More pounds on!

by Christine on June 29th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Things aren’t good in band-land, everyone.  I mentioned in my last post that I’m taking a new birth control and let me tell you, every day I wake up and the scale is up-up-up! I know I’ve been eating too much (1000+ calories per day which is clearly too much for my body) and so I’m just holding on to my surgery in ONE WEEK, where I will beg Doctor P for a fill. There’s no reason why he can’t re-attach my port and give me a fill on the same day, right?

Oy…I’m totally distressed though. 10 pounds in 2 weeks? That’s NUTS! There’s no way I ate my way up ten pounds…it HAS to be this medication. And I might have to STOP taking the medication if this continues. This is craziness.

One week….one week…one week….


Strawberry Picking, Saratoga Walking, & Weight Gaining

by Christine on June 27th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates

Good morning Revolutionists! It’s been a busy weekend here with me, as usual. Here’s a little sampling of the goings-on this morning:

Strawberry Picking

Yesterday a friend and I meant to go hiking in the Berkshires, but it was a little rainy on the way there, so we stopped at a farm and went strawberry picking instead!  Unfortuntely the weather totally cleared up and we SHOULD have gone hiking, but ah well, you can’t predict these things!

The rest of the weekend was just as fun. Friday I wandered off on my own. I went to Paneras for a salad for dinner, then went to the mall and bought a cute skirt on sale.  On Saturday we went to the gym (I had a great arm-weight workout!) and in the evening we went to a friend’s house for a housewarming party. I had  a hot dog (no bun) while I was there and a beer or two. Yesterday was strawberry picking + dinner at home (salad with grilled chicken).

Saratoga Walking Tour

This is a little belated, but last weekend we went on a walking tour of Saratoga Springs, as a free event with the Saratoga History Museum.  What a great event, and what a great day! The guides were funny and informative. The group were very friendly. And we even got into the usually-locked Gideon Putnam burial ground, which was cool for me since I’m kind of a local-history-phile.  Since then I’ve reached out the history museum to see if there is any way I can help to volunteer with the organization, and I’ve got a meeting with them on Thursday.

Weight Gaining!

Oh dear. After 6 months of maintaining my weight loss, the pounds and EXPLODING back on! Not creeping…exploding! We’re talking 10 pounds in the matter of two weeks people. What’s the culprit? The big one is the fact that I’m on a new birth control system, and boy it’s like my hormones were zapped with electro-shock therapy!!  I’m distressed utterly about the very sudden weight gain. When I have my surgery next week I am going to ask for a big fill to see if I can counteract the weight by using the band, but I’m not sure. If the weight gain is due to hormones, then no amount of portion-controlling myself is going to counteract the effects. Oh dear.  I’m a little flustered and at a loss for what to do about this. I’m watching what I’m eating, I’m hitting the gym (like I did on Saturday), and I’m trying to make smart choices…not that that seems to matter at the moment.

But in better news….

My new optometrist told me this morning that my eyes look amazing one year after my laser eye surgery! Woohoo! Although it was somewhat of a traumatic surgery, the outcome has been fantastic!  (read about that here if you are considering laser eye surgery.)

Then my surgeon’s office called to say that my port re-attachment surgery next week was approved by insurance! Hooray! So we’re all good to go! I told my doc’s new assistant that I want to have a fill on the day of the surgery, so I only have one week to go until then. I hope my weight gain can take a break until then!

Just for my own records (I like to periodically keep myself in check) here is my food journal from the weekend. I was consistently losing weight when my calories were approx. 800 per day; I think 1000 calories was a good “maintenance” level. Keeping that in mind…


8 a.m.: Coffee (168)
Cheerios (80)
Skim milk (23)
10 a.m.: 1/4 of a tuna sandwich (150)
12:30 Select Harvest Soup (160)
7 p.m: Paneras You Pick Two with tomato soup and classic cafe salad (387), diet coke
Total Calories: 968


9 a.m. Coffee (90)
10:30 a.m. Cheerios (80) and skim milk (23)
11:30 a.m.: Select Harvest Soup (150)
4 pm: Coffee (168) and a donut (168)
7 pm: 2 hot dogs, plain, no bun (140?), 1 beer (100)
Total Calories: 1011


9 a.m.: Cheerios (80) and skim milk (23)
11 am: small bag of Doritos (150)
1:30 pm: 6 inch subway sandwich, only 1 bun, ham and turkey, veggies, vinegar, cheese (250)
3 pm: Wine tasting (100), strawberries (15)
5 pm: 1 Beer (150)
7 pm: Grilled chicken homemade (100), side salad homemade (30), water
9 pm: Skim milk (120)
Total calories: 1018

As you can see, my choices have been less than stellar and could use vast improvement. Furthermore, my calories need to be cut down by 10-20% as well (which would inevitably happen if I wasn’t drinking so many calories.)  That being said, I’m not eating so much that 10 pounds should have magically appeared overnight….sigh


Athlete motivation and inspiration!

by Christine on June 24th, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Exercise

This week my husband told me about this woman, Babe Zaharias, who is considered one of the greatest athletes of all time.  Not just the greatest “woman athlete” (why does that always seem like less of an accomplishment than “male athlete?“) but the greatest athlete of all time….including men AND women.

And I was shocked that I had never even heard of this woman! So who is she and why was she so freaking amazing?

