Weight loss tracker

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

My first year with the Band - and going public

Without further ado - here is my first and very basic video. Just the thing to commemorate my 1 year surgiversary.

Beware: Cheese alert!!!! (not the foody kind, but the drippy-sloppy kind...)

For those of you couldn't read fast enough:
Starting weight: 235 lbs (106kg, 16st 11lb)
Current weight: 170 lbs (77kg, 12st 2lb)
Ultimate target: 150 lbs (20 lbs to go) (68kg, 10st 9lb)

Starting clothes size: 20(UK) - 18(US)
Current clothes size: 12(UK) - 10(US)

Also, I'm going public on Facebook. So far I haven't "advertised" my surgery with my wide range of friends and acquittance, but I have nothing to hide any longer. I'm proud of my achievement. So look out for me on FB - you are cordially invited to be my friend. :)

Will be back with more news on aftercare-front (good news; expensive but good news...).

Good night world!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

One year surgery anniversary

I'm spending the day in quite contemplation... It feels good to look back on my journey so far and wonder how far I've got already.

I'm not at my target yet (20 lbs to go), but I now have normal BMI and my size 12(UK) skirt I bought in May are getting a bit baggy... (Size 10? Me? That sounds so alien...)

My gift to myself for all the achievements will be to sign up to a gym again: it's all singing, all dancing, with swimming pools and spa and all - I will give myself the luxury of this membership and use it to its best advantage to get me to my goal.

I'm also happy to report that not reaching your ultimate goal but getting very close to it is rather normal:
See: in the coming months I have rather high probability to get to 150 lbs. Watch me!

I planning to post a photo-diary kind of entry to commemorate the past 12 months and to show you the physical changes in more detail. Maybe even a video? I'll think about it.

Have a lovely weekend!

Friday, 22 June 2012

Dog tired by home working

Well, not me - D took this picture of Archie but I had to share it with all of you.
We have the dog with the biggest sense of humour and tolerance towards us, humans. (Extra credit if you spotted the glasses on the poor dog...)

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Ask yourself the question... (about commitment)

When we embark on undertaking a task/any project/dream/goal there is one thing which can determine the success of the venture: how committed are we?

I'm not at my target weight yet, but getting there surely; and I did not have a particularly challenging journey so far. However, I wish I would have had this spin on planning process a year ago. Not because I would have made a different decision, but because I could have prepared myself more/better for the unavoidable obstacles along the way.

Have you heard about the Commitment Screen? (Google it, if you haven't) This is a process to help you assess your commitment to any task you want to accomplish. It basically breaks down the task/commitment into two aspects: - What is needed to do the job? - What are the challenges you might face along the way?
I think it is really interesting what falls under these two aspects for each and every one of us. And it is quite different person by person. So I suggest, if the following bit stirs you on any level, please go and find out more about the Commitment Screen.

For me the most catching aspect of applying the Commitment Screen is the set of questions they suggest you ask yourself before embarking on your journey. Please don't just skim over these questions! Spend some time contemplating them and coming up with TRUE, REAL and GENUINE answers. Answering them in fully conscious way can ensure that you are fully prepared to take on your dream:

