Friday, July 30, 2010

Adjusting to my adjustment

I'm still adjusting to my last band adjustment (the fill).

Today is weigh day. I lost 1.6 lbs in the past week – hurray! In April I had bought some dressy “city shorts” to wear to work (on me, they’re more like capris!). When I put them on yesterday morning, they drooped big time. A waste of money to get so little wear out of them, but I like it when clothes get looser instead of tighter!

The droopy shorts were about the only good thing about yesterday...the store was a back-to-school zoo, and we had a customer appreciation promotion with extra discounts. All day long, I kept thinking that something was “off” with me (aside from my ineptitude with ringing up customer purchases), but I wasn’t having much pain, I wasn’t tired…finally I realized, I’m not hungry! I kind of missed it – the hunger, the anticipating of eating, the meal. I’ve had my band for almost 3 years now – I wanted so much to be released from hunger – and when hunger is gone, I miss it!

It was hard to eat anything yesterday, probably because of the stress, but I’m beginning to realize that I can’t eat real food until early to mid afternoon now, and not at all during my 15-min breaks at work no matter what time of day it is (I just can’t eat that fast), so I will have to plan accordingly. Sadly, the protein bars I've been having every morning on the way to work have got to go. I love them – they’re like a “legal” candy bar – but they’re just too dense. So I got some Kashi Go Lean Crunchy fiber & protein bars – not as yummy as the protein bars, but pretty tasty and because they’re so crunchy, it’s easier to eat them.

Also, I have discovered that I have mild lactose intolerance. For the past few months, I’ve had annoying flatulence. I did some internet research and decided to reduce my dairy consumption and to try Lactaid milk and take Lactaid pills when I have anything dairy. That worked very well. Then I ran out of Lactaid milk and was in too much of a rush to go to the supermarket for it. I picked up regular milk at a convenience store and even though I was taking the Lactaid pills, the flatulence came back the next day.

And finally, there’s the pill taking in general. I’ve been splitting my medication tablets in half, but even that isn’t small enough. I’m going to have to switch to quarter pieces. This is like learning to be a bandster all over again!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fine-tuning my band book

I often say that the adjustable gastric band requires a lot of fine-tuning in order to work optimally. So, it turns out, does my band book.

Two days ago I received proofs of the cover and text from the printer. I'm about halfway through proof-reading the text. I proof-read it very carefully before I sent the file to the printer, but now I can see dozens of things in it that I could have done better. Occasionally I'll read a few paragraphs and think, "Did I write that? That's brilliant!" but mostly it's, "Ugh."

But I cannot spend the rest of my life perfecting this book. If I did that, the AGB will be an antique oddity by the time I finally publish the book.


An adjustment is when your surgeon adds fluid to your band, or takes some out. Most bandsters refer to this as fills and unfills, but the official term is adjustment. I had an adjustment on Tuesday that brought me back up to 2.7 cc in my 4 cc band - a fill level I haven't had since my first bandiversary (Sept. 2008). So far, it's what I would call a "kick ass" fill. Exactly what I wanted, but I'm having to make a lot of mental adjustments to it.

For several months, I'd been eating two basic meals for breakfast:
1. Greek yogurt with cottage cheese, berries, and chopped nuts, or:
2. Oatmeal with chopped fruit & nuts

I really, really enjoy those breakfasts, especially the yogurt concoction. Inspired by my bandster buddy, Nina, I was going to try a breakfast parfait of yogurt, berries, and granola. But not right now, I'm sad to say. This morning I faced up to the fact that I can't even eat yogurt (never mind the goodies mixed into it) for breakfast now. It's back to protein shakes.

My favorite protein shake is actually very tasty. In the blender, I whiz:
12 oz LF milk (I'm using Lactaid now because I think I've got mild lactose intolerance)
1 scoop Click espresso protein powder (supposedly mocha flavor, but all I taste is coffee)
1/2 scoop Unjury vanilla protein powder
2-3 ice cubes

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Act your age? Maybe not.

The other day I wore a new outfit to work. It consisted of this drapey lime green tunic over a white tank top and white leggings, white sandals, turqouise earrings, and a multistrand necklace of turquoise & green beads. I thought I looked quite fetching in this get-up, though it did occur to me that I might be pushing my luck as far as the store dress code goes.

I stopped at Higher Ground, the Starbucks-type coffee shop, for my iced skinny latte. An attractive man, about my age, was sitting at one of the tables outside the shop, and as I walked across the parking lot, I became aware that he was watching me. And why not? There isn't much else to watch from that spot except street traffic: an endless flow of pickup trucks.
As I got closer to the shop, I could see the expression on the man's face, and realized that he was not looking at me like I was a pickup truck. He was looking at me with interest...and possibly with appreciation. He gave me a little smile as I went into the shop. Not the usual all-purpose Southern "Howareyoo?" greeting, but (it seemed to me) a smile just for me.
Well, I felt like a movie star as I waited for my latte. It's amazing what a little admiration can do for your ego. The man was talking on his cell phone when I left the shop. The only other person who seemed to appreciate my appearance that day was one of my college-girl coworkers ("I like your outfit, Miss Jean"). A few hours into my shift, I caught sight of myself in one of the store mirrors and suddenly thought, "That man was probably thinking, 'Look at that old fool, dressed like a teenager.' I should just dress and act my age."
But maybe not. Surely I have paid my dues to the Appropriate Dress Society. I don't wear white until after Memorial Day. I wear a bra (plus outer clothes) when in public. I don't wear plunging necklines, Daisy Duke shorts, spike heels, tattoos or body jewelry other than earrings. I don't wear blue jeans to church, or a bikini at the beach. I'm 56 years old and am no longer very interested in what other people think of my clothing choices. So every now and then, I think I'm entitled to dress like a girl 30-40 years younger than me. There is still a girl that age somewhere inside me, and she's delighted that I'm thin enough now to take more wardrobe risks.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

"Why do you even bother?"

At work the other day, at break time I found two other associates in the breakroom eating their lunches. One of them is a slender 19-yr-old and the other is a pudgy 40-something. They were eating Taco Bell specials and sharing an order of sugary fried cinnamon tortilla strips (I have no idea what they're called officially, and certainly don't need to know).

I pulled my lunch out of the fridge and set it on the table near them. I had a sunflower seed coated cheese ball (1-1/2" to 2" in diameter) and 1/2 cup of chopped apple mixed with lite cool whip and sugar-free butterscotch pudding mix. My coworkers both studied my little containers and exclaimed: "Why do you even bother?" (said by the teen) and "A meal that size is just a teaser!" (said by the 40-something).

None of my coworkers there know that I had WLS. Well, one might suspect, because I used to work with her mom and my WLS is no secret at that company, and if that particular coworker has figured it out, I can trust her not to blab it to everyone else. I'm already famous at this store for my healthy meals ("What healthy thing you got for lunch today, Miss Jean?"). Now I'm famous for being weird, too!

But the funniest part (for me) was the fact that I was too full to finish the apple & Cool Whip stuff! I hid that from my coworkers, though, by taking my teeny containers to the kitchenette counter and hiding behind the fridge while scraping the leftovers into a paper towel before dropping the whole thing in the trash.