Sunday, May 30, 2010

Beginning of week 4


Updates on nearly everything, LOL.

My incision wound on the side is healing well now. I was a bit disturbed that it did not seem to want to bind together & heal properly, but it's travelling really great.

I am eating solids without any trouble. I still feel restricted, but not as much as the first few weeks obviously. Today I ate a bowl of oats with honey for Brekky,
a small bowl of Shin Ramyun, OMG I love these, so very hot & spicy & filling. Low in nutrition but simply HAD to have a bowl.  It was a cold day here, and they warm my soul...... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shin_Ramyun

Tonight for dinner was a few slices of marinated Roast Lamb, 2 small pieces of roast potato ( yes, you know it, they had trufffle salt on them), 1 piece of sweet potato, and cauliflower au gratin, so very delicious!
I've got to say, I still appreciate food a lot more, and take care to plan our meals a lot more than I ever did before the band.

I don't seem to suffer with any pain at all now, no shoulder tip pain for well over 2 weeks, not uncomfortable really, but I am wondering how much this is going to change after the 8th June (1st appt at Surgery post band)
I am a little nervous about the 1st fill, but more that I have adjusted to a lower sized portion, and have to wonder how small the portions will get!

No Gas. Well Ok, just a little toot here and there, but nothing that causes discomfort.
Unless you are in the room with me.....LMAO

I haven't had an Optifast shake now for a few days, and.....I haven't really wanted one either.

Hope you're all going really well, loving your Blogs!


Saturday, May 29, 2010

Eating out, my first time since Banded.

Today was a long planned family day at the Races ( horses). I am not into gambling or horse racing, but it was the first of hopefully many casual family get togethers.

So we arrive at the venue for a 'buffet/ carvery' lunch. Having never been to this place before, I didn't know what they would offer, and if there was sufficient a range to choose a sensible Band friendly option from. I had a mild sense of panic walking around the food warmers, pasta, pasta, pasta, rice, rice, Craaaaap! Even though I know I can eat these dishes, I am trying really hard to resist, so that after my first fill, I won't whinge, bitch & moan about not being able to stomach these dishes.

I settled on a really lovely, lean Moroccan lamb casserole, cooked with many veggies, peeled tomatoes etc. I added 2 tablespoons of saffron cous cous on top. I normally baulk at buffet type foods, but this was really lovely. The meat was sweet and broke apart very easily.

I laughed as family watched to see how much I could eat. I also laughed when I treated myself later to a ultra thin sliver of chocolate mousse cake!!!!!! Oh Yeahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! It was nice, and worth the indulgence. I ate only half the slice and gave the rest to my Brother in law. I can still stop myself from eating too much, and I can't believe the control the Band still gives me.( even though I want the restriction I had the first week of the Operation) This time will return, after a few fills.

In the back of my mind, I could think of nothing worse than eating something that disagreed with me when out in Public. I would rather eat too little and top up a bit with a shake when I get home, than feel sick when out.

Have had a little more time to catch up on others blogs, and I am constantly amazed that the crap I am going through, you guys have gone through too. Sharing these experiences with us, makes us realise we are not alone in this journey. I am still so grateful that many of you here speak so candidly, and can't thank you enough for doing so. I hope that my Blog will do the same to those that follow me in this life changing decision.

I love following your Blogs, it doesn't matter where in the world we are, the world is a heck of a lot smaller when you have this wonderful community of support. Thank you Guys!!!!!

Friday, May 28, 2010

On bended knee.

In amongst the chaos, amongst feeling a bit low today, my beautiful Partner Chris arrived home from work tonight, and later in the evening, proposed to me!

I wept with happiness, and said Yes.

I'm over the moon :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 17.....Really?

Seems as if the Lap Band Operation was only last week. Over the last few days I have managed to intake much more water ( an ingredient, as Chris terms it, LOL).
I have also successfully tamed the increasingly larger portions of food and breaks between satiety by having the water, and as a fellow Bandit suggested, eating before you get too hungry. Thanks for that tip!

