Sunday, September 25, 2011

At Last!!

It's been quite some time since I have blogged, and quite a lot has happened!  I got to meet Ms. Amy W. while she was here in Charlotte for a work thing.  It was really nice to finally meet her in person, though I can honestly say that I felt like I knew her already, just from reading her blog.  She is just as great in person as she is in blog!  I also got to meet Heather.  We talked a lot about our bands... She let me feel her up - well.... her port baby, anyway.... We talked about my upcoming wedding, exercise, getting stuck, etc.  It was great!  

These past few weeks at work have been ridiculously stressful for me.  I never again want to go through a merger.  I have been in all kinds of training, totally new systems, etc etc.  I know that once it's done, it will most likely be for the better, but for now.... bleh.

On a brighter note... today is officially weigh in day, and I came in at 287.7!  I honestly did a double take when I saw it~haha.  I was like... wait... I GAINED?!!!  Then I realized that it was an 8 in the middle and not a 9.  Oh happy day!  I have been doing well with this adjustment.  One thing that I have realized, however, is that the days that I'm not eating ENOUGH food are actually worse on me than the days that I splurge and eat crap.  Not that I splurge all that often, but my point is that it's just as bad for your body to eat too few calories as when you eat way too many.  That's something that has been difficult for me to adjust to.

Wedding plans are coming along nicely.  Yesterday was my official 6 month mark in the countdown.  I went last weekend with my Maid of Honor to try on wedding dresses.  And... I cried~haha.  Not because I found "the dress", because I'm not sure that I did, but because I couldn't believe how nice my body looked in those dresses, and the fact that I was able to fit a 22, when last time I was in a bridal shop (for a prom dress) I had to buy a 32.  Yeah... 32... in HIGH SCHOOL.  Too much.  I will be heading to another store on October 8th (which also just happens to be my birthday!) to try on some other dresses along with my mom, stepmom, bridesmaids, and my stepsister.  I can't wait!  Though my mom and I usually disagree more often than not, I know that I could never pick out a dress without her there.  It must be a Southern thing.

And... last but not least... I would like to discuss loose skin.  While I am supremely happy about the weight I have lost, my loose skin has really been causing me some problems.  I know it's not the most pleasant thing in the world to talk about, but I just wanna put it out there for anyone else having issues.  I have a severe yeast infection on the skin right above my hoo-ha where my stomach skin hangs over and is rubbing there.  Severe enough that I went to urgent care yesterday because it was so painful.  They gave me diflucan, which is what they also prescribe for vaginal yeast, and told me to get some Monistat cream (also for vaginal yeast) and rub it over the infected area.  If haven't been using it long enough to tell a difference yet, but I will let you all know how it goes.  I have some pictures, but I will not be sharing them on here because of the location.  I will, however be sharing them with my surgeon when I go back for my next fill so that it can be documented.  Things like that can help you qualify for skin removal with your insurance company so that it isn't considered purely cosmetic.

So.. I will keep you ladies posted on the wedding plans and other issues... we'll see how it all works out! =)  I hope you all are enjoying the nice season change (Fall and Winter are my FAVORITE seasons... I hate the summer!!!). 

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Could it be? The sweet spot?!

So I realized this morning while doing my weekly weigh in that I haven't posted in nearly a month!  What's wrong with me?!!!  Absolutely nothing.. I've just been crazy busy and on the go.

Hmm... Where to start... Well since today is Sunday, and my official weigh in day... I will start with that.  This morning I was 291.2!! =)  That means I am down 61 pounds, and I am so happy.  I have gotten down to an 18 on the top, and 20/22 (depending on the style) on the bottom.  I haven't been this size since I was a sophomore in HIGH SCHOOL.  I had a small fill (.5cc) on Wednesday, and I can definitely feel the restriction now... but not in a bad way.  I'm afraid to jinx myself, but I think that I may have just hit the "sweet spot"!  For those of you who aren't as familiar with the band... the "sweet spot" is the point where your band is perfectly filled.  Your eating is restricted, but not too restricted... you are losing, but not too quickly.  In other words... the perfect adjustment.

A few weeks ago, Daniel and I went on a much needed vacation for a whole week!   We went to the beach... a place that I love to go simply because I can relax and get away from everything, but also a place that I honestly hate going outside in.  I know that sounds silly, but as a girl weighing 352 pounds... I didn't exactly feel comfortable frolicking on the beach with half naked 110 pound girls in bikinis.  I haven't owned a bathing suit since I was about.... oh 12 or so.  I have always just worn a tank top and shorts out on the beach.  However, this trip I decided to try something new.  Daniel and I went into one of those stores that you see about every 6 feet at Myrtle Beach (Eagles I think...), and I actually found quite a few swimsuits that were suitable for a plus size girl, but not something that looked like my grandmother designed it.  After just 2 tries, I found something that I was completely in love with.  I actually teared up when I saw myself in it.  Daniel was smiling from ear to ear when I came out of the dressing room.  It was one of the best moments I have had in my weight loss journey.  Up until that point, the only thing that topped it was the day that I looked down at the scale and the number started with a 2 instead of a 3.  That was a great day =)  A few days later, we went for a stroll on the boardwalk, and as I was watching the sunset over the water, Daniel took a picture of me from behind.  When he showed me the picture a few minutes later, I started crying right then and there on the boardwalk.  Not just a stray tear, but a genuine cry.  I had no idea how much my body has changed since I started this journey, and until I saw that picture, I felt like I had not been as successful as I would have liked.  It was an amazing feeling that I wish I could share with each and every one of you.  Unfortunately, our condo was broken into during our stay and my purse was stolen with camera inside.  So that memory is something that I will just have to make sure I hold on to myself =)

In other news... Daniel and I have been busy, busy, busy making wedding plans.  We have completely changed ALL of the plans that we thought we had decided on before.  I don't want to give away too may details, but I think having everything in one location will be much less stressful than trying to move around.  Also, I really like the ideas that have come to mind since deciding on the new location.  I am an extremely creative, DIY craft type person... and this place is going to feed my addiction!!  I'm very excited for everyone to see it, and I am hoping that everyone loves it just as much as Daniel and I love it.  I can't wait until I finally get to the point that I can go dress shopping =)  This morning, we were trying to decide on some of the ceremony music... I cried during almost every song~haha.  What can I say, I'm just an emotional person.  I got it honestly though.  Most of the ladies in my family will cry at the drop of a hat.  Not a bad thing, just sometimes inconvenient haha!

