Hang on kids, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

2 Grandparents in 4 Weeks

I blogged 4 weeks ago about losing my husband's grandma. Today I lost my own grandpa. Grandpa Bob died this afternoon after suffering a massive heart attack on Saturday morning. That is 2 deaths exactly 4 weeks apart...on fill days. I have decided that I am no longer getting fills.

My relationship with my Grandpa Bob was not typical. My grandparents (my dad's parents) divorced before I my parents were even married. He remarried and had a new family so I didn't have a whole lot of contact with him. I can count on 1 hand the number of times I remember being with him as a child. After we moved to Las Vegas the contact was basically non-existent. In fact, I referred to him as Bob instead of Grandpa. He had a heart attack in 1994 and it was thought that he wouldn't make it through that. I remember calling and speaking to him on the phone while he was still in the hospital and it was the start of something different. After my sister had my nephew in 1995 I went back to visit often and saw my Grandpa on every visit because my sister and he were very close because my step-aunt had a daughter that was only a month older than my nephew. They spent a lot of time together. In 1997 I had my son and my first visit back home with him was when he was 1 1/2. My grandpa didn't get to meet my son until he was 3. I went home for Christmas in 2000 and Grandpa's wife had just passed away. My real relationship started with him after that. He got a kick out of my son and couldn't believe how much he looked like me when I was little. I will admit that his comment threw me a little because I never would have expected that comment to come from him.

After that Christmas I spoke to my grandpa a few times a year. We would have hour long conversations where we caught up on each other's lives. When my Grandma Betty was diagnosed with cancer in October 2005 my grandpa spent a lot of time with her. When she passed away in July 2006 my relationship with my grandpa grew even more. He would often tell me how much he regretted not being close to me when I was young. I always told him it was okay (because that is what I do). We spoke on the phone and I sent him cards. He was unable to come to my wedding in 2007 because he was working and money was tight. I am very happy that he was able to meet my husband in 2009 when we went home for Thanksgiving. We sat in my dad's living room and talked for almost 2 hours. I got photos with him, my dad and my son. It is a 4 generation photo that I will treasure. I wish I would have known that it was going to be the last time I would see him. We usually spoke on the phone every couple of months, but the end of last year when he was getting sick often I called every few weeks to check on him. He spent a lot of time in the hospital because he just couldn't get his breathing back to where it needed to be which frustrated him because he wanted to get out of the hospital and get back to work (sounds just like my dad...I see where he gets it from).

I hate to say it but the last time I spoke with my grandpa was in May. The reason I called him? I needed to get family health information for my pre-op appt with my surgeon. I told him about getting surgery and he said that he was happy and he couldn't wait to see how I looked the next time he saw me (which was supposed to be in November). I cry that I won't get that opportunity. He sees me but I won't get to see him. Won't get another hug from him. Won't have another long talk with him. The 10 years that I had a relationship with him was just as good as a lifetime. Rest in Peace Grandpa. I will miss you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

2nd Fill Comin' Up!

I will be getting my 2nd fill tomorrow. I think I need a slight fill and won't be asking for too terribly much, maybe .5-1 cc. I really do think that I am close to my sweet spot. For those who don't know all the LapBand jargon, here is a link that talks about the sweet spot, or Green Zone, that we bandsters strive for: http://www.lapband.com/en/live_healthy_lapband/about_adjustments/

I did notice that I am getting stuck more if I eat too fast or if the food is really dry so this next fill will mean I need to be REALLY careful what I eat. I will be on liquids for 24 hrs after that fill again which sucks when you're hungry, but great for weight loss ;-) However, if my fill does what it is supposed to, the hunger won't be there.

So far on my goals this week I am only doing well with my water. I have ZERO desire to work out which is really aggravating because I was doing really good before the damn rash started up 2 months ago. I will be doing the treadmill at my mom's house tonight because I need to get some activity in. I'm spending more time at work lately and have had a pretty stressful past 2 weeks which means I am exhausted when I get home...especially after a 30-45 minute drive home. When I stay at my mom's I am more apt to walk on the treadmill because she lives very close to my office and I can indulge in Teen Mom while walking ;-) I ate chicken for lunch and have my protein shot in a 33 oz bottle of water for tonight. Those protein shots are a lifesaver when you haven't reached your 90 grams a day but can't possibly eat anymore. But it's only Tuesday....still have 5 more days to meet this week's goals!

