LilySlim - Weight loss

Sunday, January 12, 2014

6 months banded with pics!

Hello Friends!

Well, January 9th, made it six months since I had lap band surgery.  I have lot of thoughts and pictures to share!

First off, on Wednesday I went to see Sweet Carol at True Results.  I lost 6 pounds in three weeks according to their scale.  I was surprised it was that high!  I think I lost all of that weight right after my last fill.  I am still not in the two-teens.  I'm hovering at 222 and despite my exercise, my eating choices are keeping me there.  :(  We did a barium scan and everything looks great.  I have no dilation (a pouch above your band that your body can make to try to make a new storage area for your food because you are eating too fast or too much) and my restriction (fluid level in my band) is at a good level.  She said everything looks good and then corrected herself and said it looks "perfect."  So now it truly is up to me to make this work the rest of the way.  Super scary.

 In the picture above, the arrow is pointing to my band.  The left picture shows my band with no barium.  The second picture shows the barium being funneled through my band, the third shows the fluid going into my stomach, and the last one shows it all in my stomach.  No wonder my bites have to be small and my chewing has to be good!  There isn't a lot of room for stuff to go through!

My eating has not been good lately.  I've had Mexican food too many times but OMG I love chips and queso!!!!  Christmas started us on a bad habit of getting ice cream in the evening (gasp! I know....)  I am still snacking when I get home and my parents gave us a huge bucket of jelly bellys for Christmas.  I've been eating those little bastards handfuls at a time.  Darn it!!!!  The good news is that they are almost gone.  I told my husband that I am banning Mexican food for a while and if he wants to go then I will go to the gym instead.  Also...the whole um....poop situation that I talked about in previous blogs has disappeared since I have been eating less healthy.  It's not a good thing exactly, it's just nice to be able to go like normal people go. 

I've been going to physical therapy for my hip and it seems to be improving.  I am still tender but it is getting a lot better.  I started walking more again this week but I am taking it slower.  I also started circuit training this week to increase my strength.  I think that is helping too.  I am kind of hooked on that.  My new routine is to go in, circuit train, walk on treadmill, hit the massage chair....ahhhhhh.   I am constantly thinking about when I can go to the gym again.  Thank goodness my husband is so supportive.  I am becoming a gym junkie

I felt good enough to walk the 5K this Saturday.  There were a lot of hills.  I found it really difficult to go slow so I probably pushed myself more than I should.  My daughter won a medal for 3rd place in her age group.  I like the fact that this lifestyle is affecting my family in a positive way.  I pushed my son the whole way in his umbrella stroller and my time wasn't that far off from my last 5K.  I ran a little on the downhill (shhhh - don't tell. 

This weekend was a BEAUTIFUL weekend for hiking.  We went to two local parks and had such an amazing hike both days.  I love hiking so much.  I love exploring new places and I like feeling like I am rugged when I am not.  The first day I went with my daughter about two hours after our 5K.  Have more energy these days?  Yes I do!  I saw this picture on the right and I really felt good about it!  I posted it on FB and received lots of positive comments.  A friend actually sent me a comparative picture with this picture taken yesterday and one that was taken two and a half years ago:
I was feeling so positive about everything and then...I took my six month banded pictures....
it kind of broke me down with the harsh reality of how far I still need to go.  I also haven't seen much change since my last progress picture.  My husband reminded me that the most dramatic changes have already happened.  There will probably not be any more huge dramatic changes because my weight loss has slowed.  It's still happening, it has just slowed down considerably.  The biggest changes will be in the difference between the beginning and the now pictures. I've decided to focus on the journey instead of the small increments of pictures since I can't really tell much of a change from October until now. 

 I have lost that red shirt and the shorts don't fit anymore so I have to wear the tighter black ones.  I am wearing a sports bra and a knit cami - sorry about the cleavage, I was trying to pick an outfit that would show my body. I'd never wear either outfit in public, but I will post them online for the entire world to possibly see.


The picture above is my new picture with an overlay of a partially transparent old picture.  I matched up my eyes as best I could.  You can see a change in my midsection and my arms. 

