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Wednesday, July 20, 2011 I lied

I am NOT moving to Facebook.  Way too many restrictions as far as what I can post.  So I deleted that page...don't go looking for it because it ain't gonna be there! 

So anyway...I just had my 6th fill.  I am at just under 6 ccs. AND I AM IN THE GREEN ZONE BABY!  I am consistently eating 1/2 to 1 cup per meal and feeling satisfied.  And that satiety lasts for at least 4 hours.  And the best news??  I am down a total of 60 pounds.  I haven't weighed this "little" in over 8 years.  I am also going to take this opportunity to give myself a pat on the back...I have not had a drop of a carbonated beverage since January 8, 2011.  And let me tell you...It is HARD.  That is what I crave the most.  Just a Diet Coke...maybe with a little lime...but I fear I'm a bit like a crack addict and one sip will lead to another, will lead to get the picture.  So what is your craving?  Do you ever give into it?  How do you avoid temptation?  Also - I am curious - does anyone still use a straw to drink?  I was told this was big no-no.  Strange how everything varies between surgeons!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Please "LIKE" my Facebook Page

All - I am transitioning out of this blog and over to a Facebook "page".  I think I will have more sucess keeping up with Facebook than this blog...I have really, REALLY, (did I say really??) appreciated all your support and would LOVE it if you all would wander over to FB and do a simple search for "Band On The Run Amanda" and "like" my page!
Thanks and I will hopefully see all of you over there!!


Monday, June 27, 2011

Ode To Dunkin' Donuts Coffee

"There's no point to any of this. It's just a... a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know... a quarter-pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moments where your laughter becomes a cackle... and I, I sit back and smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt."

This quote from the movie "Reality Bites" is one of my favorites.  Only I would substitute the quarter pounder with a Dunkin' Donuts coffee.  Oh, and 86 the Camel Straights...yuck. 

For the last 2 weeks, everyday on my way to work I've stopped at Dunkin' Donuts to get the same thing:  a medium coffee, 2 Sweet n' Lows and extra cream.  All this yumminess for 90 calories.  And the absolute best part?  It totally curbs my appetite.  No wonder models exist on coffee and cigarettes.  Of course this is not all I have for breakfast (what kind of a bander do you take me for??).  I start the day with a protein bar around 8am. 

And one day, the guy in front of me even paid for my coffee!  Love random acts of kindness!  And as soon as I pay off my medical bills, I might be able to return the favor!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Sooo...This Is What It Is Like To Have The Lap-Band

I think I may have found my sweet spot.  My last fill was on June 6th.  The first 2 weeks, I didn't feel much, but now...I can only eat between 1/2- 1 cup at a time.  Oh, and by the way, I know this because I am continuing to measure all my meals.  I make sure my entire meal fits into two 1/2 cup containers.  I have also lost a total of 8.5 pounds since June 6th.

Lost: 8.5 pounds and frustration

Have a great weekend everyone...oh and please pardon the look of the blog...I am "redecorating"!

Monday, June 20, 2011

I'm Back...

So I took a bit of a breather there.  Mostly because I was getting a bit frustrated and worried.  I was stuck in this fluctuation of 3-4 pounds for about a month.  I would gain a couple pounds then lose 3, gain 1 lose 1...then I got worried that my band wasn't working.  Was my esophogus dialated?  Did I stretch my pouch?  I had days where I swear I could eat a horse and then 2 days later could only eat what a bandster "should" be able to eat.  Then I had a fill 2 weeks ago...that got me worried again.  I went to a Mexican restaurant for my birthday lunch with friends from work and I was able to eat 2 whole brisket tacos with absolutely no problem.  Oy.  So fast forward to this past weekend and some enlightenment provided by Lap Band Gal.  She blogged that at any given time she could eat more than the regulated 1 cup of food, but she chooses to only eat 1 cup or less (paraphrasing of course).  Cue light bulb.  So with that info I have decided to start portioning out my food in 1 cup portions like this (tonights dinner: 2.5 oz chicken and 1/2 c of risotto.  Chicken = 115 cals, risotto = 85 cals.  Total protein = 17 grams):


I would love to hear from my fellow bloggers or followers if they have experienced any of this and what they have done about it.  Do you portion out all your meals?  What are your tips?

Oh and I have also learned something about fills.  The number of ccs you have in your band means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.  I currently have 5.7 ccs in my band after 5 fills.  I don't feel completely in that I am in that green zone or sweet spot yet, but I hope I am close to getting there.  I know some bandsters that only have 2 ccs in their bands and are in the green zone.  I also know some bandsters that didn't reach the green zone until they had 9 ccs in their 10 cc band.  If you are new and reading this, please do not get hung up on this number.  Just focus on what is working for you.  I personally like to know how many ccs are in my band because I am curious...not because it really means anything other than a number.  I didn't always think this is hard not to think that this whole process would be easier if they threw 7 ccs in the band at the beginning, but we need to trust the process and recognize that the band is a tool, not a complete solution.

Ok, so that is it for now.  I vow to be more vigilant about sure keeps me honest.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Yes, I'm Alive

I've been a bad blogger.  I haven't blogged in FOREVER.  Sorry about that - life has been so busy.  Nothing too exciting, just BUSY.

I had another fill, but this time I only received .8 ccs.  The PA and I had a talk about not worrying about how much saline is in my band but rather if what I have is working for me.  I think I was getting too hung up on the number.  I have pretty good restriction now (it's been a week), but the restriction didn't come until one week after the fill.  Strange. 

