Sunday, February 27, 2011

Just can't blog enough

Lately I've been a little better keeping up with this blog.  A little.  Like any blog I've done however it's pretty much feast or famine for me.  I'll do great awhile then go weeks or more neglecting it.

So what do I do?  Start another blog.  This one isn't so public as just available at work.  Sprint has a sort of employee blog where people can post about life our work our whatever. Some post about gaming, some get into work issues, and I decided to start posting on weight loss stuff.  But theres a bit of a slant as I want to focus on how the very technology we are providing can make an impact.

I will say that from a business and marketing sense I've been really impressed with the direction sprint is taking.  More than just focusing on the "we have the best 4g debates they've built some great relationships that focus on using the technology beyond gadgets and phones.

One example is the Bodymedia armband.  They have another relationship with a medical monitoring company that uses wireless technology to keep doctors up to date on a patients progress.  It's pretty impressive stuff.

On tp of all that are the applications available that can really make a difference.  It's stuff like this I want to focus on.  I'm hoping to be able to integrate some of the posts into here as there are some pretty cool things out there, some I just recently learned about through comments made on the two posts I've made. And it would be pretty c ool if I could do  that without having to post in two coherent places eh?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Back in the saddle again

I'm back to biking again. It feels good, being on a bike for the first time since my bike was stolen about a year or so ago. I was able to do some extra work this past month, and decided to earmark some funds for a bike. Okay, let me just say, bike shopping can be... a pain? Some places want to push you right up into a thousand dollar bike, and I hate that kind of pressure. When it was all said and done I found a nice Specialized, bright red (Go Huskers!) that I was pretty happy with. It's a mountain bike kind of hybrid, meaning it's got the mountain bike frame but smoother tires for roads and trails. I'd thought I'd get a road bike this time around, but decided that for the hills here, weight, and price, not to mention a bit of comfort, this would work out pretty nicely.

So, today was my first time using the bike to any extent at all. I rode it to the light rail, about a 4 mile ride, and then from light rail into work and back, as well as about 3-4 miles otherwise. Part of that 4 miles was because I'd missed the bus off the light rail and decided to take off chasing it to see if I could catch it. Fortunately the bus had to take a detour because of a closed street but I could get on teh bike path along the street and keep going, so I was able to pretty much catch up about 2 miles down the road.

Okay, so I have to say being 80 pounds lighter than last time I rode a bike, you can REALLY feel the difference. Hills are not nearly so killer. That feels good.

It is good that I'm keeping my activity up. Right now I'm holding steady weight wise... I'm still not as disciplined there as I need to be, it's REALLY hard to do that. My armband tells me I'm averaging 9000 to 10,000 steps a day and more than 4,000 calories a day. I'm still supposedly burning more calories than I'm eating, but I"m not losing weight as I should if that's the case, which tells me that maybe the whole MET thing that measures calories burned isn't necessarilly accurate. After all, I could stay in bed all day and still burn 2500 calories, that just doesn't seem to be right, you know?

I'm having fun with some new apps on the phone and checking all those out. I'll have to follow up with some reports on some of them... there's some pretty amazing stuff out there. But, for now, I'm a sleepy guy, so... off I go.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Yay! Mobile posting

Just yesterday my phone had a fairly major update which is a good thing, however it defaulted everything which means ask my applications were wiped out.  Not really a big deal since I can reload everything pretty easily, just takes time.  Nice thing about it is surfing through android amarket I found some nice new applications and in the process found the blogger app so now I can post more easily from my phone.  That means there will likely be shorter posts but more frequent ones, probably both good things.

I found another cool free app as well called the instant heart rate monitor.  It uses the camera of all things.  It's a lot like how an oximeter works.  It says your finger slightly changes color with each heartbeat so you put your finger over the camera lens and out notices the changes this measuring your heart rate.  Pretty clever eh?  And it beats the heck out of paying 50 to a hundred bucks on another piece of equipment

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Couch 2 5K

This morning I finished week 1 of the couch to 5K program. The idea is to work up to being able to run a full 5K in about 8-10 weeks. You do it by walking/running in intervals, gradually working up the amount of time that you are running, with 3 workouts a week.

The first week, you start out with 5 minute warmup walking, then for twenty minutes you run for 60 second intervals and walk 90 second intervals, then finish with a 30 minute cool down. Monday I go to week 2 which is 90 second runs, 2 minute walks, then the next week it becomes 90 seconds running 90 seconds walking, 3 minutes running, 3 minutes walking, and then repeat that cycle once. So it gradually works up.

So far it's gone pretty good. I get a bit winded which is good for me I'm sure. And so far, no problems with knees hurting or anything, that's important and definitely something to monitor.

I mentioned getting the armband. Here's a bit of a snapshot of what it measures. Essentially it will track your activity, so it will show things like how many minutes you're active, it will count your steps, tell you how many calories you burn, etc.
So for example this one shows the calories burned through the day, so you can see what was happening during my run/walk. Now of course the one thing missing is calories consumed, as I haven't entered my meals. But it's a pretty neat tool as I can see the balance between what I've consumed and what I've burned.

