Tag Archives: bariatric surgery

Bloaty, Crampy, Queasy, and Painful

No, I’m not naming dwarfs in some awkwardly inappropriate remake of Snow White.  🙂

That little ray of sunshine, Mother Nature, has come for a visit…along with her friends:  Bloaty, Crampy,  Queasy, and Painful.  I’m going on 24 hours of gross.  I feel  hideous.

This little visit is particularly awful, so of course last night I was questioning my wisdom in committing to 6 days of exercise in a row without consulting the damn period tracking app on my phone.  I was curled up on the couch and couldn’t imagine even 3 minutes on the treadmill, seriously.

I don’t understand why on Earth we women have to suffer like this.  For me, periods are debilitating and disgusting.  I hate my period.  I want to give Mother Nature a high five.  In the face.  With a chair.

This sums it up nicely:


So I’ve got cramps keeping me curled up on the couch, but I hate feeling guilty.  I hate letting myself down (not to mention those of you who have been so awesome with support & calling me an inspiration, right?)  What kind of an inspiration sits on her four asses all night?  Not this girl!  So I stewed over it for a while and came up with a satisfactory solution:  resistance training.

Okay, actually, I did sit on my asses but I worked the hell out of my arms.  I was on the couch with my laptop beside me, pumping iron like I was training for a Mega Insanity Blogger Convention!  So that was my exercise last night.

Tonight I plan to get cranked up on about six ibuprofen and letting her rip on the treadmill.  Probably not for 30 minutes, honestly, because I’ve been home sick all day  and I have yet to stand up straight.  Ick.  I can’t look myself in the mirror if I do two nights in a row of resistance training on my arms, though, so something in my lower body region is going to have to move tonight.  I’ll update the Facebook fan page either way.

I spoke with my  possible surgeon’s office today.  Last August, I was so exasperated with myself that I consulted a bariatric surgeon.  Since then, I’ve had monthly phone appointments with his nutritionist, per my insurance company’s requirement.  Even though I’ve been doing great since my epiphany last month, I wanted to keep my options fully open – so I’ve continued with the nutritionist and had my last consultation today.

Although I was a little wary that he would try to steer me towards surgery no matter what I said, he didn’t.  We had a great conversation and the nutritionist was nothing but supportive.  I felt really great about the whole thing and I told him it was fine to have someone follow up with me in 30 days, but for now my orders were to STAND DOWN because Dianne’s got her mojo back, baby!  🙂

After today’s consultation, I could have named my surgery date right now.  I could have set that up today.  I didn’t.  The official decision is:  no lap band surgery for me right now…I want to take my mojo out for a spin and see how I do.  I feel like I can do this without the additional tool of surgery.  If I can do this myself, that’s what I want.

The entire conversation with the nutritionist was very motivating to me because I have a very clear picture in my mind of the phone ringing in 30 days and me saying “I’ve lost more weight and I’m working out a lot now…I think I’m ok without surgery – but you can follow up with me in 30 days!”

Oh dear, what if it becomes extremely motivating for me to keep stringing along the surgeon’s office?  LOL.  Is that mean?  I feel a little evil about it.  🙂  I actually believe, though, that once I get to a certain point I won’t need the “threat” of surgery to keep me motivated.  I know from experience that if I lose enough weight you could hold a platter of Ding Dongs under my nose while I’m having my “ladies days” and all I’ll do is laugh the diabolical laugh of a woman in complete control of her cravings.  Muahahahahaha!

In the next day or two, I’ll have a fun announcement to share with y’all.  🙂  I’m not giving away any secrets…but I think we’re all going to have a lot of fun and get a lot of motivation from it.  I will most likely announce it one Facebook and Twitter because I can make the big blog announcement, but I’ll get the word out!  Please stay tuned for that!!

For now, I’m going to slowly move in the direction of the treadmill.  I’ll pop some ibuprofen and see what I can do.  No promises, though – I may only be able to do 10 minutes.  But, as Kerri posted on my Facebook Fan Page today:


That’s what I plan to do.  A couple laps, then maybe I’ll make a Mother Nature voodoo doll out of maxi pads and tampons.  Bitch better watch out.

How’s everyone doing on their marble projects????  What’s going on in your worlds?  Please post and let me know…we’re all supporting each other!


Imaginary Lap Band – Day 1 is done!

Sweet Jump’in Jesus…what a day!

