Tuesday, May 27, 2014

May 27, 2000

On May 27th, 2000, I went on a first date with this really nice, cool guy that I had met at a local record store. Record stores. Remember those? He got my number, and called me a few days later to invite me to come see his band play a gig at a Little Rock hotspot called Cajun's Wharf.

As I walked in the bar that night, he and the band had just launched into Al Green's "Tired Of Being Alone". I was immediately impressed. At the first break, he made a beeline over to me to make sure that I was having a good time. I was. Before going back on stage for his second set, he told me to order whatever I wanted to drink and then he gave me a cute little side hug that I thought was the sweetest thing ever.

After the gig that night, we went to an all-night diner. We ordered the "Can't Decide Sampler" appetizer and two diet Cokes. And we talked. About everything. The more he talked, the more I liked him. John's voice has always felt like home to me. There was no awkward first date weirdness. No pretense. Just a feeling of "Oh! There you are. I've been waiting on you." Home.

We talked until the sun came up and 14 years later, the conversation still hasn't stopped.

He is my best friend, my constant support and my biggest cheerleader. He loves me no matter what size I am and has told me that I'm beautiful every single day that I've known him.

The past 14 years have included a lightning strike (John), adopting a sweet rescue cat, several major home renovations, and now this crazy weight loss journey. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have by my side.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 203
Today's weight: 201
Total loss: 100 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

I know, I know....this post is late, late, LATE! I have been TOTALLY enjoying my three-day weekend and I hope you all have been too.

But yes...something BIG happened Friday morning. I honestly didn't expect it to happen this week. You guys know it's been a long time since I've had a 2 lb. loss week. But I woke up Friday morning and had a good feeling. I thought...okay maybe I'll just step on the scale a day early and see what it says.

It said this. :)
And I said "Hot damn!!!" Actually I can't remember WHAT I said, but I know there was wooping and cursing involved. It felt really, REALLY good. 100 pounds lost two weeks shy of my one-year Bandiversary. Hell. YES. And then I got dressed for school and took a selfie. :) It seemed like the thing to do! It's on the Progress Photo page, which I need to be better about updating.

It was a really great week overall. I got a haircut. Nothing as dramatic as Hollee's or Jessica's, but quite a bit shorter. It made me realize that I truly do love having short hair. I'll go even shorter next time.
It's crazy to think that this time last year I was beginning my pre-op diet...2 protein shakes and a 300 calorie dinner. I was also starting to get really, really nervous and excited. Nervous about the surgery itself and excited about all the possibilities for my future. I wish I could go back, give myself a big hug and just say..."Don't worry. You got this."

We have a week and a half left of school and I've spent most of today gearing up for the big finish. This is our last "real" week...where we count attendance and teach. Week after next is Semester Test week and only those who are testing will be there. Come on, Summer. Because you know...last summer I was kind of busy. :)

I hope everyone has a great week ahead. Thanks for reading.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 204
Today's weight: 203
Total loss: 98 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

It feels great to see the scale moving in the right direction again. Even if it is just creeeeeeeeping down little by little. I'm so ready to see that 1 in front of my weight. I cannot even explain it. I think for me, it's going to be even more emotional than losing 100 pounds. It's been a LONG time.

Still...this past week was a good one. I felt a little more in control of my appetite, my calories, etc. Eating at home every evening (minus one) helped a LOT. And my band is still being quite cooperative too. I really do think I've done a better job listening to my band when it speaks lately. One of the biggest challenges? Just because it's on my plate doesn't mean I have to eat it. Do any of you struggle with this one?

It's a good thing I'm in a much better frame of mind because this week is gonna be go, go, GO. I have something I have to do every single night.

But that's okay...because I'm starting to feel summer right around the corner. And it dawned on me today that next Monday is Memorial Day! So technically there are only 2 Mondays left in the school year. :)

I hope everyone has a great week ahead. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Ten Things Thursday

​​​​​​1. First things first....what a difference a few days have made in my state of mind. Things have not calmed down that much, but I'm managing better. I think it was mostly just realizing that I had too much going on and taking a step back from the fray.

2. Something else that has helped me...on Sunday, my band decided to tighten up and it has stayed that way. I had a tiny fill scheduled for yesterday, but I cancelled it. Don't know if it's the weather or what, but I am digging this new development.

3. My Polar Heart Rate Monitor came in the mail yesterday and I cannot wait to check it out. It's going to be really interesting to see what my "calorie burn" is versus what the Cybex Arc Trainer tells me. Stay tuned for a review.

4. Operation "Eat Dinner at Home" has gone really well this week. The only meal I've eaten in a restaurant was last night. It was at one of my favorite Mexican places and I ordered the Tortilla Soup. Have I mentioned my love of the Tortilla Soup? It's my fave. Luckily in Central Arkansas, there are a zillion places to get it.