I had a 3 month follow up appointment with my nutritionist this past Saturday.  It was actually a "class" with another "student".  The other lady in the class with me had Gastric Bypass 2 weeks after I had my lap band surgery.  And guess what?  We've both lost pretty much the same amount of weight.  I still am curious as to why some people choose Gastric Bypass.  It seems way more dangerous (the surgery, that is).  Anyway, I thought that was interesting and worth noting.  I know several people are reading this blog and trying to decide which route to take...So in this class, the nutritionist had us write a letter to ourselves, which she is going to mail to us in 5 weeks.  We sealed the envelope so hopefully she won't be reading them.  Mine said something like this "Dear Amanda - this is a stupid assignment.  Oh yeah, and exercise more.  Love, Me".  This "in touch with your feelings" crap is so not me.  We did learn some new exercise techniques, so at least I got something out of it.

The best news is I went shopping this weekend and bought sweater.  Wanna know what size it was??  Size LARGE.  That's right no Extra in front of that.  You know how long it has been since I wore a size Large??  Try forever.  Of course I had to document the occasion:

Monday, April 25, 2011


How's that for a witty blog title?

I'm struggling.  I'm frustrated.  My restriction is worse than the up and downs on a roller coaster. One day I can barely eat anything (meaning everything either has a hard time going down or as soon as it goes down, it gets stuck), the next, my restriction feels pretty normal.  Things I was able to eat a week ago, I can no longer eat...Is this normal (it's been 4 weeks since my last fill)?  I have an appointment for a fill on Thursday.

So here are some things on my "off-limit" list:
  • bread (any kind unless toasted)
  • rice
  • leftover chicken or chicken that is not moist (by the way, moist is perhaps the worst word in the English language, don't you think?)
  • steak
  • skin on potatoes
  • asparagus
Also - I was wondering about peanut butter.  This is one of my go-to snacks.  Just a spoonful right out of the jar.  It goes down easy and really satisfies.  But I noticed in lap band forums that other bandsters report this as being a "stuck food".  Does anyone have trouble with peanut butter?

I am also struggling with bite sizes - I think for the most part, the reasons I get stuck are because my bites are too big.  Any tips for this?  I did pretty good at Easter dinner yesterday - cut my ham into tiny "toddler" size pieces and ate my salad one leaf/vegetable at a time.  Definitely need to focus and get better at this.

On the up side, I've dropped 2 pants sizes and 3 shirt sizes.  Still trying to only buy a few things here and there.  I got this really cute cardigan from Banana Republic the other day:

 Normally $54 - on clearance for $9.99!  I love a good bargain!

Friday, April 15, 2011

You Would Cry Too If It Happened To You

I had chicken coming out my nose.  Yes you read that right.  I had MAJOR stuck episode today at Pei Wei.  Was it the rice?  Or the chicken?  I don't know, but I had to make my way to the bathroom after just 3 bites and up it came via normal routes and then it took a detour through my nose.  Never in my life have I had that happen.  Nor do I wish to experience it ever again.  Major YUCK. 

I am really struggling with what I can/can't eat...Previously I was able to eat the same thing at Pei Wei with no problems.  Now, not so much.  At first I thought it may be because of the size of bites I am taking, but even when I pay close attention, there are just some foods I was able to eat a couple of weeks ago that are no longer on the safe list.

That's all for now...just a quick update!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

This Week in Band Land...

I have never been this busy in my life!  This new job is crazy (good crazy, but still crazy)!  By the time I get home from work, I am exhausted.  But I have been walking approximately 3 miles everyday and it is definitely showing on the scale.  I am down 43 pounds overall.  My restriction has been pretty good the last 2 weeks.  It has been a bit weird, though.  Like this past Sunday, I definitely had to pay attention to portions because I felt pretty hungry.  But on Monday?  Forget about it.  I could hardly get down a few bites of chicken at lunch and then for dinner I made a small frozen pizza (180 calories for the whole thing - I found them at Trader Joe's) and I could only manage to eat half the piece.  I only got in about 500 calories for the day - which I know is not good, but hey, what can you do? 

On an unrelated note, I thought I would just throw it out there that opinions are like bellybuttons (or other parts of the anatomy - trying to keep it family friendly here folks) - everyone has one.  But you know, they don't always need to be shared.  This comment is just a byproduct of the week I have had.  Totally not related to anyone who comments on my blog!                                                                                                                         

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So...Here's Where I Am





Tuesday, March 29, 2011

The Third Fill

Just got back to the office after my 3rd fill.  And guess what??  I got 2 ccs!!  The PA put 4 ccs in to begin with but when I drank the water it barely went down, so she kept backing the saline out until I felt ok.  So now I am at 3.4 ccs in my 10 cc band.

On a side note, do you ever feel like you can't believe things are working/going so well that something is bad is bound to happen?  My life right now is pretty much damn near perfect.  I love that I am finally losing weight, I am very excited about my new position here at work, my money situation is looking up, I am in a constant good mood...Maybe this is how "normal" people feel??  Anyway, whatever it is, it feels good to feel this way for a change! 

So, that's it.  Just a short post to report on my fill!

Off to listen to the new Britney CD.

Monday, March 28, 2011

This Week He's Moppin' Floors, Next Week It's The Fries

Sorry for the obscure title, but that is how my brain functions.  It's a line from "Gold Digger" by Kanye West and I thought it was apropos for this:

I finally received the job offer for a Team Leader position here at work - and I accepted.  Very excited to start down this new path!  The raise doesn't hurt either!  Gotta get bank for all those new clothes I intend to buy!

And tomorrow is FILL DAY!  Yay!  This will be my 3rd fill.  I can hardly believe it!  And it will be a test of how assertive I can be.  I will definitely be asking for a more aggressive fill this time.