I have increased my repertoire considerably, and in the last few days I have eaten small portions of:

Roast Lamb with Garlic and Yogurt sauce
I small roast potato, with TRUFFLE SALT. LOL, Yummmmm
Steamed vegetables, snow peas/beans/bamboo shoots etc.
Salad- more leafyness than loaded with vegies, just taking it slow.
Chilli Tuna Penne- Last night my daughter cooked her favourite pasta, and I ate a tiny bowl of it with loads of Tabasco sauce, and it all went down ( and stayed down) well.

So the transition from Mushies to solids has gone well, but I've been mindful to only have a few bites first, see how it travels, then follow up with a tiny portion.

I've been busy/ slack all at the same time and still not purchased scales!

I also found one of my surgical incisions off to the side of my belly keeps busting open, and Chris is suggesting to go to my GP or back to the hospital and perhaps get stitches inserted. The steri strips just keep falling off, and this is just the one wound not healing properly.

I also found today out that my daughters Math Tutor, a lovely lady by the name of Margaret, has Breast cancer. She phoned me this morning to explain why she has not been to some of Paige's classes, and is hopeful that all the cancer was removed and that Chemo will help. I sensed something was wrong last month, but it took my breath away to hear this news. My daughter thinks a lot of this lady, as I do, we send her our love, our strength, and prayers. I looked to to the sky and wondered why another beautiful person must suffer this dreadful disease.

Hope you are all having a great week, thanks so much for posting in your blogs, and commenting on mine, it really does make such a difference, I just feel like I am part of a fabulous 'sisterhood' of Bandits.

:) Ruth

Sunday, May 23, 2010

On the March

Today, I really noticed my appetite returning.
Even though the portion size was marginally bigger, I am finding my hunger returns quicker than say, 4 days ago.

I read my Lap Band book, and it says that the 3rd- 4th week your appetite returns, and that on the 4th week they will adjust the band. I am yet to have my first fill, and just notice that I get a little hungrier than before.

I am starting to think I might call the surgery this week, and ask if they will consider seeing me earlier than the 8th June. I am so worried that as my appetite increases, I will eat more, and eat inappropriately.

Unsure if they will agree, or if they are booked out, maybe if someone cancels their appt, I can get in on short notice.

In the meantime, do any of you who have already been banded, have any ideas to suppress the returning appetite before I have my first fill?


Saturday, May 22, 2010


Oats for brekky, Optifast shake for lunch.....but

Saturday night would often consist of Pizza, Fish and Chips, Asian or we'd be out to a restaurant etc. I miss the pig out sessions that a weekend would bring, but don't miss the hunger pains.

Tonight I was treated to a Vietnamese meal from our local restaurant, which was unbelievably delicious!

If the band does one thing, it makes you appreciate food, because you have smaller portions and you need to be aware of slowing down and chewing thoroughly.

I had Clay Pot fish - Salmon cooked slowly in a claypot, and served quite moist with an aromatic XO type sauce. I only ate 1 and a half small portions.

Vegetables with Beancurd-Lemongrass, Chilli and Ginger - again only a few tablespoons.

Beef Noodle soup - Light, but aromatic clear beef soup with very soft flat noodles, spring onion etc.

I ate very small portions of each of these dishes, and ate until I felt the 'Satiety' so often mentioned.

Even though in portion size, my meal was small, I was actually thankful for the ability to be able to eat some of my favourite foods.

My 'movements' are only every 2 days or so, which can be annoying, but I'll work on that another time. I have metamucil here at home, but am trying to give my body a chance to sort itself out before I turn to the big guns.

My Family have been phoning to see how I am going with everything. I think they thought I may have struggled more than I have, but I know my Mum thinks I am brave, and that's all that counts.
I have a fat friend who used the word 'Cop out' about my surgery the other day, and all I could do was laugh. I didn't retaliate, but merely saw that she views my ability to effectively manage my weight loss as a threat to her. ( God only know why)
I have been big as long as I have known her. She was thin then, and is fatter than me at present. She tells me she can achieve weight loss with yet another diet ( weight watchers). She is younger than I, and I guess at that age I may still have had another go at other methods, but I would never have 'dissed' what others were trying.

