Lap Dance

This blog documents my experience with the adjustable gastric band. The surgery took place in July, and thus the pre-op and post-op information can be found in the July archive.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Happy Halloween!

I rushed home from work tonight to be there when trick-or-treaters came around. This was the first year ever that Mr. Kennedy and I could do this together. Mr. Kennedy was super-excited, and laid in 300 pieces of Twix, M&M's, Reese's Cups, Snickers and Three Musketeers for the kids.

We had twenty trick-or-treaters. Twenty. We were both very disappointed. Alas, I'm taking the remaining 200 pieces of candy to work tomorrow and inflicting the calories on my co-workers. It's a four-pound bag of candy, but if you eat the whole thing, you'd gain 5.85 pounds.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Dear God, the Pain!

I’m writing this as Mr. Kennedy and I watch The West Wing (I do enjoy me some Will Bailey), and I am overcome by the urge to eat. I am not the least bit hungry, but I have felt it necessary to implore Mr. Kennedy to tackle me if I make a move toward the refrigerator. There’s hummus in there.

This afternoon I made up a new dish, and it was a success. I baked two chicken breasts, and topped them with low-fat slices of pepper jack cheese, black beans and salsa. Delicious, and Mr. Kennedy and I were both stuffed.

The first results of yesterday’s weight training class is the muscle soreness that racked my body as I attempted to roll out of bed this morning. Providently, I had won a bet earlier this week with Mr. Kennedy over whether Harriet Miers would get withdrawn or Borked. The prize was a 30 minute massage. I cashed in that chip first thing this morning, and thanks to Mr. Kennedy, was able to haul my ass back to the gym for more punishment today.

Shopping Spree Total: $345

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Pathetic Housewives

This past week’s food lockdown has totally paid off: 177, down two and a half for the week. Put it in the book.

The first sessions of my exercise classes were today. Step was first, and it wasn’t overly tough. I may even need to add another level to my step in a couple weeks to keep it hard-core. The ladies in the class were mostly in there 30s and 40s, and while none of them were as fat as me, none of them were hard bodies either.

The hard bodies were saving themselves for my weight lifting class. At promptly ten, in walk all the competitive housewives. You know, the types who have husbands who take care of the breadwinning, maids who take care of the housework, and nannies who take care of parenting the heirs. All these ladies have to do is focus on is competitive exercising.

The class involved a lot of equipment, which was a little intimidating, as I didn’t want to forget things and be running back and fort to the weight rack. I didn’t know what they were going to do, so I didn’t know how heavy my weights should be either. As I got my equipment, I heard one woman telling another woman how her baby had just made the four-month-old mark. The mother was a tiny, flat-tummied, muscular pixie of a thing. It was clear that they all knew each other and did this class all the time. I felt like everyone was looking at me.

Then the instructor singled me out, and asked me if I’d ever done weigh training before. I told her I had, and she looked confused. I guess since I’m fat, I’ve clearly never lifted a finger except to cram food into my mouth. Then the lady next to me loudly suggested that I do the class without any weights at all, because it was so difficult. I thanked her for her suggestion, and the class started.

It was a fantastic class. I’m proud to say that I finished it just fine, and my weights were well within the range that everyone else was using. I smugly reminded myself that I had done an hour-long step class immediately before, when all the kewpie-wives had only done their hair.
However self-conscious I felt, and however much I detest these women, I am completely committed to taking this class twice a week. It was a truly great class, and I know I’m going to see results from it.

Shopping Spree Total: $340

Friday, October 28, 2005

Too Much Good Food!

Yesterday was a bad food day for reasons outside of my control. First, my practice group had a lunch at which the food consisted of sausage, sauerkraut and German potato salad. And the sausage was so delicious, as were the potatoes. And then my first had a big formal dinner tonight, and although I passed up dessert and booze, I still ate more than I was hungry for. On top of that, I didn’t get to the gym because of the dinner.

That bummed me out, because every time I lose weight, the number on the scale bounces right back up. I really wanted to keep ahold of my 2.5 pound loss this week. But alas, I was at 178 this morning. I’ve got to be tough today and knock that number back down.

