Join me on my journey from a "Fat Farm Chick" into a "Healthy Hen" with the help of my new Lap-Band.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

NOT your average stumbling block.

I have been working so hard and I am so proud of the 55lbs I've lost in the past few months!
I have been a good girl.
I have been getting my 40 grams of protien each day.
I've been eating low fat and low calorie meals.
I've takin it light on the carbs.

Until this week-end.....
this week-end I was invited on an all expense paid trip to New Orleans.
This wasn't your average sight-seeing trip either.
This was a gathering of some top-food bloggers and foodies from the Houston area.

Yep... for some un-known reason, they invited me!
Oh the food we have eaten!
The prosciutto wrapped figs, the rabbit crepes, the cheesecake, the steaks that melt like buttah.....
The Po-boys,seafood , gumbo, pastries, the FOOD!
the drinks, red wine, white wine, cocktails... the drinks!

needless to say, I think I may have gained 56lbs back this week-end alone!
but I have had the most wonderful time eating my way through the culture of New Orleans!

Tonight, I go back to the real world...
Back to the protein shakes,
Back to the dreaded Treadmill,
Ahh it was nice while it lasted!

more soon...

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

It's Working!!

The Man-of-My-Dreams decided that he was sick of watching me walk around in jeans that were falling off and flapping around.
So... I went to buy a new pair of jeans.

Shopping for clothes has never been something I enjoy very much, I can't stand the "Plus Size" clothes... for some reason the designers have decided that just because I have a big butt, I must want a big red flower across my chest, or horizontal stripes!! (((shudder))
Or... better yet!
Baby Doll shirts that make me look pregnant.
Don't forget the designers that think I should wear teenie-bopper-show-your-middrift-shirts.
Oh Yes.... THAT would look great on a fat chick!

It's frustrating to say the least!

When I entered the store to buy jeans, I was lost.
I mean.. I just lost 55lbs.. I didn't even know what size I was now.

Shhhhh! don't tell anyone, but thenlast jeans I bought (the ones I was wearing) were a size 24.
I grabbed a 22 and tried em on.
They were too big!
I went back and grabbed a 20.
Still too big!!
So I went back for a size 18.
Oh My Goodness!!! They fit perfectly!!!
If anything, They are a smidgen big!
I was in shock!!
The sales lady tried to get me to try on a 16, but I didn't dare!
I was thrilled with my 18's!

I am only buying one pair because soon, They will be too big too.
Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think I would have THAT problem!

Things are movin right along!
and I still haven't had my first fill yet!
Lucky Lucky me!

I wouldn't say it's been easy.
But it is definitely doable.
and it's GREAT!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What does "Full" feel like? the Cup v's the Balloon

One of the most frequent questions I get asked about my life after Lap-Band surgery is
"How does "full" feel to you now?"

When I have eaten enough to be "full" it is a totally different feeling than it was pre-band.
Before my band, when I would eat and get "stuffed" it felt like a balloon that was over-filled....
It made me want to un-button my pants.
It was uncomfortable.
But it was all in my stomach.

After my band, when I eat enough to be full (about 3/4 a cup of food) I don't feel "stuffed", I feel "full".

Instead of a balloon that is ready to burst if I eat any more food...
I feel like a cup that is too full of water and fixing to run over if I add any more to it.

You feel full to

My stomach, feels fine, but I literally feel like I cannot swallow another bite, or it just won't go down.
It is strange, but I'm learning.
This is just another one of the changes that I am learning about from my body and the Band.

In case you were wondering...

Sunday, November 22, 2009

A Month Out.... with a side of whine.

It's been a month that I've been banded now.
Things are going well, as a matter of fact, we postponed my first fill because I, luckily, have decent restriction now even with nothing in my band.

I can eat between 1/2 cup and 3/4 cup of food before I'm full.
Thats great!