5. Something kind of cool happened yesterday. The husband of a co-worker is scheduled for LapBand surgery on May 30th. With my surgeon Dr. Wellborn. Yay!!! My co-worker came to me yesterday and asked me if I could jot down some info...what to buy at the grocery store for after surgery, etc, any advice...you know. Well...my "short list" turned into about 4 handwritten pages and it got me thinking....I should really do a post about What To Expect...The Things that I Wish Someone Had Told Me. I also realized just how much I have learned and internalized about the band and how it works. All of those rules, tips, and tricks that used to seem so overwhelming are now just a part of my daily life. I know a lot of people that view my page are pre-op or in the "research stage" and it might be beneficial for them to read. So...Veteran Bandsters...HolleeAnnaKarin, Christy, Luka Beth, Cheri,...I'm calling on you guys to help. Send me your wisdom.

6. Do you guys know Jessica over at Jessica's Journey to Onerderland? Well...she's quite fabulous. And just this past week she got a fabulous new haircut. It's really inspiring me to make a change myself. My hair has gotten WAY too long. Something about the start of summer that makes me want to chop it off. Ok...maybe not ALL of it. I've got an appt. scheduled for Monday. Woo hoo!

7. Speaking of summer....and I KNOW you guys are probably SO sick of me speaking of summer :)....I am extremely exicted about the World Cup!! I'm a soccer fan anyway...I mainly watch a lot of English Premier League games...but the World Cup is my favorite. To get you guys all in the spirit...here is a little gift from me to you. Because errbody knows that it really should be called the World Cup of Hotness.

8. Tomorrow is yearbook day at school. Oh my lord. Remember what MONUMENTAL importance that day held?? I know I used to agonize over what I wrote in yearbooks. Would I be able to REALLY express to that person just how GREAT is was to sit behind them in Algebra II for these past 9 months??? Oh the Angela Chase/Jordan Catalano-ness of it all. It got me thinking...in this day of social media overload are yearbooks the giant deal they used to be? Does it mean the same thing when Hottie McFine from AP American History favorites your Tweet? And when you can just scroll through someone's Instagram posts to relive old memories?

9. I have an appointment to get my teeth cleaned today. Here's something weird...I LOVE going to the dentist. Always have. And John and I have a wonderful dentist. We heart him. So much so that we are even featured on the patient testimonial page on his website. What a hoot!! Something I thought about this morning...97 pounds ago, I don't know that I would've felt comfortable with my smilin' mug on a website. It's pretty cool that I had a picture he could use on the site that I actually like!

10. And finally...I want to give a shout out to several lovely ladies in my life that are on their own paths to health and fitness. Look...whether you've got a lot of weight to lose or you just want to drop a tiny bit...it's ALL hard. The process is the exact same. So proud of all of you!

Here's to health and success for us all. Happy Thursday!

Thanks for reading. :)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 204
Today's weight: 204
Total loss: 97 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Well....no weight loss to report this week. It's not surprising, but it is disappointing. It seems like this week, social obligations, temptations, and frustrations have been coming at me from every which way. There is something about this time of year, with the birthday parties, the celebrations, the graduations, Mother's Day… I haven't had very many meals at home for a couple of weeks.

Back in my WW days, they had a saying about BLT's. Not as in the sandwich, but as an acronym for "bite, licks, and tastes". There have been quite a few of those this week, coupled with an overwhelming urge to eat all the chocolate I can get my hands on. What's up with that? It's kind of amazing that I've managed to maintain and not gain. Thank you, exercise.

But I don't want to maintain. I want to lose.  I'm two thirds of the way to my goal and for the very first time in my journey, doubt is starting to creep in. In a big way. Will I ever get there? The mental part of it is really the kicker, folks. For me, anyway. I've got to get it together, regroup, and forge ahead.

So how do I plan to do that? I'm going to do the same things that have taken me this far. Counting my calories, drinking my water, and eating at home. I KNOW how many calories the things I cook have. Sometimes I think restaurants are just big, fat, liars when it comes to calorie reporting. And I'm going to continue my workouts. Those are my saving grace and my stress relief. Ask any teacher you know....this is the time of the year when we need stress relief the most. The storm before the calm....if you will.

June 7th is my one year Bandiversary. I would really like to be down 100 pounds by then. That would be really cool if that happens. I think I would feel pretty great about that. We shall see.

I hope everyone has a wonderful week ahead. I'm getting ready to do laundry, tackle my meal prep, and just try to "get my mind right". That really is the most important part.

Thanks for reading.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Triple T!

Hello everyone! It has been a LONG time since I've done a Ten Things Thursday. And they are always one of my favorite things to read on other blogs. So what am I waiting for? Here we go!