Shopping Spree Total: $330

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Good News from the Scale

My scale bore good tidings of cheer this morning, and cheer I did when the scale said 177! Down two and a half pounds for the week! If things keep going at this rate, I don’t give a damn if I ever get restricted.

Mr. Kennedy has been suggesting that I vary my workout, that that could help restart my weight loss. I took his suggestion this week and signed up for two group exercise classes at the gym. One is a step aerobics class, and the other is a group weight lifting class.

It goes almost without saying that I don't have restriction this time either. I don't feel any difference at all from the last fill.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Seventh Fill

Things have been going really well on the food front. I have always really struggled at two points during the day: late morning and late afternoon. I get really hungry, and then I overeat. Or I anticipate that I will get really hungry, and I preemptively overeat.

Each morning this week I’ve gotten up a few minutes earlier and cooked myself an egg-white omelet. I’ve taken it into work, re-heated it, and eaten it at my desk while I peruse the morning papers. The omelet is big enough that some days I don’t even finish it, and I am never hungry by noon. In turn, that postpones my lunch. Eating later makes me not fear getting hungry as much, so I don’t eat so much for lunch. I’ve been keeping some grapes in my fridge to eat before I leave work to give me some energy for working out. I have not been hungry for a single second this week. The omelet is literally the solution to my whole eating-pattern problem.

I had my seventh fill today. Dr. Horgan is delighted with my weight loss, and even more delighted with the fact that I am exercising to supplement the band. I think he thinks that I am restricted and don’t know it. Granted, I’ve not been restricted, so I can’t comment on that, but from everything I hear from other people, I am not even close. Eating past the point of fullness has never caused me to throw up. I can eat an entire plateful of food at a sitting without issue.

Anyway, he gave me another .2 ccs, and I guess we agreed that I’m going to concentrate on not drinking while I’m eating, and I’m not going to get another fill until I stop losing weight. I’m feeling pretty motivated to limit calories and eat strategically, so hopefully I can keep the scale moving down. However, the second I start to struggle, I’m going to be back to conducting my vigils at Dr. Horgan’s office.

Shopping Spree Total: $325

Monday, October 24, 2005

Good Girl

The scale remained at 181 this morning, so I locked down on the food today. I walked on the treadmill at work for an hour this morning (456 calories). I ate an omelet made of egg substitute this morning, a large bowl of turkey chili for lunch, two cups of grapes for a snack, and 4 ounces of grilled salmon for dinner. I did another 730 calories on the incline this evening. And I made another fill appointment for Wednesday. That goddamn scale had better go down tomorrow.

Shopping spree total: $315.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Endless Shrimp Commercials Are Evil

So yesterday I ate at Red Lobster and had the endless shrimp special. This was a bad idea. I had a biscuit, solely for the scientific purpose of determining whether I was in fact restricted. It slid down beautifully, so clearly I am not. That was a very valuable experiment. It was my only meal of the day, so I had these delusions that it would not be very harmful to my weight. The number 181 on the scale this morning re-educated me.

Today Mr. Kennedy wanted to try this Mexican place near our house. I had a very interesting dish: spiced rice, black beans, corn, moist chicken, chunky salsa and a bit of cheese. Very tasty, and seemed pretty healthy. It was light on rice.

To my surprise, I got something stuck. It wasn't very severe, and after a few minutes of sliming it wiggled on through. I thought I was playing it cool, but Mr. Kennedy still looked a bit terrified. I am actually kind of pleased. I hope this means I'm getting close to being properly restricted.

I kept putting off a trip to the gym, but at the last minute Mr. Kennedy basically tossed me into the car, and we went together. I appreciate him kicking me in the pants all the way to the gym.

Shopping spree total: $305.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Sixth Fill and Weigh-In

This morning I weighed 179.5. Good stuff. Maybe I am finally done losing and regaining pounds number 180 and 181. They've been hanging out on my hips for about a month.