This picture is odd because it looks like the old me is smiling at the new me and the new me is grimacing at the old me and sending death threats.  I looked like such a happy girl.

I sure wish I had remembered which direction I had turned so that I could line them up. 

Here is my favorite...the booty shot.  This and the picture are above are the ones that saddened me the most.  That is...until I compared them.  Now...who cares if I am not as small as I looked in the hiking picture....I'm still a lot smaller than I was this summer!   I just have more to go. 

Here is the line up.  It's still big, but it is getting smaller. 

Hmmmm....My hair is longer and the picture quality is better.  Otherwise...not much to see here.  Maybe my chin is smaller and my face creases are not as deep.  Eh - whatever - check back in another six months.

The top things I like LOVE about my lap band:

1.  My new affection for exercise-it's my new MUST have- it's not just physical, it's the mental clarity and goal setting I love also.
2.  The feeling of control, power, and general well-being I have- I'm no longer spinning out of control constantly thinking about food and my next meal. 
3.  The new friends I have made and the support I have found.  I love blogging even though it's tough to find time to do it sometimes. I am looking forward to making a book out of it so that I can keep it and look back at my journey. 
4.  The way my husband looks at me and I love hearing him tell other people about my success.
6.  Constant daydreaming about what I will be capable of when I get closer to goal.
7.  I am a soup-eater now.  I've never been a soup-eater but now I love it.  I don't have to worry about eating it correctly and it goes down well.
8.  I love when people ask me about my lap band and I can share my story.  I would SERIOUSLY love to work for TRUE RESULTS.  HIRE ME!!!! (is this thing on?)
9.  All the positive comments from people telling me how much change they can see.  I read and reread everything and I repeat conversations in my head.  It keeps me feeling motivated.
10.  I can't overeat like I used to.  

The things I don't like about my lap band:

1.  I can't overeat like I used to.  Sometimes I still want to gorge myself but I can't.
2.  Even though it's not a big deal when it happens, I don't like the throwing up when I do bonehead things like not eating slowly or not chewing correctly.
3.  It doesn't overcome my mental problems with food.  Those are still there and are difficult to look at sometimes.
4.  I miss being able to really enjoy a sandwich and I will never again be able to eat deep dish pizza.  I can eat sandwiches sometimes but it's not a normal thing because it takes a long to eat and I have to be REALLY careful. 
5.  I really am not super fond of my port.  I touch it all the time and sometimes I can feel it when I am doing crunches.
6.  Not crazy about the fill process, but I love what they do for me. 

Would I do it again?  YES, YES, YES.  Ideally I would have never been fat...but since that was a regret of the past, it was time to be solution oriented.  I wish every day that I had done it sooner.  I'm glad I did it now instead of another five-ten years down the road.  I'm finally starting to live the life I wanted for myself and my family.  I am healthier and I will live longer for my children because I made this choice.  Not everyone needs it, but I needed the help.  I'm not ashamed of my choice and I never will be.  I'm proud that I was aware of my weaknesses and assertive enough to take the steps I needed to in order to fix myself.

The next six months should be interesting.  I fear these six months will be more of a struggle.  I'm already fighting for every pound.  I need to get on board with eating correctly and continuing my exercise journey.  I don't ever want to go back.  EVER.  I love my new life.  LOVE. 



  1. Jenn, there are too many things I want to say to spell it all out tonight. So I just want you to know that I LOVE your blog, just truly enjoyed this last entry, and will respond with all my crazy thoughts and feelings at some point tomorrow when I am not exhausted! (We were camping this weekend and I'm BEAT!) Love you!

  2. I am so proud of the transformed lady you've become. Keep up the great work and keep motivating others.

  3. Okay, so now I'm rested and the baby is napping :) I can respond the way I want to! I'm VERY proud of you! I love your introspection and your honesty (sometimes you want to gorge? SO normal!). I love your confessions and your triumphs.

    Jellybeans... Ugh! There are some things that just beg to be devoured and the calories add up SO quickly! GET RID OF THEM!!! Give them to someone else. Get them out of sight and out of mind! Seriously - don't bring them in the house. If they manage to make it in your door, have a handful and beg (BEG!!!) Jason to go give them to the neighbor, a friend, a frenemy, the DUMPSTER! But don't keep them around! Think about your health!

