about 20 minutes. And then paid for it all night long.

Oddly enough, the PF doesn't really bother me when I am going about my daily activities...walking around my school campus, standing up all day teaching. It's only at night and in the morning when I just literally kills me.

I've been doing some yoga here and there, but have really been missing the endorphin rush I get from sweating. I don't know why I've never thought of this before, but as I was going to the gym on Monday to do some weight training,  I passed the elliptical trainer. Specifically this gigantic, state-of-the-art Cybex elliptical trainer WITH a built in oscillating fan. Hello, my new friend.
Oh my gosh. It's a great workout. I got on just to see how it would go. It felt alright, so I just kept on going. I turned up the resistance and the incline, and did about 16 minutes as fast as I could go without stopping. I haven't sweated so much in years. I had to dig deep to be able to go for that long. And I had sent to crank some appropriately angry, motivating music. I'm quite sure the people who walked past me had no idea the middle-age woman on the elliptical was listening to Tupac and Rage Against the Machine. But hey...whatever helps, right? When I got done I felt great. And sweaty. The best part of all? No PF pain later.

So I went again yesterday. I'll go tomorrow and Saturday too. It feels great to be on a four-day work out schedule again. I plan to increase my time little by little until I can go for 25 -30 minutes.

The other thing I wanted to tell you guys is that the BKR Water Bottle I mentioned in my post last Thursday is the DEAL. Seriously. At $28, it's a bit pricey for a water bottle, but it is so worth it. Mine was gifted to me by my BF Rachel for my birthday last week. I love it so much, I'm thinking about buying another one just so I can have one at home and one at school. Look how pretty it is.
It's a 16oz glass water bottle with a silicone sleeve. The silicone insulates it, provides grip, and protects it from breakage. Because it's glass, the water gets really cold in the fridge in a shorter amount of time. If bein' in love with a water bottle is wrong, I don't wanna be right. Rachel ordered mine online, but apparently you can get them at Gap Body too.
I hope everyone is having a great week. Thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 259
Today's weight: 256
Total loss: 45 pounds

Well Happy Birthday to me! This was a nice little present to wake up to this morning! The goal that I set for myself this summer was to lose 41 pounds by this day, but I am thrilled to death with 45.

I always get sort of sentimental and reflective around my birthday, and I don't recall feeling this happy in years. If somebody would have told me back in May that I could feel so great in a little over three months, I'm not sure I would have believed them. So many things have improved already… my energy levels, my knees feel so much better...just my general outlook is so much brighter. I'm finding myself excited about things for the first time in a long time. It's kind of like a foggy veil has been lifted. Before, I was simply existing day to day, and now I really feel like I'm an active participant in my own life. When I started this process, I made a conscious decision that I would try to really appreciate the entire journey. Not just trudge a long until I got to my goal. I'm doing that, and so many of you are helping me along the way.
My perfect little "birthday cake". A petit four from my favorite bakery.
I hope everyone has a fantastic weekend and here's wishing all of us a happy, healthy, exciting year ahead! Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Ten Things Thursday

Hey everyone! It's about that time! Here we go with Triple T!

1. Really starting to feel like I'm hitting my groove at school. I'm not coming home every day feeling like I've run a marathon anymore. This is a good thing! I am also starting to get more comfortable with my students, and learn more about their individual personalities.

2. Speaking of school, during the day I have way more energy than I've had in years. I used to prioritize my trips up and down the stairs so that I could make as few of them as possible. Happy to say that isn't the case anymore. Now the stairs are no big deal and I'm up and down them several times a day. I can count that as some of my cardio, right!?

3. Last week I mentioned how I was kind of down because nobody had noticed my weight loss. Literally the very next day, a woman I teach with that doesn't know I had surgery, asked me if I had been losing weight. And then of course I got the dreaded "how are you doing it?" This is a woman that I'm not overly fond of, and is well known to be hypercritical. I told her I had been cutting calories and exercising. Okay… Not really a lie, but not really the whole truth either. In that moment, I simply didn't feel like telling her the whole story. I'm really interested to hear how you guys handle all of this at work.