Speaking of wedding planning, I took a break from making an Excel spreadsheet of wedding guests, so I must get back to the task at hand.  I just wanted to make sure that  I didn't neglect you guys any longer!!!

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Update Please?!

A few people have asked for an update on last weeks post.  So... here it is =)  

The more I thought about my visit to the podiatrist and EVERYTHING that went wrong with them, the more irritated I got.  So... I called and asked to speak to the office manager on Monday.  I told her the laundry list of things that had gone on from the first automated call to the last call to Daniel's phone.  She was extremely apologetic about everything and asked if she could call me back in a few minutes.  I wasn't really sure why.. but I agreed.  Well, when she called back, she said that she had both of the medications for you at no cost, and we will be happy to send them in the mail to you so that you don't have to make another trip over here.  So.. yay!  I doubt I will go back, just on principal, but it was nice to be heard.

Next on the agenda, my "visitor".  After just  days on the NuvaRing, she decided to pack her suitcase and go back wherever she came from.. haha =)  And now after about a week, my moods have stabilized (no more crazy lady) and my energy level has definitely increased.  I can honestly say that I am very happy with the choice to switch.

Since I haven't really talked about my band lately, I will give you all an update on that.  On Sunday, my official weigh in was 297 =)  No as much progress as I had been hoping for lately, but I have no one but myself to blame for that one.  I have been naughty... and drinking soda has been my number one crime!  Not even diet soda , but full on... 240 calories per can... glorious sugary Mountain Dew.  I noticed that my band no longer had restriction... I was able to eat anything and EVERYTHING I wanted.  Not good.  I have really been focusing on my water intake this week.  It's still not where it should be, but it's a lot better than it has been!  I am also guilty of drinking during and shortly after my meals.  Also not good.  My lapband doctor explained that this helps to wash your food down, and when you have something like the band in place to help hold your food in the top pouch for an extended period of time to help you stay fuller longer... this kind of defeats the purpose, huh?  So, you guys have my commitment to work on those two things.  My success obviously depends on it, considering the fact that I actually gained weight in the last 2 weeks.

On a brighter note:  Today starts my 10 day vacation!!  Daniel and I are heading to the beach on Sunday morning and staying through next Sunday =)  We haven't had any sort of vacation since last October, so we are both REALLY looking forward to it!  I am having a yard sale in the morning to clean out some junk from my house and hopefully get some gas money for said vacation~haha.  I am also considering heading down to the arts district (NoDa)  tonight to set up a cupcake table.  I had planned to go Friday night, but the weather channel said it was supposed to rain, so I didn't bake anything.  Do you think it rained?  HECK NO!  There was not a cloud in the sky and it was a nice 78 degrees outside.  Perfect cupcaking weather~haha.  So, maybe tonight I will have some luck, we'll see how it goes.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

Hi... Ummmm... Nancy?

Ok, so.... I'm not sure if I have shared this with you all, but I work at a bank.  My particular branch is open on Saturdays, so we have to take turns working.  In return, we get an entire day off during the week.  Today just happened to be my day off, so I made a few doctors appointments for the day.  

First off, I had to go see the "lady doctor".  First off, I have been a raging bitch for the past month or so (just ask Daniel, I'm sure he will confirm this statement.. and then beg you not to tell me he did).  Secondly, I have always had problems with my "monthly visitor", and I was really hoping that my Lapband surgery might have cleared some of that up, as it does with many women.  Lots of times, obese women have extended periods or, on the flip side, completely missed periods.  My doctor explained that it's due to the extra stress that is on your body from the excess weight as well as the fluctuations in hormones that are slightly more common in overweight women.  I have had both problems.  Sometimes I will go 6 or 8 months with no visit at all.  Other times, like now, my visitor decides to pack extra suitcases and have an extended stay with me... to the tune of THREE MONTHS!  Yeah.. I'm over it.  One thing that band patients are told from the beginning is that their body can't absorb nutrients and vitamins the same way after surgery.  Well, this also applies to "extended time release medications".  Birth control pills fall into this category.  So today my doctor and I decided to switch things up a bit.  This may seem like TMI for some of you... but it's definitely something to think about:  I am going to start using the Nuva Ring instead of pills.  This way I am still getting protection, but because of where the Nuva Ring is placed, my band CAN'T interfere with it.  I will let you all know how it goes =)

On to the next appointment of the day.  This one doesn't really have any educational value for you all, but it was certainly educational for me.  I have had a few issues with my feet since I was in high school, and I finally decided that it was time to go see a podiatrist.  On Monday, an automated number called me to ask me to confirm my appointment, which I did.  Yesterday at 4:03 I got a call to my cell phone from a number I didn't recognize.  I saw the phone ringing, but I was a work, so I couldn't answer.  The call finally went away, which told me that I should have a voicemail in just a few seconds.  But, I didn't.  Then the phone rang again from the same number.  Not just one more time.  Not even two more times.  They called me FOUR TIMES total (back to back calls) before leaving a voicemail.  At this point I am panicking.  I'm thinking that something has happened to Daniel and the hospital is calling me, or something happened to his mother, all kinds of crazy thoughts went through my head.  Do you want to know what the voicemail said?  "Hi Nathalie, this is _____ from Dr. ____'s office just calling to confirm your appt for tomorrow.  Please return our call as soon as possible."  Really?  A) I have already confirmed through the automated system and  B) Was it really necessary to call me FOUR TIMES before deciding to leave the message?... I was slightly annoyed (blame it on my visitor!!!)  I went into the office today for my appointment, did all of the usual paperwork, and eventually went back into the exam room.  I spoke with the nurse, explained my issues, she got me all settled in the chair and said the doctor would be in shortly.  The doctor comes in, looks at my foot from at least a yard away and asks what he could do for me.  Never once looked at the notes that the nurse took several minutes writing for him, and couldn't possibly be able to see anything from where he was standing.  After explaining everything AGAIN, the doctor says to me "So, what would you like for me to do for you?"  Uhh.... I don't know, I didn't go to school to get a medical license.  That's why I came to YOU instead of seeing patients in my home.  So many rude and sarcastic answers came to my head.... but I eventually filtered them and came up with "Well, I was hoping that YOU might have some suggestions for ME."  He tells me he has something in mind and will be right back with some sample medication.  We finish up, and I go out to the counter to check out.  