This learning process has been more difficult that I expected.
I have learned that there are some things that my band does NOT like.
  • Bread (gets stuck and makes me slime every time!)
  • chicken (even when it's tender and juicy gets stuck)
  • taking big bites. (even when I don't think they are big)
  • eating too fast. (it should take about 30 min for me to eat my 4-6 oz of food)
Now for the unpleasant stuff...
  1. Getting stuck.... This is not fun. I know as soon as I swallow if it's gonna be a problem. It is painful. Kinda like your having a heart attack... pain in your chest and it's difficult to take a deep breath. This lasts about 20-30 min. Once you've been stuck, you are 100% convinced that it is something you NEVER want to let happen again!
  2. Sliming... Yeah... This is as gross as it sounds! When I get stuck or eat too fast, I slime... You know right before you throw up and you start to salivate like crazy? Well.. thats what happens. I guess it's my body's response to thinking something is stuck... when you swallow the (what seems like) gallons of saliva it gets really REALLY thick... kinda snotty and stringy... and if you burp it up or throw up, it's just nasty! (I warned you it was the unpleasant part!)
It's all part of the learning curve.
I do NOT regret getting my band.

I do, however, wonder if I will ever really "enjoy" food again.

Right now, I have to be so totally aware of every aspect...
- did I chew it well enough?
- did I take a small enough bite?
- Am I eating show enough?
- is this a band-friendly food?

I miss just enjoying the food...
But, I guess thats part of the reason I needed to get my band in the first place...
I enjoyed food TOO much!

I am down 46lbs this morning...
I'm wearing clothes that haven't fit in years!
so I ain't complaining!

...well, maybe just a little bit...
But it's all gonna be worth it!

More soon.....
Thanksgiving should be interesting....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Two week Update.

It's been two weeks since my band was put in place.
I feel great!

I was surprised at how long it took me to feel "normal" again.
I got tired really quickly, But that makes sense...
My body was working on healing and I wasn't getting a ton of nourishment during the liquid phase of the diet.

I started "Mushy" foods yesterday, (one day early)
You have no idea how wonderful it was to eat real food!
I had oatmeal for breakfast, half a cup and I was stuffed.
Blended tuna salad for lunch, half a cup.
and for dinner....
Homemade meatloaf and mashed potatoes! 1/3 cup potatoes and 1/4 a slice of meatloaf....
I was in heaven!! and I was stuffed!

Everyone is telling me to prepare for my weight loss to slow, stop or for me to even gain a pound or two while my body adjusts to food again and I get to go for my first fill.
We'll see.
I have been losing and gaining the same 1lb over the past three days and that is not much fun!
But I expected it, I'm excited for the weight loss to begin in earnest again after my first fill.

so far I'm down 40lbs in a little over a month!
I can't complain about that!

More soon....

Sunday, October 25, 2009


I'm 5 days post-band.

Healing is going well, except I really wish they would figure out a way to remove more of the gas that they pump you up with when they preform abdominal surgery.

I feel like I'm 8 months pregnant and pumped up like a beach ball.
Without the uncomfortable bloating from this excess gas, I'd feel great!
And it's absorbing a little more every day.

I'm still on a full-liquid diet for the next week or so, thats the hard part!

I'm getting really sick of sweet things.
Almost everything I can eat is sweet.
protein shakes
sugar-free Jello
Sugar free pudding
sugar free ice-pops

you can only drink so much broth!

There are times I feel really hungry and my stomach is growling wanting some real food.
But most of the time, it's "head hunger".

I mean, I became this fat for a reason....
NOT because I only ate what my body needed to survive and be healthy...

I ate because I like it!
I enjoy food!
I enjoy cooking and eating with friends and family.
I ate when I was upset,
I ate when I was bored.
I ate when I was happy and celebrating.
I ate out of habit.

This is where my band will come into play.
These bad habits of mine won't go away....
But now I have the tool to help me keep the amount of food I consume under control when I DO eat.