Is it really a dream?
- How important is this to your and your "Chimp"? (see: The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters - in very basic words your logical and your emotional self)
- Do you and your Chimp really want to achieve it?
- What are the benefits of achieving your dream?
- Are the benefits worth having, compared to the cost of getting there?
The plans and requirements to fulfil the dream:
- What plans have you made to achieve this?
- What have you tried in the past?
- If it failed in the past, why was this?
- What are you going to do that is different this time?
- What new strategies have you got for the future?
- What worked in the past?
- Have you made sure that your plans are watertight by letting someone else check them with you?
- What are the essential, significant and desirable requirements for both Human and Chimp for this plan to work? (These are different for each of us. For example I might think a good pair of running shoes are essential for my jogging routine, while you might only deem them as desirable)
- Have you got the essentials in place BEFORE you start?
Hurdles, barriers and pitfalls
(Hurdles= obstacles that must be overcome and cannot be avoided; barriers= obstacles can be worked around but still existent; pitfalls= obstacles you can avoid with planning and discipline)
- Have you made a list of the hurdles you have to jump?
- Have you got a strategy to jump EACH hurdle?
- What will you have to sacrifice?
- What are your plans for dealing with the downsides?
- What stress will you face in trying to achieve this dream?
- What barriers do you think you will have to get round or negotiate on?
- What are your plans to avoid or get round each barrier?
- What pitfalls might you need to avoid?
- How will you recognise the pitfalls as you approach them?
- If you failed to reach your dream how would you feel and how will you deal with this?
What will keep you going when you face problems?
- How will you deal with failing to meet a goal or target?
- Can you change anything before you give up?
- Can you find a different approach?
- Who have you talked it through with?
- What are the advantages to giving up your dream?
- What are the disadvantages to giving up the dream?
- What plans have you got for when you stop working towards the dream?

And now go back and ask yourself the Million Pound Question.

There. I finished with you. No more digging in your soul. (For now.)
And good luck! :) Let me know how you get on.
I will do my best to post my answers to all these questions shortly - we can see were I did/do go wrong on my journey towards my dream. That might be a looooooong post - but worthy for my upcoming bandiversary.

Namaste all!

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Drumroll please:::::::::

This morning weigh-in: 170.2lbs.

(as far as the much berated BMI chart goes:25)

(and not in any reference to my occasional mental state - according to D.)

But I have NEVER been in the "green zone" of the BMI chart. Hell, I haven't been 170lbs since I was... what? 14?

So let celebrate this fabulous Saturday morning by looking back on what I've achieved so far: from 234.6 to 170.2 in under 12 months. Thank you very much!

I'm not denying that there is still work to be done. But right now I'm celebrating. And not by baking something or eating ice cream. No. I'm celebrating by sharing my accomplishment with you all.

Can I have a T-shirt please???

Friday, 15 June 2012

I'm shocked!

I just had an email from my doc: the hospital at Hungary closed down the gastric band program and forced my doc to retire...
I have some serious investigating to do tomorrow! There must be some alternative: this was the ONLY band-program in the country. My doc has been running it for over 10 years. There is no way they can leave thousands of banded patient without any care at all!!!

Wish me luck!

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, 14 June 2012

The Million Pound Question

For all my lovely followers: here is a  true golden nugget of thought. And it's free - just for you. Take it away, try to process it, digest it, apply it - and let me know what you learn and how you feel.

But don't blame me if you uncover some rather uncomfortable truths...

You know when we set out to achieve something (anything) and we have dreams and goals and plans? Do you know what I think is the most crucial detail where we trip ourselves up and fail to achieve our goals? Self-discipline. Don't hate me for saying that. That's just what I feel, what I found out about myself and what I believe is applicable for many-many of us. And I don't just include WLS patients here, but anyone with a goal. Especially if achieving that goal involves some level of inconvenience. Like daily exercise. Or choosing healthy food. Or eating slowly. Or eating just a certain amount. Or going jogging. Or anything along these lines. 
And why I am so convinced that self-discipline (or lack of it thereof...) is our biggest enemy?

Think about the last time you wanted to do something which suppose to take you closer to your goal/dream but you really had a hard time doing it. Promised yourself an hour workout last night? Told yourself not to eat that cookie in the lunch-room? Planned to have a protein filled, healthy dinner on Sunday? How did it end? Did you do it? Did you not? Have you got the mental image of that mental struggle? All set?

Ok, then ask yourself this question:

If you were given a million pounds (or dollars) to do the task before the end of the day could you do it?

If your answer is "yes, I would definitely have it completed", then this means that it is possible to do it.

(For example, if you promised yourself to go jogging that's the task to be completed. If you are a bit stressed and tried by the time you got home and thinking about not going jogging - that's when you ask the million pound question. I bet you would put on your sneakers and shoot out of  the door if someone offers you a million pound - in that case it is possible to do it. However, if you break you leg on your way home and that's why you cannot do the task you set out, no matter how much I try to offer you, it is still impossible to do it.)