4. My eating has been totally on point this week. On Saturday I mentioned that I was going to pick up some chopped, smoked chicken from the barbecue restaurant. This is like the best idea I've had in a while. Although it was more expensive than getting rotisserie chickens and chopping them up myself, it tasted better and I didn't have to do all the prep work. So for lunch I've been having barbecue chicken sandwiches, and for breakfast I've been having a hard-boiled egg with half of a cinnamon raisin English muffin and a Laughing Cow. Dinner has varied a bit, but for the last couple of nights I've had an eight count chicken nugget from Chick-fil-A.
5. Have you guys done yourself a favor and listened to Lap Band Gal's podcast yet? John and I both sat down and listened to it on Sunday afternoon. Man… I continue to be inspired by her. Please. Someone with some sense. Give this woman a book deal. A TV show. Something.

6. I figured out how to do it! Progress photos and before photos are now up on this blog. I'm here to tell you… This was kind of out of my comfort zone. But I did it anyway. :)

7. The fun of shopping my own closet continues. I wore a shirt yesterday that I literally could not get over my shoulders when I got it last spring. Why did I buy it, you ask? See this post. In my mind I've been calling it my "birthday shirt" because I wanted to be able to wear it by my birthday which is Saturday. Not only did it fit, I had quite a bit of extra room. Just cut the tags off another one that I'm wearing tomorrow.

8. Did you guys buy yourself a reward present when you hit certain goals? I'm starting to think about my 50 pound goal reward. I'm thinking about either a massage or this perfume. I got a sample of it in my Birchbox a while back, and I'm slightly obsessed with it. Maybe every time I put it on, I'll be inspired to keep right on plugging along. :)

9.  It has been over 100° here for the past four or five days. We cannot catch a break. I am so ready for fall. It's my favorite season. Arkansas is BEAUTIFUL in late October/early November.

10. I go for my fourth fill on September 25th, and right now I'm wondering if I'm going to need one at all. I really think the third one did the trick. I may feel differently in a couple of weeks. But maybe not. If I do get one, I think it will be really, really tiny.

I hope everyone has a wonderful Friday. thanks for reading!

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 260
Today's weight: 259
Total loss: 42 pounds

Not a bit surprised by that one pound loss this week. After last week's 4 pound loss, I knew it wasn't going to be massive. I always step on the scale three times....does anyone else do that? Just to make sure the number is right. Two out of the three times I was 259, and then once I was 258.5. So it might be a pound and a half, but I'm gonna say one. :)

We got in super late last night. The Steely Dan concert was amazing. It was at Mud Island, so we took the tram across the Mississippi River right at sunset. So beautiful. I couldn't help but think of that scene from the movie The Firm where Tom Cruise was running from the bad guys! That's exactly where we were.

The only bad part of the evening...I got stung on the arm by a wasp right before the show. I shook it off, but man it HURT. I held my cold water bottle on it the rest of the night.

I picked John up at work in Little Rock at 4:30 so we could make it to the show in time. Memphis is about two hours away. That meant...dinner on the road! A tradition of ours is to stop at the Krystal burger in West Memphis. The last time we were there was right before we saw Aretha Franklin in Tunica...a couple of years ago. I think Krystal is a Southern thing, but just for reference, it's a lot like White Castle. They serve sliders, basically. We don't have one around here. Probably a good thing for me. Before being banded, a stop at Krystal would have meant at least 4 sliders (with mayo), and a big order of fries. Last night I ate 2 Cheese Krystals (320 cal total) and was perfectly satisfied. I may have even enjoyed them more because I wasn't wolfing them down.

I didn't even wake up today until around 11:30. It's about 6pm now, and all I've had is breakfast. A piece of Ezekiel bread, toasted, with a scrambled egg, and a slice of 2% Swiss cheese. I just made a big Wal-Mart trip and stopped off at a local BBQ restaurant to get some pulled pork for dinner. I also picked up some pulled chicken to make chicken salad for my lunches this week. I was totally inspired by Austin Bander!

I hope everyone is having a great weekend. I'm working on a progress photo page and a recipe page too.

Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

This Week's Eats

Raise your hand if you're ready for the weekend! I know I am. I'm just gonna say it...I'm tired, y'all. Like "going to bed at 9:30" kind of tired. I know things are going to get easier...this part of the school year is just mentally exhausting.

So...I've been eating the same breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the past three days. I've tried to streamline my meal prep as much as possible, and I think it's worked out pretty well.

