my new year’s diet.

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no. not that kind of diet (though i do plan on making some modifications to my regularly scheduled breakfast, lunch and dinner).

a spending diet. as in, watching my spending like i watch my waistline.

i’ve been reading dave ramsey and perusing my checking account and the verdict is in: i’ve been spending too much (mostly little bits here and there, but all in all, too much).

if you knew what i was like ten years ago, heck, even five, you would know how far i’ve come. but since many of you didn’t know me then, you probably wouldn’t understand the enormity of the change in my financial outlook over the past decade.

generally speaking, i’m a thrifty gal. i never pay for shipping, i coupon and pay my credit card balance every month. i have an emergency fund and a 401k and utilize my health savings account (pre-tax dollars baby!). i shop when stuff is on sale and rarely pay full price for anything.

regardless of all of these things, i still am spending too much money. not living-beyond-my-means spending, or i’ll-be-broke-by-the-end-of-the-month spending, just. TOO. MUCH. and because money can be such a huge issue in marriage, and because i don’t want it to be an issue in mine, i’m going to re-examine the way i look at – and spend – money.

also, and this is a big thing, i’ve come to realize that some of my spending is bordering on transfer addiction.

Psychologists call this phenomenon “addiction transfer.” People who struggle with compulsive behaviors (such as compulsive overeating, alcoholism, smoking, compulsive gambling or shopping, promiscuity, workaholism, Internet or video game addiction and drug addiction), often find that they overcome one addiction only to develop another months or even years later.

(you can read more about it here.)

you see, i can’t eat like i used to, or devote my time to coach-potatohood (yep. i just made that up.) or smoke. sidebar: i smoked for 10 years and quit before being banded. after banding, my desire to smoke (even after having not smoked for a year) is greater than ever. it doesn’t even make sense to me.

post-banding, i am addicted to exercise (not a horrible thing) and as of late, spending money. shopping, hoarding random crap like wallflowers and candles because i’m afraid i’ll miss out on something and not be able to get it again. like serious messed-up, addictive (hoarder??) thinking.

so come january 1, i am starting a serious spending diet. and i’m basing it on this chica’s spending diet, with a few necessary modifications.

The Spending Diet: 

  1. make list of my needs: shelter, phone, food, utilities, rent.
  2. from my needs list, determine what can be costs can be reduced (i’d say eliminate, but they are supposed NEEDS).
  3. stop spending $$$$$$.
  4. spend money on needs, because, hey, they’re needs.
  5. because this is a spending diet (not a fast), i am allowing myself a $100 limit on “non-needs” for the month. stuff like: clothes, make-up, entertainment, dinner out, other random “non-needs” stuff. this does not include wedding-related expenses, as those are pretty much unavoidable at this point (deposits, fees, dress, whatnot). that’s a completely separate budget – YES. I HAVE AN EXTREMELY DETAILED (AND THRIFTY) WEDDING BUDGET THAT I UPDATE ON THE DAILY.
  6. i’ll keep a running monthly tally of the money i’m spending on “non-needs” and once the $100 is done, so is my spending.

the implications of such a task are not lost on me. and subconsciously, i think my ability/inability to cut my spending is directly related to my ability/inability to lose weight.

this will be particularly challenging, given that it falls right during bath & body works’ semi-annual sale and end-of-the-year clearances (damn wallflowers!), but i will be strong. and i will save.

and i will be a better (and richer) person/partner/bandit for it.

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follow up

posting a follow up to this weekend’s blog in reference to a question from becky.

“Horrific story!! I’m actually glad that you told it, because it makes me think twice about what my plan is if I get stuck and need immediate help. What would you do differently next time? Would it have helped if you had something explaining the band system with you? Just curious…”

1. “what would you do differently next time?” first, i would have called friday when i got stuck, so that i could have avoided the $100 ER copay and nineish hours of hellish vomiting/discomfort/all-around misery. now that i look back on it, my band was too tight and i knew it. i should have said something sooner. secondly, i would have asked that the doctor meet me at the office and not the ER. in fact, i’m going to bring this up with my surgeon at my appointment next tuesday. it’s crazy to have endure all that testing/trauma when all i needed (and knew i needed) all along was an unfill. RIDIC. finally, i would have not eaten eggs. and i won’t!

2. “would it have helped if you had something explaining the band system with you?” doubtful. they were pretty intent on (CAT) scanning/poking/prodding/not listening to me. i told them right off the bat that i needed an unfill and had something stuck. what did the tests show? why, a blockage! it’s likely emergency room protocol (and greed) to go through all that ridiculously expensive testing rather than listen to little old me and page the doctor on-call, but i knew my stuff. i did have my card on me, but no one wanted to see it (or would have cared). ironically, later that night i found an emergency room cheat sheet for WLS patients. might be nice to have this in case i’m incapacitated for any reason, especially since this time, i could barely talk due to the frequent vomiting and pressure on my esophagus.

it was definitely a learning experience – one i hope to never repeat.

run – DO NOT WALK – to your surgeon if you suspect you’re too tight. do not ignore that voice inside your head.

three days later, still traumatized. and still not eating eggs 🙂

i will never eat eggs.