My mom's neighborhood is having a community garage sale this Saturday, so I spent all day Sunday going through everything I own to pick out stuff to sell.  Came up with TONS of stuff, mostly clothes though.  So then I went to Office Max to get price tag stickers.  You can get a package of 350 stickers for $2.50, *and* they are pre-priced in denominations from $.10 to $20.  This is supposed to make it easy, right?  Then, OMG, what in the hell is wrong with me?  I had several items that the stickers wouldn't stick to.  So I got out my ribbon holder with its Martha Stewart ribbon and some paper and made my own price tags for these items.  Here I was sitting in the middle of the floor cutting paper, punching holes, tying ribbon on GARAGE SALE ITEMS.  When I was attempting to tie a tag on an item I was asking TEN CENTS for, I thought it might be time for a 12 step program for Organizing OCD.  Aunt Sue, do you have answer, because this is straight up Aunt Sue behavior! Oy...somebody help me. 

Hope everyone has a fabulous Monday...I will report back after my "kick butt and take names later" fill approach.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Lots Goin' On...

WARNING!  This will be a post of complete randomness.  Don't say you weren't warned.

So my restricition?  Yep, that lasted 2 whole days. Then went right back into feeling NADA.  Oh well.  I go for my next fill in less than a week.  I will be having a nice little chat with my conservative surgeon - no tea and crumpets provided.

If you know anything about me, you know that A) I am not a patient person, B) I am impulsive, and C) I love my dog entirely too much.  Now C has nothing to do with this post, but when you are trying to make a point you have to have an A, B, and C.  All that to say, I AM DYING, well not literally dying, for some info here at work.  Can't say what yet, but in the name of Britney Jean Spears, someone better make a decision SOON.

Speaking of Britney Jean Spears...I heart her.  Excited for her new album to come out next week.  Should have some good work out tunes.

Oh, and I am down 35 pounds.  Yay.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New Food Find

Yummy goodness!  I got these at Target today (after I tried one from a co-worker):

I got the variety pack with White Chocolate Macadamia, Peanut Butter Cookie and Lemon Zest.  They also come in a variety pack with Nutz Over Chocolate, Caramel Nut Brownie and S'mores.  They are only 80 calories a piece and they have 4 grams of protien.

I also bought these:

These have have 12 grams of protien and 190 calories.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Ask And You Shall Receive

That fill that was doing absolutely nothing for me?  You know, the one I was just complaining about in the prior post?  Yeah, well, I must have really pissed it off because yesterday and today I have be T-I-G-H-T, tight!  Wowza!  Have been eating tortillas since I was banded with no problems - not anymore.  In fact I almost had a PB incident here at work during lunch.  I actually had to run into the bathroom.  And of course, me being me, I checked all the stalls and saw someone was in the last one so I went back in the hall and paced.  Didn't want to gross out the lone person in the bathroom, heaven forbid!  Noooo, I'd rather feel like a golf ball is stuck in my esophagus for an eternity.  Thankfully, I became unstuck and no longer had to worry about bathroom occupancy.  Bet that was more than you needed to know!  Oh the joys of being banded!

It remains to be seen if this restriction will last, but I must say it is nice to finally, truly, feel the band working!

Monday, March 14, 2011

To Fill Or Not To Fill???

So I bit the bullet and moved up my next fill from 4 weeks to 3 weeks.  Now I just have to remember to be a bit more assertive with whomever is giving me that fill!  Right now I can only eat about a cup of food at a time, but I get hungry about 2 hours later.  Today I had oatmeal with almonds and skim milk for breakfast and I couldn't even eat the full serving.  I had that at 7am and by 9am at work it felt like I hadn't eaten a thing!  So I had a banana.  Guess what?  I don't think I like bananas much.  Could only eat about half of that before it started tasting "funny"...For lunch I brought left over asparagus risotto and sliced peaches.  The risotto really seemed to fill me up yesterday so hopefully it will do the same today!

Hope everyone has a good Monday!  Looking forward to watching The Bachelor finale tonight...even though I already know the outcome (thanks Reality Steve).

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Weekend Photo Essay

First, thanks to everyone who commented on my last post.  Your encouragement is much appreciated!  I know it takes a while to get restriction and I definitely need to work on my patience! 

I went to Trader Joe's today to do my grocery shopping.  Picked up a lot of different items (all between 90 and 250 calories per serving):









I have also been walking more...the weather has been perfect.  Sunny and in the 70s. 

And finally here's my 2 month picture:

Friday, March 11, 2011

Are You There Restriction? It's Me, Amanda.

I keep calling and calling.  Still, no answer.  I read these blogs where people speak of "tightness" and I am jealous.  What does that feel like?  'Cause these 1.4 ccs are not cutting it.  I really feel that I am having to "diet" meaning my band isn't helping me as much as I think it should.  My PA said I can go back in 3 weeks for another fill and I think I am going to take her up on that offer, because this, quite frankly, SUCKS.  I am still losing, albeit s-l-o-w-l-y.  So that's good.  And I know I have to get better with the exercising...but still!  I feel if I ask the PA to be more "aggressive" she'll...I don't know...spank me??  Yell at me??  Yank my band out and say NO MORE???  Maybe I just need to be more agressive myself at my next appointment.

Anyway - onto the weekend.  Thank GOD!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Fill Number Two

Got my second fill today and you aren't going to believe how much they gave me!  Ready?  Wait for it...A WHOLE 0.4 CCs!!  Sweet Baby Jesus, was I disappointed.  I thought for sure I would at the very least get one whole cc bringing me to 2 ccs in total.  Nope.  So this was my experience (would love if other bandsters would chime in and let me know if this is typically how their fills go):

Water - ready to drink!