I went to bed Wednesday night all excited about my Imaginary Lap Band experiment. I woke up with my inner Twinkie Worshiping Demon whining before my feet hit the floor. Perhaps I was dreaming about carbs chasing me. I can’t remember.

I was fine through my normal morning routine, then I got to work and drank my lovely protein shake. That’s all I get? 110 calories of a chocolatey chalky liquid? Oh…

I was still hungry. Normally when I’m in “eating healthy mode”, I have 3 slices of turkey bacon, fresh grapefruit, and a small bowl of Special K with skim milk for breakfast…so a “chalkolate shake” is not gonna do it for me. (Yeah, I pretty much eat the same thing for breakfast every morning when I’m in “eating healthy mode”…auto pilot is my friend in the hours before the caffeine hits my veins.)

I felt deprived when my chalkolate shake was gone, but I told myself to suck it up and get with the program. C’mon, it’s the first day of my experiment! How big of a wimp can I be? After all, this was going to be my diet for 7 days before surgery if that’s the road I end up going down. Time to walk the talk.

It wasn’t long before there was a pinching, throbbing feeling at my temple and I knew: incoming migraine. Great. I do suffer from migraine headaches, but usually only during the week when that bitch Mother Nature rears her ugly head. To make matters worse, I was freezing my ass off. They keep the air conditioning turned up way too high – and with most people on vacation this week, there were fewer bodies moving around. Those of us who were working joked that we could pour water on the floor and go ice skating. Brrr.

So I’m freezing all 4 of my asses off, I have a migraine, I’m super hungry, and my tongue is kind of fuzzy after my chalkolate experience. I was chewing gum (sugarless, of course) like a Jersey prom queen. Somewhere in there, I started realizing just how hard this was going to be.

Since I’d had my breakfast chalkolate at 630 am, I had my lunch chalkolate at 1030 am. Yum. It took the edge off, but the migraine stayed parked right where it was. I was wearing a sweater, my coat, a wrap, and a scarf – and my feet and hands were freezing. As I sat there in my miserable existence, I got a little scared about whether I could actually handle surgery.

All this time, I’d been assuming that I could handle this without much issue. Yesterday I followed the pre-op diet. This is exactly what I will have to do for 7 days prior to my surgery if I elect to do it. Yesterday wasn’t about eating what I might be able to consume AFTER the Lap Band is installed. Yesterday was about following a special diet of my doctor’s so that the amount of fat around my liver is drastically reduced before surgery. I was surprised and embarrassed at how bad I was handling it.

By afternoon, I was leveling off. My head seemed to feel better and I wasn’t hungry. I had found my zone: an organized ritual of guzzling water, Crystal Light Pure, chewing gum, and drinking hot herbal tea. I started banging around between “Maybe I can do this…” and “What the hell am I thinking?” It may seem strange, but just 8 hours into my experiment I was getting some real insight into whether I would be able to handle the surgery experience…and whether I want to.

I realized that, even though I try my best to be super gung-ho when I go into “eating healthy mode”, there’s always this underlying feeling of “Oh crap…what a drag. No more buffalo wings and cookies.” I’ve always just shoved that aside and kept on trudging towards my goal. But it’s been there, undermining me. I didn’t realize it until my first morning of Imaginary Lap Band…when my stomach was a gurgly mass of chalkolate misery and I would have given my right arm for a little bit of grilled chicken & spinach salad.

As I huddled under 50 pounds of clothing at my icy desk, I was both ashamed and proud of myself. Ashamed because I wasn’t handling the super restricted diet well, proud because my cravings were not for a McDonald’s sausage biscuit or a Starbucks salted caramel frappucino. No, I wanted a grilled chicken salad. Sometimes I just love me. 🙂

The migraine was still hanging around, but wasn’t nearly as bad as it was in the morning. I do have medication that I can take for migraines, but…I have to take them with food. That’s not the pharmacy talking either, that’s my stomach. If I take a pill without food in my tummy, I will toss my cookies faster than you can shake a stick. I’d only had 220 calories all day…I wasn’t about to risk tossing those back up. They didn’t taste too great going down. I didn’t want to know what they tasted like going the other way, thanks.

Another realization hit me as I sat there trying to keep my ankles warm: I was about to spend another 4 day weekend in misery. Last month, my Thanksgiving holiday was derailed by Mother Nature. I’d managed to get the pies baked and got the prep work started on the turkey and BAM! I was hit by the worst case of cramps I’d seen in a few months. I spent the rest of the day curled up in a chair, listening to my husband and my mother-in-law trying to gross each other out with the turkey gizzards.