It also means that if you don't do it by the end of the day, then any reason you offer for not doing it is just an excuse for not being disciplined. It's on you! It is possible to do the task before the end of the day - you said that you could do it (if you were given truckful of cash) - but at the end of the day, you chose not to do it.
You know what this also means? It means that you are not so serious after all in wanting to fulfil your dream... Just sayin'...

Don't shoot me. I'm just the messenger. 
(Read Dr Steve Peters: The Mind Management. Seriously: READ IT.)

On a much lighter note and because you haven't seen me in months, I leave you with some piccies I took: today and on my first day at work in May: these are some of work attire - Today I look like I was channelling the Stepford Wives... 

But don't you think I've finished digging my pinky into your fragile little soul: wait until I educate you about the Commitment Screen - this will be a treat for anyone but especially for pre-op patients still in the process of making their minds up. So if you know any send them my way: Nearly one year out of surgery and a bit lagging behind my original goal of reaching 150lbs by 23 June, I'd like to help as much as I possibly can.

See you all shortly!

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Ho-humm... (but some of it WLS related)

Seriously, for the life of me I couldn't figure a better title for this entry.
I do not have consecutive thoughts - just random ramblings. It's nearly 11pm and well passed my bedtime...

...however, I just fixed a playdate with my BFF Kata for July and it will include a  glorious day spent on the beach. Well, Hungary being land-locked country that's a bit of an over statement, but we have faboulous open air pool-facilities we call them "strand": all kinds and sizes of pools for all tastes, a lot of grassy area where you supposed to soak up the sun and get great tan. A year or so ago this summary of mine would have included "and funky food joints", but instead of  that, this year it includes  this:
I ordered it from Nordstrom and paying a fortune in shipping and customs, but I just fall in love... (Must not tell David!) And I needed a bikini as all the old ones look like I'm wearing my Gran's undies and I've been hunting for ages without much luck. But this one did it: it was love at first sight. Because I'm a bikini kind of girl. I always was, so when last September I was told not to expose my surgery scars to any sunlight while on holiday in Egypt I had to buy two swimsuits and a tankini. They will be passed on to sis or a friend, because I cannot suffer to wear them any more. But look at this one: doesn't it melt your heart??? It did mine. I can't wait to expose my pasty skin to some mid-July Hungarian sunshine and trot this beauty around the pools. 
Have I  told you I'm an introvert? No? Well, I am. A fact, hard to reconcile with the above lines or the fact that I used to be a belly dancer... Every night, every performance was a massive inner struggle for me: a big part of me hated going out every night, being watched and judged by all-and-sundry. But I LOOOOVED dancing and wearing those fab costumes. So I never failed to convince myself to give in to my tiny little extrovert-self and go out in skimpy dancing outfits. I actually stumbled upon a couple of old negative rolls from my old dancing days - I should have them developed into digital and entertain you with a few. Let me think about this. .... and I'm completely off on a tangent... typical late night blogging.

On the topic of being introvert and having a funny mindset on how I think people think about me, here is an interesting snippet - WLS related:
I unearthed a really unhealthy subconscious attitude/behaviour within my fragile little soul: I will forever think about myself as a fatty. And I believe everyone else in the whole wide world  thinks the same. Even people who never knew me when I was 240lbs, like my new colleagues or random strangers passing by. For example, during our weekend 5k runs around the Lido - which I'm happy to report are becoming somewhat of a habit for sis and me - there are strangers we keep meeting every Saturday. And every single time they pass us by my first thought is: "they must be thinking why is this fatty trying so hard?" and "they must have been laughing inside looking at me spitting blood while attempting a decent pace - as I'm so fat  and they are so fit." Do I need to continue? At work, I'm wearing these tailored dresses and suits D gifted me with when I got the new job, and every time I have a meeting I feel like a side of bacon squeezed into a sausage skin. Not because my clothes are too tight - they are perfect - but because they are only size 12 (in UK size... I believe that's a US 10) and in my heart of hearts I'm still a size 20. Welcome in crazyville! Population:1.