Monday, August 29, 2011


We all have goals. Not just for weight loss, but for other aspects in our lives. How often do you reflect on those? I remember when I used to focus on my life goals...and then I stopped. I think Monday will be Goal Day. Then I have something to remember throughout the week because I have people reading what they are.

I am 17 days away from my son's birthday. I wanted to be at 220 by that day. Considering I am now 233 and losing an average of 2 lbs/week, that isn't going to happen. Am I sad about it? Not really. Life came up (Grandma's funeral and my hives/rash that prevented me from exercising) and I had to remember that sometimes you don't always hit those goals when you want. I wish I would have been there by then, but I will be happy to see where I am on his birthday and then when I do hit that 2nd 10% loss (220) it will be exciting! I sabotaged myself so many times on WW with setting weight loss date goals and not achieving them, so I said "to hell with it" and reverted back to bad behavior. I can't do that now. I won't let myself do that now.

This weeks goals:
Get all 100 oz of water in each day
Get 90 grams of protein in each day
Exercise at least 3 days

Yes it isn't that much, but I will increase each week. What are you going to do this week?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Hair Loss....REALLY?!

Okay, I knew to expect it, but DANG!! I just spent the past 15 min at my desk at work plucking stray hairs off of my shirt. My hair is falling out like crazy. My nails are breaking right and left. The Biotin doesn't seem to be doing anything for me. Fine, whatever. My real question is this...why can't it fall out of areas where we don't want it? Seriously! Why my head? Why not my legs. Now THAT would be awesome. Underarms? By all means, take it! Just leave my poor little head alone. Not sure I am going to be able to deal with 3 months of this nonsense. Fortunately I have a ton of hair and it won't be that big a deal, but I am not looking forward to the "halo" of new curly hair that will be emerging from my head when it stops. My stylist already warned me about it. Bleh.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Husband the Green Chile Man

My hubby LOVES Hatch chiles. When we were in AZ a few weeks ago for Grandma's funeral we were looking for people roasting them all over and only found 1. Well at the grocery store on Friday we found and bought a 50 lb sack of them. He was like a kid on Christmas. Think he was happy? We are well stocked with roasted chiles for a while!

Tight in the Morning

Get your heads out of the gutter :-)

I have often read/heard about people who have had fills being tighter in the mornings because of swelling & whatnot and I can definitely say that I am one of those experiencing that now. I really have no appetite in the morning. I get hungry around 9:30 or so, but it isn't that famished feeling that I used to get. It is quite liberating to not wake up thinking of food :-) I also just usually eat yogurt for breakfast now because more solid of food gets stuck pretty easy. Turkey bacon & eggs aren't a problem so that is my other alternative. Yay for restriction!

I have had several stuck episodes since my first fill, and they are all my fault. The latest was on Saturday night when I was eating dinner. My hubby made steak shish kabobs for family & guests and salmon for me. My salmon was bomb (YUM!) and I decided to try a few bites of the meat & chiles from the shish kabobs. Well, I was smart at first and cut them in half. Then I was stupid and didn't cut up the last piece. Ugh. STUCK! So 2 of my friends got a first hand view of Michelle in severe discomfort. Finally after about 25 minutes and a few sips of water, it went through. Lesson learned!

Friday, August 19, 2011

12 Weeks Today!! (Of Course, With Pictures!)

12 weeks and 40 lbs gone. WOW!! I am comparing today's pictures with my 8 week pictures (they are a little far back & fuzzy, sorry). I didn't think there was going to be any difference but am proud to see that there is! My back rolls are almost completely gone! YAY!!! Never in my life did I think that sentence would ever come from me. LOL. I must say that I am happiest that there is a difference at all. I have not worked out (like I usually do) in over 2 weeks because I am waiting until my hives are completely cleared up before I go back to see if that is, in fact, what it is. I must say I miss my gym time and can notice a huge difference in how I feel by not going. No bueno. Here's the pictures! Today on top, 8 weeks on bottom.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Listening To Your Body

This is the hardest thing for a lot of us. Actually listening to what our body is saying instead of what our minds are telling us. This thought came to me just now as I was thinking of the yummy food I have in the fridge. I want to eat it because it is good, but I am not hungry. Last night we went to Roberto's and I wanted to eat everything in sight. Last weekend I ate about 10 lbs of fried zucchini because I love it and it was there when we ate out. After I had my chicken taco last night (4 oz) I kept eating what we had because it was so good even though I wasn't hungry...and when you have a band that is a bad decision because you pay for it all night. Head hunger sucks. Will it ever go away?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stuck Like Chuck

What a weekend. It was busy busy busy and I feel like most of it was spent in a car! We had Grandma Hall's funeral and burial and it was very nice but exhausting. It is certainly nice to be back home and in a routine again.

