Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Very Tragic Situation For My Family

Hello, everyone who has been following my blog. I've been mia and am taking a moment to let you all know why. My husband, who is a pilot for Quest Diagnostics, has been involved in a major plane accident. He was flying Thursday night, moving medical specimens for the company, and the plane he was in crashed at Teterboro airport. He was not flying the plane. We are not sure what happened exactly, to cause the crash. My husband is in critical condition with burns over 40% of his body. He is sedated and can't hear me an will be undergoing operations several times a week for the next 6 weeks or so. Many of you have written that you enjoy my blog, and I hope to be back blogging as soon as he is on his way to recovery. For more information on the accident you can google George Maddox plane crash and you will see many stories on it. 
Thanks to all of you who have been reading my posts, and remember that you can follow your lap band diet if you stay focused and follow your doc's advice. Lisa Maddox View blog reactions

Thursday, August 6, 2009

On a Diet? Take a Page from Lap Band-ers and Don't Drink While You Eat!

May I Get You a Drink?

Saw my lap band surgeon today, and we got into an interesting discussion. I was telling him how difficult it is for me to eat without drinking, and he floored me with some really interesting video that will make you simultaneously want to barf and never want to drink while eating again.

If you're not a lap bander, then you may not know that we're told to stop drinking about 15 minutes before we eat, and then to abstain from drinking for 45 minutes after we eat. It's hard. I'm one of those people who has always drunk a lot while I'm eating. A large soda with free refills, you say? Bring it on! Now, a couple of months after banding, I struggle at every meal to limit my liquid intake. I've got it down to little sips whenever I really, really need to drink while I eat. But I have to concentrate or I pick up the glass and swig away, totally unaware.

I told my doc about this hoping he might say it wasn't a very big deal, and instead he responded by referring me to one of his guilty pleasures... watching eating contests. Yes, my surgeon watches these things on YouTube with his kids, and he knows the names of the two best competitive eating "athletes" there are: a Japanese guy named Takeru Kobayashi, (who looks like an Olympian, no lie) and an American name Joey Chestnut, (who doesn't.)

The videos are strange, weird, and fascinating. Also kind of funny and disgusting. They have hilarious commentary, and the participants in the contests put away an astounding amount of food. 
But the reason he told me to watch was not to freak me out (I don't think so, anyway.) He wanted me to watch them is because these guys are constantly drinking while they compete. They use the drinks to wash the food through their esophagus, through their system. This allows them to put away an astounding amount of food. Sometimes they take the food and actually dip it in the water. Using liquid must work, because these guys are really eating fast, and it has to be going somewhere.

Brace yourself, because I've included a video here of the Nathan's Hot Dogs Eating Contest. You'll see what I mean. Both of the champion eaters are on this video:

Yikes, right? But it really got me thinking. If you are on a diet they always tell you to drink profusely. I remember Weight Watchers said to drink 6-8 8oz. glasses of water a day. When I was on WW, (several times), I always used meal times to take in a lot of that water requirement, because my thirst always kicked in then. No one ever mentioned that there might be a drawback to drinking while eating, in fact, we all talked about it during the meetings and it was never discouraged. I wonder how much all that drinking at meals affected my weight loss?

The lap band guidelines are simple to follow, and very effective. I think all dieters can benefit from following them:

  • Don't drink while eating. Stop drinking 15 minutes before meals, and don't drink until 45 minutes after.
  • In between meals drink 8, yes 8, 8oz. glasses of water.
  • Cut your food in small bites. Very small bites.
  • Eat very, very slowly, and chew everything completely. (I try to chew 25 times for each bite.)
  • Start with protein, it fills you up and keeps you from hitting the bread basket and dessert tray.
  • Stay away from sugar, bread and other carbs, except for vegetables.
  • Eat in this order: Protein, veggies, fruit (keep the fruit to a minimum), bread.
  • If you do eat bread, eat it last, so that your appetite is sated quickly after you get to it.
If you follow these guidelines you'll find your diet goes more easily and you won't be as hungry. And for goodness sakes, remember the eating contest and lay off the guzzling during meals. Unless you're in training to eat competitively... or just like to eat like you are.
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Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Technical Difficulties

If you are having trouble with the blog, specifically posts showing up on top of each other, it helps to close the browser and try again, or to reload the page a couple of times. I'm working with blogger to fix this. Sorry!
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Food Traditions After Lap Band: Get Over It!