By the way, I beat the heartburn and continuous PBing:  I stuck to the 5 day poach test  and it worked like a charm again. Today I could eat my middle eastern casserole at lunch (strictly one cup) slowly but without any uncomfortable feeling, I managed a tiny amounts of nuts in the afternoon and I could drink all right all day, nothing backing up in my throat. This is miracle territory for me right now. This time last week I was desperate enough and in enough pain daily to log into Lap Band Talk and try to find answers to my questions (my doc is in non-communicado mode at the moment) and all I've learnt is that I most likely have a slip.... Not cool. Last Wednesday I had to meditate and relax that way so the tiny amount of food I tried for dinner would go down.It was crazy and awful. But sticking to liquids and mushies in the last couple of days and going back to basics - that is: measuring food amount EVERY TIME, maximum 1 cup per meal, PROTEIN based meals, chewing properly, taking tiny bites - seemed to be the answer to all my questions.
And this gave me a lot to think of - and I will let you know what I thought of in the next entry.

Until then, have a happy week!

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Giving my pouch a rest

I'll do a 5 day pouch test to give some much needed relief to my agitated stoma. It did help me before to ease swelling and irritation due to an allergic reaction. It might do some good again - no loss in trying.

First two days: liquids only.
I'll keep you updated.

If you are interested in the details check out Kaye Bailey's site.

Dreams and wishes - in retrospective

12 months ago, when I was preparing for my surgery I kept my diary fairly up to date. I noted my thoughts, wishes and hopes about the coming 12 months. Now the year passed and it's fun to look back and take stock.

First off: I did not get to my weight goal. I planned to reach 150lbs by now. That did not happen... I was well on track until end of February, but ever since then - for various reasons I will detail in upcoming posts - I've been "stuck" between 175 and 170. A major part of me is disappointed: I could have done it if I would not let all things ruled by my circumstances and emotions... I suppose no matter how much more weight I'll lose and how long I keep on maintaining, I always going to be in risk for emotional eating. I try to control it better, but still have got a lot to learn.
On the other hand, the last two months I've been maintaining my weight without much effort and - I'm sad to admit - much control over food choices. That must be good news. So there: I've got my silver lining.

Secondly - or second off? - how much do you believe you're creating your future? Like it or not? Gather around for a cautionary tale...
There was one point in my list of 12 month plans, which I kept ignoring: I told myself a year ago that by now (i.e.: 12 months after my list was jotted down) I have to have a new job. I had been having that niggling need for a change of scenery for ever. My job was very nice and cosy and easy, nothing challenging or out of the ordinary, and - first and foremost - it paid fairly well. Just one example: I always had time to do my due blogging every week... It was also a great location: my gym was in my way coming and going every day.
And then 24th February came - I was suddenly out of my cosy job. That of course initiated a massive effort in finding a new job. It did happen eventually: I started in my new position on 1st May. It's much more interesting, challenging, a huge step up on the carrier ladder (I have 5 direct reports now who call me boss... strange sensation) and it's only 30 minutes commute door to door - and I'm taking a train! Yeyy!
And then, I suddenly remembered: I had this planned a year ago! I wanted to have a new and more rewarding job by June 2012! This did not happen by chance - I made this happen. Although I didn't do so consciously. I planted the seed of this change - and now it's reality. Do you dig what I'm getting at?
I create my own future. Full stop. 
And this was not the first time I experienced this mighty great sensation. I have written proof of watching my dance teacher performing at a venue and that I felt this strong emotion that I want to be exactly there and performing too - and I inherited her contract within a year from that. I only noticed that during a re-read of my diary (I like to do that every now and then) much later on. That used to be my favourite example story of how creating our own future works. Now getting my new job is right up with it.

So there: I'm important and busy now, people take me and my decisions very seriously. Between you, me and the fencepost: I sometimes struggle taking myself seriously, so this is quite an experience... 