  • Babe Zaharias (1911-1956) was an immigrant from Norway.
  • Her nickname “Babe” references Babe Ruth (not from her looks). She was better than most men at baseball and could hit a ball further than most. She had a batting average of over .400.
  • She is widely known for her Olympic records in track and field.   This is amazing: in the 1932 AAU championship Zaharias competed in a track-and-field event as a one-woman team and single-handedly won the team championship with 30 points (the 2nd place team, which had 22 athletes, had only 22 points). That is AMAZING, people! She competed on the 1930s track and field team and won two gold and one silver medals. Women at that time were only allowed to enter three Olympic events at the time, but she broke four world records.
  • Babe is best known for her abilities as a golfer, a sport she didn’t even take up until her 20s. She won 17 straight amateur victories in 1947 (even Tiger Woods can’t claim that). She turned pro in 1948 and won 33 tournaments, including 10 majors and 3 US Opens.
  • She was an amazing basketball player and even won the National Women’s Amateur Athletic Union All-American forward for three years. She often scored 30 or more points per game.
  • In addition to all of the above, she was an expert diver, roller-skater, bowler, tennis player, boxer, volleyball player, swimming, and billiards player.
  • She was diagnosed with colon cancer in 1953, and even after undergoing cancer surgery she made a comeback in 1954 and won the US Woman’s Open (golf) championship, just one month after surgery.
  • She was an award-winning seamstress and made a lot of the clothes she competed in.
  • She was a singer and harmonica player and had several records in circulation.

While she was celebrated as an amazing athlete during her day, there were many that refused to recognize her impact on the sports world.

“It would be much better if she and her ilk stayed at home, got themselves prettied up and waited for the phone to ring,” said sportswriter Joe Williams.

I really think Babe Zaharias should be a household name, not just a name that is recognized among real sports afficionados.  That’s some pretty amazing stuff.  Just remember what this woman could do the next time you complain about doing a couple of situps or jogging at the gym!


Port Replacement Surgery Scheduled!

by Christine on June 22nd, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

Take 2!! My new surgery date is July 6th. This will replace my obviously dislocated port. Woohoo! I’m so glad they could squeeze me in SOON!  The doctor said the port replacement surgery will not involve any Pre-Admission Testing (aka: that super-disgusting barium drink. UGH!) and will be a 30 minute procedure using a local anesthetic.  Obviously I’ll have to take that day off from work, and I think I’ll take the next day of work too (although that would probably be unnecessary???).  Doc says no heavy lifting or anything for about a month after surgery.

I am relieved that the surgery date is on the books! They are still checking to ensure that my insurance will pay for the procedure.

In other news, I was doing a lot of running around for work these past few days.  I work for an engineering company, and we’re demonstrating a new remediation technology to a bunch of important clients. Today I was running around a sand quarry in a torrential downpour, overseeing the putting-up of a tent, the catering delivery, schmoozing with the important people, etc. I love being out on site, whether that’s at a construction site, checking out a completed project, etc. It really gives me a great sense of appreciation for what we do, the clients we serve, and the kinds of projects we do.  However, running around and schmoozing leaves me dead tired, not to mention always a little frazzled. “Did I do enough? Did they like me?” Ugh, I hate the second-guessing game.  I stopped at home for lunch and made a pot of tomato soup (with skim milk).


Dentist Appointment & The Band

by Christine on June 21st, 2011

filed under Christine's Life Updates, Gastric Banding Surgery

I haven’t had a dentist appointment in two years since I had my gastric banding surgery. I’m not a big fan of the dentist, and I wasn’t happy with the work my last dentist did to me, so I just haven’t gone in a while.  Yesterday I made an appointment with a new dentist and went in for a checkup with X-rays.

One of the things I really wanted to make sure I told him was about The Band and potential side-effects with barfing episodes. You see, bulimics are pretty notorious for having bad teeth. The stomach acid erodes the protective covering of the teeth. Some bulimics have chipped or broken teeth; others have teeth that start to rot away.  Google “Bulimia” and “teeth” sometime and check out some pictures. I’d post them here, but the pictures are really…ugh…super gross.

Anyway, I was concerned that perhaps during any gastric-banding-“stuck”-episodes that the same thing would occur–the acid would start to erode the lining on my teeth.  I am glad that I spoke up and mentioned it to my dentist (although, admittedly, he gave me a really funny look when I mentioned barfing and seemed dubious that it had anything to do with the gastric band). He said the first casualty is usually the front teeth, so he inspected those really closely.

Good news! No erosion going on! Hooray! He made a note in my file and will check up on that at future visits. If you are a gastric bander, consider having the same conversation with your dentist the next time you go.

But my appointment definitely wasn’t all good. I have some kind of bone loss going on underneath an old baby tooth, which is going to have to involve getting the tooth ripped out, bone installed, and an implant put in….for a price tag of just under $4,000. Yikes!  I don’t have that kind of money so that surgery is going to have to wait and be budgeted for.  When I came home and told hubby the news, he told me that he needs to have the same thing done on his mouth, too, so we actually have $8,000 worth of dental work that needs to be done between the two of us. Holy moses.

You just never get to catch a break, you know?

I actually rather like my smile. I’ve got decent teeth. My parents were kind enough to put me in braces when I was a kid (boy, if you could see pics of me as a teenager, you’d realize that I really needed braces!) so the result isn’t too bad. I’d like to be able to protect that investment and keep my teeth healthy and strong so I won’t have to deal with lost teeth when I’m an old lady!

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