I had my sixth fill today, and I left pretty pissed off. Dr. Nice asked me how I was doing, and I told him I hadn't lost weight for weeks now and I was really frustrated. He dismissed the lack of restriction, and gave me a big lecture about how I was eating too many calories. Okay, fine. Now if restricting calories was so easy for me, would I have paid them $15,000 to put in a lap band? I think not. The band is supposed to keep me from eating too much, and that sure as hell hasn't happened to date. He really pissed me off, and I left with the feeling that I'm not supposed to keep coming back for adjustments, but rather just eat better.

I fumed about this all the way home. On this particular matter, I think Dr. Nice can go screw himself. I really felt like he was convinced this was all my fault, and he was acting like getting fills was just a crutch. Maybe it is, but it's a crutch I paid dearly for, and a crutch I intend to use. Besides, Dr. Horgan didn't act like that, nor has he ever done so. So I'm going in again on Wednesday, and if Dr. Nice thinks that I am weak, he can think it. I AM going to use my band, and I AM going to come in until I am properly restricted. And then I AM going to resume losing weight.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Drug of Choice

I have made a terrible blunder that I haven't been willing to cop to until today.

First, the background. Since college I have had a truly colossal Diet Coke addiction. I drank it for breakfast, for lunch, for dinner, in between. I drank ten cans per day. I drank it out of bottles. I drank it out of cans, out of fountains. If Diet Coke had threatened to pull the product, I'd have stockpiled it like Elaine's sponges. If Diet Coke became illegal, I'd have been the toothless woman in rags turning tricks under the bridge to barter for it. I was a Diet Coke junkie.

When my then-fiance and I began getting serious, I wanted to convert to Catholicism. He was convinced that I was only doing it to win points with his mother (this was very naive of us both to think that I could have done anything except die that would have put up points with his crazy-ass mother), and as a result he didn't want to sponsor me. I decided to make a supreme show of faith: I gave up soda for Lent. Forty horrid days and forty horrid nights with no Diet Coke. Because he knew me, Mr. Kennedy was then very convinced that I was indeed serious about his faith. He changed his mind, and became my sponsor. I've always wondered: does that make him my god-father? And if so, should I still be allowed to sleep with him? But I digress...

My Diet Coke addiction heightened during law school, enabled as I was by my also-Coke-dependent best friend. I went across the country to law school, away from my then-fiance and my family, and I was so homesick. But I didn't cry. I lived in an apartment that was smaller and far dirtier than my current office, and certainly not in as nice a neighborhood. But I didn't cry. My apartment had neither a kitchen nor a bathroom, and I shared a bathroom with the filthiest French girl imaginable (No, honey, of course you don't need to bathe or wash your face! Just apply more makeup and perfume! That's the spirit!). But I didn't cry. I didn't know a soul. But I didn't cry. I went to the nasty local bodega grocery store, and saw that they did not sell cases of Diet Coke. I sat down on the curb and cried.

The day before surgery, I went cold turkey. Off the sauce and on the wagon. I didn't even try a sip of Diet Coke post-op, wasn't even tempted. Until I got back from Germany, got so disgruntled with my fill/weight loss situation, and then I slipped. I had a sip of Mr. Kennedy's Diet Coke, and I thought, "This doesn't even taste as good as I remembered, but it doesn't hurt my stomach at all." I woke up naked two days later in a huge pile of empty Diet Coke cans under the bushes in some park.

Okay, maybe it wasn't that bad. But it started with one can and has gotten progressively worse. I came home from work today and realized that I had had five cans of Diet Coke today and absolutely nothing else to drink. It's time for detox.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Now what?

Today I tried something different. I spend a lot of time every day at work sitting on my duff reading papers. So today I took my gym shoes to work. I went upstairs to our in-office gym, donned my sneaks, and walked on the treadmill for a half hour while reading a long law review article. It worked out great. I didn't want to sweat, so I only worked off 250 calories, but I still think it's worthwhile to get some activity into my otherwise-sedentary workday. After work I went to the regular gym and did 850 calories on the incline.