I told you about the red velvet cake episode that I had week before last. Well, I had my 2nd stuck episode on Wed night....with pasta. That particular episode ended up in my first PB and it SUCKED!!! Oh the pain and the sliming and the yuck. So, apparently I can't eat pasta...or I won't be trying again for a very long time. I did bad with my water intake this weekend being in the car so much (didn't want to have to pull over every 30 min to pee!) so I was up a pound when I weighed myself this morning. It's okay. Back to the gym I go and I have been chugging the water today. Need to stay focused since I have a goal to reach in 1 month.

I can't believe that Friday will be 12 weeks since I had surgery. That is just unreal to me. Almost 3 months since surgery. I am down almost 40 lbs. Sometimes I feel like I should be down more weight or more sizes, but I am fitting comfortably in 18's again. I haven't tried on any size 18 jeans, but my dress slacks fit. I hope my pictures look different than last month's since I still don't feel different. I bagged up more clothing as I was packing for the weekend because I can tell just by looking at things now that they aren't going to work anymore. I also wore a dress to the viewing that is too big. It was my 1st post-surgery dress and I love it, so I am sad about that. That is a good feeling that clothes are getting big, but it is going to get expensive! :-)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


I have been reflecting the past couple of day and realize that I have received more compliments from people in the past 11 weeks than I think I have ever had in my life. I have one thing to say about that. Keep 'em coming!!

I have discovered this far into my journey that enough compliments simply aren't given. Not by me and not by others, just not enough. Maybe it is because of jealousy. Maybe it is because of hatred in your heart. I don't know, but what I do know is it makes me feel AMAZING when someone tells me how thin I am looking or that something looks great on me or "Holy crap your pants are falling off" (that was on Monday. LOL). So I have decided that I need to compliment people every day and I hope others do the same. Not only does it make the person's day, but it makes you feel so good as well!

Let's all try that this week and see how it works out. You never know how you will positively affect someone else and how much one little thing can mean to another :-)

Monday, August 8, 2011

My 1st Fill

Two post in one day, sorry. I forgot to blog about this last week but since it was the same day we lost Grandma, I hope you understand. I did have my 1st fill on Wednesday and it was wonderful! It didn't hurt at all (I didn't even bleed) even though she was pushing on my port area to make sure she got it. I had 2 cc added to my 10 cc band and HOLY CRAP did it work!! I doubt that I am in my sweet spot yet, but it is so good to have restriction again!! I did liquids for 24 hrs after my fill and took it easy on Thursday with real food. Wouldn't you know it, I WI on Friday at 237.1. Woo hoo!! Almost 40 lbs gone forever!

Now to Friday night. One atty in my office always brings back red velvet cupcakes (I call them cupmuffins because they are HUGE like Costco muffins) when he eats at a particular restaurant. I decided to have a couple of bites that night with my son and it happened. It.Got.Stuck. It was a little dried out but I took a small bite and that was enough. Oh my gosh the pain. I took small drinks of water to help it go down but it wasn't budging. I tried walking around, didn't help. Finally after about 10 minutes of terrible discomfort and eventual sliming, I knew it was going to come back up. So off to my bathroom I went. I opened the door to my bedroom, turned the corner to the bathroom and........it went through. Sonofa. But it taught me a very valuable lesson. Don't eat red velvet cupcakes right after a fill!!! ;-) I did good over the weekend. Still have the restriction I so love and am measuring everything out. Sometimes 3 oz is a bit too much. What a beautiful thing!

I started taking Biotin today because my hair loss is increasing. I talked to my stylist about on Thursday when I went in to get my hair cut and she said it is normal after surgery. She suggested the biotin to help out a little bit but told me not to worry since I have so much hair. It is a little concerning when it comes out at such a rapid pace (my comb was scary full this morning), but I will just have to deal with it until my body straightens back up.