    So, I'm six months pregnant with number four, right? And everything tastes SO good right now! But I still think about my health and the health of my baby. I eat a lot of greens and protein and whole grains. Well, my sister gave me a giant VAT of chocolate (REALLY rich, creamy chocolate) for my birthday a couple weeks ago. Check out this link: <<<Seriously! I sampled (sometimes only a piece shared with hubby) each type, then sent them to work with my husband. Why? Because I don't need them beckoning me all day... No, it is not easy to do (they're my BIRTHDAY present, they're mine, and they are delicious!), but it is necessary. Tell those jellybeans to go straight to hell!

    SO happy to hear you're becoming a gym junkie!!! Yay!!! There is nothing so wonderful a feeling as being addicted to something that is healthy, life sustaining, and powerful! Exercise is, in my opinion, the single most-powerful drug available!

    As for your before and after pics, don't get hung up on them. Take it from a photographer - photos are not the most accurate depiction of people. Seriously. You know what would have been cool? Videos. Because movement in real life would show you a more complete image. The best explanation I can give you is a comparison between a photograph of a woman in a flowy dress and watching a woman in a flowy dress. Flowy dresses make women look WAY bigger in pictures. Pictures don't show movement and flowy dresses require them. When a woman moves in the dress, it looks sexy and the curves are hidden and revealed with each movement. But in a still image... it's blocked style. It simply doesn't convey. Neither do your before and after pics. Imagine a before pic where you are bending, moving, stretching, whatever - to reach something in a cabinet or cupboard. Now imagine it in your "new" body. Can you at least imagine the difference? This is why your facebook random pictures and your current random pictures are MUCH more telling! They convey more than just a woman standing there motionless. I hope all this is making sense. We take our cues from advertisements and your before and after pictures portray this. But even then... a few brave photographers have proven that it is very simple to alter the effects.

    Anyway, you get my drift. Pictures can lie...

    Speaking of pictures, when you're feeling brave, you must come visit and let me take some beautiful portraits of you! The family, too, if you like. Summer, perhaps? April, of course, would be the worst time - Boone will join us and that will add to our crazy over here! LOL!

    I miss you, sweet friend. I think you're amazing!!! I LOVE your blog and am glad you update it :D AND I'm glad you post that you've updated, so I don't miss it ;)

    Love, hugs, and a GIANT high 5!

  4. I love everything about this!!!! So fun and exciting to see the amazing transformation happening. Miss you!!!

  5. Great post with lots of good information. I loved seeing your barium swallow pictures...I think my pouch is a little pouchier than yours right now (which explains why I have to eat very slowly) as I just got a fill.

    I was watching a news item about the Mayor of NYC eating pizza and I had a moment of regret that I'd never again be able to eat pizza. At least eat pizza like "that."....So I can really understand your point 4 above.

    That said, I don't miss it overall. Love how my band dims down all that appetite and cravings (when it is adjusted correctly!).

    You look great and it's easy to tell you feel great. Well done on your loss.

  6. I am amazed and inspired. You are looking SO GREAT!

    How cool is it to see your lapband inside your body!! I wish I could see mine. It must be so reassuring to be able to see that it's right where it should be and doing it's job superbly. Obviously!

  7. I FINALLY am able to post on your blog. finally. I tried about 12 times on my Ipad and it freezes up on I've graduated to a real computer. lol. So...I'm just so incredibly proud of you. You look amazing absolutely amazing. The barium pics are really cool. I've never seen those before and wowl...that is a tiny tiny little area for food to get through...really puts things in perspective. look absolutely amazing. I love that before/after photo...seriously you look so good. And you are just a rockstar with the exercise. I'm so proud of you....seriously.

    Our journeys are so similar. I too am fighting for every pound right now. Its so frustrating, but its going to be so worth it as we continue to lose...even if its slow. Its weird how some people just lose lose lose so fast and others like us have to fight so hard for it.

    Congrats lady...I know I'm late in responding, but I've read this post about 50 times because its just inspiring to me! Love you!