And right now, being sans lap band, the key for me is to really ramp up the activity end of things. Of course somewhere along the line I have to get figured out how to handle the consumption part of things, I've been in kind of this freestyle pattern since the surgery without a plan. Hope that changes soon eh?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Can I say I'm scared?

I'm incredibly amazed at my recovery. I can pretty much eat normally now. All the plumbing is working, I can eat, and drink, all in normal volumes.

And it scares me a little.

I've come so far, and now here I am on my own and... I'm just so afraid right now of falling back to old patterns.

Okay, so... resolve! Not gonna happen. I'm never going back. NEVER!

On to another subject.... I've decided to take up the running after all. I have been saying wait til I'm under 280, well... I'm there. Two days ago I started the first day of the Couch25K program and it felt really, really good. So.... that's one way to keep the momentum going.

I got my bodymedia armband. I'll have to go into more detail on it, got a great little deal going through work that lets me play with it, and I'm quite pleased with it. It definitely provides some interesting data, so sometime I'll get into that some.

Remember, I'm not going back!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Sleep is good

It felt good to sleep through the night! First time in awhile I could sleep that long without being awakened by reflux. Woohoo!

I actually gained 10 pounds. Granted, I miss seeing that 6 being the second digit, but still, that's actually a good thing. I was seriously that dehydrated. After so many IV's and now being able to actually drink, I'm getting replenished now. Fill 'er up!

I'm trying not to dwell on how much harder it will be to keep this all off now that the band's gone. That's a bit of reality starting to sink in. =( But I've got to take the attitude instead to run (maybe even literally?) with where I am and take advantage of all this momentum!

Ohhhh, and now for some pic's. First, front shot, before my initial surgery and before I went in Thursday:

And now for the side shots.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Home and feeling better

Do you have any idea how wonderful it is to be able to drink a full glass of water?

I'm back from surgery feeling a thousand times better. Okay, still a bit tired, some obviously from the surgery and some I'm guessing from not sleeping much in the days leading up to surgery.

All went well. Ive felt good from the moment I woke up from the surgery, with 5 more little incisions in my stomach. In fact I've not been on any pain medication since coming out, and haven't really felt the need for it. Yeah, the incisions are a bit sore but not too terrible. The staff at St. Joseph hospital is pretty amazing, care was top notch. They did want to keep me over for observation due to all the nausea and vomiting I've had, but there were no problems or issues and I'm so thankful to be feeling so well.

In the end, the doctor ended up removing the band. I guess there was a fair bit of scarring on the stomach from it's little journey through the band, and that coupled with it's previous escape attempt in the form of a hiatal hernia did not really leave a good spot for the doctor to try to re-attach the band. He told me this morning that for me the lap band has run its course. If it seems necessary in the future they can always look at the other styles, either the bypass or a gastric sleeve. My hope however is to keep up with the momentum I've got going and pray I can make it a lifetime change.

I will say that there's some disappointment. Actually the disappointment's not as strong right now as it's tempered by just feeling so much better. I think I found myself feeling pretty ecstatic about feeling better and that's still there. There's tremendous anticipation to being able to get back on track with exercise and all. So all that is tempering the disappointment, but I'll have to admit that deep down there's a little apprehension, as the purpose of the band isn't all about the weight loss, but for the long term maintenance as well. All I know is, I don't ever want to go back. Ever. That will end up ahving to be my motivation for keeping the momentum going eh?

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Back to square 1, but not really

So starting today, I get to go back to the whole liquid diet routine, then soft food diet, slowly working back to a regular diet. I go in at 10:30, surgery at 12:30.

This past week has been incredibly challenging. With the slippage, the exit was pretty well blocked off. Food and water in my stomach had nowhere to go. Okay, it had one place to go and that's what the challenging part of it was. Basically the last few days has been liquids only but even those could not go anywhere. The problem with that is that my body would be secreting a bunch of fluids and bile into the stomach, which led to incredibly frequent and rather forceful vomiting. On average it was probably hourly. Now when you're taking in 2-3 ounces and throwing up 16 ounces, you can imagine what it does to one's hydration level. I ended up going in last night to get an IV, they actually gave me two bags of fluid.

It is an amazing thing to watch your fingers and your face shrivel up as the fluid has been sucked out of your body, and pretty incredible how quickly they come back to normal with an IV. That was incredibly revitalizing.

Let me say this, ice chips are a good thing. Drinking much of anything would encourage more frequent vomiting, so last night after getting back I spent the night just sucking down ice chips one at a time. Having said that you have no idea how badly I'd love to gulp down a tall glass of cold water, an ice tea, or a glass of milk. Amazing how much you can miss something like that. Especially now when I'm even off ice chips, gotta stay liquid free prior to surgery. Dang how I'd love a drink!