Just 30 days later, I was excited by the opportunity to redeem myself during my 4 day Christmas weekend. I had a full schedule of organizing and cleaning planned, which was desperately needed after many lost weekends from various commitments. BAM! Mother Nature rears her ugly head again. I stayed curled up on the couch for the bulk of the weekend, repeatedly whimpering that all men should have to have cramps just once. And they should also be made to wear tighty whities with underwire that cuts off the circulation to their bizzles. Yeah, I’d be okay with that.

Now I was facing a 4 day New Years weekend of migraines and chalkolate misery. Such was my enthusiasm for the Imaginary Lap Band project that I didn’t realize the bad timing of starting it on my last chance for a holiday weekend. When I get an idea in my head I’m like a raccoon with a shiny object. I love that about me. Sometimes.

I wasn’t sure whether I would continue the experiment or perhaps postpone it for next week. My house is an absolute mess. I love him dearly, but my husband will start drinking from the gravy boat before he’ll do a load of dishes. I came home from a weekend trip once to find him eating his dinner with the giant serving fork and a carving knife. You see my point, I’m sure.

Over dinner last night (parmesan chicken for him, chalkolate goodness for me), we discussed the pros and cons of me postponing my experiment until next week. I decided that I would, indeed, postpone the experiment until next week so that I could get my house in order. My mother-in-law is coming for a visit this weekend and, although it doesn’t bother my husband, I’m simply not okay with her having to eat dinner off of an 18 inch serving platter because her son’s arms don’t seem to work within a 2 foot radius of the dishwasher. However, I didn’t want to just blow off an entire day of suffering…so I finished the day under the pre-op diet rules.

When I went to bed, I’d had a total of 620 calories for the day. That’s 3 protein shakes, a bowl of strained oatmeal, and a couple servings of sugar free jello. See what I mean about that grilled chicken salad? Sounds pretty good, doesn’t it?

I woke up this morning with a migraine. In fact, as soon as I’m done writing this I’ll be taking the magic pill that makes it go away. I have a day’s worth of house work to get going on. Just 24 hours into the Imaginary Lap Band experiment has taught me so much. This morning, as I ate my healthy breakfast of turkey bacon and grapefruit (I’m out of Special K), I caught myself chewing slower…with my eyes closed…savoring the yumminess of every bite. I really appreciated my healthy breakfast in a way I’d never done before. I began to think “Maybe I can do this the ‘old fashioned way’ after all”…and not for the first time. This experience has humbled me in a way that I would never have predicted and I’m left thinking “Maybe I just need to try again and leave surgery on the back burner.” I think I have a little more fight left in me than I thought I did.

(I also woke up with 1 pound less than I went to bed with. Good riddance! Weight loss tracker is updated.)

In just this little bit of time, my love for good, healthy food has been renewed. I’m looking forward to some fresh, grilled chipotle chicken tacos for lunch today and it no longer seems like a chore to me. There is no more underlying negativity or feeling of obligation. Did going without for such an insignificant time really change my outlook this much? I’m not going to over think this (for once)…I’m just grateful for the lesson.

Even losing this weight through surgery is hard work, I’m just not convinced it’s the route for me. I’ll be thinking long and hard about this over the weekend. When I think about jumping back into the ring and going 18 rounds with my food demons, I can feel my fragile resolve waffling between I can and I can’t. I want to jump back in, I really do. I think there’s a little bit of fear in there somewhere. I hate fear. I’ve got to get to the bottom of this.

Hope you’re all having a great week thus far!

EAS Myoplex Lite Ready-to-Drink Nutrition Shake, Chocolate Fudge, (Pack of 24)

Imaginary Lap Band

Last August I created a mini shit storm when I announced that I was considering Lap Band surgery as a tool in my weight loss efforts. All kinds of people expressed their feelings on the subject, quite a few got up on their soap boxes and shouted to the rafters. 🙂

My outlook hasn’t changed. I stand firm on my opinion that bariatric surgery can be an extremely useful tool for morbidly obese people. If you have a negative opinion to share with me on this, please be advised that I welcome you to tell me how unnecessary this surgery is…if you are also carrying an extra 219 pounds around on your body and have been morbidly obese for many years. If you’ve walked in my wide width shoes, then please…share any negative thoughts you have. Otherwise I suggest you get down on your knees and give thanks that you’ve never had to deal with that much extra weight.