Eating Buddies Part II: The Hershey Park Edition

Hershey Park. Just the name spells danger for a lap bander and (former) chocoholic. It's summer, I have a kid, and so that means that I am in constantly tempting situations. Food, glorious food, is everywhere, and on top of that, on this particular trip I was traveling with my original eating buddy, my friend from college. She is often dieting, but she isn't just now, so she was eating what she wanted and that made things even more dicey for me.

Welcome To Hershey Park! Here's Your Candy Bar

When you walk in the front door of the Hershey Park visitor's center, there is a very nice lady (sent from the devil) waiting for you who will hand you a free Hershey Bar. Jeez. I knew about this particular ritual, so I avoided the visitor's center. I suggested we go right into the park, and save the free candy for later. 

Lily IS a Hershey Bar!

So we joined the unbelievably huge crowd headed for the front gates and entered the park, where we learned that Lily was a Hershey Bar. This refers to her height and the types of rides she is allowed to ride. Once Lily found out she was a Hershey Bar, she never missed a chance to mention it. She sang about it, she told people in line about it, she checked every sign and commented on it. Let me tell you, she was a Hershey Bar, a Hershey Bar, a Hershey Bar. Oh yeah, she was a Hershey Bar... (You get my point.)

We hadn't gone far into the park when the food mania started. Lily wanted cotton candy. Now, I don't even like cotton candy. I think its gross. However, on Saturday, all of a sudden, I wanted some. So I told Lily no, that she couldn't get any cotton candy. She was okay with this, but only because there were so many other options. "What about ice cream?" she asked. I do like ice cream. A lot. So I said no. A lot. On and on we went through the park, with her asking for food, and me mostly saying no. She did have cotton candy later, and also about five giant cups of lemonade, a hot dog, gum, a candy apple (yuck!), a candy bar, popcorn, doughnuts on the way to the park, chocolate milk and two bags of chips. And that was after I put the kabosh on most everything she wanted. The day ended with her having breakfast for dinner, which included eggs, bacon and croissants. 

I Did My Best

I mostly resisted the food. I had a few breakdowns, however, which I will now confess: 
  • On the way to the park I had low fat latte (okay-ish, they discourage caffeine with the band), and a flat bread sandwich with ham and cheese (awful, I'm sure.) I also had a couple of bites of my eating buddy's sour cream doughnut (bad, very bad!)
  • At the park I had several handfuls of popcorn, 
  • some lemonade, 
  • the actual dog from my hot dog with half the bun, some mustard and ketchup, 
  • gum, gum and more gum.
I got out without the candy bar. Lily insisted on buying herself a souvenir of a silver necklace with a Hershey's Kiss and her birthstone on it (more chocolate reminders), and practically freaked out on the way out when my eating buddy's family stopped at the chocolate shop and got all manner of Hershey's candy, some fudge, a big pretzel and a few other things they kindly shielded from my view. Whew! I'm glad that's over.

I think I did fairly well, considering the situation. When we got home I had the bacon and eggs, arguably okay, because they are high in protein. (Bacon, not so good.) While my friends were at my house I also cooked steaks, which were pretty ok, and a salad. 

The Lap Band Vs. Vacation Eating

All I can say is all of this is hard. Even with the band, you want to eat what you want to eat. You get hungry. (Not as hungry, but hungry.) You envy people who are eating what you can't, even, I'm ashamed to say, your seven year old daughter. 

You still have all your old cravings, your emotional attachments to foods, to eating certain foods at certain places, and to the sharing special foods with the people you've eaten with so many times. The lap band is, unfortunately, not tied over you eyes so you can't see the candy bars, and its not worn like earmuffs so that you won't hear people thrilling over what they are eating. It does not go around your wrists so that you can't reach into your purse to pay for unnecessary treats, and it also lacks an alarm that goes off when you step into the doughnut shop. It's too bad it doesn't have some of the features, because I think a lot of people would pay extra for them. I know I would!