With my insurance I don't have a co-pay, so I just needed to drop off my paperwork.  The nurse says "Hi Ms. Wilson, that will be $21.53."   Uhhhh... what now?  I say "What for?  I don't have a co-pay."  She responds, "Well, it looks like there is a charge for some medication you requested."  Once again... Uhhh.... what now?  I say "Oh, there must me a mix up.  Dr. ____ gave me some samples to try out and he said we would make a decision when I come back next week."  She says "Yes ma'am, and it looks like there is a charge of $19.99 for that medication, and an additional $32 for the other one."  WTF?  Since when do doctors charge you TWENTY DOLLARS for a sample??!  Isn't it called a sample for a reason?  I politely informed the nurse that I no longer want the samples, because I was not prepared to pay $50 for something that I was under the impression was free.  So... I left.  I was extremely irritated by the situation and the doctors "bedside" manner.  I had already made the decision that I would NOT be going back for my follow up next week.  I don't like shady people, especially someone who I am supposed to trust with my personal information and my health.  But, it was over, no one could force me to go back, so I was done with them... or so I thought.  When I got home several hours later (I needed some retail therapy after all that), Daniel handed me his phone to listen to a voicemail.  Here's how it started... "Good afternoon.... ummmm..... Nancy.....  You just left our office and Dr. ___ wanted us to give you a call because he was concerned that you opted not to keep the medication he gave you...... blah blah blah."  First off, if I had just left the office, you should know that my name isn't NANCY.  Secondly, Dr. ____ didn't GIVE me anything.  He was trying to charge me $50 for what he called samples.  Third, why is it that you called my "emergency contact" to leave this ridiculous message when you never once tried to call my phone.  I guarantee that you know the number, because you called it FOUR TIMES yesterday.  

Ok, so... that's the end of my rant for today.  Do you guys think I am over-reacting?  I have been known, more than a few times in my life, to do just that~ haha.  The whole thing just seemed ridiculously unprofessional to me.  I have considered returning their call tomorrow and give them a run down of all the reasons why I will NOT be returning next week.  Too much?

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Getting Over The Hump!!

Hello everyone!  Happy Hump Day =)

Since my last post, I FINALLY made it over "the hump".  You may ask "What hump are you talking about?!"  And to that I will say the 300 hump that's been haunting me!!  That's right, finally made it into the wonderful world of 200's, and I couldn't be happier!!  Well, maybe if I had skipped the 2's and went straight to the 100's... maybe then I would be a *little* happier... but beggers can't be choosers.  I haven't seen my weight starting with the number 2 since my freshman year in college.  My eyes actually teared up a little this morning when I looked down and saw that glorious number on my scale! 

So, last week I passed all of my too-big clothes on to a good friend of mine.  I had considered trying to sell them on Craigslist, as I am a shop-o-holic and still had lots of things with TAGS STILL ON THEM.  But, in the end, I decided it would be best to get on the good side of karma and see where it takes me.  Well, lo and behold, another of my good friends (who was banded about a year before me) messaged me and offered up her too-big clothes ranging from 20-24... which is EXACTLY what I am needing right now.  I love the little things that make the world go around =)

Daniel and I are counting down the days til our glorious VACATION!!!!  10, that's right, count them *10* wonderful, amazing, carefree, WORK free, house work free days at the beach, and I can't wait!!!  Just 16 days away =)  His family has been so kind as to let us use their condo, as we are trying to save up money for our wedding (which is only 8 short months away!), so that was also a nice little nudge and a wink from the karma fairy.  

Speaking of our wedding... last week we celebrated our FIVE YEAR anniversary =)  They were definitely not the easiest five years, we have had our hard times, ramen noodle dinners, sicknesses, job stress, money stress, family stress, and all of the other crazy things that come with a relationship.. but at the same time we have had wonderful weekends, fun vacations, great friends, and are very successful (in my opinion, anyway) for people our age.  We have always made it through everything stronger, and made it together.  I can't wait til March 24 when I can call myself his WIFE! =)  

Okay... enough of the sappiness... I hope you guys have a GREAT week =)  I will try to stay sane while I am on my vacay countdown.  I can't wait!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Well Hello There!

First off, I want to say "Hiiiiiii" to all of my new followers, and also give Amy W. a big thank you for sending some love my way =)

So, to catch all of the newbies up to speed, I will tell you a tiny bit about myself.  I have deemed Sundays to be my official weigh in day, so I always try to post my progress shortly thereafter.  I am 23 years old, and I live in Charlotte, North Carolina.  I am getting married in March 2012 to the most wonderful man in the world!  My starting weight was 352 lbs in November 2010 (I am 5'7), and I was banded on May 16th, 2011.  My ultimate goal number is 170, but I will honestly be happy with whatever my body decides.  Anything is better and much more healthy than where I began.

Now on to the fun stuff!  I weighed in yesterday at 301.8 =)  Finally over that 50 pound mark!!!  So... I treated myself with a little shopping (in my opinion, any excuse to go shopping is a good one, but losing 50 pounds is one of the best excuses I have ever heard).  I got some really cute shoes and a few new tops.  It's hard to restrain myself when I go shopping... especially now.  I am so excited about all of the things that fit me and actually look good, it's hard to remember that I *hopefully* won't be needing them very long... so I try to stick with the basics and things that I can mix and match.

I did get a fill last week, and let me just say... I love my new doctor!  He really takes the time to listen to what's going on with me, and he is very up front and honest.  My band will hold 11 CC's of fluid, and after last weeks fill I am at 6.5 CC's.  I definitely have some restriction back, which I am happy for.  For the last few weeks I was feeling like nothing had ever changed.  I could eat whatever, whenever without a second though.  It was hard the first few days after the fill, though.  After being unrestricted for a few weeks, I had to reteach myself to CHEW my food and SLOW DOWN.  Tonight jumpstarts my Zumba craze.  Daniel (my fiance) bought me Zumba for Wii at Christmas, and it has been sitting in a drawer collecting dust ever since.  Well, I decided that I am going to get down into the 200's, and the sooner I can get there, the better!  I want to be a sexy mamacita for my wedding!  