It amazes me that with worldwide obesity at all time highs, why you would be dismissive of a procedure that clearly has profound worldwide success.

In my weird old brain, I tend to think that smokers have patches to help with their addiction, and we fatties have the Lapband!

Peace & Love to all :)))))))))


Friday, May 21, 2010

Day 12 NSV?

Not sure if this fits into a NSV, but I felt such a sense of achievement at eating a food further along the mushies transition.
I ate:
- a small portion of fresh Salmon, with Hollandaise sauce
- 3 tablespoons of  mashed potato, mixed with a tablespoon of low fat yogurt, and spanish smoked paprika.
- small floret of steamed softened broccoli

Seems pathetic when you try to explain to someone else that you feel a sense of achievement, victory, over the monster that has driven my appetite, and my weight gain for much of my life.

The amount of food is so small, I still look at it and think that there is no way that could satiate me. The band corrects me, and retrains the self destructive patterns of eating that allowed me to become Morbidly Obese, threaten my health, and damage my self esteem. It is similar to the effects of an appetite suppressant, but without the nasty side effects.

As I don't own a set of scales as yet, I cannot tell you what I weigh. :-o
My goals have been to concentrate on the eating and adjustment to foods rather than weight loss itself at the moment. I feel that once I get my head around things, the weight loss will happen naturally. ( *hopes*)
I know that I have lost weight since surgery, but I guess I am not the type to overly fixate on things, even though I think it's important in this instance.

I'll buy a set of scales this weekend!

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Real Food

We are working from home as our business has increased so much in the last 6 months, the offices in the city are full on certain days. I am thrilled we can work from home, and can log in and manage our network right across the country.  Here's to technology!

Today I had lunch with my Babes.

I cooked an omelette, with grated low fat Colby cheese, instead of fresh tomato I used diced peeled tomatoes, hopefully avoiding any 'gagging' if the skin became an issue. I used Sea Salt AND a naughty treat........


Just a couple of drops sprinkled on the top of your eggs, whichever way you like them, is an aromatic and divine addition. If you are a foodie like me, it adds a little sophistication to an otherwise bland existence at present.

Knowing I could not have mushrooms in the omelette unless I had cooked them all down and blended them, the Truffle Oil just made it divine.......delicious. You could also use a soft Feta cheese if you wish, but I am choosing low fat cheeses.

I did not omit the yolk from the eggs as I need the protein right now, and I could only manage a tiny portion, so Chris had the rest. It is amazing to really hear your body say ENOUGH!

Make sure you really listen, sync your Band and your body, over your thoughts, patterns and habits. I know some of us struggle with that, but when it's aligned, the Band really lets you know when to put the cutlery down and stop eating.


I am researching some recipes I have, that will accommodate my band requirements, and will be cooking them over the next few weeks or so.

I'll be sure to take some pics and post the recipes here.

Energise me

My partner returned from Sydney last night, and commented on how well I seem to be recovering. He seems so very happy for me, I really am so blessed to have such a supportive partner.
( the drought is over girls) :))))

I awoke today to an amazing sense of euphoria, and a bucketload of energy! We have a marketing meeting here at home, which is fantastic for me not having to travel into the city. I have made the guys some fruit spice muffins with butter and Jam, and I am having a bowl of oats. It's working out great! Even though the muffins look and smell great, no temptation to even try one. I just don't want any complications or feeling nausea.

Having the band at this time of the year, late Autumn, and the weather is very cool, means that oats in the morning, soups etc, necessary for your band diet, seems easier to have. I really don't think I'd have coped in the summer. It gets quite hot, and and I love fresh fruits and salads, having soups, even cold soups are just not my thing in the Summer months.