So a weigh-in of 184 pounds when I got home sent my into my now-daily crying jag. The long-suffering Mr. Kennedy told me that he thinks I'm taking in too few calories relative to what I'm eating. I told him that I'm afraid to stop working out or to eat more because I keep gaining weight. We decided that I should write down everything I've eaten this week and how much I worked out and take it to the dietician when I go for my fill on Friday. He thinks I'm trying too hard; I cannot wrap my mind around the idea that I can eat zero calories but still gain or maintain weight.

However, I didn't go the gym Friday - Sunday, and I ate enough to feel guilty about it, and I lost a pound on Monday morning. Hmm.

Mr. Kennedy and I watched "The Biggest Loser" last night for the second time. I loved "Celebrity Fit Club," so I had high hopes for this show. I can't say that I enjoy it. First, they're in a very artificial environment where they work out 3-5 hours per day. Nobody does that, or could do that, in real life. Second, it chaps my ass when the teams loudly root against each other during the weigh-in. How could someone who himself/herself struggles with severe weight problems ever wish for someone who has put their soul into losing weight to fail, even if there is a prize on the line? Last night one of the guys didn't lose any weight, and he walked outside and began to cry. I feel like that every day, and I'm not weighing in on national television. You have to be a sadist to hope that another cast member would fail. The guys are a lot worse about doing this than the women.

Shopping Spree Total: $295

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Pulling Up My Socks

I called Dr. Horgan yesterday as directed, and was informed that the doctor was not going to be in on Wednesday like usual. I couldn’t do it on Friday because I’m doing my friends’ closing on their first house and I don’t want to reschedule on them. So now the earliest I can get a fill is a week from tomorrow. Damn.

I still don’t really believe that I’m ever going to have restriction. However, today I am inspired to do something about this on my own, band be damned. It’s time to get myself moving down the scale again. I’m pulling up my socks and recommitting. If the band isn’t going to work, I’m just going to have to do it myself.

To that end, I went down a pound yesterday morning to 181. I’m a little disappointed that I didn’t drop again today, but every bit helps.

Shopping Spree Total: $285

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Still no Restriction!

The fifth fill didn’t work either. This time, at least, I feel a little of the unpleasantness that I felt in Germany. Therefore I’m probably closer to having restriction. But I am nowhere near eating 4 ounces and not being hungry between meals. And I am sure as hell not losing 2 pounds per week.

I have to admit that I am despairing of ever having restriction. I am a big visualizer: I spend time every day imagining how things will work out. I used to be able to visualize myself having restriction and how I would eat. I can’t do that anymore. I can’t plausibly imagine myself losing any more weight or having restriction. It’s almost indescribable how down I am about this.

I haven’t been able to convince myself to go to the gym all weekend. Mr. Kennedy made some divine baked penne, and I ate two and a half large bowls of it. I am a loser.

Shopping Spree Total: $273

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Fifth Fill

I went in for my fifth fill today. While the nurse was taking my vital stats, I told her how frustrated I was that I still didn’t have restriction. I was also up a pound from the last time I’d been there.

The nurse decided that Dr. Horgan should do my fill himself. I re-explained to him how frustrated I was, and he commiserated. He expressed some concern that I had actually put on a pound, and I felt like he took my concern seriously. He didn’t just blow me off as being impatient. He put in another half cc (for a total of 3.25) and told me to call him Monday if it still wasn’t right. This fill hurt the worst of any so far, and I felt myself in the early stages of passing out. Luckily he finished before I got too far into it, and I was able to shake it off. Dr. Horgan said my abs looked good.

Monday, October 10, 2005

No restriction!

Well, the weight loss was some sort of fluke, because I’m back up to 182. Truly, I don’t understand how my body is functioning. How in the name of God am I gaining weight? Seriously, I have to eat very few calories and then exercise every single one of them off to lose weight. That isn’t right! I should get to eat something.

My fourth fill has also failed to give me restriction. I’ve made another appointment for Wednesday to take my fifth crack at this.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Heading to 12

When my jet-lagged carcass woke up at 5:00 a.m. yet again, I rolled out and weighed myself. 179.5, my friends. Seven more pounds until a size 12.

