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Whats on your must read list for overcoming habits?

31 Jul

I’m over six months out and I am trying to renew my attention to improving myself.  I am trying to read some good books that get at some of the core roots of behavior change that will help me continue to lose the remaining weight and keep it off.  I really only have about 20-25 lbs to go, which is mind blowing to me, but the last pounds are really going slowly.

Any books, webinars, etc that you would recommend to help me reinvigorate?

 

I just got back from a large 11K+ person convention put on by my company and I got sick the day after I got back.  It was a great experience but I think I took back more than good ideas.  Yuck.

I’m baaaaack…..sorta.

4 Jul

Its been a very very long time.  The new has kind of worn off the wls journey, but I’m still doing ok.  I’ve lost about 88 lbs, and now have stayed here for quite a while.  I would like to get to 100 lbs, and that would be fine by me!  And that isn’t very far away.  I am not exercising like I should, I’m not doing a lot of things like I should right now.  But maybe I can get my butt back in gear.

I don’t have a ton of energy to write out a big post, but I am looking forward to having the 4th of July through Sunday off.  We have no trips planned, since we took a trip to the oregon coast last month before I started my new job.

The turmoil of switching employers sucked up most of my mental and physical energy the last couple of months.  My former employer was slowly imploding and I had to get out.  I was not laid off, but I was not hoping to be switching to a new job after only a year, but I was blessed with many different choices.  Still very stressful.

Has anyone seen any Mac or web based software that offers journal writing prompts?  I need to write more, whether its in the blog or whether I keep the post private.

Hope all of you are well!

airport catastrophes, please @dulles_airport, call me back!!!

21 Apr

My work with a client had an earlier exit point than expected this week, so I was within 24 hours of my scheduled flight. I check on united.com and it says I can make a same day change as long as its within 24 hours of my scheduled flight for $75. I think cool. that is much cheaper than another night in the hotel and meals for tomorrow on the way home. Call united, she verifies that this is the right policy and tells me that there is plenty of space on the flight I am thinking about taking.

I arrive at the airpoint about two hours prior to the flight thinking I have plenty of time (can you tell that this sounds like foreshadowing?) I get in line and have to wait quite a while because they tell me I have to talk to a real person. I finally get my turn and she spends forever trying to figure this all out. She finally comes back and tells me that will be $150 plus some fair difference ,making it like $239. I tell her, you policy is within 24 hours. She says, “no, the policy is same day if you want the same day change fare, you have to come back tomorrow AM. I nicely explain that their website says differently as well as the person I spoke to on the phone. She says, well they are incorrect. I show her the site, she gets pissed off and tells me to go around the corner to the special services counter. So I do that. And have to stand in another line. A shorter line, but of course this is the line for the people who have problems, so each person takes a loooooog time.

By this time, I get to her, I have 55 minutes, She easily helps me, and in fact, shows me that they were wrong on the other side, I could have even done this myself at a self checking <banging head against wall. She tells me there are two choices, the one I planned on and another one leaving at 4:30 (half hour later) I look at the time, and say, maybe I better take that 4:30 one, I’m not sure I’m going to have time to get through security and to the gate. She says, “oh you’ll have plenty of time, no worries.” I say “are you sure.” She again beams at me and says, “our security here goes fast…no worries.” (hmm….more foreshadowing?)

I get down to security, and indeed, it looks like it is not too terribly terrible, but busy and long lines of course. Dulles is a weird airport for security. I get up to the guy who checks the ticket and I pull out my temporary drivers license (my new renewal is in the mail to me back home) but it says right on the paper that goes with it “valid for airport travel” or something like that. The guy at the checkpoint doesn’t believe it, so he has to call some other guy on a walkie talkie to come down and verify this. Of course, this takes forever. The guy checks it all carefully and lets me go.

At this point, the plane is now boarding. But its a big plane, so boarding takes a while. I get in one of the lines to actually go through security, a second wait, and at dulles this part always takes the longest. I am finally within range of the table to sling the stuff on and I have a guy in front of me who doesn’t start taking care of his stuff until the conveyor and table is already clear from the person in front of him and then he starts mozying to do his thing. I start gradually getting my computer, liquids and cpap into bins. Shoes. Bags, finally get stuff going through. Get through the Humiliator (the full body scan) and begin grabbing my stuff. I am golden, grabbing faster than the speed of light, throwing on my tennis shoes and putting everything in and running off.