This is my "fill room"!

First, let me start off by saying that I apparently had 2 ccs in my band when I was originally banded (I had thought it was completely empty) - the nurse confirmed this when I asked again if I only had 1 cc put in during my last fill.  She said "they took 2 out and put 1 in".  Glad to know I am so on top of the fluids going into my body.

Anyway, the PA came in and found my port quite easily enough and removed the 1 cc I had in there and put in 3 ccs.  Then I drank the water and she asked if I could "feel the water trying to bubble back up in my esophagus"...???  I sort of could (I guess).  So she removed some saline.  Then I drank again.  I told her this time the water went down easier.  She told me she was going to take a bit more out since food is harder to get down than water.  And that's how I ended up with a whopping 1.4 ccs TOTAL in my band.  She did say I could come back in 3 weeks instead of 4 if I didn't feel good restriction.  So we shall see.  Today is back to liquids so the real test will come later this week.

Here's hoping to some good restriction!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Monday Ponderings

So I get my second fill tomorrow.  I am beyond excited.  I still am in search of that elusive restriction.  I am hoping this fill will be a bit more helpful than the last.

As we tend to do in blog land, I have been reading more and more blogs and I've run across an interesting phenomenon:  Band Vacations (having their bands completely deflated for a period of time).  This has me completely flummoxed.  Why would you want to take a vacation and thus set up possible failure??  To me, the best part of the band is if you want to "cheat" and have something lacking nutritional value, you can, but your band keeps you from over induldging.  I guess there are a few bandsters out there that miss eating in abundance?  I am not judging - I am merely reacting, as I can't imagine myself ever doing this.  I guess I looked at this journey as continuum.  I don't ever want to "go back" - if I never get to eat 4 pieces of pizza again, oh well.  I will gladly settle for one.

I'll report back after my fill tomorrow...until then...

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Fail. you get nothing! You lose! Good day, sir!

So, remember that stroller I got for Jake that I was so darn excited about last week? Haven't. Used. It. Once.  Yes, I have somewhat valid excuses - had a pretty bad cold this weekend that lasted through Monday and then Jake a had a bug of some sort.  But still.  I need to put the blinders on and FOCUS.  We all know that exercise is muy importante, right?  Now I just need to get that little nugget of info from my brain to my behind.  So I am challenging myself - starting tomorrow - no more excuses.  Time to get the ole arse in gear.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The Crazy Lady With The Dog

That's what I envision myself being called by all the people in my neighborhood.  While I am out on walks with Jake, I constantly talk to him.  When he goes to the bathroom, I always exclaim in delight what a good boy he is.  If it is raining, I've been known to bring out the umbrella, not for me, but to put over him.  Well, this week, I think I pretty much sealed the deal on that title.  I have purchased a Doggie Stroller.  Oh yes, I am fully aware that in another life I would have definitely made fun of me and called me the neighborhood weirdo.  But, you see, little Jakey can't walk as far as I would like and I hate the thought of coming home after work to see him only to leave him again to go on a long walk.  Now, he can come with me!  It is amazing what age and priorities will do to you.  When I was younger there would have been no way in hell I would have pushed my dog around in a stroller - it would have called to much attention to me.  At 35, I could give a rip.  Whatever makes Jake happy makes me happy - to hell with the judgemental people!

So with that, I will *officially* begin my reign as The Crazy Lady With The Dog this Saturday.

All hail the Queen.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

ABC's of Amanda

Following the trend...

(A) Age: 35
(B) Bed Size: queen
(C) Chore You Hate: scrubbing the shower/tub
(D) Dogs?: Jake - chihuahua/shih tzu mix
(E) Essential Start Your Day Item: kisses from Jake
(F) Favorite Color: green
(G) Gold or Silver?: silver
(H) Height: 5' 7"
(I) Instruments You Play: none
(J) Job Title: underwriter
(K) Kids: none
(L) Live: North Carolina
(M) Mom's Name: Patricia
(N) Nicknames: Manda, D
(O) Overnight Hospital Stays?: None
(P) Pet Peeve: stupidity
(Q) Quote from a Movie: "There's no secret handshake.  There's an IQ prerequisite, but there's no secret handshake" - Troy, "Reality Bites"
(R) Right or Left Handed?: Right
(S) Siblings: None
(T) Time You Wake Up?: Between 5:45 and 6:15 am
(U) Underwear: Under there
(V) Vegetable You Dislike: Mushrooms
(W) What Makes You Run Late: Nothing - I am never late
(X) X-Rays You've Had Done: lots - chest, CT scan of kidneys, hand...
(Y) Yummy Food You Make: pre lap-band - orecchiette pasta with olive oil, breadcrumbs, parsley and parmesean cheese. post lap-band - ham and cheese rollups (watch out Giada!)
(Z) Zoo, Favorite Animal: Penguins

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Ok, I admit it.  I am hungry.  And it's only been a little over a week since my fill - and 3 looooooooooong weeks until I get my next one.  I mean...I'm not starving, but my mini-meals aren't keeping me satisfied as long as they did last week.  But I am managing.  And still losing, which is the most important thing (to me).  I still can't eat much in one sitting, but, man, 2 hours later, I feel like I didn't eat anything!  And I am totally SUCKING at getting in all my water (which I can totally gulp!  no sips for me!).  I am lucky if I get in 32 ounces.  It's hard when you can't drink while you are eating!  That's when I am most thirsty!  Anyway - I guess that can be a new goal for me:  water consumption.