I am going to put a few pix of last weeks' shopping expedition... Let me know what you think!


New shirt!  (Same size 24 pants as last time, but I am starting to get boy crotch, so I think it may be time to move on to some 22's!)















New shoes!  All of my others make it sound like I am wearing flip flops bc they are TOO BIG =)  I bought 2 other pairs, but I thought these were the cutest =)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

What is it Lassie? Timmy Fell in the Well?!

No.... I didn't fall in a well, I've just been so crazy busy at work lately that all I want to do when I come home is sleep... not blog~haha.

So, it's been  two whole weeks since I posted!  A LOT has happened since then, so I will pick out the important parts and try not to bore you to death =)  I am currently at 303 (as of this morning)... just one measly pound from the first major goal I set for myself... FIFTY POUNDS DOWN!!!  I am down to a 24 in pants (and could possibly get a 22) and in a 22/24 in tops (some I can even get an 18/20!).  I am so very proud of myself.  I haven't been in a size 22 since 2005, when I started college, so this has made me feel really good!  I mentioned last time that my surgeon was leaving and that they had an ungodly wait time for appointments.  I had an appointment scheduled for August 14th, then another for September something-or-other.  Well, yesterday I got a call saying that they had accidentally scheduled my August appointment during the surgeons vacation, and that they would need to reschedule.  My first thought was "HELL NO I'M NOT WAITING TIL SEPTEMBER TO SEE MY DOCTOR!!!"  Then, before I could verbalize my disappointment, the sweet little voice on the other end of the line says "We have an appointment on Wednesday at 1, how does that sound?"  Uhhh... it sounds FABULOUS!  So, I will be seeing the other surgeon in the practice tomorrow for a check-up and *hopefully* a fill.  I will let you guys know how that goes. 

Next on the agenda.... 80% of my clothes are now officially too big!  I have spent more mornings than not just standing in my closet, staring at all of the things that I can no longer wear without looking like I got dressed in a Hefty trash bag factory, and getting mad at myself for not going shopping yet.  So, since I am off for the entire day tomorrow (thanks to my having to work this Saturday =| ), I have decided to devote at least a portion of the day to buying a few new items.  Even my shoes are too big, and I have grown tired of feeling like I am wearing flip flops even when I'm wearing dressy pumps.  I do know how to sew, therefore I have put my sewing machine to good use and taken in a few dresses and skirts (since those are the easiest to do), so at least I was able to save those.  The majority of my other clothes I am considering taking to a consignment shop.  Lots of them have been worn less than a dozen times... and there are still tags on more pieces than I'd like to admit!  So, maybe I can get some cash to fund my shopping expedition tomorrow =)

Sewing and Cash... that brings me to my next topic.  I am sure that I have mentioned to you all before that I am getting married in March.  We got engaged in February this year, and decided to give ourselves plenty of time to get things together.  That being said, I am definitely the DIY type.  I love anything crafty!  So, I have decided to try to do/make a lot of the elements for our wedding and/or reception myself.  It will save us a ton of money, and it's something that I LOVE doing, anyway =)  I made my ring bearer pillow last weekend, and it looks pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself.  I found a picture of one that was selling at Michaels Craft Store for $22... then I bought the supplies and made it myself to fit my color scheme.  I think I spent about... $5 over all?  I also have TONS of fabric left over, which I will be using in other projects, so really the cost was maybe $3.  No too shabby, eh?

So, with that, I will bid you all a good night and pleasant dreams.  I won't promise, but I will definitely TRY to post more often, rather than overwhelming you with 2 weeks packed into 2 paragraphs~haha.  



This is me during my last shopping extravaganza!  The new 22/24 me!


Ring bearer pillow for my wedding, hand crafted by yours truly. Don't fight ladies, I am taking orders now! =)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cupcakes and Cameras

I know I am a little late, but hey, I'm late for everything... you guys should be used to it by now haha.  Weigh in day was Sunday: 309.2 =)  Considering all of the ridiculous things that have gone into my mouth this weekend, I will be eternally grateful for that!  My Dad came down to spend the weekend with us, and we decided (very last minute) to have a cookout for the 4th (even though it was on the 2nd... but hey, who's counting?)  I made a delicious and not-so-terrible-for-me angel food cake topped with fat free cool whip, reduced sugar crushed pineapple and yummy fresh strawberries.  It was sooo good!  I had a really good time with all of the people that came over.  It's a nice change for us to have people over rather than us going to them.  My Dad is an EXCELLENT cook (you can ask anyone.... I don't think you will find a single person to disagree).  He made some homemade chili and slaw- both of which were awesome, and we had hamburgers, hot dogs, and grilled chicken.  My friend also made an amazing fruit salad - I was in Heaven!


I know that I mentioned to you guys last week that I was heading to NoDa (the artsy neighborhood nearby) on Friday to sell my cupcakes.  I was really hoping that things would go well, but they didn't.  They were AMAZING!!  I sold EIGHT DOZEN cupcakes in just 4 hours.  When you're selling one or two per customer, that's a lot of cupcakes!  I made a good amount of money and gave out tons of business cards.  I will definitely be doing that again!  I also bought a new camera this weekend so I can take pictures of my little beauties =) 

Now, on to a more serious note.  I called my Band Doc today to make an appointment.  I am right at 2 months, so it's time for a check up, and probably a fill, too.  My dreams came crashing to the floor!  I was informed that my surgeon is leaving the practice and that there are no openings with the other surgeon until MID AUGUST.  Ummm.... no sir.  This does NOT work for me.  I have started learning my body, and I have learned that it's time for a fill.  A month from now I am afraid that I will be back to my pre-surgery weight.  Now, I know that's not a logical thought, but I just don't like the feeling of not being able to schedule an appointment for over a month.  This is especially irritating considering how they stress the importance of keeping good communication with your surgeon and keeping your check up appointments, especially in the first year after surgery.  I will try calling to see if they may have some cancellations here and there, and maybe be on the look out for a new fill doctor.  :-/

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Pass the Cookies Please!