1. Today is John's birthday!! The big 45. I'm exceedingly glad that he was born. It's kind of a regular work day for him, plus he's SUPER busy at work right now, so we're sort of waiting until Sunday to do our full on, proper celebration. But in the meantime, I made these for him to take to his office and share with his co-workers. Just a warning....I've done a lot of baking in my lifetime, but I think this might be the most caloric thing I've ever attempted. Look if you dare. http://www.bakerella.com/kit-kat-cream-cheese-brownies/

2. Really starting to become more.....aware....of my port. Like...it sticks out. Is this something that just comes along with weight loss? Please let me know what your experience has been.

3. The WLS peeps I follow on Instagram all seem to LOVE their Polar Heart Rate Monitors. Specifically the Polar FT7. After lusting after one for months, I broke down and bought one this morning. The Polar website has all the info, demo videos, etc, but DON'T buy one from the site. The model I got was literally $50 cheaper on heartratemonitorsusa.com Amazon and other places have them too. Shop around.

4. Teacher Appreciation Week is this week. I've gotten a lot of sweet cards, notes and gifts. What hasn't been so cool???? The MASSIVE amount of food we've had in our Teachers' Lounge. Seriously....donuts, cookies, pizza, pasta, cheese trays, sandwich trays, cakes. Can someone appreciate me with some new Under Armor socks, perhaps?

5. Speaking of school... this year has kinda flown by. We had 5 snow days this years which is a TON for us. I enjoyed every single one of them, but we have to make them all up. So...our last day this year is going to be June 4th. Not bad at all. I don't have ANY plans this summer, and I​'m thrilled about that.

6. I've upped my calories slightly because I felt like I was eating too few. Especially with my workouts. Right now I'm in the 950 range.

7. This song. Cannot stop. It's my official Song of the Summer. Thanks, Jordan. :)

8. I never did binge-watch The Walking Dead like I planned. I got about three episodes in and I was just kinda ehhhhh about the whole thing. Next on the list...House of Cards. Both seasons. And Orange Is The New Black returns June 6th. Woo hoo!

9. This is eventually going to be an entirely separate blog post, but I need some help to get the conversation started. The world is an entirely different place for me than it was 100 pounds ago. In ALL kinds of ways, but especially in how I'm treated by strangers. I remember reading a post that Lap Band Gal wrote quite a while ago about how the only person who didn't​ treat her differently after she lost weight was her cat, Pemberly. I'm experiencing this for myself now and it's a complete and total mindf*ck. Thoughts? Experiences? Please share.


10. Happy Mother's Day weekend to all you moms out there. Especially to my BFF Rachel. Her FIRST Mother's Day ever! Even though John and I have chosen not to have children (probably a whole other blog post, huh?), I recognize and appreciate how hard all you moms work. A mother truly is the heart of the family, and I feel like I won the "Mom Lottery". She's just amazing.

I'll be back in a couple of days with a Weigh-In Saturday.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Weigh-In Saturday

Starting weight: 301
Last week's weight: 205
Today's weight: 204
Total loss: 97 pounds
Banded: 6/7/2013

Some weeks are golden. Those weeks where everything seems to be headed in the right direction. Everyone is happy, the sun is shining, and all seems right with the world.

This was not one of those weeks.

In fact, this week was the exact opposite of that.

Oh...where to begin?

I'll begin with the obvious. I'm sure you guys are well aware that a devastating tornado ripped through the central part of my state on Sunday night. Tornadoes are commonplace here, but this one was so violent, so destructive, that even lifelong Arkansans like myself are left speechless. Thank you so much to those of you who emailed to see if John and I were okay. We were lucky. So many were not. The tornado hit about an hour north of us. The main two towns affected were Mayflower and Vilonia. President Obama will be here on Wednesday to tour the tornado damage. I feel so badly for all the families who are suffering. I cannot fathom what they are going through. Because Arkansas is such a small state, almost everyone I know has a friend, a relative...someone who was a victim of this horrific event. Several of my coworkers have family members that lost everything.

Everyone was pretty tired Monday morning when school started. The kids were very subdued. Many had been up all night because of the tornado sirens and weather radio warnings. It was a weird day. Our school clubs immediately began to organize a relief effort drive. Things like dog and cat food, hand sanitizer, first aid supplies, gas station gift cards, etc.  All to be collected and taken by our local police department to the towns affected.

I was scheduled for a workout Monday afternoon, so I changed into my workout clothes and headed to the gym. I got there and the parking lot was completely empty. I guess more people than me just weren't feeling it that day. I don't know what is going on with me lately, but I have just been so tired. Not just on that particular and not just from lack of sleep. It's a full body fatigue. It's been concerning me a bit so I have scheduled a doctors appointment to do some blood work. I am way overdue for a physical, and I figured with almost 100 pounds lost, this is a great time to go get some numbers. Like many overweight people tend to do, I avoided going to the doctor for years. No more. I have decided that for the rest of my life, I will be an advocate for my own health and well-being. Now that I'm in my early forties and I have seen people my age affected by all sorts of things, it's even more of a necessity.