So today I volunteered at a Radiothon for Duke Children's Hospital.  They asked all the volunteers to put their names on paper for a raffle and they were going to draw several names an hour.  Most of the prizes consisted of Duke calendars, Duke candy jars, Duke socks -you get the point - Duke stuff.  Hours one and two go by with no prizes for Amanda.  The third hour strikes and the coordinator thought it would be great to raffle off these two items next:

And no, I am not kidding.  So, I turn to my friend and tell her I have never won a raffle in all my 35 years, but I guarantee my name will be pulled out of that bag next.  Sure enough! 

God is ALWAYS testing us, huh?

And, yes, I passed.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Kwitcher Bellyachin'!

Soooo...I had my first PB this weekend.  Guess that restriction decided to really kick in.  And no, my followers who are not banded, that does not mean Peanut Butter.  It means "Productive Burp"  aka, I threw up what I had just swallowed.  Sorry if that is TMI, but this blog entails all that goes along with being a bandster and this is one of the side effects.  Anyway - not sure why I PB'd (did I note chew enough?  did I eat too fast?  were those pita chips not a good idea?), but I did and now I know what it is like.  And I know I hope to avoid doing that again.  Yikes. 

I am continuing to lose weight at a pretty steady pace of around .4 pounds a day.  Luckily for me the scale hasn't gone in the wrong direction yet!  Or maybe it isn't lucky.  I have been working pretty damn hard at this, so I should be seeing good results!

Well, that's it.  Just a quick post! 

Friday, February 11, 2011

BYOC and Other Ramblings

Ronnie over at Ronnie's Bandumentary, posted her answers to a questionnaire from Drazil's Blog .  Here are my responses:

  1. What day of the week do you love and what day of the week do you hate?
    I love Saturdays for obvious reasons (no work) and loathe Sundays because there is never anything to do and I get bored easily.
  2. What is your middle name and is there a meaning behind it?
    Claire.  I think there was a song out called "Claire" around the time I was born (1975).
  3. Since I’m dreaming of my next tattoo, I’m going to ask this one. Do you have any tattoos? How many? If you don’t have one – what would you get if you did have one?
    Yes, I have one.  It is the Japanese symbol for "Grace".  It is on the lower part of my calf.  And I am kind of over it.  I got it when I was 25 and now feel the Japanese symbol is a bit cliche.  Have pondered getting something else over it, but not sure a) if I want anything more b) what I would get.
  4. On that same theme of dirty little secrets…how many piercings do you have? Any you wish you had?
    Just the ears.  One hole in each ear.  Unless we are also counting fills, then in that case, 4.
  5. Repeat question: Summarize your life in blog land and in real life.
    In blog land, I am thrilled with all the positive comments I have been receiving and love how beneficial this blog and reading other blogs have been to me! 
    In real life, I can't say that I can complain.  I have a pretty OK job (on most days), great family, good friends and an awesome tool that is helping me get back on the road to being healthy!
I also want to report that I have been successful at doing the treadmill for 30 minutes 4 out of 5 days this week!  Yay me!  In the spirit of sharing, this is my playlist.  Yes, it is a bit all over the place, but it keeps me motivated!

  • Dirt Off Your Shoulder - Jay-Z
  • Womanizer - Britney Spears
  • Ring the Alarm - Beyonce
  • Telephone - Lady Gaga & Beyonce
  • Holiday - Madonna
  • Good Girls Go Bad - Cobra Starship
  • Everlong - Foo Fighters
  • Runaway - Kanye West
So I am 4 days post fill and I *think* I have pretty good restriction, even with only 1cc.  Last night for dinner I had a 3 oz chicken breast and 1/4 cup of broccoli and I was pretty full after (with no side effects).  I only managed to get in a total of 847 calories for the whole day and I am supposed to be up around 1100, so I do need to work on that.

That's all for now.  Hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

One Month Bandiversary

Happy One Month Bandiversary to me!  I can't believe that it has already been a month!  And that I have lost 26 pounds!  The last time I did a 12 week session of Weight Watchers I only lost half that much.  I really heart my band!

I've been getting a lot of questions regarding my blog's name, so I figured I would explain why I chose it here:

I wanted something with "Band" in the title and with so many awesome bloggers out there already, a lot of good titles were taken!  I was at a Christmas party and we were talking about the Beatles and I happened to mention that I liked Wings more than the Beatles (I know, BLASPHEMY!), and then someone started singing Band On The Run and I thought *perfect!*.  Plus Paul McCartney's solo stint in Wings is way better than John Lennon's solo work.  I mean, let's compare: 

Lennon - "Imagine there's no heaven" - ummm, no thanks. 
McCartney - "Some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, what's wrong with that?" - nothing Sir Paul, it is certainly more optimistic than Lennon.  And let's face it, in this world has anyone ever really tried to give peace a chance??  No.  But there are tons of silly loves songs on the radio at any given moment.

*stepping down from soap box*

And just for fun here is a one month progress pic (no one was there to tell me to smile):

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The First Fill

So.  I had my first fill yesterday afternoon.  OMG.  Not my most favorite thing I have ever done.  It didn't really hurt, it was more uncomfortable.  And when I say uncomfortable, I mean, I am amazed I managed to stay upright while getting said fill.  So for the yet to be filled and my friends and family, I will give you the blow by blow (disclaimer - all fills are different.  This is just my experience.  Don't sue me).