I don't have my first appt with the Surgeon/Dietician until the 8th June, which is still some time away. I am going to call their practice and ask if perhaps I was meant to go in sooner. I am guided by the Lap Band book, and it's so easy to follow, but having no contact from them in such a long amount of time seems a bit weird. If it weren't for the support here, and the array of information that Bandsters share across these Blogs, I would have found this experience very isolating.

Thank you so much Guys!!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Is there a standard?

I was not placed on a Optifast diet leading up to surgery, and yet I know fellow bandsters that had to. I was told that it reduced the liver, but we have some of Australia's foremost Surgeons that work for our company say that the liver is so easily bypassed in the operation, and discount what my Surgeon has told others to do. Nevertheless, I did what my surgeon told me to do.

I also did not need to wear compression sock after surgery afterwards, as a friend who was banded last year had to ( even though she took them off when not supposed to).

I understand everyone is different, but was just curious if anyone else did not have to diet before surgery?

Delving into fellow Bandster's blogs, I am inspired, and yet also amazed at how everyone's journey began.

I have been wanting to be banded for around 7 years. Finances, and circumstances dictated why I did not have a band earlier than now. I also tried appetite suppressants, Reductil, and had lost 18 kgs with this medication. The absolute catalyst for making the Surgery a priority was the removal of Reductil from Australia's TGA, citing unacceptable health risks (Stroke, heart attacks etc). I was feeling incredibly pumped and driven everyday, at losing that weight, and knew I was on the right track mentally to keep going when the suppressant was removed.

I made the Call to Prof. O'Briens rooms the next day.

Knowing I was going to put all the weight back on, and that soon enough the cravings would return, and they did!
I put on 20 kilograms between the time I was off the suppressants and the time of the Surgery, and I felt that the Band was going to save me from spiralling into a life of even worse obesity.

My sister whom I love dearly, 10 years older than me, and is HUGE.
I felt I was looking into my future, and I did not want to ever be that big. She cites a date for beginning a diet every time the family gets together, and has never followed through or even really begun. I worry for her, she is so much bigger than my starting weight. I know she thinks this is "drastic" and also "the easy way out", but I don't care, I just know this is effective.

I was diagnosed with Chronic Hypertension 8 years ago, my BP was 220/180, I was told my eyes should have popped out of my head with the pressure. I always felt stressed and sick, and was medicated for the condition. Not a great time in my life. Feeling fit, and looking Fab is also a great incentive, but the health aspect is what drives me.

My banded life is so fresh and new, I am still yet to face the many challenges that my fellow Bandits have endured, and most overcame. I am in awe of the journeys taken by others, and am excited at my own prospects for significant weight loss and a return to enjoying things in life, rather than saying I can't do it, or feeling ashamed.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Day 9 - Mindgames!

My Brain craved a toasted sandwich today. I could actually taste the grilled tasty cheese and fresh tomato slide down my throat.

So I suppressed the crave with an Optifast shake, and whilst the shake tasted like crap, at least my stomach was satiated and it flowed, shutting my naughty brain's diabolical thoughts down. I am progressing well with the Mushies stage,  it seems all boring here, movements all normal, and still trying to drink more fluids during the day.
I burp more than normal, and gas passes REGULARLY, LOL, much to my daughters annoyance.

I am ready to transition again, but there is no rush, I am just so happy to be Banded.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Does anyone feel strange when you leave the sanctuary/safety of home? As I prepare to return to normal routines etc, I wonder how many of us are challenged by access to the foods we need. I am sometimes ill prepared, and realise that I really should make sure that I keep a 'travel pack' with Optifast sachets, Soup sachets and perhaps long life juice packs as well. Maybe I am being paranoid, but has anyone else felt the need to be prepared?

Can I say it, dare I?
I love transitioning from liquids.

I never struggled with the liquid phase really, but leaving behind by this week's end, will be great. I still have an Optifast shake once a day, purely to boost nutrition which is vital, and think I will have one a day for some time yet.