Once again, it's official weigh in day.  I am at 311.3... the same as last week.  I blame this on my period, or maybe the copious amounts of cookies and junk food I have eaten this week.  But hey, I can blame that on my period, too.  I have found that I am now able to eat MORE than I could before I got a fill.  I am not sure if this is thanks to my little visitor (because I have always been like a vacuum cleaner during that time of the month, sucking up any piece of chocolate or sugar in sight), or because I might need another fill.  I have an appointment in 2 weeks to check my progress and possibly get another fill, but I may call and see if I can't move that forward a little.  I don't want Mr. Scale to get back into his old habit of moving up instead of down.

On a side note, I have spoken about my cupcake business before.  There is an artsy neighborhood nearby (we are actually having our wedding reception there in March).  The first and third Friday of every month, all of the art galleries in this neighborhood open up their doors to everyone to come in and see what they have.  People also set up little tables on the sidewalks to sell their homemade goodies (soaps, jewelry, hairbows, etc).  There is also live music and things like that.  I will be setting up a table to sell my cupcakes this coming Friday.  This will be my first time trying this out, so I will let you guys know how that goes.  Fingers crossed, it will bring me a little business.  I am trying to build up some regular customers.

I am hoping next week at work will be calm and easy going.  My manager is leaving to go elsewhere after Friday, so this is the beginning of a big transition period for me.  Hopefully it won't be too stressful.  In the last month, we have hired FIVE new tellers.  This sounds great, it means we have more staff and less stress, right?  Wrong.  This means that we have five new people that pretty much need constant supervision .  After a few weeks this will be a positive thing.  I will only have to work 1 or 2 Saturdays per month, unlike July where I am scheduled for 4 out of 5 Saturdays.  That is the thing I am really looking forward to.  

Oh, I almost forgot to tell you!  In the last week or so I have had SEVERAL people tell me that they can really tell a difference with my weight loss.  This is a good feeling when I am having a down week.  Makes me smile from the inside out =)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

NOT What I Signed Up For

I went to Virginia this weekend to spend Father's Day with my Dad =)  I had a three day weekend, and took full advantage.  I got to spend the entire day on Monday with one of my two best friends.  I love it when you can go months without seeing someone, but the second you are back together, it's like you haven't missed any time at all.  

I bought some cute new clothes at Cato.  I haven't been in one of those stores in a while because the sizes are always irregular and a lot of the clothes are poor quality.  Well, Lane Bryant seems to have the same issue on the quality issue, and quite frankly, I am tired of paying $60 for a pair of pants that I now will only be able to wear for a month or so.  The cute outfit I got at LB last week cost as much as a really nice dress (nice enough to wear as a guest to a wedding, but I could also wear it to work), 3 shirts for work, a skirt for work, and a sundress for lounging around the house in all from Cato.  Maybe I will add some pix soon... we'll see~haha.

Also, because I was in VA, I didn't have a chance to do my official Sunday weigh in.  However, I was 311.1 on Tuesday, which is down 3.9 pounds from last Sunday!  I was very pleased with that, especially since this week my "monthly visitor" decided to move in.  I have always had ridiculously irregular periods, sometimes going 6 months or more without having one at all (which is what happened this time - I haven't had one since Christmas).  So, when my visitor finally decides to show up, she brings the wrath of her six month absence with her.  I actually had to leave work today to come home and sleep because I was cramping so badly and I was having to "change" about once an hour... this is NOT what I signed up for when I decided to have surgery-haha!  They said that one of the many positive things that come from LapBand is that it will help you get on a more regular schedule if you have previously been irregular.  It also allows people who were previously unable to conceive to be able to have children.  I guess the excess weight puts too much stress on the female organs, so losing the excess weight and the raging hormones that come with weight loss kind of put your body in baby-makin' overdrive.  No thanks.  The only thing I have found so far in life that I like about children is the fact that I can give them back to whomever they belong to when I get annoyed with them.  That may change as I get older, but for right now, that's not on my immediate agenda.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It Hurts So Good!

This week has flown by!  Some really good things happened, though =)  I finally broke down and went shopping for clothes.  I was to the point where I was so busy trying to hold my pants up all day that I couldn't get anything else done~haha.  I know this is a good problem to have, but slightly annoying (and expensive).  So... I went to my trusty Lane Bryant for some new work pants and bras (this part I was more sad than happy about, but eh... such is life).  I mentioned in one of my earlier posts that I am a 26/28 on the top and bottom, though usually more of a 28.  So, I decided to get some 26 pants and give them a try.  TOO BIG!  Baggy in my crotch, butt, legs, waist... etc etc.  It looked like I was smuggling a small child in my pants or something.  So, on to the 24.  PERFECT =)  I haven't been able to wear a 24 in about 3 or 4 years.  I just stood there in the dressing room, grinning from ear to ear and staring at myself in the mirror.  I was also able to get into a 22/24 top, and even in some cases an 18/20 top!  This one, however, is both good and bad.  Good because I can tell a HUGE (no pun intended) difference in my back rolls - most of them have packed up and moved back to the bakery they came from!  Bad because my ladies have been shrinking along with the rest of my body.  I was a 46DD before, now I am a 44D.  Still more than enough, but I don't want this lady losing to become a trend!  I bought one pair of black dress pants, one cute shirt, and a couple of bras.  I tried on my new outfit for Daniel (my fiance) last night, and he proceeded to dry hump my leg.  It was flattering =) 

This weekend I am heading to Virginia to visit my wonderful family!  I haven't been up since Easter, so I am really looking forward to seeing everyone (and for everyone to see me).  Most of them haven't seen me since before I started the liquid diet, and I have lost a little more than 20 pounds since then.  Not that I will be fishing for compliments, but it's always nice when someone notices a difference in you, right?  

