Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Self-doubt is a real bitch

Well, after a day of research, watching videos, reading blogs, talking to insurance providers, I've realized I need to re-think my priorities and be honest with myself regarding my efforts with my band.

Yesterday I spoke to my new secondary insurance provider. They will cover my fills and if I pay for the premium coverage for $25 a month they will cover any type of bariatric surgery that I may want or need in the future (whether it be a revision or a repair). So I'm definitely going to upgrade my insurance no matter what. It would be silly not to as it will save me so much money in the long-run. 

I also spoke with my husband last night. Told him my fears of my band 'failing' and the pros of a revision. He didn't say no immediately, so that's a plus. He did ask if I had some type of time frame in mind (which I didn't). He feels I need to give my band more time and make more of an effort as well (he suggested at least 2 years)...after thinking about it and facing some hard truths... He's right about my (lack of) efforts. 

When I jump into things, I generally want them RIGHT THEN. Once I make up my mind, I do anything I can to get what I want. But I need to take a step back. I'm obviously frustrated with myself and my lack of progress. I haven't really even been trying very hard to control my portions or what I'm eating because I'm NOT in the green and my home life is stressful. Knowing I won't have time to work out on a regular basis next semester also has me feeling some kind of way. I was working out 3-5 days a week last semester and even though I didn't lose a single damn pound, I felt GREAT. I was getting stronger. It was my place to work out my frustration and just overall feel good about myself for making progress with SOMETHING. Now I'm losing that and I'm very sad about it. It also means I will have to be more strict with my diet if I'm going to shed any pounds whatsoever. 

This is all assuming this fill I have scheduled for Thursday will put me in the green. God I hope it does. I am going to be super busy at work when the school semester starts and I will not feel comfortable taking time off work any time soon. Which means the soonest I could get another fill without missing work would be Fall break...which is October 9-10. Oof. 

No, I'm not taking revision to sleeve completely off the table at this point. I still want to talk to my surgeon and get her take on it. See when she considers the band a 'failure' and what the revision process would look like and maybe a rough time frame. I'm going to be completely honest with her about my efforts, stressors, etc. My husband is going with me so he can ask any questions he has...or put in his 2 cents about my choices (which I know he will). 

I have to be honest with myself if I want to see any results. If I can't follow through honestly with my band, why would I be able to do so with a sleeve? I'm just going to remind myself to think long-term instead of short-term. It's all I can do at this point.



Friday, August 4, 2017

Hair-brained ideas

So I scheduled a fill for next Thursday. I'm hoping to get into the green finally but my hopes are not high. Every day I get more and more worried that I'm becoming one of those statistics of failed lap-banders. Unable to find that sweet spot again. Always too loose or too tight. Stuck in purgatory.

Who's fault is that? Mine? The band? Both? Could I try harder? Always. Is that feasible? Maybe only partially. Is my band even feasible for me anymore as a busy mom of 2? This is what I'm struggling now. What do I do? Chris doesn't like me getting fills because I'm getting stuck a few times a week at dinner from eating when stressed or too fast. It upsets him to see me in pain. It hurts him to have to dodge questions from our 4-year-old on what is wrong with mommy...and it hurts me too. But I got my band for a reason and I WANT to use it. It's worked before and I hate thinking it may not work for me again like has happened to so many other people.

I've also been shamefully researching revision surgery from lap band to the gastric sleeve. I have a friend who recently went to Mexico to have the sleeve done and she is doing great. We talked about it throughout her process. Now I'm getting the itch. I always told myself I wouldn't get anything more than lap band... but now I'm reconsidering and I don't know if I'm thinking clearly or if I'm thinking out of frustration.

I need a list of pros and cons. I need to know if my (new) secondary insurance will even cover a revision. As you may recall, my primary insurance does not and will never cover anything bariatric. I need to see if my husband would just flat out say no due to the severity of the procedure itself.

Pros: Faster weight loss, no more stuck episodes, more likely to be able to get panniculectomy down the road (and sooner rather than later), no more fills, less feelings of hunger

Cons: Any potential issues or scar tissue caused from lap band, increased risks after surgery (leaks, perforation), more invasive surgery, chance of regain (lower than lap band), longer recovery time (2-3 weeks), risk of permanent GERD, slight risk for vitamin deficiency (B12, iron)

While the cons are scarier, the pros are big. I just don't know what to do how to feel now that I've admitted to myself this is something I would consider if my insurance covered it. I feel like a hypocrite and failure and cheater... I guess we'll see how my surgeon feels about it next week.


Monday, July 31, 2017

Anxiety monster

Well, it's been a while but I'm back....with nothing good to report.

My fill swelling went down and it's like it never happened. I want to get another fill in a couple weeks but Chris is against it...and I question myself on a daily basis about whether or not it's the right decision.

All I've been doing is researching different ways of getting healthier and losing weight. Desperately trying to figure out what I'm doing wrong when deep down I know what I'm doing wrong... Eating shit, tracking but not tracking my calories, eating too much, snacking, eating when I'm not hungry.