And the best thing is: I no longer have to hide in the "cupboard" about my surgery! I can tell people. And I do. I'm still very selective about who I let know, but in the last couple of weeks I did tell one or two people. It did not come back to me yet, so I suppose not everyone is a total gossip. Or they just don't mind. I did have to put it on my medical form - and I did not mind it. Just like I did not mind putting 173lbs as my weight... It felt sooooo good!!!

There are, of course, downsides too: I'm no longer a gym member and there is no gym on my commute. I will have to figure a new habit for putting in my exercise. And I definitely do not have the time to do my blogging at work. I have to establish a new habit about that too. And for some reason I cannot seem to eat at work - mind you I'm spending most of my lunch-breaks at my desk.
So there is a lot of new habit to get into, new ways to figure things out. But I know I can do it. It might take some time, but I will get there. 
And then I will really and truly back on track to get to my goal. Mind you... I might need to revise that... but that's for the next entry.

Good night all!

Sunday, 3 June 2012

I've got a lot on my mind - and on my plate

...literally and in non-literal way too.

Some of you might know that I've been made redundant in February. That was a huge reality check.
I thought I fought through that rather valiantly, but now -in retrospective- I was hugely depressed by the experience. I was just never going to admit to the fact. Depression and me - we are not buddies. We don't even live on the same planet. At least that's what I used to believe. Not any more.

So there: I let my guards down, and Depression crept in disguised as my new daily routine. And that involved not giving priority to the things used to keep me going and kept me on track in my banded life. Like exercise or making good food choices.... when you drag yourself out of bed, cannot face the world and survive on a pot of Muller Rice and some Pringles a day, going out for a run and putting something healthy in your mouth is not high on the daily to-do list...

But you know what: IT'S ALL OVER!

Can I remind everyone here for the old cliché of "when one door closes another one opens"? Or my favourite one: "everything happens for a reason"? Well, them - and a reinforced effort in practising the teaching of The Secret (I'm a believer, and I was even before I knew about the concept - that's how I always lived my life) - proved their worth again: the day after I signed the final documents on my redundancy case I have been offered a much better job. And of course I took it. From 1st of May I'm the Facilities Manger of a prestigious and fairly large law firm in our area. Thankyouverymuch!

I cannot discuss the details of my redundancy case, so I'm not gonna, but let me just say this much: sometimes the biggest blessings come to us disguised as major crisis. On every aspect of life: work, personal, financial.
I've been blessed again, and Me right now would love to get into the Tardis (Dr Who's time travelling machine for my State side readers) and get back  to 3 months ago to reassure my scared, depressed, resigned self that all's going to be all right... Oh, but life IS wonderful after all!

So here is the plan: today I caught up with all my reading duties (My gosh! The things have happened in your lives I missed! Mind boggling that Life did not stop when I shut the door behind me in February...!) and putting in my comments along the way. I still have two days for collecting my still-scattered thoughts (thank you, Your Majesty, for the extended bank holiday to your 60th anniversary as Queen) and I will getting back here with them shortly.
I cannot - and will not - suggest that I put all of them in one blog entry: you would be reading that for a day or so... But I will do my best to break them down into cohesive chunks about the various areas they relate to. I will probably write them all up as drafts and can just post them one at time - will keep me going and my blog rolling until Christmas (just kidding... I meant Halloween)

Did I ever tell you that I finally went to Rome? Nooooo???
In the midst of all my depression (but in the very tail end of it, when things started looking up again) Dave and I had a lovely trip to the Eternal City. It was one of my childhood dreams, and it lived up to all my expectations! (nearly... as Dave was there, and wherever he goes... Well, what I mean is the song "Everywhere you go, always take the weather with you" was written about him. And, my darling readers, we are talking about English weather here... So it was chugging down with rain in Rome in end of April for 3 days. Never got so soaked so many times in my life!)
I will do a whole post about that trip, sprinkled with photos! It was wonderful.

Here, just a little taster for all of you, as my parting shot of the day:
O, that wasn't the general mood of the trip, I was just making a point...