Daniel and I went and had massages last night.  It's been a while since my last one, and my shoulders were in dire need!  Daniel has never had one.. until now!  He loved it, as did I.  But, oh!  I am sore this morning!  It hurts so gooood!  I don't know why, but I don't feel like I have had a successful massage unless I am sore the next day.  That tells me that my muscles were really worked.  We went to a massage school, and I don't know if any of you have ever done that, but basically it's where students are alllllmost done with their training to become massage therapists and they need a certain number of clinic or practice hours before they can become licensed.  This may not seem like a big deal to you, but to me it means paying $25 for an hour long massage vs. $60-$75 at a spa.  I know a lot of colleges have the same type of program for their cosmetology students, and you can get hair cuts or highlights, etc at a really reduced price.  I'm not sure that I am quite brave enough for that one yet.  I mean, think about it.  If the massage therapist messes up, who is going to know but you?  Someone accidentally hacks all of your hair off and colors it green... yeah, everyone knows haha.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

WHAT is THAT???!

Wow, I didn't realize until just now that it has been an entire week since I posted.  Bad me!  This week has been going really well, I have moved into regular foods, I just have to remember to chew, chew, chew!  I am starting to find the foods that don't work well for me, and those that do.  For example:  I can't really handle chicken breasts anymore unless it is smothered in some kind of sauce or cheese (really healthy, right?) because people tend to cook it too long and make it too dry.  I can, however, handle chicken nuggets.  Chick-fil-a is the easiest for me.... which I am NOT going to complain about considering that it's my favorite place to eat in the entire WORLD!!!  (Ok, that might be pushing it... but it's darn close!).

Today is the official weigh in.... 315.0 =)  Alllllmost 3 pounds down from last week.  2.7 to be exact!  I am getting to the point now where I have learned for the most part how much I will be able to eat.  Great!  Just in time for my first fill up!  Now I get to start the learning process all over again!  I have my one month check up on Wednesday.  My doctor probably won't do a fill that day, be he said he would see how I am progressing and go from there.

Ok, so enough about my band... a little more about my personal life.  Daniel (my fiance) and I are getting married in March 2012.  Last night we went to the wedding of one of my co-workers.  Believer it or not, but at the age of 23, it was the first real wedding I have ever been to.  Sure, I have been to weddings before, but they have been in someones back yard or the local church, and the reception consisted of all of the guests bringing a dish of some sort (mac and cheese, potato salad, green beans, etc etc), and we just ate what they brought.  Sounds more like a family reunion or something, right?  So, you can imagine how difficult it has been trying to make wedding plans when I have never even been to a wedding where the word "venue" is used and not "Aunt Susan's back yard".  We had a really good time.  It was at a local winery, and very beautiful (hot as hell, but that's another story).  Daniel actually danced with me (I was VERY surprised), I got to see people from work outside of the norm.  It was nice.  Now I have a few realistic ideas and I'm not trying to plan my wedding based off of some TV show on the Women's Entertainment network =).  

And... my last thought for the day.  Last night when we got home from the wedding and I was in the bathroom changing my clothes for bed.  Well, I just happened to be looking in the mirror while I was putting my pants on... and all I could thing was "OMG!!! WHAT IS THAT???!!"  I don't know how I have yet to notice this.. but my inner thigh has completely DEFLATED!  On one hand, this is great news... it means I am definitely losing inches.  But, as a woman, you KNOW this was not my first though.  All I could think of was a balloon that had been blown up waaaay too much, and then someone let all of the air out.  Yes, that is correct, I am comparing my inner thigh to a used up wrinkly balloon.  After having a mini meltdown (only about 30 seconds, and I was over it- I mean, I knew this was gonna happen, just didn't know it would be so soon!), I put my PJ's on and went on about my business.  Though I am sad about my wrinkly balloons, I can't help but smile.  My first really visible weight loss.  People have been telling me that they have noticed other parts, but I couldn't see it.  Trust me, I saw this!

Sorry for the super long post, I just had a lot to get out of my system.  I will try to break it up a little more next time instead of waiting an entire week to post =)

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Lost Teenager

My two week check up was on Thursday.  According to the scale at the doctors office I was down 16lbs since May 2nd (the beginning of my 2 week liquid diet), so that was nice.  My surgeon said that my incisions were healing nicely, and he gave me some good ideas for some mushy foods to eat.  I have been having problems even eating things as mild as yogurt.  I am having a LOT of gas (burping), so I think my tummy just doesn't know what to do when food gets down there...

Anyway... today is official weigh in day.  *drum roll please*  317.7 =)  So, down 3 pounds from last week!  My surgeon said to expect/aim for 2 pounds/week... so I am very pleased with 3.  Just think... even if I did only lose 2lbs/week... that's 104 pounds in a year.  THAT'S LIKE LOSING A TEENAGER!!!!! (And let's face it... I'm sure all of us have wanted to get rid of a teenager at some point or another...)

We did some yard demolition today with a little help (okay, a LOT of help) from my Dad.  We have been wanting to get rid of some bushes and a few small trees since we bought our house last February (2010), so we finally got to it!  We are having the house painted in two weeks, and I can't wait to see it all come together!  Added bonus:  a pretty good work out for me today, picking up branches and such =)

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Just in case you were wondering....

When the laxative box says "Gentle release in 8-12 hours." what it really means is "Atomic explosion in 2-3 hours with only a 30 second window to get to the bathroom."  Just in case you were wondering...

Whaaaaat?!

As I said last week, I have decided to make Sunday my official weigh in day.  It made me think twice about my plans for the day... I needed to be on the front row of the nearest church for the rest of the day after some of the words that came out of my mouth.  320.1.  That's right... I gained FOUR POUNDS last week.  are you kidding me?!  Today, I'm back down a little to 319, but still... I blame this gain on my lack of "quality time" in the bathroom.  So.. I bought some laxatives today.  Pre-band,  laxative wasn't even in my vocabulary, much less my medicine cabinet.  We shall see how it goes.

On a brighter note, I have officially moved on to mushies, and found that I can still eat my favorite Mexican dish, the chile relleƱo!  It's basically ground beef and cheese with a little bit of poblano pepper.  You would think this would be a no-no, but the beef and pepper are mashed up until they are pretty much the consistency of refried beans, and poblanos are extremely mild.  I had it Saturday night, and oh!  It was GLORIOUS!

I hope everyone enjoyed the long weekend... I know I did!  I have my 2 week check up appointment on Thursday, so I will let you all know how that goes.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Stuck! (In more ways than one...)