Hmm, my backpack feels ligher than it should. Shoot! left computer! Run back as I havent gone far, and get computer, and also fitbit from same bin. Off I go again! Run past crazy amounts of people (which I NEVER could have done a year ago) get on tram to my gates. Get to my terminal and am thankful to see my gate is only a couple of down. I make it to the gate, and they were just about to pack it up. I get on, triumphant. I made it!

Get seated and begin to pull out my devices to turn them off. Where is my phone ? OMG, where is my stupid phone? Check the bag neurotically 3 or 4 times. Not there, not there! Realize I must have either left it at the checkpoint (I was using it right up to security) or on the tram. The flight attendant had JUST asked people to put away their devices. I sheepishly ask the two ladies next to me whether they could possibly Text my phone or my husband for me to start tracking down my phone. They (even the young one) start huffing about how it’s illegal, while sitting amidst a sea of people who haven’t yet powered down. Bless their integrity.

I stew for the first 30 min of the flight but take my mind off it by watching the stupid inflight movie. I still sporadically imagine a villain getting access to my email and Evernote where I store corporate and sensitive info. 😦

Land in Denver and immediately connect to wireless to ping my phone. Yep. It pings back. Smugly showing its location at Dulles Airport. Call hubby, and he tells me someone had texted and called to say they were turning it into TSA lost and found! Yay! They even provided the phone number. Hubby had talked to TSA and an iPhone with a case matching my description was enroute to central TSA lost and found. They sent him email instruction and a claim number.

Went home on last leg more relieved.

But sadly, it couldn’t be that easy. Of course not. TSA calls next day and says the phone matching my description had been claimed by a flight attendant and was not mine, that somehow they had confirmed it was hers.

So I call Dulles airport lost and found, hoping that I lost it on the tram, because then it would mean the person turned it into central lost and found rather than TSA. But alas, apparently Dulles airport lost and found is either swamped with calls to return or they just don’t feel urgency about retuning calls,because no contact back from them yet.

I hold out hope that since no one has tried to turn it on since it lost battery that it may indeed be in a lost and found bin rather than in someone’s hot little hands, but..I wonder what myriad of ways people can thwart find my iPhone….

Went and got a replacement last night using my hubby’s upgrade eligibility. Praying we still get it back ,that way it was worth it as he will have a new iPhone too.

On a separate note, backup from iCloud is a godsend. And the only bright spot? No way in HELL, that I could have ran from security to c gates in Dulles with a bag and heavy backpack a year ago!

miles, mood and multivitamins

12 Mar

Well, this past week I hit a lot of new milestones physically. I use a fitbit, and reached my “500 mile” status, and I also yesterday had a long day of walking that for the most part was fun until we reached an area of our walk that was under construction which resulted in a long walk around and not so ideal walking conditions. But the whole walk yesterday was 8.25 miles. Amazing, and I don’t feel bad today, still managed to take another decent walk today. Yesterday was something like 23,000 steps. (also got my fitbit badges for 15k and 20k steps in a single day.) I would have never been able to do that even six months ago, and if I had walked that much (which I may have done at disneyworld or the like in the past) I would have been sore and miserable. I was fine today and we walked again today!

Yesterday we did a circuit to walk to breakfast then we walked to a craft store, then we walked up through neighborhoods to a grocery store for a bathroom stop and to buy some water, then we took off up further, visited a park where the kids played, and then up to lunch and to Target and back home again. Home again got a little overwhelming for the kids — particular my 11 year old daughter. She was whining the whole way so that made the walk home not so fun.

The scale isn’t moving though, which is just insane to me. Granted I am eating more calories than I was, but on an average day, my net calories are still around 800.. 1000-1200 consumed, and 200-400 expended in exercise on average. So wtf? Its been about a two week stall again at this point. I have to just figure that at some point the scale has to move again, doesn’t it?

