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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

How am I doing?

Well, I've been feeling a little defeated since starting my program.  I did quite well, up until the week between Christmas and New Years.  I am off my target date for sure, but I am not giving up!
Currently, I can run for about 7 minutes before I start to feel like I am going to die!  According to my schedule, I "should" be able to go for 35, but 7 minutes is 7 minutes more than I could run in November, so I will happily take it!  I noticed that I wasn't burning nearly enough calories on my running days, so I have added 30 minutes of elliptical training to boost the burn.  I am to the point now that I feel exhausted and amazing at the same time once I have completed my workouts, and that makes me happy.
Even with all my working out, I had not lost a single pound, which was quite frustrating.  People kept telling me that it's not all about the pounds, which I know it's not, but it still is nice to see that number change.  It was suggested to me that I start keeping track of my calories, so I recently joined My Fitness Pal.  I thought I was doing really well at eating the "right foods."  Turns out, a lot of days, I was consuming way too many!  Since joining MFP last week, I have lost a little over two pounds!  Finally seeing scale progress is such a wonderful thing!  I've never been a huge fan of counting calories, but it's not your typical fitness tracking website.  It is kind of like the Facebook of fitness.  You create your profile, determine how many pounds you want to lose a week and it sets a calorie range for you.  You can be "friends" with other users and celebrate in their progress as they help you celebrate yours.  There is an app for iPhone and Android with a barcode scanner, so you don't have to manually enter every single item you eat-which is WONDERFUL!  My user name is hjohns003.  Once you sign up, be my friend and I will cheer you on your own weight loss journey!
In other news, I have my first Band adjustment in over a year scheduled for next Tuesday.  I finally got all my records together so I don't have to drive all the way to Idaho Falls any time I need something.  I am positive that having this support system moved to my home state will help me be more successful.  I am so excited to get this part of my life back on track!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

and the award for "World's Worst Blogger" goes to...

I guess it's been a while, but here I am...better late than never, right??  Without getting into the gory details, let me just say that it's been a hell of a year.  I'm not really going to dwell on my weight-loss failures over the past year.  Instead, I choose to acknowledge that I am about 60 pounds lighter than I was before my surgery.  Nowhere near my goal, but I am focused, recommitted, and back on track!

If you look at the top of my page, you will see a new countdown.  I have made the bold commitment of racing in the Salt Lake Marathon...not the full 26.2, but I am bound and determined to be ready for the half (13.1 miles).  It is on April 21, 2012.  If you have ever stood at the finish line of a marathon, you know it is one of the most inspiring things to witness.  Watching someone that has just completed a 26.2 mile run is quite emotional.  As I was watching finishers at the St George Marathon on my birthday this year, I decided I wanted to experience that emotion and accomplishment for myself.  Maybe one day I will be ready to run a full Marathon, but I am happy with my goal of completing the half.

I am NOT a runner.  I have NEVER been a runner.  Even when I was swimming 11 times a week in high school, I couldn't run.  So how does a fatty like me, who hates running, begin to train for this?  I kind of developed my own training plan, combining the Couch to 5K beginner program with Hal Higdon's half marathon training.  I have just finished week 2 of the C25K, and I can already feel it getting easier.  I have every day of the next 20 weeks planned as far as workouts go, with practically no room for missing a workout.  While working on the C25K program, a typical week goes like this:  Running three days a week-Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday.  Pilates on Monday and Wednesday, Swimming on Sundays, and Friday is my rest day...gotta have the rest day on Friday!

My goal with blogging is to AT LEAST do it once a week, but hopefully more after the holidays.  I want to be held accountable for my actions, and if I am blogging my successes (and failures), I think I will be more likely to stick to this program.  I hope you will all enjoy reading about my journey.

If anyone would like a copy of my exact training schedule, leave me a comment.  Also, I hope to not run this thing alone, so if anyone wants to run with me, and isn't too concerned about their finishing time, I will need all the support I can get!