So anyway...back to the work out. You guys know that it has only been recently that I've started to truly like exercise. Hated it for YEARS. I had this thing that I used to do on days when my motivation was lagging. I would tell myself..."hey...just get dressed and go to the gym. If you aren't feeling better 15 minutes into the workout, you can leave and go home." Well...you know how that went. I never took myself up on it. After 15 minutes, I was always..."hell yeah...I'm here, I'm doing this!!" I haven't had to do that in a LONG time. But as I walked into the gym on Monday, I was steadily making deals with myself. "Just get this done and then you can go home." I lasted about 8 minutes. Seven minutes and 43 seconds, to be exact. I hopped off the arc trainer, grabbed my water bottle, and flew down the stairs to my car. The whole time I'm thinking "what the hell am I doing? This is not what I do!!!" But my body was speaking to me louder than my conscience. And it was saying "just get home and rest."

So I got home, got something to drink, and I sat down on the couch to watch the national and local news. Although the tornado had been the main topic of conversation all day, these were the first pictures and footage I had seen of the destruction. And I boo hooed like a big ol' baby. Even harder when I realized that one of the people being interviewed, one of the people who had lost their homes, was a former student of mine. A pretty young girl I taught 20 years ago. Now a grown woman who must somehow begin the arduous task of rebuilding her family's life.

After about an hour, my hunger was getting out of contol, so I decided to cook a healthy dinner. The whole time I'm thinking "okay...I completely bombed my workout, the least I can do is be healthy with my food choices." So I went into the kitchen, and made some tilapia and broccoli. And it was delicious.
And then about 20 minutes later I ate 9 chocolate chip cookies and a Cadbury creme egg.

And guess what? I'm fine with it. Some days are gonna be like that. Considering the way I was feeling, I'm pretty proud of myself that a bottle of tequila wasn't involved. I recognized what I was doing, which was stress eating, and I let go of my ideas of being "the perfect bandster" in that moment.

But the trick is not letting days turn into weeks into months. I've been in that downward spiral and I know exactly how it works. I've learned a thing or two about myself in the past year. And I now know how to put that knowledge to good use. Have the moment, let it go, and move ON.

On Tuesday after school, I went to see Rachel and sweet baby boy. BFF time always makes me feel better. We went to Chipotle, and then to J.Crew. I wanted to go there becuase I've had my eye on this shirt for a while.
They had it. I bought it. And the best part was that I didn't need extra-large this time. I got an a large and rocked it yesterday with some dark wash jeans and my new Donald J. Pliner wedges.
Shout out to my sister for those, by the way. She is the generous soul that gives me my all time favorite thing....Nordstrom gift cards ....for my birthday and Christmas. :) Thanks, Jen! :)

Wednesday was back to the gym. And I don't mind telling you that I was a bit concerned after Monday's debacle. But I needn't have been. Wednesday's workout was just fine. Afterwards, I went and met my friend Rory for a wonderful dinner. I haven't seen her in almost a year. She is the mother of 5 year old twin boys, so yeah...she's slightly busy.

And finally Friday arrived. I had an early dinner with my friend Jordan after school, and then we went to Target. Always fun.

Oh and I lost a pound this week. That seems sort of beside the point, but I was grateful for that.

John's band is in Fayetteville, Arkansas tonight playing a wedding. About 5 hours away. Yes… Wedding Season has officially begun. I like it for him, because he so good at what he does, but kind of bummed that I'm not seeing him tonight. He'll get home in the wee hours of the morning, and will likely sleep all day tomorrow. The life of a musician with a day job!

Furry Lewis and I are gonna catch up on some TV tonight and chill at the house. I have the past three episodes of The Good Wife on the DVR and I'm quite excited about that.

I'm also going to make my junk food tacos. They aren't really junk food, but they taste that way. If you're a fan of Jack in the Box tacos...and really...who isn't?.....you'll probably like these. Unlike a lot of the recipes I post, the brand of the ingredients matters a lot on this one. If you have a Walmart Supercenter near you, you should be able to find the La Tiara brand. After trying it for the first time last summer, I'll never use anything else. I'm not going to go to tell you how to make tacos, you already know that, so I'll just post a pic of what you need.
Oh! But definitely warm the taco shells in the oven. That's a crucial step. And don't skip the processed cheese. We are going for trashy here, people. Healthy Trashy!

Hey...that is a great idea for my first cookbook. Healthy Trashy LapBand Eats. I'm sure my surgeon would be so proud.

Here's to better weather, and better days ahead. I hope each of you has a great week.

Thanks for reading.