This week was a really hard week, emotionally, and I had a visit to my regular doc to talk about medication adjustments. I’ve been noticing post-op that mid cycle and PMS time have gotten worse emotionally. This past week was really bad, it was all I could do to get out of bed, and get myself to do the things I need to do every week. The first day of the week was ok, fine and productive, and then I just got slammed on Tuesday with overwhelming tiredness and moodiness, didn’t want to do anything. Very hard. The doc said adjusting mood meds is more of an art than a science, so he upped the wellbutrin to 300 mg a day, thought that one would be a better one to try first because it also has an appetite suppressant effect and manages my ADHD, where as my other one tends to increase appetite at higher levels. overall though he was quite happy with my weight loss. He has no need to start me on diabetes meds again at this point, which is cool. I hope the increased meds helps.

I am having problems getting my multivitamin in FOUR times a day. Do other sleevers have to take a multi 4x a day? My nut is so emphatic about only two good options for bariatric multivitamins out there that I am scared to switch. I will say when I travel, I use opurity once a day vitamins, which taste like crap but at least I only have to take one a day. Normally I am supposed to take optisource vitamins, which are fine, but I almost always miss one dose a day. So I wish I could find an equivalent formulation to optisource that could be taken 2-3x a day.

tomorrow starts the next Mytinytank six week accountability group. I really enjoyed the first round. Tracy is an incredibly smart and nice person and is so far ahead of me down the road, a wise mentor. I really appreciate what she does for the WLS community. I have to decide today on my next six week goal and I am having trouble settling on one, whether I should continue with an exercise consistency goal, or whether I should switch it something around eating behaviors, as I am seeing more desire to eat bad foods. I am still getting my required protein in, and a reasonable number of calories (I think..is 1000-1200 ok? it seems a lot larger than what some eat, so maybe not)

I had a good appt with my therapist this week, I guess I’ve settled that its just nice to have someone who gets it to talk to. She is very down to earth and kind. I have another issue that is much more tender/emotion ridden for me and we talked about that as well as eating issues. I have a different issue that again is a “socially acceptable” sort of addiction, and I am trying very hard not to let that issue pop up and become an outlet. I swear, its like a game of whack a mole. All I can do is keep going one day at a time. A worn out expression but very true.

4 weeks post op, travel next week, another book review

21 Jan

Well, I can’t believe I’m already 4 weeks post op.  I have 4 more days of softs and then I get to move onto regular bariatric diet.  Which is just in time, because it is looking like I will be traveling for a quick trip for work leaving on Wednesday to go to Franklin, TN. Not sure yet though.  I am kind of looking forward to it happening, not for the stressful situation that I will head into down in Franklin, but rather to see the seatbelt fit (I hope) without an extender.  I have to think with the pounds and inches I’ve measured away that I should be a bit more comfortable in an airplane seat now.  That’s cool to think about.  My incisions all look good, the one that was problematic still has a large scab that isn’t letting go, but no further issues from it.  This was my first almost full week back at work, monday was a holiday.  I have the flexibility to work from whereever, but on Tuesday I actually went in to my local office and tried to get back in the work mindset.  The last time I was in the office was pre-op, and I found it interesting that I felt like I could walk a lot faster than I used to–at lunch I walked all around the inside hallways (its a very large office) and felt energized afterwards.  Weird!

I am finding myself falling into a habit with breakfast being a premier protein drink.  I hope that is ok.  I’m not much of a breakfast person, I know its important though.  It seems like the premier protein gives me a really good start with 30 g of protein and a lot of other vitamins and minerals.  Is it really terrible if I continue to do this long term?

I also worried myself with a meal that I feel I was able to eat way too much.  I took a 5 oz can of canned chicken breast, a T of light mayo and pureed it in the bullet, and also had about 2 oz of cottage cheese.  I was able to eat ALL of this.  Folks on VST seemed to think that since it was pureed (and it was quite liquidy) that even though it was chicken it might not have been that far off of liquid so was able to pass through rapidly.  I hope so.  This evening though seemed better, we went out to a chinese buffet (what a waste of money for me, but everyone else wanted it) and I had about 2 oz of really soft cooked honey chicken, 2 oz of cottage cheese and half a hard boiled egg.