Packing Up

I did my first closet purge this weekend and just discovered something else that needs to go...the jeans I am wearing today. They are literally falling off of me. I can pull them off without unbuttoning them. I never thought I would say that about jeans! I discovered this crotch-hanging-down thing when I had my head flipped over blow drying my hair his morning. I guess I need to try on more things from my closet before I decide I am done with the purge! I no longer have any size 1X shirts (including my cutie pie Joey Logano shirt that I just bought at the races this year which makes me sad and happy at the same time) or 20W pants in there, which is exciting, and I am moving closer to the size 18 jeans that I have refused to let go of through the years. I can wear them now, but I'm afraid that I would have such a muffin top it would be uncomfortable at the end of the day plus not to mention embarrassing. More incentive to keep working those abs at the gym! Whittling my middle for the sake of mankind.

Grandma Hall's funeral is this week and we will be heading to AZ for that. It is going to be a weekend full of driving, crying and eating. It will be about 20 hrs of driving in a 3 day period...my tailbone hurts just thinking of it. I know it isn't appropriate to talk about food when discussing death, but I how Catholics are after funerals and it is a full on feast. My husband said LDS funerals are pretty much the same so I will be watching my P's & Q's for sure. After the reception we will be driving up to Round Valley for the burial and I am actually looking forward to being up there for that because it is absolutely beautiful and very peaceful in that area. Perfect place for our final goodbye to Grandma.

Hope you all have a great week!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Sad Day

Today is a change from what I usually blog about. Today the Hall family lost a wonderful and vital part of it...our matriarch. Grandma Hall passed away this morning after her health deteriorated rather quickly. She was 93 years old and had quite the extraordinary life. She was such an amazing woman. She made me feel welcome in the Hall clan from the 1st time I ever met her. She was accepting, loving and cared so much about her family. I will miss her stories (that woman had some doozies...I think my all time favorite is the story about her & Grandpa Hall marrying) and her whispering "secrets" to you. I will miss visiting and watching basketball or baseball with her (Grandma loved her Suns and D-Backs) or just sitting quietly and reading the paper. I will miss hearing her say how she thought my husband was "just the cutest thing we'd ever seen" when he was born and telling me to let her know if he didn't behave himself because she would take him over her knee like when he was little (always accompanied with her little Grandma Hall air punch). She was only a part of my life for 5 1/2 years but she was definitely a grandma to me. I remember when my Grandma Betty passed away my husband's family was in town the day I left Vegas to fly home to Iowa for her funeral. Grandma Hall told me to remember all of the wonderful times and blessings that we had during Grandma Betty's life. That is exactly what I intend to do for you too, Grandma Hall. Love you dearly and we will miss you! I know you will watch out for the rest of us and thank you for the surprise today :-)

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fill 'Er Up!

I'm ready for a fill....most definitely. I go in for my 3rd follow up appointment on Wednesday and will be getting a fill this time. I think I have lost so much fat/swelling around my stomach that my band is just there chillin. How do I know this? Well lets see, if we go based on the questions from my last appt:

"Are you measuring your food?" "Yes"
"Are you satisfied after you eat the 3-4 oz?" "Sometimes, but not always. Lately, not really."
"Are you snacking?" "Ummmm........can I plead the 5th?"
"Are you losing?" "I was until this week"

So, I look forward to getting my very first fill. Not sure how big my band even is (aka how much it can hold) but I will ask on Wed. Lets hope it doesn't take several fills to get to my sweet spot!

I did up my workouts. I found a great video that is for surgery patients and it has really opened my eyes! I am upping my cardio workout by 10% each week, so then it is a gradual increase and something I can handle no problem. I am doing resistance 3 days a week and did my first ab workout on Saturday. I know, I am a big wienie. I was scared to do abs and now that I am 10 weeks out I figured I better suck it up and do it so I can get rid of this gut. Well, with every sit up I did, my muscle that the port is sewed into was hurting. By the last set it was a sharp pain, so I need to talk to the doc about that on Wed. I then did planks with my son (and I will make sure the kid does not have gas the next time I take him to do an ab workout with me...my gosh!) and could barely do 15 seconds on my elbows. I felt weak. I used to be able to hold it for 45-60 seconds when I was working with my trainer about 2 yrs ago. *sigh* I guess that is what happens when you stop...but I am going to get back there!!! I can't wait for the day that I sit in jeans and don't have the roll/muffin top to worry about. The things that we look forward to :-)