In the spirit of maintaining my unexpected weight loss momentum, and not looking the weight-loss gift horse in the mouth, I went to the gym for the first time since leaving for Germany. I thought I’d really struggle, but I picked up where I left off. I’m stunned that the two-week Germany debacle has not had any consequences.

I had some tomato soup for lunch. I felt pleasantly full after eating half the bowl. That seems promising, but only time and solid food will tell if I have restriction.

Shopping Spree Total: $246.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Scale Hallucinations

Back in America, I stepped on the scale for the moment of truth. The scale hesitated, and then said 181.5. I am down a half a pound since I left. I was so utterly flabbergasted that I wasn’t even delighted at first. I stepped on and off the scale a few times to make sure. But it was consistent at 181.5. I know that I’m still retaining water from the fact that it was hard to find non-carbonated beverages in Germany, even water. Thanking the gods of band-loss, I put my clothes on and got ready for work.

I had my fourth fill today. Dr. Hot did it this time, and he too is a lot quicker and less painful than Dr. Nice. This was the least painful so far. He put in another .2 ccs for a grand total of 3.2 ccs.

While I was waiting for the fill, I chatted with the lady after me. I asked her whether she really was limited to 4 ounces per meal - that still boggles my mind. She said that she was, and that if she tried to exceed that it would promptly come back up. I really hope this fill will work.

I expressed my concern to Dr. Hot that I would ever have good restriction. He said that if this didn’t do it, we may have to evaluate what I’m eating more closely. That kind of worried me, because for the most part I do make good food choices. So cross your fingers for me. In 48 hours, when I can eat solid foods, I’ll know if it worked.

Shopping Spree Total: $241.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Pass the Chocolate

Today I was eating pasta at lunch. I didn’t chew it up as well as I should have, and the pain thing happened again. It was excruciating. I got up and walked around, and that helped. However, the mucous and the saliva thing started up, and I had to go throw up again. What is happening? That never happened to me at home.

Yesterday afternoon my colleague bought some chocolate that had blueberries and nuts in it. We all tried some of it, and it was nasty. So we left the remainder on the table when we left for the night. When we showed up this morning, all but a little bit of it had been eaten by someone during the night. WHO EATS OTHER PEOPLE’S OPENED, GNAWED-ON FOOD? Who does that?

I’m going home tomorrow. I greatly fear what the scale will have to say about my eating and lack of exercise on this trip. I guess if it’s anything under 190, I’ll be grimly pleased.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Sausage at Every Meal

More than a week into my sausage-at-every-meal eating plan, I’m starting to really worry about packing on some pounds on this trip. All I do is eat sausage and eggs and candy, and then go to work and sit on my ass for hours, and then eat and go to bed. I shudder to think how bad my weight is going to be upon return. In fact, it just occurred to me that I brought a size 14 suit with me on this trip, and if I don’t knock it off I could gain myself right out of it in under two weeks.

How on earth are the Germans so much skinnier than Americans? The cliché is that Europeans eat smaller portions and get more exercise. I did not find that to be the case in Germany. The portion sizes are the same as in America, and I have yet to lay eyes on a single green vegetable. They eat fatty meats with gravy, noodles, mashed potatoes, and lots of delicious bread. Fish is not a big thing here, and I haven’t seen chicken offered yet.

I also don’t see how Germans exercise more. It seems like people don’t drive, but rather take public transportation to work. I didn’t notice more than a handful of people walking to work either. I have not seen a single gym either. Maybe it’s just because the food is so repetitive that eating loses its appeal after eating it for a while. I know the luster has worn of for me.

This morning at breakfast, I was eating fried potatoes, which would be in the mushy category of food. I thoroughly chewed them, and yet I felt a milder version of that same pain that I had last week. Drinking made it worse. I just waited it out this time, and eventually it subsided enough that I could stand to keep eating. That pain certainly takes the wind out of my dining sails.