This morning was a weet bix flooded with no fat milk, lunch was optifast shake, dinner was mushroom soup which was delicious!
I have not been drinking enough water, and will be working on increasing my intake this week. I have not craved anything, I have had no terrible reactions to anything, and everything seems to be healing well.

I visited my Sister tonight, was great to get out of my house, but after 2 hours, I was feeling tired and looking to get home. Chris is in Sydney, and even though Mum is here, I am just taking things gently getting back into everything. I am hoping to be back at work and returning to a normal life!!!! :)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 7 Slowly it goes - Intro to Mushies

According to my Surgeon, Prof Paul O'Brien, I refer to his book The Lap Band Solution, to guide me into 'Mushies' phase. Not wanting to rush, I began today with one Weet Bix heavily soaked with no fat milk, and a little raw sugar.  Let it sit for 5 minutes, then ate very slowly.
So, that has gone down well, and I'm pretty pleased it did, I just did not want an Up n Go for brekky this morning. I have also been 'bound' for 2 days, and am considering taking Metamucil this afternoon to try and get things 'going' again.

My daughter ate a Caesar salad for lunch today, and it looked awesome, but I just have no inclination to eat anything other than what I am supposed to. You realise to go through this surgery, and as I had to self fund, the total cost was over $12K, you get in firmly in your head that everything you wanted is right here, right now, and only you can make it work, there is no one, no thing, to impair the road to losing weight and gaining health.

For lunch I am having an Optifast shake, and Dinner will be soup, just exercising caution during this transition phase. I have been crunching down a sugar free boiled lolly when I felt like chewing. It does make a difference in the 'Head' battle.
I haven't felt the "What have I done" for the last 3 days or so now, which when reading other Bandits blogs is apparently a common reaction. The wounds are healing nicely, and no longer itch, which is fantastic!

My Partner is off to Sydney for a couple of days, and Mum is staying with us until Wednesday. Will be nice to have her around, I have been climbing the walls staying at home after the Op. I can't believe how supportive Chris has been throughout all this. He cooks beautiful meals for my Daughter, who is not cursed with her Mum's obesity, and has run off to the shops anytime we need anything.

I am blessed!

Day 6 Couch dwelling

Sleep, sleep and more sleep.
I struggled sleeping last night, and made up for it by sleeping until after noon. I really wanted to watch my daughter play soccer, but a lack of toilet facilities at the venue made my mind up.

Drank a little too much fluids today, my tummy was uncomfortable later in the evening. My op wounds were sore as well, and I don't know why, but I took no meds for them. It was annoying, but I reflect on my own journey by reading other journeys online. Some amazing success stories, am truly inspired by their outcomes.
I hope I can achieve what my heart and mind truly set out to do. I want to be fit, healthy, and live life with a lot more positivity.

I chose this path myself, and self funded the operation. Never had private health insurance until recently and I didn't want to wait for a desk jockey to approve funding. Needed to make a decision for me, before something or someone else did. When you are overweight, sometimes you are treated as if you are less than human, like you are not valid. It seems there is more tolerance for drug and alcohol addicts than a Fat Woman!

Even though I am a little annoyed at my current situation (liquid foods & no sex ), I know where I am going, so I guess I can focus on the great times ahead. Those times when food no longer rules my life, and I can just get on with discovering the world, enjoying my time with my beautiful daughter, & my gorgeous Partner.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 2

Day 2. Feeling muuuuuch better, no drip, no oxygen. Had a Physio in my room at Midnight on the 10th May, as I wasn't getting enough oxygen in my blood. Pressure on my diaphram made me breathe shorter, so I was out of bed on my feet, walked around the room and asked to take in deeper breaths to get oxygen back into my blood.
Today I laid in bed and thought " What have I done to myself"?
Apparently a common reaction in banded patients, I could really feel everything today and wondered if I would always feel this intrusion into my body.

Day 1

So here I lay. Newly banded on 10th May 2010, relaxed on painkillers and feeling quite at peace. You don't think of anything much at this point, or rather I think I was thankful to just wake from the operation! I was alone, and wanted to take a self portrait to remind me of this time alone.