I've been pretty grumpy about the liquid diet stage,
Until I hopped onto the scale this morning and saw I've lost almost 40lbs since I started my pre-op diet!

I'm on my way!!!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009


My band was put in place Tuesday.
The surgery went off without a hitch.

When the Man-of-My-Dreams and I got to the hospital my nerves kicked in big time.
Waiting in the waiting room before they called me back didn't help much.

Then I got to put on my oh-so-very-stylish hospital gown and got ready.
The anesthesiologist came in to talk to me and he made me feel so much better.
It didn't hurt that he was a cutie pie!
I told him he could give me whatever he wanted and I'd be fine with it.

After a quick hug and kiss from the Man-of-My-Dreams, I was off to the OR.
The next thing I knew, I was waking up in the recovery room.
I had a wonderful nurse there with me who kept saying what I great attitude I had, I think it was just because I kept making jokes tho...

After I was more awake they walked me over to a cool x-ray thingie and had me do a swallow test, you could actually see the liquid go through your system and band, they don't want to send you home until they are sure your not too swollen to allow liquid past your band.

They went and got the-Man-of-My-Dreams, he helped me get dressed and we were outta there!
Once we got back to the hotel, I spent most of the day sleeping off the good drugs Dr. Cutie gave me in the OR.

I felt better than I thought I would.
Yes, there is pain. But nothing like I expected!
It's amazing how much holding a small pillow over your tummy helps after surgery!

I have 5 small incisions.
The largest one (maybe an inch and a half long) is where they placed my port. It is the most painful, which is understandable, because they stuck something in there and left it in there!

Wednesday I had more pain.
It's amazing how much you use your abdominal muscles!
Once they have been cut, you realize it!

We are back home and I'm recovering well.
I feel like I've been hit by a Mac Truck, but it's tolerable.

This is the beginning of my new life!
Every change, even for the better, hurts.. right?

Sunday, October 18, 2009

There is no turning back now....

I'm sitting here in a hotel in Decater Texas. (right outside Dallas/Fort Worth)

  • I meet my new boyfriend, Dr. Stowers , in person.
  • Attend a 4 hour Lap-Band education class.
  • Register at the hospital.
Tuesday morning I'll be Banded!

Oh.... My..... Goodness!!!

This is really gonna happen!

The Man-of-My-Dreams is here with me, thank goodness.
Between he and Dr. Stowers, I'm in great hands.

How to calm my nerves.
I'm excited, nervous, and scared all at once.

This is something I've worked so hard for...
I guess I just can't believe It is finally really happening!

I'll keep you posted on how things are progressing...

Friday, October 16, 2009

Liquid Diets Kinda Suck and Kinda ROCK!

Well, I'm on day 4 of my total liquid diet.
And let me tell ya.... It STINKS!!

Cooking food for your family and not even being able to taste it to check the seasoning, then sitting down with a glass of protein drink Sucks!

Walking through the kitchen and finding yourself grabbing a handfull of nuts only to have to put them back Sucks!

Getting to the bottom of your drink from Sonic then throwing away the cherry Sucks!

The anger I surprisingly felt towards everyone around me Sucks!

The fact that most everything I am aloud to eat drink is sweet and I'd really like something savory instead of chicken broth Sucks!

Cutting cheesecake and serving it to my family and not even licking the knife Sucks!


The 19lbs I've Lost in the past three weeks ROCKS!!!

4 more days to go!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

I miss chewing!

Well, my first week or so of the pre-op diet went well.

I was actually really proud of myself!
Even on vacation with my sister and mother, I did well and stuck to low-fat/low calorie meals.

Yesterday, I started the liquid only portion of the diet.
This part is not so fun.
I never realized how much I'd miss food.
Note.. I did NOT say I missed something in my stomach, I miss food!
I miss chewing, and the act of eating.
The taste.
The texture.
The family dinner ritual.