Hard to imagine anticipating surgery, but... I really am! Getting back to a semblence of normalcy is something I so look forward to. I know some that are worried, but it's really something pretty simple. If the stomach is in a condition to allow him to do it, the doctor will move the band back to the proper position and secure it a little better. If not he'll simply remove it. I'm at peace with it either way. I'd rather have it left on, for all the reasons I had it put on. But even if it has to come off... I'm at 265 pounds! That's huge! Okay, that's less huge.... MUCH less huge. Which is HUGE. I'm 40 pounds from my goal, and that has me at a point where, it's far easier to get active, which I've been pretty active all along, but... where I've talked about maybe getting to running when I get to a safer weight for that.... I'm at a safer weight. Still not sure about running, but whatever it is, I'm so much better able to do it. So even if it has to come out... I'm okay because I know I'll be okay.

Dang I'm thirsty!

And the answer to Janiece's question... still remains an unshakable and unqualified heck yeah, I would do it again if I knew about all this misery of the past week.

Did I mentione I'm thirsty? One big difference about the previous surgery and this one: I did go into it then not looking at all forward to the liquid diet to follow. Today I'm relishing the prospect. Let's face it, I've already been on the liquid diet and to be honest not eating foods has not been a bother, fortunately. But... getting to drink liquids, some jello, some soup stock, milk... WATER!!!... and have them stay down and go where they're supposed to go again... I'm so looking forward to that.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Runaway Tummy

Okay, so let's play a game of name Ron's tummy. So far the nominees are:

Logan. Okay, this one really dates me, the old movie and eventually TV series, Logan's Run.

Richard Kimble. Okay, my choice to pick David Jannsen instead of Harrison Ford also dates me, doesn't it? But, here's one for more contemporary readers:

Micheal Schofield. From the tv series Prison Break.

Cast your votes and you get to be an amazing part of this blog!

So now I'll give you the scoop. As I mentioned I'm losing weight much too quickly and feeling a bit icky lately. You can now take off "a bit." I'm just plain icky. And weight loss? I'm at 272 this morning. That's like 21 pounds in 12 days.... wayyyyy too fast.

After a weekend of generally not keeping any food down at all and throwing up wayyyyy too much Janiece took me into the emergency room this morning. We were concerned about dehydration. They ended up doing an upper GI as part of it all (finally!) and we discovered a nice little slippage. Okay, a big slippage. It appears my stomach has migrated most of the way up through the lap band. Nothing's getting through the band now which is not a good thing. But you know, there's at least some relief knowing what it is. So we're looking at going back in for a followup surgery to fix the thing ASAP.

Now this isn't the first time the little bugger has tried something like this. A substantial portion of my stomach had tried escaping out the diaphragm in the past (thus the hiatal hernia I think I've mentioned before)... I guess the poor guy figures he's been through hell and he just wants out or something.

So.... not necessarily looking forward to another surgery but... really looking forward to getting everything feeling better.

Janiece asked, knowing what I know now, would I have done this all over again? Absolutely. (unless there's more to know about later that I really, really don't like, but I don't expect that to be the case....)

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Speeding along

It's been a week. And here I am 7 pounds less already.

Not sure that's as good a thing though. I mean hey, I'll take every pound, that part I'm okay with. But this time it's a bit different, with my stomach still feeling a bit.... funny? Over all it's felt a lot better, I do think there was probably a bug going on at the same time that didn't help how I was feeling. I've been on some Prilosec but the reflux hasn't totally gone away. Now it's like an every other night kind of thing. Now maybe it's just that it keeps me up one night, so the next night I'm so tired that not even the reflux wakes me up. But the thing about it is there are days where it's just hard putting down any food because I'm not sure how it's going to end up feeling. So my weight loss is now really more about not eating much, and I have to really watch myself to make sure I'm getting enough protein and such. In about 2 weeks I'm scheduled for an upper GI where they will take a look and see if anything has changed, either that my lap band has slipped or if the old hiatal hernia is trying to reassert itself. I'll be glad to be back to feeling a bit more normal.

Having said that.... know how good it feels to be in the 280's? Wow, that's one I'm not sure I ever thoguht I'd get to. It's funny, 290's didn't seem so out of reach, so why would one more digit down make a difference? I think it's because I made the 290's before, and then stalled. But 280's, that's a totally different story. I know I've said this before, but... I haven't been here in ages. Okay, I won't beat that dead horse, but... wow. So even though the stomach is feeling different, it's definitely a different feeling.

It seems like it's been just the past couple weeks that all of a sudden everything looks different. Maybe it's a psychological thing because after all now I've crossed these milestones and I'm where I've not been in a long, long time, but... suddenly I notice the look more. Yeah, you can still see the overweight aspect of things, but... there's no longer the big gut. I don't look skinny, but... it doesn't feel like I look fat any more either, if that makes sense. And my wife can wrap her arms all the way around me... that's pretty cool stuff there.

I keep wondering whether to start trying running now, as I'm getting where I felt I needed to be before starting. That's probably one for more discussion later... but the thought is definitely playing with me.... guess we shall see eh?