The band makes it harder to stuff food down quickly. It reminds you that you are trying to lose weight when you get large bites of food hung on it from eating too much, too quickly. It helps you fill up quicker, but it can't tell if you are eating a protein bar or a candy bar. You have to police yourself, and you'd better be prepared for it. 

Special Occasion Eating: It Will Make You Fat!

Your friends and family will often tell you, "It's okay if you eat today, its a special occasion." They love you, they know you love food, they want you to be happy. You can't fault them for that. 
Your mind will tell you the same thing. But I've learned that modern life is chock full of special occasions and the foods that go along with them. For those of us cursed with the slow metabolism, the lack of control, the bad genes, the belief that if it is on a buffet it is calorie free, the tendency to black out while eating, the enabling families, the generous food friends, life is just going to be a little harder. The band helps a lot. But most of the work is still up to us. Dang!

 It's Just Not Fair

No, its not fair. But its the way it is. And if you have the band or are considering getting one, you will need to meditate on increasing your self control and eliminating the concept of "food traditions" from your life. Just because you're at Hershey Park, you don't have to have a Hershey Bar. No matter how many times the nice lady offers you one, or how many times your daughter says Hershey Bar... You can resist. Really.
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Lap Band Blog: House Keeping

A Few Things About My Blog
After a lot of trial and error, I've added a few new features to the blog. I thought I'd point them out so that all my boo-boos might actually pay off with more readers.
  •  First off, I've made a "blidget" for the blog. This is a blog widget. I didn't even know such a thing existed, but I found this site,, and I think this is so cool. You can click on the "promo badge," (black, in left sidebar), and it will take you to a page where you can download the blog widget. Then you can post my blog, in the form of a sidebar widget, on any web page. If you have a band related site, or would like to tell people about my blog, this is a great way to do it. Its pretty easy, and they offer instructions on how to use it as well.
  • Second, I've learned about some new ways to get more people to read the blog, and you can help me out here. One important way is to subscribe to the blog. There are buttons to do this on the left sidebar. One will let you subscribe to posts, one to comments. This somehow helps me in the search pages, so if you do follow me, this would be great to do.
  • Another thing you can do is share any posts that you think are helpful. The is a share button at the bottom of each post, and it allows you to share on other sites. The sites important to me are,,, and of course, If you share on even one of these sites it will help me get more readers. You do have to join the site you share on, but they generally don't bother you and all of them are really cool sites. This will get me higher placement in search engines, and therefore, more readers.
  • Next is my Shelfari bookshelf. This is so cool! You can click through the various shelves and link to books I've read and recommend. I have some great books about lap band, and also some great lap band and low fat cooking cookbooks on my shelves. I also review some of them and link you to to order them.
  • This brings me to my last enhancement. I've tried to "monetize" my blog. (This means I'm trying to make money from it.) I put a lot of time into the blog and I would like to be able to make a little extra cash from it. So I've added some links that allow me to make a small commission if you buy something through them. One is my cafepress shop link, which features my t-shirt shop. I've got lots of cool designs on many, many subjects. Another is a link to that will take you to Amazon to order anything you like. If you shop at Amazon, and you get there through my link, I get a little commission. I also have "Google Adsense" ads on the blog. Those also pay me a little commission if you are interested in the information there and click on them. I also link you to amazon whenever I review or mention a product in the blog. If you buy them by clicking the link, again, I get a little commission. We are talking very small amounts of money for each of these things, but if I get enough clicks it can add up to a little extra income for me. So I thought I'd mention it, and hope you will consider using these links. 
  • I've also added a Technocrati button. Technocrati is a site that tells people about blogs. If you click that link then Technocrati will make note that you are reading the blog and move me up in their list of blogs. Again, this will get me more readers.
  • Finally, and yes, this is shameless promotion of my child, but I had to do it... I put a link to YouTube where you can see my daughter in her rabbit care video. It's just cute and I'm proud of her, so if you want a little sweetness in your life you can watch here. 
Hope some of these things are of interest to you, and thanks to everyone for their encouragement and good wishes on the blog. I really do appreciate it, and enjoy writing the posts.
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