Friday, June 18, 2010

I'm Still Here

I had every intention of doing a pre-surgery blog, but my hotel did not have a decent wireless connection :(  Just a quick update for now.  Other than feeling quite tired, which I am sure is mostly due to my drive home, and feeling like I just did the most intense ab workout in my life, I am doing very well.  The band was placed with no problems and I was out of the hospital a few hours after surgery.  I am resting up tonight, but be prepared for a full detailed report tomorrow.
Thanks for all the love and support everyone has shown me so far on my has helped a bunch!

Monday, May 3, 2010

It's Official!!!

Today, at 2:30 PM Mountain Time, I received the call from my insurance that my surgery has been approved!  Seconds after I ended the call with my wonderful nurse, Jill, the surgeon's office called to schedule the date.  I am on the books for Thursday, June 17th, and I am so ready to make it happen!  Today definitely ranks among one of the best days of my life, right after marrying the love of my life and graduating from college

So, here is what the next few months look like...
May 15th-my last hoorah with all my close friends. We are going to my favorite Dueling Piano club and I have already had quite a few people inform me that I will most likely be stumbling out of the club by the end of the night (much to my mother's disapproval, I'm sure). I love alcohol. I am not a lush, nor do I normally drink like a sorority girl during Rush week. I love a good wine, a perfectly mixed martini, and Patron. With the extreme diminished capacity of my stomach, after surgery, alcohol will be on my permanent list of "no-nos." My dietitian said in the future, I may be able to handle a sip or two of wine, or other non-carbonated spirit, but not much more than that. It will be hard, but if I have to choose alcohol or being thin, bye-bye alcohol.

June 3-I start my two week VLCD(very low calorie diet). This diet is designed to shrink my liver to help the surgeon navigate better. The stomach sits near the liver, so if the liver is small, it makes life easier for my surgeon. The VLCD consists of 9oz of lean protein per day, 2-3 servings of fruit, unlimited vegetables, and AT LEAST 64 oz of water. No carbs of any kind, except the ones found in my fruits or veggies. As an Italian, pasta is a staple in my current diet and another thing that will be a semi-permanent no-no after surgery. My dietitian recommended no pasta or bread for 9-12 months after surgery. Apparently, heavy are what causes the most discomfort for the Banded (maybe some of my Banded readers can provide some insight to this).

June 17-SURGERY DAY!!! The DH and I will drive to Idaho Falls the night before and probably stay for a few days. After surgery is a week of a clear liquid diet while my stomach heals. My co-worker and BFF(Bariatric Friend Forever) just had her band placed last Thursday, and she is having a bit of a hard time with this one. I can only imagine how much sugar free Jell-o, Crystal light, and chicken broth a person can handle in a week! Let me tell you, I can hardly wait!

June 18-My new life begins and I am so excited!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Slightly Defeated

My advanced apologies for the whiny-ness.

I am a slight control freak, so I really don't like it when things are out of my control.  That is exactly what is going on right now.  I did my part to get everything done I needed in order for my surgeon to submit my case for approval to my insurance.  I have driven almost 800 miles for doctor and facility visits, with many more to (hopefully) come.  I gave up three hours of one day for a ridiculous personality test and psych evaluation to make sure I am mentally stable enough to have this life-changing surgery.  Yes, I should have called the psychologist's office to make sure they faxed my evaluation to the surgeon (which they didn't do until I checked up with them a month later), but things are getting a bit frustrating.  I called my nurse at Optum Health on Friday and was given some discouraging news.  Apparently, the program they use to read faxes was down all week, which translates to my case not being reviewed for yet another week.  And some more sad news today.  I called the surgeon's office to see if I could schedule my surgery without the final approval and then move it as needed.  They won't even put my name on the books until after they know I am approved.  I understand the financial reasoning behind their policy, but I am trying to plan my summer and I just want to move on with my new life (I realize that sounds a bit selfish).  I know I should be happy that my insurance does cover the surgery, and that I don't have to wait years like some other insurance companies require, but it is still frustrating for me, and nothing at this point in the review process is within my control.  All I can do now is wait and hope that someone can come to a decision soon.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

I guess I should introduce myself!

Wow, time flies doesn't it. I didn't realize how long it has been since my last post (over a month)! To my three followers...I apoligize, and a big THANK YOU for following me on my journey! I am still playing the waiting game with my insurance approval, so I thought I should take this time to tell you a little more about myself.