I was a little disappointed with my scale this morning.  I am still stuck at 316.6 - really?!  Down to the ounce the same weight as Sunday?! I have started eating mushy food this week, so this could be the cause for the pause... we'll see this Sunday how the official weigh in goes.  I have noticed that I have lost some inches, though!  Unfortunately I didn't take any measurement immediately before surgery (they did some in the doctors office back in October when I started the whole band process), but I can tell that my clothes are getting more roomy, even my SHOES are getting a little loose! =)

Today I decided to have a chicken nugget.  This was not planned out.  I went to McDonalds for their Yogurt Parfait thingy because I was tired of eating mashed potatoes for lunch.  Well... somehow, I ended up ordering nuggets.  The words just flew out of my mouth!  I had one, and apparently got a little to excited about my long lost friend, the chicken.  (Keep in mind that I am not supposed to be trying solid foods for another 2 weeks...) I got stuck.  There have been a few other times when I *thought* I was stuck, but wasn't sure.... but oh, I was sure this time.  So... my pre-band instinct kicks in and I take a sip of drink to wash it down.  No ma'am... wrong answer.  I could feel the drink just sitting there on top of the food...not budging.  Then my mouth started to water, making the situation even worse.  It only took about 3 minutes for me to work up burp.  Up came the water, and apparently it was enough movement to get the nugget going in the right direction, cause it went down.  I think it will be a while before I try solids again.  I guess that's what I get for trying to move at my own pace and not what the doctor told me... huh?

Monday, May 23, 2011

Hi Ho Hi Ho... It's off to work I go....

Today was my first day back to work.  Not too bad!  I'm a little sore just from the extra moving around, but overall... pretty happy with the day!  Maybe the extra moving around will burn a few extra calories =)

I feel like I need to do a little recap of the weekend.  Saturday, my best friend picked me up and took me to the ZOO!!!!  I decided against driving myself anywhere after Friday's fiasco...   Anyway, so this zoo... it's not the regular so you would think.. You drive through it!  When you come in, you buy a little bucket (or 10) of food, and you drive through the little path/roads.  The animals come up to the car and eat the food from the window =) It was a lot of fun!  I mean, there wasn't a crazy amount of animals, but some fun ones!  Giraffe, Zebra, Buffalo, Hippo... and some smaller ones like little piggies and Emu's.  I will post pix when I can get them from my friend =)

Now on to SUNDAY!  Official weigh-in day Sunday!  *Drum Roll Please*  316.6!!!  That's right!  Down 11.9 pounds since last Sunday!  I can't remember the last time I saw teens on the scale.  I very happy, but very much looking forward to "eating" something other than protein shake and Gatorade....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Out & About

Today I decided that I was tired of being at home.  After four days of making little laps around my living room, I needed to get out!  So... I decided to hit the town!  Okay, so I really just needed (ok... wanted very badly) a pedicure, and to run a few little errands.  About halfway through my oh-so-glorious pedi, I started feeling lightheaded.  I haven't been able to drink/"eat" as much as suggested in the past few days.  I have been nauseous  A LOT, and sleeping for the most part.  So... lack of nutrients + being shaken around by the massage chair = sick/dizzy Nathalie.  

I made it through the pedi, and my few little other pit stops, but I was SOOOO happy to pull back into my driveway.  I was only gone for about 2 hours, but I was exhausted!  I immediately came in and took a nap.  Now I feel better, and I am on an active mission to get as much (many?) fluids in my body as possible!

On a happier note,today  I wore a dress that a bought about 3 weeks ago.  I figured it would be most comfortable for walking around without being tight around my (still a little sore) belly.  When I bought it, it fit perfectly!  Actually, it was a little snug around the chest, but not enough to get the next size up (I was NOT getting that 28, damnit!).  Today... It was baggy!  I felt like I needed to stuff my bra to make it look good~haha.  This is both good and bad.  Good because I have obviously lost some inches... bad because I was hoping the inches around my chest would stay just where they were.  Oh well... such is life...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's Official!

Yesterday was the official beginning of my journey.  I got to the hospital at 5am, was rolling into surgery at 6:30am, and rolling out to the car in a wheelchair at 2pm.  Talk about getting someone in and out! 

I mostly slept yesterday... a lot of soreness and discomfort from the gas they use to blow up your stomach during surgery.  Daniel has been sooo wonderful through this.  Poor thing, today is his birthday, and what did he have to do first thing this morning?  First, hold my head over the trash while I threw up, then had to give me my anti-nausea meds.... *down there*..... that's right, a suppository.  If we can make it through that, I have not fears about our upcoming marriage~haha.

I forgot to post my official weigh in on Sunday.  I was in Virginia visiting my family for my cousins college graduation!  I was down to 328.5 on Sunday, today I am at 324.9.  I may post some pictures later on, but for now, I think it's sleepy time again...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Few Loose Ends.... All Tied Up!

Today I had a few doctors appointments.  My Pre/Post Op information class was this morning.  Daniel (my fiance) was gracious enough to go with me.  This is the first time that he's been in one of the classes with me.  It was nice to be able to show him the little model of the banded stomach that they always have sitting on the desk.  I don't think he really understood until today exactly what was going to happen.  Also, I met with my anesthesiologist for a few last minute things.  Honestly, I'm not sure WHY I had to meet with him.... we went over questions that I have answered 10 times in the last week, and they gave me some body wash for the morning before surgery.  But... if it keeps me on the road to surgery, I will do what they ask.

Monday I had my final pre-op meeting with my surgeon.  He said everything looked great, he was happy to see I was already losing weight, and glad to see that I have been so persistent in keeping things on track (insurance-wise).  Then, he approached me with a question.  He has started doing his LapBand procedures a little differently, but only since January.  The banding is the same as always, but after that, he now takes the portion of the stomach that is under the band, and kind of folds it in on itself... then sews it together.  He says that he has found that it significantly reduces the chances of band slippage because it creates kind of a ... speed bump below the band.  It also increases weight loss because there is less stomach down below the band, so you still say full even longer.  He said it was my choice whether I decided on this option, or just regular banding.... I'm still not sure what I think about it.  BUT... I only have 4 days to figure it out, so I better start thinkin'!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

I've Been a Bad, Bad Girl!