My doctor does the first fill under fluoroscope.  This means he x-rays to find the port and x-rays the saline going in.  So I get escorted in to the fluro room and meet all my new friends: Fluro Guy, Nurse Girl, PA Girl and of course my Doctor.  So nice of them to gather in honor of my first fill!  Anyway, the doctor has me stand up and the fluro machine (it is a big C -shaped arm) goes around my mid section.  Then the doctor tries to find my port by placing a surgical instrument (not sure what) where he thinks my port is and then asks fluro guy to take a picture, we keep doing this until the instrument points to the middle of my port and then the doctor marks it with a pen.  Time for needles.  So he rubs alcohol on my belly and says the typical "you're going to feel a pinch".  HOLY MOTHER OF GOD.  I don't know what I was thinking it would feel like, but considering he had to stick a needle through my abdomen wall and THEN through a port, he had to push that sucker in hard and far.  Did it hurt?  Not really.  The feeling just totally grossed me out.  Next thing I know he is asking Nurse Girl for another needle.  Oh, Amanda!  Did you really think it was going to go smoothly and get done on the first try??  Must we revisit the IV episode?  On to take 2.  This time he hits the port.  I think it was because I said about 10 Hail Mary's.  Now I have this needle in my belly with some type of device sticking out of it (again HOLY MOTHER OF GOD).  Why does this have to be so GROSS?  The device sticking out of my belly is used for the saline solution the doctor is going to inject into my band.  In the saline goes.  Time to drink the Barium (aka the most God awful crap ever).  I take a gulp (doc's request) of the Barium and we watch it flow through my esophagus into my upper stomach where it totally stalls.  Doctor:  "see?  That's too tight.  Nothing is getting through".  He removes some saline.  Another gulp.  This time it breezes right through my band.  Too loose.  He puts more saline in.  Gulp three.  And what do you know?  Just like Goldilocks, this fill was just right!  Out came the needle, PA Girl slapped on a band aid (thank God for PA Girl, who else in the room would have known how to do that?), and then I was good to go.  Oh!  But doc, one question before I leave.  How many cc's did you put in there?  Doc: "one".  Me - in my head - "crap".  I say crap because I am hoping that little amount will give me enough restriction.  Only time will tell I guess.  I am still on liquids until tonight.

So there you have it -  a whole 1cc in my 10cc band.  If there is a restriction angel, please bless my band with good restriction.  Amen.

Monday, February 7, 2011


So, did you all watch the Super Bowl?  I watched most of it - at home - and do you want to know what my Super Bowl snack food was?  A protein shake.  Watch out, now!!  So we started with the train wreck known as Christina Aguilera.  Yikes.  How do you mess up the words to the freaking NATIONAL ANTHEM??  Yes, we know she sang live, but really, is that better than lip syncing and getting the lyrics right?  The half-time show was ok.  Not a huge fan of the Black Eyed Peas, although I like Fergie as a solo artist.  BUT...this was the BEST part of the night:

Being born and raised in Detroit and having my father work and retire from Chrysler and absolutely loving Eminem - boy this commercial couldn't get any better!

I also rearranged/redecorated my room and bathroom this weekend.  Here are a few pictures.  Of course Jake has a staring role - he wouldn't move off my bed.

Finally, guess what tomorrow is???  FILL DAY!  Holy man alive, I can't wait.  I am definitely ready for some restriction.  I will report back to let you know how it goes!  Enjoy your Monday!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wednesday Humor

If you've never visited the Blunt Card must do so.  Hilarity will ensue!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Monday, Monday

Hey all!  Hope everyone had a good weekend.  I went to see my nutritionist last Thursday.  I got the approval to eat a bigger variety of food.  I can now eat deli ham, turkey or chicken, cheese, grilled chicken breast (as long as I chew it until it is the consistancy of applesauce).  Needless to say, I made a stop at the grocery store on the way home!

Friday I took a day of vacation to take my dog to the vet.  It was just a wellness visit with a new vet - no big deal as they say...UNTIL...this little conversation:

VET: Has anyone ever spoken to you about his eyes?
ME: As in another vet?
VET: Yes.
ME: No.  I mean plenty of people have made comments on his eyes...
VET: Well he has what we refer to as macular something or other (ME -sorry I can't remember the name extactly, but suffice it to say it means his eyes bug out - see picture below).

So then the vet takes a look into his eyes and says everything looks good, but I might want to consider having his eyelids sewn down a bit to cover his eyes more (to give him more protection).  So basically, my dog needs plastic surgery.  Are you kidding me?  Then the vet pinches the corners of his eye to show me what it would look like.  Oh my God - it was a different dog!  Totally changed Jake's face.  He went from my cute little Bubba to freaking Kenny Rogers!  See below for frame of reference.

So we will be leaving Jake's poor little buggy eyes alone for the time being.  ThankYouVeryMuch.

In other band related news, does anyone else experience this: one day starving the next I can barely will myself to eat.  Like Friday, I met some girls for lunch and I ordered grilled chicken tenderloins off the kids menu with a side of dumplings - and I ate almost everything.  Saturday, I had a protein shake for breakfast, no lunch and I had to force myself to eat 1/4 of a chicken breast and a tablespoon of beans for dinner.  I don't know...I just find that rather strange.  But the good news is that since I've moved on to more foods the scale keeps moving in the right direction!  That's all that matters to me!

Also, I am thinking of ordering the Zumba fitness DVD's - anyone out there have these?  What do you think??

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

You Have What??

Ok.  So this post is dedicated to everyone who keeps saying "you have what??" when I say I have the lap band.

Here is the best description I have found as to how the band works:

This may help you in understanding the restrictive mechanism of a Lap-Band.

The protocol for Lap-Band fills calls for a four to six-week delay after surgery, prior to any fills. The purpose for the four to six-week delay is for the patient’s stomach to heal from the surgery, as well as allowing time for the Lap-Band to “seat” or “nestle” into the fat pad between the stomach wall and the interior wall of the Lap-Band.