The only issue I have with bariatric surgery is that it does seem to be the chubby’s equivalent of Ritalin for parents. Remember the Ritalin craze when scores of parents were rushing little Ashkyn and Scope (I’m using ridiculous hipster names here) to the doctor for some nice healthy drugs instead of using old fashioned discipline? Some less-than-ethical doctors were giving themselves writer’s cramp signing prescriptions instead of doing their due diligence to make sure the little darlings in their care actually had ADD. Well, I feel that way about some bariatric surgeons and their patients. Ultimately, though, it’s everyone’s right and responsibility to decide what’s best for themselves.

I am not a person who takes this decision lightly – in fact, I wish doing research burned calories. I’ve researched my ass off. Painstaking research led me to make the decision that Lap Band is the only surgery I will consider, as the other procedures are too risky for my taste. With that, I had to painstakingly research my way to a surgeon in order to get a consultation appointment and ask questions…which I did. My insurance requires a mandatory waiting period for anyone considering bariatric surgery, during which time I am required to pass a psychiatric evaluation and undergo several months of supervision by a nutritionist. I went ahead and got that ball rolling just in case.

I’ve spent a lot of time talking to Lap Band patients and asking questions. I’ve enjoyed my appointments with my nutritionist and have actually learned to look at my relationship with food in a healthier way. Even after all this, I still feel there is more research to be done…so I joined some online forums for Lap Band patients and started reading. Talk about an eye opener!!

If you or anyone you know is considering any kind of bariatric surgery, I can’t recommend online forums enough. Reading these forums has made me aware of all kinds of pitfalls, benefits, and side effects that I never would have thought of myself…at least not until it was too late. Nothing I’ve read has scared me away from the idea of considering this surgery, but I sure have a much better idea of what to expect.

As you can expect (and according to the lovely packet my surgeon’s office gave me), if I elect to have Lap Band surgery I will have to begin a pre-op diet a week before my surgery. I will then be required to switch to clear liquids 2 days before surgery. My post surgery diet will be clear liquids for a week, then plain liquids, then softy/mushy things. Basically, I won’t be eating normal food for about a month if I have surgery.

One of the things I see a lot of on the forums are patients who are really struggling with their new diets. In addition to the healing process their bodies have to go through, they’re dealing with the emotional and mental aspects of having their “best friend” anymore: comfort food. Every person is different, every experience is unique, and all of it is extremely eye opening for me.

So…I was hit by an overwhelming wave of sheer brilliance last night: what if I take the diet for a little test drive. What if?!?!?!

I mean…I’m pretty sure I can take the pre and post op diet phases. I can do that. I’m more afraid of the stories about food getting stuck…or the lady who says she can’t eat chicken ever again…or something I’m not even thinking of. But how will I know unless I try it out?

I don’t know what’s going on with me lately…there must be something in the water at the Hot Mess household. Tomorrow is the 2 week anniversary of the day I gave up sugar. I’ve also drastically reduced my intake of Liquid Crack (aka diet soda). I’m on a roll. So when I was reading the forums last night I felt a switch turn on and I thought “What if…”

When I gave up sugar, I was amazed at how easy it was. Until Day 9. When Day 9 hit, I would have punched out an old lady at the grocery store if she had the last box of Little Debbie cakes. It wasn’t pretty. Imagine if I’d waited until the surgery made me give up sugar. Wow. I can’t imagine recovering from surgery and going through those powerful emotions. I’m glad I got that out of the way.

This is what got me thinking…what else can I get out of the way? What else can I try on for size?

Well, as of today, I’m giving myself an imaginary lap band. 🙂

I went out tonight after work and bought everything I would need if I were doing the pre-op diet…and when I wake up in the morning, I’ll be in “imaginary lap band mode”. I just want to see if I can do it. If I make the final decision for surgery, I’m going to have to do it anyway…so let’s see if I can handle it. The only difference is a little piece of silicone around my stomach.

I am highly motivated right now and I don’t want to lose that. Making the decision to have an imaginary lap band has given me a feeling of control during a time when I’m still considering so many options my head is spinning. This makes me feel like I’m doing something constructive.

Wouldn’t it be something if the imaginary lap band was enough to get me started down the right path again? What if? The only way I’ll know for sure is to just do it…so, ready or not, here I come!

It’ll be fun to see how this shakes out. 🙂