Cooking yummy meals for my family then sitting down to eat watery broth doesn't bring joy to my soul.

But... I am doing this.
And... I will keep doing this.
And... I will continue to bitch to you about it.
So... I'm thinkin we all have something unpleasant to deal with don't we?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Two Weeks From Today.....

Two weeks from today...
I will be on my way to a healthier me.

Two weeks from today...
I'll have no more excuses.

Two weeks from today...
I'll lose one of my biggest (and favorite) coping mechanisms.

Two weeks from today...
Will be the start of my last chance.

Two weeks from today...
I will have back up.

Two weeks from today...
I will start eating to live.... NOT living to eat.

Two weeks from today...
I will be on my way to feeling better about myself.

Two weeks from today...
I will need to start saving for SMALLER clothes instead of bigger ones.

Two weeks from today...
I will have the tool to help me change my body, my self esteem, my energy level...
My life!

Two Weeks From Today...
My new life starts.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

20 days and counting!

20 days from today I'll be banded.

I have been working so long towards this goal, and now that it's actually going to happen, I'm getting nervous.

I'm not scared of the surgery.
I'm not scared of the process.
I'm not scared of the work it's going to take.

I'm scared that this is my last chance.
I mean... I've tried everything else and it didn't last...
What if this doesn't work either?
What will I do then?

I've always knew surgery was an option...I always knew I could always resort to it if I couldn't do it on my own.
If this doesn't work..... I'm out of options.

I guess I could always be the Jolly Fat Lady of our town.
I could play Mrs. Clause at the Christmas fair.
I suppose I could make the lovely fat people clothes with horizontal stripes and BIG RED flowers on the front work for me.
I would find an assortment of Moo Moo's to wear.

But that isn't really what I had in mind for myself.

I'm sure this will work.
No... really! kinda.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

One Step Closer (pre-op Diet)

As my surgery approaches, there are things I need to do to get ready.
  • Travel arrangements.
  • Find and stock-up on protein drinks that actually taste good.
  • Arrange people to help with the farm & kids while I'm gone.
  • Start my pre-op diet.
When you get surgery on or around your stomach, they have to hold up your liver because it sits on top of your stomach and hides it.

Your liver doesn't really like being "messed" with.
The fattier or thicker your liver is, the more they have to move it and hold it up to get to where they need to work.
So... you gotta try to de-fat or shrink your liver.

Every Dr. is different, some require a full 2 week liquid low fat diet.
Some require nothing at all before surgery.

Yesterday I got the specifics of my pre-op diet.
I was very nervous about it, but I think it'll be totally do-able!

Just try to remember I said that when I'm a raging animal during a week of liquids! ;)

After receiving many questions about my pre-op diet, I decided to show you exactly what I gotta do.

Wish me luck!
I CAN do this!

Here is what My Dr. requires before the Band is put in place.

1. Starting now: Go ahead and start a 1200calorie/day diet. Most of your food choices should come from lean protein (lean red meat, grilled/baked fish, grilled/baked chicken breast, low fat cottage cheese, low fat string cheese, turkey breast, etc…), at least 1 cup of non-starchy vegetables every meal (ex. Broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, zucchini, etc..), complex carbohydrates (beans, oatmeal, whole fruit, sweet potatoes, light popcorn), a small amount of healthy fats (olive oil, all natural peanut butter, plain almonds)…make sure and avoid any liquid calories and any foods high in sugar!