I really am able to drink very well and don’t have issues with eating anything. Nothign has upset my sleeve so far.   I do feel when I start to get full, and that is wild to me.  Preop I would have had to have the mother of all binges to feel anything close to physically full.

last week I was doing a good job of getting my steps in and this week I’ve just sucked it, other than that one day I was in the office.  Exercise really is a mental block for me.  I can give myself every excuse in the world for not doing it.

As many people seem to experience, I hit the three week stall right on time, with the scale not moving (except for up, as  the days went on without poop…LOL) this week.  It did gradually at least get back to where I was, but I am hoping now that the movement will continue on down.

The book I started this week is Beck Diet Solution, which I think is finally the nirvana I was looking for in terms of an eating focused cognitive behavioral approach.  Its a six week plan compatible with any eating plan to retrain the way we approach, think and feel about food, and hopefully then impact our actions related to food.  It has a nice format in breaking down each day into something to do to take a step forward.

The first day had me writing an “Advantage Response Card” — a card to remind me of all the advantages of losing weight.  I’m not much for paper any more, so I am using the flashcardlet app on my phone instead.  I am also supposed to write it down in one other place, so that will be here.  I used a lot of what I wrote down pre-op but here are the things I am looking forward to (and one or two already there)

1. I can fit in an airplane seat comfortably without an extender.

2. I won’t feel like I need to use the big stall in the restroom to feel like I have enough room.

3. It will be easier to be clean, shower, shave and etc.

4. I will hurt less during and after being active.

5. I might be able to try new activities or sports.

6. I will be able to enjoy amusement park rides more again (an old favorite)

7. I will fit in restaurant booths easily.

8. Maybe I can ditch the CPAP.

9. My diabetes will improve or resolve.

10. I can tie my shoes easily.

11. I can easily paint my toenails.

12. I will have energy to play with my kids.

13. I can buy pretty clothes and even <gasp> lingerie.

14. My wedding rings fit (already!)

15. I can kneel at church without leaning back.

16. My bed and furniture won’t sag permanently where I sit and lay.

3 weeks post op, 1st wls support group (IRL) mtg, book review

12 Jan

Well, today is 3 weeks post op.  What a ride so far.  Today I am officially able to be on soft foods (though I’ve snuck some a few days early) and that is interesting.  I am not sure at this point if I am supposed to expect to get most of my proteins from food, but I am going to try to do so.  I can see how that is a lot harder than getting them from the drinks, the premier protein shakes i’ve been relying on have 30g of protein a shot, so two shakes and I’m pretty much good, and anything else was just (protein) gravy.  I have purchased some foods I’ve never eaten before that are on my list for the soft food phase, like tilapia and salmon.  I’ve never been a fish person, but I figure now is a time to try seeing if I can learn to like new things. 

I have a somewhat unrelated appointment today.  In the midst of all of this waiting for WLS surgery, I began to have difficulty swallowing and chronic sore throat.  I think I may have posted about it before, but in any case, they did a scope and diagnosed me with silent reflux, and I was put on a strong PPI called Dexilant that is working great.  I am sure that some of this was related to the hernia he fixed during surgery. The other part I am having checked out again today, and that is that they found two unexplained lumps/nodules in my throat that the doc was just thinking were a part of the irritation of the throat, but I have to be rescoped today to have them checked out.  I am not a smoker or drinker, which he said were the two big risk factors for the different types of cancer in the throat, so here’s hoping they were just random lumps and bumps. 

Last night I went to my first (in real life) support group meeting for my surgical group’s practice.  I was late because my son’s orthodontic consult ran long (and expensive) but the hour I was there for lifted my spirits.  I caught the last half of a presentation by Anita Nell Swanson, a local woman who was over 500 pounds, had gastric bypass,  and has gone on to not only lose her excess weight, but is now a personal trainer and works a lot with bariatric patients.  She runs a program that is offered at my local YMCA that is an 8 session course for getting started with being healthy if you’re super overweight.  I think I am going to start that in February.  The hard part is always that my travel schedule will likely gear up in february, so I may miss some sessions but better going to some than none at all, I expect.  One note, her website design detracts from her credibility (Anita, you’re amazing, contact me for some ideas about how to make the site support your great message) but please get past that and consider purchasing her book.  She’s amazing!  She had one of her clients speak as well, a woman who was over 400+ when she started and discussed how last year she completed 2 half marathons, and one of them was a mountainous, uphill half marathon locally called Robie Creek.  Holy cow.  I can’t even FATHOM that. 