Kinda reminds me of that Fiona Apple song... hmm

Anyway, today is day 6 of the liquid diet, and until now, I had been doing pretty darn good.  However, my overwhelming craving for NY Style Cheese pizza finally pulled me in today.  I gobbled it down like I hadn't eaten in.. well... 6 days haha!  But, there are brighter days ahead.  If I could do the weight loss thing on my own, I wouldn't be having a $30,000 surgery in a week.

Today is official weigh in day!  Down 8 pounds!!!  Well, technically 7.8, but I think I'm allowed to round up =)

I will put something out there that I don't think I have EVER said out loud to anyone besides my doctor.  When I started this whole surgery journey in August 2010 (you know, pre-op requirements and such)  I was at 352 pounds- my highest weight ever.  352?!  That is more than DOUBLE what my suggested body weight is.  Also, just to put it out there, I am 5'7 and I wear a size 26/28 (more on the 28 side if we're being honest) 46DD and size 10 or 11 shoe.  Today I weighed in at 328.7.  If I can get down 24 pounds all by myself (even if it DID take 9 months), imagine what is to come with the band!

Today I went walking... I did 3/4 a mile, and it actually wasn't too bad!  Egypt did not enjoy it as much... poor thing, she passed out panting in the kitchen floor.  Yesterday I got a little crazy and I cleaned the gutters on her house (yes, I climbed a ladder and everything!), picked up sticks from the yard, pulled some weeds, and spread fertilizer in the yard.  For me, this is unbelievable.  I do NOT go outside.  EVER.  Since being on this liquid diet, I have had an amazing amount of energy!  It's amazing what can happen to your body when you stop putting so much crap into it (ie:  Fast food everyday, soda, candy, etc etc).  

My pre-op appointment with my surgeon is tomorrow.  I'm excited to report my weight loss to him!  Only 8 more days til surgery!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Success!!!

Well, the Cookie Dough Cupcakes were a huge success!  I took a dozen to work, and they were gone before 12:00- haha.  That was nice to hear, especially since I wasn't able to taste them to make sure they were okay.  They smelled fabulous, though!

Day 3 of the liquid diet has actually been pretty smooth.  Daniel found this water flavored stuff called MIO- and let me tell you... soooo much better than Crystal Light or any of that, in my opinion.  I had the fruit punch kind, and noticed that I drank way more water today than my previous 2 days.  Needless to say, I made a LOT of trips to the bathroom.  I had about 60 ounces of just water today, not including the other things I "ate", and for me, that's a big victory!

I am trying to hold off until Sunday to weigh myself.  I don't want to get caught up in the number game.  After all, the decision to have surgery was based on my desire to live a longer, healthier life... no to hit a certain number on the scale, so I am trying to keep that in perspective.

Adventures in Cupcakes

This is day 2 of the liquid diet....  aside from the HORRIBLE headache I woke up with (caffeine withdrawal, I'm sure), everything has been going fine.  I am supposed to be "eating" 1000 calories/day and 60 grams of protein.  Believe it or not, it was very difficult to hit that 1000 calories on both days!  I mean, when your tummy is filled with liquid all day, you aren't really craving that next "meal".

Let me just say that I am NOT a soup eater.  I don't like my food to touch even on a plate, so soup is kind of torture, considering it's just a big bowl of different foods touching~haha.  However, I had Campbell's Soup at Hand for lunch today- the New England Clam Chowder one- and I actually really enjoyed it!  I will keep that one in mind the next time I head to the grocery store.

So... to explain my title (and the name of my blog, for that matter)... I am OBSESSED with cupcakes.  Not eating them, but making them... As a matter of fact I very seldom eat even one of the cupcakes I make, simply because by the time I cook 4 dozen in a week, I am sick of them!  I am trying to start up a little business on the side... and eventually own my very own bakery!  That will come with time.  My best friend volunteered to take some of my creations to her new job tomorrow.  Free advertising, if you will.  So, tonight I experimented and made a Cookie dough cupcake.  It's a chocolate chip cupcake with cookie dough frosting.  I found a recipe without eggs for the frosting, so it's safe to eat.  

I did a good job and I didn't cheat!  The down side to that is that I have no idea how the finished product tasted.  I guess we'll see after tomorrow, huh?

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

And it begins.....

Last night, Daniel (my fiance) and I went to my FAVORITE restaurant, Texas Roadhouse.  I got my usual, a "last supper" of sorts: a Caesar Salad and Chicken Critters (the best chicken tenders known to man, trust me!).  We had some leftovers, but I told Daniel that if we took them home, he HAD to eat them before I got home from work today, as today is the start of my 2 week pre-op liquid diet. 

For those of you who aren't familiar with the band process... I will explain.  My surgeon requires that patients go on a liquid diet for two weeks prior to surgery.  The purpose of the liquid diet is to reduce body fat around the stomach and liver, as well as to shrink the liver (if it's too large, they will have to postpone surgery!)

Well... when I opened the fridge today, there they were... staring me in the face!  I quickly closed the fridge, but they were calling my name from across the room!  I quickly pulled out a can of cream of chicken soup, as this was one of the recommendations on my food list.  I dumped it in a bowl, and decided to mix it with some milk.  Well, there's trip #2 into the fridge... I grabbed the milk, and the take out box (oh no!)  I decided I would take just one bite... but a bite turned into a whole chicken tender!  I quickly shoved the box back in the fridge and went on with preparing my soup.  I felt bad about cheating, but I did so well today that I couldn't be too disappointed in myself.  I mean, there's a REASON I'm having a Bariatric surgery.... I love (bad) food!

In the end, the soup was actually pretty good.  So far I have had 7 glasses of water today, and 2 protein shakes... so I am okay with myself... for now.

Monday, May 2, 2011

First Things First

So... this is my very first blog!  Tomorrow is the start of a life-long journey arm in arm with a gastric band.  Okay, let me explain.... On May 16th, I will be having LapBand surgery.  I have contemplated long and hard about this decision, and I truly feel that I am making the right decision for ME!  This blog will be my first hand account of this journey.  Tomorrow is the first day of my 2 week pre-op liquid diet... More details to come!