I've researched binge eating disorder recently to see if that could be part of my problem. There's a medication for that now too...which I definitely don't want or really need.

I keep going back and forth on what to do. Get a fill? Join Weight Watchers? Track calories more diligently? What should my calories even be at at this point? I feel so overwhelmed with info and lost at the same time it's ridiculous. I wish I had someone that would just tell me what I needed to do and force me to do it.

I don't think I'll have any time next semester to get to the gym to work out either and that is very upsetting to me. Yes, I can do work outs at home when I can, but who are we kidding? That doesn't work for some people for a reason. That means my diet will be the only thing I can depend on and I have so much information in my head I don't even know what is right and what will even work for me.

How many calories should I eat?  How low should my carbs be? Is it even sustainable for me? Can I do it without a fill? Why can't I just measure my food like I should? How hungry will I be if I measure my food and don't get a fill? Why is this so much harder this time around? What is wrong with me?!

Why can't I just be happy with what I have and not care?

Monday, July 10, 2017

Negative Nelly

It seems I'm slipping already in my secret attempt at re-starting blogging to help with motivation. But here I am!

As with most fills before the green, my restriction I had is not as good as it was once the swelling went down. My portions are smaller in comparison to what they were, but I can still eat quite a bit and I'm hungry every couple hours. Head hunger is still a bitch too... I will eat a huge salad packed with protein but still want to eat even though I do feel physically full (not miserable, just full). I wish I knew why this urge to eat was so strong. It's very frustrating to not feel like you have control of your body sometimes.

Working out isn't happening yet. I'm waiting for my husband to be healed from a procedure so we can start going together but the healing is taking longer than anticipated...I'm trying to not be frustrated but I feel like my life is one big loop of "once this happens/is done/ends/starts things will get better" and then something else happens or that one thing never gets better/ends and things stay shitty....and this is why I have a hard time thinking positively.

My weight is basically the same as it was since my fill. I lost a couple pounds, which was awesome, but because of my inconsistent eating over the weekends it has gone back to going up and down the same few pounds - granted they are a few pounds LOWER than the previous yo-yo I was dealing with for the last few years, so that's a plus I guess.

I'm feeling a little down and defeated today (if you can't tell). I need another fill, but I hate racking up more bills and having to take a half day off work. I need to work out but I'm struggling to find time to fit that in. I need to control my eating more but evenings are crazy and weekends are never planned. I don't feel strong enough mentally, emotionally, or physically to keep up with all this right now. My family is exhausting me. Maybe I'm PMSing...since getting back on antidepressants my PMS symptoms have seemed much more obvious and drastic.

Either way, I really just want to snap out of this and find a new normal that doesn't suck.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My "first" fill - day one

Alright. So I went to see the PA at my surgeon's office that does my fills. They weighed me at 245.5 (whereas my work scale weighs me at 247.5). We talked a little and I told her what was going on (hungry after an hour, struggling with carbs, all that working out with no weight loss). She agreed a small fill might help with portion sizes but only thought I needed a little bit even though I had been gone a year. She opted to give me 0.5 cc. I was a little miffed but I didn't argue.

Thankfully, she knows her stuff because I felt just right amount of funneling when I did the water sip test. We also talked about eventually getting a panniculectomy. She agreed that those 4 points ALL had to be met in order for my insurance to cover it. She told me to go to t he doctor ANY time I had any rashes or issues with my pannis. I don't have many now, but I suppose after I lose some more weight I could. If I get this done I would love to do it before the end of year (for insurance deductible reasons). Although I question my ability to lose 50 lbs by then. I suppose time will tell! After seeing the PA and getting my fill we went to see the nutritionist. Nothing new there. She said I was doing all the right things and to just keep it up. Focus on good carbs instead of bad ones. Eat more veggies. Drink more water. Increase probiotics.

We left my appointment and went to McAlister's so I could get some soup because I was starving. I had the chicken tortilla soup with some sour cream in it. It was pretty thick soup. I ate it slowly. I didn't eat the chips that came with it. I had sips of lemonade to drink. I resisted stealing a bite of my husbands amazingly delicious-looking club sandwich. I had a few bites of his potato salad even though I was full. At dinnertime I had an 8 oz protein shake around 6 pm and I had to eat some chicken noodle soup around 10:30 pm because I was again starving. I was getting a little worried this fill wouldn't do anything, but I reminded myself this is just what liquids do (and for good reason right now). 

This morning I've eaten greek yogurt (my usual) for breakfast and cottage cheese for lunch. An hour after my cottage cheese I felt hungry again (still not sure if it was REAL hunger or head hunger) so I ate some (8) crackers and a tuna pouch...then I was STUFFED. Like so full. I'm kicking myself for not stopping half way through that tuna pouch.

