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.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

Post-Turkey Weigh In

I weighed in this morning at 175, down a pound from last week. I had hoped for more, but I still feel that I vanquished Thanksgiving and emerged victorious.

Mr. Kennedy and I bought a new Christmas tree last night. I think we may have overdone it. It's 9.5 feet tall! We drank some wine and decorated it tonight.

On a related note, I would like to state for the medical record that a side-effect of weight loss is increased sex drive. Any thoughts on why? :)

Shopping Spree Total: $445

Thursday, November 24, 2005

Thanksgiving

Today was every dieter's hell - Thanksgiving. I think I did pretty well. I just tried to eat a taste of lots of things.

I was kind of excited to see my family. I haven't seen them in a while and I thought someone might notice my weight loss. No one noticed except my mother-in-law, who made a gracious comment about it. Before one might think my in-laws have turned over a new leaf, my sister-in-law piped up and said, "You'd better not go buy any new clothes, though. You have a lot more weight to go." Before you pity me, I should own up to the fact that this comment pissed me off, and I made a none-too-veiled comment about her being a slut later on. I didn't exactly stay on the high road.

Yesterday I started a couch-to-5k program. I don't know that I will ever run a 5k, but I need to change up my exercise routine. I was gratified to learn that I didn't need to begin at the beginning of the program. I could run 5 minutes straight at a time, and then walk one minute, and that put me in the middle of the program.

This morning when I woke up, I was SO SORE. For some reason jogging doesn't strike me as an activity that causes soreness. My hip flexors were really bad, and my abs and inner thighs were touchy too. I'm in favor of anything that makes my abs sore.

Shopping Spree Total: $435.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Eating as Much as Ever

Mr. Kennedy and I went to a Mexican place for lunch today. I ate half of our appetizer, and all of my entree. It occurred to me that that's exactly what I used to eat before surgery. I am very worried now. Hopefully I can make an appointment to see Dr. Horgan on Wednesday.

Saturday, November 19, 2005

176 - Grrrr

After class this morning with the Benevolent Despot, Mr. Kennedy and I were curled up on the couch watching football. I told him how I'm wearing a size twelve these days, and he asked me if I'm happy about that. Actually, I'm not particularly excited about this, and I don't know why. I guess I feel comfortable about how I look now. I don't look hot or anything, but I don't think I stand out as "The Fat One" in a group anymore. I can tell Mr. Kennedy thinks I look good; I don't think so, but I think that lies more with my head than with my ass.

I weighed in at 176 for the week, up a half-pound. I couldn't expect more, given the food fest last weekend and the food at the conference. Yesterday they served us fried fish and macaroni and cheese for lunch, with rice pudding for dessert. What the hell am I supposed to eat of that? And what are we, nine years old?

I've got to give myself props for something. Lawyers are well-known for being big drinkers, and high end lawyers just drink more of better booze. My firm has a particularly work-hard-play-hard reputation. This conference was a booze-soaked event, beginning with a cocktail hour, moving into a wine-sodden dinner, and ending with a partner opening up a tab at a local bar. Since alcohol is just drinkable calories, I didn't have any the entire time. I've noticed that I get nervous at cocktail parties (you'd think I'd be used to them by now), and I will distract myself with eating or sipping a drink. But I didn't this time, and that is an achievement.

Shopping Spree Total: $425

Friday, November 18, 2005

New York, New York

My conference didn't start until 11:00 this morning. I got my wake up call at 8:00 and lay bed until 8:45 debating whether or not to go to the hotel's fitness center and work out. Finally, I hauled myself out of bed and headed for the elliptical.

The conference I'm attending is at the new York office of my law firm, with people from our Chicago, New York and San Francisco offices in attendance. I was silently amused to see lunch include a tofu platter. First, it's kind of ill-thought-out to serve tofu to Midwesterners, even the yuppie sort. It's doubly funny because of the nature of our practice group. All of us, from the partners on down, either bring our lunches or get burritos from Taco Fresco every day. We're not fancy eaters. We're probably the most blue-collar people in the entire Chicago office, much less with the New Yorkers thrown in.

I wrote a speech for one of the partners to give at this event, and it was totally brutal watching him give it. It went great, but I was so nervous watching him. It is definitely more nerve-wracking for me to watch other people deliver my speeches than for me to give the speech myself.