It's no secret that I love the cottage cheese pancakes that I first mentioned in this post, but I was kind of hesitant to make them ahead of time to take to school. I shouldn't have been. They warm up in the microwave just wonderfully, and are such a treat. I think this may be my favorite breakfast of all. They taste like the cheese blintzes I used to get at IHOP. I pureed some thawed, frozen strawberries with a packet of Equal to pour on top. I'm getting better at making three evenly sized pancakes.
After the first flip:
And voila!
Lunch has been some tuna salad and 5 reduced-fat Ritz. Check out my cool, lap band sized containers. I remember buying them at Home Goods last fall when surgery was still a far-off dream.
 On Tuesday night I made a big pot of homemade chili. It's still not quite chili weather here in Arkansas, but I had all the ingredients on hand and it sounded so good. My chili recipe is very simple...just a pound of lean ground beef, a can of Bush's Chili Beans in Mild Sauce, a can of Rotel, and a packet of French's Chili-O seasoning. I also like to stir in a slice of Borden 2% processed American cheese. Because I'm fancy like that. ;) I finished it off with a spoonful of the Oikos Red Pepper Dip instead of sour cream.
 And my daily totals:
Thanks for reading!


Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Because I Like to Do Things Differently....

I give you...Ten Things Tuesday!

1. Great product alert! I tried every variety of this dip, and I think this one is by far the best. If you like roasted red bell pepper, go get it! I've been putting it on everything. Like tonight...I'll be putting a dollop of it on my chili instead of sour cream. It's 25 calories for a 2 tablespoon serving. Can't beat that.

 2. I simply love getting out of the blue texts from old friends. A friend that I haven't talked to in a while texted me this weekend and it was so great to hear from her. I've always said that the mark of a true friendship is being able to pick right back up where you left off no matter how long it's been. Plus it doesn't hurt that this particular lady is just one of the sweetest, funniest people I've ever known. She is just sunshine. We made plans to go have breakfast or get a pedicure sometime soon and I really hope that it happens.

3. I eat lunch with a group of women every day, so it's not a big surprise that today's discussion touched on the recent announcement that British actor Charlie Hunnam has been cast as Christian Grey in the 50 Shades adaptation. We are all pretty much in agreement that the decision is just fine with us. Although I know that's not the opinion of everyone, I think if you have ever watched any episodes of Sons of Anarchy, you might be a little bit more open to it. He plays one hell of a badass.

4. Now that Labor Day is behind us, it feels like school really is in full swing. Not that the weather has gotten any better. It's still hot as can be. My beginning of school "fatigue fog" is starting to wear off though, and for that I am very thankful.

5. I'm starting to get a little down that more people haven't noticed my weight loss. I figured it would have happened by now. Someone told me that when you have a lot of weight to lose like I do, it's generally around the 50 pound mark before anybody really notices. I can see that being the case.

6. Great product alert #2. Alright...not trying to be a bad influence here, but I would be remiss if I didn't tell you guys about the most delicious Skinny Cow product in existence. This is definitely not an every day treat....160 calories and no protein to speak of, but sometimes a girl's just got to have a lil' somethin'. I have been rationing them out to once a week, and so far, so good. If you love salted caramel, you need these in your life.

7. This Friday is the Steely Dan concert at Mud Island in Memphis! I'm so excited. I've loved Steely Dan basically my entire life. I can remember roller skating to "Hey 19" on my front porch when I was in like 2nd grade. My husband likes them even more than I do, because he is a musician. Here is a universal truth… ALL musicians love Steely Dan. Go ahead, just ask one. I'm not sure, but I think it has something to do with the complexity of their arrangements. Or something. Who knows.

8. Only 29 more days until Scandal premieres on October 3rd! Get ready, Gladiator Nation! It is safe to say that the show has become my new obsession.

9. I want one of these.

10. And I saved the best for last. I'm going to be an aunt again! Well…sort of. My best friend is expecting a baby in March. It is her first child and I am absolutely thrilled for her. She is going to be an ah-mazing mother. Not to mention the most stylishly dressed pregnant woman the world has ever seen! I can't wait to hold that sweet baby in my arms.

I hope everyone is having a fantastic day and the return to work after the three-day weekend wasn't too difficult. I know I had a hard time getting up this morning. Thanks for reading!