It was also nice talking to other people in the same boat.  So it was definitely worth going to the group.  I also made a call at least to see if I can hook up with a therapist .  I called the guy who did my bariatric psych eval to start.  He does education classes for the surgical practice I go to, so I am hoping he might be a good guy to start with.  I’m a little weirded out by going to a man for therapy though. What I need is the “Anita Nell” of therapists – that would be awesome.  Someone who has lived this ride or at least understands it pretty deeply.   

From a weight loss perspective, things keep moving.  I am waiting for the “three week stall” now that I am starting soft foods.

A book I highly suggest — 50 ways to soothe yourself without food by Susan Albers.  I love all the ideas it has and how it categorizes into different types of needs and what soothing may help.

I’ve got a few other books on my virtual reading shelf — not sure what I think about those yet because I’ve only peeked and poked into them — some OA books (I have the old print versions, but these are on nook),  The Overeaters Journal, Why Cant I stop Eating, Made to Crave, Weight Loss Surgery cookbook for Dummies, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Dummies.

First full postop day

22 Dec

Well, I am sleeved! I had my surgery yesterday with Dr V. As he had suspected, I did have a hiatal hernia, the more rare kind as it turns out, a paraesophageal hernia. This means that my stomach was bulging up through the hiatus right next to my esophagus. So he was able to repair that as well as do my sleeve. I have a keepsake picture of my hernia…lol…aren’t I lucky?

So the blow by blow of surgery day. My brother drove me to the hospital at 6:30. The timing of being at the hospital was hard because our younger kids daycare doesn’t open until 7, so hubby had to take them into daycare and then come down to the hospital later.

They took me back about 7 am to begin prepping me. I had drank gallons of fluid the day before because I am not an easy stick. They had noted this on my chart because of their experience trying to draw my blood in the preop labs, so the nurse was ready for me, warmed my arms with warm blankets and then hot gel packs, and got it on first try, in a great location– first time that has ever happened for me, god bless sue!

My husband arrived just before they took me back, traffic was bad, but I got to see him before they took me into surgery. They gave me a shot of lovenox blood thinner and the relaxation med. I was feeling mellow. I was out like a light soon and then waking up in recovery.

They started on time at 8:30 and I was coming to in recovery at about 10:30. I stayed in recovery for an hour, during recovery, i was feeling sore, they kept upping the meds and added demerol because i was still feeling it pretty decently. That seemed to do it. they brought me up to my room and got me settled in and hooked up to my pain pump so I could just push a button when I needed more.

I walked once around the unit the first night and had a restless night. The early part of the night was hard, because I felt like I had to pee, and I had a catheter in! Turns out when the bag was drained at one point, the tubing got vapor locked so my bladder was really hurting and that was bouncing pain all around my gut. Once they got they figured out, I was able to get some sleep.

Doing the breathing and coughing is a bitch. The coughing in particular sucks.

My mouth is a dry wasteland. I am hoping they get me down for my swallow test soon so I can begin to sip, sip, sip! I am wondering what that will feel like. Kinda freaked, will it hurt?

My abdomen basically feels like I have done a zillion sit-ups. Yowch!!

Anyway, I am on the loser’s bench. My night nurse said they are probably going to want to push me out of here today, (my guess because the doc wants me crossed off before he leaves for vacation.) I however would like to stay my full two nights because my two youngest are going to want to be jumping on me and I would like to have one more day just to focus on me and recovery before I jump back into being a mama. I can actually sleep in the hospital, so am hoping I can get one more day.

It makes me nervous that I did have a hernia, as well. One more thing to leak or have complications with. Send positive vibes and prayers if you are so inclined? Thanks to my hubby, brother, local friends for faboo support, and Thanks #wls world for all the great support you have been offering, my twerps and the lovely folks at verticalsleevetalk.com have been AWESOME!

More soon.

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