I'm a boredom eater, so I'm struggling to sit through hours of speakers in a room lined with baskets of potato chips, cookies and desserts all day. I took a bag of chips with me to my seat, but then I decided I wasn't actually hungry and put it back. I have been a paragon of virtue today.

I looked over and saw my boss eating a bag of potato chips. I guess if I ran marathons, I'd be entitled to eat chips too. Until then, not so much. Besides, I had chips last weekend and look where that got me.

Both of my bosses are fine physical specimens. In fact, everyone in my practice group is in pretty good shape; I'm easily the fattest person in my group. However, as I go down and others go up, that may not be the case soon. But it makes me really uncomfortable. Thin people often stereotype fat people, imputing traits like sloth and a lack of discipline to them. No matter how much weight I lose, it may be too late to shake that perception. I might have to change jobs to shake it. The thought of interviewing skinny is a lot more appealing than interviewing fat.

Shopping Spree Total: $425

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Brrr

I finally screwed up the nerve to weigh myself this morning: 176.5, still up a pound from last week. Ugh. But it's no more than I deserve for eating like I did. The good news is that I'm down another dress size to a size 12. There aren't very many pairs of pants in my 12 pile, only three. I wonder what I wore last time I was this size.

I had to fly to New York City this afternoon, but I took the morning off. I went to my weigh class this morning, which was taught by Glinda the Benevolent Despot. I hate her while I'm in there, but she gives me the toughest workout of all the teachers by far. That's surprising, given that her step class is so weak that I won't go anymore. The class was the Stepford Wives edition again. So much bright-colored lipstick in one exercise class.

Speaking of weight class, I wrote in the past that my port site no longer hurt when I did ab exercises. After I got my last fill, I went to weights class afterward, and the port site was uncomfortable enough to make me stop during the ab section. My port site also swelled and bruised a bit.

Winter arrived in Chicago today. We had wild winds and snow all day. Unfortunately, this weather coincided with my need to fly to New York. The result was me sitting on the tarmac watching the snow blow for two hours. Not only did this suck because planes suck, but also because I wanted to get into New York early enough to have dinner with one of my friends from law school. On a good note, I've lost enough weight to where I can wear long johns under my old work pants without looking like a sausage.

Shopping Spree Total: $420

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Willpower

I'm on punitive food lock-down this week after the barbeque debacle this weekend. I've been too afraid to weigh myself since then.

I always go straight to the gym after work, because once I go home, I won't leave again. Especially if it's cold. Tonight I didn't feel well, and so I went home after work. I even settled down into some couch-cuddling with Mr. Kennedy to watch The Biggest Loser. I don't know why I watch that show - it's boring. But afterward, I hauled my butt off the couch and to the basement, where I did my entire Kathy Smith step tape.

When I started doing the tape, I would put the step on the lowest height and not do the high-impact moves, and my pulse would be off the top of the charts. Tonight I put the step on the next higher level, did the high impact moves, and my pulse was right at the top of the charts, but not off them. It's official: I'm in much better shape.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Sliming

175.5, down one pound for the week. I'm happy with it. I'm going out of town for the weekend, so this should be a bad start to this week.

I made an omelet for breakfast before we hit the road this morning. I struggled mightily with it. Every bite gave me trouble, and I constantly slimed. I'm not sure I've described the sliming sensation of getting stuck, so here it is. Your nose produces copious amounts of mucous. It's a lot like having allergies: very thin mucous that you swallow, which in turn makes you hurt a little bit more. Unless I've run out of other ideas, I don't drink anything to help wash it through. If it's not ready to pass through, then the added liquid and pressure just makes it hurt more.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Put Some Clothes On

When I was at the gym yesterday, there was a middle aged woman on an elliptical near me. She was wearing just a sports bra and spandex pants to work out in, and she was quite a bit too heavy to be wearing such a skimpy get-up in public. I thought to myself with a shiver, "That's exactly how I would look if I wore something like that to the gym." Then it hit me: I have lost enough weight that I am now at a weight where women make fashion mistakes like working out in a sports bra. If I'd done that before, I'd have been arrested for indecent exposure and confined for a psych evaluation. If I did that now, I'd just get shaking heads and mocking looks from the people around me. Someone might write a snarky blog entry about me, but no one's trying to cover me with a sheet. That's huge.

My mom came to visit me today, and we went to the Oak Brook mall to do some Christmas shopping. It has been years since my mom and I have spent the day together, and it was very nice to hang out together.

