Monday, November 30, 2009

The Pecan Pie Incident

Starting weight: 328 lbs
Current weight: 299
Amount lost: 29 ... uh, oops.

After four days of turkey and dressing ad nauseam, I came away from Part 2 of the three-headed holiday gluttony monster a mere three pounds heavier than I was entering. Now considering the fact that the only exercise I got on the four-day weekend was climbing up a one-rung step ladder to put up my Christmas lights, that's a moral victory if ever there was one.

Now wait a minute, my not-as-rotund-as-you-used-to-be friend, aren't you supposed to be LOSING weight with this Lap Band doodamahickey?

Why yes, yes I am. But I didn't. I'll own that.

I actually did very well at our Thanksgiving feast, loading up my plate with little portions of everything. I took small bites, chewed well and ate slowly, just like the Lap Band Instruction Manual says. But I was stung by something much more venomous than the big bad turkey day meal itself.


You can prepare yourself for the big bird. It's not hard to psyche yourself up, gird up your loins and limit your intake for an hour or so as you sit surrounded by cranberries and corn casserole. In and out. One and done. That wasn't so bad, right?

But leftovers linger. Like a wet, hacking, snotty cough. Like the smell of burnt popcorn. Like a Pancho's buffet gas attack. Leftovers never go away. Hell, I think I threw away some sort of cheesy green bean dish from last Thanksgiving while cleaning out the fridge to make room for this year's leftovers.

In the end, there were more leftovers in my belly than in the fridge. Not that I gorged. I grazed all weekend. Moo. Sweet potatoes here. Pea salad there. Turkey omelets everywhere. Moooooo. So that three pounds is on me ... literally. But I can live with that, because out of it comes a very valuable, yet painful lesson learned.

We ate early on Thursday, as per family tradition, so we'd have plenty of time to clear the table and load up on Rolaids and Prilosec prior to Cowboys-Raiders kickoff. And as you know, Thanksgiving afternoon in front of the TV watching football is PRIME grazing time. So as the game was winding down, I wandered into the kitchen and snatched up a relatively small piece of pecan pie.

Maybe it was the familiar and comforting taste of room temperature gooey sweetness, or maybe I was in a hurry to get back to the game, or maybe I was racked with guilt for eating something I shouldn't and reverted to pre-Lap Band scarf mode so no one would catch me. Whatever the reason, I neither took small bites nor chewed well, and as best I can tell, yonder relatively small piece of pecan pie got relatively wedged into my relatively small stomach opening.

I didn't realize it at first, since it was just a feeling of fullness. Time to stop eating, I thought. The painful part came later after I stupidly drank a glass of water, which only served to drive the pecan pie wedge in tighter.

Now was it kicked in the crotch painful? No. But it was a might uncomfortable and stomach crampy as it radiated angrily into my lower back. I felt like I was getting gut punched by Sugar Ray Leonard and kidney punched by Marvelous Marvin Hagler all at the same time.

Laying down made it worse, so I got back up, recalling the advice of a fellow Lap Bander, and walked around with my hands on my head, doing this sort of twisty turny torso dance in hopes of dislodging the pecan pie blockage so it could move on through.

I finally landed all squirreled up on the couch in a semi-reclined position with hands on head. I looked funny as hell, but at least I didn't hurt. It all passed a while later, and the pain thankful subsided.

So let's recap: small bites, chew well, eat slowly, and when they say don't drink liquids while you are eating ... they mean it. And next Thanksgiving? Pecan Pie Smoothies. Lesson learned.

Peace, love and gooey sweetness.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Who's Bringing the Gummy Worms?

Starting weight as of 10/14: 328 lbs.
Current weight as of 11/22: 296 lbs.
Amount Lost: 32 lbs.

It's fitting that only a few weeks past the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall that I, myself, have taken a sledgehammer to my own physical, mental and emotional Iron Curtain.

After much wailing and gnashing of teeth, I can proudly tell Mr. Gobachev that I have torn down the 300-pound wall, metaphorically speaking. I've lost 32 pounds and currently weigh 296 lbs., which means I'm below 300 lbs. for the first time since, well, I truly can't tell you. It's been that long.

All it took was a bottle of Turbo-lax and a spoonful of intestinal parasites (I kid!).

But not only am I seeing the results on my already well-worn bathroom scale, I'm getting into shirts that I haven't been able to wear in years. And when I miss a workout because of a conflict, I really miss it. I'm starting to crave that feeling of satisfied exhaustion you get from working up a good sweat. I've had that feeling before, but now it's different. Previously I'd only get it from a morning visit to the porcelain throne after a long night at Fogo de Chao, if you know what I mean!

And all of this comes at the perfect time of the year. For me, the holidays, though festive and and full of awesomeness because I get a bunch of free stuff, have always been a time of great consternation and struggle.