ever. again.

after my stuck episode the other day, i took it easy. no problems.

this morning, i wake up congested. i take one bite of eggs. okay. two. stuck.

i threw up for three hours – including each and every liquid i attempted – before i called the surgeon. he was out of town but told me to head to the hospital and the doctor on call would see me.

except he didn’t. the ER docs said they couldn’t page him until they had diagnosed my problem. this was after the med student taking my history asked me to explain what stuck was. i knew what the problem was, i knew what the solution was – but yet i had to endure six hours in the ER puking up my own saliva in a blue cup every five minutes.

after the CAT scan (during which i puked on myself) revealed a blockage (DUH), they finally called the doctor on call — wait, what’s that? HE’S THE ONLY ONE IN THE PRACTICE WHO ISN’T A BARIATRIC SURGEON. really. such luck.

he couldn’t find my port so he had to call another doc in. after he arrived, two seconds and RELIEF. well, not really two seconds, because at that point, i was about 9.5 hours deep in my own vomit. disgusting.

i instantly felt better. INSTANTLY. my congestion went away. i didn’t vomit. relief.

my discharge paper was simple: “it appears you had a blockage to your lapband. please use caution.” NO SHHHHHHIT.

it’s ridiculous that they didn’t just have the bariatric surgeon meet me at the office. i mean, i know it’s a saturday and whatnot, but no one in the ER could help me. no one. they could have relieved me of my discomfort in two minutes (and without the $100 copay) but instead i had to endure six and a half hours waiting for someone to take some fill out of my band (which, by the way, has way more than 5.4 ccs — apparently, they put some in at surgery so i have somewhere close to 10 ccs).

so now my band is basically empty (as is my stomach), and i go back in a week to likely have some put back in.

i’m exhausted and will never, ever, EVER eat an egg for the rest of my life – at least, not in scrambled form.

goodbye eggs. it’s been a love-hate relationship all along, but i can now definitively say “shove off.” stay out of my life (and my esophagus).

i also will never wait to call the doctor again. i should have called the other day but it didn’t seem to be anything out of the ordinary – just a case of sloppy chewing. but it wasn’t. it was too tight. don’t ever hesitate to call your doc if you have any inkling that you might be too tight.

surprisingly, they didn’t tell me to do liquids, but i’m nursing some soup and calling it a day. hope your saturday was less eventful 🙂

weigh-in wednesday

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THIS IMAGE IS MINE

  • last week (11/23): 218.8
  • this week (11/30): 218.0
  • WEEKLY LOSS: -0.8 lbs
  • TOTAL LOSS: -41.0 lbs

a loss after thanksgiving? WIN!

been slacking on the posting as of late….thankful thursdays…what’s that? whoops.

a quick update on life:

  • today is my first day back to work after a week of vacation. gosh i love sleeping in and working out during the day with the silver-sneaker set.
  • thanksgiving was relaxing and fun – and my band pretty much behaved itself. i ate more than i should, but i mostly made good choices, and focused on protein. after a weekend of carbs, carbs and more carbs, i expected to see a gain on the scale. but when i weighed in on sunday, no change. i wouldn’t call that a success – but i also wouldn’t call it failure.
  • my band definitely seems to be tight – or i seem to be a really sloppy chewer (most likely the latter). unless i chew-chew-chew, i choke-choke-choke (PB). last night, i got stuck on chicken and it was hell, mostly because i wasn’t quite sure that it was/is gone. still not sure. giving myself a break and doing liquids today.
  • starting to get nervous about wedding dress shopping. i promised myself i wouldn’t try on a dress until january, and i won’t – especially since the very thought makes me sick to my stomach. i am likely being a baby and silly, but i saw a picture of myself this weekend and felt upset that even after losing 40 pounds, i still look hideous in photos. seriously upsetting – and silly, given all the real problems in the world. i need to get over this, and soon….but it is so discouraging to work and work and work and still feel huge.
  • have an appointment next week with the nutritionist. i’m sure she’ll be glad to see that i haven’t journaled since my last appointment (in october). i’ll see the surgeon two weeks later, and again, there’s likely to be smiles all around. not.

how did you fare this thanksgiving? were you able to turn down extra turkey or say no to leftover stuffing (just so you know – i didn’t do either!)?

weigh-in wednesday

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THIS IMAGE IS MINE

  • last week (11/16): 218.8
  • this week (11/23): 218.8
  • WEEKLY LOSS: -0.0 lbs
  • TOTAL LOSS: -40.2 lbs

WHAT THE WHAT! send help. soon.

oh yea: HAPPY THANKSGIVING! perhaps to celebrate i’ll remember to write a “thankful thursday” post.

how/what are you celebrating this year?

weigh-in wednesday

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THIS IMAGE IS MINE

  • last week (11/2): 220.0
  • this week (11/9): 219.2
  • WEEKLY LOSS: -0.8 lbs
  • TOTAL LOSS: -39.8 lbs

let’s not talk about the fact that it said 217.8 the day before, or that i effin’ hate the fact that i am ALWAYS heaviest on wednesday (how does that happen??).  UGH.

still – a loss is a loss is a loss.

onward and upward…