Williams Sonoma had some very cute stuff today that I had not seen before. It had cake pans that make three-dimensional cakes. One was a tall, skinny snowman; one was a gingerbread castle, and one was a fat pumpkin.

I'm still not restricted. I didn't even notice a difference with this latest fill. I have not taken the exercise very seriously this week either. I'm not looking forward to the weigh in tomorrow.

Thursday, November 10, 2005

The Aftermath

The scale was my friend this morning, showing a sunny 176. That's a half-pound down for the week. I'd like to improve upon that a bit if I can, but that's still good for me in the beginning of a weight lifting routine. I haven't taken exercise seriously enough this week.

Today was the first morning I haven't been sore since beginning that weight lifting class.

I had a protein drink for lunch, then some chili, cottage cheese and applesauce for lunch. That makes me somewhat compliant, right? I'm still not well restricted, I can tell that already. We'll see if it's better than it was.

Shopping Spree Total: $400

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Eighth Fill

I went in for my eighth fill this afternoon. I love their scale - it said 175.5 in the middle of the day. But the official tally is by the home scale, so no premature celebration.

Dr. Horgan started to give me the speech, but then he decided to do a barium swallow before sticking me. We both watched as the liquid swooshed through the pouch like the Log Flume ride at Disney World, and then he shut the hell up and gave me a fill.

We'll see how this goes. The early indicators are that this isn't going to get it done either, but we can't tell until solid foods. This time I'm at least going to make a token effort of complying with the two days liquid, two days mushies rule.

Shopping Spree Total: $395

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The Tuesday Routine

This morning my weight was up three pounds from Saturday's official weigh-in. I had my weekly breakdown to Mr. Kennedy while we made dinner. He did an admirable job of suppressing the eye roll, and reminded me that I have this exact breakdown at the beginning of every week, when my weight inexplicably bounces up.

Shopping Spree Total: $390

Monday, November 07, 2005

Foot NSV

Mr. Kennedy usefully pointed out to me that if I don't get a fill this Wednesday, I won't be able to get one until December. Dr. Horgan only does fills on Wednesdays and Fridays. That's how packed the rest of this month is for me in travel. So I made an appointment for Wednesday. I really hope Dr. Horgan doesn't hassle me about it.

It occurred to me this morning that I have had a huge non-scale victory, and I have failed to notice or appreciate it. For those who have never haunted the Weight Watchers message boards, a NSV is something good that you notice about yourself that is related to weight loss, but isn't a drop on the scale. Some examples include going down a size, being able to do something physically you couldn't do before, or someone noticing your weight loss.

My NSV is that my feet and ankles are no longer searingly painful when I get out of bed in the morning. For years I have had to walk gingerly to the bathroom in the morning. Eventually, if I keep moving around, they stop hurting and feel fine, but those first few minutes were tough. Now they feel fine right from the start.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Reflection on My Weight Loss

I had a reader write me and ask if I am pleased with my weight loss so far. That's a more complicated question than she anticipated, and so I'm going to answer it here. I think the answer also speaks toward the ultimate question that everyone who is considering the band has for me: knowing then what you know now, would you get the band again?

On the one hand, I have lost 31 pounds in 17 weeks. The literature indicates that a weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week is a reasonable expectation. I am within that range. Although I sometimes become impatient, going slowly has an advantage for me. I don't have as much weight to lose as some people do, and I think that if I take my time and give my body time to adjust, then I won't have baggy excess skin, and thus I won't need or want any cosmetic surgery. Furthermore, no one knows that I did this. Because the weight didn't just up and fall off, no one even remotely suspects that I've had this done. In fact, people are just starting to notice that I've lost weight.

On the other hand, I am as impatient as anyone else to lose weight, look good and feel good. I feel like I have to work harder than other bandsters to lose weight: I have to completely lock down on my eating, and I work out A LOT, a fact to which my loyal readers can attest. It seems odd that it takes so much effort, because I am a very young bandster, and I get way more exercise and am much healthier than the average bandster.

There are some days when that really gets me down. However, it makes me feel like I own this weight loss. I am strongly against people taking the easy way out on things, and taking credit for things not of their doing. The fact that I have to make the same effort now as I did when I lost weight without the band makes me know that the weight loss is at least partially my own achievement. It's not as though Dr. Horgan stuck the band in me, and now the weight is magically melting off. I'm working for every loss.