My name is Hilary. I currently live in Salt Lake City and I am 29 years old. I have a wonderful husband of almost three years who has been very supportive of my-through my fat days, and my not so fat days. My happiness is his happiness and after a bit of convincing, he is 100% on board with my decision to get my Band and is almost as excited as I am to start my new life.

Since I am not quite sure who reads my blog, I thought I would also provide some info on what I am getting done. There is a lot of information on the Lap-Band System website, but since reading is not as fun as watching a cool video, here you go:

I am hoping to hear from United Healthcare by the end of the week, so hopefully my next blog post will be sharing the exciting news of my surgery date!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

doctors, doctors, doctors

Let me start by saying that the drive from Salt Lake City to Idaho Falls (IF) is the most boring, ugliest drive ever. It isn't very long, only about 3 hours, but it is a whole lot of nothing the entire way! Once you get to IF, there are only two things I have found so far that make it slightly (but only very slightly) more awesome than Utah-alcohol is half the price-and you can buy it at the grocery store, and the multi-state Powerball Lottery, which I am convinced I am going to win. I need to fund this surgery somehow, right?

The reason for my drive? United Healthcare (my lovely insurance provider) requires all bariatric services to be done at a certified "Bariatric Center of Excellence." Surprisingly, there is not one in Utah, but there is one in Idaho. You may not know much about the two states, so you will just have to trust me when I say it is odd for Idaho to have something that Utah doesn't. I could have gone anywhere in the country. I thought about Florida and San Diego-the nice, warm beachy places that would be great for my recovery, but because of the follow-up required with the Lap Band, I decided to stick with the closest facility. For me, that is Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center (known from this point forward as EIRMC). Their bariatric program is called New U, and they are a great group of people.

I am lucky enough to have a very good friend taking this journey with me. We work together, we are the same age, and at pretty similar points in our lives in all aspects. I couldn't ask for a more perfect person to take this journey with! We called last week to schedule our doctors visits and there was an opening for Wednesday, March 10th. We decided to leave the husbands and take the frigid trek as just the girls. We left Tuesday after work, had a nice night watching some TLC reality shows, and prepared for a long day of doctor visits.

The first stop was meeting the surgeon. He's a nice guy, I think he looks a little like Richard Dreyfuss. I could tell he had quite a few surgeries under his belt, and he answered all our questions about surgery day. I also got on a high-tech scale and got a print-out of my body composition (which I am saving for another post). It was definitely another eye-opening moment!

After the surgeon, we went to "Band Class," where we learned about all the pre and post-op care related to "owning" a Lap-Band. The nurse went over all the things to expect with surgery. I have been lucky enough to never have needed surgery in the past. Everything I thought I knew about surgery was definitely shoved in my face. I know all the risks involved with any surgery, but things just became very real for me at that point. Intubation, blood clots, nausea, I really ready for all that? YES I AM!!

Next was the exercise physiologist. He was awesome! The best thing he said was that in his 20 years of working with people trying to get in shape, he had never seen anyone lose over 100 pounds until he started working at the New U clinic. Previous to that, he was one of "those" people that thought all everyone needed was diet and exercise alone. His testimonial that the program actually works better than anything else was very inspirational and exciting. I got the sense that he was as excited for us to start our new lives as we are!

The dietitian came in next to talk about all the things we are going to have to change with our eating habits. I think I am going to also save that for another post, for when I talk a bit more about the Lap Band in general. This post is getting quite lengthy. Let's just say...a LOT of adjustments will be made to my current diet. After the dietitian, we took advantage of our day off work, went shopping for a bit. The mall in IF is quite lacking, so we decided to stop for lunch and head home.

There was more fun to be had today, though! Part of my insurance requirement is a psychological evaluation, which included a 576 question personality test and a 1 hour evaluation. I don't know why a three hour evaluation is necessary, but I guess they want to be sure I am not completely psycho (which I am pretty certain I am not).

Now, I get to play the waiting game. Time to wait for my insurance to approve my surgery, and probably more waiting after that to come up with the funds I will need. I get more excited every day this becomes closer to being a reality. I have dreamed of being thin for such a long time. I can't believe it might actually be within my reach!