Prior to receiving an EFFECTIVE fill, it is VERY uncommon to have any restriction from a Lap-Band. 

Normal weight loss with a properly restricted Lap-Band is between 1 and 2 pounds per week.

The normal cycle of fills, restriction and weight loss is as follows:

1. The patient's Lap-Band constricts when the patient receives a fill. Swelling for a few days after receiving a fill is very common. Many doctors require a patient to go on a liquid diet for a day or two after receiving a fill. A fill may have a “Delayed Action” of up to 4 weeks. A “Delayed-Action” means that the fill may not become effective for up to 4 weeks after the fill. That is why the ALLERGAN protocol states that fills should not be performed on patients who will not have access to medical care for at least two weeks after a fill.

2. The patient's stomach capacity is lessened as a result of the restriction caused by the Lap-Band.

3. The patient loses weight because they cannot eat as much food.

4. The residual fat-pad between the inside of the Lap-Band and the outside of the patient's stomach reduces in size because of the overall weight loss in the patient.

5. The reduction of the residual fat-pad causes the Lap-Band to become loose again.

6. At that point, the patient needs another fill, because the Lap-Band is loose, and the patient has a loss of restriction, which allows the patient to eat larger amounts of food.

7. The patient receives another fill and the process starts all over again.

Most Lap-Band patients receive several fills to adjust the Lap-Band as their weight loss progresses, and there is less and less residual fat-pad between the inside of the Lap-Band and the exterior of the stomach wall. Once a patient has lost all of their residual fat-pad, fills become less common. As the Lap-Band patient progresses in their weight loss, the effect of very tiny fills (Less than .2ccs) becomes greater and greater.

It is not uncommon for a late-stage Lap-Band patient to experience a significant difference in restriction with as little as .05cc of fill.  (courtesy of Wendell from Lap Band Talk).

So now you know.  Don't you feel smarter?

Friday, January 21, 2011

Which Came First? The Chicken or the Egg?

I don't know and I don't care.  What I do know is, I was so damn excited to eat an egg this morning, I didn't know what to do with myself!  Yes, that's right people!  I got the green light to proceed onto soft foods!  Called the RN at my surgeon's office yesterday and she gave me the go ahead.  Stopped at the grocery store on the way home from work last night and got the following items:
  • Eggs
  • Instant Mashed Potatoes
  • Reduced Fat Shredded Cheese
  • Jell-O Mousse Temptations (only 60 cal!)
Does anyone have any other suggestions for soft foods??

So this morning my breakfast was one scrambled egg with a little bit of reduced fat cheese.  Heaven.  Even my dog was happier.  It's been two weeks since I have been able to give him some of what I am eating, poor thing!  Little does he know he was eating WAY better than me!  My Bubba gets kibble, grilled chicken breast and either a pureed fruit or vegetable at every meal.  Do you know how many times I was tempted to join him at his bowl over the last two weeks??  So even though I only had one little scrambled egg, I had to give a few pieces to Jake.  He is so spoiled! 


Today is jeans day at work - nice to put on my jeans and have them feel a bit big!  Luckily for me (or maybe it's just sad??) I have pants in various sizes stacked under my bed.  So hopefully through the weight loss process I won't have to spend too much money on new clothes - at least until I get to my goal weight - then, all bets are off!  I think I might consider opening a savings account just for my future fabulous wardrobe.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Return To Work

First, I have changed the settings on my "comments" so non-registered users now may comment.  You are welcome, my extended family.

So yesterday was my first day back at work after being off 6 days - this is the longest I have ever been out, even including vacations.  Worked most of the day without any complications, but ended up leaving slightly early due to sleepiness.  Perhaps it is because I am existing off skim milk and sugar-free popsicles...hmmm...

As for how else I am progressing...I'm getting there.  If these darn incisions didn't exist I would be great.  It's not that they hurt, it's that they totally rank me out.  I hate stuff like that - I usually have to watch Grey's Anatomy through my hands so I can make sure I cover my eyes fast enough for the surgery scenes. 

In other news, American Idol starts tonight.  Not sure how I feel about that.  Can it be any good without Simon?  And last year totally sucked even WITH Simon.  We shall see.  Not sure how Jenny from the Block will do as a judge - considering singing isn't her forte, although look a Paula, I guess.  Oh, J.Lo, who would of thought at the height of your popularity you would be come the next Paula Abdul??

Only 4 more days until I can chew!  Stop laughing.  Some of you have no idea what it is like to have to drink your meals for 2 weeks. 

Until then...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

5 Days Post-Op

So here we are: 5 days post op.  Here's what I can tell you:
  1. I've lost 15 pounds
  2. The gas pains are gone
  3. My incisions are less painful
  4. This liquid diet blows
For those of you reading this that are not banded, let me remind you that even though the band is in, I have ZERO restriction.  Meaning my stomach still feels about the same as yours.  And this is what I have been filling it with:
  • Morning - Protein Drink
  • Mid Morning - Protein Drink and water
  • Early Afternoon - Protein Drink and water
  • Late Afternoon - Sugar Free Popsicle (aka Nirvana)
  • Late Afternoon - Protein Drink
  • Early Evening - Broth - either chicken or beef and Crystal Light
  • Late Evening - Protein Drink
I have to do this at least one more week before I can move on to "mushies" or soft foods (things like eggs, mashed potatoes, jell-o).  Any and all prayers are welcome.  Thank you.

And in these same 5 days, this is what I have learned:
  1. I could never ever be a stay at home wife or mom
  2. I love my dog, but clearly I don't need to be with him 24/7
  3. There are an inordinate number of food programs on TV
  4. Ricky Martin is gay - thanks, Oprah
  5. This is the best thing I've ever done for MYSELF
Going back to work on Tuesday - Thank you Jesus.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Surgery & Recovery

First, thanks for all the support via the comments made on previous posts.  Always nice to have people looking out for you!