2.One week prior to surgery switch to the full liquid diet which consists of:

1. 2-3 high protein/low carbohydrate/high fiber meal replacement shakes per day (example…slim fast low carb or Myoplex Light)

2. One meal that consists of any liquid type food such as:
Cream Soup (i.e. cream of chicken, cream of potato, cream of broccoli, etc…) that has been starined
Hot Cereal (cream of wheat, oatmeal, grits) that has had extra skim milk added to it and been blended until it is pourable
Yogurt (sugar free and no chunks of fruit) that has had extra skim milk added to it and thinned out
Tomato soup
Any Clear Liquid (see below)

And obviously plenty of water

3. 2 days prior to surgery switch to clear liquids which consist of:

On Sunday morning switch to a Clear liquid diet which consists of:
White Grape Juice (no pulp)
White Apple Juice (no pulp)
Broth (beef, vegetable,chicken)
Plenty of Water
Crystal Liqht
Gatorade (the G2 version)
High protein clear liquid supplement such as (Isopure or Designer Whey Protein Blitz) *can get both at GNC



Friday, September 25, 2009

Got a Date!!!

Finally got a date for my surgery!
I'll be on my way to a healthier & lighter life on October 20th!

I start my pre-op diet next week. (gotta shrink my liver because they have to move it to get the band in place)
Sunday Oct 18th = Fly to Dallas.
Monday Oct 19th = 4-hour education class, pre-op Dr visit, Hospital registration.
Tuesday Oct 20th = BANDED!
Wed Oct 21st = fly home!

I'm SO excited!
Now the nerves will start.
EEEK! It's really gonna happen!!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


WOW! it only took 4 days and my insurance company approved my surgery!
I can't thank Kristina Marie and Angie at Lap-Band Solutions enough!

Tomorrow, I hope to have the date I'll meet my new boyfriend....
Dr. Scott Stowers in Dallas.

I'm SO excited!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Now I wait.

My journey to a healthier me is beginning.
My insurance (Aetna) company requires a 3-4 month pre-approval Diet/Dr visit/jumping though hoops thing.
  • 4 visits to the Diet Dr.
  • 2 visits with a nutritionist.
  • Psych evaluation.
  • and some various medical tests
I finished last week.
All of my paper work has been submitted to Aetna.

Now I wait....

Cross your fingers for a speedy approval!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Why I'm Here. (a rambling explanation from a fat chick)

Hi! My name is Dana, and I'm fat.
Not phat... but FAT.

This is my journal of what I hope will be my permanent weight-loss journey.

I have lost hundreds of pounds over my lifetime, always to gain them right back.
I have tried every diet known to man.
I have tried every pill.
I have eaten less & moved more.
etc etc etc...

After years of research and prayer and thought, I have decided that I want to get the Lap-Band.
Not as an "easy fix" because, if you have actually researched the Lap-Band, you know there is nothing easy about it.

I have let my weight have way too much control over my life.

I have lost the happy, perky, energetic, confidant Dana and become depressed and withdrawn.
I hide it well, but it's true.

When I walk into a room, I quickly scan the crowd hoping to see someone fatter than me. (like that will make me feel better)

I have made up excuses to get out of going to functions with life-long friends and even family members, because I am so ashamed of my weight.

I have disappointed my children because I have not attended school functions and ceremonies, because I don't want to risk them being ridiculed because they have such a fat mommy.
I am no longer the "fun" mom.
I'm the fat mom who has no energy to get out and run and play with them...
They deserve so much more.

I have even let it affect my marriage. I don't let my very loving and supportive husband see me without my clothes, I push his hand away when it lands on a fat roll.
I don't know how long he can stay supportive when it does no good...
He deserves so much more.

I am miserable.
I often have to force myself to get anything done.
I don't bother with make-up often, why bother?
Cute clothes? Please! Give me a super-sized T-shirt and jeans to try to hide my body...
I deserve so much more!

I could lose the weight, again, then what?
I guess I just want a way to make my weight a less defining part of my life.
It is always in front.
It's always whats seen first.
It's always the first thing on my mind.

I just do not want this to become my life-long struggle.
I want to do the work and actually have it last for longer than a month!

I am not scared of working towards my goal.
Thats not the problem...
I just wish I could bust my butt reaching that goal and have some glimmer of hope that it might last.
It's just so discouraging to have a tiny piece of victory to have it fade away as soon as I relax a little bit.

more soon...