It's hard to stop eating after such a small amount when you've been eating 'regular' portions for so long. Now I'm paying for it by being super full. On the plus side, I now know that my fill may very well be what I needed to stay in check AND solid foods should be just fine. I didn't get stuck at all, I just got full. I do still need to work on bite sizes when I start eating more normal foods though.

So here I am. Re-learning how to use my band properly. Re-learning how to think like a banded person. Re-learning how to control that stupid voice in my head that just wants another bite.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Fill tomorrow

I have my first fill in almost a year tomorrow. I'm a little nervous, a little excited, a lot hopeful. I know this is going to be a struggle - I KNOW. But I have to prove to myself and my husband that I can do this (again) and show some damn self control.

I haven't had time to work out consistently and I won't for a while (ever?) so I know I need to get my diet under control if I want to get these 50 lbs off (again). As a bit of motivation I got the requirements of a medically necessary panniculectomy per my insurance. I was worried it wouldn't be covered at all - but it is!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Medically Necessary:
A.  Panniculectomy is considered medically necessary for the individual who meets the following criteria:
  1. The panniculus hangs below the level of the pubis (which is documented in photographs); and
  2. One of the following:
    1. there are documented recurrent or chronic rashes, infections, cellulitis, or non-healing ulcers, that do not respond to conventional treatment (for example, dressing changes; topical, oral or systemic antibiotics, corticosteroids or antifungals) for a period of 3 months; or
    2. there is documented difficulty with ambulation and interference with the activities of daily living;
      and
  3. Symptoms or functional impairment persists despite significant* weight loss which has been stable for at least 3 months or well-documented attempts at weight loss (medically supervised diet or bariatric surgery) have been unsuccessful; and
  4. If the individual has had bariatric surgery, he/she is at least 18 months post-operative or has documented stable weight for at least 3 months
*Significant weight loss varies based on the individual clinical circumstances and may be documented when the individual:
  1. Reaches a body mass index (BMI) less than or equal to 30 kg/m2; or
  2. Has documented at least a 100 pound weight loss; or
  3. Has achieved a weight loss which is 40% or greater of the excess body weight that was present prior to the individual's weight loss program or surgical intervention.
B.  Panniculectomy is considered medically necessary as an adjunct to a medically necessary surgery when needed for exposure in extraordinary circumstances.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

So according to this, if you take my original surgery weight into account, I need to lose these 50 lbs (or more), maintain for 3 months, and maybe have some type of rash with it (which I already have occasionally). The only clarification I need is if those numbers (1-4) ALL have to be met or just one of them? Things to think about while I do this. 

As usual, I have some doubts in the back of my mind but I'm trying to think positively. I did this once and my life was stressful, I can do it again. I am stronger than I was before in so many ways, there is no reason I shouldn't be able to do this. I just need to think about myself for a change and make a better effort to THINK when I eat instead of eating mindlessly to avoid getting stuck and being miserable. 

I'm not even worried about all the food I won't be able/shouldn't eat. I've been to the point where I can't and don't want carbs or chocolate or whatever else I shove in my face even if I'm surrounded by it, so I know I can handle it. Here's hoping this one little push of a fill will be what I need to finally need to get back in control. 

Monday, June 12, 2017

I tried...and failed.

Sneaking back in after a year long hiatus. Why you ask? I'm at my wits end.

Last January I decided I would try to do this damn thing on my own. Counting macros, working out - weightlifting to be precise, drinking water, eating better, etc. I did it....I thought I was doing it. But now at 6 months in with little muscle mass gained and NO weight loss whatsoever, and spotty ability to workout regularly now, I'm a little frustrated. What am I doing wrong? Is my body just not mean to eat more than 1200-1500 calories? How many carbs do I have to cut to make a difference? Do I need to add more cardio? What am I do wrong?!?!

Super frustrating. I gave in. I saw my lap band nutritionist and got some great ideas to help lower some carbs and increase protein. Not focusing on total calories as much as total carbs. I won't lie... I still struggle with it. I can generally keep it below 100, but keeping it below 80 (like she wanted) is HARD to do. Really hard. Dinner always screws me....or before bed when I get hungry and want to eat everything in sight.

Cue my next reason for writing. I'm getting a fill next week. I've been a little hesitant about it but I realized I got my lap band for this specific reason. To HELP me gain control of my eating habits so I can lose weight and not stay the same weight I've been since I gave birth roughly 18 months ago.

No more talk about babies or family or classes. This is strictly health and diet.

Goals: 

1. Workout: 3x a week, including 20-30 mins of cardio + 20-30 mins of weightlifting
2. Diet: Keep carbs around 80g a day; protein 80-100g a day; healthy fats only plz; drink all the water
3. Weight loss: 1-2 lbs a week per lap band surgeon suggestions
4. First short-term goal: 225 lbs. (Current weight 250 lbs)
5. Current measurements: (inches) (as of 5/7/17)
Bicep: L16; R16
Bust: 47.5
Band: 43
Waist: 44
Hips: 59.5
Thighs - 30.5
Calves: 16