Second, I am officially "banded"!  Everything went well.  We got to the hospital at 5:45am and I was called back around 6:15am.  After they prepped me for surgery they were going to allow my mom to come back and sit with me. 

Time for IV insertion:
  • Attempt #1 nurse numbs the area around the crook of my right arm (with a shot) and then proceeds to try to insert the IV.  Yeah, not working.  I can feel her digging around in there and she keeps asking if she is hurting me to which I say "no", even though she is.  Finally she gives up and says she wants to try my left arm.
  • Attempt #2 repeat steps and reacations above.
  • Attempt #3 nurse brings in a special ultra-violet light that she can run over my arms to see my veins better.  Nurse states "I found one!  It looks perfect".  Splendid, I think.  Let's get this show on the road.  Not so fast - nurse can't "catch" this vein either.  Ok so if you are keeping track I've been poked by a needle 3 times and had an IV needle inserted 3 times....and nothing.  Time to talk to Jesus.  So we had a little convo while the nurse went to speak to the anesthesiologist to see if he had any advice.  Meanwhile, I notice that it is nearing 7am.  Hope my mom isn't freaking out because technically my surgery is supposed to start at 7:15am and she still hadn't made it back to see me.
  • Attemp #4 - curtain opens.  "Hi Amanda.  I'm Dr. WewillGetthisIVinIfiHavetoDietrying. I will be using an ultra sound machine to insert your IV and we need to move you to a surgical room".  Swell.  So I am moved into a surgical room with 3 anesthesiologists and 2 nurses.  Quite honestly, I am not sure what happened in this room because a) I couldn't look and b) they kept asking me so many questions I couldn't pay attention.  Finally after 15 minutes, the IV was in. 
At this point I think (well, I know because she told me) my mom was brought back to see me and then they wheeled me straight into surgery.  They strapped my arms down and then they put an oxygen mask over my nose and mouth and told me to take deep breaths.  The last thought I had was "oh crap, this oxygen thing isn't working either" and then I woke up in Recovery.  I was in there for about 45 minutes - don't remember much about being here either.

Finally I was wheeled into the room I started out in.  I was still pretty out of it but I can remember one nurse asking if I wanted something to drink.  Did I want soda or juice?  As out of it as I was I remember thinking "hello, idiot, I just had BAND surgery.  I can't have soda".  Luckily my main nurse intercepted and said I could only have water.

Next thing I know it was time to go home. 

As far as pain - my throat really hurt from when they removed the tube and it hurts to go from either laying or sitting to a standing position, but other than that the only other pain I have is gas pain from the gas they pump into your abdomen.

So that's it.  I'm sleeping, watching WAY too much HGTV and trying to get my protein in.  Such an exciting week!  Actually, I am beyond thrilled.  The surgery is behind me and I can move forward in my journery.  I can't wait!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Sad State of Affairs

So I was watching a new episode of MTV's "I Used To Be Fat" - this is a program that follows newly graduated high schoolers through their journey to lose weight before they begin college (so basically Biggest Loser for teens).  Yesterday's program followed Marcie, an 18 year old girl.  She weighed 250 pounds and wanted to lose 90 pounds in 89 days.  Some info on Marcie - she was home schooled beginning in middle school (I think) primarily because she was teased so ruthlessly in school about her weight.  Peers calling her a hippo, a whale, you know, things like that.  Terrible, right?  How nice that MTV is airing this series showing what these overweight teens struggle with and how we should all take a step back and realize that, say it with me, "it's not nice to make fun of fat people".  Cue to a commercial midway through the program for the upcoming season of Jersey Shore.  A girl who *might* have been a size 12 was in the Shore house.  This is NOT ALLOWED.  Sound the grenade horn!  If you don't watch the Jersey Shore, let me explain the term "grenade" to you and the context in which the "Guidos" use it.  See, a "grenade" is a girl (only a girl - not a boy!) that is the *ugly* one of the bunch and when I say *ugly*, in Jersey Shore terms that means the heaviest.

So I say to you, Mr. MTV Producer, are you really that self absorbed that you do not understand your audience?  I am guessing hair-gel/cologne guy who thinks the term "grenade" is funny is not the same one watching a teenage girl struggle with her weight.  Do I think the Jersey Shore cast should refrain from using the term "grenade" - um, no.  They can do and say whatever they want (God Bless the USA).  But perhaps MTV needs to take into account their viewing audience when trying to advertise.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

4 Days and Counting

Like any good Boy Scout (or Girl Scout??), it is always best to be prepared.  This past Saturday, I went to the newly opened Container Store in Raleigh.  Oh Container Store - how I love thee, with your storage ideas for stuff that doesn't even need storing.  Seriously, I could spend hours on end in that store (and countless dollars as well).  Anyway, this is some of the stuff I came home with:

All mini-containers.  The littlest one you see there?  Travel salt and pepper!  Only I can find the excitement in that.

I've also started stocking up on my "food".  Ha!  I suppose I should say "liquid" instead.  I have loads of Carnation Instant Breakfast - No Sugar Added on hand:

Plus chicken broth, beef broth, tomato soup, and Crystal Light.  Still need to get sugar-free Popsicles.  I was told by my doctor no Jell-O until week 4 - he considers it a "mushy" food.  Strange how the diet varies between different surgeons.  Other bloggers have been able to have Jell-O the day of the surgery! 

Well, that is all for now...I will be posting the dreaded "before" pictures this weekend.  Stay tuned!