When I told my husband that I wanted to do this, I was afraid he would lose respect for me because I was taking the easy way out. He told me that he could respect this decision if I was doing it for the right reason (primarily to be healthy and live longer), and if, to that end, I added exercise to the program. I know that he sees all my efforts, and would never think that this was easy for me. I do, however, feel guilty accepting compliments on my weight loss.

I have also had a very unusual experience with fills, as I have had seven fills and still am not restricted. That is very frustrating to me. It is only lately, perhaps the last two fills, that I feel like the band is assisting me at all in limiting the amount of food I eat. Before that, I truly feel that I lost the weight on my own. I wish that I could get more benefit out of my band. Perhaps eventually I will.

Right now, Dr. Horgan and I are at a denouement. He thinks I am restricted and don't know it. I know that I am not. However, I am losing weight, and now that I have experienced getting stuck a few times, I don't want to be more restricted unless I need to be. And I don't yet. So I'm going to go along with him for my own reasons. It's not that he wouldn't give me another fill - he listens to me, and he would do it if I asked for it.

Shopping Spree Total: $385

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Still Losing Weight

My weigh-in this morning was positive: 176.5, down a half pound. This may not seem like a lot, but it's a huge victory for me. Whenever I begin a lifting regimen, I will gain a little weight and not lose again for at least a month. The loss means that the weight loss outpaced the muscle gain by a half-pound. I did good work this week.

I hate my Saturday step class. The regular teacher was there today. She's one of those who likes to do a lot of sequences off the step, which have the combined effect of making the footwork more confusing while workout is less intense. I absolutely hate that. I'm not sure I'm going to keep going. If it's not going to be any harder than that, it's kind of a waste of time.

The lifting class was the usual thing of beauty. Brutal. It occurred to me, mid-bicycle crunch, that my port site no longer hurts or twinges when I do abdominal exercises. That's a good thing.

Shopping Spree Total: $380

Friday, November 04, 2005

Casual Corner - It Gone!

Casual Corner is going out of business. The whole chain, not just one store. I've always admired their clothes, but they are pricy.

Mr. Kennedy and I went to the closeout sale this evening, and he talked me into buying some clothes for when I've lost some more weight. He put together some very cute outfits for me. I wound up with five blouses and two sweaters. It's a well-known fact that I can't dress myself with any flair. I just buy the same thing in different colors.

This is the first time that I've felt comfortable doing something concrete to demonstrate my confidence that I will continue to lose weight. It's risky to buy clothes you can't return in a smaller size. In a nod to sanity, I didn't buy any pants - I'm picky about how they fit. At most, I will have to lose about 15 pounds to get into all the stuff I bought tonight.

I wonder what I will look like when I'm done. I wonder if I can get all the way down to 140 pounds, which is the highest weight that is considered healthy for my height. Last time I lost a lot of weight, I started getting into a size 14 at 174 pounds. This time I was there at about 182. At 177, I can wear some of my size 12 pants. I wonder what size I would wear at 140 pounds. I've never been that weight.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Extra Effort

I did it! I got up and went to class this morning! Before dawn. I'm really glad I went. The crowd was a lot more normal-looking and -acting, so that was positive as well. I also walked on the treadmill at work, and did the incline after work, for a grand total of three workouts today. I therefore earned $15 toward the shopping spree, and I hereby award myself an additional $5 for sheer effort. I have had to work a ton of hours this week, and I exceeded my own expectations for making an extra effort to fit in exercise.

Shopping Spree Total: $370

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Chock Full of Water

It took until this morning for me to get rid of the water weight I gained from the sore muscles Saturday caused. If I lose weight at all this week, it will be an abject miracle. I would imagine that I will gain muscle from Saturday's class, and I'm planning to take the class again tomorrow.

I've vowed to take the weight lifting class twice per week, because I think that's the minimum I have to do to get results and avoid horrific soreness after every session. But I didn't get out of work in time to make it to the one tonight, so it's going to have to be the one tomorrow morning at 5:45.

I don't do morning workouts. Getting out of bed just to go to work is a daily fight, but getting up to do something optional? I think not. It would work out much better for my life if I worked out in the morning. However, it's more important that I do it than it is when I do it, and so evening it is. The very fact that I'm contemplating taking this class in the morning demonstrates my commitment to it.

Shopping Spree Total: $350