I'd enter into the Halloween-Thanksgiving-Christmas triumvirate with the greatest of intentions, vowing to limit the sweets and eat sensibly. But then I'd exit hurriedly through the back door amidst a flurry of Almond Joy wrappers and giblet gravy, only to be found sometime before New Year's Eve in a back alley, slumped against a wall in a tryptophan haze while clinging desperately to a gnawed-clean ham bone and muttering something about The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.

But this year I've looked forward to the Holiday Troika more than any other time in my life, or at least since I was a little cheat.

Reason being is that My Friend Lap Band has kindly taken all my consternation and struggle, given it the middle finger and unceremoniously sent it on its merry frickin' way. All that worry and hollow self-promise about eating right has vanished. And just like that, it was gone. Keyser Soze gone.

With My Little Lap Band in place, and a with my heat-seeking, laser-guided, thermonuclear, infrared night-time-vision-goggle focus zeroed in on eating right, overeating is simply not an option.
  • Like the NCAA ever instituting a BCS playoff system
  • Like Rosanne Barr ever singing the national anthem before a baseball game again
  • Like me getting all giddy about going to see New Moon
  • Not ... going ... to ... happen
And if it's not an option, then I just don't have to worry my pretty little head about it. Plain and simple.

Now, I did help myself to a few of the gummy worms in my girls' candy cache. But that was during my soft food phase. And gummy worms are ... soft. And I will have my share of turkey and dressing with all the trimmings. But in small bites and proper portions. And for the first time in recent memory, I will push myself away from the table, full but not miserable, satisfied but not stuffed, and happily say, "I've had enough."

Overeating will not be on the menu this holiday season. Because I've had enough.

It's either that, or I puke all over myself. And I'm saving that for the Christmas Party. Anyone for a chocolate-peppermint martini?

Peace, love and turkey legs

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Bacon Good, Patience Bad

Starting weight as of 10/14: 328 lbs.
Current weight as of 11/12: 300 lbs.
Amount Lost: 28 lbs.

Just over three weeks ago, The Good Doctor shaved my belly, waved his magic laproscopic wand and left his calling card in my gut, in the form of a plastic C-clamp with the words "The Good Doctor Was Here" inscribed on it, gently wrapped around the upper part of my stomach.

Today, I stand, er, sit, on the precipice of a milestone that I haven't seen since little Suri Cruise was hatched in a Scientology petri dish. I'm a scant two pounds, technically three, away from being below 300 lbs.

Now that, kittens (BvBB!), may not seem like that big of a deal, but to someone who was mortified to reach the 250 mark, was horribly embarrassed to hit 275, was in denial at hitting 300 and was utterly humiliated and in angry disbelief at passing 325, trust me, it's a BIG ... FREAKING ... DEAL.

But for now I'm in a holding pattern at 28, and to be quite honest, I've been a little frustrated by the fact that I've been circling the tower for just over a week with no additional drop in weight.

Not that I expect it all to fall off in big chunks. I mean, 28 lbs. in 29 days is nothing to jiggle your man boobs at. Extra Large Oprah from a few years ago would sell Stedman for a handful of bacon bits if she could drop weight at that kind of rate.

But for those of you who have never experienced weight loss on a grander scale, and we're not talking 'oh gosh, this dress is too tight, I need to lose 5 lbs. let me barf up my dinner weight loss,' losing weight is like being addicted to crack, heroine, meth and my personal favorite, liquid hydrocodone, all at the same time.

Once you experience it, you have this insatiable, carnal nagging; an intense clawing, gnawing, painful desire for more, more, more, MORE. You can't get enough, and it can't happen fast enough. A least that's how I currently feel. Daddy needs a fix and needs it bad.

So before I panicked (dude, haven't you already?), I took my neck out of the noose and called my doctor, as well as one of my good friends who was banded last year, for some sage advice.

What did they tell me? Patience, young grasshoppa. Patience. Something that is in very short supply around here and seems to be on back order with no ship date in site. Patience. Try telling that to your friendly neighborhood crackhead when he's looking to score some rock.

But, I have since taken sufficient deep breaths, along with a couple deep bong hits (kidding!!!) and calmed myself, realizing that my first week back on solid foods might have something to do with it (again, burying the lead here).

Especially since the first bite of solid foods last week consisted of two words. BA ... CON! Remember what I said in my previous entry about the first bite of soft foods? Take that, turn it up to 11 and set it on fire. That's how good that little piece of pork heaven was.

But after that initial bit of bacon, it's all been by the book. I've eaten right, watched my portions and worked out every day, which means I've worked out more in the past two weeks than I have in the past two years. And I keep reminding myself that this isn't a 100-yard dash I'm running here, it's a marathon.

At least now, thanks to 28 fewer pounds, I can run 100 yards without having to stop halfway for oxygen and medical attention.

Peace, love and BA ... CON! And remember, DON'T PANIC!